Where’d the good service go?

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Brewton has changed quite a bit in the last 25 years, and one only has to pick up a copy of the newspaper from April 26, 1989, to see the difference.

Twenty-five years ago I was already a grandmother for the first time and enjoying all the baby stuff that went along with it. I wasn’t paying too much attention to what was going on in Brewton, but in looking at the newspaper from that time, I realize that there were some interesting things happening.

The headline for the paper that Wednesday was about the Escambia County Commission’s latest attempt to save the county some money and assure the people of Atmore that they were not being left out.

County department heads were ordered to see that their vehicles were taken to the state prison in Atmore for preventative repair. The work would be done by inmates at the prison, making it less expensive to the county.

It was also discussed at the same meeting whether to make the commission chairman’s job full-time or part-time. Apparently this has been debated for many years.

To tell the honest truth, I was too busy to even be interested in what the county commission was doing back then.

In the same newspaper issue were photographs of the Brewton Arts Festival, which took place April 22-23 on the grounds of T.R. Miller High School.

This was the ninth year in a row that the event took place and the first to be known as the Brewton Arts Festival.

I remember many of these shows. I can’t say that I attended all of them and I don’t know why it was discontinued later on. Most of my memories center around the fact that I knew two of the out of town artists who displayed their work. Many of you may recognize the name of Jack Deloney and know his work. I went to school with Jack at Carroll High School in Ozark and knew him and his twin brother, Jerry.

I love his paintings that usually include old farms, barns and fields of peanuts and cotton.

My cousin, Theresa Peterson, also attended the art shows. She was, and still is, primarily a portrait painter. She has painted several portraits for people living in Brewton. The art show was always a way for us to get in a good long visit – something that is hard to do. She lives in Alabaster near Birmingham, and it’s hard to get together.

I also remember entering a homemade quilt in one of the shows one year. My son graduated from T.R. Miller in 1986, and I made the quilt for him. It was strictly about his years in high school and the sports he played. It had the red, black and white color scheme, and I was quite proud of my work.

I like to include price differences and this week is no exception. A & P had strawberries for 69 cents a pint and a 42-ounce box of Tide for $1.49. Firestone had a sale on car tires for $29.95 and $36.95.

That reminds me of another personal account that happened over the Easter weekend.

I went to Navarre, Fla., to visit my granddaughter and her family with every intention of coming home on Sunday afternoon. When I went out in the yard to load up the car, I found not one, but two, flat tires. As it was Sunday, I waited until Monday to try to get them fixed and then called someone from the Yellow Pages. The vehicle had to be towed, and I have no idea if they were honest with me or not, but I was told that both tires needed to be replaced.

Since I was ignorant as to whether I really needed the tires, I told them go ahead. When I got to the tire shop, I saw a big sign that said they would not take an out-of-town check and of course I did not go prepared to shell out so much money.

To make a long story short, it was late Wednesday afternoon before I was able to get home to Brewton. I told my sad story to a teller at a bank in Navarre and she was finally able to help me, at a cost.

I was reminded once again how glad I am to live in small town Brewton.

If that had happened here, I would not have had that problem. I guess I need to stay at home. To be fair, I was told that the no check policy was because the economy had forced them to implement that rule, even though I told them rules were made to be broken.

Join me again next week to look back at what was happening in the past. I want to remind you that I welcome your comments and suggestions. Email them to lydia.grimes @brewtonstandard.com or send me a note.