Saturday, May 31, 2014

Singleton tells of ghosts along Monroe County's highways and bridges

George 'Buster' Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Alabama ghosts wait by the highways and bridges,” was originally published in the Oct. 23, 1986 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

As the closing days of October and the pale light of the “hunter’s moon” cast its ghostly shadows across the crisp night air, the thoughts of Halloween come to mind.

The hair-raising stories of the supernatural take on special meaning, and the local tales of ghosts and goblins cause the hair along the back of the neck to stand up and tingle.

The cool nights and the effects of the creeping shadows cause a feeling of adventure and of desire to go forward in an investigative fashion and see for oneself the specters that roam the deliriums of darkness.

One can stand beside an abandoned road in the northern part of the county and wait for the clatter of the hooves as the “Headless Horseman” rides through the midnight air. There is a cold feeling of damp air as the horse and rider pass close enough that one could reach out and touch the sweaty sides of the galloping horse.

Or maybe lie beside another abandoned road in the dark hours of the night and listen for the sound of the wheels of the “Phantom Stagecoach” as it makes its midnight run along the paths of yesteryear.

A ghostly greeting

Watch as the driver of the stagecoach reels to and fro as he sits atop the seat, nodding to the rhythm of the rattling harnesses of the phantom horses. And, as the stagecoach passes your hiding place, look through the window into the eyes of the lady with the bonnet, as she slowly raises a gloved hand in a faint gesture of ghostly greeting.

Listen as the stagecoach rumbles down the steep, curved hill, and hear the iron tires of the coach’s wheels rattle across the old, abandoned bridge that leans dangerously from neglect in the shadowy moonlight.

If by now you have not had your fill of the mysteries of the past, you might want to visit the “Hanging Tree,” or sit atop the hill where the wailing music of a phantom organ rides the evening winds. Or perhaps observe the ghostly lights that roam the Franklin and Finchburg areas in the quietness of the dark hours of the evening.

Ghost Riders, Crying Child

Then, as the grand finale, one can choose between the famed “Ghost Riders” and listening to the wailing of the “Crying Child” as the sounds of distress fade into oblivion. Or wait in the quietness of a certain cemetery within the county, in the dark hours of the early morning, and watch the tall, ghostly gentleman in the top hat, walking among the markers in search of his lost love.

Each of the tales of the supernatural brings to mind the thoughts of a little-known poet of the area, as the following words play with the imagination:

“Walk with me into the past that was yesterday.
Hold my hand, for I fear; the evening winds sigh
With mystery. And the ghosts of an earlier time
Speak of their tragedies.

“Do not take lightly these tales of misfortune,
For somewhere in time, you too may join the
Ranks of those who wander in the night, and
Ride forever on the winds of oblivion…”

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., May 31, 2014

Temp: 68.4 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.20 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible; dew on the ground.

Barometric Pressure: 29.51 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.40 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 13.00 inches

Spring to Date Rainfall: 25.95 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 39.55 inches

NOTES: Today is the 151st day of 2014 and the 73rd day of Spring. There are 213 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Does a 'hant' haunt the dark hollows of the Buena Vista community?

Historical marker in Buena Vista community.
(The following story was originally published in The Monroe Journal’s Centennial Edition on Dec. 22, 1966. The story, written by Sue F. Turner, appeared on Page 22C of that issue under the headline, “Hants, Superstitions Retold In Stories of Buena Vista.”)

Stories retold through 50 years or more, are added to in the telling, and become more legend than fact. The following stories from Buena Vista include a fight with a mad dog, Sam and the ‘hant’ in the hollow, Mr. Peter Vredenburgh’s underground candy tree and superstitions lived in the old days.

Negro Mammies are taboo in 1966, but in the early 1900s every household in Buena Vista had one who wore a white head rag, a starched apron and ruled the lives of their white families.

Aunt Phronie was one of these. She told stories of ghosts and buzzards to the village children that were more popular than Red Ridinghood or The Three Bears. She, like all the others, had her own little cabin at the rear of the big house where the children gathered, but were never allowed inside.

When there was an expectant mother in her care, Mammy would talk about “our baby” and “my baby,” before the birth and after. She watched the cravings of a special food of the expectant mother and avoided it if possible. “You oughter tol’ me you was cravin’ ham. I ain’t gwine have no baby of mine come here with no red mark on his white skin.”

Mammy’s Philosophy

She blamed too-long noses of her babies on the expectant mother visiting a circus and being too interested in an anteater.

“Look at pretty things, and read smart books and have nice thoughts,” she advised.

After the birth, the doctor would instruct her in the care of the baby and the mother.

“Keep her in bed at least 10 days,” he would caution, “so she’ll be strong.”

Mammy would listen politely and when he was out of sight say, “I had nine chillun and was up washin’ the diddies when they was three days old. Trouble is you overlooks the mos’ important things. You has to take precautions.”

When asked what precautions, she’d say, “I done took care of it. I burned the afterbirth in a bucket cause I knowed you’d have a fit if I done it in the fireplace like I oughter. But I saved the ashes and when you do decide to get outer that bed, then you’ll empty ‘em yourself. That’s the onliest way you can get strong.”

She kept the room clean, as was her duty, but she’d refuse to sweep under the bed. “I ain’t gwine be responsible for no such foolishness,” she insisted. “Likely you’d never get out of it if I did.”

She paid no attention to orders of boiled water for the baby until she had a chance to slip to the woods to a spring gurgling from the ground. With the mother’s silver thimble for a cup, the baby had his first taste of water. “Never would have no good teeth lessen he had spring water first,” she’d say.

Nobody could rub her baby’s gums to help teething, the teeth would never come through, she believed. Holding a baby near a mirror where he could see himself was almost fatal because it was held responsible for every ill afterward.

