Dr. Lizenby was highly regarded
Former Atmore resident Jimmy Eddin’s Perdido Vineyards winery was featured in an AL.com story last week.
Several authors have written accounts of his success over the past several years, but none have told of his life here in Atmore and in Bay Minette.
He attended school at Escambia County High School and Baldwin County High School in the early 1950s. Local residents will remember family member Cliff Eddins who operated Cliffs Landing, a popular fishing and boat launch spot in north Baldwin County.
We were classmates at Baldwin County High School. In addition to his being an excellent student where he was a member of several scholastic groups, he was regarded as a very fine trombonist.
Jimmy was extremely popular with the fishermen from the area as they used the family landing as their favorite boat launch.
He and his wife, Marianne, established their Perdido Vineyards business in 1972. And, the setting for the winery could not have been any more picturesque. Located on a rolling hill site just off Interstate 65 at the Perdido exit, the winery grounds contained 50 acres of vines with mouthwatering grapes. His winery was filled with a vast assortment grapes.
Jimmy and Marianne worked very hard initially to get their business off and running, even taking criticism from church pastors for the very nature of the business. But their hard work and knowledge sent the business ascending in the years that followed. Both are extremely knowledgeable and have expertise in their business. It is no wonder they produce such a quality product.
You will find his wines at a number of retail outlets along I-65 and towns in the surrounding area. It is worth a trip to stop in and take a look at this unique operation. You will also get the impression of being in grape growing French hillside surroundings as you stroll in his vineyard.
You may have noticed a story of interest lately about the wedding of Chasity Byrd. She is the pretty blond weather girl at WALA Fox 10 TV. But she is known to quite a few from our area, having kin right here in Atmore.
I grew up with her granddad, Jimmy Byrd, in Perdido. He moved his family to Bay Minette back in the 1950s and later established a successful chain of small stores. Jimmy’s wife came to Perdido as a teacher. Another teacher came with her that same year to teach in Perdido. She was the late Gladys (Gann) Walker.
Chasity has been with Fox 10 for several years now, having been seen describing powerful tornado and issuing warnings to residents of the area. She was especially conspicuous describing the famous Christmas tornado that hit Mobile in 2012. She is also featured on a popular morning show with her co-host, Joe Emer.
Speaking of Fox 10, I am an avid viewer of this station because mainly of its affiliation with Fox News, their early broadcast and 9 p.m. broadcast of the news.
Now, let’s take a look at a couple of events from 1966. Two prominent residents passed away in the fall of that year. Dr. J.O. Lizenby died at the age of 70. He was regarded as one of the most professional and skillful surgeons in south Alabama. Having practiced medicine here since 1928, he also owned and operated Atmore General Hospital. He sold the hospital in 1954 and the name was changed to Greenlawn Hospital.
G.C. Benton, who held numerous offices locally, statewide and nationally with the American Legion, passed away in early fall that year. He retired as a salesman for Armour and Company, but he was known to all as “Mr. Legionairre.”
Chemstrand Corporation changed its name to Monsanto Textile Division in August that year. Many from here and surrounding area worked at that plant and quite a few retired from there.
George Scoggin, the manager of Thompson’s Fine Clothing, was elected president of the Atmore Jaycees. His son, Mike, was a former talented Atmore Advance publisher. He was especially known for his exceptionally well-written news stories.
W.M. Horton retired as principal of Davisville School and moved back to his former Union, Miss. home. His wife, Bernice, also an educator here, retired that same year.
Andalusia edged out our Little League All-Stars in an Alabama District tournament held here. Members of that team were Randy Hall, John Bachelor, Clint Smith, Curt Donaldson, Frankie Dailey, Gilbert Gorum, Larry Smith, Freddie Troutman, Mike Garrard, Don Ward, Julian Thomas, Jimbo Walker, Raymond Bell and Charles Wood. John Bachelor Sr. and Heron Hall were the coaches.
Frank Cannon, former ECHS basketball coach, took a job as physical education instructor at Faulkner Jr. College.
This week’s prominent Facebook posters are Marcella Green Wilson, Bonnie Latino, Joyce Brown and Anita Davis Hughes. Congratulations to these avid posters who always furnish us with refreshing news and helpful hints. We will feature more Facebook posters next week.
Next week we will look at more news from years gone by.