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Remember When: Counting your blessings

“Just count your blessings instead of sheep …and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

This song of the early 1950s was recorded and made popular by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Eddie Fisher. It could be heard on the local radio station WCTA owned by Dige Bishop who brought music, news, information, weather, sports, and public service to the air waves. RIP, Mr. Bishop, “God’s keeping the night watch for you and for me!”

The young couples who came to Andalusia after World War II can be credited in a large part, I believe, to helping make Andalusia what it is today. They were busy establishing businesses, building homes for their growing families, developing neighborhoods, joining civic clubs to better their community, and worshiping in their local churches thanking God that they had made it through those treacherous times of the 1940s. The City Council led by Mayor Tracy Wilder was very progressive. It is evident that they were mindful of the fact that educating the children was of utmost importance. From The Andalusia Star News archives, it was a nostalgic experience for this “BABY BOOMER” to read and REMEMBER WHEN the activities of the citizens during this post war effort.

November 18, 1954 – “The City Council has switched on the green light for the school building construction program within the next 10 months. More classroom space, a 10-room annex of the Andalusia High School, is essential for the Andalusia schools because of the ever expanding population. The first “war baby” class graduates from grammar schools next spring (1955) to enter junior high in September.”

November 25, 1954 – “The VFW Auxiliary has purchased eight school boy patrol rain coats and rain caps. The equipment will be presented to boys serving as patrolmen at the East Three Notch and Church Street Grammar Schools,” Police Chief John Hammac has announced. Tobe Lord, president of the Church Street P.T.A., has reported that his organization will paint cross walks at the Church Street School as an experimental safety measure. A similar project will be undertaken at East Three Notch School if the Church Street idea proves effective.”

Miss Boyd’s 1st graders on the merry-go-round. 1953-54 school year.

“The Welcome Wagon hostess will knock on your door with gifts and greetings from friendly business neighbors and your civic and social welfare leaders. Arrivals of newcomers to AndalusiaPhone 645-W, Mrs. J. Uptagraft.”

“An Open House will be held in connection with the unveiling of the new 1955 Model ‘600’ Ford tractor to be put on display for the first time on Saturday, November 20.” This was announced by Donald Cotton, manager of Cotton Tractor Company located on the Florala Highway. Cotton voiced an invitation for all farmers to attend. Phone 1130-W.

J. C. Penney Stages Grand Opening of the East Three Notch Store Friday – The brand new building incorporates the latest developments in store design, construction, fixtures, and equipment. ‘All the work has been completed in time for us to take care of our customers’ Christmas shopping needs,’ L. O. Gillaspy stated.”

Advertising in the early 1950s tells the “flavor” of the town in many ways – enthusiasm, promotion, excitement, industrious spirit! See what you think!

WE SALUTE OUR TOWN! A tribute to our P.T.A. Count Darling Co. Phone 366. The motoramic Chevrolets for ’55. More than a car – a new concept of low cost motoring!”

Don’t Get Stuck Without ANTI-FREEZE! Drive in today. Waller Auto Service (Sinclair Gasoline)”

PRICES CUT – The turkey is not the only thing getting the axe today – Prices have really been cut – Come early Friday a.m. and enjoy the savings you will make. THRIFTY STORES.”

PIGGLY WIGGLY presents Turkey Time Treats – So delicious for Thanksgiving. Tom Turkeys – 39 cents lb.; Hen Turkeys – 47 cents lb.”

“Come in, See the Most Beautiful Picture of Them All – Philco ‘Miss America’ 24-Inch TVWARD-BELL TELEVISION APPLIANCE CENTER. Phone 995-W”

“Real Work of Art – Randolph Watson, Photographer.”

KING’S CAFETERIA – HOME-STYLE COOKING – We will feature a Turkey Dinner on Wednesday, November 24 and will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day, November 25. Mr. and Mrs. Gaston King.” (Isn’t it amazing that their grandson, Anthony King, is carrying on that same tradition at the Corner Market Deli?)

Christmas decorations in downtown Andalusia are scheduled to be placed shortly after Thanksgiving. Numerous display pieces have been ordered from California and are to be delivered this week including aluminum glittering stars (36 inches in size), a Star of Bethlehem (5 feet tall), fiber glass illuminated bells, 7 giant Santa heads, and a Hollywood type illuminated Christmas tree (12 feet tall).”

MIDWAY DRIVE-IN THEATRE – Located near Sanford. Opp-Andalusia Highway. Children under 12 admitted FREE when accompanied by parents. Show Time – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.” (I wonder if the descendants of the mosquitoes are still out there in Sanford!)

