Clarence Minor has been fixing things for most of his life, and if you've lived in Lewisburg for any length of time, chances are he has fixed one of your appliances. Minor has been running a business here since 1951, when McAdoo Brewington and he went into partnership and started Dixie Radio and TV, but even before that he worked for Butler Brothers Furniture.
"I was just tinkering with electronics before I went to work at Butler Brothers," Minor reminisces. They didn't even have TV when I first started out. Mostly I fixed radios and phonographs. Then up came TV." He says there was little formal training then. "I went for training on TV when I worked for Butler Brothers in the late 40s. I went to school in Nashville for a two-week course. That was when TV first came out."
In December of 1951, Brewington and Minor opened up their business on East Commerce next door to where Dixie Appliance is currently located. Several years later, Brewington sold out to Bobby Haislip; eventually, Minor became the sole owner.
"In the 50s and 60s, we had five or six people working in the business. We used to go and put up antennas on top of houses. Later we had the cable." Minor says he and four others started the first cable company in our area. It was called WSML TV, with the initials standing for the five men who started it, R C Wiley, Denney Walker, Pete Sowell, Clarence Minor and "Billy Boy" Lloyd.
"We started out with 500 homes or better on the cable. It grew," says Minor. "We had all the channels filled up on the old VHF dial, 12 channels. We even had Huntsville stations. It was the best quality anybody had on TV back then. That was before color came out."
Minor says the owners of WMSL eventually sold out to a conglomerate. He also says he quit working on TVs and changed the name of his business to Dixie Appliance back in the 80s. He says it was hard to keep up with the changes in television electronics.
Minor is a life-long resident of Marshall County. He was born in Anastasia, and parents Earl and Martha Minor moved to Lewisburg when he was 11 years old. He married Christine Bailey Aug. 16, 1946. They were married 45 years until her death in 1992. He has one son, Robin, who is well known in our community as a member of the city council and a history teacher at Lewisburg Middle School.
There are things you won't find out about Clarence Minor unless you ask. He just doesn't volunteer information about his service in the Army. If you talk to his son Robin you can find out more. Not only is he a decorated veteran of World War II, but also he fought and was seriously wounded in the Ardennes forest in the days preceding the campaign which came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded again in February 1945, while the 28th division was pushing into Germany. He was awarded the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster for those injuries. In fact, Clarence Minor's military service is of such interest that we plan to feature his story with those of other veterans next month for Veterans Day.
Minor has been a member of First Baptist Church since he moved to Lewisburg in the fifth grade. In 1949 when First Baptist started a radio ministry on WJJM, Clarence Minor was running the sound for the service. He is still sitting at that audio board every Sunday as First Baptist broadcasts on both WAXO Radio and TV.
You also might not know that Minor has served on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission for Lewisburg since Rev J.A. Biggs was mayor.
If you ask a career fix-it man, there's not really much that needs fixing about Lewisburg. He'll quickly tell you, "I like it. It's the only place I've ever lived. I just love a small town. I never have thought about leaving."
'Your Neighbor' is a new feature which will run periodically in the Community section of the Marshall County Tribune. Do you have a Marshall County neighbor that you'd like us to meet? Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.