Her babies had a taste of everything from the mother’s table. They got warm tea for colic and a good rubbing, including the top of the head, for colds, and a bag of asafetida around the neck if she could manage it.

She brushed the baby’s feet with the stiff bristles of a broom. “Don’t sweep off his feets, no tellin’ how old he’d be ‘fore he walked.”

Later when she saw her robust charge in perfect health, she’d declare it was due to her care in not once failing to hang their undershirts by the sleeves when she washed them.

Hant In The Hollow

Sam was a tall, heavy-set, dark-skinned man and one of the most reliable and responsible workers who lived near the village. His house was half a mile south of the village, as the path through the hollow went. He could get there by a dirt road, but that was a mile walk.

One Saturday he had worked late and stopped by the village store for groceries. He stored his supplies in a croker sack, tied a knot at the end of the sack and swung it over his shoulder.

It was dusk dark. His children would be hungry for the fatback and ‘lasses in his sack. Rosie, his pretty light-skinned wife, would be waiting for him. He’d have to take a chance on the path through the bottom.

The path crossed an open pasture bordered by dense pines in the distance. The land just beyond the pines dropped off suddenly, down to a swampy area of bog, ferns and marshy ground. The brush was thick, the ground mucky. It was twilight there at noontime. Owls roosted there and hooted in the dark.

Sam went quickly across the open ground and stopped to pick up a lightwood knot. He stopped and lighted the knot as he passed the line of dense pines. At the same time, he transferred his load to his left shoulder. The hant always rode his right shoulder, rode it heavy, bearing down, crushing his strength.

He could hear his heart pounding as he listened from side to side. Maybe he’d slip by tonight. But a creeping vine caught his foot and he tripped.

“Lawd, have mercy,” he moaned. Then he felt it. The rush of cold air. Air that didn’t rush on but circled around him, chilling his sweaty body. His torch went out.

Then he felt the weight settle on his shoulder, heavier than the sack of provisions on his left shoulder.

“Lawd, save me,” he begged. He wanted to run but the weight slowed him and resigned, he stooped to the burden, trudging step by step, panting for breath.

A hound dog bayed in the distance. “Thank you Lawd,” Sam murmured. It was his own hound dog. He’d been delivered. A glimmer of light showed through the pines. Rosie was calling, “Shake him off, Sam, we’s waitin’.”

Fight With A Mad Dog

It must have been 1915 that Lillie fought the mad dog. It was a Sunday morning. Ollie said, “Let’s drive down to the field before breakfast, I want to see that corn patch down there.” The fact was he couldn’t stay still at any time. He had to be on the go.

She unrolled her kid curlers and bunched up her long hair, dressed hurriedly and left the sleeping children with the cook.

Ollie tapped Rubin, the bay mare, with a brand new buggy whip and set him off at a fast clip. The whip was black with white stripes. The upper half was pliable and strong with a leather tassel on the end. “Best whip I ever had. Cost a dollar, but it’s a dandy,” he said.

Two miles from the village he drew to the side of the narrow dirt road. “I’ll be right back. The field’s just over that rise.” He left Lillie in the buggy.

She saw some crabapple blooms over in the woods and thought they would be nice for church decoration for the morning service. She was the church organist.

She knew Rubin would stand. She picked her way to the crabapple tree and broke off great branches of blooms before she saw the dog. He was like a bird dog on point. But he growled when she spoke to him.

He moved toward her cautiously at first as she backed away toward the buggy. She reached it, made an effort to gain the high step by holding to the buggy whip in its stand. The startled horse stepped forward. She slipped but when she got her footing she had the whip in her hand. Then she screamed.

The dog lunged and she brought the whip down across his neck. She screamed again and Ollie answered with a loud “Whoopee.” The dog backed off but lunged again and again as she fought him off, shaping the whip into an arc across his body.

Ollie reached her and the dog ran off into the woods.

Lillie didn’t faint until she was at church and on the organ stool. Days later the dog was found and killed and declared rabid. The buggy whip was kept in the umbrella stand at Ollie’s house for years afterward.

Mr. Vredenburgh

Peter Vredenburgh Jr. was a native of Illinois. He bought a large tract of land in Monroe and Wilcox counties and chose as a site for his saw mill and mill village a location five miles west of Buena Vista. When he came to supervise the layout of this site, there was no place for him to stay.

He asked to stay at our house, (the home of Lillie and Ollie Finklea). This house had gas lights but no running water, no bathroom. There was no refrigeration for the food except the cool depths of the well. Wood was burned in the fireplaces. But nobody seemed conscious that this city-bred wealthy man missed the things he was accustomed to.

He was given the guestroom, the best in the house. I remember him as large around the middle with a smooth vest and a watch chain. The look of the city man’s clothes and haircut were strange to us as the tone of his voice and the things he talked about. We had never heard anything but an Alabama accent and his words were soft and pleasant and foreign.

The three children in the family at that time sat near him as he told his adventures and fabulous stories of the world. But we were spellbound when he talked about the great tree that he owned.

It was a tree with a trunk so large that there was a full-sized door cut in it. This door led to steps that led down into a great cave. This was a brilliantly lighted cave lined with colored jewels and diamonds. There was candy in every niche and corner.

When our suspense and appetites were sufficiently whetted Mr. Vredenburgh would say, “I have brought candy from my tree. The one who can tell me what kind it is will receive it as a gift.”

Oh! To be able to guess what it was. The only candy we knew was in the showcase at the village store: Peppermint, lemon drops, orange chewy lady-fingers and other goodies like that. “Lemon drops,” I said. “Peppermint,” said Charles.

