Saturday, November 30, 2013

Buena Vista woman reports house shook by 'mystery booms'

'Mystery booms' rattle Buena Vista community.
Last week in this space I wrote a column about how Monday of last week marked the two-year anniversary of the start of one of the most unusual series of events to hit Southwest Alabama in recent memory – the unexplained “mystery booms” of 2011-2012.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, at 11:33 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 18, 2011, an extremely loud booming noise was heard over a wide area in western Conecuh County and eastern Monroe County. That “boom” was heard by witnesses from Repton to Monroeville and as far south as the small communities of Goodway and Wildfork in Monroe County.

In a news story in the Dec. 1, 2011 edition of The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, reporter Josh Dewberry reported that another unexplained explosion occurred on Sat., Nov. 26, 2011 at 6 p.m. Witnesses said that it was not as loud as the Nov. 18 explosion.

Later, Stephen Riley, who lives between Evergreen and Lyeffion, reported to The Courant that he heard “two different booms” just before 9 p.m. on Fri., Jan. 6, 2012. The noises sounded “like thunder, except there was nothing on radar,” Riley said, noting that the noises seemed to come from the direction of Evergreen.

Riley wasn’t alone in hearing the unexplained noises that night as witness reports flooded in from a number of distant communities, including Repton, Belleville, Lenox, Monroeville, Excel, Halls Crossroads, Frisco City, Sugar Hill and Goodway Junction. The distance from Lyeffion to Goodway Junction, which is between Frisco City and Uriah, is 37-1/2 miles as the crow flies.

In mid-January 2012, another round of “mystery booms” were reported in Conecuh, Monroe and Clarke counties. Several witnesses, including Courant employee Kristie Garner, reported hearing an extremely loud, unexplained “boom” on Thurs., Jan. 19, 2012 around 7 p.m.

Witnesses also heard the noises in Monroe County and as far away as Grove Hill. Jim Cox, the publisher of the Clarke County Democrat in Grove Hill and South Alabamian newspaper in Jackson, told The Courant that the booms were heard in Clarke County around 6 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2012.

Numerous theories were offered to explain the unusual noises, but no definite answers were ever found.

Not long after last week’s edition of The Courant hit the streets, I received an e-mail from a woman named Kim Gibson, who lives in the small Monroe County community of Buena Vista, which is just a few miles from the Conecuh County line. She reported hearing the booms again Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening, and friends of hers in Wilcox and Clarke counties reported hearing them as well.

“They (the booms) shook my house to the point I thought things would break,” Gibson said. “My friend in Yellow Bluff (between Camden and Thomasville) said pictures fell from her wall. As in your story, we also thought it was beaver dams being blown up but, that’s a lot of TNT to use just on a beaver dam. Sure would like to know what it is.”

In the end, the cause of the “mystery booms” remains unknown, and I welcome your thoughts on the subject. Readers with theories, accounts or ideas regarding the “mystery booms” in our area are invited to contact The Courant at 251-578-1492 or by email at courantsports@earthlink.net. To contact The Courant by mail, write The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401.

AHSAA football semifinal round playoff scores, pairings for state finals

Alabama High School Athletic Association Semifinal Round Football Playoff Scores from games played Fri., Nov. 29, 2013:

CLASS 6A
Auburn 24, McGill-Toolen 21
Hoover 31, Vestavia Hills 28

CLASS 5A
Spanish Fort 24, Saraland 14
Muscle Shoals 21, Southside-Gadsden 3

CLASS 4A
Charles Henderson 38, UMS-Wright 36
Oneonta 35, Munford 21

CLASS 3A
Leeds 19, Straughn 7
Madison Academy 31, Saks 21

CLASS 2A
Washington County 28, Sweet Water 14
Tanner 16, Fyffe 7

CLASS 1A
Maplesville 31, Brantley 8
Pickens County 53, Hubbertville 22

SUPER 6 FINALS At Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa:

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013:
11 a.m. – Class 3A: Leeds (12-2) vs. Madison Academy (14-0)
3 p.m. – Class 1A: Maplesville (14-0) vs. Pickens County (14-0)
7 p.m. – Class 5A: Spanish Fort (14-0) vs. Muscle Shoals (13-1)

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013:
11 a.m. – Class 4A: Charles Henderson (14-0) vs. Oneonta (13-1)
3 p.m. – Class 2A: Washington County (13-1) vs. Tanner (12-1)
7 p.m. – Class 6A: Auburn (13-1) vs. Hoover (14-0)

Daily Weather Observations for Sat., Nov. 30, 2013

Temp: 37.2 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 72 percent (High) Conditions: Clear skies; birds audible; frost on the ground; standing water from recent rain; frost on car windshields.

Wind: Not measured.

Barometric Pressure: 29.95 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.40 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.75 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.75 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.95 inches

NOTES: Today is the 334th day of 2013 and the 70th day of Fall. There are 31 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, November 29, 2013

Local Alabama and Auburn football fans make Iron Bowl predictions

UA defenders pursue opponent last Saturday.
Few will argue that when it comes to college football rivalry games, there is no bigger rivalry anywhere than the Iron Bowl, the annual meeting between the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.

This year’s Iron Bowl, which will kick off Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, is shaping up to be the biggest game between the two schools in a generation. Alabama, the defending national champions, enters the game with a perfect, 11-0 record and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Auburn, ranked No. 4 in the country, enters the game with a 10-1 overall record and looking to upset their archrivals.

Leading up to the game this week The Courant polled a wide variety of local football fans to see how they thought the game would turn out on Saturday, and there were no shortage of opinions. The vast majority of prognosticators believe that Alabama will win, but more than a few predicted that Auburn would carry the day. Some said it would be close while others predicted a blowout.

Hillcrest High School head football coach and athletics director Larry Boykin, who has three state high school football titles on his resume, is predicting an upset with Auburn winning, 30-27. Along with Boykin, a number of other coaches at Hillcrest predicted that Auburn would win this year’s Iron Bowl. Head girls basketball coach Natalie Nelson, a former Auburn University-Montgomery basketball star, predicted that Auburn would win, 35-33, and Hillcrest head volleyball coach Todd Smith predicted that Auburn would win, 27-24. Assistant football coach Arthur Ingram III said Auburn would win, 38-33.

On the other side of the coin, Hillcrest principal Rodney Drish predicted a 35-10 Alabama victory, and head boys basketball coach Tommy Dukes predicted Alabama would win, 28-12. Head softball coach Terry Gandy said Alabama would win, 31-14, and assistant coach Derek Korbe predicted a 42-20 Alabama win. Hillcrest band director LaFrancis Davis said Alabama would win, 28-17.

Local school board member Willene Whatley, a diehard Auburn fan, predicted Auburn would win, 31-28. However, school board chairwoman and UA grad Coretta Boykin predicted Alabama would win, 20-17. School board vice-chairman Donald Lee, a record-setting quarterback at Lyeffion High School in his heyday, said the Tide would win, 27-10. Evergreen Elementary School principal Tonya Bozeman, who has two degrees from the Capstone, predicted the Tide would win by “at least three touchdowns over the wishful War Eagles.”

Tuskegee University quarterback Justin Nared, a former Hillcrest grid star, predicted that Auburn would win the Iron Bowl, 28-24. Gillis Morgan, a former Evergreen Aggie quarterback, agreed, saying Auburn would pull it out, 24-21. Former Sparta quarterback Drew Hardin said Auburn would win, 27-24, and Wayne Caylor, who was once known as “Boot” for his knack for booting game-winning kicks for Evergreen High School in the 1960s, said Auburn would edge out Alabama, 31-30.

Former Alabama offensive tackle Drew Davis, a Sparta Academy graduate, predicted Alabama would win, 28-17, and Evergreen native Keith Pugh, who played wide receiver at Alabama under Bear Bryant, said Alabama would win, 35-21. Former Sparta head football coach Clint Lowrey said Alabama would win, 37-28, and former Sparta quarterback Michael Brown predicted a 35-21 Alabama win. Detroit Webb, a junior varsity basketball coach at Sparta, said Alabama would win, 38-24, while Sparta football and baseball standout Tristan McPhaul predicted Alabama would win, 28-14.

Sparta Academy super fan Byron Warren, who has served as the school’s Sports Information Director for decades, predicted Auburn would win, 21-14, and head baseball coach Kenny Bledsoe said Auburn would win, 27-24. April Palmer, one of the greatest girls basketball players in Sparta history, said Auburn would will the Iron Bowl, 38-35.

