Monday, November 30, 2015

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 245: Walk from my house to my parents’ house

My Georgia Giant 'hiking boots.'
When I was a kid, my dad and I started somewhat of a family tradition by walking from our house to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving. My grandparents only lived about 1-1/2 miles away, and I was probably around eight or nine years old when we first made this short holiday hike on Thanksgiving.

For a number of years after that we’d walked down to my grandparents for Thanksgiving, but the individuals participating in these walks sometimes changes. Some years, my dad wouldn’t go and other years, one or both of my brothers would make the trip. The first walk was over the fields between the two houses, but in other years, we walked the paved strip of county road to get to my grandparents' house.

I don’t exactly remember when we stopped doing this, but as best that I can remember, I was in high school, probably around the tenth or eleventh grade, that is, around the time that I got my driver’s license. Despite the fact that we quit making these hikes, I couldn’t help but think about them from time to time, especially when Thanksgiving rolled around.

Nowadays, I live a lot farther away from my parents and grandparents than just 1-1/2 miles, and I have often wondered what it would be like to walk to my parents’ house and how long it would take. According to Google Maps, I live 12.2 miles from my parents, so I knew that this walk was do-able. Not bragging, but I’d made longer walks before in tougher conditions while in the military and had run footraces that were more than twice that distance.

Several years ago, I put this 12.2-mile walk on my “bucket list” and officially scratched it off the list last Thursday, which was Thanksgiving. My young son and I set off from my house around 8 a.m. and 3.7 miles into this walk, my brother-in-law, Kenny Day of Athens, Ala. joined us when my sister dropped him off along the route. My son walked between nine and 10 miles before catching a ride to grandma’s house with my wife, who’d stopped to check on us on her way to my mother’s for our big Thanksgiving family get-together.

Kenny and I walked the rest of the way and arrived at my parents’ house a little after noon. I felt a little dehydrated, but the weather was cool, so I was none the worse for wear. My feet were a little sore for the next few days, but it wasn’t anything I could handle. Best of all, I felt like I’d “earned” everything that I planned to eat for Thanksgiving, which was more than a little.

I enjoyed scratching this item off my “bucket list,” and we’re already talking about doing it again next year. My brother-in-law wants to walk the entire 12.2 miles as does my son who’s disappointed that he got in the car with my wife after having covered nine of the 12 miles. Either way, I’m perfectly fine with this becoming a new family tradition even though it has officially come off my “bucket list.”

In the end, how many of you have interesting holiday traditions? What’s the farthest you’ve ever walked at one time? What other sorts of interesting “long walks” would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Today in History for Nov. 30, 2015

Hubert Wilkins
Nov. 30, 1498 – Spanish captain and explorer Andrés de Urdaneta was born in Ordizia, Gipuzkoa, Crown of Castile. As a navigator, he achieved in 1536 the "second" world circumnavigation (after the first one led by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano and their crew in 1522). Urdaneta discovered and plotted a path across the Pacific from the Philippines to Acapulco in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico) used by the Manila galleons, which came to be known as “Urdaneta's route.”

Nov. 30, 1707 – The second Siege of Pensacola came to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Fla.

Nov. 30, 1765 – Scottish merchant and explorer George Glas was stabbed to death during a mutiny by Spanish and Portuguese members of the crew of the barque “Earl of Sandwich.” Glass was around 40 years old.

Nov. 30, 1776 - Admiral Richard Howe and General William Howe, “the King’s Commissioners for restoring Peace,” issued a proclamation from New York City, promising pardon to those who would within 60 days subscribe to a declaration that they would desist from “Treasonable Actings and Doings.” The Howes’ offer appealed to thousands of residents from downstate New York, who were willing to trade in their weapons for pardons. At the time, Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island were securely in British hands and would remain so until after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

Nov. 30, 1776 - General Charles Lee wrote a letter to General George Washington to report that he was about to cross into New York near Peekskill.

Nov. 30, 1781 – Scottish surgeon, merchant and explorer Alexander Berry was born at Hilltarvit Mains Farmhouse, Cupar, Fife, Scotland. In 1822, Berry was given a land grant of 10,000 acres and 100 convicts to establish the first European settlement on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. This settlement became known as the Coolangatta Estate and later developed into what is now the town of Berry, named in honor of Alexander and his brother David.

Nov. 30, 1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, and settling territorial claims of Great Britain and the United States of America. The Treaty of Paris established the southern boundary of the U.S. at the 31st parallel north. Great Britain would retain possession of the Floridas. These preliminary peace articles were later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

Nov. 30, 1811 – Capt. Matthew Arbuckle of the 3rd Regiment U.S. Infantry commanded a road construction party from Fort Stoddert that met a construction party working from the east to open the Federal Road to Georgia.

Nov. 30, 1818 – Autauga County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature and was formed from part of Montgomery County on Dec. 13, 1820. The town of Washington became the first county seat. Now bordered on the north by Chilton County, on the east by Elmore County and Montgomery County, on the south by Lowndes County and on the west by Dallas County. Named for Autauga Creek. Its county seats have been Washington, 1820-30; Kingston, 1830-68; and Prattville, the present county seat, chosen in 1868.

Nov. 30, 1835 - Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, was born in Florida, Mo.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, the “Trent Affair”, as it was beginning to be called on both sides of the Atlantic, was rapidly turning from a glorious triumph for the US Navy, particularly Captain Charles Wilkes of the USS San Jacinto, into a hideous embarrassment for the US diplomatic corps. On this day, the British Foreign Secretary, Lord John Russell, composed a letter to be sent to Lord Lyons, the minister (ambassador) to the United States. In it he directed Lyons to inform the American government that if the Confederate ministers Mason and Slidell were not released to British custody, and if an apology for their seizure from a British ship were not forthcoming, Lyon was to close the embassy and return to London with the entire legation.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Grand River, or Black Walnut Creek, near Sedalia, Mo.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near mouth of Little Cacapon River, West Virginia.

Nov. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin, the once proud Confederate Army of Tennessee, led by General John Bell Hood, suffered a devastating defeat after Hood ordered a dramatically unsuccessful frontal assault on Union positions commanded by John McAllister Schofield around Franklin, Tennessee, with Hood losing six of his finest generals and almost a third of his troops. Of 15,000 Union troops engaged, some 200 were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. The Confederates had 23,000 men at Franklin; approximately 1,750 died and 5,500 were wounded or captured.

Nov. 30, 1865 - Alabama author A. B. Meek died in Columbus, Miss.

Nov. 30, 1901 – English explorer and politician Edward John Eyre died at the age 86 in Yorkshire, England.

Nov. 30, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Charlie Broughton, The Journal’s “faithful and efficient” composition and typesetting machine operator, was back at his post after having been laid up several days with tonsillitis.

Nov. 30, 1907 - Dr. W.A. Mason and family left Conecuh County, Ala. on this Saturday for their new home at Excel, Ala. “where the doctor (had) been enjoying a successful and lucrative practice for the past four months.”

Nov. 30, 1921 - Alabama author Eugene Walter was born in Mobile, Ala.

Nov. 30, 1931 - Legendary football coach Bill Walsh was born in Los Angeles, California.

Nov. 30, 1950 – Army MSG Tellis W. Donaldson of Covington County, Ala. was listed as “died/missing” in Korea.

Nov. 30, 1953 – Award-winning writer Rheta Grimsley Johnson was born in Colquitt, Ga. She would later live in Monroeville, Ala. and work at The Monroe Journal newspaper.

