Saturday, January 31, 2015

Singleton argued that Claiborne should be restored just like Old Cahaba

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 “Cahaba is being restored – Why not Claiborne?,” was originally published in the Oct. 7, 1993 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Tuesday, the 28th of September, I ventured forth and visited the old town of Cahaba. I had received through the mail a pamphlet telling about Archeaology Week at Cahaba and the guided tours of the old capital.

Eager to see all that I could in the one day that I was going to be at Cahaba, I set out at an early hour to cover the 88 miles that lay between.

As I proceeded toward Cahaba and the tours that awaited me there on the banks of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers, I began to compare the two old, early Alabama towns. With my interest in history, I certainly knew that the old town of Claiborne, here within our county, had almost been selected for the capital when it was moved from Cahaba to the town of Tuscaloosa.

Descending the long hill that leads down to the old town site and the river bank, I was amazed to see the progress that had been made since my last visit less than two years ago.

There, before my eyes, was an attractive visitors’ center. This center had once been a home here in Cahaba. In the late 1800s, it had been removed from its location here by the river and transported to Selma. Within the past two years, the historical commission had been successful in getting the house returned back to its original setting.

While I stared in amazement at the old building, I thought of the visitors’ center at the old historical town of Claiborne. I couldn’t remember a visitors’ center being there; in fact, I couldn’t remember anything being there that might entice a visitor to stop and step back in history for a look at yesterday. If I remembered correctly, Claiborne had a much larger population than the capital of Cahaba. In fact, over 2,000 more.

Upon entering the visitors’ center, I was met by a very knowledgeable guide of the area. I was given pamphlets about that which I was about to see on the upcoming tour. I was asked to sign the visitor register. As I quickly glanced over some of the names and places of those listed there, I saw names from such places as Germany, Spain and several cities within the United States – places from which these tourists had to travel a considerable distance to get here.

I shuddered to think about a tourist from Germany trying to find a tourist information center around our Claiborne town.

The area I was about to tour had been our state’s capital from 1820 to 1826. It had also been a thriving antebellum town. During the later days of the Civil War, the old town of Cahaba was to become a filthy and lice-infested prison for over 3,000 captured Union soldiers.

These prisoners were held in a small, cramped area not much larger than a small four-room house. Many held here would never leave the dirty, filthy prison alive. Their final resting places continue to this day to be a mystery; no one knows for sure just where they are buried.

In 1865, a flood of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers would have a devastating effect on this town located here where the rivers join. In 1866, the county seat was moved to Selma.

In less than 10 years, almost all of the houses had been dismantled and moved. Those that were not dismantled and moved fell to the torch and decay. Just as the town of Claiborne did, Cahaba was slowly slipping into oblivion.

The abandoned courthouse became a meeting place for freed slaves who were seeking new political power. Cahaba became the “Mecca of the Radical…

[Editor’s Note: At this point in the Oct. 7, 1993 edition of The Monroe Journal, Singleton’s column appears to end on the same page it began on. There’s no “jump line” telling readers where to turn next for the remaining portion of Singleton’s column. However, if you continue looking through the paper, you’ll find it several pages later, but, as  you’ll see below, a portion of the column appears to be missing as it seems to pick up in the wrong place. What follows is the rest of Singleton’s column as it appears on the “jump page.”]

…partly uncovered a portion of a heavy rock wall that some believe surrounded three sides of the large ancient village. There are those who believe that perhaps this early site might even be the ruins of Maubila.

Much is being done to excavate and restore the history of our state’s first capital. There is much to be seen here on the banks of the two rivers. I have never understood why we sit idle and twiddle our thumbs while the historic locations within our county slowly disappear from the scene.

Tourist dollars

With very little effort, we too could have tourists from Germany, Spain and many other places throughout the world flocking to Monroe County. Each would bring tourist dollars that would be spent on guided tours of the many historic locations within our boundaries.

It has been estimated that over 90 cents of every tourist dollar remains within the area where it is spent. We are sleeping through a critical time pertaining to the restoration of our historical locations. These are just as much of historical importance as any other within our state.

So, sleep on Monroe County; the time is fast approaching when our few historic locations that remain will have disappeared into oblivion. And as we sink deeper into our world of fantasy and make believe, the ghosts from the past cry out and beg to be remembered.

(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.)

Today in History for Jan. 31, 2015

Gouverneur Morris
Jan. 31, 1606 - Guy Fawkes was executed after being convicted for his role in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I.

Jan. 31, 1752 - Patriot Gouverneur Morris was born in New York City, New York. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 he represented Pennsylvania. He served as an ambassador to France from 1792-1794 and was a senator from New York from 1800-1803.

Jan. 31, 1862 - Telescope maker Alvin Clark discovered the dwarf companion of Sirius.

Jan. 31, 1865 - General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.

Jan. 31, 1865 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and it was submitted to the states for ratification. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on Dec. 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

Jan. 31, 1872 – Western writer Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, Ohio. He is best known for his novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage,” which was published in 1912.

Jan. 31, 1876 - All Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.

Jan. 31, 1893 - The trademark "Coca-Cola" was first registered in the United States Patent Office.

Jan. 31, 1902 - Tallulah Bankhead, star of stage, screen, and radio in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, was born in Huntsville, Ala. The daughter of U.S.Congressman William B. Bankhead, Tallulah was most famous for her flamboyant lifestyle, throaty voice, and stage role in “The Little Foxes” (1939) and her part in the film “Lifeboat” (1943). (There is some question of the exact birthdate; this is the most generally accepted.)

Jan. 31, 1912 – The home of J.S. Daw near Hampden Ridge, Ala. was destroyed by fire.

Jan. 31, 1914 – This day, a Saturday, was the deadline to pay poll taxes in Conecuh County, Ala. because Feb. 1 fell on a Sunday.

Jan. 31, 1919 – Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Ga. He played his entire Major League career (1947-1956) with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Jan. 31, 1931 – Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks was born in Dallas, Texas. He played his entire Major League career (1953-1971) with the Chicago Cubs.

Jan. 31, 1939 – The GA-ANA Theatre was first opened in Georgiana, Ala. by Fred McClendon.

Jan. 31, 1945 – U.S. Army private Eddie Slovik of Detroit, Mich. was executed for desertion, the first such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War.

Jan. 31, 1947 – Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan was born in Refugio, Texas and raised in Alvin, southeast of Houston. He would go on to play for the N.Y. Mets, the California Angels, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

Jan. 31, 1959 – Members of the Dyatlov Expedition arrived at the edge of a highland area and began to prepare for climbing. In a wooded valley, they cached surplus food and equipment that would be used for the trip back.

