Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Historical marker describes two early Covington County companies

This week’s featured historical marker is somewhat unique. Most historical markers describe just one topic or incident, but today’s featured marker actually describes two separate, but somewhat related, companies, “THE HORSE SHOE LUMBER COMPANY” and the “RIVER FALLS POWER COMPANY.” This two-side marker was erected in 2010 by the Alabama Historical Association and the Covington County Historical Society.

This marker is located in Covington County near the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and Covington County Road 107 in River Falls, which is west of Andalusia. The marker is located on the north side of Highway 84 and on the east side of County Road 107. It’s a mile or so from the “MONTEZUMA” historical marker that I discussed a few weeks ago.

What follows is the complete text from both sides of the marker.

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“RIVER FALLS POWER COMPANY: E.L. More organized the River Falls Power Company in 1920 to provide a grid system to furnish electricity to nine counties along the FL/AL state line. Leslie Cheek of Nashville joined More and Cyrus A. O’Neal in providing the start-up capital. More became the company’s president and O’Neal its vice-president, while Henry Stanley served as secretary. The arrival of electricity served as an invitation to industry to locate in the area and More’s own Horse Shoe Lumber Company was one of the earliest customers. More constructed a modern all-electric sawmill on the same site where his old mill had burned in 1924. The power was supplied by the company’s Gantt and Point ‘A’ dams built upstream on the Conecuh River in 1924 and 1926, respectively. To ensure uninterrupted electrical service, a large auxiliary steam plant was added to the system in River Falls. A third dam up the Patsalagi was envisioned for the future by the company, but those plans were abandoned after the 1929 flood.”

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“THE HORSE SHOE LUMBER COMPANY: E.L. More, president of the A&F Division of the L&N Railroad, arrived in River Falls from Nashville in 1897 to spearhead the construction of a branch line of the L&N. Recognizing a business opportunity in the large quantity of virgin longleaf pine timberland in the area, he purchased a half-interest in a small mill located on Buck Creek near River Falls. He was encouraged by his long-time friend and mentor, E.C. Lewis, president of the NC & STL Railroad and L&N board member. From this beginning until its closure following the disastrous flood of 1929, the Horse Shoe Lumber Company along the river and near this marker was one of the largest, most modern sawmills of its time. The mill operated an extensive logging rail system using as many as eight locomotives over the years. In addition to More, key mill personnel included his long-time associate Cyrus A. O’Neal as company vice president, Henry Stanley as company secretary, and E.W. Arwood as private secretary to Mr. More. Gus Henderson of Andalusia was mill superintendent. John Miles Cooper, also of Andalusia, served as woods foreman.”

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

This week's movie picks are '2 Guns' and 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'

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:

- 2 Guns (Action, Crime, R): Directed by Baltasar Kormakur and starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, James Marsden, Paula Patton and Bill Paxton.

- The Artist and the Model (Drama, R): Directed by Fernando Trueba and starring Jean Rochefort, Aida Folch, Claudia Cardinale, Chus Lampreave and Gotz Otto.

- The Canyons (Suspense, Drama, Not Yet Rated): Directed by Paul Schrader and starring Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Gus Van Sant, Nolan Gerard Funk and Amanda Brooks.

- Cockneys vs. Zombies (Horror, Comedy, Not Rated): Directed by Matthias Hoene and starring Michelle Ryan, Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Georgia King and Ashley Bashy Thomas.

- Drift (Drama, R): Directed by Ben Nott and Morgan O’Neill and starring Sam Worthington, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Xavier Samuel, Robyn Malcolm and Myles Pollard.

- Europa Report (Science Fiction, Suspense, PG-13): Directed by Sebastian Cordero and starring Sharlto Copley, Karolina Wydra, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo and Daniel Wu.

- Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers (Documentary): Directed by Havana Marking and starring Tomislav Benzon, Jasmin Topalusic, Daniel Vivian and Rob Kennedy.

- The Smurfs 2 (Comedy, Family, PG): Directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Brendan Gleeson, Sofia Vergara and Hank Azaria.

- The Spectacular Now (Drama, Romance, R): Directed by James Ponsoldt and starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

New DVD releases this week include:

- Assault on Wall Street (Action, R): Directed by Uwe Boll and starring Dominic Purcell, Erin Karpluk, John Heard, Edward Furlong and Eric Roberts.

- Between Us (Comedy, Drama, R): Directed by Dan Mirvish and starring Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, Melissa George and David Harbour.

- Black Rock (Suspense, R): Directed by Katie Aselton and starring Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, Katie Aselton, Will Bouvier and Jay Paulson.

- Cloudburst (Comedy, Drama, Not Rated): Directed by Thom Fitzgerald and starring Brenda Fricker, Olympia Dukakis, Kristin Booth and Ryan Doucette.

- Filly Brown (Drama, R): Directed by Youssef Delara and starring Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips and Resmine Atis.

- Flying Lessons (Drama, R): Directed by Derek Magyar and starring Maggie Grace, Cary Elwes, Joanna Cassidy, Nikki Deloach and Jonathan Tucker.

- G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Action, Adventure, PG-13): Directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis and Ray Park.

- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (Action, Adventure, PG-13): Starring the voices of Kevin Conroy, C. Thomas Howell and Dana Delany.

- Rushlights (Action, Suspense, R): Directed by Antoni Stutz and starring Beau Bridges, Aidan Quinn, Josh Henderson, Haley Webb and Joel McKinnon Miller.

- Under the Bed (Horror, R): Directed by Steven C. Miller and starring Jonny Weston, Gattlin Griffith, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander and Kelcie Stranahan.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “2 Guns,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

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., July 31, 2013

Temp: 75.9 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): Trace amount.

Humidity: 81 percent (high)

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

Wind: 0.1 miles per hour out of the South-Southwest

Barometric Pressure: 29.59 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.70 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.45 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 35.10 inches

NOTES: Today is the 212th day of 2013 and the 41st day of Summer. There are 153 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, July 30, 2013

How many of these 'Spur Award' winners have you had the chance to read?

On June 14, I wrote about three “best of” lists called the “17 Best Western Movies,” “IGN’s Top 25 Westerns of All Time” and “AMC’s Greatest Westerns.” Not long after that post, someone told me that if I like Westerns, I should check out the winners of the annual Spur Awards, which are given annually by the Western Writers of America.

According to their Web site, the WWA established the Spur Awards in 1953 to recognize “distinguished writing about the American West.” Spur Awards are currently given in 17 categories, including Best Western Novel (Short Novel), Best Novel of the West (Long Novel), Best Original Paperback Novel, Best First Novel, Best Biography and Best History. Past winners include “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry and “Dances With Wolves” by Michael Blake.

As chance would have it, the WWA named is 2013 Spur Award winners during the WWA’s annual convention June 24-28 in Las Vegas. What follows is a complete list of this year’s winners:

Best Western Short Novel – “Tucker’s Reckoning” by Matthew Mayo (The other finalists in this category included “Lonesome Animals” by Bruce Holbert and “City of Rocks” by Michael Zimmer.)

Best Western Long Novel – “With Blood in Their Eyes” by Thomas Cobb (The other finalists in this category were “The Orchardist” by Amandan Coplin and “Country of the Bad Wolfes” by James Carlos Blake.)

Best Original Mass Market Paperback – “The Coyote Tracker” by Larry Sweazy (Other finalists in this category included “Redemption: Hunters” by James Reasoner and “The Secret of Lodestar” by Tim Champlin.)

Best First Novel – “Panhandle” by Brett Cogburn (Other finalists in this category included “Wide Open” by Larry Bjornson and “The Orchardist” by Amanda Coplin.)