Nov. 30, 1954 – At 2:46 p.m., a meteorite weighing 8-1/2 pounds crashed into Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga as she rested on her living room couch. The meteorite crashed through the roof of her rented house, bounced off a console radio and struck her left hip and hand. The event gave Hodges a severely bruised hip and instant celebrity status. She later became embroiled in a court battle with her landlord over ownership of the rock, which was eventually donated to a university, after being used as a doorstop. The meteorite, the first one known to have caused injury to a human, is housed at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa. This is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space.

Nov. 30, 1958 – Australian pilot, ornithologist, geographer and explorer Hubert Wilkins died at the age of 70 in Framingham, Massachusetts. The US Navy later took his ashes to the North Pole aboard the submarine USS Skate on March 17, 1959. The Navy confirmed on March 27 that, "In a solemn memorial ceremony conducted by Skate shortly after surfacing, the ashes of Sir Hubert Wilkins were scattered at the North Pole in accordance with his last wishes."

Nov. 30, 1960 – “All the Way Home,” a dramatic version of Alabama author James Agee's book “A Death in the Family,” opened on Broadway.

Nov. 30, 1961 – Four Conecuh County, Ala. high school basketball teams were scheduled to square off against each other in a “big doubleheader” at Evergreen High School’s Memorial Gym, beginning at 7 p.m. Evergreen High School, under Coach John Law Robinson, was scheduled to play Conecuh County High School, and that game was to be followed by a game between Lyeffion High School and Repton High School.

Nov. 30, 1962 - Football and baseball star, Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson was born in Bessemer, Ala. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 and was the first professional athlete to be named an all star in two major sports.

Nov. 30, 1962 - W.C. Nichols of Excel, Ala. was re-elected president of the Monroe County Board of Education for a ninth year at a meeting in Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday. Tom W. Weatherford of Uriah was re-elected vice-president. Other board members were Dr. John L. Abbott of Monroeville, James C. Brooks of Megargel and S. Miller Fore of Beatrice.

Nov. 30, 1966 – A woman who wished to remain anonymous was changing a tire on a lonely stretch of Route 491 near Brooksville, Fla. when she became aware of an awful stench. She then heard a heavy crashing of brush, and she turned to see a large, hairy creature walking toward her. Moments later, the sound of an approaching vehicle caused the thing to turn and walk back into the woods.

Nov. 30, 1968 – Manager Harmon Gunter announced that an open house would be held at the new Steven Robert Corp. plant on Kendall Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Nov. 30, 1971 - ABC-TV aired "Brian's Song." The movie was about Chicago Bears' Brian Picolo and his friendship with Gale Sayers.

Nov. 30, 1983 – The National League of Cities Congress of Cities meeting began at the New Orleans Hilton Hotel, and Evergreen, Ala. Mayor Lee F. Smith attended as one of 20 voting delegates representing the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Nov. 30, 1983 – Evergreen, Alabama’s annual Christmas Parade was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Nov. 30, 1992 - The video "NFL Country," by various artists, was certified Gold by the RIAA.

Nov. 30, 1993 - The National Football League awarded the league's 30th franchise to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Nov. 30, 1995 – Operation Desert Storm officially ended.

Nov. 30, 1998 - Author and poet Margaret Walker passed away in Chicago, Ill. at the age of 83. Her mother’s relatives lived in Greenville, Ala. and she set a portion of her 1966 novel, “Jubilee,” in Greenville.

Nov. 30, 2005 - The White House released a document titled "Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." The document accompanied an address by U.S. President George Bush.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Nov. 30, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 7.30 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 11.45 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 47.85 inches

Notes: Today is the 334th day of 2015 and the 69th day of Fall. There are 30 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, 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 29, 2015

The Monroe Journal News Flashback for November 2015

Alabama legislator Lister Hill
NOV. 13, 2003

On a sunny Tuesday morning at Veterans Memorial Park in Monroeville, some found it hard to choke back tears and others didn’t try as thoughts turned to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
About 150 people, including many veterans, attended the Veterans Day ceremony held in honor of all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. All were remembered, and special mention was made of Sgt. Troy Jenkins of Repton, who died just a few months ago after suffering injuries in Iraq.

MC cruises into Round 2: EUTAW - Sometimes bigger is not better. Such was the case here Friday when Monroe County High School played the role of David and slew its Goliath, Greene County High School, 42-6, in the state playoffs.
Senior tailback Kevin Adair racked up 128 yards on 21 carries to pace the offense, running for three touchdowns and passing for another. He also kicked five extra points.
(Other standout MCHS players in that game included Taylor Anderson, Justin Finklea, Tyler Hunt, Nick Madison, Jerrell, McMillan, Reco Nettles, Tyler Richeson and Sheldon Wilson.)

Ruling could impact liquor vote: A Cherokee County circuit judge’s ruling could impact the potential sale of alcoholic beverages in Monroe County.
Judge David Rains ruled that a local bill approved by the state legislature and governor providing for the sale of alcoholic beverages in Cedar Bluff is unconstitutional.
In September, the legislature and governor approved a similar municipal option bill for Monroeville and Jackson.

NOV. 5, 1998

Ronnie Philen and Lynn Lowery Powell cut the ribbon on their new business, Village Pharmacy, Monday of last week. Despite bad weather caused by Hurricane George, the pharmacy opened for business Mon., Sept. 28.

Frisco City senior fullback John Tucker and Excel junior linebacker Al Black are The Monroe Journal’s Players of the Week. Tucker had 109 yards on just eight rushes Friday in the Whippets’ 44-12 whipping of McKenzie in Frisco City. Black led Excel’s defense with 15 tackles Friday in the Panthers’ 27-20 win over Flomaton High in Flomaton.

The Monroe County High School marching band wins superior rating in a marching band competition in Bay Minette. It received superior ratings for drum major, color guard, majorettes, drum line and overall band. Section leaders are Mary Jo Dailey, Billie Watson, Joey Grabill, Jodi Kirchharr, Sarah Sawyer, Brandy Stacey, Josh Dewberry, Tiffany Willis, Keri Eddins, Chris Allen and Stephanie Pulfrey.

Voters in Monroe County Commission District 2 gave Commissioner Carlisle McClure four more years on the commission in Tuesday’s general election.
McClure defeated Independent challenger Bill Dailey by a margin of about 200 votes.
The 12-year incumbent (McClure) said he appreciates all the support… he also had complimentary words for Dailey’s campaign.

NOV. 16, 1995

George Elbrecht was elected president of the Monroe County Board of Education and C.P. Carmichael was chosen vice-president at the regular November meeting, held at 6 p.m. last Thursday in the Resource Center in Monroeville.
Member Alfred Nall of Excel nominated Elbrecht; Tony Powell of Uriah seconded the motion; and the vote was unanimous.

Frisco City High School turned the tables on Houston Academy Friday in Dothan, whipping the Raiders 20-0 in the first round of the Alabama High School 1A state football playoffs.
Frisco’s victory over the Area 7 champion stunned some, because the Whippets had suffered an 18-6 loss to the Raiders just three weeks ago in a regular season game in Frisco City.
(Standout Frisco players in the playoff game included Jimbo Cave, Randy Coleman, Walter Lambert, Eddie Logan, Bryne Malone, Ronald Parker, Quamie Richardson, Johnny Sirmon and Ken Sirmon. John Harper was Frisco’s head coach.)

