Sunday, August 9, 2009

Remembering Joshua Nicholas Winn III

Those over the age of 35 who attended the University of North Alabama should remember Nick Winn fondly as a man whose erudition was second only to his humor. One of his favorite discussion starters was, "Who have read?" Mr. Winn, always grammatically perfect, had high hopes that more than one person had read the work in question.

Born on August 25, 1905, Mr. Winn grew up in an era of unheard of change and prosperity brought about by the Great War. Winn was a student, and later a confidant, of Pulitzer Prize winner T. S. Stribling. Certainly when he died at the age of 92 on September 10, 1997, the former UNA associate professor had become a Florence treasure.

Nick Winn edited several books over his career, but has always been most remembered for Muscle Shoals Canal: Life with the Canalers. The book was originally published in a series of Bi-Centennial works in 1978 and enjoyed a second printing in 1981. Since that time, it has been out of print and extremely hard to find, or at least to purchase, in this area.

Now the Friends of the Killen Historical Commission has published 1,000 copies of Winn's work; these will initially be available at Founders' Day celebrations on August 22 & 23. The annual celebration is held in Killen Park adjacent to the Killen Church of Christ building. We hope all of Mr. Winn's former students will make an effort to purchase a copy of Muscle Shoal Canal; we predict the initial Killen printing will be sold out before the event is over.

What's up with this: Retired Lauderdale Circuit Court Judge Mike Suttle has decided not to run for the Alabama Senate, citing time and financial constraints. Suttle stated the campaign could cost as much as a half-million dollars. It seems to take quite a bit of money just to be of service to others, doesn't it?