The Falco Jr. High School P.T.A. will sponsor a Turkey Shoot Saturday, November 13, 1954. ‘The contest will be held on the school grounds,’ Dudley S. Johnson, principal has announced.”

The Pleasant Home Chapter celebrated FHA week starting Monday with ‘No Gripe Day.’ Tuesday was ‘Friendship Day;’ Wednesday, ‘I Made it Day;’ Thursday, ‘Feel At Home Day;’ Friday, ‘School Day;’ Saturday, ‘Do Day for the Family;’ Sunday, ‘Go to Church Day.’ The FHA president for 1954-55 is Pat Kelly. The Pleasant Home FHA was well-represented when 8 of the girls presented a program, ‘What FHA Means.’” (Miss Pat Kelly is now Mrs. Pat Palmore. We can see where she got her start in leadership and hometown pride. With vision she established the scenic and historic Mural Project in downtown Andalusia. Never underestimate the importance of the high school clubs at all of the city and county schools which are often times a stepping stone for a lifetime of service!)

Pilot Club members at their ‘Bosses Night’ dinner this week used a unique scheme to carry out the Thanksgiving theme. At the entry door were black cardboard hats in Pilgrim Fathers’ motif for the men.”

“The Industrial Plants and Business Houses of Andalusia will be closed all day Thursday, November 25, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Officials at Alatex and Andala have announced that the operations will be closed down for the day. It is a paid holiday for employees at these plants.”

“The Junior Glee Club at the Andalusia High School went on a hayride to Open Pond relaxing from their busy schedule. The young singers are preparing for a Christmas concert presented for the public on December 16.”

“A downtown parade will open the annual Homecoming observance of the Covington County Training School on Thursday, November 18. The Queen Esther Williams will be crowned at halftime as the CCTS Tigers tackle the Greenville Training School. No moleskin fan can go wrong in buying a ticket to the game!”

Miss Marcia Mathews was crowned Queen of the Homecoming at the halftime of the Andalusia-Opp football game. She rode to the stadium in a white convertible driven by Bertram Pierce. Serving as Maids for Queen Marcia were Grovernell Little and Shelby Armstrong. The band formed OHS while playing a salute to Opp. Majorettes are Vassie Jo Moates, Dodie Scherf, and Jane Register. Drum major is Bob Whaley.”

“Carrying out the Spanish theme of AHS Homecoming, the band formed the word ‘Hola’ (Hello) playing ‘Chiapenecas’ after which they formed a large Spanish hat playing ‘Lady of Spain’ heralding the approach of the Queen and the Court. After the crowning, the band played the ‘Alma Mater’ and formed the word ‘Adios’ playing ‘Vaya Con Dios’ (Goodbye) retreating from the field.”

November 25, 1954“BULLDOGS BOW TO OPP BOBCATS IN SEASON FINALE BY 20-13 SCORE”

“What happened to the officials that were due to blow the whistles at the Elba-Andy game of last Friday night? The answer is ‘nothing!’ School authorities received a letter of apology from the Commissioner of the Central Alabama Officials Association. Due to clerical error, an estimated crowd of 1,900 persons, the 2nd largest to attend a game in Andalusia this year, had to wait nearly an hour and a half for the kickoff. Highway patrolmen went speeding to Brantley after it was reported men in football officials’ uniforms had been seen repairing a car along the highway there shortly before 8:00 p.m., the kickoff hour. Superintendent J. H. Johnson telephoned the Red Level principal, Raley, to arrange for the officials to rush to Andalusia after the final whistle there. At 9:20 p.m. when the ‘Red Level’ officials arrived, they received a ringing ovation. No football officials have ever been more warmly received anywhere. It was time and half plus overtime in football officiating at last week’s game!”

Editor Ed Dannelly editorialized in the Thursday newspaper, November 25, 1954, “It will be impossible for anyone to obtain the spirit of Thanksgiving if you start out trying to enumerate the many things you lack. There is always one circumstance that should bring gratefulness and at least a bowed head. All who will be observing a holiday Thursday are Americans. That is fact enough for a forgiving spirit and a heart overflowing with gratitude.”

For all of you War Eagle and Roll Tide fans, just know that not much has changed since 1954. “Auburn’s War Eagles can take note that Alabama alumni in Andalusia have their ire up. It matters not that the Tide will be an underdog this year.” (By the way, Auburn did win 28-0!) REMEMBER WHEN some of you will say, and then others will always voice that familiar chant WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR! Good luck to both teams this year who continue to make colorful history in the state of Alabama, and count your blessings that we have had so much fun during this football season!

 

Sue Bass Wilson (AHS Class of ’65) is a local real estate broker and long-time member of the Covington Historical Society. She can be reached at suebwilson@andycable.com.