Longtime local youth football coach Ernest Boykin predicted a 24-7 Alabama win, but Karl Kast with Castleberry Parks and Recreation said Auburn would win, 27-24. Hillcrest football star Trae Lewis said Auburn would win 35-31, and Jeff Hallford, also a former Hillcrest Jaguar, said Auburn would beat Bama, 42-38.

Over at the county courthouse, Conecuh County Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews predicted that Alabama was going to beat Auburn, 38-17, and Conecuh County Emergency Management Director Johnny Brock predicted Alabama would win, 35-13. Evergreen attorney Clint Hyde, whose car tag reads “1 15X” in reference to Alabama’s 15 national titles, predicts a 27-24 Alabama victory.

County Coroner Michael Lambert said Alabama would win, 21-17, and former county coroner Butch Cobb looks for Alabama to win, 34-31. Conecuh County Rescue Squad commander Alonzo Grace said he expects Auburn to win, 27-21, and local health inspector Casey Grant is calling for a 24-21 Auburn win.

At Evergreen City Hall, Mayor Pete Wolff predicted a 38-27 Alabama win, and Evergreen City Councilman Luther Upton said Alabama would win, 34-23. Evergreen City Attorney Richard Hartley agreed, saying the Tide was going to roll, 35-28. Over at the library, local history guru Sherry Johnston predicted a 38-31 Alabama win.

Evergreen City Clerk Becky Robinson said she would not touch the “who will win” question with a 10-foot pole, and Evergreen Projects Manager Jeff Sullivan, a Mississippi State grad, also graciously declined. However, local grant writer Cara Stallman said Auburn would win, 35-28, and tossed in an enthusiastic “War Eagle!” to boot.

There were also a number of predictors among local law enforcement officers. Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin Booker wouldn’t venture a final score, but said he looked for Alabama to win by 10. Deputy Geoff McGraw, a former football standout at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, said Alabama would win, 35-24. Castleberry Police Chief Tracy Hawsey expects Alabama to win, 38-36, and Evergreen police officer Vince Heath said Alabama will win, 17-13. Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Klaetsch predicted a 42-24 Alabama win.

Local firemen also had strong opinions on the matter. Evergreen Fire Chief Ricky Nobles said Alabama would win, 35-28, and Nymph Fire Chief Jeppie Dees said Alabama was going to win, 27-14. Castleberry Fire Chief Josh Reeves predicted a 34-17 Alabama win, and Lyeffion Fire Chief Thad House said Alabama would win, 31-24. Assistant Castleberry Fire Chief George McIntyre said Alabama would win, 27-14.

For many, making a prediction was sort of a family affair. Dr. Douglas O’Connor and his wife, Amy, are arguably the two biggest Alabama fans in Conecuh County, and they both predicted an Alabama victory – 42-17 and 27-13, respectively. Assistant District Attorney Todd Watson, the son of Conecuh County coaching legend H.L. Watson, predicted a 35-24 Alabama win, and his wife, Catherine, said Alabama would win, 42-28. Their son, Todd Watson Jr., a rising football star himself, predicted Alabama would win, 35-21.

Seventy-five-year-old Robert C. Riley, a lifelong Tide fan, said Alabama would win, 34-28, and his son, Stephen, predicted a 27-17 Alabama victory. Stephen’s son, Stone, said Alabama would win, 35-24. Stephen’s wife, Brandy, was of a different opinion, however. She’s calling for a 28-21 Auburn victory.

Tim Barlow predicted a 46-13 Alabama win, and his son, Marc, a former standout pitcher at Hillcrest, said Alabama would win, 35-24. Former Evergreen mailman Carlton Waters predicted a 42-21 Alabama win, and his wife, Regina, said Alabama would win, 34-21.

Joey and Jeri Rodgers – both devoted LSU fans – predicted Alabama wins in the Iron Bowl - 35-24 and 24-21, respectively. Their son, Drayton, a former Sparta standout athlete and now a student-athlete at Huntingdon College, said he expects Alabama to win, 31-24. John Johnston said Alabama would win, 31-20, and his nephew Jake Adams, a former Sparta hoops standout, said Alabama would win, 35-20.

Over at the Evergreen Post Office, mailman Gilbert Harden said the Tide was going to roll, 23-7, and down at the Piggly Wiggly, meat man Dwight Langford said Alabama was going to win, 27-17. Nick Klaetsch, the manager at Love’s Travel Stop, said he expects Alabama to win, 31-27, and Bubba’s BBQ owner Pat Poole said Alabama would win, 31-17. Black Angus restaurant owner Joye Fordham predicted a 35-28 Alabama win, and Olde Cask Imports owner Daryl Harper, an Alabama grad, said he looks for Alabama to win, 38-24. Daryl’s mom, Myrtis Harper, predicted the Tide would roll, 24-14.

Down at Wolff Motor Co., car salesman Carl Tillery said Auburn will win, 44-21, and local Woodmen of the World representative Carol Reed agrees, saying Auburn will carry the day, 20-17. Dr. Mark Roberts is predicting a 31-10 Alabama win, and recently retired State Farm agent Marc Williams said Alabama will win, 37-13. Local minister Edward Robinson looks for Auburn to win, 42-35, and Robbie Moorer, one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – Auburn fan in Conecuh County, said Auburn will win, 42-35.

Chris Lanier, an Air Force officer, sent in his prediction from Oklahoma, saying Alabama will win, 38-21, and Sherdrick Rankin, an Army officer, predicted from Afghanistan that Alabama would win, 24-10.

Media representatives from around the area also chimed in with their predictions. Courant publisher and editor Robert Bozeman predicted a 34-13 Alabama win, and Monroe Journal managing editor Mike Qualls, who has covered sports for decades, said Alabama would win, 35-21. Recently retired Auburn journalism professor Ed Williams said Auburn would win, 31-27, but Brewton Standard sports writer Adam Robinson said Alabama would win, 27-13. Greenville radio’s Colin “Big C” McGuire, a former football manager for Bear Bryant, said Alabama would win, 38-21, and Monroe Journal reporter Josh Dewberry said he expects Alabama to win, 45-38.

Joe Thomas, the publisher and editor of The Tri-City Ledger in Flomaton, said Alabama will win, 35-17, and Clarke County Democrat sports writer Ross Wood looks for Alabama to win, 42-21. Jay Thomas, the editor of The Opp News, said Alabama will win, 21-20. Michele Gerlach, the publisher and editor of The Andalusia Star-News, expects Alabama to win, 31-28, and Star-News sports writer Andrew Garner looks for the Tide to win, 31-14. David Parker, the head of the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, expects Alabama to win, 42-13.

Others making predictions included Aaron Albritton, Alabama, 28-7; Ray Castillo, Alabama, 41-17; Larry Darby, Alabama, 30-7; Buddy Evers, Alabama, 38-28; Gary Fayard, Alabama, 35-21; Lawrence Gulley, Alabama, 21-9; Randall Gulley, Alabama, 28-17; Derrick Harris, Alabama, 41-13; Jesse Jordan, Alabama, 27-17; Brandon Lee, Alabama, 42-17; Lavon Lee, Alabama, 37-14; Brett Loftin, Alabama, 38-17; Linda McLaughlin, Alabama, 45-24; Stephen Pierce, Alabama, 35-28; Chuck Perkins, Alabama, 35-17; Mark Rowell, Alabama, 24-14; Brett Talley, Alabama, 42-14; and James Leon Windham, Alabama, 24-13.

Last, but not least, Repton Mayor Terri Carter jokingly offered up a “politically correct” prediction, saying that the game would end in a “tie with overtime.”

Daily Weather Observations for Fri., Nov. 29, 2013

Temp: 31.8 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 71 percent (High)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies; birds audible; frost on the ground; standing water from recent rain, partially frozen; some frost on car windshields.

Wind: Not measured.

Barometric Pressure: 30.01 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.40 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.75 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.75 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.95 inches

NOTES: Today is the 333th day of 2013 and the 69th day of Fall. There are 32 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, November 28, 2013

Rich Cohen's 'Monsters' is arguably the best football book of the year

Just in time for the holiday shopping season arrives the year’s best football book, “Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football” by Rich Cohen.

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and released on Oct. 29, this 338-page book gives us an inside look into what many consider the greatest football team of all time, the 1985 Chicago Bears. Beginning with a history of the franchise, Cohen takes readers on a journey that ends with “where are they now” interviews with the players he could track down 25 years after their iconic Super Bowl win. Along the way, he touches on a wide variety of entertaining subjects, including the playing and coaching careers of Mike Ditka, the rise of William “Refrigerator” Perry, the exploits of controversial quarterback Jim McMahon, feared safety Doug Plank, the life and death of record-setting running back Walter Payton, the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” the famous, game-changing “46 Defense,” the McMahon headband controversy and the long-lasting effects of career-ending injuries.