Best Western Nonfiction Biography – “Geronimo” by Robert M. Utley

Best Western Nonfiction Historical – “With Golden Visions Bright Before Them: Trails to the Mining West, 1849-1852” by Will Bagley

Best Western Nonfiction Contemporary – “Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, A Mojave Hermit and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History” by Deanne Stillman

Best Western Short Fiction Story – “The Hog Whisperer” by John Mort

Best Western Short Nonfiction – “Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912” by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Best Western Juvenile Fiction – “Wide Open” by Larry Bjornson

Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction – “Light on the Prairie: Solomon D. Butcher, Photographer of Nebraska’s Pioneer Days” by Nancy Plain

Storyteller Award – “Pecos Bill Invents the Ten-Gallon Hat” by Kevin Strauss and illustrated by David Harrington

Best Western Drama Script (Fiction) – “Django Unchained” by Quentin Tarantino

Best Western Documentary Script (Nonfiction) – “The Dust Bowl” by Dayton Duncan

Best Western Poem – “Johnny Ringo” by Red Shuttleworth

Best Western Audiobook – “Ring of Fire” by Cotton Smith

Best Western Song (tie) – “Texas Is Burnin’” by Jim Jones and “Any Name Will Do” by Mary Kaye

For more information about these award winners, this year’s other finalists, past winners and the WWA, visit the WWA’s official Web site at www.westernwriters.org.

In the end, how many of the books mentioned above have you had the chance to read? What did you think about them? Which did you like or dislike? Let us know in the comments section below.


Daily Weather Observations for Tues., July 30, 2013

Temp: 73.4 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 81 percent (high)

Conditions: Foggy, visibility about 1/2-mile; Partly Cloudy skies; birds audible; bees audible and visible; other flying insects also visible; small mushrooms and small patches of spider webs visible in the grass.

Wind: 0.0 miles per hour (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.67 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.70 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.45 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 35.10 inches

NOTES: Today is the 211th day of 2013 and the 40th day of Summer. There are 154 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, July 29, 2013

LIFE LIST UPDATE – No. 339: Make an origami animal

Origami flapping bird
I have to admit that I don’t remember why I put this item on my “life list” other than it had to do with the fact that I think origami is cool and that I’m amazed by the things people can make by simply knowing how to fold paper in the right way. Besides making a paper airplane or paper football every now and then, I’d never tried making anything out of paper, that is, until Saturday when my daughter and I made an origami flapping bird. I think we were both pleasantly surprised by the results.

For those of you unfamiliar with origami, it’s nothing more than the Japanese art of paper folding. It dates back to the 1600s and traditionally follows a few basic rules. You’re supposed to use a flat sheet of square paper, and you’re not allowed to cut it or use glue to make a finished model. The most popular type of origami model is the crane, but you can also make birds, boats, boxes, butterflies, cubes, dishes, elephants, flowers, hats, rabbits, rings and trees. Complex, computer-designed origami models are also possible, but, as you might have imagined, they’re harder to build than the more common types of paper models.

One common type of origami is called “action origami.” It’s a category of origami in which the models actually do something. They move in some way, either on their own due to their position or due to some force that’s applied to them. The oldest type of action origami model in this category is the “flapping bird,” a bird model that flaps its wings when you pull on its tail. I’d seen a number of these models before but had never tried to make one, so my daughter and I decided to try to build one to see if we could pull it off.

We turned to YouTube and in a matter of seconds, we found a great instructional video that showed us how to make a flapping bird in less than 10 minutes. (To watch the video yourself, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZbZJEgFEDw.) We watched it a couple of times, gathered our supplies, which amounted to nothing more than a clean white sheet of copy paper, and got underway.

Following the step-by-step instructions on the video and pausing it here and there to make the proper folds, we made a flapping bird that actually worked. Our first attempt wasn’t perfect, but it still turned out pretty good. With a little bit of practice, I know that it wouldn’t be hard to churn out flapping birds of various sizes all day long with very little effort.

Once you figure out how it’s done and take your time, you come to realize that it’s not nearly as hard as it looks. If you can follow instructions, you can make an origami flapping bird. I’m not saying that it’s as easy as making your typical paper airplane, but it’s not that much harder.

In the end, how many of you have ever tried origami? What sorts of things have you made? How did you learn how to do it? How long did it take? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for July 29, 2013

Congressman Bill Dickinson
15 YEARS AGO
AUG. 6, 1998

“A Monroeville minister died early Tuesday morning from injuries sustained from a collision with a train late Sunday night.
“According to Cpl. Artie Wright of the Evergreen Police Department, Thomas James Williams Jr., 33, of Rt. 2, Monroeville died in the University of South Alabama Medical Center. He was transported to Mobile early Monday.
“The accident, according to Wright, occurred at approximately 9:28 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, at King’s Crossing. Bells and whistles are used to warn motorists of approaching trains as this intersection.
“Williams was driving a 1989 Ford Escort. The train momentum, even with emergency brakes applied, continued moving for 2,000 feet before coming to the Oil Street crossing.
“Wright said several witnesses were present at the accident and reported that Williams was driving south on Hwy 31 when he turned onto Belleville Street.”

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported that Evergreen received .07 inches of rain on July 27, 1998, .56 inches of rain on July 28, 1.35 inches on July 29, and .04 inches on July 30. He reported a high temperature of 100 degrees on July 31 and a low of 65 on Aug. 2. He reported a total of 9.18 inches of rain during the month of July 1998.

“Evergreen Mayor Lomax Cassady signed a proclamation Monday proclaiming Aug. 9-15 as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in Evergreen.”

30 YEARS AGO
AUG. 4, 1983

Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported .63 of an inch of rain in Evergreen on July 30, 1983. He reported high temperatures of 96 degrees on July 25 and July 26. He reported a low temperature of 69 on July 29.

“Bill Hart of Evergreen was elected Captain of the Conecuh County Rescue Squad at their meeting Aug. 1. Other officers elected were Steve Dunn, First Lt.; Jeb Barron, Second Lt.; and Mike Kline, Secretary-Treasurer.”

“Congressman Bill Dickinson of Alabama’s Second Congressional District will conduct an open forum ‘Town Meeting’ in Evergreen Aug. 9 at 10 p.m. in the Conecuh County Court House Courtroom.”

“Stinson’s flag flies in August: The U.S. flag of the late William Edward Stinson is flying over the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library during August.
“The flag of a deceased veteran is flown each month to pay tribute to all veterans of all wars.
“Stinson served as a lieutenant in the Air Force and was a pilot in the 415th B. Squadron. He received an Air Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge with one bronze cluster, two War Department War Citations and a Purple Heart.
“He entered service in October 1942 and was killed in service March 1, 1942 in Vienna.”

45 YEARS AGO
AUG. 1, 1968

“Conecuh County has another ‘first’ going for it now as you can see. That’s John Nielsen examining the first Sea Oats ever grown in Conecuh County… and probably the first ever grown inland. Sea Oats grow on the dunes alongside the seashore and no other place. However, the Knud Nielsen Co. planted the ones you see on their farm on the Loree Road and as you can see the plants are thriving. It’s strictly an experiment the Nielsens are conducting in relation to their business.”

“Spc. Francis Beasley was recently awarded the Army Commendation Medal by the Secretary of the Army for outstanding achievement in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam during the period Jan. 6-June 20 while serving with the 9th Administration Co., 9th Infantry Division.
“Spc. Beasley, who has been in Vietnam since early January, is stationed at Bear Cat base near Saigon. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Beasley of Castleberry.”

