Things went boom

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Forty years ago, in 1976, there was still much talk around town about the explosion that occurred downtown. Not only did it destroy several businesses, it had lingering effects on others.

The facade of Hines Realty gave way and fell, crushing down on several cars in downtown Brewton. The cause was believed to be that the bolts holding it up were loosened in the blast and it came down when a workman walked across the roof.

The Bank of Brewton announced that Earl Wilson Jr. had been named as a new bank director.

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Brewton Middle School’s television program, was featured on WKRG. In previous years the students made the trip to Mobile for this program, but this time the people from WKRG came to Brewton to film the programs.

Does the school still have a television program? I never knew they did to begin with.

Temperatures dropped in our area causing pipes to burst, including some behind what is now Vera Bella. The water spraying from the pipes froze making a beautiful display on the surrounding trees.

That made me think about an experience I had with frozen pipes.

We were living in Greenville at the time. The house we lived in had at one time been a duplex apartment, so it had two of everything, two kitchens, two bedrooms, two living rooms and two bathrooms. We hardly ever went into one of the bedrooms, but we did have furniture and a closet full of clothes in it.

That morning, it was really cold and I opened the door to the bedroom and much to my surprise, water was running down the walls and windows. I did what any normal person would do. I panicked. I called my husband and tearfully explained it was raining inside the house. Of course, he thought I had lost my mind. That was a mess. Our landlord had to completely redo the room.

Firefighters had to be on their toes during this time. There was a fire on Sowell Road with the house being a total loss. Another fire occurred at the home of Richard and Libby Tarpley off Lynbrook. Their problem was the chimney caught fire.

We had that happen to us. My husband built a fire every morning and he stacked enough lightwood on it for the fire to go half-way up the chimney. It was about 5:30 in the morning and that fire truck must have awakened everybody in the neighborhood.  They didn’t do anything except watch it until it burned down. I learned from Lawrence Weaver not to throw water on the chimney.  He said it would make the chimney crack. I guess the whole thing was worth something.

The last thing I noticed was that “Snow White” was playing at the Ritz Theatre. It cost $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. Those were the days.