A newly formed firing squad participate in Veterans Day activities Saturday on the Courthouse Square. The Rev. Tom Butts presented the invocation. Squad members are Commander Eddie Everette, Walt Bentley, J.V. Lundy, Allen Biggs, Alvin Bayles, E.C. Reid, Robert Sims and Bill McDonald.

NOV. 8, 1990

778th leaves Fort Rucker: Following a brief send-off ceremony early Tuesday at Fort Rucker near Dothan, family members waved goodbye to Monroeville’s 778th Maintenance Co. as the National Guard unit left to join Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia.
By dawn Tuesday, the 240-member support company of Monroeville and Jackson, along with the 851st Service and Support Co. of Abbeville, stood in formation wearing tan desert uniforms and heavy gear. By 7 a.m., unit members had boarded buses and left for Fort Benning, Ga.

Monroe Academy cruised to its ninth straight win of the 1990 season Friday in Mobile, dumping 4A West Region rival Faith Academy 52-6 in a private school game.
MA’s Volunteers churned up 366 total yards on offense and held Faith to 107 total yards to improve their record to 9-0 on the year.
(Standout MA players in that game included Nick Ackerman, Shannon Baggett, Dallas Gamble, Chris Hare, Shenandoah McLaurin, Shane Stafford, Jerrod Thompson, Keith Tucker and Mitchell Turberville. K.J. Lazenby was MA’s head coach.)

Mike Potter, administrator of Monroe County Hospital, announced yesterday that he is resigning effective Dec. 7 to take a job in Ennis, Texas.

NOV. 27, 1986

First Baptist Church of Monroeville celebrated its 160th anniversary with two services and dinner Sunday. More than 600 people attended, including former staff members and church workers who came out of First Baptist.

The Monroe County High School Tigers were eliminated from the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 5A football playoffs Friday when they were upended 7-0 at Eufaula High.
(MCHS head coach Howard) Busby commended the defensive play of Mark Williams, Steve Ramer, Jerome Betts, Robert Howard, Art Owens, Manning Williams and George Coker.
(Other outstanding MCHS players in that game included Sidney Carmichael, Willie Kidd, Torey Kimberl, Cale Lindsey, Tony McPherson, Allen Richardson and John Tomlinson.)

A committee will be appointed by the Monroe County Commission to oversee and raise money for the renovation of the old courthouse.
Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs told the commission Tuesday, during its regular meeting, that he would like for each commissioner to recommend two persons from his district to serve on the “blue ribbon” panel. He also said he would ask the county’s municipal governments to recommend one member each. With four districts and five municipalities, the committee would have 13 members.
“When this building is restored, I want it to be the showplace of Monroe County,” said Biggs.

NOV. 3, 1983

Darrel Ledkins has been promoted to chief deputy from assistant chief deputy in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, and two other deputies also have received promotions, Sheriff Lenwood Sager announced Tuesday.
Ledkins, who joined the department in October 1975 and was promoted to assistant chief deputy in 1978, fills the position of former Chief Deputy Alvin Royster.
Also receiving promotions were Steve Griffis, who was named assistant chief, and James Prevo, who was named sergeant.

Monroe Academy clinched another berth in the Alabama Private School Athletic Association 3A state playoffs Friday with a 49-27 win over Macon Academy in Monroeville.
The Big Orange’s ground game rolled up 355 yards rushing as senior halfback Tim Carter rambled for 130 yards on just five rushes and junior halfback Donald Foster piled up 129 yards on 16 carries.
(Other standout MA players in that game included Jody Brannon, Keith Dees, Hudson Hines, Brent King, Steve Lambert, Keith Langham, Michael McCrory, Steven Simmons, Don Smith, Todd Stacey, Richard Tippy, Gene Wiggins and Troy Wilson. Rob Kelly was Monroe’s head coach.)

An early morning fire, thought to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit, gutted the main building of The Garden Center at Ollie Saturday and caused heavy damage to a greenhouse, according to Monroeville Fire Chief Wilbert Pickens.

NOV. 20, 1980

Arvin Industries’ Monroeville plant will cease production Dec. 19, and local officials are already looking for another industry for the site.
Plant manager T.I. Sparks yesterday attributed the closing to the high cost of transporting the plant’s products to Indiana, the sagging condition of the automotive replacement parts industry and the fact that the plant was not selling what it was costing according to the company’s cost-accounting system.
He said there was no chance the plant would reopen. Built in 1966 and expanded twice, the plant makes automotive exhaust systems and employed between 200 and 300 people at its peak.

Shields falls short in final 7 seconds: A crucial call in the last seven seconds of the game went against the J.F. Shields Panthers Friday night in Silas as the Indians of South Choctaw High held off a Panther rally and won 36-35 in the first round of the state 2A playoffs.
Panther back Lloyd Tucker seemingly had scored on an extra point try, but the official saw it another way and said the Indians’ defense had stopped Tucker in time.
Shields had scored with seven seconds left on a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Larry Nettles to end John Davison.
(Other standout Shields players in that game included Calvin Stallworth, Darrell Stallworth and Jerry Stallworth. John Wiley was Shields’ head coach.)

Twenty-five high school seniors will compete for the 1981 Monroe County Junior Miss title Saturday night beginning at 6:30 in the Patrick Henry Junior College auditorium.
(Contestants that year included Diane Brake, Pamela Ann Brown, Lyn Byrd, Sheryll Arlene Chandler, DeLois A. Clausell, Pamela L. Corbett, Angie Crawford, Linda Godwin, Debra Lynn Horton, Cathy Kelly, Lisa Lloyd, Genevelyn Yvonne Logan, Lori Lynne Moore, Jennifer Anne Nettles, Lisa Faye Nettles, Gwendolyn Elaine Odom, Collins Denise Parker, Kelli Elena Reynolds, Marcia Stallworth, Emily Swift, Fairy Watson, Margaret Kay Watson, Mary Beth Whiddon, Sharon Denise Wiggins and Tammy Lynn Wiggins.)

NOV. 14, 1974

Southtown Plaza Shopping Center in Monroeville will open the day after Thanksgiving, its developer announced Tuesday.
A public ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. Fri., Nov. 29, in the parking lot of the new center on the Highway 21 Bypass at Mayfield Street, said Don Sewell, district manager for Arlen Shopping Centers Co. of Chattanooga.

Excel unbeaten, misses playoffs: Coach Lee Holladay’s Excel High School Panthers got their 33rd consecutive season win Friday night as they upended a powerful McKenzie team 26-0 to complete their third straight undefeated season.
The Panthers ended the season tied with Lyeffion for the Area 2 championship but will not go to the state playoffs, losing to the Alabama High School Athletic Association tie-breaking rule.
(Standout Excel players that season included Rhett Barnes, Butch Grissette, Al Hall, Johnny House, James Jordan, Rex McCants, Keith McMillian, Mike McQueen and Darrell Wiggins.)

J.U. Blacksher School at Uriah will celebrate its 50th anniversary and homecoming Saturday with a parade, alumni meeting, supper and homecoming football game.
At 4 p.m., an alumni meeting will be held in the gym and the Class of 1925, Blacksher’s first graduating class, will be given special recognition. Former student A.G. “Buddy” Simmons of Decatur will be the guest speaker.

