Homecomings galore bring friends

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

This is the time of the year when homecomings flourish. And, I am not referring only to high school and college homecomings, but church homecomings, too.

I have read about and heard about at least a dozen churches in our area having these events. So many former residents return home to visit residents and friends. I have been to a couple of church get-to-gathers and I must say, there has never been a shortage of good food. It is always a pleasure to welcome all our former friends and relatives back home.

This is also the season for Williams Station Day. As you know, this annual event is right upon us. In fact, it is scheduled to take place Oct. 22.

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And, talk about food — this is where you find just about anything you desire to eat. I remember a couple of years ago Ouida and I had a tasty barbecue sandwich in the shade of two oak trees as we were entertained by our local doctors performing in a four piece contemporary band. I never knew our doctors were musicians, but I must say they sounded real good.

Those funnel cakes always top off a good meal. And, sweet cane juice is the perfect beverage to “wash it” down. They squeeze that juice from stalks of sugar cane poked through a “grind mill” pulled sometimes by tractors and sometimes by horses, donkeys and mules.

The Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce always does a great job making this one of the most popular events of our area.

You will be reading more about Williams Station Day in upcoming editions of The Atmore Advance.

We don’t have to be concerned with reports of the Wind Creek Casino being closed down. This was not the case a couple of years ago when anti casino opponents made efforts to shut it down. Even government forces played their hands in efforts to wrap up the operation.

Too many folks from Atmore and the surrounding communities depend on this firm for employment. And, the city of Atmore depends on WC for business. Local restaurants and services realize the casino traffic adds volume to their profits. However, lashes of “lets close it down” still pop up every now and then.

Here is another controversy that may be on the horizon. Homeowners and business owners situated on the sands of the Gulf of Mexico in Baldwin County and northwest Florida counties want the federal government to initiate a combination wind and flood policies to help offset the rising cost of wind policies. As you probably know, the flood policy is underwritten by the federal government and partly paid for by our tax dollars. Gulf residents continue to find it difficult to pay premiums on lavish properties along the coast.

Now, let’s take a look at a couple of events from 1966.

Two prominent residents passed away in the fall of that year. Dr. J.O. Lizenby died at the age of 70. He was regarded as one of the most professional and skillful surgeons in south Alabama. Having practiced medicine here since 1928, he also owned and operated Atmore General Hospital. He sold the hospital in 1954, and the name was changed to Greenlawn Hospital.

G.C. Benton, who held numerous offices locally, statewide and nationally with the American Legion passed away in early fall that year. He retired as a salesman for Armour and Company, but he was known to all as “Mr. Legionnaire.”

Chemstrand Corporation changed its name to Monsanto Textile Division in August that year. Many from here and surrounding area worked at that plant and quite a few retired from there.

George Scoggin, the manager of Thompson’s Fine Clothing, was elected president of the Atmore Jaycees.

W.M. Horton retired as principal of Davisville School and moved back to his former Union, Miss. home. His wife, Bernice, also an educator here, retired that same year.

Andalusia edged out our Little League All-Stars in an Alabama District tournament held here. Members of that team were Randy Hall, John Bachelor, Clint Smith, Curt Donaldson, Frankie Dailey, Gilbert Gorum, Larry Smith, Freddie Troutman, Mike Garrard, Don Ward, Julian Thomas, Jimbo Walker, Raymond Bell and Charles Wood. John Bachelor Sr. and Heron Hall were the coaches.

Frank Cannon, former ECHS basketball coach, took a job as physical education instructor at Faulkner Jr. College.

This week’s prominent Facebook posters are Marcella Green Wilson and Anita Davis Hughes. Congratulations to these avid posters who always furnish us with refreshing news and helpful hints.

Next week we will look at more news from years gone by.