Cohen is uniquely suited to tell this story. A native of Chicago, he’s a lifelong Bears fan, who attended the 1985 Super Bowl as a 17-year-old high schooler. For Cohen and millions of other Bears fans, the 1985 Bears were the greatest football team ever, and Cohen’s book is a great tribute to that team’s only championship season.

“Monsters” takes its title from the nickname of the Bears, that is, the “Monsters of the Midway,” and between its covers, Cohen attempts to answer all the questions he’s ever had about the 1985 Bears – What was it like to win? What was it like to lose? Did they really hate their opponents? Were they ever scared? What goes through your mind when you’re lying broken and injured on the field? How do you go on with life after you’ve already lived your dream?

In the end, if you’ve got a football fan on your holiday shopping list, I highly recommend that you put a copy of Cohen’s book in their Christmas stocking. They won’t be disappointed, and they’ll thank you for it later. Copies of it are available at all major bookstores and online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For those of you who have already read “Monsters,” you might want to check out some of Cohen’s other books. He’s written 10 others, including “The Fish That Ate the Whale,” “Alex and the Amazing Time Machine,” “From Hither to You,” “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead,” “Israel is Real,” “Sweet and Low,” “Machers and Rockers,” “Lake Effect,” “The Avengers” and “Tough Jews.” If those books are as good as “Monsters,” then they’re definitely worth reading.

----- 0 -----

The 13th week of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em contest has come and gone, and here’s how the Top 10 standings looked after the final game on Saturday.

Hunter Norris remained in first place for the fifth straight week, and Jeremy Matheny went from fourth place to second place. Ricky Taylor remained in third place for the second straight week, and Aaron Albritton moved up from sixth place to fourth place. I went from sixth place to fifth place, and Mike Dailey dropped from fifth place to sixth place.

Steve Stacey went from ninth place to seventh place, and Sharon Peacock went from tenth place to eighth place. Terry Peacock reentered the Top 10, finishing the week in ninth place, and Joey Matheny rounded out the Top 10 in tenth place this week.

With only two weeks left in the contest, we’re getting down to the short rows. Only time will tell who will remain at the top in two weeks, but if Norris remains on track, he’ll take home the bragging rights this year.

----- 0 -----

College football action continues this week in the SEC and this weekend’s slate of games will feature five head-to-head conference match-ups. Those games will include Alabama at Auburn, Ole Miss at Mississippi State, Arkansas at LSU, Tennessee at Kentucky and Texas A&M at Missouri. Other games involving SEC teams this week will include Florida State at Florida, Wake Forest at Vanderbilt, Georgia at Georgia Tech and Clemson at South Carolina.

For what it’s worth, here are my picks for this week’s slate of games. I like Alabama over Auburn, Mississippi State over Ole Miss, LSU over Arkansas, Tennessee over Kentucky, Missouri over Texas A&M, Florida State over Florida, Vanderbilt over Wake Forest, Georgia over Georgia Tech and South Carolina over Clemson. Last week: 6-2. So far this season: 86-17.

----- 0 -----

Week 13 of the NFL regular season schedule kicks off today (Thursday) with a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. That game will kick off at 11:35 a.m. at Ford Field in Detroit. Later in the day, the Raiders will play the Cowboys and the Steelers will play the Ravens. Twelve games will follow on Sunday, and the Monday night game will feature the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks.

Today, I like Detroit over Green Bay, Dallas over Oakland and Baltimore over Pittsburgh.

On Sunday, I like Indianapolis over Tennessee, Denver over Kansas City, Cleveland over Jacksonville, Carolina over Tampa Bay, Minnesota over Chicago, Philadelphia over Arizona, the New York Jets over Miami, Buffalo over Atlanta, San Francisco over St. Louis, New England over Houston, Cincinnati over San Diego and Washington over the New York Giants.

In the Monday night game, I like Seattle over New Orleans. Last week: 6-8. So far this season: 117-59.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Nov. 28, 2013

Lyeffion head football coach Roger Pritchard
THREE YEARS AGO
NOV. 25, 2010

“The physicians and staff at Roberts Clinic decorated their office this week in honor of the blood war that is known in these parts as The Iron Bowl. House divided is an appropriate term at the clinic as Dr. Mark is a staunch Alabama fan and his lovely bride Nita is a diehard Auburn fan. The staff splits in their loyalty also.”

“Evergreen’s Chris Hines blocked a career high four shots against Seton Hall Friday in the opening round of the Paradise Jam Tournament in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

“Sparta Academy will host a ‘Tribute to Drew Davis’ on Dec. 3, according to organizers of the event last week.
“’Sparta Academy will honor this Sparta alumnus for his many accomplishments while at the University of Alabama and the resulting recognition that it has brought to Sparta and Conecuh County,' organizer James Ansley said.
“Davis, a 2004 graduate of Sparta Academy, is arguably one of the best football players Conecuh County has ever produced. He started at right offensive tackle for the past two seasons at the University of Alabama and closed out his college career on Jan. 7 when Alabama claimed its 13th national championship with a 37-21 win over Texas in the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, Calif.”

18 YEARS AGO
NOV. 23, 1995

“The members of the Hillcrest High School Jaguar football team were treated to a steak dinner last Thursday night as a pre-game meal by the Woodmen of the World Lodge No. 1896. Several local politicians who were also Woodmen members were on hand for the meal. The steaks were grilled by Lodge President Cecil Caylor and Woodmen member Sheriff Tom Hall.”

“Don Ray Mixon was the Offensive Player of the Week and Ryan Meeks was the Defensive Player of the Week in the Jaguar win over B.C. Rain in the first round of the state playoffs. Mixon had nine carries for 76 yards and was one of four passing for 16 yards. Meeks had seven solo tackles and four assists. He also had one quarterback sack, two tackles for losses and one hurry. Roger Rudolph received honorable mention for Offensive player with his 40 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns and the offensive line performed an outstanding job.”

“Evergreen Little League to hold meeting Nov. 30: Evergreen Little League will hold a meeting on Tues., Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at Carver Recreation Center.
“All 1996 officers and board members must be there. T-ball age is being lowered to five years old and will consist of five and six-year-old children only.
“A new intermediate division of seven and eight years old children will be started.
“The Minor League will be children aged nine and 10 with pitchers and Little League will be for 11 and 12-year-old children.”

33 YEARS AGO
NOV. 27, 1980

“Head Coach Roger Pritchard of the Lyeffion High School Yellow Jackets was named ‘Conecuh County Coach of the Year’ by his fellow football coaches. The Jackets had an outstanding year under Pritchard.”

“Lyeffion High School had these Yellow Jacket players honored as members of the 1980 All Conecuh County Football Team: Mack Dailey, Donald Lee, Bobby Blount, Floyd McNeal, Richard Benson, Roosevelt Mixon, Ardell Taylor and Ricky Gill. Not present for picture, Jeff Baggett and Jesse Mixon.”

“The Evergreen High School Aggies had these players named to the 1980 All Conecuh County Football Team: Curtis Williams, Terry Nettles, David Floyd, Philander Rodgers, Jeff Brock and James Crosby.”

“These Repton High School Bulldogs were named to the All Conecuh County Football Team of 1980: Trey Wilson, Greg Tate, Mike Fountain, Leon Dailey, Mitch Myrick, Tyrone Rankins, Chesley White, Darrell Nettles, Jerry Dukes and Jimmy Watson. Not present, Tommy Watson and Darryl Brantley.”

“The Sparta Academy Warriors football team featured a well-balanced attack this past season with three runners gaining over 400 yards each and four players accounting for over 600 yards total offense each.
“Bobby Mason ripped off 5.9 yards per carry as he piled up 603 yards rushing. Ed Carrier had 495 yards on 100 carries, average 4.95 yards per try, and Andy Hammonds averaged 4.8 per run on 87 trips to total 418 yards. Quarterback Jeff Johnson led in the total offense category with 851 yards."

48 YEARS AGO
NOV. 25, 1965

“Repton downs Aggies 19-13: The Repton Bulldogs closed a successful season Thursday night by squeaking by Evergreen’s winless Aggies, 19-13.
“Barry Blackwell, Repton quarterback, sneaked over for the winning TD with seven seconds left in the contest. Nickey Thompson capped Repton’s other scoring drives with scoring runs of 29 yards in the first and second quarters. Blackwell ran for Repton’s single PAT.
“Bubba Faulkner led the Aggies offensively by passing 21 yards to John Brown for a score and plunging one yard for another in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Faulkner, subbing at kicking duties for an injured Wayne Caylor, kicked the Aggies single extra point.
“Terry Andrews, Repton tailback, ran wild much of the evening to set up Repton’s scores. Mike Moorer, Evergreen’s captain, played well from his defensive tackle slot.
“This was the last game of the season for both teams and the records stand, Repton, 5-4-1, and Evergreen, 0-10.”

