Cullman Senior Magazine Summer 2019 - Page 19

helped create an opportunity in the mountainous terrain of north Alabama. Th ough the efforts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to offer electricity as part of his New Deal, they were able to obtain electricity for Cullman as long as they agreed to work together with other farmers. Their dream soon became a reality and it wasn’t long before Cullman had access to electricity. 
 In taking a few minutes to refl ct over his years of service and now his role as a supernumerary circuit clerk, meaning he is retired but can legally be called back into service, Bates said he misses not being with his staff nd having the opportunity to be with those who visited his offi .
 Bates was born and raised on a Trimble farm, where he still lives on a part of the old home place pioneered by his ancestors. He developed a love for hunting and fishing at a young age. 
 “I would listen to my dad talk about his good times hunting quail and had some of the best bird dogs around. That turned out to be my best loved sport. It still would be, but there are very few wild quail left”
 Bates said his parents, Robert Lemuel Bates and Mamie Trimble Bates, instilled a sense of integ- rity and hard work in him at an early age. “They stressed that when working for others you should always do so much more than what was expected.”
 Bates attended Trimble school through grade six, then Good Hope for grades 7 through 9 before moving to Cullman High School, where he graduat- ed in 1959.
 “I met the love of my life Janice (Wren) in Bir- mingham as she was visiting her brother Bobby, who lived next door to my sister Myrtle,” he said. “I found out that she was from Cullman about 10 miles from Trimble. We fell in love and then were married after graduating from high school on Oct. 7, 1960 at Sharon Grove United Methodist Church, where we still attend.”
 Due to what he calls “pretty rough” times, he did not attend college but went to work at Harvey Rag- land Wholesale Grocery Company in Birmingham. 
 “My fi st day at work included unloading a boxcar of 60-pound bales of sugar,” he recalled. “I knew the next day would be better but it was unloading rolls of bob wire. Harvey Ragland always put everyone through a test period. I moved up the ladder pretty CULLMAN COUNTY SENIOR MAGAZINE SUMMER 2019 | 19