Jan. 31, 1961 - Voters approved financing for a domed stadium in Houston, Texas.

Jan. 31, 1968 – As part of the Tet Offensive, a squad of Viet Cong guerillas attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, and Marine Cpl. James Conrad Marshall of Monroeville, a 1964 graduate of Monroe County High School, died defending the embassy. The guerillas managed to seize the embassy and held it for six hours until an assault force of U.S. paratroopers landed by helicopter on the building’s roof and routed the Viet Cong. Marshall Hall, the Marine Corps Security Guard training center at Quantico, Va. was later named in James Marshall’s honor.

Jan. 31, 1977 – Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported a low of 16 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 31, 1979 – The Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Jan. 31, 1988 - The first episode of "The Wonder Years" aired on ABC.

Jan. 31, 1988 - Herb Alpert performed the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXII. The Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos, 42-10.

Jan. 31, 1999 - The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl XXXIII, their second consecutive Super Bowl win. Cher sang the national anthem.

Jan. 31, 1999 – Former Major League first baseman Norm Zauchin passed away in Birmingham, Ala. at the age of 69. He started his professional career in 1950 with the Double-A Birmingham Barons, where he set a Rickwood Field field record with 35 home runs. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Senators.

Jan. 31, 2003 - The Chicago White Sox announced a deal that would change the name of Comiskey Park after a 93-year association with the Comiskey name.

Jan. 31, 2005 – Hillcrest High School retired the basketball jersey of player Chris “C.J.” Riley, who died over the Christmas holidays.

Jan. 31, 2013 – Major League Baseball first baseman Fred Whitfield, a native of Vandiver, Ala., passed away at the age of 75 in Gadsden due to complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He played pro baseball from 1962 to 1970 for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cleveland Indians, the Cincinnati Reds and the Montreal Expos.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Jan. 31, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 10.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

NOTES: Today is the 31st day of 2015 and the 42nd day of Winter. There are 334 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, January 30, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 53 miles down and 1,746 miles to go

Frodo and friends at Buckleberry Ferry.

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” earlier this week by logging 11 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Saturday, three miles on Wednesday and five more today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 53 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,746 more miles to go before I reach Mordor.

In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m still only on the third day of his trip. I left off last week where the elves first appeared in the story and the Black Rider pursing Frodo and his friends left. Frodo, Sam and Pippin then continued on with the elves. The woods here grew more dense and the lane went lower, running in a fold of hills, with hazel on the slopes alongside. Around Mile 44, Pippin quickly becomes sleepy.

At Mile 45, Frodo’s group turns right off the path on “a green ride” through a thicket. At Mile 46, the group camped at a place called Woody End, a green floor in the wood, roofed by boughs of trees. To the east, a steep shoulder falls, and the group can overlook the river valley. It’s around 11 p.m. on the second day, which is Sept. 24, on the Middle Earth calendar, and you can see the lights of the village of Woodhall below.

Day 3 (Sept. 25) begins with Frodo’s group sleeping in, and they don’t leave Woody End until around 11 a.m. Frodo decides to cut southeast to Buckleberry Ferry. They scramble down the hill and into the thick trees below. Around that time, the sky begins to cloud up.

At Mile 47, a deep-banked stream below the hill cuts across the path. When Frodo and his friends look back, they see the Black Rider at the top of the hill where they’d camped. To escape, they force their way through the bushes alongside the stream.

At Mile 48, Pippin realizes the stream is the Stock-brook, and the banks are low enough at this point for them to cross. They find the land on the south bank to be wet and reedy. Two miles later, around Mile 50, they reach a belt of trees, mostly oaks with a few elms and ash. Also around that time, drops of rain begin to fall.

Another two miles later, around Mile 52, Pippin realizes the group has turned too far south because they’re still in the trees. Around Mile 54, they’re still in the trees and stop for lunch around 2 p.m., but so far in my virtual journey, I’m still about a mile away from lunch on Day 3.

For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,799 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.

Those who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,799 miles in a year.

If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.

In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out another five miles tomorrow and five more on Sunday, but I’ll include all that in my update next week.

Four UFO reports were filed in Alabama during the month of December 2014

It’s the last Friday of the month, so this week I’m giving you an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network.

A search for UFO reports in Alabama between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31 on MUFON’s website,, resulted in four reports from within our state during that time.

The first incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 4, over the waters of Mobile Bay. The witness in this case was a woman sitting on her back deck in Fairhope who said she saw a reddish orange orb appear over the bay. She called her husband’s attention to the ball of light, and they watched as a second orb appeared beside the first.

A third orb appeared beside the first two, and they remained in the same spot for about two minutes before all three merged together. Shortly thereafter, the orb disappeared. The witness noted that she is an amateur astronomer, accustomed to watching the night sky, and it was her opinion that the orbs weren’t flares, aircraft or meteors.

The second incident took place on the night of Sat., Dec. 6, in Mobile. The witness in this case was a security guard who works 12-hour shifts and makes his rounds about every two hours. During his first round of the night, about 30 minutes into his shift, he spotted an object that he described as a “bright, white light” in the sky.

The object emitted no sound and didn’t have navigational lights like an aircraft. The object was also “hovering at a slower pace that airplanes fly,” the witness reported. The security guard attempted to use his cellphone to film the object, but as soon as he got in a good position beyond some nearby trees, the object vanished, the witness said.

The third incident took place around midnight on Fri., Dec. 12, near Gadsden in Etowah County. The witness in this case offered few details other than to say that he was driving home from work when he first saw what he described as a UFO. “When I first saw it, I was thinking that it was a plane, but it had no sound,” the witness reported.

The fourth incident occurred around 3:30 a.m. on Sat., Dec. 27, near Pell City in St. Clair County. The witness in this case was traveling on Interstate Highway 20 from Powder Springs, Ga. to New Orleans when he spotted something strange between Lincoln and Pell City. The witness said that he saw a “bright flash of silvery-white light” to the southwest about 15 miles away and close to the ground on the horizon.

Immediately after seeing this bright flash of light, “the entire night sky illuminated a bright, fluorescent blue” for three to four seconds, the witness said. This unusual light seemed to “have been projected from the ground up,” and it was “so bright that the night sky appeared as day.” After about four seconds, the light pulsed and disappeared as the night sky returned to black.

Even more strange, the witness reported hearing no sound during this event. Even stranger, the witness said he was using his cellphone to play music through his car radio and moments before the strange light appeared, his phone lost signal, which caused his radio to cut out. A few seconds after the event, the radio began playing again.