“Oland Robinson most outstanding for second week: Oland Robinson was selected by the Evergreen Jaycees as the Most Outstanding Player of the Week in the Aggies final game of the year last Thursday against Repton.
“Robinson, listed on the program as a senior back, plays on both offense and defense. In addition to a good performance on offense, he turned in several particularly good tackles defensively.”

63 YEARS AGO
NOV. 23, 1950

“Evergreen Aggies Batter Brewton’s T.R. Miller High Tigers By 20-6: The Evergreen High Aggies spotted their traditional T.R. Miller High Tiger foe of Brewton a touchdown in the opening minutes of their game Friday night then came roaring back to blast out a 20 to 6 victory. The game, played before a fairly large crowd in Brewton, was all Evergreen’s after the first quarter. The win was the eighth in nine starts for the Aggies who have lost but one in the last two years.
“Gillis (The Red) Morgan sparked the highly geared Evergreen offense with his pinpoint passing. Bobby (Pistol Pete) Wells, Gwyn Daniels, Ed Hooks, Franklin (Stagecoach) Williamson and C.A. (Jackie) Robinson, made the Evergreen running and passing go, and how it did go.
“And up front that Evergreen line was nothing short of terrific. Williamson, Robinson, Capt. Jeff Moorer, Shelton Craig, Max Pope, Douglas Potts, Cecil Culbreth, Sam Cope never faltered on defense, opened up the Miller defense with bruising blocks and held so well on pass plays that The Red could have written a letter to his best girl and still had time to get those beautiful tosses away.
“It wouldn’t be fair to say any one player starred. All played great ball all the way. Coaches Wendell Hart and John Lockwood were pleased and proud. And the Evergreen fans all but tore up the stands as they went wild.”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Historical marker describes Selma building built by freemasons in 1847

Smitherman Building Historical Marker
This week’s featured historical marker is the “JOSEPH T. SMITHERMAN HISTORIC BUILDING” marker in Selma, Alabama. The marker is located in front of the building at 109 Union Street in Selma.

This marker was erected by the Selma-Dallas County Historical Society in 1979. There’s text on both sides of this marker, but both sides are identical. What follows is the complete text from the marker.

----- 0 -----

“JOSEPH T. SMITHERMAN HISTORIC BUILDING: Central Masonic Institute of Alabama acquired property 1847 and erected building. Confederate Hospital during War Between the States. Dallas County Courthouse (1866-1901) on removal of County Seat from Cahaba. Presbyterian High School for Boys in early 1900s. Acquired by Vaughan Estate 1904. Vaughan Memorial Hospital (1911-1960) in memory of Samuel Watkins Vaughan, M.D. City of Selma under Mayor Joseph T. Smitherman purchased property 1969. Dallas County & City restored original structure 1973. Building renamed Joseph T. Smitherman Historic Building April 9, 1979. ERECTED 1979 BY THE SELMA-DALLAS COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.”

----- 0 -----

I encountered this historical marker during a historic walking tour of Selma that I took several months ago. Selma is said to have the largest historic district of any city in the state, and there are a number of historical markers like the one above scattered around the city. If you ever get the chance to take the historic walking tour of Selma, I recommend that you do so. It’s pretty cool.

The Smitherman Building dominates the end of Union Street and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. I think it’s interesting that the building was originally constructed in 1847 by the members of Selma Fraternal Lodge No. 27 for use as a school for orphans and the children of Masons. Selma Fraternal Lodge No. 27 no longer exists, but Selma Fraternal No. 926 is still going strong with a lodge building located not far from the Smitherman Building at 910 Water Ave. in Selma.

I didn’t actually go inside the Smitherman Building during my recent trip to Selma, but I plan to visit the building again some day because it’s the home of the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum. The museum contains displays of Civil War items and old documents (including a pardon signed by Abraham Lincoln four days before his death). The museum’s entire third floor has also been restored to the way it looked when the building functioned as a hospital in the 1800s. For more information, visit http://www.selma-al.gov/buildings/vaughan_smitherman.html.

Also, as you might have guess about a building this old, it’s reputed to be haunted. Listed among the 59 locations detailed in “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” by David Higdon and Brett Talley, the Smitherman Building was also included on Alabama Front Porches’ “Ghost Trail.” Other Selma locations mentioned in “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” included the Baker House, Brownstone Manor, Kenan’s Mill, the Old Depot Museum, the St. James Hotel, Sturdivant Hall, the Tally Ho Restaurant and Weaver Castle.

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 'Homefront' and 'Red 2'

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:

- Black Nativity (Musical, Drama, Family, PG): Directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Jacob Latimore.

- Frozen (Family, Comedy, Musical, PG): Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and starring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Tom Kane.

- Homefront (Action, Suspense, R): Directed by Gary Fleder and starring Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth and Frank Grillo.

- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Drama, PG-13): Directed by Justin Chadwick and starring Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Mark Elderkin, Carl Beukes and Terry Pheto.

- Old Boy (Suspense, R): Directed by Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Shario Copley and Samuel L. Jackson.

- The Punk Singer: A Film About Kathleen Hanna (Documentary, Music): Directed by Sini Anderson.

New DVD releases this week include:

- Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Documentary, Music, PG-13): Directed by Drew DeNicola and Olivia Mori.

- Boston Red Sox: 2013 World Series Champions Film (Sports)

- The Canyons (Suspense, Drama, R): Directed by Paul Schrader and starring Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Gus Van Sant, Nolan Gerard Funk and Amanda Brooks.

- Getaway (Action, Crime, Suspense, PG-13): Directed by Courtney Solomon and Yaron Levy and starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig and Paul Freeman.

- Jobs (Drama, PG-13): Directed by Joshua Michael Stern and starring Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, James Woods, Dermot Mulroney and Amanda Crew.

- Please Kill Mr. Know It All (Comedy, Romance): Directed by Colin Carter and Sandra Feldman and starring Lara Jean Chorostecki, Jefferson Brown, Kristina Pesic, Cliff Saunders and Al Sapienza.

- Red 2 (Action, Comedy, PG-13): Directed by Dean Parisot and starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins.

- The Watsons Go to Birmingham (Family, Drama, PG): Directed by Kenny Leon and starring David Alan Grier, Anika Noni Rose, Wood Harris, LaTanya Richardson and Skai Jackson.

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

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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' graphic novel appears on best-sellers list

Today is Tuesday, so that means it’s time for my weekly breakdown of this week’s New York Times lists of best-selling graphic novels. According to those lists, there is one new book at the top of the two major graphic novel lists this week.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender, Part 3” by Gene Luen Yang and others replaced “Avatar: The Last Airbender, Part 2” by Gene Luen Yang and others as the top book on the Paperback Graphic Books best-sellers list.

“Batman, Vol. 3” by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo remained the No. 1 book on the Hardcover Graphic Books best-sellers list for the second week in a row.

There were three books on this week’s Hardcover Graphic Books best-sellers list that weren’t on that list last week. They (and their places on the list) included “The Sandman Omnibus, Vol. 2” by Neil Gaiman and others (2), “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean (3) and “Jane, the Fox, and Me” by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault and others (10).

There were four books on this week’s Paperback Graphic Books best-sellers list that wasn’t on that list last week. They included “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 3” by Gene Luen Yang and others (1), “The Walking Dead, Vol. 13” by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (3), “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson (4) and “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi (9).

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

HARDCOVER GRAPHIC BOOKS
1. “Batman, Vol. 3” by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
2. “The Sandman Omnibus, Vol. 2” by Neil Gaiman and others
3. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean
4. “Hellboy: The Midnight Circus” by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo
5. “Batman: The Killing Joke” by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
6. “The Joker: Death of the Family” by Scott Snyder and various
7. “The Best American Comics 2013” by Jeff Smith
8. “The Walking Dead, Book 9” by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
9. “Batgirl, Vol. 3” by Gail Simone and others
10. “Jane, the Fox, and Me” by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault and others

PAPERBACK GRAPHICS BOOKS
1. “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 3” by Gene Luen Yang and others
2. “The Walking Dead Compendium, Vol. 1” by Robert Kirkman and others
3. “The Walking Dead, Vol. 13” by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
4. “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson
5. “March: Book One” by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
6. “The Walking Dead Compendium, Vol. 2” by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
7. “Blue is the Warmest Color” by Julie Maroh
8. “Boxers and Saints” Boxed Set by Gene Luen Yang
9. “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi
10. “Smile” by Raina Telgemeir

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.