“Chocolate,” Marion said shyly. She won the prize. A great box of chocolate candy.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., May 30, 2014

Temp: 67.6 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.40 inches

Humidity: 86 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible; standing water on the ground from recent rain; security lights still on in the distance.

Barometric Pressure: 29.48 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 12.80 inches

Spring to Date Rainfall: 25.75 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 39.35 inches

NOTES: Today is the 150th day of 2014 and the 72nd day of Spring. There are 214 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Conecuh County suffered plane crashes almost 15 years apart to the day

A U.S. Navy T-28B trainer plane.
While looking through some old editions of The Courant this week, I ran across an unusual coincidence. Almost exactly 15 years apart, Conecuh County suffered a pair of unusual aircraft incidents that grabbed headlines across the region.

The first incident occurred on the night of May 20, 1942 and involved eight planes that were on the way to Maxwell Field in Montgomery from Crestview, Fla. All eight planes encountered a storm that caused three of the planes to crash in Conecuh County. The other five planes crashed in Escambia County near Atmore.

All of those planes were flown by British cadets, who’d been assigned to Maxwell Field for training, and five airmen reportedly died in those crashes.

A huge search was launched in Conecuh County to find the missing planes and the last of the three to crash in Conecuh County was found on May 26, 1942. A search plane spotted that final missing plane late that day in Sepulga Swamp, about 20 minutes north of Evergreen. A ground party reached the plane early the next day in a “thick swamp in a rather isolated section.”

The plane was “totally demolished” and the pilot was found dead inside. The story didn’t give many details about the pilot’s identity other than to say that his last name was “Lowe.” The search party recovered his body and returned it to Maxwell Field in Montgomery.

Fast-forward 15 years into the future to the night of May 23, 1957 when a T-28B trainer plane flown by Navy Ensign Richard Frank Polich of Chicago crashed and exploded in Conecuh County. Polich bailed out after the plane’s engine caught fire at 2,000 feet, and the plane proceeded to crash on the farm of M.M. Cardwell about five miles west of Evergreen on the Loree Road.

The plane exploded when it hit the ground, but no one was injured. The plane hit the ground at an angle and parts of the plane were scattered over a wide area. The wreckage burned “fiercely” for a few minutes after the crash.

Polich, who was stationed at Whiting Field near Milton, Fla., drifted to the ground by parachute and landed about a mile from the crash site. On his way to the ground, his chute became entangled in a tree, but he made it down to the ground without a scratch.

A witness named Frank Dean saw the plane crash and called the Evergreen Fire Department. Dean wasn’t the only one to see the crash as other witnesses in a 10-mile radius saw the burning plane streak through the sky, and others reported hearing the plane explode when it hit the ground. Dean  rushed to the scene as did a sizeable crowed that included an “entourage of dozens of cars, which swell to hundreds” as word spread about the crash.

Newspaper reports from that time noted that the May 23, 1957 crash was the first crash of a Navy plane in Conecuh County since the Navy started using Middleton Airfield as a training site in April 1956.

Was it a coincidence that both incidents occurred around the same time in May or was there something more at work? Do the night skies become less friendly as the atmosphere makes the transition from late spring to early summer? Who can say, but one thing is for sure nowadays: The Navy no longer conducts training flights at night in Conecuh County, according to officials at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. 

Was Evergreen High's 1949 football team the greatest in county history?

Evergreen High School's undefeated 1949 football team.
The Mobile Press-Register reported last week that the entire 1988 Vigor High School football team would be inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame last Thursday night during a ceremony in downtown Mobile.

That historic prep team, which included future pro players like Darrell “Lectron” Williams, Kelvin Simmons, Mitch Davis, Marcus Durgin, Kevin Lee and Roosevelt Patterson, was arguably the greatest high school team in the history of the state. Outscoring opponents 387-44, they captured the Class 6A football title and were named national high school football champions by ESPN.

Of course, all of this got me to thinking about all of the great teams that have taken the field in Conecuh County over the years. There have been many standout teams over the years, but which was the all-time greatest is up for debate.

Hillcrest’s 2000 team, which played 5A ball, boasts the school’s best all-time record with their 9-3 finish, but no team in school history put up points like the 2010 team, which scored 333 total points. Hillcrest’s 1989 team was also no pushover, giving up just 67 total points while going 8-1 overall under former Auburn head coach Doug Barfield. Only two teams in school history ever won a playoff game, the 2000 team and the 1995 team.

Sparta Academy’s 1988 team was arguably the best in that school’s history. They went 12-1 overall under coach Mike Bledsoe with their only loss coming in the state championship game. That team also gave up just 52 total points in 13 games, which is a school record that still stands over a quarter of a century later. The best offensive team in Sparta history was the high-flying 1997 team, which put up 465 total points on their way to a 10-3 record and state runner-up honors.

It’s even harder to pick the greatest team from Evergreen High School. You could make the argument that the 1979 team was the best because it was the only team to ever represent the school in the state playoffs, finishing 7-4 overall. However, many say that the 1949 team was the best because they were the only team in school history to finish the season with an undefeated record. Evergreen went 8-0-2 that year.

Repton High School fielded some outstanding teams years ago, but the best was probably the 1985 squad that went 12-3 overall on their way to a state runner-up finish in Class 1A. Other great teams there included the 1977 team that went 10-1-1 and the 1986 team that finished with a 10-2 record while scoring a school-record 401 total points.

When it comes to Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, their best team was probably the 1981 squad, which finished with a school best record of 7-3. They also set a school record by scoring 227 total points while giving up just 62 points. Keep in mind that CCHS didn’t field football teams between 1939 and 1973.

