2022 Road-Trip Part 3A

31 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 3 (5/18/2022)

This morning, after breakfast, I headed west 25 miles on US-84 to visit the U.S. Army Aviation Museum located at Ft. Rucker, AL only to find that the museum was on the base and took a special pass to enter.  The visitor office didn’t open for an hour, and I didn’t have the time to wait around and deal with the paperwork, so I just headed west about 10 miles on SR-248 to check out the Boll Weevil Monument located in Enterprise, AL.  The monument turned out to be situated in the middle of town at the intersection of S. Main Street and W. College Street.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I looked around the intersection, I noticed that there was a Boll Weevil Café on the corner, and a Boll Weevil mural on the side of a building.  Not being a true Southerner (I was born and raised in the southwest) I needed a little explanation for why a town would erect a prominent monument to such an insect.  Then I spied a historical marker.  “Herald of Prosperity?”  That inscription only increased my confusion.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The internet told me that the boll weevil was the most devastating insect to hit the southern cotton industry during the early 1900s.  The cotton industry tried everything they could think of to get rid of the boll weevil, but nothing worked.  Then in 1916 a local Enterprise seed broker named H.M. Sessions suggested alternate crops as a way to combat the boll weevil.  Peanuts and other crops, such as tobacco and potatoes, eventually turned the economic disaster around (Ref. George Washington Carver & the peanut).  However, it wasn’t until 1958, with the help from scientists with the USDA, that a synthetic blend of the boll weevil’s pheromone (chemicals produced by the glands in insects) was finally developed.  As it turned out, it was the boll weevil’s own pheromone that did them in.  This product is now used to lure boll weevils into traps where they can be sprayed with pesticides.

Photo Credit: sandiegouniontribune.com/boll-weevils-begone/

I only had to walk one block from the Boll Weevil Monument to the Enterprise Railroad Depot Museum.  This small museum is located in the original 1903 Alabama Midland Railway depot which serviced the growing Coffee County and surrounding south Alabama areas during its early years of growth.  The interior of the depot is unchanged from when passenger service was terminated in 1958 and is filled with local antique railroad artifacts and memorabilia.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Heading west another 45 miles on US-84, I passed thru the small towns of Opp, Babble, and Sanford to visit the Andalusia Railroad Depot Museum (also called the Three Notch RR Museum) located in Andalusia, AL.  This small museum is located in the original restored 1899 Central of Georgia Railway depot and is filled, top to bottom, with local railroad artifacts and memorabilia dating from the late 1800s.  The depot served Andalusia and the surrounding Covington County area until 1983 when the last train left the station.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “2022 Road-Trip Part 3A”

  1. divoran09 August 31, 2022 at 8:05 am #

    That was just the right ticket for a nature lover like me. Well done!




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