Looking back: Walter Johnson knew how to stay healthy 45 years ago

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This week, we will look back to 1971, 45 years ago. At that time we had already moved to Brewton. It seems so long ago, but it has really gone by fast. I will be 76 years old on the last day of June, and I can’t believe that I have been around so long. I give thanks to God every day for giving me another day.

For you who know me, you know I love history. I love to read about it and I love to write about it. Don’t count me, or someone my age, as being out of step with the world. We have learned a lot in our time here. What I am trying to say is to listen to your elders. We are not so dumb as you may think and we will be missed when we are gone. How many times I have heard someone say they wish they could remember some of what they were told by the elders in their family. If you listen, you may learn something you never knew before.

Now, on to 1971.

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There was a story about Walter Johnson, 82, who told of his growing up in the Atmore area and what made him be as healthy as he was. He said that the secret of his long life was the hard farm work that he had done all his life. He said that, not only did he work hard, his mother kept him in line with some good “whoppings.” He said he appreciated each and every one that he had gotten during his lifetime.

“They don’t do that anymore, but I believe that a good whopping never hurt nobody,” he said.

A stretch of Highway 59 was to be renamed the Fort Mims Highway to commemorate the fort and the battle that took place there in 1813.

A grand opening was held at the post office with displays, free gifts and first day cancelation envelopes.

Busing students from the Atmore area to Jefferson Davis Junior College changed and was to go to Faulkner State Junior College.

By the close of 1970, $431,000 a month was being paid out to Escambia citizens by Social Security.

A good look at the newspapers will point out just how much difference there is in the eastern part of the county and the western part of the county. While the land around Brewton is mostly timberland, that around Atmore is mostly farmland. There are more stories about farming in The Atmore Advance than there are about trees. From the perspective of someone who has lived elsewhere, to me it looks that way. Am I reading it the wrong way? I don’t know, maybe you should tell me. I welcome comments from you to let me know.