Last, but not least, there’s Lyeffion High School. You could make the argument that the 1985 and 1981 teams were the best in the history of that school. The 1985 team went 7-4 and made the playoffs, while the 1981 team went 7-3 overall, but didn’t get in the playoffs. Notably, both of those teams were coached by Mike Bledsoe.

In the end, which of our local teams from years past do you think was the greatest? Why? Let me know what you think by e-mailing me at

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for May 29, 2014

MAY 28, 1987

“Jeremy Merrills, 13, son of Mrs. Debra Merrills, 246 Riley St., Evergreen, received this Best Shooter Trophy for the ‘B’ team at Southern Normal High School, Brewton. He is in the seventh grade.”

MAY 25, 1972

“O.F. Frazier has decided to retire after 40 years with the Conecuh County Board of Education. His first position was as assistant principal, coach and science teacher at Conecuh County Training School.”
Under Frazier, “the school basketball team won the South Alabama District tournament at least 10 times and won the State Basketball tournament in 1958. Marshall had outstanding football teams during his years as principal at Marshall.”

“Barbara Gantt won first place in the Powder Puff Race held at the Brooklyn Speedway recently. Her car was sponsored by Mrs. Bessie Cook, Standard Oil distributor, (Goldenaire Radial Tires) & Miller Trading Co. Keeping it a family affair, Barbara’s father, J.W. Coburn, won first place in the Spectator Class.”

MAY 30, 1957

“Jr. Baseball League Announces Rosters; Play Starts Monday: The Evergreen Junior League released player rosters this week and announced that play will begin next Monday night at 6:30 p.m. First game is a Minor League affair with the Chicks taking on the Hawks.
“Second game of the evening is a Major League affair pitting the Yankees against the Giants.
“In the only major trade of the season thus far John Brock and Johnnie Snowden were sold to the Red Sox last week for an undisclosed sum of money. The rosters are as follows:
“Red Sox-Hawks: Don Hansen, Andy Moses, Lewie Nall, Ryan Granade, Billy Hammond, William Sessions, Mickey Fountain, Vernon Crosby, Claude Aaron, Johnny Snowden, Bill Snowden, Glenn Tatum, Claude Johnson, Frankie Sharpe, Larry Sharpe, Robert Reymundo, Larry Morrison, Billy Tolbert, Bobby Tolbert, Charles Pierce, Kenny Harper, Benny Hammond, Bobby Hammond, Ronnie Driver, John Brock, William Johnson, Johnny Huggins, Bobby Brittain.
“Dodgers-Chicks: Ernest Sheffield, Sidney Lambert, Wayne Tolbert, Clint Ward, Ed Briggs, Eddie Thornley, Reginald Pruett, Don Holcombe, Malcolm Croft, John Croft, Orman Jackson, Grover Jackson, Ronald Jackson, Leon Adams, Homer Faulkner, Steve Briggs, Joe Glass, Byron Kelly, Joe Sasser, Bobby Sasser, James Ellington, Rodney Mitchell, Dennis Pruett, Marshall Dees, Billy Brooks, Heywood Salter, John Vickery, Van Davis.
“Giants-Pelicans: Jimmy Weaver, Ronald Byrd, Peter Thorpe, Dennis Huggins, Stan Coker, Larry Yeargan, Steve Baggett, Eddie Moseley, Lavon Congleton, Allison Gaston, Peter Wolff, Robert Mininger, Jerry Rue, Jerry Adams, John Vickery III, Moreno White, Carl Dyess, Judson Stinson, Knud Nielsen, Edward Harper, Marvin Salter, Jack White, Larry Lee, Larry Cobb, Leslie Lassiter, Donnie Pittman, Robert Williams, Don Brewton.
“Yankees-Orioles: Mike Moorer, Jimmy Warren, Jackie Frazier, James Ward, Scott Cook, Jerry Johnson, Jerry Brundage, Alvin Dees, Terry Salter, Robert Rigsby, Billy Kendall, John Cloud, Ronnie Hayes, Glen Bolton, Tommy Hartley, Mike Brooks, Rusty Brice, Edward Boley, Freddie Coleman, Keith Pugh, Eddie Messer, Joe Wright, Harold Wright, Robbin Cox, Dempsey Coburn, Michael Covin, Russell Lee.”

“Golf Club to Sponsor Jr. Handicap Tourney: The Evergreen Golf Club will sponsor a Junior Handicap Tournament starting on June 12 and to be completed in five weeks.
“Anyone interested in entering the tournament should contact Paul Pace, Bill Ivey or Brown Boykin.
“Entries so far are Palmer Smith, Paul Pace, Bill Ivey, Conner Warren, Howard Claybrook, Bert Tuggle, Joe Bullington, Jimmy Warren, Billy Grace, Bobby Kendall, Ronnie McDonald, Ashley Bradberry, Jackie Frazier, Tal Stuart, Billy Melton, Brown Boykin Jr., William Sessions, Jimmy Kelly, Everette Price, Bill Ansley, Russell Deason, Wayne Frazier, Ceylon Strong, David Hyde and Jimmy Bell.”

From “As Seen From No Man’s Land” by Marshall Brittain – “It was a pleasure this week to talk to Chester Martin, who was here on a visit. Chester is manager of the B.C. Moore & Sons store in Adel, Ga., and he tells me that they have gotten a Little League started there this year. He was very active in sports in Evergreen, playing on a team in the Conecuh County Amateur League, and managing a team in the Little League, as well as playing a mean brand of softball.”

MAY 28, 1942

“About 30 young people (from Castleberry) went to Pensacola by school bus Saturday for an outing. All went swimming at Bayview. After enjoying a picnic lunch they went on a tour of important places around Pensacola.”