Before closing out this week, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from anyone who have witnessed a UFO, especially in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously. You can contact me by e-mail at or by phone at 578-1492.

Today in History for Jan. 30, 2015

General Nathaniel Banks
Jan. 30, 1776 - The Continental Congress directed that no apprentices be enlisted for military service without the written consent of their master or mistress.

Jan. 30, 1780 - Alabama's third governor, Israel Pickens, was born in North Carolina. The former U.S. Congressman moved to St. Stephens, in the Mississippi Territory, in the spring of 1817 to take a job as a register of the land office for Washington County. Wasting no time in establishing himself in his new home, Pickens purchased almost 3,500 acres in southwest Alabama in less than a year and became the first president of the Tombigbee Bank of St. Stephens. He served as Alabama's governor from 1821 to 1825.

Jan. 30, 1781 - Maryland became the 13th and final state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, almost three years after the official deadline given by Congress of March 10, 1778.

Jan. 30, 1816 - Union General Nathaniel Banks was born in Waltham, Mass.

Jan. 30, 1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but failed and was subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.

Jan. 30, 1847 – Edgar Allan Poe’s wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, passed away from tuberculosis at the age of 24 in Fordham, Bronx, N.Y.

Jan. 30, 1847 - Larvae and snow fell together in the Eifel Mountains in Germany.

Jan. 30, 1860 – Reuben F. Kolb of Kolb’s Battery married Callie Cargile (also referred to as Mary Caledonia Cargile), the daughter of Thomas and Louisa Ann Cargile also of Eufaula, Ala. The couple would have three children: Reuben F. Kolb Jr., William H. Kolb, and Emily F. Kolb.

Jan. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Federal revenue schooner, Lewis Cass, was captured by Alabama State Troops in Mobile Bay, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1862 - The U.S. Navy's first ironclad warship, the "Monitor", was launched into New York's East River. The vessel was commissioned on Feb. 25.

Jan. 30, 1882 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, N.Y. He served as the thirty-second president of the United States from 1933-1945. He was the first president to serve more than two terms.

Jan. 30, 1885 – W.B. Green Sr. died at Burnt Corn, Ala. at the age of 89. A veteran of the Seminole War of 1836, he moved to Monroe County in 1838.

Jan. 30, 1908 – The Conecuh Record reported that the Baptist Church of Evergreen, Ala. planned to hold opening services in its “new building.” Construction of the building began 2-1/2 years before this event and had just reached completion.

Jan. 30, 1933 – Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

Jan. 30, 1949 – Escaped Russian minister, the Rev. Robert Tarzier, Field Secretary of the Russian Bible Society in Washington, D.C. spoke at the Evergreen Baptist Church. “Tarzier escaped from the Soviet secret police a little over four years ago. At that time, he was pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches – the well known church in Riga, Latavia.”

Jan. 30, 1950 – Ollie Finklea retired at the age of 70 from his duties as Buena Vista, Ala.’s postmaster, a position he assumed after his father’s retirement on June 3, 1910.

Jan. 30, 1950 – Lola B. Harwell, a fifth and sixth-grade teacher at Georgiana Elementary School, died unexpectedly on this morning in her classroom, where she had just returned from a movie that was shown to her students. Harwell had been a teacher since September 1906 and had never once been absent or tardy since taking her first job at Ebeneza in Butler County. She also taught in Conecuh County and was principal at Avant in Butler County before going to Georgiana.

Jan. 30, 1950 – For the second straight year, the strawberry season in Castleberry, Ala. began several weeks ahead of schedule as several growers on this day brought in crates of strawberries. Lonnie Beasley of Hamden Ridge arrived in Castleberry with the first crate of the 1950 crop, and those berries were sold to local buyer, R.T. Holland. Normally, the strawberry season ran from March 15 to April 1.

Jan. 30, 1951 – Army Cpl. Oland H. Kirkland of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.

Jan. 30, 1956 - With the Montgomery Bus Boycott about to enter its third month, segregationists bombed the home of boycott spokesman Martin Luther King Jr. The home sustained moderate damage, but no one was injured. The young minister addressed the large crowd that gathered after the blast, declaring, "I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped this movement will not stop."

Jan. 30, 1965 – Isaiah Mims, 31, of Owassa was killed instantly when his car was hit by an L&N train on this afternoon at the main railroad crossing at Owassa, Ala. State Trooper Pitchford investigated the accident and said that Mims “evidently heard the train approaching too late to bring his 1957 Ford to a stop and skidded to rest on the tracks in the path of the oncoming train.”

Jan. 30, 1966 - Alabama experienced its coldest ever recorded temperature of -27°F at New Market in Madison County. The average low temperature during January for nearby Huntsville is around 29°.

Jan. 30, 1968 - The Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.

Jan. 30, 1974 - Christian Bale was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. He would go on to portray Bruce Wayne and the Batman in the movies “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).

Jan. 30, 1977 – Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.01 inches of snow in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1992 – Winton M. Blount III of Montgomery was the keynote speaker at the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership banquet at the Quality Inn in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1994 - Natalie Cole sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXVIII. The Dallas Cowboys won, 30-13, over the Buffalo Bills.

Jan. 30, 1996 - Comet Hyakutake was discovered and was dubbed “The Great Comet of 1996” due to its close passage.

Jan. 30, 2000 - The New York Mets announced that Garth Brooks would begin training with the team on Feb. 20.

Jan. 30, 2000 - John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves was suspended from major league baseball for disparaging foreigners, homosexuals and minorities in an interview published by Sports Illustrated.

Jan. 30, 2009 – Former Alabama governor Guy Hunt passed away from lung cancer.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Jan. 30, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 10.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

NOTES: Today is the 30th day of 2015 and the 41st day of Winter. There are 335 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, January 29, 2015

Who do you think will win this year's Super Bowl?

Tarvaris Jackson as a Viking.
Arguably the biggest sporting event of the year (except for the Iron Bowl, of course), is set for this coming Sunday when the New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Az.

This year’s Super Bowl will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium, and coverage of the game is set to start at 5:30 p.m. on NBC. As you might have imagined about the two top teams in the NFL this year, both teams feature a number of players with Alabama connections.

The Super Bowl player with the strongest connection to the state is Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who is not only from Alabama, but also played his college ball within the state. Jackson, age 31, is a native of Montgomery and graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 2001. Many of you will remember that, Jackson, who is 6-foot-2 and tips the scales at 225 pounds, played quarterback at Alabama State and was later drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. Since then, he’s played in the NFL for nine years, and if you get to looking for him on Sunday, he wears jersey No. 7.

