Camp Hill Churches Vol. III

Story By

Brian V. Brunner('64)
Phillip Potts
Paul Tate (LWMA Faculty 1965-1983)

From: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 9/10/98 1:17 pm

Phil, Richard(my brother), said to remind you about a church problem you, Reinaldo Carrasquillo('60) and he had that made General Futch ask you if you thought you were "privileged characters"! :)

Ha!, yes, I think that was a time that we "skipped"..:)

The separation of the men and women was defiantly there. The "snake" bit was one that we probably infrequently used.

Ahhh Camp Hill. Makes one sad to see it these days. Looks like an abandoned ghost town..

From: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)
To: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
9/10/98 2:59 pm

During most of my tenure at LWMA, the cadets were able to get town passes after 3:30 if there was not any activity. The town pass would provide visits to "Chester's Drug Store" for mostly candy and school supplies and to spend a lot of time talking to Miss Sarah Chester; to Winter's Grocery to chat with Miss Doris and Bubba, her son; to Tucker's Drug to look at the magazines off the rack; to Davis' Grocery to purchase illegally cigarettes; and for many years to Davis Hardware, just to wander through the crowded aisles looking at the mechanical and hardware things that attract young male eyes and, at that age, don't represent a semblance of work! O. R. Chester Wholesale across the street did not encourage and certainly did not welcome cadet visitors since it was not a place to shop. All! Absolutely all of these establishments have closed. The Camp Hill Bank of Dadeville closed its doors earlier this summer. Sad, sad, sad that once such a thriving town has indeed become a ghost village.

From: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
To: Bryan s. Hintz (HINTZ)
Date: 9/10/98 6:09 pm

Nice story on the quilt there Bryan..:)

Camp hill was definitely never much. The old joke of "If you blink you will miss it" fit very well. But some of us remember playing football against Camp Hill High. There seemed to be "something" there. I don't know if they have anything at all now. The building that burned is still just a shell. I think Brian Brunner nicknamed it the "Camp Hill Botanical Gardens", as there are large weeds sticking up all through it..:)

As you walk down the street you still see the iron grates and markers from the 1800's.

I have been back each year since 1989.. Would like to add an extra day this year in May to just scour around a little more. Never enough time..:)

From: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 9/11/98 12:35 pm

One other observation or memory before the subject changes: All of us knew "Brother Prater," the Universalist minister, and one of the most brilliant persons I have ever known. Not only did he know theology, the Christian Bible, but other world religions as well. There was virtually not a topic on which he could be considered a near-authority. As you probably know, the Universalist movement in the U.S. merged with the ultra-liberal and virtually non-sectarian group Unitarian in the late Fifties or early Sixties. So, universal humanism (i.e.,simplistically, any human creation is an extension of the creation of God) of the Unitarian movement became an integral part of the Universalist services - yea, even in rural Camp Hill, Alabama. Thus the reason that sometimes the services at the Universalist church would be lectures on art or music or some other element of human creation. When I was at Lyman Ward and for many years afterwards, Brother Prater was the Academy Chaplain. Oftentimes, he would be called upon to substitute for absent teachers. The cadets would always enjoys these days because it was so easy to get Brother Prater away from the lessons that the teachers had left him to teach. Actually, a plus, because learning outside the curriculum is always necessary. Roscoe Prater, one the LWMA alumni association officers, is his son.

I just didn't believe we could leave the topic of Camp Hill Churches without something being said about Brother Prater.

Compiled and Edited from messages on the Message Board By Brian V. Brunner('64)
See Photographs of Camp Hill at this other website

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