MAY 26, 1927

“Coach N.C. Henderson leaves Thursday for his home in Starkville, Miss. We are sorry Mr. Henderson is not coming back here next year. He has accepted a position with Investors Syndicate Co. and will be located in Texas.”

“Fish Pond For Sale: Seventeen acre pond stocked with government and native fish. Eight miles from Evergreen on Evergreen and Castleberry road. Nice two-room camp house and two good fishing boats. Price $1,000. Would sell half interest to right party. John Cunningham, Evergreen, Ala.”

“PROF. SEXTON RESIGNS AS HEAD OF S.S.A.S.: It is with a deep sense of regret that the people of Evergreen and Conecuh County will hear of the resignation of Prof. W.B. Sexton as principal of the State Secondary Agricultural School. Mr. Sexton is ending his third year in Evergreen and during these three years the school has gone forward in a very splendid manner. Standard of scholarship and athletic achievement have been brought to the attention of the people of the whole state, and it is not an extravagant assertion to say that whether the contest be literary or athletic, the S.S.A.S. has gained the reputation of always being a real contender.”

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., May 29, 2014

Temp: 68.2 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.60 inches

Humidity: 84 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible; standing water on the ground from recent rain; security lights still on in the distance.

Barometric Pressure: 29.47 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 2.80 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 12.40 inches

Spring to Date Rainfall: 25.35 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 38.95 inches

NOTES: Today is the 149th day of 2014 and the 71st day of Spring. There are 215 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coffeeville historical marker tells of state's first rural electric co-op

'Clarke-Washington EMC' Historical Marker in Coffeeville.
This week’s featured historical marker is the “CLARKE-WASHINGTON ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATION” marker in Clarke County, Alabama. This marker is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and State Highway 69 in downtown Coffeeville, right in front of the Exxon gas station.

This marker was erected by the Alabama Rural Electric Association in cooperation with the Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation. There’s text on both sides of this marker, but both sides are identical. What follows is the complete text from the marker.

----- 0 -----

“CLARKE-WASHINGTON ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATION: The Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation was organized near this site on March 2, 1936 by some 83 members from Clarke and Washington counties. This was the first rural electric cooperative organized in Alabama under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1935. The co-op’s original board of directors included Joe C. McCorquodale Sr., Ben Glover, C.R. Myrick, R.S. McNeil and H.E. Langlois. The co-op’s first attorney was C.B. Gilmore of Grove Hill, and its first general manager was Garrard Harrell of Jackson.
“The co-op was first located in Coffeeville, but later moved to Commerce Street in Jackson. The cooperative serves members in Clarke, Washington, Baldwin, Monroe and Wilcox counties.”

----- 0 -----

The Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation is still in existence today and is a member of the Touchstone Energy Cooperative. Its headquarters remains in Jackson, which is about 25 miles from Coffeeville. Currently, the Clarke-Washington EMC serves around 22,000 electric meters along nearly 4,000 miles of lines in all of the counties mentioned above except for Baldwin County. They also provide power to municipalities like Coffeeville, Chatom, Millry and McIntosh. For more information about the corporation, visit its Web site at

If you ever take the time to see this historical marker for yourself, be sure to take a look around Coffeeville. Incorporated on Nov. 26, 1819, Coffeeville covers just 4-1/2 square miles, and the town has a population of less than 400 residents. The town once had a high school, but it closed in 2011, and now students from the town go to Clarke County High School in Grove Hill or to Jackson High School.

Also, be sure to check out the Jim Folsom Bridge, which is west of the historical marker, on U.S. Highway 84. This steel through arch style bridge crosses the Tombigbee River and connects Clarke and Washington counties. Construction of the bridge was completed in 1958 and was named after a former Alabama governor.

The Town of Coffeeville was named after Gen. John Coffee, who served with distinction during the Creek War of 1813-1814. Born in Prince Edward County, Va. on June 2, 1772, Coffee moved to Tennessee in 1798 and became good friends with Andrew Jackson, who would go on to become President of the United States. Coffee died at the age of 61 on July 7, 1833, and Jackson wrote the epitaph for his tombstone.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below.

This week's movie picks are 'Korengal' and 'A Birder's Guide to Everything'

It’s Wednesday, so today I give you my weekly list of movies that will open in theatres this week as well as a list of movies that will be released this week on DVD.

I hope this will serve as a useful guide as to what’s going on this week if you happen to be near a movie theatre or if you’re looking for something to drop into your NetFlix queue or pick up at the local Redbox.

Movies that are scheduled to hit theatres this week include:

- Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlaas (Drama): Directed by Arnaud des Pallieres and starring Mads Mikkelsen, Melusine Mayance, Bruno Ganz, David Kross and Delphine Chuillot.

- The Big Ask (Comedy, Drama): Directed by Thomas Beatty and Rebecca Fishman and starring David Krumholtz, Jason Ritter, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Knighton and Ahna O’Reilly.

- Filth (Comedy, Drama, Crime, R): Directed by Jon S. Baird and starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Eddie Marsan and Jim Broadbent.

- The Grand Seduction (Comedy, PG-13): Directed by Don McKellar and starring Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Liane Balaban, Gordon Pinsent and Rhonda Rodgers.

- Korengal (Documentary, R): Directed by Sebastian Junger.

- Lucky Them (Drama, Comedy, R): Directed by Megan Griffiths and starring Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, Ahna O’Reilly, Oliver Platt and Ryan Eggold.

- Maleficent (Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Family, PG): Directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, Sharlto Copley and Peter Capaldi.

- A Million Ways to Die in the West (Comedy, Western, R): Directed by Seth MacFarlane and starring Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Charlize Theron and Seth MacFarlane.

- Night Moves (Drama, Suspense, R): Directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat and James Le Gros.

