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Looking back: Veterans Day was held in October

In 1971, 45 years ago, the Atmore Ministerial Association approved a sponsorship of a community Thanksgiving service to be held at Escambia County High School on Nov. 23, at 7 p.m.

Escambia Academy was planning a garage sale in downtown Atmore.

I don’t know if I remember ever having seen a school have a garage sale in town before. It sounds like a good idea.

Shriners had a parade in downtown Atmore in memory of the late Noble Chester Barton of Atmore.

It was announced in The Atmore Advance that there would be a celebration of Veteran’s Day on Oct. 25 and schools would be closed. However, the national observance would be held on Nov. 8.

Seems strange that the observance was to be held in October instead of the of the real date.

Vanity Fair employees were photographed putting bumper stickers on vehicles urging Americans to buy American products. Back then people were beginning to realize the harm it would cause to our economy when we bought from other countries who manufactured cheaper than the United States. We have seen the end results over the 45 years since then.

Six hundred people turned out to get a free chest X-ray.

I don’t know the reason they were giving free x-rays, but it may have been to check people for tuberculosis. You don’t hear much about that these days, but I don’t really remember any extra problems with this disease in 1971.

The Atmore Advance announced that the U.S. Savings Bond committee was to put together a “school kit” to encourage students to understand the importance of savings.

I can remember saving dimes in a folder for savings bonds. The folder had enough spaces to hold the right amount of dimes that when it was full, they were traded for a savings bond. At a cost of around $18, one could buy a bond that, at maturity, would repay $25.

Carnley Bar-B-Q Drive In opened its doors on South Main Street. This was the day before there was a fast food eatery on every corner. I remember them well. I don’t know if this one was a drive-through or just a drive up at the window type business. When I was young, one could drive up and go to a window to make a purchase, or drive up and be waited on by a waitress who sometimes would be on roller skates. She would bring your food to the car and set the tray on the window next to you. We thought that was very cool.

Seven inmates escaped from the Atmore Farm Prison but most of them were caught fairly soon.

Now to one of my favorite things. Piggly Wiggly, in addition to groceries, was selling dishes for 9 cents. For every $5 worth of groceries bought, a dish could be bought for 9 cents.

Do any of you have these fine “china” pieces? If you are my age, I bet you did, too. in fact, I still have them.

A&P had bananas for 10 cents a pound, fryers for 28 cents a pound, a five-pound box  of Tide for 99 cents and Crest toothpaste for 59 cents.

Here is the best one yet. It was the time of the year for Christmas fruitcakes to begin selling. A&P had fruitcakes for $1.89, $2.49 and a 5-pound one for $4.99.

We have all heard the jokes about fruitcake, but I love them. The problem is they are so expensive. Since my husband was in the grocery business, he always brought one home when they first came out in the fall. I don’t think I have had fruitcake but once since he died in 2009. Maybe this year.

I remember when I was a little girl. Sometime before Thanksgiving my mother would gather all the fruits and nuts and made the cake, but that was only the beginning. After cooking the cake, she would place it in a old round cheese hoop. She would wrap it up in a towel and soak that towel with homemade blackberry wine. The hole in the middle of the cake was the perfect spot to place an apple. She put it up and every so often she would pour more wine over the cake. By the time Christmas rolled around, that cake was transformed into something delicious. She always had only enough cake to hold the fruit together. Oh, how I wish I had some right now.