NOV. 25, 1971

The Excel Baptist Church took on a new look as a vestibule and steeple were added to the church. Other improvements made included carpeting the floor and painting the auditorium. A pulpit railing also was added. Rev. Ernest Thomas, pastor, invites everyone to visit the church.

Monroe Academy, the defending state private school champions, won an easy 40-20 first round victory over Glenwood Academy at Vanity Fair Park last Friday night.
Leading the Vols in one of their most outstanding games was Rob Kelly, 190-pound junior quarterback. Kelly passed for 286 yards, completing 20 of 27 passes, five of them for TDs.
(Other outstanding Monroe players in that game included Doug Boswell, Johnny Mack Hollinger, K.J. Lazenby and Danny Wilson.)

Construction of Monroeville’s new office building at the intersection of South Alabama Avenue and Drewry Road has begun and is expected to be completed by Feb. 1, 1972.
The complex, which will consist of 3,000 square feet, will house five offices. The outside of the building will be brick, featuring columns and a mansard roof design.
“The complex is being built because there is a tremendous demand for office space in Monroeville,” said Ron Bates, spokesman for the project.

NOV. 7, 1968

The Excel City Council met for the first business session of the new term Tues., Oct. 22. Lower insurance rates and a new water well for the city were among the matters of business discussed.
(Excel Mayor Coy Stacey presided over that meeting, and the members of the Excel council included Quinton Mixon, Fred Kinsey, L.S. Hancock, Bernard Brown and Jerald Jordan.)

Tauscher Returns To Duty In Vietnam: Army Capt. Edward R. Tauscher, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Tauscher, 716 Pamela Drive, Monroeville, was assigned Oct. 18 to the 4th Infantry Division near Pleiku, Vietnam as an air operations officer. Capt. Tauscher visited his parents here earlier this year after returning home from a tour of duty in Vietnam.

J.U. Blacksher High School lost the statistics but won the football contest with Lyeffion last Friday night.
The Bulldog defense recovered from the first half scare and dug in while the scoring combination of Bohannon to (Joe Dale) Harris to McGee went to work. (Howard) Metts ran the extra point on both scores. Final score was 21-12.
(Blacksher head coach Buddy Rhodes) says the Bulldogs feel they put in a good night’s work last week as they remembered the 26-0 drubbing Lyeffion handed out last year.

NOV. 18, 1965

NEARS REALITY – The first three buildings of the Patrick Henry Junior College are now under construction and are expected to be completed next spring. The buildings will be the administration, the library and the science buildings. Classes will be held in the First Baptist Church and the Methodist Church until the buildings are ready for occupancy.

MCHS Raps Frisco City, Takes Monroe Crown: The Monroe County High Tigers, displaying its greatest offensive showing of the season, downed the Frisco City Whippets 38-0 in the season’s finale for both teams.
The win also gave Monroeville the county championship with wins over all three of the other county teams and put the Tigers record at 8-1-1.
(Standout MCHS players in that game included Frank McCreary, Randy McDonald, Tommy McMillon, Mike Segers and Larry Wiggins. Standout Frisco players included Pat Boothe, Donnie Griffey, Wayne Ikner, Mike Johns, Jim Kelly and Donnie Wiggins.

NOV. 12, 1959

Strange Disappearance Of Uriah Family Remains Unsolved After Month’s Hunt: A month’s widespread search over several states has failed to produce any evidence as to the whereabouts of a missing Monroe County family.
Mystery still shrouds the sudden evanescence of the Fred Hayles family of Uriah.
The Hayles family has been missing from their home near Uriah since Oct. 10. The Hayles home was found soon after the disappearance unlocked with the family gone. Vanishing with Hayles, a farmer, were his wife, four children and father.

Trailing until the fourth period, the Beatrice High School Eagles flashed back to tie McKenzie, 6-6, in Friday’s grid match in Beatrice.

Outstanding defensive men for Beatrice, in on almost every tackle, were left tackle John Ray Pipkin, right tackle Jessie Owens, right end Ben Luker, defensive linebacker Jimmy Suttle and left guard Edward Wiggins.
Outstanding offensive man for Beatrice was left halfback Charlie Owens, back in action for the first time in several games.

Frisco Textiles Inc. in Frisco City, badly damaged by fire on Wednesday night, Nov. 4, will be back in full operation around Nov. 20.
Loss to the company, which manufactures women’s sportswear, was estimated in excess of $150,000. The vast stock of inventory destroyed by fire and smoke accounts for the loss.
Cause of the fire has not been determined, the plant manager said Wednesday.

NOV. 24, 1955

Dr. W.W. Eddins, prominent Monroeville physician and Monroe County Health Officer, announced Friday he had leased Monroeville Hospital from Mrs. T.E. Nettles, widow of the late Dr. T.E. Nettles.
Mrs. Nettles has been operating the hospital on a temporary basis since the death of Dr. Nettles in an automobile accident in September.
Dr. Eddins said Wednesday he plans to assume operation of the hospital sometime around Dec. 1.

The Monroeville County High Tigers of Coach LeVaughn Hanks finished the 1955 football campaign strong as they topped the Whippets of Frisco City by a 19 to 12 margin in Frisco City Friday night.
Congratulations to every MCHS Tiger senior who has each done his job in every victory during the 1955 season. Leaving the Tiger line-up will be: Co-Capt. Grayson Simmons, Co-Capt. William Nettles, Danny Morgan, Hank Williams, Ray Sirmon, Boone McNorton, John Fowler, Aubrey Tatum and Gilbert Jernigan.

Inauguration of carrier mail delivery service for municipal Monroeville will begin around the middle of January, according to a report made at a meeting of the local Chamber of Commerce Monday night.
Commerce officials stated the tentative time for the beginning of the service was obtained from the Post Office Department and is pending on completion of a number of details.
They include the erection of letter boxes and the possible procurement of a delivery truck.

NOV. 5, 1953

Lt. Windell Owens, Monroeville attorney, has been appointed commanding officer of Monroeville’s Battery D of the 108th National Guard Antiaircraft Battalion, effective Nov. 1.
Lt. Owens will replace R. Jeff Martin in the position, which he resigned at the end of last month.
Lt. Owens stated Wednesday he had received his appointment via telephone from State National Guard headquarters in Montgomery.

Seeking their third intersectional win of the season, the Monroe County High Tigers will travel to Brewton Friday night to meet the T.R. Miller eleven.
Coach Levaughn Hanks stated the local squad is generally in good condition to meet the Escambia group.
Starters for the Tigers will otherwise be the same as they have been for most of the season, as follows: Left end - Bert Nettles offensively and Paul Fowler, defensively; left tackle – William Nettles; left guard – Nicky Manning; center – Grayson Simmons; right guard, Baby Ryland; right tackle, Billy Parker; right end – Johnny Finklea; quarterback – Wayne Jones; left half – Jeff Sirmon; right half – Freddy Hayles; and fullback – Robert Wiggins.

One man was killed and another injured in an accident involving the above pictured automobile near Monroeville at 2:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 24.
The car, a 1952 model Cadillac convertible, was being driven by its owner, Hugh Dickson, prominent Monroeville businessman, who received critical injuries. Jimmy Lyons, 22, a passenger in the car, died later of head injuries. – One-minute Polaroid Photo.

NOV. 16, 1950

In a move which, it is hoped, will help alleviate the shortage of post boxes here, Miss Emma Yarbrough, postmistress announced this week that approximately 125 new boxes are begin installed at the (Monroeville) post office.
Installation work is expected to be completed in approximately 30 days. There is no mail delivery service in Monroeville, and with the rapid growth of the town, the shortage in post office boxes had been acute.