- We Are the Best (Drama): Directed by Lukas Moodysson.

New DVD releases this week include:

- 24 Exposures (Suspense): Directed by Joe Swanberg and starring Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Sophia Takal and Helen Rogers. 

- A Birder’s Guide to Everything (Comedy, Drama, PG-13): Directed by Rob Meyer and starring Ben Kingsley, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Katie Chang, James Le Gros and Alex Wolff.

- Cheap Thrills (Comedy, Suspense): Directed by E.L. Katz and starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton, David Koechner and Amanda Fuller.

- Endless Love (Romance, Drama, PG-13): Directed by Shana Feste and starring Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Robert Patrick, Bruce Greenwood and Rhys Wakefield.

- Gambit (Comedy, Crime, PG-13): Directed by Michael Hoffman and starring Cameron Diaz, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman.

- Independence Daysaster (Science Fiction, Action, PG-13): Directed by W.D. Hogan and starring Ryan Merriman, Andrea Brooks, Emily Holmes, Keenan Tracey and Tom Everett Scott.

- Journey to the West (Action, Fantasy, Comedy, PG-13): Directed by Stephen Chow and starring Shu Qui and Wen Zhang.

- Patrick: Evil Awakens (Suspense, Horror): Directed by Mark Hartley and starring Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, Peta Sergeant and Damon Crewes.

- Run & Jump (Drama): Directed by Steph Green and starring Maxine Peake, Will Forte, Edward MacLiam and Sharon Horgan.

- The Trials of Kate McCall (Suspense, Drama): Directed by Karen Moncrieff and starring Kate Beckinsale, Nick Nolte, James Cromwell, Taye Diggs and Clancy Brown.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “Korengal,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “A Birder’s Guide to Everything.”

In the end, let me know if you get a chance to watch any of the new movies in theatres this week or if you’ve already seen any of the movies that have just been released on DVD. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for May 28, 2014

Temp: 71.1 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): Trace.

Humidity: 82 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies and sunny; birds audible and visible; dew on the ground.

Barometric Pressure: 29.51 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 2.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 11.80 inches

Spring to Date Rainfall: 24.75 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 38.35 inches

NOTES: Today is the 148th day of 2014 and the 70th day of Spring. There are 216 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who will win this year's John W. Campbell Award for Best Sci Fi Novel?

The finalists for the prestigious John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel were announced during the past week, and this year’s winner will be picked from a slate that includes 15 outstanding novels.

This year’s finalists include:

- “Lexicon” by Max Barry

- “Proxima” by Stephen Baxter

- “The Circle” by Dave Eggers

- “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler

- “Hild” by Nicola Griffith

- “The Cusanus Game” by Wolfgang Jeschke

- “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie

- “The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann

- “Evening’s Empires” by Paul McAuley

- “The Red: First Light” by Linda Nagata

- “The Adjacent” by Christopher Priest

- “On the Steel Breeze” by Alastair Reynolds

- “Shaman” by Kim Stanley Robinson

- “Neptune’s Brood” by Charles Stross

- “Strange Bodies” by Marcel Theroux

The award, for best SF novel, will be presented during the Campbell Conference, to be held June 13-15, 2014 at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence KS. - See more at:
The winner will be presented during the Campbell Conference June 13-15 in Lawrence, Kansas. The John W. Campbell Memorial Award was first given in 1973 and what follows is a complete list of the all-time winners.

1973 - Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Malzberg
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke and Malevil by Robert Merle
1975 - Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
1976 – The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker
1977 - The Alteration by Kingsley Amis
1978 - Gateway by Frederik Pohl
1979 - Gloriana by Michael Moorcock
1980 - On Wings of Song by Thomas M. Disch
1981 - Timescape by Gregory Benford
1982 - Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
1983 - Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss
1984 - The Citadel of the Autarch by Gene Wolfe
1985 - The Years of the City by Frederik Pohl
1986 - The Postman by David Brin
1987 - A Door into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
1988 - Lincoln's Dreams by Connie Willis
1989 - Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling
1990 - The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman
1991 - Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson
1992 - Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede by Bradley Denton
1993 - Brother to Dragons by Charles Sheffield
1994 – No Award Given.
1995 - Permutation City by Greg Egan
1996 - The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
1997 – Fairyland by Paul J. McAuley
1998 - Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
1999 - Brute Orbits by George Zebrowski
2000 - A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
2001 – Genesis by Poul Anderson
2002 - Terraforming Earth by Jack Williamson and The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson
2003 - Probability Space by Nancy Kress
2004 – Omega by Jack McDevitt
2005 - Market Forces by Richard Morgan
2006 – Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer
2007 - Titan by Ben Bova
2008 - In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan
2009 - Little Brother by Cory Doctorow and Song of Time by Ian R. MacLeod
2010 - The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
2011 - The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
2012 - The Islanders by Christopher Priest and The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski
2013 - Jack Glass: The Story of a Murderer by Adam Roberts

In the end, which of this year’s finalists do you think will win the overall award? How many of the books mentioned above have you had the chance to read? Which did you like or dislike and why? Which would you recommend? Which is your personal favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., May 27, 2014

Temp: 70.9 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 2.20 inches.

Humidity: 84 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Overcast skies; heavy fog, visibility about 100 yards; birds audible and visible; standimg water on the ground.

Barometric Pressure: 29.63 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 2.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 11.80 inches

Spring to Date Rainfall: 24.75 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 38.35 inches

NOTES: Today is the 147th day of 2014 and the 69th day of Spring. There are 217 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 152: Attend a Montgomery Biscuits baseball game

Once upon a time, I used to live in Montgomery, Ala., but to the best of my knowledge, they didn’t have a minor league baseball team at that time. A few years after I moved from Alabama’s capital city, the Montgomery Biscuits began playing in Montgomery, and I’ve wanted to go watch them play ever since. I added a trip to one of their games to my “bucket list” a few years ago, and I finally got the chance to watch them on Sunday night.

