Looking Back: A welcome sign went up on I-65

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In 1969, 50 years ago, the United States Post Office was raising the prices of stamps, and all other types of mail. Does that sound familiar? The other day I asked our office manager to sell me a stamp. She did, but I was shocked when she told me how much they were. Those little buggers cost a lot of money. It’s a good thing that I don’t send a lot through the mail.

Atmore State Prison Farm reported that influenza had struck more than 70 inmates who were quarantined. Authorities had blood samples sent off to determine if it was the Hong Kong flu.

I remember those days very well. I was one of the unlucky ones to get the Hong Kong flu and it was bad. I thought I would die and I felt bad enough to want to. Thank goodness I got over that feeling. It was enough to make me always get the flu shot. It may not be preventing the flu but anything that might help, I am ready to do.

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A new sign went up along Interstate 65 welcoming people to Atmore.

The announcement was made that 15 people were killed on the county highways in 1968.

The first baby born in the new year of 1969 in Atmore was Lucinda Melanie Boatwright. She was born Jan. 2 to Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland F. Boatwright.

A six foot, 9 inch rattlesnake brought in to the Rattlesnake Roundup had to undergo surgery, but it later died. It belonged to Gibbs Reptile Farm of Atmore.

Now I don’t mean any disrespect or harm in saying that would not have been my cup of tea. That snake would have died of natural causes before I touched him to operate on him. If you don’t know, I hate snakes, live ones, dead ones, and even sticks that look like snakes. I guess there is something for everyone, but snakes are not for me.

The United Fund came up short with donations coming in $1,289 short.

The TB and X-ray bus was to come to town. The chest x-rays were free. I saw this and wanted to include it in my “Looking Back” column. It’s hard to believe, but the days of getting tests locally were not done. These days one just goes to the doctor’s office to get all manner of tests. The medical field has really made a lot of advances.

A disturbance at the prison left two inmates murdered. One officer was held hostage for about 30 minutes. Sheriff G.S. “Scotty” Byrne said weapons were found.

A U.S. Navy helicopter crashed seven miles north of Atmore. One person was killed and two were injured. Two locals saw the crash and took a plane up to spot the wreck for officials.

A wreck on I-65 killed two when the vehicle slammed into an abutment at a high rate of speed and was left suspended over a 40-foot ravine.