James McBride's 'The Good Lord Bird' wins National Book Award for Fiction

On Wednesday of last week, the National Book Foundation announced the 2013 National Book Award Winners.

This year’s slate of winners, in four categories, included:

Fiction – “The Good Lord Bird” by James McBridge

Nonfiction – “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America” by George Packer

Young People’s Literature – “The Thing About Luck” by Cynthia Kadohata

Poetry – “Incardadine: Poems” by Mary Szybist

These four books were selected from five finalists in each category. The non-winning finalists in each category included the following books.

Fiction:
- “The Flamethowers” by Rachel Kushner
- “The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri
- “Bleeding Edge” by Thomas Pynchon
- “Tenth of December” by George Saunders

Nonfiction:
- “The Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Fanklin” by Jill Lepore
- “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields” by Wendy Lower
- “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832” by Alan Taylor
- “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright

Poetry:
- “Metaphysical Dog” by Frank Bidart
- “Stay, Illusion” by Lucie Brock-Broido
- “The Big Smoke” by Adrian Matejka
- “Black Aperture” by Matt Rasmussen

Young People’s Literature:
- “The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp” by Kathi Appelt
- “Far Far Away” by Tom McNeal
- “Picture Me Gone” by Meg Rosoff
- “Boxers & Saints” by Gene Luen Yang

Many of you will be familiar with some of the past National Book Award Winners, especially from the fiction category. Past NBA fiction winners include the following books:

2013: James McBride — The Good Lord Bird
2012: Louise Erdrich — The Round House
2011: Jesmyn Ward — Salvage the Bones
2010: Jaimy Gordon — Lord of Misrule
2009: Colum McCann — Let the Great World Spin
2008: Peter Matthiessen — Shadow Country
2007: Denis Johnson — Tree of Smoke
2006: Richard Powers — The Echo Maker
2005: William Vollmann — Europe Central
2004: Lily Tuck — The News from Paraguay
2003: Shirley Hazzard — The Great Fire
2002: Julia Glass — Three Junes
2001: Jonathan Franzen — The Corrections
2000: Susan Sontag — In America
1999: Ha Jin — Waiting
1998: Alice McDermott — Charming Billy
1997: Charles Frazier — Cold Mountain
1996: Andrea Barrett — Ship Fever and Other Stories
1995: Philip Roth — Sabbath's Theater
1994: William Gaddis — A Frolic of His Own
1993: E. Annie Proulx — The Shipping News
1992: Cormac McCarthy — All the Pretty Horses
1991: Norman Rush — Mating
1990: Charles Johnson — Middle Passage
1989: John Casey — Spartina
1988: Pete Dexter — Paris Trout
1987: Larry Heinemann — Paco's Story
1986: E.L. Doctorow — World's Fair
1985: Don DeLillo — White Noise
1984: Ellen Gilchrist — Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories
1983: Alice Walker — The Color Purple
1983: Eudora Welty — The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
1982: John Updike — Rabbit is Rich
1982: William Maxwell — So Long, See You Tomorrow
1981: Wright Morris — Plains Song: For Female Voices
1981: John Cheever — The Stories of John Cheever
1980: William Styron — Sophie's Choice
1980: John Irving — The World According to Garp
1979: Tim O'Brien — Going After Cacciato
1978: Mary Lee Settle — Blood Tie
1977: Wallace Stegner — The Spectator Bird
1976: William Gaddis — J R
1975: Thomas Williams — The Hair of Harold Roux
1975: Robert Stone — Dog Soldiers
1974: Isaac Bashevis Singer — A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories
1974: Thomas Pynchon — Gravity's Rainbow
1973: John Edward Williams — Augustus
1973: John Barth — Chimera
1972: Flannery O'Connor — The Complete Stories
1971: Saul Bellow — Mr. Sammler's Planet
1970: Joyce Carol Oates — them
1969: Jerzy Kosinski — Steps
1968: Thornton Wilder — The Eighth Day
1967: Bernard Malamud — The Fixer
1966: Katherine Anne Porter — The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
1965: Saul Bellow — Herzog
1964: John Updike — The Centaur
1963: J. F. Powers — Morte d'Urban
1962: Walker Percy — The Moviegoer
1961: Conrad Richter — The Waters of Kronos
1960: Philip Roth — Goodbye, Columbus
1959: Bernard Malamud — The Magic Barrel
1958: John Cheever — The Wapshot Chronicle
1957: Wright Morris — The Field of Vision
1956: John O'Hara — Ten North Frederick
1955: William Faulkner — A Fable
1954: Saul Bellow — The Adventures of Augie March
1953: Ralph Ellison — Invisible Man
1952: James Jones — From Here to Eternity
1951: William Faulkner — The Collected Stories of William Faulkner
1950: Nelson Algren — The Man with the Golden Arm

For more information about the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards, visit www.nationalbook.org.

Daily Weather Observations for Tues., Nov. 26, 2013

Temp: 48.4 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.90 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (High)

Conditions: Overcast skies and raining; security lights still on in the distance.

Wind: Not measured.

Barometric Pressure: 29.28 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.90 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 2.25 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.25 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.45 inches

NOTES: Today is the 330th day of 2013 and the 66th day of Fall. There are 35 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, November 25, 2013

LIFE LIST UPDATE – No. 856: Visit the Pickens County Courthouse in Carrollton

Pickens County Courthouse in Carrollton, Ala.
Monroeville claims to be the home of the most famous courthouse in America, and while that maybe true, there’s another courthouse in Alabama that’s almost just as famous, the Pickens County Courthouse in Carrollton, Ala. Thanks to Kathryn Tucker Windham’s famous book, “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey,” every school kid in Alabama with a library card knows that the Pickens County Courthouse is famous for the “Face in the Courthouse Window.” According to legend, the ghostly face of Henry Wells, a man who was lynched in 1878 after being falsely accused of burning down an earlier courthouse, can still be seen in one of the building’s attic windows.

Like a lot of Alabamians, I’ve always wanted to see this place for myself, and I’ve had this trip on my “life list” for a couple of years. During a trip to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, I made a slight detour over to Carrollton to visit the Pickens County Courthouse and to see if I could see the face of Wells for myself. As things turned out, I wasn’t disappointed.

I arrived in Carrollton (pop. 987) around 10:45 a.m. and parked across the street from the old courthouse in front of the Carrollton Post Office. It was cold, cloudy and misting rain as I got out of the truck and stepped onto the sidewalk to get a good look at the old courthouse. Carrollton’s downtown square is relatively small, I’d guess about an acre, and it’s dominated by the old courthouse building.

The “Face in the Courthouse Window” is easy to find. In fact, if you look at the north side of the building, you’ll see where a white highway sign has been affixed to the building beside the attic window with a black arrow pointing to the exact window pane that contains the ghostly image of Wells’ face. I was actually somewhat shocked to see with the unaided eye the famous ghostly image that I’ve always heard so much about.

I don’t have the best vision in the world, but I could clearly see with the unaided eye the watery image of a face in the window. Who knows if its really the image of a ghost or not, but you can definitely see what all the fuss is about. Across the street from the courthouse, on the northeast corner of Tuscaloosa Street and Phoenix Avenue, you’ll even find a permanent set of pay binoculars that will allow you to get an even better view of the famous “Face in the Courthouse Window.”

If you’re interested in reading more about this famous courthouse and its well-known ghost story, be sure to check out “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.” I’d also direct you to another great book with information on the subject, “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” by David Higdon and Brett Talley. Published earlier this year, “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” contains details about the building you won’t find in Windham’s book.

In the end, I really enjoyed finally taking the time to see this place for myself and officially scratching it off of my “life list.” How many of you have ever visited the “Pickens County Courthouse”? Did you see the “Face in the Courthouse Window”? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Nov. 25, 2013

Bob Kendall
THREE YEARS AGO
NOV. 25, 2010

“Gideons International presented the Evergreen Police Department with complimentary copies of the New Testament Wednesday of last week at the Evergreen Fire Station. Individuals at the presentation included local Gideons Mike Lanier and Tom Hall and Evergreen Police Chief James Simpson, Detective Sean Klaetsch, Sgt. Shawn Sullivan, Lt. Wayne Stewart, Sgt. Tristan Robinson and Patrolman Adam Hawsey.”

“The smell of smoking pork filled the streets of downtown Evergreen Tuesday morning as members of the Evergreen Kiwanis Club prepared Boston Butts for one of the club’s two semi-annual fundraisers. Kiwanis Club members who were manning the smokers on Tuesday morning included Charles King, Mike Lanier and David Cook.”

