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Grime’s column: Snake charmer comes to town

It still feels a little strange moving on to a new year, but I am sure that soon we will all be used to it.
I decided to jump in between 50 years and 25 years and check to see what was going on 40 years ago in 1975.
One of the stories printed in The Brewton Standard 40 years ago was the arrest of some people for stealing copper wiring from poles owned by Alabama Power and Southern Pine. It was reported that between $38,000 and $39,000 had been lost to these types of robberies.
Now, didn’t we just have history repeat itself in the last few years? A couple of years ago folks were losing the copper wiring out of their air conditioners. Even the people who install air conditioners were hit, losing wiring from their places of business. It may have died down some now, but it took extra vigilant police officers to track some of the offenders down.
Also, 40 years ago, police chief Glenn Holt reported several burglaries around town over the past few weeks. Some of the stolen items were found, including three new pistols which were found at the bottom of Burnt Corn Creek.
One piece of “supposedly good news” in 1975 was that even with a recession, the Brewton area was experiencing good to better than average in sales from local merchants.
I don’t know what the last few weeks have been like in sales, but if you go by the number of people who were out over the shopping season, it had to be good. Or maybe it was just everyone out looking at the Christmas lights. I know that I have said more than one time that I don’t believe all those people riding up and down Douglas and Belleville at certain times of the day belong to the locals
One of the most publicized events of the week had a half page ad and also a front page story. It seems that a self-professed snake charmer was coming to town. He was bringing some deadly snakes with him and there on the front page of the newspaper was a picture of him with a huge Cobra. The show was advertised as free and would take place at Grant City.
Do you remember Grant City? That is what the anchor store of the shopping center before K-Mart came to town. That shopping center now houses Dollar General, Sherwin-Williams. ReStore, Aaron’s and several others on Douglas Avenue.
I don’t like snakes. I don’t like live snakes, dead snakes, or even sticks that look like snakes. I would never have gone to a snake show I am sure. My experiences have not been the most fun. I remember looking out my back window at home and seeing my small son and my neighbor’s small son holding a snake, thinking nothing about it. I almost tore the door down trying to get to the boys. Another time when my son was about 18 months old, I opened my back door and stepped out shutting the door behind me. What I missed was the snake lying on the concrete where I stepped.
I screamed so loudly that my neighbor came over to see what was wrong. He told me that snake was in the next county by then. Well, I was afraid he wasn’t in the next county and poured some gasoline into the crack in the concrete. That snake came out of the crack, and I whacked him.
And while I am telling you my snake stories, the most recent was when I came out the door one night to carry the garbage out.
I almost put my hand right on a snake that was curled up on the door handle. My screams that night brought another neighbor with a shovel. That snake was mad. It seems that he was just in the right place that when I came out his tail was caught when I shut the door and he couldn’t get loose.