Other Seattle players with Alabama ties include offensive guard James Carpenter, wide receiver Kevin Norwood and defensive tackle Jesse Williams. Carpenter, who wears jersey No. 77, played his college ball at Alabama and has played in the NFL for four seasons. Carpenter, 25, grew up in Augusta, Ga. and is listed as 6-5, 321 pounds.

Norwood, who wears jersey No. 81, also played college football at Alabama and this is his rookie season in the NFL. Norwood, 25, grew up in D’Iberville, Miss. and is listed as 6-2, 199 pounds.

Williams, who wears jersey No. 90, also played college football at Alabama and this is his second season in the NFL. Williams, 24, is a native of Brisbane, Australia and is listed as 6-3, 325 pounds.

The New England Patriots have two players with ties to Alabama, rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler and third-year linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Butler, who wears jersey No. 21, played college football at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. Butler, 24, is a native of Vicksburg, Miss. and is listed as 5-11, 190 pounds.

Hightower, who wears jersey No. 54, played college ball at the University of Alabama, where he starred on some of Nick Saban’s best teams. Hightower, 24, grew up in Lewisburg, Tenn. and is listed as 6-3, 270 pounds.

As of Monday morning, New England was a one-point favorite over the Seahawks, and I honestly think this game is a toss up. On paper, New England has the better offense, but Seattle seems to have the stronger defense. It’s been said that defense wins championships, but instead of picking Seattle to win, I’m going to go with my gut and predict that New England will win. This isn’t Bill Belichick or Tom Brady’s first rodeo, and I look for the Patriots to edge out Seattle, 31-25.

Today in History for Jan. 29, 2015

Thomas Paine
Jan. 29, 1737 – American Revolutionary figure Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, Great Britain. He would publish his most influential work, a pamphlet called “Common Sense,” in 1776.

Jan. 29, 1777 - Facing a surprise British counter-assault in the bitter cold and with a snowstorm approaching, American commander Major General William Heath and his army of 6,000 abandoned their siege on Fort Independence, in Bronx County, New York.

Jan. 29, 1777 - General George Washington put Major General Israel Putnam in command of all Patriot troops in New York. Putnam was charged with the defense of the city and its water routes.

Jan. 29, 1820 - Britain's King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.

Jan. 29, 1843 – The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, was born in Niles, Ohio.

Jan. 29, 1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, "The Raven" was published for the first time in the New York Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation. Though it made Poe a household name almost instantly, he was paid only $9 for its publication.

Jan. 29, 1858 – Jasper N. Dennard became postmaster at Burnt Corn.

Jan. 29, 1861 - Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state. It was the 34th state to enter the Union. The struggle between pro- and anti-slave forces in Kansas was a major factor in the eruption of the Civil War.

Jan. 29, 1863 - General Ulysses S. Grant was placed in command of the Army of the West and was given orders to capture Vicksburg, Miss.

Jan. 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes occurred near Cobb’s Mill and near the Tennessee River in North Alabama.

Jan. 29, 1864 – Joseph Ganes Sanders, the “Turncoat of Dale County,” resigned from the Confederate army.

Jan. 29, 1900 – The American League was organized in Philadelphia with eight founding teams.

Jan. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James Scales of Jackson, Ala. “died from disease.”

Jan. 29, 1936 - The first members of Major league baseball's Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY. The group included Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

Jan. 29, 1948 – A British South American Tudor IV four-engine passenger plane called the “Star Tiger,” flying from the Azores to Bermuda, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with a crew of six and 25 passengers.

Jan. 29, 1959 – The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and election of officers at the Evergreen High School lunchroom. Guest speaker was Dr. George R. Stewart of Birmingham, a former Birmingham-Southern College president, who worked for Alabama Power.

Jan. 29, 1963 - The first members to the NFL's Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio. The list included Sammy Baugh, Johnny Blood, Dutch Clark, Red Grange, Mel Hein, Pete Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, Jim Thorpe, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Tim Mara and George Preston Marshall.

Jan. 29, 1968 – NFL Hall of Fame cornerback and safety Aeneas Williams was born in New Orleans, La. He would go on to play for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams.

Jan. 29, 1979 - San Diego teen Brenda Ann Spencer explained why she sprayed bullets on classmates on this day in 1979, saying “I don't like Mondays.”

Jan. 29, 1980 – The Cobb House in Grove Hill, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Jan. 29, 1980 – The Old Fort Dale Site, the Fort Dale Cemetery, the Old Log Barn and Oak Grove Methodist Church, all located in the Greenville, Ala. vicinity, were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Jan. 29, 1989 - Billy Joel sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXIII.

Jan. 29, 1995 - The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX. San Francisco quarterback Steve Young threw six touchdown passes in the game.

Jan. 29, 1998 - A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Serial bomber Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.

Jan. 29, 2002 – In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush described "regimes that sponsor terror" as an “Axis of evil,” in which he included Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

Jan. 29, 2004 - Major League Baseball owners approved the $430 million sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from News Corp. to Frank McCourt. 

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Jan. 29, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 10.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

NOTES: Today is the 29th day of 2015 and the 40th day of Winter. There are 336 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, January 28, 2015

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Jan. 28, 2015

JAN. 29, 2009

“No. 2 Sparta girls improve to 21-1: Sparta Academy’s varsity girls basketball team continued to waylay opponents during the past week, racking up big wins over a trio of 1A Region 2 opponents.
“The Lady Warriors, ranked No. 2 in the state among AISA girls teams, slammed Sumter Academy, 61-20, Friday night in Evergreen. Last Thursday night in Evergreen, Sparta collected a 73-33 victory over Central Christian Academy of Selma. On Tuesday of last week in Eutaw, the Lady Warriors wiped out Warrior Academy, 57-17.”
Players on Sparta’s girls team that year included Madelyn Black, Emily Booker, Savannah Brown, Rebekah Coleman, Morgan Harden, Shaina Hutcheson, Mallory Kendrick, Erica Palmer, BreAnna Pate, Ashton Raines and Jordan Smith.

“Warriors slam dunk Sumter by 15 points: Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team improved to 7-16 overall and to 6-6 in region play Friday night with a 48-33 win over region rival, Sumter Academy, in Evergreen.
“Mason Black led Sparta with 15 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block. Nicholas Hardin followed with nine points, two rebounds and two assists. Devlin Crosby finished the game with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists.”
Other outstanding Sparta players in that game included Nick Andrews, Dalton Baggett, Joey Bradley, Michael Cook, Matt Johnson, Garrett McClain, Drayton Rodgers.

