Fabulous ‘50s bring back good feels

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Those fabulous ‘50s. That’s what I reminisce about most when I arrange my nostalgia thoughts. And that era, from 1950-1959, captures thoughts of many of our readers.

This was the time period when many of us finished high school, entered college, finished college or took our first job. Some of us began military service and completed military service during this era. And, some of us got married during this span.

It was the era we watched TV for the first time. That TV set located in the Watson Hardware display room drew us to sidewalk seats where we sat for hours enjoying short-filmed stories and simple news bits. If you recall, the TV stations did not come on the air until mid afternoon and concluded the day’s operation around 10 p.m.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

We welcomed The Palms Drive-In Theater during this era. Located just across the state line in Florida, we took our dates to many movies at this popular spot. And Byrne field was a nostalgic destination for baseball and high school football games. We also turned out to watch the performances and hear the songs of Gospel quartets at this popular gathering place. Sometimes we participated in donkey ball games on that playing field.

What would have been more complete for my birthday at our North Main St. Atmore Advance office than one of Molly Norris’s pineapple upside down cakes back then? There was something special about the cakes this efficient secretary made. I think it was the extra layers that filled us to the fullest. Mr. Richie, our publisher, liked her cakes, too.

“Yes, It always whispers to me…those days of long ago.” (One day I plan on writing about the origin of this phrase.)

Now, I would like to pass on some more names of my friends and acquaintances that I have written about, or will write about, in my columns.

They are: Dud Troutman, John Graham, Paul Mason, Woodrow McCorvey, Floyd Holk, Hugh Rozelle, Bernard Tremer, Houston Byrd, Mr. Beck, Lewis and Taylor (three well known barbers), Reuben McKinley, Patricia McKenzie, Adolph Sutton Sr., George Lambert, Lenoir Thompson, “Scrap” Shivers, Little John Harvey, Paul Crawford, Cary Powell, Frank Horne, Angus Byrd, Tom Kelly, Mushey Whitaker, Leon Akins, Agnes Smith, Dottie Colbert, Loretha Hall, Steve and Bertie Moseley, Pink Luker, John Huff, Foncie Weekly, Arant Moseley, Cecil Hayles, Charles Hayles, Melsie Hadley , Lawrence Cooper, Leon Langley, Jeff Cochran, Bill Bartel, Forest and Elanor Weekley, Jerry Zalfis,  Calvin Hayles, Vonzie Godwin, Harold Byrd, Gene O’Farrell and Sarah Lenoir Thompson.

Some may not recognize a few of these names, but I list them because I did know them over the years. Column space does not permit my expounding on each one of these local and area residents. But you do recognize some I have already written about. And, I will continue to write about them as each week goes by.

Now, looking back to 1955, Bob Norman was called as pastor of First Baptist Church here. The Rev. Norman was not only an excellent minister, but he was an extremely talented trumpet player. Norman often said his trumpet work helped pay his way through college.

New Jersey attorney J. R. “Bob” Tucker set up his law practice here that year.

Betty Smith, Atmore’s representative in the Miss Alabama Contest, finished as one of the finalists in that Birmingham event and received a one-year scholarship to Huntingdon College.

After Bill Cargill retired as manager of the local Escambia County Employment Office, he turned to his entrepreneurial talents, establishing a seafood route in Baldwin and Escambia counties. If you ever wanted to find a “certain favorite fish” you could call Bill and he would get it for you. Unlike today, seafood was reasonably priced and always plentiful. Because of the oil spill I think of how difficult it would be for him today to operate that business. But, knowing Bill, I am sure he would find a way to keep it going.

Eulene, his wife, who was also the daughter of Mr. John Weekly, filled his life with support and encouragement. She was regarded as a most professional nurse and dedicated to helping others when they were sick.

There was an interesting story on one of the Mobile TV stations the other night. It was about the Azalea Trail Run. It was reported that this year marks the 40th anniversary of this nationally known run. The TV announcer reported they have been running since 1977. One would think they would be getting tired by now.

Dr. Hugh Long, my Sunday School teacher and local chiropractor, told me he has been participating in this run for over 25 years. It’s really amazing, isn’t it? Here he is almost as old as me and still participates, not only in this run, but in other area runs as well.

Forgive me for not mentioning others from here who may be avid runners. Hugh was the only one I was familiar with. If you are an active runner, please me know so I can tell the folks about it.

I want to say thanks right here again to my good friend Jimmy Biggs for including Ouida and I on his fresh vegetable route. Those new greens are always very tasty and make for a satisfactory evening meal.

More news from years gone by next week.

Lowell McGill can be reached at exam@frontiernet.net.