“Politics are expected to heat up considerably as the Aug. 13 municipal election for the City of Evergreen draws near. Thirteen candidates will have their names before the more than 1,400 eligible voters when they go to the voting machines on that date.
“Five voting machines will be used at these locations: Beat 11, Box 1 and Box 2 in the Conecuh County Courthouse in the new auditorium and the grand jury room; Box 3-A and 3-B at the City Hall in the first station; Box 4 at the County Health Center.”

45 YEARS AGO
AUG. 6, 1953

“THE WEATHER: Last week: Evergreen Airport, high 95, low 67, rainfall .25 inches in two days.”

“Evergreen’s newest furniture store, City Furniture Co., will hold its grand opening tomorrow morning. The store is located in the Binion Building, recently vacated by Olen Dept. Stores, on West Front Street.”

“Two bales of 1953 cotton were ginned in Conecuh County on Tuesday of this week.
“Over in Repton, the Repton Gin ginned a bale for Leon Jordan of Excel, which weighed 611 pounds and was sold for the premium price of 45 cents per pound.
“The Evergreen Gin ginned a bale for Brown Hawkins, farmer of the Fairview community. This bale weighed 385 pounds and graded middling one inch staple. This cotton will be auctioned off to the highest bidder in Evergreen next Saturday.”

“L.T Rutland observed the 50th anniversary of the date he entered the hardware business Tuesday night. Mr. Rutland entertained the owners and employees of Canterbury Hardware, Inc. at a party at his home in honor of the occasion.”

“The official word from the city hall, friend, is to save those pennies and nickels. Right now those parking meters that adorn the streets in the business district are just for looks. You’ll be notified when they go into effect.
“The parking meters were being installed as The Courant went to press. A total of 216 meters will probably be installed shortly after you read this on East and West Front Streets, Rural Street and Court Street.”

75 YEARS AGO
AUG. 5, 1937

“D.L. POPE NARROWLY ESCAPES SERIOUS INJURIES IN FALL: D.L. Pope, well known L&N employee in the signal maintenance department, narrowly escaped serious injuries Tuesday when he fell from a signal post at Castleberry. It was at first though that he was badly hurt but upon examination by physician it was found that no bones were broken or other serious injuries unless complications develop.
“According to those who were with him when the accident occurred, Mr. Pope fell from a distance of 23 feet. Fortunately, he landed on the ground between the concrete base of the post and the rails. Had he struck either of these things it is believed his injuries would have been much greater than they were.”

“FIRST BALE GINNED TODAY: The first bale to be ginned in Evergreen and most probably the first in the county was ginned at the Evergreen Manufacturing Co., this morning by R.V. Congleton.”

“Old Buck’s Grave Is Marked With Stone: The grave of Philip Samuel, better known to his many white friends as ‘Old Buck,’ is now marked with a suitable tombstone. This was recently accomplished largely through the efforts of C.N. Stallworth and J.T. Gaillard who composed a committee to secure the funds necessary and to purchase the memorial stone. Former citizens as well as those now living here, joined in contributing to this fund, donations having been received from a large number now living in other states as well as other parts of Alabama.
“The monument which was erected a few days ago, has a splendid photo of the respected old Negro on the face together with this inscription: ‘Philip Samuel (Old Buck) died Jan. 5, 1937. Erected by his white friends.’ “It will be recalled that ‘Old Buck’ was buried on the spot where his little cabin stood in the Evergreen cemetery and where he had lived for so many years. The cabin has been removed since the old Negro died.
“He was loved and respected by the white citizens of this community and his tragic death, when he was struck by a freight train here on Jan. 5, 1937, was greatly deplored. For many years, he had been a well known character upon the streets of Evergreen. He was more or less a privileged character about town, going in and out the various stores taking such little items as tobacco and other things which his simple tastes demanded whenever and wherever he wanted to. He made a practice of sweeping off the sidewalks in front of stores and sweeping out some of the stores as well as doing other little errands.”

Daily Weather Observations for Mon., July 29, 2013

Temp: 72.3 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.05 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (high)

Conditions: Heavy fog, visibility about 1/4-mile; Overcast skies; birds, crickets and bees audible; small mushrooms and small patches of spider webs visible in the grass.

Wind: 0.0 miles per hour (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.57 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.70 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.45 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 35.10 inches

NOTES: Today is the 210th day of 2013 and the 39th day of Summer. There are 155 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, July 28, 2013

'Webster's New World Dictionary' appears 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 only one new book at the top of the four major best-sellers lists this week.

"The English Girl" by Daniel Silva replaced "Inferno" by Dan Brown 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 11th straight week.

"Friends Forever: A Novel" by Danielle Steel remained the No. 1 book on the mass market paperback best-sellers list for the third straight week.

"Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander retained the top spot on the trade paperbacks best-sellers list for the second straight week.

There were four 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 "The English Girl" by Daniel Silva (1), "First Sight" by Danielle Steel (2), "Hunting Eve" by Iris Johansen (8) and "Witch Wraith" by Terry Brooks (12).

There were five books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "This Town" by Mark Leibovich (3), "Fantasy Life" by Matthew Berry (4), "Zealot" by Reza Aslan (7), "I Declare" by Joel Osteen (11) and "Jesus Today" by Sarah Young (15).

There was only one book on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list that wasn’t on the list last week - "Webster's New World Dictionary" by Michael Agnes, which was No. 8 on the list.

There were two books on this week’s trade paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "The Secret Keeper" by Kate Morton (5), "Unbreakable" by Jenni Rivera (11) and "Sailor Moon, Vol. 12" by Naoko Takeuchi (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. "The English Girl" by Daniel Silva
2. "First Sight" by Danielle Steel
3. "Inferno" by Dan Brown
4. "And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini
5. "Hidden Order" by Brad Thor
6. "Second Honeymoon" by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
7. "Bombshell" by Catherine Coulter
8. "Hunting Eve" by Iris Johansen
9. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman
10. "Bad Monkey" by Carl Hiaasen
11. "The Heist" by Janet Evanovich
12. "Witch Wraith" by Terry Brooks
13. "The Silver Star" by Jeannette Walls
14. "Beautiful Day" by Elin Hildrebrand
15. "The Eye of God: A Sigma Force Novel” by James Rollins

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. "Happy, Happy, Happy" by Phil Robertson
2. "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg
3. "This Town" by Mark Leibovich
4. "Fantasy Life" by Matthew Berry
5. "The Duck Commander Family" by Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson and Mark Schlabach
6. "Life Code" by Phil McGraw
7. "Zealot" by Reza Aslan
8. "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls" by David Sedaris
9. "American Gun" by Chris Kyle
10. "Dad Is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan
11. "I Declare" by Joel Osteen
12. "Keep it Pithy: Useful Observations in a Tough World" by Bill O'Reilly
13. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly
14. "The Legend of Zelda" by Shigeru Miyamoto
15. "Jesus Today" by Sarah Young

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS
1. "Friends Forever: A Novel" by Danielle Steel and Nick Podehl
2. "Backfire" by Catherine Coulter
3. "11th Hour" by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
4. "At First Sight" by Nicholas Sparks
5. "The Newcomer" by Robyn Carr
6. "Gotcha!" by Fern Michaels
7. "A Wanted Man" by Lee Child
8. "Webster's New World Dictionary" by Michael Agnes
9. "The Eleventh Commandment" by Jeffrey Archer
10. "Last to Die: A Rissoli & Isles Novel" by Tess Gerritsen
11. "The Fallen Angel" by Daniel Silva
12. "Two of a Kind" by Susan Mallery
13. "The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh" by Stephanie Laurens
14. "Luke Jensen Bounty Hunter Dead Shot" by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
15. "Reflections & Dreams: Reflections/Dance of Dreams" by Nora Roberts

TRADE PAPERBACKS
1. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander
2. "Joyland" by Stephen King
3. "Inquebrantable: Mi Historia, A Mi Manera" by Jenni Rivera
4. "Entwined with You" by Sylvia Day
5. "The Secret Keeper" by Kate Morton
6. "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter
7. "NYPD Red" by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
8. "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed
9. "Under the Dome" by Stephen King
10. "Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver
11. "Unbreakable" by Jenni Rivera
12. "Inner Harbor: Book Three of the Chesapeake Bay Saga" by Nora Roberts
13. "World War Z" by Max Brooks
14. "Sailor Moon, Vol. 12" by Naoko Takeuchi
15. "The Bat: the First Inspector Harry Hole Novel" by Jo Nesbo

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., July 28, 2013

Temp: 73.2 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.10 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (high)

Conditions: Overcast skies; birds and bees audible; security lights still on in the distance; ground wet from rain during the night.