JAN. 27, 1994

“The Hillcrest High School varsity basketball team is pictured with their first year coach, Keith Nettles. The Jaguars will host the annual Hillcrest Invitational Tournament beginning tonight at Hillcrest High School. The Jags will be in action Friday night against the winner of the Excel-T.R. Miller game. Pictured are Derrick Rudolph, Roger Rudolph, Terry Holt, Lavon Lyman, Charles Thomas, Jason Boykin, Coach Nettles, Isaac McMillian, Marlon Tolliver, Ray Rudolph, Chris Watts, Gary Betts and Sherman Grace.”

“Members of the Sparta Academy varsity girls basketball team are Aundria Griffin, Janet Kendrick, Valerie Griffin, Carla Grimes, Kelly Booker, Nann Castleberry, Nikki Jones, Joy’l Lowman and Rachel Bohannon. Their coach is David Mallory.”

“Members of the Sparta Academy varsity boys basketball team are Casey Grant, Adrian Mitchell, James Johnson, Larry Wright and Nicholas Jones; Coach Keith York, Sandy Salo, Britt Ward, McPherson Cook, Andy Clanton, Aaron Albritton and Brian Gorum.”

“Ward leads Sparta to victory over Colts: The Sparta Academy Warriors defeated the Catherine Academy Colts by the score of 72 to 69 in a cage game played in Evergreen last Friday.
“Senior Britt Ward paved the victory path with 27 points. Sophomore James Johnson collected 16 points and played an excellent defensive contest, according to Sparta Academy Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr.”

JAN. 25, 1979

“Jackets edge Uriah 56-55: The Lyeffion High Yellow Jackets defeated the Uriah Bulldogs, 56-55. Scorers for the Jackets were Adrian Woods with 25 points and 13 rebounds; Eric Finklea, nine points; James Riley, eight points; Donald Lee, seven points and five rebounds; Ricky Hall, four points; and Ricky Johnson, three points. Their record now stands at 9-1.”

“Blue Devils beat Cyclones: The Conecuh County High School Blue Devils defeated the Southern Normal Cyclones, 65-64, on Jan. 9.
“Scorers for the Blue Devils were William Griffin 26 points, three rebounds; Ronnie Sanders, nine points, 16 rebounds; Henry Sanders, seven points, 15 rebounds; Curtis Scott, six points, six rebounds; Robby Moye, four points, four rebounds; Paige Stokes, 13 points, 11 rebounds.”

“Monroe’s big, tall and undefeated Vols speared Sparta Academy’s Warriors, 62-44, Saturday night to win the championship in the boys division of the Sparta Academy Invitational Tournament held here at the school gymnatorium Friday and Saturday.
“Terry Peacock gunned for 15 points to pace the losing cause of Sparta. John Hall had eight points; Bobby Padgett and Tony Baggett, six each; Terry Shipp, four; Tony Raines, three; and Jeff Johnson, two.
“Peacock and Padgett were named to the all-tournament team, according to Sparta Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr.”

JAN. 30, 1964

“After So Long EHS 84, C’berry 59: It’s a long trail that has no end, and Conecuh County High’s long trail of victories over Evergreen High finally ended Friday night. Score Aggies 85, Blue Devils 59.
“Evergreen’s last victory over Coach Wayne Pope’s cagers took place back in the dark ages, or so it seems, but Coach John Law Robinson’s men were not to be denied.
“Pope, recuperating from surgery earlier in the week, was unable to attend the game. Principal M.C. Thomasson filled in for him, coming out of coaching retirement to do a fine job of handing the boys.
“The Aggies used a balanced attack and tight defensive play to curb the Blue Devils. Sid Lambert and Kenny Harper sacked up 18 each to lead the charge. Joe Sasser sank 16; Ronnie Jackson, 11; and Scott Cook, 10; to put all starters in double figures. Jimmy Warren added five; Mike Fields, four; and Wayne Tolbert, two.
“George Godwin paced the Blue Devils with 17 points. James Glass added 13; Donald Sawyer, 12; Don James, 10; Bobby Ellis, four; Larry Heaton, two; and Jim Oliver, one.”

“The Evergreen High Aggies edged Frisco City, 63-62, in a nip-and-tuck thriller Monday afternoon at Memorial Gym. Sid Lambert led the balanced attack with 18 points. Joe Sasser warmed up late for 15; Kenny Harper had 14; Ronnie Jackson, 10, before he fouled out; and Scott Cook, six.”

JAN. 27, 1949

“Aggies Trounce Whippets 51-35 In Frisco City: The Evergreen High Aggies went on a scoring binge Tuesday night in Frisco City and recorded their highest total of the season, cracking the Whippets, 51-35. Coach Wendell Hart’s cagers played by far their best offensive ball of the season.
“John Greel Ralls, playing his second game at the pivot post, continued to show improvement. Time after time the speedy Ralls faked off the Whippet defenders and drove into the basket for layups. Ralls sacked 10 points in the first half. Playing a few minutes of the third period he grabbed another basket and returned in the final three minutes for two more buckets. His total for the night was 16.”

“The Evergreen Aggies were handed their fourth loss of the current cage campaign by the UMS Cadets in Mobile last Wednesday night. The Cadets took an early lead that the Aggies could never overcome to win, 33-27.
“Dickey Bozeman and Guerry Moorer shouldered the load for Evergreen. Bozeman hit for 12 points, and Moorer, nine.”

“The Aggies of Evergreen High bounced back into the win column here Friday night, trimming the Georgiana Panthers, 47-38. It was the sixth win of the season for Coach Wendell Hart’s cagers, and they have lost four.

“Gwyn Daniels showed up well in his first appearance with the varsity. He was promoted Thursday from the ‘B’ squad when it was learned that Jack Cunningham was lost for the rest of the season.”

Today in History for Jan. 28, 2015

Nathanael Greene
Jan. 28, 1624 – Sir Thomas Warner founded the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

Jan. 28, 1777 - John Burgoyne submitted a plan to the British government to isolate New England from the other colonies.

Jan. 28, 1781 - General Daniel Morgan reported to General Nathanael Greene that his men had observed the British army moving towards the Catawba River.

Jan. 28, 1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovered the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.

Jan. 28, 1828 - Confederate General Thomas Carmichael Hindman was born in Knoxville, Tenn.

Jan. 28, 1841 - Sir Henry Morton Stanley was born in Denbigh, Wales, UK. He went on to become a journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley allegedly asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Jan. 28, 1846 - Montgomery was selected as the capital of Alabama by the state legislature on the 16th ballot. Montgomery won the final vote largely because of promises of Montgomery city leaders to provide $75,000 for a new capitol and because of the emerging prominence of the Black Belt region of the state.