“The annual membership meeting of the Conecuh County Cattlemen’s Association was held Sat., Nov. 13, at the Community Center in Lenox.
“One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of an appreciation certificate to Dr. Carl Wilson for the work he has done in Conecuh County and the State of Alabama to promote industry.”

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 2.31 inches of rain on Nov. 15, 2010. He also reported a high temperature of 77 degrees on Nov. 21 and a low of 38 on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17.”

18 YEARS AGO
NOV. 23, 1995

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported .07 inches of rain on Nov. 13, 1995 and Nov. 15, 1995. He reported a high of 70 on Nov. 19 and lows of 29 on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15.

“The 1995 Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce, is set for Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Songs of Christmas.’”

“On Nov. 17, 1995, Vanity Fair Mills, Inc. announced the closing of its Monroeville, Ala. sewing plant on March 22, 1996 as a result of continued uncertainty in the market, competitive cost pressures and changes in product mix.”

“Mrs. Lawrence (Meta Jane) Green of Evergreen was recently honored with a party in recognition of her 99th birthday.”

“The 1995 ‘Angel Tree,’ sponsored by the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce, will be displaying its first 50 names on Dec. 1, 1995. “The 1994 ‘Angel Tree’ was successful with 102 Conecuh County children being sponsored.”

“Rose Gladwell and daughter Jackie Murphy, along with Alesia Stuart, Chamber Business Affairs, invite everyone to Open House on Thurs., Nov. 30, at the newly renovated Cope Flower Shop. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., visitors can peruse the wall to wall selection of Christmas items, ornaments, trees and one of a kind collector’s items.”

33 YEARS AGO
NOV. 27, 1980

Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported .25 inches of rain on Nov. 17, 1980, .07 of an inch on Nov. 22 and 1.03 inches on Nov. 23. He reported a high of 69 on Nov. 17 and lows of 30 on Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

“Evergreen suffered its latest disastrous ‘downtown fire’ last Thursday. Wild Bros. True Value Hardware was ‘gutted’ and the vacant building adjoining it (former Bill’s Dollar Store location) was damaged heavily. David Salter’s Bargain Store was also damaged and Harper’s Furniture Co. and American Girl Fashions had water and smoke damages.
“Cause of the fire is still undetermined and the State Fire Marshall’s staff is investigating.
“The fire was discovered and reported at 5:42 p.m., less than an hour after most downtown businesses had closed. The blaze, which apparently started in the rear of the Wild Bros. Hdwe. Co. building, was raging when discovered and reported.
“The fire endangered the entire block of West Front Street and other downtown areas, and firefighters from Monroeville, Brewton, Repton, Andalusia, Opp, Lyeffion, Burnt Corn, Peterman and Frisco City were called in to help control the ‘hot, hot’ fire.”

“The Magnolia Garden Club has recently completed a major portion of their beautification program with the completion of the fountain in the triangle. This is located at the intersection of Belleview Avenue and Liberty Hill Drive.”

48 YEARS AGO
NOV. 25, 1965

“Santa Claus coming to town Wednesday: Next Wed., Dec. 1, is the day. “Santa Claus is coming to town.
“Yes, Santa will be the big star of the Evergreen Jaycees’ annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival. He is flying in from the North Pole shortly after noon Wednesday to play the lead role in the big parade that is looked forward to by children (one year to 100) throughout this year.”

“Youths confess they stole nuts from principal: Two youths have admitted stealing between 600 and 700 pounds of pecans from their high school principal.
“They stole the pecans from the garage of O.F. Frazier, principal of Conecuh County Training School where both boys are students.
“The pecans were stolen at various times from Nov. 12 through Nov. 20. Sheriff James (Shorty) Brock, Deputies Mancil Pearce and Bill Kent and Evergreen Chief of Police John Andrews and his policemen cooperated in the investigation which was begun on Sunday.”

“Bob Kendall has been elected executive vice president of the Alabama Textile Manufacturers Association, Inc., effective Jan. 1, 1966, succeeding Dwight M. Wilhelm, recently retired.
“Kendall is a native of Evergreen, attended Birmingham Southern College, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He was a member of the State Legislature – serving two terms in the House and two in the Senate.”

63 YEARS AGO
NOV. 23, 1950

“BEAUTIES – Pictured above are six of the eight young ladies competing for the titles of Queen Joy and Princess Gaiety in the Evergreen Jaycees’ first annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival. The contestants will ride in the carnival parade here Saturday afternoon at three o’clock and the queen and princess will be crowned on the bandstand in No Man’s Land after the parade. Voting in the contest is by money ballot with votes going to one-cent each. Don’t forget to get your votes in for your favorite before the contest closes at noon Saturday. The girls, you want to know the girls, are Louise Ward and Marilyn Salter of Lyeffion, and Alice Fay (Petie) Sulivan and Mary Helen Salter of Castleberry, Connie Douglas and Hortense Landon of Evergreen. Not shown are the Repton lovies, Lenora Pruitt and Bonnie Jean McDonald, who were not able to be present when the picture was taken.”

“The Evergreen Junior Chamber of Commerce and the merchants of Evergreen want you to be their guests Saturday at the first annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival in Evergreen.”

“Rheta Jones of Evergreen has been selected for membership in the Huntingdon College Choir.”

“First Lieutenant Albert H. Holman, son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Holman, Rt. E, Evergreen, has been given the command of the B36-3 Mobile Training Detachment from the Training Aids Wing with headquarters at Chanute AF Base, Illinois.”

Daily Weather Observations for Mon., Nov. 25, 2013

Temp: 37.6 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 67 percent (Normal)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; security lights still on in the distance; birds audible.

Wind: Not measured.

Barometric Pressure: 29.81 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 1.35 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.35 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.55 inches

NOTES: Today is the 329th day of 2013 and the 65th day of Fall. There are 36 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, November 24, 2013

COMIC BOOK OF THE WEEK – “Detective Comics” #619 (August 1990)

Detective Comics #619
This week’s “Comic Book of the Week” is “Detective Comics” #619, which was published by DC Comics in August 1990. This comic was titled “Beyond Belief” and was the second installment in an ongoing series called “Rite of Passage.” This issue featured Batman, Obeah Man, Tim Drake, Alfred Pennyworth, Jim Gordon and Tim’s parents, Jack and Janet Drake.

This issue’s creative team included Alan Grant, writer; Norm Breyfogle, penciller; Steven Mitchell, inker; Adrienne Roy, colorist; Todd Klein, letterer; Dan Raspler, associate editor; and Dennis O’Neil, editor. Breyfogle was the cover artist, and this issue’s cover was especially well done. The issue sold for $1 at newsstands.

“Detective Comics” #619 was a 26-page issue that begins in Haiti, where the Obeah Man has just killed Jack and Janet Drake’s assistant, Jeremy, with a long, sharp knife. The Drakes couldn’t prevent the killing because, like Jeremy, they were tied up in chairs around a table in the Obeah Man’s voodoo hut. The Obeah Man recorded the murder with a video camera and plans to send the tape to Drake Industries to demand a $10 million ransom for the release of the Drakes.

The Obeah Man gives the tape to one of his assistants, Louis Dange, and tells him to get it to one of their associates at the airport, who will send the tape to Drake Industries in Gotham City. Back at Wayne Manor, Tim Drake and Batman don’t know that the Drake’s have been kidnapped, only that the search for them is ongoing in the Caribbean. Rather than brood on his missing parents, Tim occupies his time by trying to stop a computer hacker called the “Moneyspider.”

Later that night, Batman meets with Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, who shows Batman the ransom tape received by Drake Industries. The standard domestic videotape was wrapped in a plain wrapper and was wiped clean of fingerprints, but Batman detects the faint odor of jimsonweed on the tape. Gordon also tells Batman that it’s official Drake Industries policy not to pay the ransoms of any kidnapped employees under any circumstances.

Back at Wayne Manor, Tim is worried sick about his missing parents, and Alfred the Butler tries to comfort him. Tim heads up to bed, and Batman arrives to break the news to Alfred that the Drakes have been kidnapped. They agree not to tell Tim until Batman can determine what can be done about the kidnapping.

In the crime lab at the Batcave, Batman begins to analyze the ransom tape and spots an interesting item on a shelf behind the Drakes, a glass jar containing a giant centipede. Batman goes to his library, pulls out a copy of “Myriopoda of the World” and determines that the giant carnivorous centipede’s natural habitat is Haiti.

