Friday, May 31, 2013

Evergreen veterans monument applauded in 'Red Clay' magazine

Booth, left, and Upton, right, during dedication.
Evergreen got some positive, national publicity recently when it was mentioned in the Spring Issue of Red Clay magazine, a nationally distributed magazine that goes out to members of the Khe Sanh Veterans Association. The article, which appears on pages 27-29 and includes two photos, applauds Khe Sanh veterans Luther Upton and Dr. Barry Booth for the role they played in the dedication of the Evergreen-Conecuh County Veterans Memorial late last year.

Booth, a U.S. Navy veteran, is a dentist in Spanish Fort and is known far and wide for his efforts in support of Honor Flight South Alabama. As part of the Honor Flight program, World War II veterans are flown to Washington, D.C. to see the National WWII Monument. Upton, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is a local radio personality and is also a member of the Evergreen City Council.

Booth and Upton are both survivors of the Battle of Khe Sanh, which took place in Vietnam between Jan. 21 and July 9, 1968. Total U.S. and South Vietnamese casualties totaled 10,350, including 2,016 killed, 8,079 wounded, seven missing and over 250 captured. North Vietnamese soldiers killed in action totaled 2,469.

Over 45,000 U.S. service members served at Khe Sanh, including over 6,000 Marines. Many of these service members today receive copies of Red Clay magazine as part of their membership in the Khe Sanh Veterans Association. Thanks to the recent article in that publication, many veterans across the country and probably in other parts of the world got the opportunity to read about the new veterans memorial in Evergreen.

Other Conecuh Countiains mentioned in the Red Clay article include Leslie Addicott, J.D. Etheridge Jr., Arthur Ingram, John Jones, Johnette Jones, Willie R. Salter, John Watkins, Janice McCreary Watson, James Leon Windham, Tess Windham, Woodrow Windham and Willie George Woods.

For those of you unfamiliar with the relatively new monument in Evergreen, I encourage you to check it out first chance you get. Located near the intersection of Perryman Street and North Shipp Street in Evergreen, the monument features the names of the county’s war dead and also the names of living veterans who served in the various branches of services and in conflicts around the globe.

The monument isn’t just a memorial to all those who have served our nation, but it’s also a testament to what the people of Conecuh County can do when they all pull together in the same direction to accomplish something worthwhile. Lots of people worked hard to make the local monument a reality, and lots of good people made donations of their time and money to the project. Donations toward the monument’s final bill are still being accepted, however, and if you’re interesting in learning about how you can make a donation toward the project, call Upton at the radio station at 578-3121.

Names of local veterans are also still being accepted for inclusion at the monument, and I’m sure Upton will be happy to tell you more about how you can have your name or a family member’s name placed on the monument.

Daily Weather Observations for Fri., May 31, 2013

Temp: 71.2 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 82 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible.

Wind: 1.3 mph out of the East.

Barometric Pressure: 29.57 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 151st day of 2013 and the 73rd 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 30, 2013

Evergreen's 'Colonel Dickey' played for Heisman at Auburn in 1897

George Oliver Dickey
If you read last week’s edition of The Courant, you may have read in this space a few details about the very first Alabama-Auburn game.

That game was played in 1893 at Lakeview Park in Birmingham, and that event is described in an awesome new book called “Lost Birmingham” by Beverly Crider. After last week’s paper came out, Robert Bozeman, our publisher and editor, kindly reminded me that Conecuh County has strong ties to those early teams at Auburn University.

As many of you may know, Robert’s great-grandfather George Oliver Dickey was a member of the 1897 football team at Auburn. Dickey, who was known around Evergreen as “Colonel Dickey,” was born on Sept. 14, 1876 in Crenshaw County. As a youngster, he went to school in Luverne before moving on to Auburn University. In 1897, he played right tackle on the football team and received a gold “A” for his performance on the field.

It sounds like Colonel Dickey was a big man on campus because the 1897 edition of Auburn’s yearbook, “The Glomerata,” contains an article he wrote about “The Season of ’97.” Dickey describes how a “yellow fever scare” kept many schools from fielding football teams that year and also delayed the return of several Auburn starters. He also talked about how Auburn was scheduled to play its final game of the season against Georgia on Thanksgiving Day 1897, but Georgia cancelled that game after one of their fullbacks died in a game the week before.

1897 was the sixth year of football at Auburn, and that year’s team went 2-0-1. They opened the season by beating Mercer, 26-0, in Macon, Ga. and picked up their second win of the season the following week by beating the University of Nashville, 14-4, in Nashville. In their final game of the season, they played Sewanee to a 0-0 tie in Sewanee, Tenn.

Auburn’s game against Sewanee came just one day after their game against Nashville, and Dickey pointed out in his yearbook article that Sewanee’s trainer also umpired the game. According to Dickey, this trainer/referee supposedly said that if “Auburn had played until doomsday,” he wouldn’t have permitted them to score. Interestingly, Sewanee was Auburn’s only conference opponent that year as they were both members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Probably the most notable thing about Auburn’s 1897 team was the fact that the head coach was none other than John Heisman, who was Auburn’s head football coach from 1895 through 1899. Heisman went 12-4-2 at Auburn and went on to post an overall coaching record of 186-70-18. The Heisman Trophy is named after him, and that individual honor is arguably the most prestigious award in all of American athletics.

Interestingly, after his football-playing days on “The Plains,” Dickey moved to Tuscaloosa, where he earned a law degree at the University of Alabama. He moved to Evergreen in 1919 and lived there until Nov. 27, 1951 when he passed away quietly at the age of 75 at his home on Main Street. Dickey’s legacy continues to live on in Conecuh County as numerous relatives remain in Evergreen to keep his memory alive. Not all of them are Auburn fans, but all of them are fans of “Colonel Dickey.”

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for May 30, 2013

Ralph "Shug" Jordan
21 YEARS AGO
MAY 28, 1992

“The following students from Sparta Academy received the Presidential Academic Fitness Awards during Honors Day on May 18: Shannon Brown, Seth Mitchell, Jason Robinson, Mandy Casey, Jenifer Harper, Krissy Talbot, Kelly Booker, Chad Chesser, Michelle Ferrell, Stacey White, Kimberli Griffin, Steven Gall and Chris Owens.”

“Pee Wee and Tiny Mite sign-up Saturday, June 6 at Carver: The Evergreen Eastside Tiny Mite and Pee Wee Football League will hold sign up Sat., June 6, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Carver Recreational Center. Sign-up fee will be $20.”

36 YEARS AGO
MAY 26, 1977

“Edward Luther McInnis, 71, died at his home on Bruner Avenue here Wednesday morning, May 25.
“Mr. McInnis taught school for many years and was lovingly known as ‘Coach’ by many former students and friends from the days when he was an outstanding coach in all sports.”

“Kelvin Davis of Lyeffion High School has been chosen by the coaches in Region 1 to represents this Area in the yearly all-star game. Davis won this honor by his all around play this season. He will travel to Tuscaloosa on July 23, and will play in the Memorial Coliseum at the University of Alabama.
“This past year, Davis won the Most Valuable Player in the county tournament, when he and his team defeated the Evergreen Aggies, 44-39. He also has made all-tournament teams in three tournaments.”

“The Lyeffion High School girls track teams won the championship of the first county track meet in history.”

“Nine Sparta Academy athletes, five girls and four boys, earned All-District honors in various sports and were honored at the Alabama Private Schools Athletic Association District III All Sports Honors Banquet held here last Thursday night at the Holiday Inn.
“Coach Ralph (Shug) Jordan, Auburn University’s all-time winningest coach, was the featured speaker at the banquet.
“Donna Salter of the girls basketball team, Jerry Peacock and Johnny Cook of the football team, Tim Johnson of the basketball team, and Janice Pugh, Donna Miller, Nancy Price and Cheryl Hutcheson of the state championship track team of Sparta were honored as All-District.”

“The Evergreen Junior Baseball League will not be in operation this summer, according to President Matthew Davis, because of problems with insurance.
“Matthews explained that Greif Bros., owners of the Evergreen Heading Co. property where the League’s Ward Alexander Memorial Park is located, required the league to secure a large amount of liability insurance. He said that the league had been unable to secure the insurance.
“Davis said that league officials regret very much having to cancel this summer’s activities, but found the insurance matter beyond their control. He said that efforts would be continued to try to arrange for play in future years.”

51 YEARS AGO
MAY 31, 1962

“These four senior athletes, who were four year lettermen at Howard College, were presented blankets at the recent H-Club banquet by Athletic Director James Sharman, right. Pictured, left to right, are: Bill Ivey, Evergreen, golf; Fulton Lowrey, Birmingham, basketball; Bennie Stories, Birmingham, football; and John Papadenis, Chicago, Ill., baseball.”