Wind: 0.1 miles per hour out of the South-Southeast (very faint wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.44 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.30 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.65 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.40 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 35.05 inches

NOTES: Today is the 209th day of 2013 and the 38th day of Summer. There are 156 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, July 27, 2013

'The Last Ride' details the final days of Georgiana native Hank Williams

Fans of the late Hank Williams, especially those living in Alabama, will enjoy watching “The Last Ride.”

“The Last Ride” details the final days of Williams’ life, and the movie’s title is a reference to the fact that Williams, a Georgiana native, died during a car trip to a concert date in Canton, Ohio. Williams traveled under the assumed name of “Mr. Wells,” and his driver was an 18-year-old Auburn University freshman named Charles Carr. On or around New Year’s Day 1953, Williams died in the back seat of the 1952 blue Cadillac that Carr was driving. Williams death was discovered somewhere around Blue Field, W. Va., and heart failure was listed as his cause of death.

“The Last Ride” was released in limited theatres in October 2011 and was recently released on DVD. (I got the DVD through Netflix as soon as it came out a few weeks ago.) Henry Thomas, who is probably best known for his role as Elliott in Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," played the lead role of Hank Williams. Jesse James played the role of “Silas,” a character modeled after Carr. Arguably the biggest name in the movie was actor Fred Thompson, who played the role of “O’Keefe,” Williams’ manager who arranged the singer’s concert dates.

Personally, I thought the movie was poorly cast, mainly because Thomas looked nothing like the real life Hank Williams. The acting was OK, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that Thomas just had too much meat on his bones. Williams had that lean cowboy look about him, and Thomas would have made a better “Fat Elvis.” I hate to be overly negative, but this role could have been cast better.

One interesting bit of trivia about this movie is that no songs performed by Williams are played during the movie. Instead, the soundtrack is made up entirely of Williams songs but performed by other country music stars. The soundtrack's pretty awesome, and you can buy the entire thing on Amazon.com. The soundtrack features 22 songs, including “Hey Good Lookin’,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Honky Tonk Man.” Performers covering those songs include Williams’ daughter Jett Williams, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

Before I wrap this thing up I also want to mention that, sadly, Carr passed away around the time that this movie was released on DVD. According to his obituary, Carr died in Montgomery on July 1 at the age of 79 after a brief illness. After his historic ride with Williams, Carr went on to graduate from Auburn in 1956 and become an investor, real estate professional and cab company owner. For most of his life, Carr was reluctant to talk about his time with Williams, but he did become heavily involved with the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery when it opened.

In the end, I enjoyed this movie and recommend it to any Hank Williams buffs in the reading audience. How many of you out there have seen this movie? What did you think about it? Did you like it or not? Let us know in the comments section below.

(For more information about “The Last Ride,” visit the movie’s official Web site at www.thelastridefilm.com.)

Daily Weather Observations for Sat., July 27, 2013

Temp: 73.8 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 81 percent (high)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible; bees audible and visible.

Wind: 0.0 miles per hour (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.49 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.55 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.30 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 34.95 inches

NOTES: Today is the 208th day of 2013 and the 37th day of Summer. There are 157 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, July 26, 2013

Is Powell's Grand Canyon book the greatest adventure tale ever written?

Is “The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons” by John Wesley Powell the greatest adventure book ever written?

Originally published in 1895, this book details the Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869. This famous, three-month expedition is best known for being the first time that anyone traveled down the Colorado River by boat and the first recorded trip through the Grand Canyon. The 10-man expedition started in what is now Green River, Wyoming and ended at the mouth of the Virgin River.

“The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons” is Powell’s first-person account of his crew's unprecedented odyssey along the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon. A bold foray into the heart of the American West's final frontier, the expedition was achieved without benefit of modern river-running equipment, supplies, or a firm sense of the region's perilous topography and the attitudes of the native inhabitants towards whites.

Powell, who has been described as an “historical badass,” was a famous explorer, geographer and professor. He also served as director of the U.S. Geological Survey, and is probably best known for his exploration of the Grand Canyon. To top it off, he accomplished much of this with only one arm.

Powell enlisted as a private in the Union Army, but was later commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was later promoted to captain and lost most of his right arm at the Battle of Shiloh when he was struck by a minie ball. Despite having his arm amputated, he later returned to duty and ended the war with the rank of brevet lieutenant colonel.

I’ve wanted to read Powell’s famous book for quite some time, especially after seeing it on a lot of “best of” lists. It was ranked No. 4 on National Geographic’s list of “100 Best Adventure Books,” and it’s one of nine books in the National Geographic Adventure Classics series. It was also ranked No. 13 on a “best of” list published by The Art of Manliness called “The Essential Adventure Library: 50 Nonfiction Adventure Books.” It was also one of 12 books in the Easton Press “Greatest Adventure Books of All Time” series.

One thing that made this book especially meaningful to me was that I actually read it during a recent family vacation to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It was cool to see some of the things described in Powell’s book, and seeing the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River first hand helped bring the book to life. While there, we also visited Powell Point, which was named in Powell’s honor. Powell Point even features a large memorial to Powell and the men who accompanied him on his historic survey trip through the Grand Canyon.

In the end, how many of you have read “The Expedition of the Colorado River and Its Canyons”? What did you think about it? Did you like it or not? Do you think it’s one of the greatest adventure books of all time? Where would you rank it among your favorite all-time adventure books? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Fri., July 26, 2013

Temp: 72.5 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 79 percent (high)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies and sunny; moon visible; birds audible and visible; bees audible and visible; standing water in yard from yesterday's rain; heavy dew on the ground.

Wind: 0.0 miles per hour (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.53 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.55 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.30 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 34.95 inches

NOTES: Today is the 207th day of 2013 and the 36th day of Summer. There are 158 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, July 25, 2013

Does anyone know what happened to the Alexander Mystery Stone?

Walter Alexander points to 'strange object'
What ever happened to the Alexander Mystery Stone?

It’s hard not to ask yourself this question when you read about the events that happened in Conecuh County almost 60 years ago. The mystery surrounding this unusual object was so strange that it was front-page news in The Evergreen Courant for two weeks during the summer of 1955.

According to a story in the June 16, 1955 edition of The Courant, Walter Alexander, 75, and Miss Elitha Smith found a “strange object” in a corn field near Alexander’s Grist Mill, which was about 10 miles northeast of Evergreen. Alexander was one of the operators at the gristmill, and Smith had lived with the Alexander family for nearly 40 years up to that point. The object they found weighed 42 pounds, was 18 inches long, 12 inches wide and four inches thick at one point.

They found the unusual object on April 15, 1955 in a field that had been plowed a couple of days before. A “big rain” came after the field was plowed, and Smith first spotted the object while looking over the field a day or so later. The object was almost completely buried, and only a few inches of it showed above the surface. There were no other rocks or objects of that size in the field, Smith said.

