Looking back: Special sales were the highlight on 200th anniversary

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We start with the second half of 1976, 40 years ago.

There was a lot of happenings around Atmore having to do with the Fourth of July. Most of what was going on was the number of special sales in honor of our 200th anniversary. It seems as if every store in Atmore was planning a big sale. One grocery store had a four-page ad in the newspaper. One that caught my eye was the sale at Atmore Food with chuck roast for 78 cents a pound, ground beef for 68 cents a pound, mayonnaise for 48 cents for 32 ounces, and fresh cherries for 69 cents a pound.

Now, do you like cherries? I do, and let me tell you they are nowhere near that price these days. Depending on the type, they can range up more than 6 dollars a pound. Needless to say I don’t eat them too much anymore, although after writing this I went by the store and pickup up some of the cheaper kind.

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It was noted in The Atmore Advance that Patricia Patterson McKenzie was running for mayor and Nina Fritz was named Artist in Residence.

I noted that the style of the day was something called “long gowns.” They would be, according to the ad, perfect for summer weddings. The photographs were more along the line of pants that looked like long gowns. I’m sure they were very comfortable.

While city folk were looking for the sale items, there were those who were busy growing their own good things to eat. Mrs. O’Farrell of Walnut Hill, Fla., was featured in the newspaper because of the large squash that she was growing. She said that one of her squash would feed four people.

Mrs. Willie Gee, of Atmore, also had a green thumb. She was photographed with the large sunflower that was growing at her house. She said that she planted the sunflower seeds in March and by the end of June this speciman was around 150 inches tall. It was quite a few feet taller than Mrs. Gee reaching way above the roofline of her home.

It was announced in the newspaper that after 1976, Florida car tags would be issued according to the applicant’s birth month.

The newspaper announced that a daredevil by the name of “The Flying Frenchman” was to perform at the local racetrack. He was to jump 15 cars driving a locally bought car.

This made me think of the days of Evel Knievel beginning in the 1970s, He would jump anything, including Snake River Canyon (failed attempt). He had the distinction of having broken more bones in a lifetime of anyone and was so noted in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Atmore Advance had one more story to add to the saga of the troubles at Fountain Correctional facility when it stated that there had been improvements made at the prison and tension was down among the inmates.