“Evergreen vs. Georgiana: The Evergreen Aggies ended their 1962 baseball season Tuesday night with a 3-1 loss to the Georgiana Panthers. The Aggies’ record for the season was 9-7.
“Ronnie Jones was the losing Aggie pitcher. He was relieved by Willie Mack Pate in the fifth.
“The lone Aggie run came in the fifth on four walks and not a single hit.”

“LET’S TALK SPORTS by Malcolm Croft: Forecasting is a hazardous risk, especially when the forecaster is personally involved. That’s the situation in the Senior League season which begins next week, so here goes my not so completely unbiased predictions: 1. Tigers, 2. Indians, 3. Braves, 4. Pirates.
“Before the letters and phone calls of differing opinion begin, let me urge you to support both the Senior League and the Evergreen Junior League.”

66 YEARS AGO
MAY 29, 1947

From “HI-LITES OF E.H.S.” – “Achievements of Evergreen High School Students (during the 1946-47 school year): No. 1 Basketball Player in District One, James Carpenter; Good Sportsmanship Award for District One in Competition with 32 high schools, R.E. Ivey, James Carpenter, Mickey Logue, Gillis Jones, Melvin Brantley, Glenn McIntyre, George Hendricks, George Brown; County Junior Basketball Champions, Jack Cunningham, Bobby Frank Snowden, Dickey Bozeman, Billy Mudge Lee, Guerry Moorer, John Logue, Jeff Moorer, Tommy White; No. 4 Basketball Team in District One.”

“Friends of Edward Beasley are glad to see him out again after having suffered a broken leg during a ball game.”

“Repton Hi won seven of the 10 baseball games that was played this year. The Watson brothers starred as catcher and pitcher, the scores were as follows:
“Lyeffion 5, Repton 4
“Castleberry 5, Repton 9
“Lyeffion 8, Repton 17
“Castleberry 6, Repton 7
“Castleberry 2, Repton 1
“Castleberry 1, Repton 2
“Monroeville 8, Repton 18
“Monroeville 11, Repton 9
“McKenzie 4, Repton 11
“McKenzie 4, Repton 11.
“The Repton Hi baseball team have 89 markers in 10 games an average of 8.9 scores per game.
“There were six homers knocked by Sawyer; Marion Watson, 1; Carl Watson, 1; Lamar Crutchfield, 1; Ray Nall, 1.”

“It was the unanimous decision of the (Evergreen High School Journalism) club to donate its entire funds to the S.R.P. (Summer Recreation Program) social committee.”

81 YEARS AGO
MAY 26, 1932

“Aggie Girls Elect Officers For 1932-33: The Aggie basketball sextette will be captained by Mildred (Crick) Wild for the 1932-33 season. Crick was a valuable player on the last year’s team which won 11 out of 12 games.
“Lillie Belle Johns was elected alternate captain. Other varsity players who will be back are: Ruby Johns, Mildred Johns, Bernice Sowell, Ila Mae Hart and Eunice Cole.”

“SWIMMING: STEVENS’ POND OPENS JUNE 1, SWIMMING EVERY EVENING, THOS. G. STEVENS.”

Daily Weather Observations for Thurs., May 30, 2013


Temp: 71.1 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 81 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies and sunny; moon visible; birds audible and visible; jet contrails visible.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the Northeast.

Barometric Pressure: 29.61 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 150th day of 2013 and the 72nd 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 29, 2013

Historical marker describes 'Most Famous Courthouse in America'

This week’s featured historical marker is the “OLD MONROE COUNTY COURTHOUSE” marker in downtown Monroeville, Ala.

This marker is located on the east side of Monroeville’s downtown square, just north of the intersection of South Alabama Avenue and Claiborne Street in Monroeville. The marker sits in front of the Old Monroe County Courthouse, which has been called the “Most Famous Courthouse in America.”

The Alabama Historical Association erected this marker in 1995. There’s printing on both sides of this marker, but the printing is the same on both sides. What follows is the complete text from the marker.

----- 0 -----

“The Old Monroe County Courthouse, designed by prominent Southern architect Andrew Bryan, was built between 1903 and 1904 during the tenure of Probate Judge Nicholas Stallworth. One of two buildings of this type designed by Bryan (a sister courthouse in LaGrange, Georgia was destroyed by fire), the architectural style is Romanesque with a Georgian influence. It was constructed by Louisville, Kentucky contractor M.T. Lewman. The courthouse was the seat of most county offices and the site of court cases until the construction of the new courthouse in 1963. The lasting fame of this building is derived from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as well as the motion picture of the same name which features the now famous courtroom scene. Today this site is on the National Historic Register and is a national literary Mecca."

----- 0 -----

I lived and worked in Monroeville for a number of years, and it’s one of the most remarkable places you’ll ever visit. With a population of just over 6,500, this small southern town is best known as the hometown of world famous authors Harper Lee and Truman Capote. The state legislature named it the “Literary Capital of Alabama” in 1997.

One common misconception about the Old Monroe County Courthouse is that the courthouse scenes from the motion picture version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” were filmed in the courthouse in Monroeville. Actually, film producers built a replica of the courtroom based on photos and measurements of the Monroeville courthouse and filmed the scenes in the movie in a sound studio in California. If you’ve ever watched the movie, you’ll know that it’s a very close match.

On a personal note, last July, as part of my ongoing “bucket list” project, I climbed to the top of the courthouse’s clock tower, which is something that I’d always wanted to do. The building now houses the Monroe County Heritage Museum, and the museum staff was gracious enough to give me access to the clock tower. The tower has three levels and a trip to the top is not for the faint of heart. You have to navigate a set of narrow, pull-down stairs, and I came down drenched in sweat due to the humid conditions of the tower. (That’s not to say that I didn't enjoy the experience.) To read more about that trip, visit http://leepeacock2010.blogspot.com/2012/07/bucket-list-update-no-103-climb-to-top.html.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another local 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 'After Earth' and 'Dark Skies'

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:

- After Earth (Science Fiction, Action, Adventure, PG-13): Directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Isabelle Fuhrman, Zoe Kravitz and David Denman.

- American Mary (Horror, Suspense, R): Directed by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska and starring Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren and Paula Lindberg.

- The East (Drama, PG-13): Directed by Zal Batmanglij and starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell and Julia Ormond.

- Free Samples (Comedy, Drama, Not Yet Rated): Directed by Jay Gammill and starring Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Halley Feiffer and Tippi Hedren.

- Hannah Arendt (Drama, Not Rated): Directed by Margarethe von Trotta and starring Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer, Axel Milberg and Julia Jentsch.

- The History of Future Folk (Comedy, Science Fiction, Not Yet Rated): Directed by J. Anderson Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker and starring Jay Klaitz, Nils d’Aulaire, Julie Ann Emery, April Hernandez Castillo and Onata Aprile.

- The Kings of Summer (Comedy, R): Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starring Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Erin Moriarty.

- Now You See Me (Suspense, Action, Crime, PG-13): Directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson and Mark Ruffalo.

- The Purge (Suspense, Crime, Science Fiction, R): Directed by James DeMonaco and starring Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke, Edwin Hodge, Max Burkholder and Tony Oller.

- Shadow Dancer (Drama, Suspense, R): Directed by James Marsh and starring Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, Aidan Gillen and Domhnall Gleeson.

New DVD releases this week include:

- Dark Skies (Suspense, Horror, PG-13): Directed by Scott Charles Stewart and starring Keri Russell, Dakota Goyo, Josh Hamilton, Kadan Rockett and J.K. Simmons.

- Generation Um… (Drama, R): Directed by Mark L. Mann and starring Keanu Reeves, Adelaide Clemens, Bojana Novakovic, Daniel Sunjata and Jake Hoffman.

- Lore (Drama, Suspense, Not Rated): Directed by Cate Shortland and starring Saskia Rosendahl, Kai Malina, Nele Trebs, Ursina Lardi and Hans-Jochen Wagner.

- The Numbers Station (Suspense, R): Directed by Kasper Barfoed and starring John Cusack, Malin Akerman, Liam Cunningham, Hannah Murray and Lucy Griffiths.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “After Earth,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “Dark Skies.”

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 for Wed., May 29, 2013

Temp: 71.2 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 78 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Clear skies and sunny with a few trace clouds; moon visible; birds audible and visible.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the Southeast.

