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VALLEY OF YEARS PAST
Cathy D. Wahl

Moviegoers in Athens could finally listen to their movies

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

May 8-14, 1930

Moviegoers in Athens could finally listen to their movies as well as see them. The city's Ritz Theatre installed equipment to show talking pictures, with the first talkie the all-color, all-talking movie "On with the Show."

In Decatur, the Princess Theatre featured Greta Garbo in her first talking picture, "Anna Christie."

Mother's Day services at the Morgan County Jail resulted in nine "conversions," THE DECATUR DAILY reported. The Rev. M.M. Newton delivered a Sunday afternoon service, followed by talks by the Rev. J.D. Wallace, Ellen Groenendyke and Mrs. B.D. Wright. Mrs. Wright also distributed flowers to the prisoners — red to those whose mothers were still living and white to those with deceased mothers.

St. John's Episcopal Church in Decatur celebrated its 40th anniversary with a lawn fete at the church. Surviving founders are T.H. Mattocks, Miss Shepard and Mrs. J.A. Bunch.

50 Years Ago

May 8-14, 1955

Lewis C. "Pinky" Brown, owner of Brown Funeral Co., purchased from Joe Morrison the Mutual Service Funeral Home on Grant Street. With the purchase, Brown acquired the contract to service all burial policies issued by the Mutual Savings Life Insurance Co. in Decatur and Moulton.

More than 500 4-H Club members from across Morgan County gathered at the Livestock Coliseum in Decatur for the annual countywide rally. Ann Carol Hester, Bonnie Sue Oden, Joe Greenhaw and Charles Stanley Roberts won trophies in an essay contest. Marcia Yates and John Hardin won savings bonds for public speaking. Extension agents Martha Faye Pettus and Charles Rutledge handed out medals for achievements in such areas as leadership, canning, tractor maintenance, home improvement, field crop corn and bread demonstration, as well as athletic events.

Lawrence County High School's Class of 1955 graduated Thursday night.

Danville High School's valedictorian is Olivia Anders with a 93.1 average. She plans to attend Alabama Polytechnic Institute School of Engineering. Nina Summerford, with an average of 90.6 is salutatorian. She will attend Auburn's School of Vocational Home Economics.

East Limestone High School graduates listened to the Hon. James Crow Jr. address them at Tuesday night commencement ceremonies.

Nancy Ruth Brackeen is valedictorian for West Limestone High School. Everne Tucker is salutatorian.

Tanner High School graduated 28 seniors. Valedictorian Gay Turner addressed Clements High School's 20 graduates. Thirty-six Ardmore High School seniors received their diplomas. Martha Magnusson is class president.

Austinville High School's Class of 1955 is led by valedictorians Louise Hampton and Mary Elizabeth Lake, both with averages of more than 94.

Sara Hamilton is salutatorian and Bobbie Davis is valedictorian for Elkmont High School seniors who graduated this week.

Shirley Hicks and Judy Newman, with straight A grades through four years of high school and an A minus each, will share valedictorian honors at Morgan County High School. Carolyn Block will be salutatorian.

Wanda Garrison Clemon is valedictorian at Cotaco High School, while Delores Culbreath leads Union Hill High School. Merle Coreen Franks will give the valedictory at Trinity High School.

Flint Negro School will be abandoned next year, said Morgan County Schools Supt. Lester Wooten. Students will enroll at Hartselle.

Jack Wood of 114 Cain St. N.E. appeared on the television show "The Big Payoff" with co-stars Bess Myerson and Randy Merriman. Wood won an expensive wardrobe for his wife, Lucy. Wood works for Decatur Iron and Steel Co. and appeared on the program during a vacation trip to New York.

The Junior J.U.G. Club entertained the Senior J.U.G. Club at a pajama party Saturday morning at Pat Lovett's home.

Dr. Claude Lavender of Hartselle sold Hartselle Hospital to John E. Guier of Decatur. Lavender plans to move his family to Houston and train to specialize in urology. Dr. Fred Sherrill Jr. will continue to practice there. He will be joined by Dr. W.C. Duncan and Dr. Tom Guyton.

25 Years Ago

May 4-10, 1980

Don Hale and Roger Beckham won first place in the Hartselle Bass Club's annual Wheeler Lake Tournament with a total of 26 pounds, 10 ounces. Sixto Martinez is president of the club.

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge manager Tom Atkeson said officers have made two searches for 55 alligators without finding any of those released 11 months ago.

General Electric Co. refrigerator plant will close for 16 days, said personnel manager Lewis Holly. The closure affects some 400 employees.

Pineview Hospital in Hartselle will shut down within 30 days, said Dr. William K. Haney, director of the 46-bed psychiatric drug and alcohol abuse facility.

10 Years Ago

May 7-13, 1995

Karate champion Jamie Webster, 24, is hoping his role in a new Saturday morning martial arts adventure series will have a positive impact on young people's lives. Webster, whose mother Pansy is Creek and father Jimmy is Cherokee, drew on his American Indian lineage to create the character of "Great Wolf" for the Fox Network children's show being filed at Universal Studio in Orlando, Fla.

North Alabama's history and natural resources attracted more tourists than the state's white sandy beaches or the Capitol rotunda in 1994, according to two recent economic impact studies.

Sam Brown, 17; Maurice Baker, 14; Thomas Troupe, 12; and Cora Riley, 12; are the Youths of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Morgan County. They were selected under a scholarship program sponsored by the Reader's Digest Association.

John and Jo Cook, owners of Cook's Pest Control and Cook's Science Museum, accepted the 1995 Julian Walker Tourism Award at a Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau event. Jerry Paasch is executive director of the bureau.

Compiled by Cathy D. Wahl.

THE DECATUR DAILY welcomes the loan of any photos depicting people, places and events from Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties for each Sunday's "Valley of Years Past" column. Photos will be returned. Contact the Living Today department at 353-4612.

Cathy D. Wahl Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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