 

REMEMBER WHEN

“Just count your blessings instead of sheep …and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

This song of the early 1950s was recorded and made popular by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Eddie Fisher. It could be heard on the local radio station WCTA owned by Dige Bishop who brought music, news, information, weather, sports, and public service to the air waves. RIP, Mr. Bishop, “God’s keeping the night watch for you and for me!”

The young couples who came to Andalusia after World War II can be credited in a large part, I believe, to helping make Andalusia what it is today. They were busy establishing businesses, building homes for their growing families, developing neighborhoods, joining civic clubs to better their community, and worshiping in their local churches thanking God that they had made it through those treacherous times of the 1940s. The City Council led by Mayor Tracy Wilder was very progressive. It is evident that they were mindful of the fact that educating the children was of utmost importance. From The Andalusia Star News archives, it was a nostalgic experience for this “BABY BOOMER” to read and REMEMBER WHEN the activities of the citizens during this post war effort.

November 18, 1954 – “The City Council has switched on the green light for the school building construction program within the next 10 months. More classroom space, a 10-room annex of the Andalusia High School, is essential for the Andalusia schools because of the ever expanding population. The first “war baby” class graduates from grammar schools next spring (1955) to enter junior high in September.”

November 25, 1954 – “The VFW Auxiliary has purchased eight school boy patrol rain coats and rain caps. The equipment will be presented to boys serving as patrolmen at the East Three Notch and Church Street Grammar Schools,” Police Chief John Hammac has announced. Tobe Lord, president of the Church Street P.T.A., has reported that his organization will paint cross walks at the Church Street School as an experimental safety measure. A similar project will be undertaken at East Three Notch School if the Church Street idea proves effective.”

“The Welcome Wagon hostess will knock on your door with gifts and greetings from friendly business neighbors and your civic and social welfare leaders. Arrivals of newcomers to AndalusiaPhone 645-W, Mrs. J. Uptagraft.”

“An Open House will be held in connection with the unveiling of the new 1955 Model ‘600’ Ford tractor to be put on display for the first time on Saturday, November 20.” This was announced by Donald Cotton, manager of Cotton Tractor Company located on the Florala Highway. Cotton voiced an invitation for all farmers to attend. Phone 1130-W.

J. C. Penney Stages Grand Opening of the East Three Notch Store Friday – The brand new building incorporates the latest developments in store design, construction, fixtures, and equipment. ‘All the work has been completed in time for us to take care of our customers’ Christmas shopping needs,’ L. O. Gillaspy stated.”

Advertising in the early 1950s tells the “flavor” of the town in many ways – enthusiasm, promotion, excitement, industrious spirit! See what you think!

WE SALUTE OUR TOWN! A tribute to our P.T.A. Count Darling Co. Phone 366. The motoramic Chevrolets for ’55. More than a car – a new concept of low cost motoring!”

Don’t Get Stuck Without ANTI-FREEZE! Drive in today. Waller Auto Service (Sinclair Gasoline)”

PRICES CUT – The turkey is not the only thing getting the axe today – Prices have really been cut – Come early Friday a.m. and enjoy the savings you will make. THRIFTY STORES.”

PIGGLY WIGGLY presents Turkey Time Treats – So delicious for Thanksgiving. Tom Turkeys – 39 cents lb.; Hen Turkeys – 47 cents lb.”

“Come in, See the Most Beautiful Picture of Them All – Philco ‘Miss America’ 24-Inch TVWARD-BELL TELEVISION APPLIANCE CENTER. Phone 995-W”

“Real Work of Art – Randolph Watson, Photographer.”

KING’S CAFETERIA – HOME-STYLE COOKING – We will feature a Turkey Dinner on Wednesday, November 24 and will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day, November 25. Mr. and Mrs. Gaston King.” (Isn’t it amazing that their grandson, Anthony King, is carrying on that same tradition at the Corner Market Deli?)

Christmas decorations in downtown Andalusia are scheduled to be placed shortly after Thanksgiving. Numerous display pieces have been ordered from California and are to be delivered this week including aluminum glittering stars (36 inches in size), a Star of Bethlehem (5 feet tall), fiber glass illuminated bells, 7 giant Santa heads, and a Hollywood type illuminated Christmas tree (12 feet tall).”

MIDWAY DRIVE-IN THEATRE – Located near Sanford. Opp-Andalusia Highway. Children under 12 admitted FREE when accompanied by parents. Show Time – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.” (I wonder if the descendants of the mosquitoes are still out there in Sanford!)