Led by the brilliant running of left half Bruce Petty, the Excel gridders romped home a 20-0 victory over J.U. Blacksher Thursday night for their seventh win against two setbacks.
Petty played perhaps his outstanding game. He netted 210 yards rushing.
Fullback Evans McGhee and quarterback Bobby Grissette paced the Blacksher gridders, both on offense and defense.
(Other outstanding Excel players in that game included Gene Brown, Nelson Mosley, Ray Scruggs and Charles Stacey.)

County authorities reported this week that practically all the private papers taken during the burglary of the W.M. Thompson general store at Fountain the night of Nov. 6 have been recovered, although the thugs who looted the store are still at large.
The papers were recovered last week in a small creek near Greenville, Monroe Sheriff E.E. Nicholas stated. A school boy spotted part of the papers floating down the creek and most of the papers taken from the safe, with the exception of some bonds and stocks, were recovered after the youth notified Butler County officers of his discovery.

NOV. 11, 1943

Monroeville Flooded By Rain Sunday: The rain storm that hit Monroeville early Sunday morning flooded the town from one side to the other and those living in low places got busy moving their belongings and themselves to higher ground.
The rain started about 4:30 and by nine o’clock all low places in the town contained more water than at any time since the 1929 flood. At that time, rain fell for 36 hours.
The water was about 30 inches deep in the Sheffield Repair Shop and continued to rise until one o’clock. The safe in the office was submerged in water and it proved a difficult task to open it in time to save the books and other contents from being completely ruined by the water. A quantity of carbide stored in the shop was a complete loss.
In the pasture of H.L. Lazenby, located west of the Golf Course, the water rose to within a few inches of the first limbs on the pecan trees. It is estimated that the depth was about six feet.
Many streets over the town were impassable throughout the day. The rain extended to all parts of the county and in many sections roads were damaged.

Mr. Berry Upton of Uriah was in Monroeville Saturday.

Merchants To Close Armistice Day: As has been the custom since the first World War, the merchants of Monroeville have signified their intention to close their places of business on Armistice Day.
The five banks in the county, it is understood, will also close for the day.

NOV. 27, 1941

Miss Alice Lee of Birmingham and Edwin Lee of Auburn spent this weekend with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee.

Mr. Wade Johnson of Excel killed a 10-point buck on the T.R. Miller property in Cedar Creek swamps last Saturday morning. The buck weighed 160 pounds when dressed and carried a perfect set of antlers. Mr. Johnson was hunting with Mr. Jess Beasley of Brewton when the deer was killed.

Alabama has ginned 146,391 more bales of cotton this year than had been ginned to the same date, Nov. 1, of 1940. According to recent federal and state ginning reports, 733,349 bales have been ginned in the state from the crop of 1941. Monroe County ginned 7,133 bales this year as compared with 10,050 bales ginned in 1940.

Senator Lister Hill advised The Journal in a telegram last Friday that President Roosevelt had approved a paving project for the town of Monroeville in the amount of $72,275.
In an interview with Mayor Hendrix, he stated to a Journal representative that these funds, when available, will be added to the $30,000 borrowed by the town of Monroeville some months ago, and will be applied on material and labor for paving the streets of the town. The mayor also stated that county road machines would be used on projects and work would probably begin on the street running north from the J.A. Lazenby property.

NOV. 3, 1938

Miss Alice Lee of Birmingham spent the past weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee.

Canaries Also Shipped From Monroeville: News comes from Thomasville, over in Clarke County, that shipping Canary birds has just started over there. This singers have been shipped from Monroeville for the past three years, and it has proved to be profitable to several of our citizens.

The Monroeville High School football team defeated the Frisco City High eleven here last Friday night by a score of 6 to 0.
The game was witnessed by the largest crowd ever to attend a game in Monroeville and was packed with thrills from start to finish, many plays being of the sensational variety.
Neither team had lost a game this season up to this time, and as the championship of the county was probably at stake, the players on both teams put on a real exhibition of football, and it was the middle of the last quarter before Monroeville scored the only touchdown of the game. Feagin, end, for Monroeville, intercepted a Frisco City pass while running at full speed, and after some nifty broken field running, crossed the goal line standing up.

A report on the cotton ginnings in Monroe County just issued by the Bureau of the Census shows that there were 18,404 bales of cotton ginned in Monroe County from the crop of 1938, prior to Oct. 18, as compared with 25,336 bales ginned to the same date in 1937.

NOV. 21, 1935

Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee and Mrs. W.A. Duke spent Tuesday of this week in Montgomery.

The Ralph Kennedy residence was badly damaged by fire Sunday morning. The alarm, sounded about 10 o’clock, brought the volunteer fire department and others to assist fighting the blaze, and eventually the flames were put under control, but not until serious damage had been done, including the destruction of the roof and the second story of the house. The fire is thought to have caught from a defective chimney in the main part of the building.

Pneumonia Takes Life Of Perdue Hill Physician: Dr. George Walter Gaillard, well known Monroe County physician, died at his home in Perdue Hill shortly after 10 o’clock Friday night.
Dr. Gaillard had a record of service which is rarely equaled. For more than 50 years he had practiced his profession in this county and was highly esteemed by everyone.
The son of Dr. S.S. Gaillard and Mrs. Sue Frye Gaillard, George Walter Gaillard was born at Perdue Hill on Nov. 5, 1857 in the same residence in which he died. He was graduated in medicine from the Louisville Medical College in 1882 and served his internship at the Louisville City Hospital in 1883. The following year he located in Monroe County and until the day of his last illness had been active in his profession.

NOV. 25, 1926

Rev. J.O. Bledsoe of Mineola was among Monroeville friends Tuesday. He informed us that rural delivery service has been established, covering his neighborhood which is proving a great convenience to the people of that section.

Syrup mills throughout the county are busy manufacturing sugar cane syrup. The cane crop is not quite up to normal, but is much better than for the last two or three years. Last year the cane was a practical failure, barely enough being produced to furnish seed for this year’s planting.

Miss Mary Moore English of Perdue Hill has been employed to fill the vacancy in the faculty of the Monroe County High School, taking up her duties a few days ago.

THANKSGIVING: Today we celebrate the annual Thanksgiving festival and it is great and proper that we call to remembrance the many blessings vouchsafed to us individually and collectively throughout the year. Whether the board around which we assemble be spread with bountiful or frugal feast, let us partake with good cheer. If perchance disappointments have been met or sorrows befallen, let us remember that such are but the common lot and through them He to whom we owe allegiance is able to work out for us exceeding benefit.

Tuesday. He informed us that rural delivery service has been established, covering his neighborhood which is proving a great convenience to the people of that section.

Syrup mills throughout the county are busy manufacturing sugar cane syrup. The cane crop is not quite up to normal, but is much better than for the last two or three years. Last year the cane was a practical failure, barely enough being produced to furnish seed for this year’s planting.

Miss Mary Moore English of Perdue Hill has been employed to fill the vacancy in the faculty of the Monroe County High School, taking up her duties a few days ago.

THANKSGIVING: Today we celebrate the annual Thanksgiving festival and it is great and proper that we call to remembrance the many blessings vouchsafed to us individually and collectively throughout the year. Whether the board around which we assemble be spread with bountiful or frugal feast, let us partake with good cheer. If perchance disappointments have been met or sorrows befallen, let us remember that such are but the common lot and through them He to whom we owe allegiance is able to work out for us exceeding benefit.