Barometric Pressure: 29.60 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 149th day of 2013 and the 71st 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 28, 2013

'Shadow Ops: Control Point' wins Compton Cook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society announced on Friday that the novel “Shadow Ops: Control Point” by Myke Cole has won the 2013 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award. This award is given annually to recognize the best first science fiction, fantasy or horror novel of the year as selected by the membership of the BSFS.

The Compton Cook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award has been awarded annually since 1983 and is given each year at the Balticon SM convention. The Compton Cook/Stephen Tall Award is sometimes called “The Compton Cook Award” because Stephen Tall was the pen name of Baltimore science fiction author Compton Cook, who died in 1981.

1983 – “Courtship Rite” by Donald Kingsbury
1984 – “War For Eternity” by Christopher Rowley
1985 – “Emergence” by David R. Palmer
1986 – “Infinity’s Web” by Sheila Finch
1987 – “Doomsday Effect” by Thomas Wren
1988 – “Liege-Killer” by Christopher Hinz
1989 – “Sheepfarmer’s Daughter” by Elizabeth Moon
1990 – “The Shining Falcon” by Josepha Sherman

1991 – “In the Country of the Blind” by Michael Flynn
1992 – “Reefsong” by Carol Severance
1993 – “Fire in the Mist” by Holly Lisle
1994 – “The Drylands” by Mary Rosenblum
1995 – “Dun Lady’s Jess” by Doranna Durgin
1996 – “The Gatekeepers” by Daniel Graham Jr.
1997 – “Celestial Matters” by Richard Garfinkle
1998 – “The Merro Tree” by Katie Waitman
1999 – “The High House” by James Stoddard
2000 – “Flesh and Silver” by Stephen L. Burns

2001 – “Murphy’s Gambit” by Syne Mitchell
2002 – “Alien Taste” by Wen Spencer
2003 – “Devlin’s Luck” by Patricia Bray
2004 – “Way of the Wolf” by E.E. Knight
2005 – “Ghosts in the Snow” by Tamara Siler Jones
2006 – “Poison Study” by Maria V. Snyder
2007 – “His Majesty’s Dragon” by Naomi Novik
2008 – “One Jump Ahead” by Mark L. Van Name
2009 – “Singularity’s Ring” by Paul Melko
2010 – “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi

2011 – “State of Decay” by James Knapp
2012 – “Germline” by T.C. McCarthy
2013 – “Shadow Ops: Control Point” by Myke Cole

Crook, who was a native of Tennessee, only wrote three books, but he wrote a number of noteworthy short stories. His books include “The Stardust Voyages” (1975), “The Ramsgate Paradox” (1976) and “The People Beyond the Wall” (1980). His most famous short story was “The Bear with the Knot on His Tail,” which was nominated for a Hugo Award in the short fiction category in 1972. (He lost to “Inconstant Moon” by Larry Niven.)

For more information about the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Awards, visit http://www.bsfs.org/bsfsccnu.htm. For more information about Cole, visit his official Web site at http://mykecole.com.

In the end, how many of the books mentioned above have you had the chance to read? Which did you like or dislike? Which would you recommend and why? Which book above do you think is the best Compton Cook/Stephen Tall award winner of all time? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Tues., May 28, 2013

Temp: 70.2 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 77 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Mostly Clear skies and sunny with a few low clouds on the horizon to the northwest; moon visible; birds audible and visible, including four geese flying northeast.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the East.

Barometric Pressure: 29.63 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 148th day of 2013 and the 70th 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 27, 2013

LIFE LIST UPDATE – No. 430: Read 'And Then There Were None' by Agatha Christie

I scratched another item off my “life list” on Saturday when I finally took the time to read Agatha Christie’s world famous mystery novel, “And Then There Were None.”

According to most sources, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all-time, but prior to reading “And Then There Were None,” I’d never read any of her books. Over a year ago, I read somewhere that “And Then There Were None” was her best-selling book, which is why I added it to my “life list.” To say that “And Then There Were None” is a best-seller is somewhat of any understatement. To date, it’s sold more than 100 million copies, which makes it the best-selling mystery novel of all time and one of the best-selling books of all time.

Originally published in November 1939, “And Then There Were None” is about 10 unconvicted murderers who find themselves invited to a house on an isolated island for various reasons. All 10 have been involved in various murders, but none of them were legally guilty enough to be sent to prison for their crimes. One by one, they begin to reap what they’ve sown as the remaining island guests try to figure out what’s going on. Each guest death follows along with the verses of a poem, “Ten Little Soldiers,” which provides the backbone for the novel’s plot.

For a mystery novel that’s over 70 years old, I thought “And Then There Were None” was extremely entertaining. The foreboding was deliciously done, and the plot was framed in such a way that the book was very hard to put down. More than a few times, I was tempted to skip to the end to see how things turned out, but somehow I managed now to cheat. It was not without some effort though.

“And Then There Were None” was also a quick read. The edition that I read was a used copy that I bought for 50 cents from the Monroe County Library’s used book room. Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, this 2001 edition was 275 pages long, and I read it in less than a day of on and off reading.

This book was been adapted to film a number of times, and I’m left wanting to watch at least one of these film adaptations. The first film adaptation of the book came out in 1945 and was followed by another adaptation in 1965. The first color adaptation came out in 1974 and will probably be the one that I watch. Directed by Peter Collinson, the cast included Richard Attenborough and Orson Welles.

In the end, I really enjoyed reading Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and enjoyed scratching another item off my “life list.” How many of you out there have read “And Then There Were None”? What did you think about it? Have you read any of Christie’s other books? Which is your favorite? Why? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for May 27, 2013

George C. Wallace
21 YEARS AGO
MAY 28, 1992

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported .02 of an inch of rain on May 24. He reported a high of 89 on May 19 and May 24 and a low of 53 on May 23.

“Chris Owens, valedictorian for the 1992 Sparta Academy graduating class, stands with Coach Mike Bledsoe and the Joe Wright Memorial Scholarship Trophy. Chris is the first winner of the award, named after the member of the Sparta Academy class who died in a tragic accident.”

“Chris Lanier received special recognition during Senior Honors Night at Hillcrest High School. Chris was invited to attend all three of the nation’s military academies following high school graduation. Chris chose to follow his dream and will attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Col. Pictured are Mike Lanier, Cheryl Lanier, Chris and Hillcrest Principal Ronnie Brogden.”

“Kimberly Stallworth, daughter of Cpl. and Mrs. Warren Stallworth and granddaughter of Mr. W.E. Stallworth and the late Mrs. Addie Stallworth, has been chosen to represent Hillcrest High School at the 50th Anniversary Session of Alabama Girls State.”

“Houston Lee killed this rattlesnake last Tuesday in a barn in Old Texas. The snake was five feet, three inches long and had 14 rattles.”

36 YEARS AGO
MAY 26, 1977

“Evergreen and some parts of Conecuh County enjoyed their first shower in several weeks Monday afternoon. Earl Windham reported .38 of an inch. He also had traces of rain on May 20, .02 of an inch on May 21, .08 of an inch on May 22.”
He reported a high of 94 on May 16 and May 20 and a low of 58 on May 16, May 18 and May 21.

“Tal Stuart Jr. was presented the coveted Rotarian of the Year Award by the Evergreen Rotary Club at its meeting last Thursday.”

“The Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department had a training school last week taught by Capt. Bill Smith of the State Training Office, Birmingham. According to Chief Matthew Davis, the firemen went to school for 10 hours with classes 2-1/2 hours each night, Monday through Thursday. The firemen are Gordon Wright, Lem Nelson, Clayton Davis, Marvin Hildreth and John Barron, Chief Davis, J.W. Weaver, Franklin Williamson, Tommy Weaver, Jack White, Mike Bethune, Buddy Nobles and Joe Ross.”

“George Simpson, chief pilot and instructor at Evergreen Aviation, congratulates Donald Champion upon receiving his private pilot’s license recently.”

“The Piggly Wiggly will begin operations in its new building on McGee Street at eight o’clock Monday morning, according to T.L. Sims, manager.”

51 YEARS AGO
MAY 31, 1962

“Mrs. James Watson and Darrell attended the graduation exercises of the State Vocational Technical School, Mobile, Ala., on May 25, when her son, Conrad Watson, completed a course in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.”

“County Schools Have Graduation Friday: The four high schools of Conecuh County are scheduled to award diplomas to 113 graduates in commencement exercises Friday night.
“Evergreen High has 56 seniors and graduation exercises will be at Memorial Gym. Twenty-eight seniors are anticipating graduation at Repton, and Castleberry will graduate 15. The graduating class at Lyeffion numbers 12.”