Meanwhile, back in Haiti, the Obeah Man is supervising a group of workers who are digging a weird-looking pit outside of his voodoo shack. He tells one of the workers that the moon will be full in two days and at that time he will conduct the “fire ceremony.” During this ceremony, the “spirits of the angels themselves will walk among us – and share with us their power,” the Obeah Man said.

At the same time, while Batman’s researching voodoo in his library, Tim comes down to the Batcave and sees the ransom video. He gets mad because Batman didn’t bother to tell him that his parents were still alive. Tim eventually calms down, and Batman fills him in on the details of the kidnapping. Gordon calls to say that they’ve received the ransom call, telling Drake Industries when and where to deliver the $10 million. Batman takes off to meet with Gordon, and the issue ends with Tim wondering if maybe all Robins have to go through the loss of their parents before becoming Batman’s costumed partner, Robin.

This comic book (unless I’ve sold it) and others are available for purchase through Peacock’s Books on Amazon.com. If you’re interested in buying it, search for it there by title, issue number and date of publication.

Patricia Cornwell's new novel, 'Dust,' debuts 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 are two new books at the top of the four major best-sellers lists this week.

"Touch & Go" by Lisa Gardner replaced "The Gift of Christmas" by Debbie Macomber as the No. 1 book on the mass market paperback best-sellers list.

"Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen" by Kay Robertson replaced "Dark Witch" by Nora Roberts as the top book on the trade paperbacks best-sellers list.

"Sycamore Row" by John Grisham remained the No. 1 book on the hardcover fiction best-sellers list for the fourth week in a row.

"Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard remained the top book on the hardcover nonfiction 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 last week. They (and their places on the list) included "The First Phone Call from Heaven" by Mitch Albom (2), "Dust" by Patricia Cornwell (3), "White Fire" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (4) and "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" by James Patterson (12).

There were three books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "Soul Healing Miracles" by Zhi Gang Sha (6), "Good Tidings and Great Joy" by Sarah Palin (9) and "Grain Brain" by David Perlmutter and Kristen Loberg (11)

There were no new books on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list. This week’s new list consisted of the same 15 books as last week. They were just in a slightly different order. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, maybe two or three times a year.

There were three books on this week’s trade paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter (12), "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple (14) and "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman (15).

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. "Sycamore Row" by John Grisham
2. "The First Phone Call from Heaven" by Mitch Albom
3. "Dust" by Patricia Cornwell
4. "White Fire" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
5. "The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks
6. "Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King
7. "Mirage" by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul
8. "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
9. "Winners" by Danielle Steel
10. "The Valley of Amazement" by Amy Tan
11. "The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion" by Fannie Flagg
12. "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" by James Patterson
13. "We Are Water" by Wally Lamb
14. "Identical" by Scott Turow
15. "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon" by Alexander McCall Smith

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. "Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
2. "Things That Matter" by Charles Krauthammer
3. "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" by Ree Drummond
4. "Si-Cology 1" by Si Robertson
5. "The Bully Pulpit" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
6. "Soul Healing Miracles" by Zhi Gang Sha
7. "Guinness World Records 2014" by Guinness World Records
8. "David and Goliath" by Malcolm Gladwell
9. "Good Tidings and Great Joy" by Sarah Palin
10. "I Am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai
11. "Grain Brain" by David Perlmutter and Kristen Loberg
12. "Double Down" by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
13. "George Washington's Secret Six" by Brian Kilmeade
14. "Giada's Feel Good Food" by Giada De Laurentiis
15. "The Duck Commander Devotional" by Alan Robertson

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS
1. "Touch & Go" by Lisa Gardner
2. "Poseidon's Arrow" by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
3. "The Gift of Christmas" by Debbie Macomber
4. "A Dance with Dragons" by George R.R. Martin
5. "Private: Number 1 Suspect" by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
6. "Angels at the Table" by Debbie Macomber
7. "An Outlaw's Christmas" by Linda Lael Miller
8. "Wyoming Bold" by Diana Palmer
9. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham
10. "Not Without You" by Nora Roberts
11. "Secret Santa" by Fern Michaels
12. "A Virgin River Christmas" Robyn Carr
13. "A Big Sky Christmas" by William W. Johnstone
14. "The Sins of the Mother" by Danielle Steel
15. "The Sum of All Kisses" by Julia Quinn

TRADE PAPERBACKS
1. "Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen" by Kay Robertson
2. "Dark Witch" by Nora Roberts
3. "The Storyteller" by Jodi Picoult
4. "Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh
5. "Dear Life" by Alice Munroe
6. "Quiet" by Susan Cain
7. "Unlikely Loves" by Jennifer S. Holland
8. "When Will the Heaven Begin?" by Ally Breedlove
9. "The Hit" by David Baldacci
10. "Brain on Fire" by Susannah Cahalan
11. "Four Blood Moons" by John Hagee
12. "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter
13. "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline
14. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple
15. "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman

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., Nov. 24, 2013

Temp: 35.6 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 67 percent (Normal)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies; security lights still on in the distance; moon visible overhead.

Wind: Not measured.

Barometric Pressure: 29.88 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 1.35 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.35 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.55 inches

NOTES: Today is the 328th day of 2013 and the 64th day of Fall. There are 37 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, November 23, 2013

Here's what George Singleton had to say about the 'Devil's Soup Bowl'

George Buster Singleton
If you visited this site on Monday you will have seen my “Life List Update” about my recent trip to the “Devil’s Soup Bowl” at Megargel, Ala. This strange locale is a place that I’ve heard about all my life, but had never had the chance to visit in person until last Sunday. Since Monday’s report about the trip, I’ve had more than a few people ask me for more details about the “Devil’s Soup Bowl” and the best thing that I can do for them is to direct them to the original source, the writings of the late George Singleton.

For a generation of Monroe Countians, Singleton was the gateway to all sorts of strange tales about our area, and I first heard about the “Devil’s Soup Bowl” through his weekly newspaper columns in The Monroe Journal newspaper. In 1991, Singleton published a compilation of his best newspaper columns in a great book called “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” which included a two-page chapter on the “Devil’s Soup Bowl.” Tonight, in an effort to supply you with even more details about that geographical oddity, I give you the complete text of that chapter, which can be found on pages 19 and 20 of the book. (If you don’t own a copy, I encourage you to buy one. You can get them at The Monroe Journal’s office at 49 Hines St. in Monroeville.) What follows is the complete text from the chapter about the “Devil’s Soup Bowl” in “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers”:

“THE DEVIL’S BOWL: What’s in a name? Could this really be what the name implies? Approximately 30 feet in diameter, this pool has been the topic of conversation by the people of the Goodway and Megargel communities for many, many years.

“Located about three miles off Highway 21, it is truly one of Monroe County’s strangest sights. As one examines the immediate area, one will notice that lilies and water grass grows in abundance about 10 feet around the water’s edge. The center of the pool then becomes dark, as though of great depth.

“The water is fresh, and one can see many minnows on the surface. The fact that life exists there is no mystery, but where does the fresh water come from? Where does it go? To have fresh water such as this, it must have a source. There must also be a stream or an overflow. Here, none exists.

“Although I have not had the opportunity to measure or try to find the bottom, the rumor that has circulated over the years say that there is none. Perhaps the depth is so great that there is none. Perhaps the depth is so great that the bottom has never been reached.

“One has but to look at the lay of the land to imagine that at some time in the past, when the world was young, a great meteor fell upon this area with such impact that it buried itself to a great depth; or could it be the core of a small volcano that has been sleeping through the centuries? What is the explanation of the mystery behind the Devil’s Soup Bowl? Who gave it its name?

“As I stood there near the pool’s edge and looked into the dark, deep water, I could feel that somewhere beneath the cool, clear surface, the secret has lain for a thousand years, and I felt reasonably sure it would lay for a thousand more."

In the end, how many of you have ever been to the “Devil’s Soup Bowl”? What did you think about it? What are you theories about its origins? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Sat., Nov. 23, 2013

Temp: 61.3 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 85 percent (High)

Conditions: Overcast skies; misting light rain; foggy, visibility about half a mile; birds and dogs audible; security lights still on in the distance.

Wind: Not measured.