Small pebbles and sand appeared to be imbedded in the object, similar to the sand and pebbles found in the field. Smith and Alexander both believed that the object hadn’t been there for very long. The field had been in use for many years up to that point, and no one had ever seen anything like it in the field before, they said.

Smith didn’t report the object for nearly two months because she and Alexander “thought it was a big rock picked up in a storm or tornado and dropped in the field,” Smith said. That all changed though in early June when some Auburn students arrived at the gristmill to examine the strange object. They theorized that the object could have been a meteorite because “it had the appearance of being burned.” Others who saw the object said it was just a low-grade piece of iron ore, similar to other rocks of that type found elsewhere in the county.

With the help of The Courant, Smith and Alexander sent a specimen of the object to State Geologist Walter B. Jones in Tuscaloosa in hopes that he’d be able to analyze the object and give them some answers. They didn’t have to wait long because in the following week’s paper, in another front-page story, it was reported that The Courant had received a reply from Hugh D. Pallister, who was a Senior Geologist of the Geological Survey of Alabama, at the University of Alabama.

“I am sorry to report that the specimen which you sent us is not a meteorite,” Pallister said. “I know that the people will be disappointed. The sample consists of quartz pebbles cemented together with iron stained silica.

“We also tested the sample on our laboratory Geiger counter and found no evidence of radioactivity. I thought you might be especially interested in that, as we usually test all samples which come through our hands.”

In the end, we’re left wondering what ever happened to the Alexander Mystery Stone? Is someone today using it as a doorstop? Is it sitting on a shelf somewhere? I’d be interested to know, so if you happen to know of this object’s whereabouts, give me a call at The Courant at 251-578-1492. You can also shoot me an e-mail at courantsports@earthlink.net or send me a note by mail to The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401. Any information would be appreciated.

Today would have been NFL great Walter Payton's 59th birthday...

Hillcrest High School’s athletic program is to be congratulated this week for an honor it recently received from the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Last week, during the AHSAA’s sixth-annual Sportsmanship Banquet, Hillcrest was among a select number of high schools from across the state to be recognized for having drawn no fines or ejections in any athletic contest for the past two years. This is remarkable when you take into account the number of sports played at Hillcrest and the number of athletic events they compete in during a year’s time.

Hats off this week to the school’s athletics director, Larry Boykin, the county’s coaches and the athletes at the school. If you see any of these people out on the street this week, give them a pat on the back for a job well done.

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Those of you in the reading audience who enjoy a good, sports-related book will be interested to hear that the finalists for this year’s PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing were announced recently. This award is given each year to the best nonfiction book on the subject of sports published during the previous calendar year. The winner receives $5,000.

This year’s slate of finalists included “Over Time” by Frank Deford, “Road to Valor” by Aili and Andres McConnon, “Like Any Normal Day” by Mark Kram Jr. and “Floyd Patterson” by W.K. Stratton. This year’s winner and the runner-up will be named later this summer.

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Hardcore football fans in the reading audience will know that today (Thursday) is Walter Payton’s birthday. Payton, who was arguably one of the greatest football players of all time, was born on this day in 1954 in Columbia, Miss. Payton attended John J. Jefferson High School in Columbia, but didn’t play football until his junior year. Prior to that, he’d played drums in the marching band.

Payton, a running back, was named an all-state player his senior year, leading Jefferson to an 8-2 record. Payton went on to play college ball at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., where he rushed for 65 touchdowns in his career, setting a NCAA record. It was also during that time that he picked up his famous nickname, “Sweetness.”

The Chicago Bears made Payton the fourth overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft, and the rest, as they say, is history. In his 13 seasons with the Bears, he set and broke a number of records, including most career rushing yards and touchdowns. He also helped lead the Bears to a Super Bowl win in 1985.

Jackson retired after the 1987 season, and he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993. Payton’s life was tragically cut short in 1999 when he died at the age of 45 from cancer.

Like a lot of people, I can remember watching Payton play during his professional heyday, and he was one of the greatest players I’ve ever watched. I’d put him in the same category with Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith, and would go so far as to say that I don’t think that there’s a running back as good as Payton playing in the NFL today.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for July 25, 2013

Jerry Peacock
SIX YEARS AGO
JULY 26, 2007

“Warriors start Monday: For the first time in the last two seasons, Sparta Academy will open fall football practice with the same head coach and that’s a good thing for the Warriors.
“Michael Sims, who served as the defensive coordinator through most of the 2007 season, was named head coach in the spring.
“He immediately started revamping the Warriors’ offensive and defensive schemes to make good use of the talented and athletic running backs, quarterbacks and receivers.
“Sims said the Warriors will kick off fall football practice Monday and conduct workouts twice each day through next Friday. He said the players will workout at 7:30 a.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. each day next week.
“In an interview Monday, Sims said he has 29 players participating in weight training, conditioning and seven-on-seven drills on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays this summer.
“He added that the Warriors have worked very hard in the weight room to improve their strength and endurance.
“Sims said the players have also worked hard in the conditioning drills, which will help them handle the heat and humidity.
“Sims added that the Warriors have added Tripp Hendrix as a new assistant coach. Hendrix, a graduate of Monroe Academy, has been employed in the private sector the past few years. He will work with the Warriors’ defensive ends, Sims said.”

21 YEARS AGO
JULY 23, 1992

From “Wright Angles” by Artie Wright – “Not all rumors are bad. The biggest rumor floating around the Southeastern Conference is that the Auburn Athletic Program will be placed on three years probation by the NCAA.
“That could mean three years without the blue and orange on television and a reduction in scholarships.
“But not to worry. I know of another school in the state that will be happy to fill the television gap left by Auburn’s forced departure. Do I hear a ‘Roll Tide’ building?”

36 YEARS AGO
JULY 28, 1977

“Peacock drowning shocks all county: The drowning Monday afternoon of Jerry Willard Peacock, 18, shocked this entire county. The popular Evergreen youth drowned after he and another local youth, Bobby Johnson, were involved in a boating accident on the Alabama River north of Haynes Ferry in Monroe County.
“Jerry was a popular member of this year’s graduating class at Sparta Academy. He was an outstanding athlete and student and took an active part in all school activities. He performed outstandingly in a number of leading roles in productions by The Sparta Players.
“According to information given to The Courant by telephone by Frank Blanchard of The Monroe Journal, Monroeville, the accident occurred about 2:30 Monday afternoon.
“Monroe County Deputy Sheriff Larry Ikner said that Johnson and Peacock were fishing when they had motor trouble. Johnson was attempting to start the motor and was thrown from the boat when the motor started and suddenly jerked the boat forward. Peacock fell overboard in mid-river when he stood and tried to assist Johnson.
“Johnson reportedly lost sight of Peacock immediately and after trying to locate his friend, who could not swim, he swam to shore and fell unconscious from exhaustion.”

From “The Colyum” by Bob Bozeman – “Mostly a country editor enjoys his work, but there are also unpleasant duties that must be performed. The most unpleasant is writing of deaths and this is especially unpleasant when the deceased is a young person taken from this earth when a whole life was yet to be lived.
“The tragic drowning of Jerry Peacock shocked all of us who knew him. Jerry was a fine young man and as he and my daughter were classmates his death really struck hard at our house. Jerry was a fine athlete, a true competitor, but more than that he was a well-rounded young man, one who lived life to the fullest and enjoyed his family and friends. An example of his versatility would be the fine acting he did in a number of leading roles in productions by The Sparta Players.
“There are really no words to cover a tragedy like this, but I do want to extend deepest sympathy to Jerry’s family and to his many friends. We all enjoyed knowing him and we all shall miss him.”