“George C. Wallace, counted down-and-out by most of the political insiders after his defeat four years ago, roared home a big winner in Tuesday’s voting for the Democratic nomination for governor.
“Wallace, nicknamed ‘the Fighting Judge,’ took the lead early and held it all the way as he downed Senator Ryan deGraffenried of Tuscaloosa by a sizeable margin.”

“Graduation exercises for the Evergreen City School sixth-graders will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the City School Auditorium.
“Members of the class who have parts on the program are Wayne Hicks, Miles Covin, Nancy Barron and Mary Ann Hartley.
“Principal Marcus O’Gwynn will present diplomas and perfect attendance awards.”

66 YEARS AGO
MAY 29, 1947

“One of the largest classes to graduate from the local high school will be awarded diplomas by Prof. J.C. Harper at the graduating program which will be given at the auditorium Friday evening, May 30. There ware 52 to receive diplomas. Of this number 15 are boys and 37 girls.”

“One thousand veterans of the United Spanish War Veterans from every county is Alabama will gather in Alabama’s capitol city for three days, June 1-3, for their 25th annual encampment, and simultaneously will celebrate the silver anniversary of the founding of the Alabama chapters.”

“The 31st commencement exercise for the Conecuh County High School began last Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, May 25, when Dr. A.H. Reid, Executive Secretary of the Baptist State Board, Montgomery, delivered the baccalaureate sermon.”

“Graduation exercises will be held at Lyeffion High School Friday night, May 30, beginning at 8 p.m. Dr. H.G. Dowling, President of Talladega Institute for Deaf and Blind, will deliver the address, according to Prof. Guy Kelly, Principal.”

“The Evergreen Junior Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the popular June dance which for many years was an annual affair attended by large crowds from Evergreen and nearby towns. Wartime was not dancetime but now most of the boys and girls are back and ready for a good time so this will be the first in a new series of June dances.”

81 YEARS AGO
MAY 26, 1932

“Mount Union Lodge Elects New Officers: At its regular time of meeting Saturday night, May 21, Mt. Union Lodge No. 541 of the Masonic order held its annual election of officers for the ensuing year.
“The following were elected: W.R. Shaver, W.M.; D.N. McIntyre, S.W.; L.C. Shaver, J.W.; T.H. Guy, Treas.; P.W. Shaver, Sec.; P.S. McKinley, S.D.; R.T. Murphy, J.D.; J.D. Hyde, Tyler; C.A. Smith, S.S.; J.R. Murphy, J.W.; J.C. Reeves, Captain.”

“The annual drive for new members, as well as, renewals to membership to the Evergreen Public Library will be put on next week.
“The library association for this year is composed of Mrs. Hugh Hagood, Mrs. Rufus Rushton, Mrs. C.P. Deming, Mrs. W.B. Ivey, Mrs. Burnie Jones, Mrs. H.L. Finklea, Miss Mary Henderson and Misses Pauline and Ethel King with Mrs. E.E. Newton as chairman.”

“The Conecuh County Chapter of the Red Cross has secured a car of flour to be distributed in the county to deserving persons who are in want and who are unable to purchase food in sufficient quantities for their actual needs.”

“Health Officer Advises Typhoid Inoculation: We want our people to know that it is time to safeguard themselves against Typhoid fever by taking Typhoid inoculation. Where two years or more have elapsed since taking the serum it should be repeated this year. We will be glad to hold clinics at any and all places where desired by citizens.
“E.L. Kelly, County Health Officer.”

Daily Weather Observations for Mon., May 27, 2013

Temp: 67.8 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 82 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Dense fog, visiblity about 1/4-mile; Overcast skies; plane audible; birds audible and visible; small patches of spider webs visible in the grass.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the North-Northeast.

Barometric Pressure: 29.68 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 147th day of 2013 and the 69th day of Spring. There are 218 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.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dan Brown's 'Inferno' takes No. 1 spot on best-sellers list this week

Today is Sunday, so that means that it’s time for my weekly breakdown of this week’s Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers Lists. According to those lists, there is one new book at the top of the four major best-sellers lists this week.

"Inferno" by Dan Brown replaced "Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel" by Charlaine Harris as the No. 1 book on the hardcover fiction best-sellers list.

"Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander" by Phil Robertson and Mark Schlabach retained the top spot on the hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list for the second straight week.

"Stolen Prey" by John Sandford retained the No. 1 spot on the mass market paperback best-sellers list for the second straight week.

"Control" by Glenn Beck was the No. 1 book on the trade paperbacks best-sellers list for the third straight week.

There were two books on this week’s hardcover fiction best-sellers list that weren’t on that list lat week. They (and their places on the list) included "Inferno" by Dan Brown (1) and "Vader's Little Princess" by Jeffrey Brown (15).

There were five books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "The Guns at Last Light" by Rick Atkinson (2), "My Beef with Meat" by Rip Esselstyn (11), "My Greek Drama" by Gianna Angelopoulos (12), "The Outsider" by Jimmy Connors (14) and "The Fast Metabolism Diet" by Haylie Pomroy (15).

There were two books on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "The Lost Years" by Mary Higgins Clark (13) and "Calico Joe" by John Grisham (14).

There were three books on this week’s trade paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "Zoo" by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge (4), "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" by Guy Fieri (10) and "A Dog's Journey" by W. Bruce Cameron (14).

As a reminder, I’m posting these lists each Sunday because they, as a whole, represent a great, contemporary recommended reading list. These lists are initially released each week on Thursday, and if you’re interested in reading them then, visit Publishers Weekly’s Web site at www.publishersweekly.com. Below you’ll find all four of this week’s best-seller lists.

HARDCOVER FICTION
1. "Inferno" by Dan Brown
2. "12th of Never" by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
3. "Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel" by Charlaine Harris
4. "Silken Prey" by John Sandford
5. "The Hit" by David Baldacci
6. "Whiskey Beach" by Nora Roberts
7. "Daddy's Gone a Hunting" by Mary Higgins Clark
8. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
9. "A Delicate Truth: A Novel" by John le Carre
10. "A Step of Faith: A Novel (Walk)" by Richard Paul Evans
11. "Best Kept Secret" by Jeffrey Archer
12. "Paris" by Edward Rutherford
13. "Fly Away" by Kristin Hannah
14. "Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser) by Ace Atkins
15. "Vader's Little Princess" by Jeffrey Brown

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. "Happy, Happy, Happy" by Phil Robertson
2. "The Guns at Last Light" by Rick Atkinson
3. "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg
4. "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls" by David Sedaris
5. "The Duck Commander Family" by Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson and Mark Schlabach
6. "Keep it Pithy: Useful Observations in a Tough World" by Bill O'Reilly
7. "Waiting to Be Heard" by Amanda Knox
8. "Life Code" by Phil McGraw
9. "It's All Good" by Gwyneth Paltro
10. "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation" by Michael Pollan
11. "My Beef with Meat" by Rip Esselstyn
12. "My Greek Drama" by Gianna Angelopoulos
13. "Bunker Hill" by Nathaniel Philbrick
14. "The Outsider" by Jimmy Connors
15. "The Fast Metabolism Diet" by Haylie Pomroy

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS
1. "Stolen Prey" by John Sandford
2. "Guilty Wives" by James Patterson and David Ellis
3. "Odd Apocalypse" by Dean Koontz
4. "Wind Chime Point" by Sherryl Woods
5. "The Best of Me" by Nicholas Sparks
6. "Informed Risk" by Robyn Carr
7. "Cheyenne Amber" by Catherine Anderson
8. "Judgment Call" by J.A. Jance
9. "Change of Heart" by Nora Roberts
10. "Hard Ride to Hell" by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
11. "Courageous" by Diana Palmer
12. "Gypped: A Regan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins
13. "The Lost Years" by Mary Higgins Clark
14. "Calico Joe" by John Grisham
15. "Haven" by Kay Hooper

TRADE PAPERBACKS
1. "Control" by Glenn Beck
2. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander
4. "Zoo" by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
5. "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter
6. "The Witness" by Nora Roberts
7. "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed
8. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci
9. "Sea Swept: Book One of the Chesapeake Bay Saga" by Nora Roberts
10. "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" by Guy Fieri
11. "The Next Best Thing: A Novel" by Jennifer Weiner
12. "Waking Up in Heaven" by Crystal McVea
13. "Obamacare Survival Guide" by Nick J. Tate
14. "A Dog's Journey" by W. Bruce Cameron
15. "The Black Box" by Michael Connelly

In the end, let me know if you’ve had a chance to read any of these books. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Sun., May 26, 2013

Temp: 58.0 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 90 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Partly cloudy skies, pictured at right.

