Looking back: The weather tables turned on Atmore residents in ‘76

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Forty years seems like a long time, but to someone who has been around for a while, it’s not so long after all.

In 1976, Atmore residents were like everyone else in the south. They had forgotten how, just a few weeks earlier, they had complained about the weather being chilly and now the tables had turned and it was warming up nicely. There’s one thing about southern weather; if you don’t like it now, stick around and it will change. We have certainly had our ups and downs for this year. I turned my air conditioner on for the first time during the last of May and now we are complaining about the hot weather.

Around Atmore things were rather quiet. An opening day was planned for the new Pizza Hut.

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Even though hearings were still going on in the wake of problems at the prison, one inmate was stabbed to death and another escaped from Fountain. This was indeed a hard time for the prison system near Flomaton and Atmore.

Canoe Post Office was closed after being in operation since the early 1900s. It had been rumored that it was closing many times, but this time it was real.

When you look at the history of the post office, you see that it has gone through many changes. Every little outpost once had its own post office, but these days they are all being consolidated into bigger ones. A sign of the times I suppose.

Flomaton was to honor a World War I hero, Sidney Manning who was awarded several honors for his military service. He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor because he took command of his platoon (of 35 men) after the death of the leader of the platoon. He led seven men to capture a German stronghold. They held their ground until he single-handedly held off the enemy while his men escaped, All of this he did while suffering from nine wounds he had received. During his lifetime he never wanted to accept the many awards given him, because he felt that he did nothing more than anyone would and much less than those who died in combat.

Today you can see the memorial dedicated to this war hero in Lions Park in Flomaton. His name does not appear on the war memorial in front of the Escambia County Courthouse, because he was not killed in the war. He was one of the lucky ones who got to return home.

During this time of Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day, we turn our thoughts to those who sacrificed all. That was brought home to me recently when I heard that my cousin had died after a long battle with cancer. He was a fighter pilot during the different conflicts in the Middle East and was part of the strike force on Iran. He survived all of that only to be taken down by a disease.