The Biscuits are a Double A affiliate for the Tampa Rays, and they played their first season in Montgomery in 2004. The Biscuits play their home games in Riverwalk Stadium, which seats 7,000 and opened its doors in 2004 on Coosa Street in downtown Montgomery.

On Sunday, the Biscuits faced their Southern League rivals, the Huntsville Stars, and we had seats right behind home plate. In fact, we sat right behind the team officials who kept up with pitch counts and who used a radar gun to clock the speed of every pitch. You might think these seats were expensive, but they were only $12 each. I've been told that there isn't a bad seat anywhere in the stadium, so you really can't go wrong wherever you decide to sit.

Being Double A professional baseball, the quality of the game was pretty good. The pitchers threw hard, and between the two teams, they recorded 16 total hits, including two home runs. Defenders on both teams made more than a few outstanding catches, and the crowd seemed to be really into the game. Unfortunately, the Biscuits came up short against the Stars, falling 6-1.

The game and stadium were very family friendly. Everything was nice and clean, and between innings they had all sorts of silly contests, including a baby race, a tug-of-war contest, and dancing and trivia contests. My family also got a big kick out of the theme music and the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the “seventh inning stretch.”

To me, the food and beverages at the stadium was a little over priced, but I guess that’s to be expected nowadays. They did have a wide variety of food to eat, everything from hotdogs and nachos and cheese to boiled peanuts and other stadium fare. 

We also picked up several souvenirs, which were reasonably priced, and also checked out the team store near the stadium entrance. We also collected a number of “freebies,” including nice team posters printed by The Montgomery Advertiser, as well as pocket schedules and a magnetic refrigerator schedule.

Being the Sunday before Memorial Day, the stadium had a lot of promotional activities going on, especially for children. Before the game, children and their parents were allowed to play catch in the outfield. After the game, they had a big fireworks show, and then children were allowed to go back down to the field, where they could run the bases. All in all, we had a great time, and we’re already talking about going back again sometime soon.

In the end, how many of you have ever been to a Montgomery Biscuits baseball game? What did you think about it? Did you like it or not? Did they win? Let us know in the comments section below.

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 151: Watch “Doctor Zhivago” (1965)

“Doctor Zhivago” is a classic movie that I’ve heard about for years, but had never seen, which is why I put it on my “bucket list” a few years ago. During the past week, I finished watching it for the first time, and I thought it was great. No wonder it’s such a famous movie.

Directed by David Lean, this movie was released in theatres on Dec. 22, 1965 and is loosely based on the novel by Boris Pasternak. The cast included Omar Sharif in the lead role of Dr. Yuri Zhivago as well as Julie Christie, Rod Steiger, Alec Guinness and Tom Courtenay. If you’ve never seen it, be prepared to sit for a while because the movie’s about three hours and 20 minutes long.

It’s hard to summarize the plot of a movie that long, but in a nutshell, it’s about the search for the orphaned child of a famous Russian poet (Zhivago) and his beautiful, young lover, Lara (Christie), who incidentally wasn’t his wife. These three, along with the rest of the characters, get swept up in the aftermath of World War I and the Bolshevik revolution. The movie is set years after all of this chaos and hardship, and communist officials are trying to sort out what really happened. All of the events in the movie take place before the start of World War II.

This movie really has a little something for everybody. It’s essentially a love story with a big dose of mystery. There’s also lots of action when you take into account the scenes depicting riots and warfare. The characters also battle harsh conditions like Russian snow and ice, and trains and horses also play a big part in the movie. There's also a fair amount of political intrigue, complete with secret police officers and neighborhood informants.

As you might have imagined, this movie received a lot of recognition when it first hit theatres. It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Drama and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, only to come up short against “The Sound of Music.” The American Film Institute also ranked it No. 39 on its “AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies” list, and the British Film Institute ranked it No. 27 on its list of “Best 100 British Films.”

Of course, having now watched the movie, I’m left wanting to read the original novel, which was published in 1957. Originally written by Pasternak in Russian, the novel had to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union and was first printed in Italy. Later, Pasternak would win the Noble Prize for Literature for the book.

In the end, I enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good epic film. I’d rank this one right up there with “Gone with the Wind” and “Ben-Hur.” How many of you have ever watched “Doctor Zhivago”? What did you think about it? Did you like it or not? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for May 26, 2014

Sparta Academy Class of 1972
MAY 28, 1987

Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.09 inches of rain on May 22 and .19 inches on May 24. He reported a high temperature of 90 degrees on May 23 and lows of 65 on May 20 and May 23.

“The Class of 1987 of Evergreen High School will be honored at graduation exercises Friday night, June 5, at 7:30 o’clock. Honor graduates are Felecia Dailey, Shelby Waters (valedictorian), Amanda Brooks (salutatorian) and Chris Wallace; and Linnell King, Donnie Pitts, Rodney Pugh, Chon Mitchell and Kelly Whatley.”

“A 1970 graduate will be his alma mater’s graduation speaker at exercises at Evergreen High School at 7:30 o’clock Friday night, June 5, it is announced by Principal Ronnie Brogden.
“Jimmie L. Perryman, a registered professional engineer of Miami, Fla., who grew up in Evergreen, will be the speaker.
“The speaker graduated from Evergreen High School in 1970 and earned his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University in 1974. He received his MS degree in nuclear engineering from Tuskegee University in 1977 with academic concentration in the area of thermal-hydraulic analysis of nuclear power systems. He has also done work toward his PhD at the University of Idaho.”

