CHS to hear voices from past

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Those who attend the Covington County Historical Society meeting at 7 p.m. this Thurs., March 28, will have an opportunity to literally hear voices from the county’s past.

Sue Bass Wilson said this week’s program will be a recording of local residents made in the mid-1950s for the American Cancer Society. Most of those featured were cancer survivors who told their stories to encourage others.

Attorney Ed Reid is shown in front of a neon sign, reading “Cancer can be cured.”

Attorney Ed Reid is shown in front of a neon sign, reading “Cancer can be cured.”

The story begins in 1942 when local attorney Ed Reid was diagnosed with colon cancer and treated in New Orleans. At the time of his diagnosis, he couldn’t find a single cancer survivor who would tell his story.

In the recording, Reid said he realized as he was recuperating that if he survived, he’d have a responsibility, a “sacred charge.” That charge, he believed, was to provide encouragement to cancer patients.

He and his wife, Gladys, also known as “Baby,” worked with the Alabama chapter of the American Cancer Society to educate local residents about the warning signs of cancer.

“Baby and I talked situation over, and agreed we would come back to our own county of Covington County, Ala., and tell people I did have cancer. There is no stigma, no disgrace. The thing that I had wanted so, I would supply,” Reid said in the recording.

Among the cancer survivors interviewed for the recording was Hannah McGhee, mother of Ann McGhee Glover, who found the recording after her mother’s death.

Gladys “Baby” Reid, Joy Cooke, Ed Dannelly, Donald Cooke, and Buck Barrow are among the people interviewed about the cancer can be cured program.

Mrs. Wilson said WAAO plans to broadcast the recordings during this year’s Relay for Life, but Covington County Historical Society members will get to hear the stories this week.