Jan. 28, 1862 - The tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, passed away at the age of 71 in Richmond, Va.

Jan. 28, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Confederate torpedo boat St. Patrick attacked the USS Octorara in Mobile Bay, Ala.

Jan. 28, 1878 – The Yale Daily News became the first daily college newspaper in the United States.

Jan. 28, 1887 – In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, 15 inches wide and eight inches thick.

Jan. 28, 1904 - The University of Chicago awarded blankets with the letter “C” to all seniors that played football during the 1903 season. This event marked the beginning of the sports letter tradition.

Jan. 28, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the contract for the construction of a railroad bridge across the Alabama River near Pine Hill had been awarded to the American Bridge Co. by the Gulf, Florida and Alabama Railroad.

Jan. 28, 1915 - The Coast Guard was created by an act of the U.S. Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.

Jan. 28, 1920 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Terrible Old Man,” which was originally published in Issue No. 4 of The Tryout, 7 in July 1821.

Jan. 28, 1922 - The National Football League franchise in Decatur, Ill. transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears.

Jan. 28, 1938 - German race car driver Bernd Rosemeyer, known as the “Silver Comet,” reached the speed of 268 mph on the Autobahn, just before his death.

Jan. 28, 1949 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team improved to 6-4 on the season by beating Georgiana, 47-38, in Evergreen.

Jan. 28, 1953 – The Alabama Historical Association erected three historical markers in Autauga County. Those markers were erected in memory the Pratt Gin Factory, Albert J. Pickett and Alibamo Indians.

Jan. 28, 1957 - The Brooklyn Dodgers announced that circus clown Emmett Kelly had been hired to entertain fans at baseball games.

Jan. 28, 1958 - Roy Campanella of the Brooklyn Dodgers was seriously injured in an auto accident in New York. He would never return to play again.

Jan. 28, 1959 - The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League signed Vince Lombardi to a five-year contract as the team's coach and general manager.

Jan. 28, 1960 – The National Football League announced expansion teams for Dallas to start in the 1960 NFL season and Minneapolis-St. Paul for 1961 NFL season.

Jan. 28, 1986 - The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after takeoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla. All seven of its crewmembers were killed.

Jan. 28, 1989 – The Bank of Andalusia on South Court Square and the Covington County Courthouse and Jail were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Jan. 28, 1990 - Aaron Neville sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXIV. Joe Montana got his third MVP award. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos, 55-10.

Jan. 28, 1996 - Diana Ross performed as the featured halftime performer at Super Bowl XXX in Tempe, AZ. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17. It was the fifth Super Bowl for the Cowboys. 

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Jan. 28, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 10.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

NOTES: Today is the 28th day of 2015 and the 39th day of Winter. There are 337 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, January 27, 2015

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 195: Take the kids to the Senior Bowl in Mobile

Saturday's 66th Annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Prior to last Saturday, the only Senior Bowl I’d ever been to in person was the 1995 Senior Bowl. I went with my friend Eric Byrd from Goodway, Ala., and we saw such football greats as Steve McNair, Derrick Brooks, Jay Barker, Dan Reeves and Ted Marchibroda. I’ve come close to going back several times since then, but lately I’ve really wanted to back now that my kids are old enough to enjoy and appreciate the experience.

I officially put “Take my kids to the Senior Bowl in Mobile” on my “bucket list” a couple of years ago after a conversation with Evergreen, Ala. postal carrier Charles Roache. Charles told me that he and his son – standout Conecuh County athlete, Keyshawn Roache – had a longstanding tradition of going to the Senior Bowl together every year. The way Charles talked about it, this tradition sounded pretty cool, and I wanted to be sure that my kids got at least a taste of what the Senior Bowl is all about.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Senior Bowl, it’s a post-season college football all-star game played in Mobile, Ala. that features two teams, the South and the North. Both teams are coached by the coaching staffs of two NFL teams, and the game typically features a number of outstanding NFL draft prospects. It’s a sure bet that if you’re watching the Senior Bowl, you’re also watching more than a few future NFL Hall of Famers.

This year’s Senior Bowl was the 66th Annual Senior Bowl, and it was played Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, where the game has been played every year since 1951, when it moved to Mobile after one year in Jacksonville, Fla. The game kicked off at 3 p.m. and the North ended up winning, 34-14. Total attendance was 36,471, and the game ended at 6:15 p.m.

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah was named the game’s MVP. Utah outside linebacker Nate Orchard was named the North team’s Most Outstanding Player, and Florida State offensive guard Tre’ Jackson was the South team’s Most Outstanding Player. Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt was the head coach for the South team, and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley was the head coach for the North. The game was televised on the NFL Network.

My wife and kids seemed to have a good time on Saturday, and this was helped by liberal amounts of soft drinks, nachos and cheese and French fries. (I scored a beer and a $5 program.) Past Senior Bowls became known for bad weather, and the worst part about last Saturday was the cold weather. It was sunny and 57 degrees at kickoff, but those of in the shade and facing the 17-mph north wind had a tough time. Next year, we’ll be sitting on the east side of the stadium or in the north end zone.

In the end, how many of you have ever been to the Senior Bowl? How many have you been to in all? What big stars to you remember seeing before they hit the big time in the NFL? Let us know in the comments section below.

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 194: Eat at the Dew Drop Inn in Mobile

Several years ago, the Alabama Tourism Department came out with a great “best of” list called “100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die,” and that list included the famous hot dogs at the Dew Drop Inn in Mobile, Ala. I’ve had the Dew Drop Inn on my “bucket list” ever since, and I finally got to scratch it off my list last Thursday morning.

I’d been by the Dew Drop Inn several times in the past with plans to stop, but as chance would have it, the restaurant was closed when I went by in the past, but this wasn’t the case last Thursday morning. My wife and I happened to be in Mobile, and we were more than a little pleased to see the Dew Drop Inn open for business at 11:15 a.m.

Even though I had hot dogs on my mind, I didn’t fail to notice the hanging sign outside the building that says that the Dew Drop Inn is Mobile’s oldest restaurant. Before I get to the hot dogs, here’s what the back of the menu had to say about the restaurant’s interesting history – “THE DEW DROP INN STORY: The Dew Drop Inn has been a Mobile institution since 1924, when George L. Widney opened a little sandwich shop at 156 South Ann St. near Government Street. Legend has it that Widney’s restaurant offered the city its first taste of a revolutionary new sandwich called the hot dog. Widney was pronounced HOT DOG KING in a 1939 Mobile Press Register article.