Wind: 0.0 mph (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.72 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 146th day of 2013 and the 68th day of Spring. There are 219 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.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Art of Manliness releases new 'Fiction For Men' reading list

One of my favorite Web sites, one that I check almost daily, is The Art of Manliness (www.artofmanliness.com).

Earlier this week, the good people at that outstanding Web site posted a very cool recommended reading list called “Fiction For Men” list. This list was compiled from suggestions made by the Web site’s readers, and the compilers took submissions for over a year before coming out with the final list.

To read more about this list and the books that made the cut, as well as a little about a few books that didn’t make the cut, visit http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/05/21/fiction-for-men-as-suggested-by-art-of-manliness-readers/.

Without further ado, here’s the complete list of books that made The Art of Manliness’ “Fiction For Men” list.

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke*
2. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
4. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

6. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
7. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
8. The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian
9. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
10. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy*

11. The Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum
12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
13. Call of the Wild by Jack London*
14. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling*
15. The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. Howard

16. The Corps series by W.E.B. Griffin
17. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
18. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
19. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
20. Day of War by Cliff Graham

21. Deadwood by Pete Dexter
22. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
23. Dune by Frank Herbert*
24. Early Autumn by Robert Parker
25. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card*

26. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
27. Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik*
28. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
29. Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason
30. From Here to Eternity by James Jones

31. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin*
32. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
33. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
34. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
35. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad*

36. Heaven Has No Favorites by Erich Maria Remarque
37. High Country by Willard Wyman
38. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
39. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
40. Hondo by Louis L’Amour

41. Independent People by Halldor Laxness
42. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
43. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison*
44. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
45. The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child

46. Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
47. Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry
48. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
49. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara*
50. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

51. Leatherstocking Tales by James Fenimore Cooper
52. Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison
53. The Leopard and the Cliff by Wallace Breem
54. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
55. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

56. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien*
57. The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
58. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
59. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
60. Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough

61. Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
62. Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn
63. Moby Dick by Herman Melville*
64. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa
65. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn*

66. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
67. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
68. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
69. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
70. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

71. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen*
72. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
73. The Professional by W.C. Heinz
74. Raise a Holler by Jason Stuart
75. The Rediscovery of Man by Cordwainer Smith

76. The Richard Hannay series by John Buchan
77. The Rigante series by David Gemmell
78. Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown
79. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
80. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczt

81. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
82. Shane by Jack Shaefer
83. Southern Victory series by Harry Turtledove
84. Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis
85. The Sportswriter by Richard Ford

86. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre
87. The Stand by Stephen King*
88. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein*
89. Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy
90. Sword of Honor trilogy by Evelyn Waugh

91. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
92. The Trilogy by Henryk Sienkiewicz
93. Water Music by T.C. Boyle
94. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
95. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

96. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
97. Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

In the end, how many of these books have you had the chance to read? Which did you like or dislike? Which would you recommend and why? Which of the books above is your personal favorite? Are there any books that should have been included on the list but weren’t? Let us know in the comments section below.

* Books that I’ve read as of this posting.

Daily Weather Observations for Sat., May 25, 2013

Temp: Not recorded.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: Not recorded.

Conditions: Clear skies and sunny.

Wind: Not recorded.

Barometric Pressure: Not recorded.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 145th day of 2013 and the 67th day of Spring. There are 220 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 24, 2013

Crider's 'Lost Birmingham' details first Alabama-Auburn football game

If you look back at yesterday's posts, you’ll see a book review about an outstanding, new book called “Lost Birmingham” by Beverly Crider. This book contains descriptions of dozens of historic sites in the Birmingham area, and one of the most entertaining portions of the book is Crider’s discussion of Lakeview Park, which was the site of the very first Alabama-Auburn football game.

Hardcore Alabama and Auburn football fans in the reading audience will know that the very first Alabama-Auburn (or is it Auburn-Alabama?) game was played 120 years ago - on Feb. 22, 1893 – at Lakeview Park in Birmingham. Back then, Auburn University was known as the Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical College and on that day, the “Orange and Blue” beat Alabama, 32-22. That score can be deceiving for modern readers because under the rules in 1893, a touchdown was worth only four points and you got two points for a successful extra point kick. Field goals were worth five points.

The 1893 Alabama-Auburn game was scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m. and an estimated crowd of 5,000 saw that first game. Special trains from Tuscaloosa and Auburn brought students and spectators to Birmingham for what was later reported as “the greatest football game ever played in Birmingham.” Gate receipts totaled between $1,200 and $1,500. Both teams were just in their second years of football at the time.

I thought it was interesting that this first Iron Bowl was played in February. Interestingly, Alabama considered this game as the final game of the 1892 season, but Auburn considered it the first game of the 1893 season. Auburn went on to finish the 1893 season with a 3-0-2 record. Alabama went 2-2 in 1892 and 0-4 in 1893. Another interesting side note from those days is that Alabama played all of its home games at that time at Lakeview Park and on “The Quad” in Tuscaloosa.

Auburn’s head coach in the first Alabama-Auburn game was D.M. Balliet, but G.H. Harvey was the team’s head coach later that fall. Eli Abbott was Alabama’s head coach in 1893. Abbott was a former Alabama player, who also played college football at the University of Pennsylvania, before becoming Alabama’s head coach.

I’ve often wondered what players, coaches and fans from those early days of football would think about the college game today. Now, instead of crowds of 5,000, both schools boast stadiums with combined seating capacities of over 188,000. There are also huge differences in the rules, officiating, protective equipment – not to mention that television and radio hadn’t even been invented in 1893.

At The Courant’s office, we’ve got an old-timey photo from that game hanging on the wall, and Crider’s description of this historic game really breathed life into that old, black and white picture. Next time you’re in the office take a few seconds to check it out for yourself. It’s one of the neatest old sports photos you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Daily Weather Observations for Fri., May 24, 2013

Temp: 71.2 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 75 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Clear skies and sunny with a few trace clouds; birds, cows and dogs audible; bees audible and visible.

Wind: 2.4 mph out of the Northwest

Barometric Pressure: 29.61 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 144th day of 2013 and the 66th day of Spring. There are 221 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 23, 2013

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for May 23, 2013

1941 Boy Scouts Handbook
12 YEARS AGO
MAY 24, 2001

“Kelvin Salter of Evergreen is pictured with his racecar after winning eight consecutive races this year at Butler County Motor Sports Park in Greenville. Kelvin has been racing for four years and presently races in the Hobby division. Kelvin’s No. 35 is sponsored by Cotton-Hutcheson of Evergreen, Buzz Custom Sawmill of Lenox and Bruce Salter’s Plywood of Evergreen.”

“Bob Floyd caught this 15-pound red snapper on May 16, 2001 while fishing on a charter boat approximately 20 miles out in the Gulf.”

27 YEARS AGO
MAY 22, 1986

“These Southeastern Louisiana University basketball players were recognized at the team’s annual banquet recently. Honorees included Robert Cousin, Mandeville, Coaches’ Award for Outstanding Player; Luke Marlar, Defensive Award and Academic Award; Eric Fortenberry, Biloxi, Miss., GSC Freshman of the Year; Bill Dukes, Evergreen, Ala., Chairman of the Boards (Rebound Leader); Joe Venable, Baton Rouge, Free Throw Award and Assist Award; and Teddy Butler, New Orleans, Mr. Consistency Award.”

“Sparta Tennis Teams end successful season: The Sparta tennis teams, coached by Joye Fordham, recently completed the 1986 season undefeated in regular season play. In their second year, the teams participated in the APSA State Finals in Eufaula.
“The girls team is composed of Lee McNeill, Amy Jackson, Raye Ann Gall and Lynn Williams. The girls doubles team of Jackson and Williams won District III and played in the first round of the state finals.
“The boys team is composed of Scott Salter, Baxter Stinson, Richard Melton, Glynn Ralls, Mark Rigsby, Lynn Ralls, Marcus Blair and Addrian Brooks. The boys finished first in District III led by impressive wins in singles by Melton and in doubles by Salter and Stinson and Ralls and Rigsby.”

“Brent Salter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Salter of Evergreen, is shown with his horse, Hobo’s Slo Poke. They will participate at the Evergreen Saddle Club’s free horse show starting at 6 p.m. this Saturday at the Evergreen Municipal Park. There will be halter, pleasure and timed events. Children of all ages are invited to participate in a balloon burst race. All politicians are invited to speak during the break. The Evergreen Kiwanis Club will sponsor the concessions.”

42 YEARS AGO
MAY 27, 1971

“Sparta QB Club has barbecue: The Sparta Quarterback Club is sponsoring a barbecue chicken dinner on Sat., June 15, at the Evergreen L&N Depot. Serving will begin at 11 a.m.
“Newly elected officers of the Sparta Quarterback Club are: President; Pete Taylor; vice president, Bob Owens; secretary-treasurer, Ralph Culbreth.”