The Falco Jr. High School P.T.A. will sponsor a Turkey Shoot Saturday, November 13, 1954. ‘The contest will be held on the school grounds,’ Dudley S. Johnson, principal has announced.”

The Pleasant Home Chapter celebrated FHA week starting Monday with ‘No Gripe Day.’ Tuesday was ‘Friendship Day;’ Wednesday, ‘I Made it Day;’ Thursday, ‘Feel At Home Day;’ Friday, ‘School Day;’ Saturday, ‘Do Day for the Family;’ Sunday, ‘Go to Church Day.’ The FHA president for 1954-55 is Pat Kelly. The Pleasant Home FHA was well-represented when 8 of the girls presented a program, ‘What FHA Means.’” (Miss Pat Kelly is now Mrs. Pat Palmore. We can see where she got her start in leadership and hometown pride. With vision she established the scenic and historic Mural Project in downtown Andalusia. Never underestimate the importance of the high school clubs at all of the city and county schools which are often times a stepping stone for a lifetime of service!)

Pilot Club members at their ‘Bosses Night’ dinner this week used a unique scheme to carry out the Thanksgiving theme. At the entry door were black cardboard hats in Pilgrim Fathers’ motif for the men.”

“The Industrial Plants and Business Houses of Andalusia will be closed all day Thursday, November 25, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Officials at Alatex and Andala have announced that the operations will be closed down for the day. It is a paid holiday for employees at these plants.”

“The Junior Glee Club at the Andalusia High School went on a hayride to Open Pond relaxing from their busy schedule. The young singers are preparing for a Christmas concert presented for the public on December 16.”

“A downtown parade will open the annual Homecoming observance of the Covington County Training School on Thursday, November 18. The Queen Esther Williams will be crowned at halftime as the CCTS Tigers tackle the Greenville Training School. No moleskin fan can go wrong in buying a ticket to the game!”

Miss Marcia Mathews was crowned Queen of the Homecoming at the halftime of the Andalusia-Opp football game. She rode to the stadium in a white convertible driven by Bertram Pierce. Serving as Maids for Queen Marcia were Grovernell Little and Shelby Armstrong. The band formed OHS while playing a salute to Opp. Majorettes are Vassie Jo Moates, Dodie Scherf, and Jane Register. Drum major is Bob Whaley.”

“Carrying out the Spanish theme of AHS Homecoming, the band formed the word ‘Hola’ (Hello) playing ‘Chiapenecas’ after which they formed a large Spanish hat playing ‘Lady of Spain’ heralding the approach of the Queen and the Court. After the crowning, the band played the ‘Alma Mater’ and formed the word ‘Adios’ playing ‘Vaya Con Dios’ (Goodbye) retreating from the field.”

November 25, 1954“BULLDOGS BOW TO OPP BOBCATS IN SEASON FINALE BY 20-13 SCORE”

“What happened to the officials that were due to blow the whistles at the Elba-Andy game of last Friday night? The answer is ‘nothing!’ School authorities received a letter of apology from the Commissioner of the Central Alabama Officials Association. Due to clerical error, an estimated crowd of 1,900 persons, the 2nd largest to attend a game in Andalusia this year, had to wait nearly an hour and a half for the kickoff. Highway patrolmen went speeding to Brantley after it was reported men in football officials’ uniforms had been seen repairing a car along the highway there shortly before 8:00 p.m., the kickoff hour. Superintendent J. H. Johnson telephoned the Red Level principal, Raley, to arrange for the officials to rush to Andalusia after the final whistle there. At 9:20 p.m. when the ‘Red Level’ officials arrived, they received a ringing ovation. No football officials have ever been more warmly received anywhere. It was time and half plus overtime in football officiating at last week’s game!”

Editor Ed Dannelly editorialized in the Thursday newspaper, November 25, 1954, “It will be impossible for anyone to obtain the spirit of Thanksgiving if you start out trying to enumerate the many things you lack. There is always one circumstance that should bring gratefulness and at least a bowed head. All who will be observing a holiday Thursday are Americans. That is fact enough for a forgiving spirit and a heart overflowing with gratitude.”

For all of you War Eagle and Roll Tide fans, just know that not much has changed since 1954. “Auburn’s War Eagles can take note that Alabama alumni in Andalusia have their ire up. It matters not that the Tide will be an underdog this year.” (By the way, Auburn did win 28-0!) REMEMBER WHEN some of you will say, and then others will always voice that familiar chant WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR! Good luck to both teams this year who continue to make colorful history in the state of Alabama, and count your blessings that we have had so much fun during this football season!

 

Sue Bass Wilson (AHS Class of ’65) is a local real estate broker and long-time member of the Covington Historical Society. She can be reached at suebwilson@andycable.com.