Today in History for Nov. 29, 2015

Clive Staples “C.S.” Lewis
Nov. 29, 1729 – Natchez Indians massacred 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi.

Nov. 29, 1775 - The Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, established a Committee of Secret Correspondence. The committee’s goal was to provide European nations with a Patriot interpretation of events in Britain’s North American colonies, in the hope of soliciting aid for the American war effort.

Nov. 29, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia came to an end with the arrival of British reinforcements.

Nov. 29, 1781 – The crew of the British slave ship Zong murdered 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea to claim insurance.

Nov. 29, 1813 – During the War of 1812, the Battle of Autosse took place at the Indian village of Autosse, on the southern bank of the Tallapoosa River, 20 miles above its junction with the Coosa River in Alabama. The battle lasted about two hours and was won by an American force of about 950 Georgia militia led by American Brigadier General John Floyd and 400 friendly Creeks led by William McIntosh and the son of Mad Dog. During the rad, over 200 hostile Creeks were killed and 400 dwellings were destroyed at the cost to Floyd of 11 killed and 54 wounded.

Nov. 29, 1832 – Novelist Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pa. She is best remembered for her 1868 book, “Little Women.”

Nov. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Warner’s Ranch, southwest of Los Angeles, Calif.

Nov. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Confederate Legislature “accepted” the admission of Missouri into the Confederacy and ordered a star added to the flag in her honor, but in fact Missouri’s major cities and Mississippi River banks were firmly in control of the Union.

Nov. 29, 1862 - John Palmer and John Scholfield were promoted to major general for the Union army.

Nov. 29, 1864 – In what is now known as the “Sand Creek Massacre,” Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacred at least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants at Sand Creek inside the Colorado Territory. Nine of Chivington’s men were killed; 148 of Black Kettle’s followers were slaughtered, more than half of them women and children.

Nov. 29, 1864 – During the Battle of Spring Hill, a Confederate advance into Tennessee missed an opportunity to crush the Union Army. General John Bell Hood, who approached Franklin, Tenn. on this day, was angered, which led to the Battle of Franklin the following day when Hood attacked troops under John Scholfield.

Nov. 29, 1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph for the first time.

Nov. 29, 1890 - Navy defeated Army by a score of 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. The game was played at West Point, NY.

Nov. 29, 1898 – Novelist and Christian apologist Clive Staples “C.S.” Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland. A World War I veteran, he was also good friends with fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkein. Lewis is best known for his books, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Nov. 29, 1902 - The New York Medical Record published an account of Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performing the first open heart surgery in the western hemisphere when he sutured a knife wound in a young boy’s heart. Dr. Hill was the father of Alabama politician and U.S. senator Lister Hill.

Nov. 29, 1902 – The Pittsburgh Stars defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 11–0, at the Pittsburgh Coliseum, to win the first championship associated with an American national professional football league.

Nov. 29, 1914 - Mr. H.L. Dodson of Perdue Hill reported “the somewhat unusual incident of seeing a ‘belled buzzard’ flying over his place.”

Nov. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Lee Montgomery of Beatrice, Ala. “died from disease.”

Nov. 29, 1918 – Newberry Award-winning novelist Madeleine L’Engle was born in New York City. She is best known for her 1963 book, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Nov. 29, 1929 – U.S. Admiral Richard E. Byrd led the first expedition to fly over the South Pole.

Nov. 29, 1946 – Thomas Charles Littles was born in Brewton, Ala. He would be fatally wounded during the Vietnam War.

Nov. 29, 1961 – During Project Mercury’s Mercury-Atlas V Mission, Enos, a chimpanzee, was launched into space aboard the Mercury-Atlantis V. The spacecraft orbited the Earth twice and splashed down off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Nov. 29, 1961 – Conecuh County’s annual Christmas Carnival, which was sponsored by the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to be held on this Wednesday. The parade, which was to feature Santa Claus, was scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 29, 1962 - Major League Baseball decided to return to only one All-Star Game a year beginning in 1963.

Nov. 29, 1963 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission, headed by Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Nov. 29, 1967 – Evergreen’s annual Christmas parade was held as part of Conecuh County’s annual Christmas Carnival.

Nov. 29, 1971 – Birmingham, Ala. native Lee May was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Houston Astros.

Nov. 29, 1974 - Alabama author Ruby Pickens Tartt died in York, Ala.

Nov. 29, 1974 – A public ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled to be held at the new Southtown Plaza Shopping Center in Monroeville, Ala. on this day after Thanksgiving. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the shopping center, which was located on the Highway 21 Bypass at Mayfield Street. The shopping center included a new TG&Y store.

Nov. 29, 1976 – Actress Anna Faris was born in Baltimore, Md.

Nov. 29, 1980 - "Monday Night Football" was on the cover of TV Guide.

Nov. 29, 1987 - Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers completed a record 22 consecutive passes.

Nov. 29, 1987 - Venice Glenn of the San Diego Chargers ran back an interception for 103 yards, setting a NFL record.

Nov. 29, 1990 - The United Nations Security Council authorized the use of "all means necessary" to remove Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait, giving Iraq the deadline of midnight on January 16, 1991, to leave or risk forcible removal.

Nov. 29, 1991 - The worst U.S. highway mishap took place in which a zero visibility dust storm caused 33 accidents, involving 164 vehicles near Kern Coubty, Calif.

Nov. 29, 1992 - Dennis Byrd of the New York Jets was paralyzed after a neck injury in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nov. 29, 1992 - Jerry Rice caught his 100th NFL touchdown pass.

Nov. 29, 1995 - Hurricane Opal hit the Florida panhandle and Alabama. Nine people died.

Nov. 29, 1997 - Grambling State University football coach Eddie Robinson coached his last college football game as Grambling’s Tigers played the Southern University Jaguars at the Superdome in New Orleans. Southern won, 30-7. Robinson had been coaching at Grambling, a historically black college near Shreveport, for 55 seasons.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Nov. 29, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 7.30 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 11.45 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 47.85 inches

Notes: Today is the 333rd day of 2015 and the 68th day of Fall. There are 31 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, 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 28, 2015

Singleton reflects on childhood memories of country Thanksgiving meals

George Buster Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “An event to remember: Thanksgiving breakfast with syrup, biscuits and fried meat” was originally published in the Nov. 27, 1986 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

I don’t mean to be critical of anyone or any place, but those of you who haven’t celebrated a Thanksgiving in a country surrounding have missed a great event in your life.

Celebrating Thanksgiving would usually start around Wednesday, the day before. Things would begin to take shape, such as company coming, preparation of the food, and the many other things that had to be done before the Thanksgiving meal was served.

If the weather was agreeable, a long table between two sweet-gum trees in the corner of the yard would be where all the eating activities would take place. If the weather chose to be otherwise, the dining room would suffice.

Always, along about this time of year, the winding down of syrup making was taking place. On Thanksgiving morning, there was almost always one last cooking of syrup to be taken care of. This cooking would start around 4 a.m. As the cooking progressed, preparation was being made for the much-looked-forward-to Thanksgiving breakfast.

All menfolks and children would gather around the syrup pan, where the hot syrup was cooking, so as to be available when the delicious hot syrup was ready to drain out into the waiting buckets. Two or three would go up the hill to the house and bring a couple of dishpans of freshly made hot biscuits, along with two or three pans of homemade butter. Another pan of fried lean meat would also be a part of the breakfast menu.