“Evergreen Troop 40 gained two new Eagle Scouts at a Court of Honor held Monday night at the Courthouse. The boys who just attained Scouting’s top rank are on the front row, Frederick Stevens and Oliver Garrett. Others taking part in the impressive ceremony included the boys’ parents. Shown are Willard Vickery, chief executive of the Gulf Coast Council, Mrs. Fred Stevens, Stevens, Frederick Oliver, Jeb Barron, assistant Scoutmaster, Mrs. Ralph Garrett, Garett, Dick Buck, Alabama-Florida District executive. A number of other awards were presented to member of Troop 40, Boy Scouts of America, which Vickery termed one of the top troops in the Council.”

“Conrad Watson attended the Grove Hill Horse Show sponsored by the Private School, entering his horse ‘Go Encio Go’ and winning second place in reigning.”

57 YEARS AGO
MAY 24, 1956

“Dodgers Go Into Lead In Junior League Play: The Dodgers marked up two wins in the first week of play in the Evergreen Jr. League to go to the head of the standings. The Giants won one while the Red Sox dropped one and fell into a tie for second place and the Yankees dropped their second in a row to hold onto the cellar position.
“In a close tilt last Friday afternoon, the Dodgers scored three runs in the last inning to edge the Red Sox, 8 to 7. The terrific batting of Terry Trawick and Leon Stinson carried Ed Biggs to his first win of the season. Trawick had five triples in five trips to the plate and Stinson had two doubles and one triple in five times.
“Bobby Smith led the Red Sox in their losing cause with a single, double and a triple in four trips to the plate. Eddie Lambert was credited with the loss in his first pitching assignment of the season.
“On Monday afternoon the Giants bounced back from their opening day loss to take a high scoring battle from the Yankees, 16 to 12. The Yankees outhit the Giants, 11 to 6, but couldn’t get the runs across and loose fielding spelled their defeat.
“Aaron had two triples to lead the Giant batting and help carry Duncan Roberts to his first win of the season. Jackie Frazier was the losing pitcher. Johnson, Salter, Bullington and Ward each rapped out two hits in the losing cause.”

“Plans for Summer Recreation: The City Recreation Department is attempting to increase its offerings in baseball for youth this summer. Plans are now being made to operate four baseball leagues under the direction of Gwindolyn Armstrong. The leagues to be operated are the Pony League, the Bears, the Jets; the Little League, the Cubs, the Reds; and the Girls Softball Team.
“These leagues will be operated under the official rules for each league with play and conduct being governed by the regulations drawn up by the director, sanctioned by the department and a copy handed to each manager before league play begins.
“All teams have enrolled and schedules are being drawn up now for leagues to play very shortly.”

Players in the Pony League included Eugene Oliver, Narvin Paige, Armie Claybon, James Thomas, Richard Carter, Clemon Rodgers, Howard Jones, Eddie Rodgers, Norman Spears, John Wartley, James Watson, Richard Lindsey, John Tullis, Alvin Jones, Robert Armstrong, Norman Nettles, Bobby Booker, Larry Wartley, James Evans, Bobby Bradley, James Jacobs, James Palmer, John Kyles and Charles Bradley.

72 YEARS AGO
MAY 22, 1941

“Boy Scouts of Troop 40 met Monday afternoon for a short business meeting at Cane Creek. Plans are being made for camps during the summer months.”

“Best Seller Used to Identify Tree: These Boy Scouts using the revised ‘Handbook for Boys,’ with a new cover by Norman Rockwell, are among the 9,600,000 Scouts and Leaders in America who, since 1910, have found the volume a friend and helpful partner. In 31 years, 6,900,000 copies have been used. The revised edition also contains a color supplement on the Flag Code, Scout Uniforms and Insignia, a space for a Scout’s personal record of progress, and the Scout Oath and Law. Used by Scouts and non-Scouts alike, the Handbook contains valuable material on first aid, camping, cooking, pioneering, health, safety as well as many phases of nature study.”

“Join your friends at the Pastime for a few games of pool – good exercise, clean fun in a friendly atmosphere. Cold Drinks… Cool Building… Good Equipment. Open Thursday Afternoons. PASTIME BILLIARD PARLOR.”

“Misses Mary and Bessie Lou Bradley, Willie Sue Andrews, Mr. and Mrs. W.I. Hamilton and Clayton Andrews enjoyed fishing at Little River last Thursday.”

Crider's 'Lost Birmingham' is a 'must read' for Alabama history buffs

If you enjoy reading about Alabama history, I highly recommend that you check out a new book called “Lost Birmingham” by Beverly Crider.

Released on April 26 by The History Press, this 144-page book takes you on a guided tour of historic sites that were important to the history of Birmingham and outlying areas. In addition to well known attractions like Birmingham’s famous Vulcan statue, this book also pays special attention to places that have faded into the past and aren’t as well known. With a forward by Birmingham history expert Tim Hollis, “Lost Birmingham” is a “must read” for Alabama history buffs.

Crider, an Alabama native, is especially well suited to tell this story. A longtime resident of the Birmingham area, she and her husband, Kyle, spend their free time traveling the state’s backroads collecting information for their widely-read blog, “Strange Alabama,” which can be read on the state’s most popular Web site, www.al.com. Much of what they’ve discovered in their travels over the years has found its way into “Lost Birmingham.”

Between the covers of “Lost Birmingham,” Crider provides in-depth descriptions of scores of cool and unusual sites and gives readers gems of information they won’t likely find anywhere else. Chief among these sites are the Hillman Hospital, which was Birmingham’s first hospital and a forerunner to the now massive UAB Medical Center; the Powell School, which was Birmingham’s first school; the Steiner Building, which sits on the site of Birmingham’s first house; the Shelby Hotel, which was the first hotel in the state with running water and electricity; and the Caldwell Hotel, which was advertised as “absolutely fireproof,” but burned to the ground in 1894. Crider also gives an entertaining description of the old Thomas Jefferson Hotel, which featured a zeppelin mooring station on its towering roof.

I especially enjoyed the portion of the book that described the corner of 20th Street and 1st Avenue North in Birmingham, which is also known as “The Heaviest Corner on Earth.” The corner was given this promotional name in 1911 when four of the tallest buildings in the south appeared in a relatively short amount of time. This intersection was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Sports buffs in the reading audience will also get a kick out of Crider’s description of Lakeview Park, which was the site of the first Alabama-Auburn football game. That game, which at the time was called “the greatest football game ever played in Birmingham,” was played on Feb. 22, 1893. Back then, Auburn was known as the Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical College, and the “Orange and Blue” went on to beat the “Tuskaloosa” squad, 32-22, in front of a crowd of 5,000.

In the end, I highly recommend “Lost Birmingham” to anyone in the reading audience who enjoys Alabama history or reading about unusual, out of the way places. Not only is the book educational, but it’s also entertaining. Copies of the book are available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com and sell for less than $14 each.

Daily Weather Observations for Thurs., May 23, 2013

Temp: 74.7 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 76 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Clear skies and sunny; birds audible and visible; flying insects visible, including bees; dogs audible.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the West

Barometric Pressure: 29.54 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 143rd day of 2013 and the 65th day of Spring. There are 222 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 22, 2013

Perdue Hill historical marker describes former home of Alamo commander

This week’s featured historical marker is the “William B. Travis House” marker at Perdue Hill, Ala.

This marker is located on the south side of U.S. Highway 84, just west of the intersection of that highway and Monroe County Road 1. The marker sits in front of the old William B. Travis House, which is just a few feet west of the historic Masonic lodge building at Perdue Hill.

There’s printing on only one side of this marker, the side that faces the highway. What follows is the complete text from the marker.

----- 0 -----

“William B. Travis House, C. 1820: The Alabama home of the commander of the Alamo. While living in this house, Travis read law under the Hon. James Dellet of Claiborne, Al. In 1831, at the age of 22, he left Claiborne for Texas where he practiced law and became involved in the Texas Revolution. Travis, along with Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie and about 180 other men, were killed in March 1836 while defending the mission from Mexican forces. The house was moved from its original site in the old City of Claiborne 1-1/2 miles away. RESTORED BY ANN & PALMER BEDSOLE, 1985.”

----- 0 -----

This historical marker is rich with nuggets of information. Let’s start with Travis, who attained folk hero status in Texas. Travis was born in 1809 in South Carolina, but later moved to the town of Sparta in Conecuh County. He eventually ended up in Claiborne, not far from the present site of the William B. Travis House. In 1831, he traveled to Texas, which was then a part of Mexico, and is most famous for being the ill-fated commander of the Alamo.