“About 1930, Mr. George opened another location on Old Shell Road across from Old Shell Elementary School. A year later, he sold the restaurant to Arthur Reid, who relocated in 1937 to its present location further away from the school in order to get a beer license. Curb boy Jimmy Edgar was recruited to be Reid’s business partner.

“After Reid died in 1966, Edgar purchased the Dew Drop Inn in 1967 and remodeled it. (The remodeling job was so successful that it hasn’t been updated since.) Shortly thereafter, Edgar decided to sell his business to George Hamlin. Edgar’s advice? “Don’t change nothing. You don’t change the dining room or the help. Don’t change the hot dog or nothin’.” And Hamlin didn’t.

“The Dew Drop is a constant in a changing world, where you can almost count on a crowd, on seeing someone you know, and being served consistently good food. Among the Dew Drop’s many fans is Jimmy Buffett, who grew up in Mobile. He writes in his ParrotHead Handbook that his “burger lust was formulated” at the restaurant, which he lists among the country’s best cheeseburgers. So drop in anytime and experience a delicious taste of Mobile history as you enjoy our southern style home cooking, prepared from recipes that have been tried and true for 90 some odd years.”

Two "World Famous" Dew Drop Inn Hot Dogs.
The Dew Drop Inn has a long menu with a wide selection of items, but I was focused on the restaurant’s specialty, the “World Famous Dew Drop Inn Hot Dog.” At $2.95 each, these hot dogs feature homemade chili, sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup and a pickle slice. I ordered two of them with a side of onion rings and a Pepsi. To say that this was probably the best two hot dogs I’ve ever eaten would be an understatement. You’ll just have to try them for yourself to see what I mean.

If you’re interested in trying some of these great hot dogs for yourself, visit the Dew Drop Inn at 1808 Old Shell Road in Mobile. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They’re closed most holidays and the Fourth of July. If you want to call in an order, their number is 251-473-7872.

In the end, how many of you have ever eaten at the Dew Drop Inn in Mobile? Did you try the hot dogs? What did you think about the experience? What other bucket list-worthy restaurants and foods would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Today in History for Jan. 27, 2015

Henry Knox
Jan. 27, 1593 - The Vatican opened their seven-year trial against scholar Giordano Bruno, accused among other things, of believing in the existence of a plurality of worlds.

Jan. 27, 1606 – In connection with the famous “Gunpowder Plot,” the trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began, ending with their execution on Jan. 31.

Jan. 27, 1756 – World famous musician (and prominent Freemason) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

Jan. 27, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, Henry Knox's "noble train of artillery" arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jan. 27, 1785 - The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the University of Georgia, the first state-funded institution of higher learning in the new republic.

Jan. 27, 1814 – During the Creek War, Capt. Samuel Butts was killed at the Battle of Calebee Creek in Macon County, Ala., 50 miles west of Fort Mitchell. Buttsville, Ala. (present day Greenville) was later named in his honor.

Jan. 27, 1825 – The U.S. Congress approved the “Indian Territory” (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the "Trail of Tears".

Jan. 27, 1832 – English author Lewis Carroll was born in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. His most famous writings are “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass.”

Jan. 27, 1840 - The Alabama legislature passed a joint resolution accepting the disputed boundary line with Georgia. In recognizing the line marked by a Georgia commission in 1826, the legislature stated that “a fixed and known line between this State and Georgia, is of far higher consequence to us, than the acquisition of an inconsiderable portion of territory.”

Jan. 27, 1862 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued General War Order No. 1, which ordered all Union land and sea forces to advance on Feb. 22, 1862.

Jan. 27, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Elrod's Tan Yard in De Kalb County, Ala.

Jan. 27, 1888 - The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C. for "the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." Nine months after its inception, the Society published its first issue of National Geographic magazine.

Jan. 27, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Prof. C.C. Smith of Healing Springs had been elected superintendent of the Orphans Home in Evergreen, succeeding M.C. Reynolds, who had resigned to move to Birmingham. Smith was expected to reach Evergreen the following week with his family.

Jan. 27, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Charles Savage Jr. was “painfully injured several days ago by being caught in some part of the machinery at the oil mill.”

Jan. 27, 1927 - United Independent Broadcasters Inc. started a radio network with contracts with 16 stations. The company later became Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).

Jan. 27, 1944 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Staff Sgt. Meldon R. Holland, 26, of Castleberry had been awarded the Purple Heart. Holland, a mechanic, was injured by shrapnel in the spring of 1943 during a Japanese bombing raid in New Guinea.

Jan. 27, 1949 – Evergreen Postmaster Mary Cunningham announced that the Evergreen Post Office would be painted inside and out in the “very near future.” The Evergreen Post Office was one of the few in the state to be approved for this type of work.

Jan. 27, 1958 - Little Richard entered Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala. This was after he announced that he was giving up Rock & Roll so he could serve God.

Jan. 27, 1959 – Members of the Dyatlov expedition departed Vizhai, the last inhabited settlement so far north, on their way to Otorten, a mountain 6.2 miles north of the site of the Dyatlov incident.

Jan. 27, 1959 – NFL wide receiver Cris Collinsworth was born in Dayton, Ohio. He played college ball at Florida and his entire NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jan. 27, 1964 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Frisco City, 63-62, at Memorial Gym in Evergreen. Sid Lambert led Evergreen with 18 points, and Joe Sasser scored 15.

Jan. 27, 1967 - Paige Cothren became the first player to sign with the New Orleans Saints.

Jan. 27, 1968 – The Minerve, a French submarine. disappeared in the Mediterranean, never to be found.

Jan. 27, 1973 - The Vietnam War peace accords were signed in Paris.

Jan. 27, 1990 – Roy Lee Moorer, 99, of Evergreen passed away. He pitched for the University of Alabama in 1911-1912 and played professional baseball in Evansville and for the Birmingham Barons.

Jan. 27, 1991 - Whitney Houston sang the "Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV.

Jan. 27, 1994 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Conecuh County Commission had approved the recommendation of the Conecuh County Emergency Medical Services, Inc., and had chosen City Ambulance, Inc. as the contract holder for Conecuh County.

Jan. 27-28, 1994 – Hillcrest High School hosted the annual Hillcrest Invitational Basketball Tournament in Evergreen. The tournament featured Hillcrest, Excel and T.R. Miller.

Jan. 27, 2002 - Stephen King's three-part, six-hour miniseries "Rose Red" began airing on ABC-TV.