If you have never participated in a breakfast like this, I feel very, very sorry for you. The piping-hot syrup was poured over the biscuits and butter. Coffee was served from two huge pots that sat on the fire that cooked the syrup. A side order of the thin strips of lean meat was added to complete the meal.

Picture a small boy of 10 with a plate full of syrup and biscuits, the butter already melted from the heat of the just-cooked syrup. Add a tin cup of hot coffee and three or four strips of the fried, lean meat, and you have total, absolute contentment.

Many tall tales and yarns would venture forth during the morning meal beside the fire. But they all sounded good to a small one who was listening closely to every word and believed beyond a shadow of doubt that they were true.

As the last of the syrup was sealed in the cans and the fire died down, the older of the group would gradually wander up the hill toward the house. They knew that the main event would not be long in coming, and each sought a place to sit down and wait on the benches under the sweet-gum trees.

The Thanksgiving meal was something to see. The heavily laden table was swaying in the middle from the weight of the baked hams, turkey and dressing, sweet potato pies, cakes of all sorts and many, many other dishes too numerous to mention.

To one who had, not too long before, eaten his fill of hot syrup, butter and biscuits, not to mention several pieces of the delicious fried meat, the Thanksgiving table had lost much of its luster.

But then there was the afternoon; if you played your cards right, you could always con an older sister into bringing you an afternoon snack. And after all the company had gone, one could eat for a week on the food that was left over from the Thanksgiving feast. Cold turkey and dressing, not to mention sweet-potato pies, are almost as good as hot syrup, fried lean meat and hot biscuits.

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

Today in History for Nov. 28, 2015

Ernie Nevers
Nov. 28, 1520 – After navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European ships to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Nov. 28, 1640 – Flemish captain and explorer Willem de Vlamingh was born in Oost-Vlieland. He became a sea captain and explored the central west coast of Australia (then "New Holland") in the late 17th century. The mission charted parts of the continent's western coast.

Nov. 28, 1757 – Poet and artist William Blake was born in London.

Nov. 28, 1777 - After the judgment and loyalty of Silas Deane was called into question, Congress appointed John Adams to succeed Deane as the commissioner to France. Deane had been recalled to America by Congress after fellow diplomat Arthur Lee accused him of misappropriating French funds.

Nov. 28, 1805 – American archeologist and explorer John Lloyd Stephens was born in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle America and in the planning of the Panama railroad.

Nov. 28, 1813 – Col. Gilbert C. Russell, the commander at Mount Vernon, arrived at Fort Claiborne, with the Third Regiment of the U.S. Infantry.

Nov. 28, 1814 – “The Times” newspaper in London was for the first time printed by automatic, steam-powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.

Nov. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, Missouri was admitted as a member of the Confederate State of America.

Nov. 28, 1862 – In the Battle of Cane Hill, Union troops under General John Blunt drove Confederates under General John Marmaduke back into the Boston Mountains in northwestern Arkansas. The battle was part of a Confederate attempt to push the Yankees back into Missouri and recapture ground lost during the Pea Ridge campaign of early 1862, when Union forces secured parts of northern Arkansas. The Yankees suffered 41 men killed or wounded, while the Confederates lost 45.

Nov. 28, 1863 - Confederate reinforcements arrived at Knoxville, Tennessee. Confederate General James Longstreet continued his siege in order to draw Union troops away from Chattanooga. Ultimately, Longstreet retreated back to Virginia.

Nov. 28, 1881 – In a letter to Alabama Gov. R.W. Cobb, Covington County Probate Judge Malachi Riley recommended Joseph Tarpley Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s father) for appointment as constable for Beat 12 (Red Level, Ala.) – apparently to fill a vacancy, since regular elections were held in August. He would be elected to the position on Jan. 9, 1882.

Nov. 28, 1894 – Young Madison Rabb, the author of “The Early History of What is Known as the Evergreen Beat,” passed away in Brewton, Ala. at the age of 68. He was buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

Nov. 28, 1895 – The Monroe Journal announced the candidacy of and endorsed W.S. “Sam” Bowden for the office of Monroe County (Ala.) Sheriff.

Nov. 28, 1909 – Sergei Rachmaninoff made the debut performance of his Piano Concerto No. 3, considered to be one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire.

Nov. 28, 1910 – Brit Nelson allegedly murdered Manuel Rankin, who lived a short distance from Evergreen, Ala. A $100 reward was offered for Nelson’s capture.

Nov. 28, 1925 – The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut when it began broadcasting on new radio station WSM in Nashville, Tenn. as the “WSM Barn Dance.”

Nov. 28, 1929 - Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals set a NFL record when he scored 40 points in a game. He scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points.

Nov. 28, 1942 – NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield was born in Warren Ohio. He would go on to play for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.

Nov. 28, 1944 – Edward Ballard, 22, of Belleville, Ala. was killed in action in Germany. His father was Fred Ballard of Belleville.

Nov. 28, 1944 – Novelist Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pa.

Nov. 28, 1946 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Jim Atwell of Panama City, Fla. attended the funeral of his cousin John Rountree last week. Atwell had last seen the Rountree family in October 1891 when he and his brother John Atwell walked over 100 miles from Houston County to Mt. Union in 3-1/2 days.

Nov. 28, 1947 – American journalist, novelist and poet Gustav Hasford was born in Russellville, Ala. His semi-autobiographical novel “The Short-Timers” (1979) was the basis of the film “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). He was also a United States Marine Corps veteran, who served during the Vietnam War.

Nov. 28, 1948 – NFL defensive end Vern Den Herder was born in Le Mars, Iowa. He would play for the Miami Dolphins from 1971 through 1982.

Nov. 28, 1948 - Dippy Evans of the Chicago Bears became the first NFL player to score two touchdowns on recovered fumbles in a game.

Nov. 28, 1949 - Alabama author John Bensko was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Nov. 28, 1950 – During the Korean War, Marine PFC Carl Hubert Lloyd of Monroe County, Ala.; Army Cpl. Leonard Watson of Escambia County, Ala.; and Army PFC Joseph D. Chancery of Escambia County, Ala. were killed in action.

Nov. 28, 1953 - New York City began 11 days without newspapers due to a strike of photoengravers.

Nov. 28, 1954 - Alabama author Lex Williford was born in El Paso, Texas.

Nov. 28, 1961 – Conecuh County High School, under Coach Wayne Pope, was scheduled to tip off te 1961-62 basketball season against T.R. Miller in Brewton, Ala. Returning lettermen on the team included senior Haskew Page and junior Henry Foster. Other players on the team included Larry Janes, Theo Ryals, Wayne Sims, Donnie Kast, Lester Warren, Dudley Jones and Thomas Shipp.

Nov. 28, 1964 - The U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 was launched on a flyby mission of Mars, providing the first ever close-up images of another planet. Many credit Mariner 4's images and data for altering the course of science fiction, shifting the home of intelligent aliens from Mars (or other planets in our solar system) to planets circling distant stars.

Nov. 28, 1968 – Alabama Highway Director Robert G. Kendall Jr. issued an advisory urging motorists not to travel on the unfinished sections of Interstate Highway 65 between Montgomery and Georgiana due to safety concerns and the presence of workers.