James Dellet was another prominent Monroe Countian mentioned on the marker. Dellet was born in New Jersey in 1788 and moved to Alabama in 1818. He was a member of the very first Alabama House of Representatives, and he died in 1848 at Claiborne. The James Dellet Home still stands today at Claiborne, just off U.S. Highway 84, and Dellet is buried not far from the home.

Davey Crocket and Jim Bowie scarcely need any introduction, both being near mythical characters in early American history. Crocket, who was born in Tennessee in 1786, was known as “The King of the Wild Frontier.” Bowie, who was born in Kentucky in the 1790s, was a pioneer soldier who was known far and wide for his knife fighting abilities, hence the popular “Bowie knife.”

The Texas Revolution began in October 1835 and ended a month after the Battle of the Alamo when General Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto. That victory resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Texas, and Texas was later annexed into the United States in 1845.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another local 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 'The Hangover Part III' and 'The Last Stand'

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:

- Before Midnight (Romance, Drama, R): Directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Ariane Labed and Athina Rachel Tsangari.

- Epic (Family, Adventure, PG): Directed by Chris Wedge and starring the voices of Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell and Jason Sudeikis.

- Fast & Furious 6 (Action, Crime, PG-13): Directed by Justin Lin and starring Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Luke Evans and Gina Carano.

- Fill the Void (Drama, PG): Directed by Rama Burshtein and starring Hila Feldman, Razia Israeli, Yiftach Klein, Renana Raz and Ido Samuel.

- A Green Story (Drama, Not Rated): Directed by Nick Agiashvili and starring Ed O’Ross, Shannon Elizabeth, Billy Zane, Annabella Sciorra and Malcolm McDowell.

- The Hangover Part III (Comedy, R): Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Ken Jeong.

- Penguins 3D (Drama, Family, Documentary): Starring the voice of David Attenborough.

- We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks (Documentary, R): Written and directed by Alex Gibney.

New DVD releases this week include:

- Beautiful Creatures (Drama, Suspense, Romance, Fantasy, PG-13): Directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis.

- The Last Stand (Action, R): Directed by Kim Jee-Woon and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega and Rodrigo Santoro.

- Love Sick Love (Suspense, Comedy, Drama, R): Directed by Christian Charles and starring Katia Winter, Matthew Settle, Jim Gaffigan, Lindsay Rose Binder and Dean Kapica.

- My Neighbor Totoro (Fantasy, G): Directed by Hayao Miyazaki and starring the voices of Tim Daly, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning and Lea Salonga.

- Parker (Action, Crime, R): Directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Michael Chiklis and Clifton Collins Jr.

- Side Effects (Suspense, Crime, R): Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vinessa Shaw.

- Stand Up Guys (Comedy, Drama, Crime, R): Directed by Fisher Stevens and starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Katheryn Winnick and Julianna Margulies.

- Struck By Lightning (Comedy): Directed by Brian Dannelly and starring Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney and Sarah Hyland.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “The Hangover Part III,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “The Last Stand.”

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 for Wed., May 22, 2013

Temp: 69.4 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Very Foggy, visibility less than 1/4 mile; Overcast skies; birds audible and visible; small patches of spider webs visible in the grass.

Wind: 1.3 mph out of the West

Barometric Pressure: 29.46 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 142nd day of 2013 and the 64th day of Spring. There are 223 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 21, 2013

Kim Stanley Robinson's '2312' wins Nebula Award for Best Novel

The Science Fiction Writers of American (SFWA) recently announced the winners of this year’s slate of Nebula Awards during an awards banquet in San Jose, Calif. and “2312” by Kim Stanley Robinson received the Nebula Award for Best Novel.

The other nominees for Best Novel this year included:

- “Throne of the Crescent Moon” by Saladin Ahmed

- “Ironskin” by Tina Connolly

- “The Killing Moon” by N.K. Jemisin

- “The Drowning Girl” by Caitlín R. Kiernan

- “Glamour in Glass” by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Nebula Awards, which are voted on by the SFWA’s membership and are given annually to recognize the best science fiction and fantasy fiction published in the U.S. during the previous year, were also given in three other categories, i.e., best novelette, best novella and best short story. There are also five special awards – the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Science Fiction or Fantasy for Young Adults, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award, the Damon Knight Grand Master Award and the Solstice Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field.

This year’s Best Novella award went to “After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall” by Nancy Kress.

The winner for Best Novelette went to “Close Encounters” by Andy Duncan.

The winner for Best Short Story went to “Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard.

The Ray Bradbury Award went to “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and the Andre Norton Award went to “Fair Coin” by E.C. Myers.

The Damon Knight Grand Master Award went to Gene Wolfe, and the Solstice Award went to Carl Sagan and Ginjer Buchanan. The Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award went to Michael H. Payne.

The first Nebula Awards were awarded in 1965, and, as you might imagine, more than a few outstanding and famous sci-fi and fantasy novels have received the Best Novel award over the years. What follows is a complete of the Best Novel winners over the years.

1965 – “Dune” by Frank Herbert
1966 (tie) – “Babel-17” by Samuel R. Delany and “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes
1967 – “The Einstein Intersection” by Samuel R. Delany
1968 – “Rite of Passage” by Alexei Panshin
1969 – “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin
1970 – “Ringworld” by Larry Niven

1971 – “A Time of Changes” by Robert Silverberg
1972 – “The Gods Themselves” by Isaac Asimov
1973 – “Rendezvous with Rama” by Arthur C. Clarke
1974 – “The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. Le Guin
1975 – “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman

1976 – “Man Plus” by Frederick Pohl
1977 – “Gateway” by Frederick Pohl
1978 – “Dreamsnake” by Vonda McIntyre
1979 – “The Fountains of Paradise” by Arthur C. Clarke
1980 – “Timescape” by Gregory Benford

1981 – “The Claw of the Conciliator” by Gene Wolfe
1982 – “No Enemy But Time” by Michael Bishop
1983 – “Startide Rising” by David Brin
1984 – “Neuromancer” by William Gibson
1985 – “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

1986 – “Speaker for the Dead” by Orson Scott Card
1987 – “The Falling Woman” by Pat Murphy
1988 – “Falling Free” by Lois McMaster Bujold
1989 – “The Healer’s War” by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
1990 – “Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin

1991 – “Stations of the Tide” by Michael Swanwick
1992 – “Doomsday Book” by Connie Willis
1993 – “Red Mars” by Kim Stanley Robinson
1994 – “Moving Mars” by Greg Bear
1995 – “The Terminal Experiment” by Robert J. Sawyer

1996 – “Slow River” by Nicola Griffith
1997 – “The Moon and the Sun” by Vonda McIntyre
1998 – “Forever Peace” by Joe Haldeman
1999 – “Parable of the Talents” by Octavia E. Butler
2000 – “Darwin’s Radio” by Greg Bear

2001 – “The Quantum Rose” by Catherine Asaro
2002 – “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman
2003 – “The Speed of Dark” by Elizabeth Moon
2004 – “Paladin of Souls” by Lois McMaster Bujold
2005 – “Camouflage” by Joe Haldeman

2006 – “Seeker” by Jack McDevitt
2007 – “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” by Michael Chabon
2008 – “Powers” by Ursula K. Le Guin
2009 – “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi
2010 – “Blackout/All Clear” by Connie Willis

2011 - “Among Others” by Jo Walton
2012 – “2312” by Kim Stanley Robinson

In the end, how many of the books mentioned above have you had a chance to read? Which did you like or dislike? Which would you recommend and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Tues., May 21, 2013

Temp: 69.4 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.0 inches

Humidity: 82 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Foggy, visibility about 1/2 mile; Overcast skies; birds audible and visible; small patches of spider webs visible in the grass.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the South.

Barometric Pressure: 29.52 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.0 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.0 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 141st day of 2013 and the 63rd day of Spring. There are 224 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 20, 2013

LIFE LIST UPDATE – No. 331: Listen to The Beatles’ “White Album” without interruption


I scratched another item off my “life list” on Sunday when I listened to The Beatles’ “White Album” from start to finish.

This is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but had just never done until this past weekend. Like most of you in the reading audience, I’d heard a number of the songs on this iconic album before, but I knew that I couldn’t honestly say that I’d listened to the entire album all the way through.

Many of you will be familiar with The Beatles, a British rock band formed in Liverpool, England in 1960. “The White Album” was their ninth official album, and was released in 1968. Many music experts considered it to be one of the greatest albums of all time. The proper name for this double album is actually “The Beatles,” but it’s most commonly called “The White Album” because the album cover is completely white with no graphics or text other than the band’s embossed name on the front.