Jan. 27, 2010 – Author J.D. Salinger passed away at his home in New Hampshire at the age of 91.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Jan. 27, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 10.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches

NOTES: Today is the 27th day of 2015 and the 38th day of Winter. There are 338 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, January 26, 2015

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Jan. 26, 2015

USS Midway.
JAN. 29, 2009

Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported .05 inches of rain on Jan. 24. He also reported a high of 72 degrees on Jan. 23 and lows of 19 degrees on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21.

“Brief filed in election lawsuit: Another chapter in the ongoing lawsuit over Evergreen’s disputed mayoral election unfolded this week as attorneys for Pete Wolff III filed a legal brief in support of their side of the case.
“At the end of an evidentiary hearing on Dec. 23 in Evergreen, Judge Edward McDermott, a retired Mobile judge who was appointed to hear the case, gave Wolff’s attorney, James H. Anderson of Montgomery, a timeline to file his position on a number of legal points in the case. Wolff ran for mayor against incumbent Larry Fluker only to lose by two votes in the Oct. 7 runoff election.
“Fluker’s attorney, Edward Still of Birmingham, will have a given number of days to respond to Anderson’s brief, which was filed with the Conecuh County Circuit Court on Tuesday of last week. Anderson will then have until Feb. 9 to file any reply he might have to Still’s response.
“Anderson’s brief, a six-page document, makes the argument that the outcome of past lawsuits and state law support Wolff’s side of the case.”

“Mary Mims named EMC’s 2008 Employee of the Year: Mary Mims of Evergreen received the 2008 Billy G. McKenzie Employee of the Year award during a ceremony last Thursday afternoon at the hospital in Evergreen.

JAN. 27, 1994

“Members of the Evergreen City Council and Conecuh County Probate Judge Rogene Booker are pictured with newly appointed Evergreen Police Chief Thomas Booker moments after he was administered the oath of office by the probate judge Tues., Jan. 18. Pictured are council members Larry Fluker, Jerry Caylor, Elizabeth Stevens, James King, Phyllis Brock, Chief Booker, Mayor Lomax Cassady and Judge Booker.”

Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.11 inches of rain on Jan. 17 and a trace of rain on Jan. 23. He also reported a high of 60 on Jan. 17 and lows of 16 on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19.

“Committee Picks City Ambulance; Commissioners Approve Decision: The Conecuh County Commission has approved the recommendation of the Conecuh County Emergency Medical Services, Inc., and chosen City Ambulance, Inc. as the contract holder for Conecuh County. The vote was taken during a special meeting of the commission last week.”

“The Conecuh County Commission and election officers in Conecuh County met Monday afternoon to discuss possible solutions to potential problems brought about by the new House of Representative and State Senate division lines which split the county. The problem at hand is that the court-approved lines do not follow the current district and voting precinct lines in the county.”

JAN. 25, 1979

Weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.87 inches of rain on Jan. 20 and .01 inches on Jan. 21. He reported a high of 70 on Jan. 18 and a low of 19 on Jan. 15.

“John Coburn, 71, of Evergreen died Sat., Jan. 20, in a local hospital after a long illness. A lifetime resident of Conecuh County, Mr. Coburn was a member of a pioneer family and was widely and favorably known.
“Mr. Coburn, a retired contractor, was much loved and will be deeply missed by his family and many friends. An excellent builder, he was associated with the group which built the houses in the first subdivision in Evergreen. He was also the contractor for many other lovely homes, churches and other buildings in Evergreen and this area.”

“Commander Joe Patten receives his new collar devices from Master Chief Joe Everheart after being advanced to that rank by Commander Stu Langdon, commander of Air Wing Five. Patten was promoted during ceremonies aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway on which he is serving as the Air Wing Maintenance Officer. CDR Patten entered the Navy shortly after graduating from Evergreen High School in 1954. He resides, when not at sea, with his wife, Miyoka, and daughter, Elena, in Yokosuka, Japan. Their other daughter, Lorena, lives in Phoenix, Az. Joe is the son of Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Patten of Evergreen.”

“Nina and Lewie Wilson’s home was totally destroyed by fire on Dec. 10”

JAN. 30, 1964

“Flxible Southern takes over Southern Coach Saturday: Flxible Southern Company will begin operations here Saturday. Culmination of the transaction in which the Flxible Co. of Loudonville, Ohio purchased the assets of Southern Coach & Body Co. is being completed in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Flxible Southern Co., a subsidiary of the Flxible Company, takes over as of Feb. 1 in a historic moment for Evergreen and Conecuh County.
“O.B. Tuggle, vice president of Flxible Southern Co., in a letter to employees is offering employment to all present employees of Southern Coach & Body co. Tuggle lived here for a number of years when he was president of Southern Coach Manufacturing Co. He has been with Flxible since leaving here.”

“Bill Griffin, ship’s serviceman third class, USN, son of Mrs. Laura Griffin of Evergreen, Ala., visited Palma de Mallorca in the Mediterranean on Jan. 16 aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La.
“Crewmembers toured the 2,000-year-old city of Palma on the island known as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean.’ The crew is scheduled to visit several more ports of call throughout the Mediterranean as the carrier operates with the Sixth Fleet.”

“Pink Ladies Will Organize Tuesday Night: A woman’s auxiliary for the Conecuh County Hospital is to be organized in a meeting Tuesday night, Feb. 4, at seven o’clock in the Civic Room of the Conecuh County Courthouse.”

JAN. 27, 1949

“Mayor Fountain Dies At Monroeville: MONROEVILLE, Ala., Jan. 25 – Funeral services were held here today for Mayor Fred A. Fountain, 58, of Monroeville.
“The mayor died at his home yesterday of a heart attack. He had been ill since Saturday.
“Fountain was elected mayor last September without opposition in his first bid for public office.”

“Miss Mary Cunningham, Evergreen Postmaster, revealed early this week that the Evergreen Post Office Building is to be painted both inside and out in the very near future. The Evergreen Post Office was one of the few in the state to be approved for this work.”

“Escaped Russian Minster To Speak Here Sunday: Rev. Robert Tarzier, Field Secretary of the Russian Bible Society, Washington, D.C., will speak at the regular morning hour of the Evergreen Baptist Church Sun., Jan. 30. Rev. Tarzier escaped from the Soviet secret police a little over four years ago. At that time, he was pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches – the well known church in Riga, Latavia.
“Rev. Tarzier is a reformed Communist. Under the influence of atheist teachers at the outbreak of the first World War, he lost sight of God and became a hardened infidel communist. But, shortly after the outbreak of the Revolution, the cruelty and suffering brought by the communists plus the fact that the communist government sentenced and executed his father, a poor evangelical preacher, turned him back to God. Since that time, he has become a zealous evangelist.”