51 YEARS AGO
JULY 26, 1962

“Sr. League Stars To Play Tonight: Evergreen Senior League President Byron Warren Sr. has announced that the League’s All-Star Game will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday night, July 26.”
The league’s two all-star teams were composed of 15 players each, including Claude Aaron, Ronnie Jackson, Sammy Brown, Johnny Brown, Larry Ellis, Terry Coleman, Eddie Moseley, Grover Jackson, Jimmy Warren, Bob Ivey, Jimmy Ellis, Mike Minninger, Jimmy Weaver, Stan Coker, Paul Deason, Sid Lambert, Joe Sasser, Willie Mack Pate, Mitch Kilpatrick, Mike Fields, Wayne Tolbert, ‘Bubba’ Faulkner, Calvin Smith, Benny Burt, Robert Rigsby, Steve Baggett, Scott Cook, Ronnie Hayes, George Fontaine and Eddie Thornley.

“Football Players To Meet Friday: Boys who wish to play football with the Evergreen High School Aggies this fall are asked to attend a meeting Friday night at 7:30 at Memorial Gymnasium.
“Coach John Law Robinson states that this is a very important meeting and that it is essential for each prospective player to be present. At the time the Aggies’ new assistant coach, Fred Allmon, will be introduced to the players.”

“Lewis Ramsey, assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Evergreen High School this past year, has resigned to accept a position as head coach at Brookwood High School, Tuscaloosa.
“The announcement is made today by Principal Morris Ward and Head Coach John Law Robinson. Both state that they regret very much to lose the services of Coach Ramsey, but at the same time rejoice in his promotion.
“Principal Ward termed Ramsey an excellent coach and fine teacher and said that he had rendered valuable service to the school program here.”

66 YEARS AGO
JULY 24, 1947

“Locals Open Tough Road Trip This Week” by John Law Robinson – “The Greenies hit the road this week for two important games in the photo-finish Tri-County League race. They meet Monroeville in the first game of the road series at three o’clock Thursday afternoon. Although the Greenies have downed the Monroe Countians three times at home this season, they have only been able to win one of the games that have been played on the second division club’s field. After Thursday’s contest, the Greenies will tangle with Atmore, their leading rival for the first place slot, in Atmore Sunday. Edsel Johnson, who has yet to taste defeat, will be Manager Hart’s choice for the midweek game with Monroeville and will be seeking his fourth victory of the season. Wendell Hart, the Greenies ace pitcher with a record of 10 wins and two losses, will face the hard-hitting Atmore nine in the final game of the week.
“After having their Thursday afternoon contest rained out, the Greenies came back Sunday and notched their 13th win of the year against Monroeville. Although the game started off looking as if the fans might see a red-hot pitching duel, it ended up with the locals out in front, 15-1.
“Ottis Johnson, third-hitting Greenie outfielder, connected for five singles in as many trips to the plate Sunday to lead the locals to their overwhelming victory.
“Although Edsel Johnson collected two hits in the weekend contest, his batting average fell two points, leaving it at .433, top for the Greenies. Edsel is also leading the race for the honor of being named the ‘Greenies’ top thief’ with a high of seven. Harper continued to lead in the runs-batted-in department with a total of 19.
“Two newcomers made their debut in a Greenie uniform last week. Glenn ‘Sleepy’ Hart was Carpenter’s battery mate in the second game of a doubleheader with Frisco City and Randy Moorer saw action at shortstop against Monroeville.”

Daily Weather Observations for Thurs., July 25, 2013

Temp: 73.8 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.45 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (high)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies; moon visible; birds audible; bees audible and visible; standing water in yard from yesterday's rain.

Wind: 0.1 miles per hour out of the Northwest.

Barometric Pressure: 29.44 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.55 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.30 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 34.95 inches

NOTES: Today is the 206th day of 2013 and the 35th day of Summer. There are 159 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, July 24, 2013

'Old Mobile' historical marker tells of city's French roots, old location

This week’s featured historical marker is the “OLD MOBILE” marker that was erected in 2001 by the Christopher Branch Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames in Mobile, Alabama.

This marker is located in Mobile County on the east side of U.S. Highway 43. It can be found north of Creola and just west of the Mobile River. It’s also just south of the Barry Steam Plant. It is well south of the 18-mile marker, so if you’re traveling north on Highway 43 and pass that mile marker, turn around because you’ve gone too far.

The marker has text on both sides and both sides say the same thing, except one side says it in English and the other side says it in French. I suspect this was done as a tip of the hat to Mobile’s French founders. What follows is the complete text from both sides of the marker.

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“Site of OLD MOBILE, Fort Louis de la Louisiane, Founded 1702 by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, Under orders of Louis XIV, First Capital of French Louisiana, 1702-1711, Erected by Christopher Branch Chapter, Mobile, Alabama, National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, Dedicated September 29, 2001.”

“Site de Vieux Mobile, Fort Louis de la Louisiane Premiere, Capitale de la Louisiane Francaise, 1702-1711, Fondee par Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, par ordre de Louis XIV, Roi de France, Erigee par Colonial Dames XVII Century 29 Septembre, 2001.”

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Mobile, which was originally settled by the French, took its name from the Mobila Indians that lived in that area. Mobile was a French colony for about 100 years before the area fell into the hands of the British. Eventually, the Spanish took it from the English and thanks in large part to Andrew Jackson, the Spanish turned it over to the United States in 1813.

If you travel to this historical marker today, you’ll realize that it’s still a good drive from the present day location of the City of Mobile. The marker is on the city’s original site, which is now close to 27-Mile Bluff on the Mobile River. One of Mobile’s founders, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville (a mouthful, I know), eventually moved the city to its present location in 1711. He moved the city due to flooding and the outbreak of diseases like yellow fever.

Less than 200 people lived in Mobile in 1710, and about 300 people lived there in 1813 when it officially became a part of the United States. By the time of the Civil War, around 30,000 people lived within Mobile’s city limits, making it the fourth largest city in the Confederacy. Today, it’s the third largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of just under 200,000 residents.

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

This week's movie picks are 'The Wolvernine' and 'Twixt'

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:

- Blue Jasmine (Comedy, Drama, PG-13): Directed by Woody Allen and starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Sarsgaard and Alden Ehrenreich.

- Breaking the Girls (Suspense, Drama, Not Yet Rated): Directed by Jamie Babbit and starring Madeline Zima, Agnes Bruckner, Shawn Ashmore, Shanna Collins and John Stockwell.

- Extracted (Science Fiction, Action, R): Directed by Nir Paniry and starring Jenny Mollen, Sasha Roiz and Dominic Bogart.

- Frankenstein’s Army (Action, Horror, R): Directed by Richard Raaphorst and starring Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym, Alexander Mercury and Luke Newberry.

- Stranded (Science Fiction, Suspense, Horror, Not Rated): Directed by Roger Christian and starring Christian Slater, Brendan Fehr, Amy Matysio and Michael Therriault.

- The Time Being (Drama, Mystery, Not Yet Rated): Directed by Nenad Cicin-Sain and starring Wes Bentley, Frank Langella, Sarah Paulson, Ahna O’Reilly and Jeremy Allen White.

- This is Martin Bonner (Drama, R): Directed by Chad Hartigan and starring Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette, Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet and Demetrius Grosse.

- The To-Do List (Comedy, R): Directed by Maggie Carey and starring Aubrey Plaza, Andy Samberg, Clark Gregg, Connie Britton and Donald Glover.

