Don’t forget the cooks at restaurants

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A few years ago, I wrote about “the most important person in the operation of a restaurant is the cook.”

Yes, the cook. How many restaurants could operate successfully without a good cook?

Yet, some folks fail to recognize the importance of this vital employee. I remember back in the early 1980s eating regularly at a nice little restaurant near New Orleans when I was adjusting flood losses for The National Flood Insurance Program. The owner of that restaurant was so proud of his cooks that he had their photos neatly displayed on the interior walls. He also had a big jar positioned at the checkout counter for special gratuities (“tips”) for the cooks. I learned this successful eating establishment had been using these cooks for over 25 years.

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I know those cooks at “Busters” are highly regarded for their talented work. A couple of them have been with the Joyner family for several years. No wonder the food is so tasty there. And, there are other excellent dedicated cooks employed at other nice restaurant throughout town.

So, when you finish your meal leave a nice tip for the cooks.

Now from news from days gone by.

In 1961, countless Atmore merchants and citizens contributed funds to help pay the cost of sending our Atmore Senior Little League team to the Williamsport, Pa. Senior Little League World Series. Not only did merchants raise funds, but so did local business institutions like Vanity Fair, Swift Lumber and Southland Telephone Company. That tournament, by the way, was played on a non Little League field adjacent the world famous Little League Series playing field.

Atmore fielded its first 13-to-16-year-old Senior Little League team that year. The managers were Stirlin Fancher, Frank Patrick and John Holland. We earned a berth in that national series by downing Harlan, Georgia by a score of 2-1 in the South Regional Tournament in Tuskegee.

A few days later, we boarded the bus for the long trek to Pennsylvania. The bus was filled with players and managers and several local residents who went along to offer support. It was especially exciting for me because I was going to do the play-by-play broadcast so that local residents could hear the game on WATM.

The trip offered us all the opportunity see famous homes and landmarks. The Eisenhower home and Hershey’s Candy factory were particularly interesting.

We were housed at the Naval and Marine Training Center near the ball park.

Some of the players on that team were Eddie Fancher, Claude Steele, Larry Troutman, Keith Russell, Ricky Webb, Leon Phillips, Rodney and William Blackburn, Robert Hughes, Todd Rodgers, John Wingard, Chuck Hagaman, Ronnie Headley, Preston Barnett, Wayne Lowery, Buddy Sharpless and Wayne Godwin. (I hope I did not leave out anyone).

Unfortunately we were knocked out of the tournament by a New Jersey team in a low scoring game.

Again, back in those days Atmore was regarded a leader in community baseball teams.

There was another tournament of interest where the community chipped in. This was the 18-year-old Advance Babe Ruth World Series Tournament staged in Newark, Ohio in 1979. The All-Star team members were from Atmore, South Monroe County, Northwest Florida, Brewton and Andalusia.

Atmore played in other outstanding state and regional tournaments. One was the event when Lou Vickery and Ear Miller participated. Those fine players were just two of several outstanding players on that tournament team. Unfortunately, I was out of radio at that time and I did not follow those teams then as I did in earlier years. But I do know that era was just as important to the town as all the other baseball days.

While we are on sports I uncovered an interesting article on Facebook a few years ago featuring some of our very own. Grayson and Barrett, grandsons of Terry and Linda Jones were featured with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn on a recent Auburn Media Facebook page. They were two happy boys, indeed as well as happy grandparents.

There is a spirited cadre of men here who are to be recognized for their chain emails and phone calls to their friends and associates when an associate or close friend passes away. Billy Gates and Wallace Byrd are always up to date on these passings. These two men, whom I am sure, are members of Billy’s local military and veteran’s organization. There are other fine men affiliated with them who also make contacts.

Charlotte Boyle, who performs in another community capacity, is recognized in the same light for her efforts in this regard. In fact she performs community service throughout the entire county.

Now, here are a few names from the past of our friends and associates you remember who have passed on. I have written about some of these late residents and will write about others in future columns.

Claude Kelly, Don Kelly, Woodrow McCorvey, Earl Barbarow, Joe Latham, Dr. Henry Rogers, Alton Keller, Clyde Dunn, Bo Keller,Steve Hubbard, Geronimo the crop duster, Rayford Kirby, Frank Currie, Nina Stephens, Nick Reeves, Fred George, Lawrence Cooper, Chief Calvin McGhee, Root Lowery, Gladys Middleton, Guy Martin, Wade Johnson, Jack Madison,  Gladyn Gibson, Chester Barton, Tom Miniard, Leroy Morris, Ray Lambert, Dee Gibbs, Lavon Martin, Gladys Walker, Martin Ritchie, Phil Sokol, Bob Morresette, Frances Blackburn, Jim White, Alton White, Devon Wiggins, Shirley Martin, Bill Moseley, Crockett White, Freddie Centenni, Harvey Cook, George Harris, Harold Byrd and Dewitt Parker.

Next week, we will have more news of people places and events from our yesteryears.

Lowell McGill can be reached at