Barometric Pressure: 29.69 inHg

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 1.35 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.35 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.55 inches

NOTES: Today is the 327th day of 2013 and the 63rd day of Fall. There are 38 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, November 22, 2013

Alabama high school football scores and next week's playoff pairings

Alabama High School Athletic Association Quarterfinal Round Scores:

CLASS 6A
McGill-Toolen 28, Smiths Station 21
Auburn 42, Carver-Montgomery 35
Vestavia Hills 19, Bob Jones 12
Hoover 22, Florence 21

CLASS 5A
Saraland 20, St. Paul's 14 (2 OT)
Spanish Fort 36, Jackson 6
Muscle Shoals 35, Athens 7
Southside-Gadsden 28, McAdory 25

CLASS 4A
Charles Henderson 34, Central-Clay County 7
UMS-Wright 35, Dadeville 34
Oneonta 44, Cleburne County 19
Munford 10, J.O. Johnson 8

CLASS 3A
Straughn 42, Bayside 21
Leeds 24, T.R. Miller 20
Madison Academy 34, Piedmont 33 (OT)
Saks 20, Colbert County 14

CLASS 2A
Washington County 56, Mobile Christian 42
Sweet Water 34, Luverne 24
Tanner 26, Montgomery Academy 14
Fyffe 31, Lanett 6

CLASS 1A
Brantley 36, Loachapoka 19
Maplesville 41, Linden 0
Hubbertville 9, Berry 8
Pickens County 41, Ragland 21

Alabama Independent School Association Championships (Played at Troy University):

CLASS AAA
Monroe Academy 31, Bessemer Academy 6

CLASS AA Edgewood 61, Clarke Prep 52

CLASS A Marengo Academy 31, Restoration 28

AHSAA Semifinal Round Pairings for Fri., Nov. 29:

CLASS 6A
Auburn (12-1) at McGill-Toolen (12-1)
Vestavia Hills (11-2) at Hoover (13-0)

CLASS 5A
Saraland (12-1) at Spanish Fort (13-0)
Southside-Gadsden (13-0) at Muscle Shoals (12-1)

CLASS 4A
UMS-Wright (11-2) at Charles Henderson (13-0)
Oneonta (12-1) at Munford (12-1)

CLASS 3A
Straughn (10-2) at Leeds (11-2)
Madison Academy (13-0) at Saks (13-0)

CLASS 2A
Washington County (12-1) at Sweet Water (10-3)
Tanner (11-1) at Fyffe (12-1)

CLASS 1A
Brantley (11-2) at Maplesville (13-0)
Hubbertville (11-2) at Pickens County (13-0)

Monroe County's News Flashback for Nov. 22, 2013

'LaFayette Hall' at Perdue Hill, Alabama
30 YEARS AGO
NOV. 24, 1983

“Official returns from the special legislative election held Nov. 8 confirmed that Republican Bob French carried Monroe Count in the state senate race.
“French, of Jackson, had 1,234 votes here to Democrat Frances ‘Sister’ Strong’s 1,165. Mrs. Strong, however, won the race by carrying District 22 with about 52.6 percent of the votes.”

“Cedar Chase open house: Talking in the reception area of Cedar Chase, a new apartment complex in Monroeville designed for citizens 60 and older, are Raymond Owens Sr. of Owens Construction, the general contracting firm; Bill Jones, administrator of the adjacent Englewood Health Care Center and a partner in the Cedar Chase project; and Ray Coleman, also of Owens Construction.”

“Two old members of the Monroe County Board of Equalization and one new member were sworn in for a new four-year term last week by Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs. “The reappointed members – Sam H. Williams and Charles Nettles, both of Monroeville – have both served one term. The newest member, W.J. Andress of Peterman, replaces Robert M. ‘Bob’ Stallworth Sr., who resigned last May for health reasons.”

45 YEARS AGO
NOV. 28, 1968

“Four Monroe County men will be included in the 344-man quota set by the state Selective Service System for the December draft.”

“Preparations are well underway for the annual Christmas parade in Frisco City which will be held Wed., Dec. 11, at 4:30 p.m.”

“Representative Gene Garrett of Uriah said this week that he will reintroduce a bill into the State Legislature in January to establish an inferior court in Monroe County.”

“Figures released by Probate Judge David M. Nettles this week show oil leases in Monroe County through Nov. 18 cover more than 42,000 acres.”

“Monroeville’s ‘Man of the Year’ and Monroe County’s ‘Farmer of the Year’ will be revealed during the Monroeville Kiwanis Club’s annual ladies’ night banquet Thurs., Dec. 5, at the Community House.”

“Four Monroe County girls listed as contestants in the Monroe County Junior Miss pageant Dec. 14 were named this week by James Byrd, pageant committee chairman.”
The contestants included Bobbie Gail Jones, Patty Kress, Carolyn Ward and Melissa Moore.

60 YEARS AGO
NOV. 26, 1953

“Final inspection for Monroeville’s new National Guard Armory, estimated to cost $95,000, has been set for next Tuesday.
“Commanding Officer of the local unit, Lt. Windell Owens, declared the battery should be able to move into the Armory by Dec. 7 and that dedication ceremonies will follow shortly thereafter.”

“Miles Jackson, local laundry owner and operator, has been named secretary-treasurer of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce for 1954.
“The appointment was made known early this week by Dayton L. Russell, newly elected president of the Commerce group for next year.
“Other officers, in addition to Mr. Russell, are Norman Barnett, first vice-president; and L.L. Dees, second vice-president. Directors are M.L. Bergman, Merrill Hanks, Karl J. Lazenby, Isadore Katz, P.H. Stallworth Jr., George L. Nettles and John Finklea.”

“A total of 17,206 bales of cotton was ginned in Monroe County from the 1953 crop prior to Nov. 1, according to a report released recently by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Census.”

“Names of seven Monroe County men who will be summoned to leave for Army induction on Mon., Dec. 7, were released this week by Miss Jewell Coxwell, clerk of the local draft board.”

75 YEARS AGO
NOV. 24, 1938

“Long Dry Spell Broken Last Friday: A heavy rain fell here beginning about seven o’clock Friday night and lasting until about seven o’clock Saturday morning. This was the first rain of any consequence to fall in this county since July. On the night of Aug. 27, a light rain fell but was not much more than a heavy dew.”

“Town Football Team To Play Frisco City Town Team Friday: The town football team of Monroeville will play the town team of Frisco City in a football game at Frisco City Friday night, Nov. 25. The kickoff will be promptly at eight o’clock.
“This should be a very interesting game and one which everyone will want to see, as some of the stars of other days will perform again to the delight of the fans. Come out and cheer for your favorite team.”

“Form Resident Dies In Texas: News was received here last week of the death of Mr. M.C. Wright, former local manager of the Alabama Power Co. Mr. Wright left Monroeville three years ago and has not been heard from until he was electrocuted when a live wire hit him last week. He was employed by the Texas Electric Co. under another name.”

“LaFayette Hall At Perdue Hill: As the traveler reaches the crest of the hill overlooking the Alabama River valley and visions the ridge at the horizon in the distance, on Alabama 44, U.S. 84, fourteen miles west of Monroeville, he is at Perdue Hill in Monroe County. Immediately to the left is the Community House, that identical old building erected in 1825, in Claiborne, a half mile west of its present site, in which on April 5, 1825, Marquis de LaFayette was entertained.
"Then, this building was the Town Hall and the second floor was used for the meetings of the local Masonic Lodge. The building served for that purpose over a long period of years and in 1883 was moved out on the hill, for even that early the doom of Claiborne as an anticipated metropolis had already been sealed.
“General LaFayette and his entourage, traveling by boat from Montgomery to New Orleans, spent the afternoon and evening at Claiborne and James Dellet, Judge Charles Tait, Arthur P. Bagby and many Alabama notables shared in his hospitality. A banquet was served in this hall and there was much oratory and other entertaining features. The building is now maintained by the Community Club of Perdue Hill, Monroe County.”

90 YEARS AGO
NOV. 22, 1923

“A.C. Lee, Esq. and Mr. J.K. Kyser attended the session of the Alabama Conference at Opelika last week.”

“Monroeville Wins Over Covington Hi: In one of the most bitterly contested football games ever played on the local gridiron, Monroe County High School defeated Covington County High of Florala, by a score of 15 to 3.”

“GINNERS’ REPORT: There were 9,049 bales of cotton ginned in Monroe County prior to Nov. 1, 1923 as compared with 10,990 bales ginned to Nov. 1, 1922. CHAS. N. NETTLES, Special Agent.”

“Messrs. H.L. Burgess, W.C. Neville and S.M. Lambert have been appointed by the governor as members of the county board of registrars.”

“Twenty-five miles of Little River to Bay Minette Road, the first state aid project for this county, have been approved by the federal authorities, of the U.S., estimated cost of about $196,000 for the stretch.”

“Mr. D.W. Dyal, a prosperous farmer of the Uriah neighborhood, was a business visitor to the county capital the first of the week.”

(The above news items were compiled from old, back issues of The Monroe Journal newspaper that are on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville.)