Looking back: An unlikely friendship formed in ‘76

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In 1976, Atmore was winding down another year. Christmas was on everyone’s mind, bringing out the desire to help others. The Christmas Seal for Escambia County organization set a goal of $6,059.

There was an interesting story in The Atmore Advance about a friendship that came out of nowhere.

Roy Newby, the owner of Newby’s Ambulance Service responded to a call to transport an inmate to Mobile after a riot at Fountain Correctional Center. The inmate had been stabbed several times and it was doubtful that he would survive. He did, however, and was sent to Escambia County Correctional Facility in Brewton to finish out the rest of his sentence, because it was thought he would be in constant danger at Fountain.

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While there, he found out that Newby had a business in Brewton and had been on the ambulance going to Mobile. He got in touch with Newby and a bond of friendship grew between the two. One day, the inmate asked Newby if he would be interested in having a piece of his artwork. Newby told him he would be happy to have it and promised to pay for the materials. After a period of time, Newby was presented with a model of a sailing ship that measured 6 feet long. It cost Newby $8.80 for the materials and was made out of matches. It took 440 boxes of matches, which equaled 8,800 individual matches. It was a replica of an old ship complete with sails made out of cardboard and cannons made out of painted sticks.

I wonder if that ship is still around. I will have to check on that someday soon.

Escambia County was talking about a new jail and there was an article where they were seeking funds and they were discussing the plans of putting it out close to Southern Pine.

I don’t know what happened, but we all know the jail is now located on St. Nicholas Avenue in Brewton.

I noticed one story in The Atmore Advance that grocery prices were tumbling. I don’t remember prices ever tumbling, but maybe they did.

It was a fact that Food Star had chuck roast for 59 cents a pound; pork chops for 89 cents a pound; one half gallon of ice cream for 95 cents and Jeno’s Pizza for 69 cents. Those are not bad prices so maybe they did tumble.

Vanity Fair announced an 8.3 percent pay hike. Now I did notice in a later issue, the employees had rejected an offer from the company.

Shayne Mason of Escambia Academy was selected Miss Alabama United Teenager. In a later issue I noticed her name again as winning some type of horse riding event.