MAY 25, 1972

“Sparta Academy will honor these seniors at the private school’s first graduation exercises at eight o’clock Monday night at Stuart-McGehee Field. Seniors are Deborah Josey, Carey Stinson, Martha Gaines, Kitty Horton, Beth Harper (salutatorian) and Shelia Ward; Terry Chapman, Crawford King (valedictorian), Charlotte McCreary, Forrest Brantley, Larry Tranum and Dwight Watson; Mike McKenzie, Joey Nix, Mike Turner, Gary Gibson, Robert Carleton and Donnie Griggers. The 19th member of the class, Mary Ann Mack, was not present due to illness when the picture was made.”

“Randy Hanks of the Repton FFA Chapter showed the Grand Champion barrow at the ninth annual Conecuh County Barrow show May 15. Kenny Brown of the Evergreen FFA Chapter showed the Reserve Champion barrow.”

“Evergreen High School will award diplomas to 77 students at graduation exercises at eight o’clock Monday night at Brooks Stadium.
“Dr. Paul Hubbert of Montgomery, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, will be the speaker. Joann Rogers is valedictorian, and Ann Coburn is salutatorian.
“Diplomas will be awarded by Principal John Floyd.”

“Lyeffion High School is to award diplomas to 45 graduates at exercises Thursday night, June 1, at eight o’clock in the gymnasium.
“Diplomas will be awarded by Principal Danny Covin.”

MAY 30, 1957

“Navy Plane Crashes Thursday Night Near Here; Pilot Unhurt: Trainer Catches Fire During Night Flight: Thursday night a plane crashed and exploded on the farm of M.M. Cardwell, about five miles west of Evergreen on the Loree Road.
“The pilot, Ensign Richard Frank Polich of Chicago, Ill. bailed out and landed safely about a mile from where the plane crashed. He is stationed at Whiting Field, near Milton, and was on a night training flight when his plane caught fire.
“Ens. Polich said that he put his T-28B trainer into a climb at about 2,000 feet, when he noticed flames bursting from the engine. He maintained the climb, and bailed out in the prescribed fashion. His parachute caught in a tree and let him down without a scratch. Ens. Polich’s first thought upon landing was to get to the site of the crash to see if anyone was hurt.
“The Evergreen Fire Department answered a call from Frank Dizzy Dean, who saw the plane crash and rushed to the scene, with the usual entourage of dozens of cars, which swelled to hundreds when the word got around about the crash. The plane had crashed at an angle, scattering parts over a wide area, and burned fiercely for a few minutes.
“Other witnesses in a 10-mile radius reported having seen the plane on fire, and some reported having heard the explosion when it hit.
“This was the first crash of a Navy plane in the county since Middleton Field has been used by the Navy. In April 1956, the Navy Air Training Command at Pensacola began utilizing this field for training purposes.”

MAY 28, 1942

“Missing Plane Is Found Near Here: Searching parties from Maxwell Field located a missing plane for which they had been searching for the past week late Tuesday afternoon.
“The crashed ship was sighted by a searching plane in Sepulga swamp some 18 to 20 miles north of here, but it was so late land parties could not get to it until early Wednesday morning.
“The plane crashed in a thick swamp in a rather isolated section. It was totally demolished and the pilot whose name was given as Lowe was dead. His body was rescued and sent immediately to Maxwell Field.
“This plane was one of a group of eight which crashed Wednesday night of last week, three of them in this county and five near Atmore. Five lives were lost according to reports. The planes were enroute from Crestview, Fla. to Maxwell when they encountered a storm.
“All of the planes were piloted by British cadets who had been assigned to Maxwell Field for training.”

“Laula Middleton Gets War Wings: Lt. Laula M. Middleton, son of Mrs. Evelyn Middleton of Fairview, was awarded his war wings last Wednesday, May 20, at Foster Field, Texas after a period of intensive training since Nov. 8 of last year. Young Middleton enlisted in the Air Corps early in November and was assigned to Foster Field for his early training. He is now a full fledged pilot assigned to a pursuit ship. Upon receiving his wings, he was immediately transferred to Orlando, Fla., where he will take advanced training prior to being assigned to active duty.”

MAY 26, 1927

“S.S.A.S. Commencement Ends Wed. Night: The commencement program of the State Secondary Agricultural School came to a close Wednesday night, when diplomas were awarded to the 25 members of the senior class, after a very eloquent and forceful baccalaureate address was delivered by Hon. Lister Hill, Congressman from the Second District.
“During the program Wednesday evening, Mr. (W.B.) Sexton introduced to the audience Prof. Paul Fisher of Abbeville, who is to succeed him as principal of the S.S.A.S. Mr. Fisher is at present teacher of Vocational Agriculture at Abbeville. He will move here about July 1.
“Diplomas were awarded to the following students: Flossie Allen, Pauline Black, Ernestine Chapman, McLean Dreaden, Jno. Tom Gaillard, Addie B. Garvin, Stanley Fountain, William Hairston, Jno. Hanks, Lindsey Hart, Myra Hart, Jno. C. Holman, Lucinda Horton, Oris Jones, Mrs. Vernice K. Kelley, Joeffy Lundy, Reuben Millsap, Flowers Northcutt, Myrtle Quarles, Julien Relfe, Gladys Reynolds, Winston Stillwell, Entys Thomas, Hazel Williams and Helen Williams.”

“CONECUH HOTEL NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The hotel building belonging to W.K. Horton, which was formerly occupied by the Evala Hotel, has been completely overhauled inside and out during the last few months and is now open for business under the name Conecuh Hotel, with M.H. Crawford as manager.”