- Wasteland (Drama, Not Yet Rated): Directed by Rowan Athale and starring Luke Treadaway, Iwan Rheon, Matthew Lewis, Gerard Kearns and Vanessa Kirby.

- The Wolverine (Action, Adventure, PG-13): Directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Rila Fukushima and Svetlana Khodchenkova.

New DVD releases this week include:

- Ginger & Rosa (Drama, PG-13): Directed by Sally Potter and starring Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Timothy Spall.

- Kiss of the Damned (Drama, Horror, R): Directed by Xan Cassavetes and starring Milo Ventimiglia, Josephine de La Baume, Roxane Mesquida, Anna Mouglalis and Michael Rapaport.

- Love and Honor (Romance, Drama, PG-13): Directed by Danny Mooney and starring Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, Aimee Teegarden, Chris Lowell Austin Stowell.

- The Silence (Suspence, Crime, Mystery, Not Rated): Directed by Baran bo Odar and starring Ulrich Thomsen, Wotan Wilke Mohring, Sebastian Blomberg, Katrin Sass and Burghart Klaussner.

- Starbuck (Comedy, R): Directed by Ken Scott and starring Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand, Dominic Philie and Marc Belanger.

- Trance (Crime, Drama, R): Directed by Danny Boyle and starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Tuppence Middleton and Sam Creed.

- Twixt (Horror, Mystery, R): Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Bruce Dern and Joanne Whalley.

- Welcome to the Punch (Action, Crime, Suspense, R): Directed by Eran Creevy and starring James McAvoy, Mark Strong, David Morrissey, Andrea Riseborough and Jason Flemying.

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

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., July 24, 2013

Temp: 74.3 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.60 inches

Humidity: 84 percent (high)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds and dogs audible; standing water in yard from yesterday's rain; flying insects (moths) visible.

Wind: 0.1 miles per hour out of the West.

Barometric Pressure: 29.42 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.75 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.10 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 34.50 inches

NOTES: Today is the 205th day of 2013 and the 34th day of Summer. There are 160 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, July 23, 2013

2013 Eisner Awards presented at Comic-Con Friday night in San Diego

The 25th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were presented Friday night at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Considered the “Oscars of Comics,” the Eisner Awards honor the best and brightest of the comics industry and are presented annually at Comic-Con, which is the world’s biggest and most prestigious comic book industry event in the world.

Over 30 awards were presented and the complete list of winners is as follows:

- Best Adaptation from Another Medium: “Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score,” adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

- Best Anthology: “Dark Horse Presents,” edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

- Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Books: “David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition,” edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

- Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips: “Pogo, Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash” by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)

- Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, “Batwoman” (DC); “Fatale” (Image); “BPRD,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Hellboy in Hell,” “Lobster Johnson,” “The Massive” (Dark Horse)

- Best Comics-Related Book: “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story” by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)

- Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: “The Comics Reporter,” edited by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com

- Best Continuing Series: “Saga” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

- Best Cover Artist: David Aja, “Hawkeye” (Marvel)

- Best Digital Comic: “Bandette” by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)

- Best Educational/Academic Work: “Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass” by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)

- Best Graphic Album - New: “Building Stories” by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

- Best Graphic Album - Reprint: “King City” by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)

- Best Humor Publication: “Darth Vader and Son” by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

- Best Lettering: Chris Ware, “Building Stories” (Pantheon)

- Best New Series: “Saga” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

- Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, “Blacksad” (Dark Horse)

- Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, “Hawkeye” (Marvel), Chris Samnee, “Daredevil” (Marvel); “Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom” (IDW)

- Best Publication Design: “Building Stories,” designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

- Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): “Babymouse for President” by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)

- Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): “Adventure Time” by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)

- Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17): “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

- Best Reality-Based Work (tie): “Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller” by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion) and “The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song” by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)

- Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: “The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch” by Michael Kupperman in “Tales Designed to Thrizzle” No. 8 (Fantagraphics)

- Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): “The Mire” by Becky Cloonan

- Best U.S. Edition of International Material – “Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys” by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

- Best U.S. Edition of International Material: “Blacksad: Silent Hell” by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

- Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, “Saga” (Image)

- Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, “Building Stories” (Pantheon)

- Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber and Don Rosa

- Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul deSac

- Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez and Joe Sinnott

- Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling

- Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, Ill.

In the end, what do you think of this year’s slate of winners? Which of these comics and graphic novels 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., July 23, 2013

Temp: 74.5 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.10 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (high)

Conditions: Overcast skies; birds and bees audible and visible; dew on the ground.

Wind: 0.1 miles per hour out of the Southwest.

Barometric Pressure: 29.53 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.15 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.50 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 33.90 inches

NOTES: Today is the 204th day of 2013 and the 33rd day of Summer. There are 161 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, July 22, 2013

LIFE LIST UPDATE – No. 155: Drink Cognac

I scratched another item off my “life list” last Thursday when I sampled some Cognac for the first time ever. Cognac is a type of brandy and for whatever reason, I’ve managed to go 37 years without ever having tried any. I’ve never really enjoyed drinking liquor, but I’ve always been intrigued by Cognac (pronounced like “cone-yak”).

Jas Hennessy & Co. is the world’s largest producer of Cognac, and the Cognac that I sampled was “Hennessy Very Special Cognac.” The “Very Special” designation means that the contents have been stored in a cask for at least two years. This is the “youngest” type Cognac that you can buy. Other types have been stored in casks for at least four years or more.

Prior to sampling some Cognac, I did a little research and learned that if you want to get the full experience, there’s a certain way that you should drink Cognac. Using the glass pictured above, I poured about an ounce and then let it warm in my hand for about 10 minutes. Supposedly, this raises the temperature of the Cognac and helps to release the flavor of the drink.

While doing this, you’re also supposed to observe the drink’s color, which can tell you a lot about Cognac. Younger Cognacs like the one I had are more yellow in color, and older Cognacs are more red, almost an auburn color.

As with certain types of wine, it’s also suggested that you smell your Cognac. You’re supposed to put your nose on the edge of the glass and inhale. Next, you’re supposed to swirl the glass, which releases even more of the liquor’s aroma. Personally, I couldn’t tell the difference, but maybe my nose just isn’t as fine tuned as some or maybe I just need more practice.

Next, it’s recommended that you only take a small sip of the Cognac, which allows you to slowly taste the full flavor of the drink. I did so and followed that with several small sips until the drink was gone. Cognac reminded me a lot of whiskey, and it didn’t blow my socks off or anything. However, I can see why people enjoy a good drink of Cognac every once in a while, especially after a big meal.

Myself, I’ve always found liquors overly harsh and somewhat hard to drink and enjoy. I guess over time people acquire the ability to swig all types of drinks, even liquors with a strong bite to them. Of course, I’ve never tried mixing Cognac with anything to soften it up any.

In the end, how many of you have ever tried Cognac? What did you think about it? What’s your favorite brand? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Also before I close this thing out, I want to point out that the above article is about an alcoholic beverage, and should only be enjoyed responsibly. If you have to drink, only do so in moderation and never drink in drive. Drink responsibly and don’t even touch the stuff if you’re not legally old enough to buy it.)

