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Stars stopped here often; the Internet is big

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, Atmore was included on the route of several entertainers and dignitaries as they traveled across the country.

I have written earlier columns about some of these stopovers. One, in particular, was Robert Stack, the movie star. This was in the early 1950s.

He and several other entertainers were promoting a Stack movie, “Mr. Music.”

The main star of the movie was Bing Crosby. But it also featured Norma Zimmer, who later became Lawrence Welk’s most popular Champagne Lady. Her high soprano voice was heard in the theme song of the movie, “And You’ll Be Home.”

As written earlier, Lady Bird Johnson made a quick train stop here in the mid 1960s. She said a quick hello to her cousin, the wife of Dr. Jim Thomas.

In the mid 50s, Ferlin Huskey made a stopover here promoting a song he recorded under another stage name, “Simon Crum.” Two cowboy sidekicks brought short performances to the Strand. Smiley Burnette and Dub “Cannonball” Taylor stopped here in the twilight of the cowboy movie days. Taylor bought along his young son “Buck, who in later years became a regular on “Gunsmoke.” Taylor brought along his young son Buck, who in later years played the role as Newly Obrien on “Gunsmoke.”

The Big Band Orchestra led by Blue Barron, made a brief stop here on the way to Andalusia, where they ended their 30-year career.

Now let’s take a look at some news from the year 1973.

The Miss. Little Queen that year was Cathy Smith, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John E. Smith.

Sherry Robinson, former Escambia County High School and Auburn University grad, was selected Miss Lee County in the Miss Alabama Contest in Birmingham.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Robinson, she took top honors in the talent contest.

A gala grand opening was held at The Adams Plaza Shopping Center in the fall

of 1973. Piggly Wiggly, Revco Drug Store and TG&Y Family Center were the main anchors in the Center.

Have you ever wondered how the Internet can handle so much online traffic?

Computer training and the Internet were not available when I was in high school or college. In fact, it was “light years” away. Twenty years ago, I was required to use a computer in my work.

This created great concern for me as I simply did not know how to use the computer. With the helpful training of a 16-year-old young man at $25 an hour for a few sessions, I soon felt the positive results of his “crash course” efforts. I found myself becoming more comfortable in this new endeavor each time I turned the computer on.

In high school, I learned to type on the old Royal manual typewriter. In fact, prior to the introduction of the computer, news reporters and editors used these old typewriters to type up their news stories. The “type setter” would then take the reporter’s typed copy and set it up for print. It really wasn’t until the 80s that the new computer method was put into operation.

But getting back to the Internet, I am now convinced it is one of the most important “inventions” of our time. There are countless things it offers.

For instance, I can print my own stamps without having to go to the post office to buy them. I wonder what “C” Williams, our postmaster here for many years, would think of this if he were living now. He never hesitated to talk to me about sports or his golf game when I went into the post office to get stamps. Some say he could hit a golf ball swinging from the left side as well as the right side.

I can even print out coupons for my wife to use on her shopping sprees. I can develop, receive and email photos. You may ask what is e-mail? It is electronic mail that can be sent and received in only a few seconds. I can do research without having to use an encyclopedia. I believe e-mail will be as common as the telephone in the not too distance future.

Another thing the Internet provides is sports. I can sit at my computer and watch major league baseball and college football-just like watching TV.

Online college courses are one of the newest features on the Internet.

Some colleges have make available all the necessary courses needed for a full bachelor’s degree. Can you imagine the money saved by staying at home and attending college on the Internet? This feature has blossomed probably more than any Internet program. Major companies today are paying the fees for key employees, especially those without college training, to take online courses. These companies realize their employees will become more valuable to them. Only a few weeks ago I read where online high school courses are becoming available. In fact, I would like to create my own website, to sentencing diagramming and basic roots of English like nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. So many graduates go into the world today without the knowledge of these basic skills.

There are Internet sites that offer old movies and music completely free of charge.

Many people bank online. This is getting bigger each day. I pay some of my bills online, right from my online banking account. There are many others who do the same.

One can place orders for merchandise online. There is a site that carries you back to your old high school classmates. There you can see photos and read stories about your school days. Another website provides medical information. You’ll find answers to many health problems. WebMD is a good site for this, but be sure your doctor is your first option before considering solving medical problems from this site.

Next week, we will have more from days gone by.