“The White Album” is one of those iconic rock albums that I’ve heard about all my life, and I added it to my “life list” last year after reading that Rolling Stone magazine ranked it No. 10 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2003. The album consists of 30 tracks and is 93 minutes and 35 seconds long. Songs on the album include:

- “Back in the U.S.S.R.”
- “Dear Prudence”
- “Glass Onion”
- “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
- “Wild Honey Pie”

- “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”
- “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
- “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”
- “Martha My Dear”
- “I’m So Tired”

- “Blackbird”
- “Piggies”
- “Rocky Raccoon”
- “Don’t Pass Me By”
- “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”

- “I Will”
- “Julia”
- “Birthday”
- “Yer Blues”
- “Mother Nature’s Son”

- “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”
- “Sexy Sadie”
- “Helter Skelter”
- “Long, Long, Long”
- “Revolution 1”

- “Honey Pie”
- “Savoy Truffle”
- “Cry Baby Cry”
- “Revolution 9”
- “Good Night”

Many of you will recognize some of these songs, especially “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Birthday” and “Revolution 1.” The other songs on the album are not as well known, and I actually followed along to all of the songs with lyrics that I looked up online. I think I got more out of the experience by doing it this way, following along with the words as the album played out.

In the end, I enjoyed scratching this item off my “life list” and will likely add a couple of other Beatles albums to next year’s “life list.” How many of you out there have ever listened to “The White Album”? What did you think about it? Which of the songs on the album is your favorite? Which other albums would you recommend listening to from start to finish? Let us know in the comments section below.

2013 LIFE LIST ITEMS I’VE SCRATCHED OFF TO DATE:
- Ate at Big Daddy’s Grill in Fairhope
- Ate at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in Mobile
- Ate catfish at the Stage Coach Café in Stockton
- Ate octopus
- Drank a fresh lemonade at Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn
- Drank goat’s milk
- Joined the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
- Joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans
- Listened to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” from start to finish without interruption
- Listen to The Beatles’ “White Album” without interruption
- Planted a vegetable garden
- Ran the Battle of Mobile Bay 5K on Dauphin Island
- Ran through the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile
- Read all the Hellboy graphic novels
- Read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
- Read MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech
- Read “Savage Wilderness” by Barry Ralph
- Saw the Ginkgo tree in Evergreen
- Visited the grave of Lewis Lavon Peacock
- Watched “Dracula” (1931)
- Watched “Nosferatu” (1922)
- Watched “This Is Spinal Tap”

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for May 20, 2013

Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry
12 YEARS AGO
MAY 24, 2001

“Haley Rene Brogden is the valedictorian of the senior class at Hillcrest High School.”

“Amy Kathleen Johnston is the Salutatorian of the Class of 2001 at Hillcrest High School.”

“The board of Sparta Academy named Wayne Hammonds to be the new headmaster.
“Hammonds graduated from Evergreen High School. He attended Troy State University and received his B.S. degree in Social Science in 1973. In 1975, he received a M.S. degree in Supervision and Administration from Livingston University.”

“The old Griffin Warehouse on Mill Street will soon be reopened as the Bolden-Cardwell Hall. The building, which was purchased by the Evergreen First United Methodist Church, will serve as a fellowship hall and banquet/meeting center.”

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported .25 inches of rain on May 19 and .07 inches of rain on May 20. He reported a low of 53 on May 14 and a high of 92 on May 15, May 16 and May 17.

“Honor students for Hillcrest High School Class of 2001 are Selena Johnson, Alison Brown, Salutatorian Katie Johnston, Valedictorian Haley Brogden, Shaketa Simpson, Brandy Williams and Shaundra Lee; Charlena Johnson, Randall Sharpe, Chris Currie, Calvin Poindexter, Kayla Boykin and Alicia Turner.”

27 YEARS AGO
MAY 22, 1986

Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported .53 inches of rain on May 12. He reported a high of 89 on May 15 and May 17, and a low of 60 on May 13 and May 14.

“Karen Elizabeth Varner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Varner, has been named valedictorian of the 1986 graduating class of Evergreen High School. She is also the only honor student.”

“May is observed as Older Americans Month with the theme: ‘Plan on Living the Rest of Your Life.’ Conecuh County Commission Chairman David Burt signs a proclamation recognizing the elderly for their continuing involvement, their wisdom, experience and insights and accomplishments. Representing the elderly is Mrs. Susie Pittman, 102, of the Bermuda community, a lifetime resident. Looking on is Patrician Watson, County Coordinator for Area Agency on Aging with the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission.”

“Carol Kendrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Kendrick of Evergreen, is the valedictorian of the 1986 graduating class at Sparta Academy.”

“Michael Bradley Bledsoe Jr. is valedictorian of the 1986 graduating class at Lyeffion High School.”

42 YEARS AGO
MAY 27, 1971

“Basking in the limelight and admiration of Conecuh County this week are the 239 seniors who will receive diplomas from the four high schools at commencement exercises Monday night (Lyeffion’s Thursday night).
“Evergreen High School will graduate 117, Lyeffion High School 47, Repton High School 43 and Conecuh County High School at Castleberry 32.”

“Walter Poole of Evergreen, President of Poole Truck Lines, was elected to membership on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Trucking Association at the ‘A Time for Action ‘71’ Convention at the Holiday Inn of Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga.”

“Airman First Class John S. Cox, son of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Cox of 103 Salter St., Evergreen, is a member of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phan Rang AB, Vietnam, that has been honored by the Vietnamese Armed Forces.
“The 35th has received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm for its contribution to the military forces and local citizenry of the country.
“The win, which operates F-100 Super Sabre fighter-bombers, was cited for flying more than 53,000 missions during a two-year period in support of U.S. and Vietnamese ground operations.”

“Pat Kilpatrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Kilpatrick, has been named valedictorian of the 1971 senior class of Evergreen High School. James Coburn, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Coburn, is salutatorian.”

57 YEARS AGO
MAY 24, 1956

“Seventy-Six Seniors To Receive Diplomas From Evergreen High: Largest Graduating Class In EHS History: Seventy-six seniors will get diplomas from Evergreen High School this year according to an announcement released by Prof. C.W. Claybrook this week. This is believed to be the largest number of graduates the school has ever had.”

“A delegation from Conecuh County met with the officials of the McMillan Trust Monday afternoon to request the grant of about 200 acres to the State of Alabama so that Conecuh County could have a lake and recreation area.
“The proposed lake site is near the Baggett community, just south of the old Stockgap road, and north of the Castleberry-Lenox road. The lake would be built and stocked by the State of Alabama and would be about 100 acres in size.”

“One of the primary objectives of the Bermuda Community’s Rural Community Improvement Program was completed as 27 new telephones were installed in that community, according to Lonnie Culwell, president.
“The Bermuda Improvement Club has long worked to get telephones for the community. The community will be linked to the Monroeville exchange, and the phones were installed by the Monroeville Telephone Co.”

“Eddie Kelly has been named valedictorian of the graduating class at the Evergreen High School with an average grade of 95.27 percent. Fletcher Hays has been named salutatorian of the graduating class of the Evergreen High School with an average grade of 94.87 percent.”

72 YEARS AGO
MAY 22, 1941

“A stalled car containing nearly a case of dynamite caused the derailment of about 20 box cars on the L&N Railroad at Kirkland around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“The driver of the car, said to have been Ed McCorvey, abandoned his machine when it stalled on the crossing and fled. An L&N freight train crashed into the car, detonating the dynamite and causing the cars to begin piling up. The fireman and engineer miraculously escaped injury, but it is reported that the brakeman suffered severe injuries. The engine and the first few cars in the train did not leave the track.
“According to information given a Courant representative, the force of the explosion blew out all windows in the home of Mrs. Blount, at least a hundred feet from the crossing.”

“A one and one-half ton truck driven by Walter Young overturned at the intersection of Highway 83 and the Owassa Road at Palmer’s filling station, about eight o’clock Tuesday morning. Four of the five occupants of the truck were injured, two seriously.”

“Haywood Hanna, manager of Pix Theatre, who underwent an operation for appendicitis Monday night at Carter’s Hospital in Repton, is doing nicely.”

“Graduation exercises at the Lyeffion High School began last Sunday, May 18, at the school auditorium when the commencement sermon was delivered by the Rev. Harry E. Rodgers, pastor of the Church of Christ at Greenville. Graduation exercises will be held tonight at eight o’clock in the school auditorium.”