2013 LIFE LIST ITEMS I’VE COMPLETED TO DATE:

1. Ate a peach from Chilton County, Alabama
2. Ate at Big Daddy’s Grill in Fairhope
3. Ate at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in Mobile
4. Ate catfish at the Stage Coach Café in Stockton
5. Ate octopus
6. Attended a Beulah Campground service
7. Drank a fresh lemonade at Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn
8. Drank Cognac
9. Drank goat’s milk
10. Hiked the Grand Canyon
11. Joined the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
12. Joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans
13. Listened to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” without interruption
14. Listened to The Beatles’ “White Album” without interruption
15. Planted a vegetable garden
16. Ran the Alligator Trot 5K in Florala
17. Ran the Battle of Mobile Bay 5K on Dauphin Island
18. Ran through the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile
19. Read all the Hellboy graphic novels
20. Read “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie
21. Read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
22. Read MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech
23. Read “Savage Wilderness” by Barry Ralph
24. Read the entire Bible
25. Saw the Ginkgo tree in Evergreen
26. Tried 100 different types of beer
27. Visited Ellicott’s Stone
28. Visited the Grand Canyon
29. Visited the grave of Lewis Lavon Peacock
30. Watched “A Streetcar Named Desire”
31. Watched “Brazil” (1985)
32. Watched “Dracula” (1931)
33. Watched “Nosferatu” (1922)
34. Watched “This Is Spinal Tap”

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: The whole point of these life list updates is NOT to draw attention to myself or to anything that I’ve done. Instead, I hope to encourage others to accomplish their own bucket list goals. I’m just a regular guy, and if I can do these things, so can you.)

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for July 22, 2013

The USS Coral Sea, an attack aircraft carrier.
SIX YEARS AGO
JULY 26, 2007

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported .13 of an inch of rain on July 16, 2007 and .52 of an inch on July 20. He reported a high temperature of 94 on July 20 and a low of 67 on July 20.

“James M. Walker Jr., the Director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, visited Conecuh County last Thursday.
“During a meeting of the Evergreen Rotary Club at the Evergreen Golf Club, Walker told club members and guests that the citizens of Conecuh County were fortunate to have Heather Walton as the county’s Emergency Management Director.”

“The members of the Alabama District Attorneys Association have elected officers for the coming year, and District Attorney Tommy Chapman has been selected to serve as a member-at-large on the ADAA’s executive committee.”

“By a unanimous vote, the Conecuh County Board of Education agreed to hire Tonya Dukes-Bozeman as the new principal at Evergreen Elementary School.
“The vote came during a special called meeting Friday morning at the Board of Education’s office on Jackson Street in Evergreen.
“Bozeman has been assistant principal at Hillcrest for the past five years and worked there as an English teacher for six years. She also worked as an English teacher at Holt High School in Tuscaloosa County for two years."

21 YEARS AGO
JULY 23, 1992

“Weatherman Harry Ellis fell and broke his hip Monday morning. He was sent on to Montgomery for surgery. On his way to Montgomery, he insisted that his son, John Hart, get the weather information to The Courant. Everyone at The Courant wishes Harry a speedy recovery and asks our readers to remember him in their prayers.
“The Weatherman reports .10 of an inch of rain on July 13, .45 on July 14, 1.10 on July 15, .58 on July 16, .10 on July 17 and .90 on July 18.”
He reported a high temperature of 90 on July 13 and lows of 68 on July 18 and July 19.

“It has been 19 years since he first put on his uniform. He has seen eight police chiefs named above him. Now, it’s Earnest Section’s turn.
“Tuesday night the Evergreen City Council named the veteran police officer as the city’s third police chief within the past two years.
“Section’s name first came to light as a chief candidate after the sudden resignation of Leroy Hall last year.”

“Lee F. Smith, two-time mayor-elect for the City of Evergreen, announced today he will seek a third term as the city’s governing leader.
“Smith was elected to his first term in 1980 and was elected for a second term in 1988. He has been a resident and a community leader of Evergreen for 37 years.”

“District Four Councilman (Larry) Fluker received a ‘certificate of election’ as being the only candidate who qualified for the Aug. 25 election from that district. Since there was no opposition, he was automatically re-elected as the council representative for District Four.”

36 YEARS AGO
JULY 28, 1977

“Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Alphonzia Daniels Jr., son of Alphonzia Daniels Sr., of 404 Cemetery Ave., Evergreen, Ala., has reported for duty with the Precommissioning Unit of the Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, Newport News, Va.”

“WEATHER REPORT: ‘Old Earl’ Windham and the country editor did not exchange words this week. In fact, they didn’t even nod their heads. However, Earl did report light showers of rain on three days during the week: .36 of an inch on July 18; .33 on July 19; and .45 on July 23.”
Windham reported a high temperature of 101 degrees on July 23 and a low of 68 on July 18.

“Oral history to be taken in Conecuh: The Alabama Historical Commission will begin an oral history and survey of related historical sites program, covering the era from approximately 1880, to the present, beginning next month in 10 counties.
“The 10 counties, tentatively selected for the pilot project, are Lauderdale, Dallas, Barbour, Macon, Walker, Shelby, Marion, Greene, Clarke and Conecuh.”

“The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce is offering a prize of a $25 U.S. Savings Bond to the person who submits the best ‘slogan’ to be used to promote Evergreen.”

51 YEARS AGO
JULY 26, 1962

“Elsie Couey, chief operator of the Evergreen office, receives her 35-year pin from D.E. Hardy, district traffic manager, Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., Mobile. The pin denotes 35 years of service with the company for ‘Miss Elsie’ which was the occasion for a party given by the staff of the local exchange at the Southern Bell Building Friday. Miss Couey’s 35 years actually ended Saturday.”

“Lofton Shell attended the Butler County Masonic Conference in McKenzie last Wednesday.”

“Aubrey H. Ryals, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse J. Ryals, Rt. 1, Repton, Ala., recently was promoted to specialist four while serving with the 51st Artillery, a Nike-Hercules missile unit at Fort Cronkhite, Calif.”

“ALAMEDA, Calif. – Murrice G. Miniard, airman, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Noble O. Miniard of Repton, Ala., is serving aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea, which was scheduled to return to its homeport of Alameda, Calif. on July 17.”

“Dewitt T. Stuart, son of Mr. and Mrs. D.T. Stuart of 310 McMillan St., Evergreen, Ala., is undergoing nine weeks of basic recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill.”

“The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce is continuing its current push to attract more industry at the rapid pace developed in June. Contact was made with two more prospects last week and they were entertained in Evergreen and shown sites.”

66 YEARS AGO
JULY 24, 1947

“BROOKLYN CHAPTER O.E.S. INSTITUTED: Brooklyn Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, was granted dispensation by Grand Chapter and duly instituted at Dean Lodge, No. 112, Brooklyn, Ala. on Tues., July 22, 1947 at 2:30 p.m. with impressive ceremonies under the able direction of Worthy Grand Patron, Mr. Robert Moon of New Hope, Ala.”

“PARIS, July 22 – The return of U.S. World War II dead from European graves will get underway July 28, at Henry Chappelle Cemetery near Liege, Belgium, the American Graves Registration Commission announced today.”

“Announcement was made this week by J.W. Johns, chairman, that the next session of the Conecuh County Singers Convention will be held in the Evergreen High School auditorium Sun., Sept. 28.”

“Due to conflict with the Evergreen Rotary Club’s second annual horseshow, there will be no social tonight.”

“KODAK ROLLS: Developed and Printed, Portrait and Commercial, Also Frames and Folders, Owlen’s Studio, Over Morgan’s Store, Evergreen, Alabama.”

“Hog and Cattle SALES Will Be Held On Monday, July 28, Promptly at One O’Clock, Both Hogs and Cattle will be sold, Conecuh Cooperative Stockyards, ‘The New Pens,’ Evergreen, Alabama.”

Daily Weather Observations for Mon., July 22, 2013

Temp: 73.0 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.05 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (high)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible; flying insects audible.

Wind: 0.1 miles per hour out of the Southwest.

Barometric Pressure: 29.56 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.40 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.15 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 33.80 inches

NOTES: Today is the 203rd day of 2013 and the 32nd day of Summer. There are 162 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.