Nov. 28, 1969 – Excel High School won the 1A state football title by beating Sweet Water, 30-6, in Linden, Ala. Excel quarterback Jimmy Dale Dawson ran for two touchdowns and kicked two extra points. Tony Narrimore also ran for two touchdowns. Mike Ledkins and Danny Wiggins scored on PAT attempts each.

Nov. 28, 1974 – In Monroe Academy’s “fifth quarter” state championship win over Hooper Academy, three Vols scored touchdowns in the game – Ray Atkins, Keith Pugh and Fella Owens.

Nov. 28, 1980 – During the Iran–Iraq War’s Operation Morvarid, the bulk of the Iraqi Navy was destroyed by the Iranian Navy in the Persian Gulf. (Commemorated in Iran as Navy Day.)

Nov. 28, 1981 – Herman Regusters, an aerospace engineer from South Pasadena, and his wife Kia claimed to have seen and to have photographed a dinosaur-like animal in a remote African lake. Mrs. Regusters said that the gigantic reptile was a dark red with a long, thick neck, and longer than two hippopotamuses. Unfortunately, the photograph taken by the Regusters was rather fuzzy, and their tape recording of the “roaring trumpeting noise” heard frequently around Lake Tele was impossible to identify.

Nov. 28, 1989 – The Monroe County (Ala.) Commission, led by Commissioner Silas G. Tucker, proclaimed the week of Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 1989 as “Excel Panther Week” to mark the school’s participation in the 1A state championship football game.

Nov. 28, 2002 - LeAnne Rimes performed at the half time show at the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins Thanksgiving Day game.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Nov. 28, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 7.30 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 11.45 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 47.85 inches

Notes: Today is the 332nd day of 2015 and the 67th day of Fall. There are 32 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, 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 27, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 421 miles down and 1,378 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 19 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged four miles on Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and 12 more miles yesterday (Thursday). So far, I’ve logged 421 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,378 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 23.4 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 26th day of his trip, which is Oct. 19 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update on Mile 402, which was three miles past where Frodo’s group returned to The Road after finding the Stone Trolls. Three miles later, while the group is looking for a place to came, they hear a horse and meet the elf, Glorfindel.


The group then proceeds to march all night, a total of 15 miles, while the wounded Frodo is being carried on the back of Glorfindel’s horse. At Mile 420, the group ends Day 18 by camping next to the road at dawn. The group camps for less than five hours before beginning Day 19.


So far, I’ve covered one mile from the start of Day 19, which brings me up to Mile 421. The next significant milestone comes eight miles later, at Mile 429, where the group crosses a small stream and stops to rest. In all the, the group covers 20 miles on Day 19.


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


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


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


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

Today in History for Nov. 27, 2015

Nov. 27, 1582 – William Shakespeare, 18, married Anne Hathaway, 26, of Shottery, a small hamlet a mile up the road from Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford.

Nov. 27, 1746 - Robert R. (or R.R.) Livingston — later known as “the Chancellor”—became the first of nine children eventually born to Judge Robert Livingston and Margaret Beekman Livingston in their family seat, Clermont, on the Hudson River in upstate New York. R.R. Livingston represented the Provincial Congress of New York at the Continental Congress in 1776 and helped to draft the Declaration of Independence, although he returned to New York before he was able to sign the document. In 1777, during the American Revolution, the British army burned down Clermont and another of R.R.’s estates, Belvedere, in retribution for Livingston’s decision to side with the Patriots.

Nov. 27, 1809 – Charles Tait began serving as a U.S. Senator from Georgia after being elected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Milledge. Tait was reelected in 1813 and served in the Senate until to March 3, 1819. He would pass away in Claiborne, Ala. on Oct. 7, 1835.

Nov. 27, 1816 – The Town of Jackson, Ala. (originally called Pine Level) was officially incorporated by the Mississippi Territorial Legislature, a little over three years before Alabama even became a state in December 1819.

Nov. 27, 1829 – School teacher Murdock McPherson of Sparta, Ala., who was the first county clerk of Conecuh County, received the first Masonic funeral in Conecuh County history.

Nov. 27, 1830 - St. Catherine Laboure experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary standing on a globe and emanating rays of light from her hands.

Nov. 27, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Fairfax Courthouse, Va.

Nov. 27, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Ship Island (Miss.) Expedition sailed from Hampton Roads, Va. with the mission to establish a base of operations against New Orleans, La. and vicinity.

Nov. 27, 1863 – Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and his officers tunneled out of the newly opend Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus and escaped safely to the South. Morgan returned to his cavalry activities in Tennessee after his escape. However, at Greeneville, Tenn. in 1864,he was killed by Yankee cavalry.

Nov. 27, 1863 – During the Battle of Mine Run, Union forces under General George Meade took up positions against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Nov. 27, 1864 - In Georgia, Union General Judson Kilpatrick began pursuing Confederate General Joseph Wheeler between Waynesboro and Millen. The engagement ended on Dec. 4. The battle allowed Union General Tecumseh Sherman to march to Savannah, Ga. on his famous "March to the Sea."

Nov. 27, 1905 - The Jones Mill School (in present-day Frisco City) started the school year on this Monday with 97 pupils present.

Nov. 27, 1909 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Agee was born in Knoxville, Tenn. In 1936, Agee and photographer Walker Evans spent two months living with sharecroppers in Alabama on assignment for Fortune, and Agee turned it into a book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” (1941. He won the Pulitzer posthumously for his 1957 autobiographical novel, “A Death in the Family.”

Nov. 27, 1910 – Around 9 p.m., Will Stallworth was killed at the “warehouse crossing” in Evergreen, Ala. by a passing train.

Nov. 27, 1910 – New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, better known as “Penn Station,” opened.

Nov. 27, 1914 – In Monroe County, Ala. Circuit Court, Torrey Puryear was convicted of the murder of her husband and given a life sentence.

Nov. 27, 1914 – Confederate veteran Williamson Henderson passed away at the age of 83. He was born in Edgefield, S.C. on July 13, 1831 and moved to Monroe County, Ala. when he was 16 years old. He married Georgia Ann Pridgeon at Claiborne, Ala. on Oct. 17, 1854. At the opening of the Civil War, he enlisted in Co. G of the 7th Alabama Cavalry in Forrest’s command.

Nov. 27, 1924 – In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.

Nov. 27, 1939 – During a meeting of the Monroeville, Ala. Chamber of Commerce, four Mobile, Ala. Kiwanis Club field representatives (Hoyt W. Lee, Ed Rincher, R.W. Golsby and Ed Shortess) proposed the organization of a Kiwanis Club in Monroeville, Ala.

Nov. 27, 1976 – Actor and screenwriter Jaleel White was born in Culver City, Calif. He is best remembered for his role as Steve Urkel on the sitcom “Family Matters.”

Nov. 27, 1980 - Dave Williams of the Chicago Bears became the first player in NFL history to return a kick for touchdown in overtime.

Nov. 27, 1983 - Violence broke out among Cabbage Patch doll shoppers.

Nov. 27, 1984 - The Seaboard System Railroad ceased all railroad service to Elba, Ala., including freight service.

Nov. 27, 1994 - Joe Montana of the Kansas City Chiefs became the fifth quarterback to surpass 40,000 yards passing.

Nov. 27, 1997 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Buck Leonard passed away at the age of 90 in Rocky Mount, N.C. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Nov. 27, 2003 - U.S. President Bush flew to Iraq and spent time with U.S. soldiers stationed there.