Name: Philip Earl Campbell, Sr.
Residence: Fayetteville, Georgia
Profession: Retired airplane mechanic
What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? Why do you enjoy them? Much of my time is spent working on church committees and serving as a deacon. Like most I maintain our home and yard and keep our cars safe for the road. We spend time visiting our children and grandchildren, and we go on vacations with them. I do have four MG’s which I have hope of restoring, but I don’t get a lot of time to work on them, plus the fact I don’t have a shop area that I can leave them to work on without constantly having to move everything around. I started with MG’s right out of high school by buying a 1953 MGTD. I traded it later on a brand new 1957 MGA and have had MG’s on and off ever since.
When did you first hear about the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama? I first heard of Phil Campbell AL in 1954 or ‘55. I had a few dates with a girl named Florence. I don’t remember how she came across it, but she showed me a map of Alabama pointing out that Phil Campbell was close to Florence. In 1961 I was still in the Navy and my aunt Louise sent a birthday card to Phil Campbell’s postmaster and had it post marked Phil Campbell. I still have that card.
Were you able to attend the Phil Campbell Hoedown of June 2011? Yes
If you did go to the Hoedown, what did you think of the experience? I went to Phil Campbell shortly after the storm and worked a couple of days. Coming back in June even though it still looked like a war zone I could tell a lot had been done and I’m glad we got to take part in the continued clean up. My son Phil Jr. and I both attended the 2011 hoedown, and we both attended one of the other Phil Campbell gatherings. I was at the first gathering that college Phil (“Brooklyn Phil”) put together. The people of Phil Campbell always went out of their way to make us feel welcome and we always had a good time. I’m glad they went ahead with the hoedown and the Phil Campbell’s came. We are saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property, but it was heartwarming to see how people responded to help families and a community rebuild. Like First Baptist Church and other churches serving meals and distributing supplies even though they had damage to their church buildings and their homes. The Phil Campbells had a nice lunch in the First Baptist activity building. I hope that we can continue to meet at Phil Campbell at convenient intervals.
You are a Phil Campbell. What do you think of that name? I think the name Phil Campbell has a nice ring to it. I really didn’t consider how many Phils there might be until Brooklyn Phil suggested the first get together. My grandfather Campbell came from Ireland when he was 16. One can go on and on about the name of Campbell.
Tell us a little about yourself, as many words as you would like. I was born and grew up in Hoopeston Ill. I served four years in the Navy as a helicopter mechanic. I was stationed in Key West and met my wife to be in Miami. After the Navy I went to Dade County School of Aviation and worked in Miami. Bonnie and I were married after I finished school and we went to live in Key West where I worked as a mechanic at Island City Flying Service. After two years I had the opportunity to work for Delta Airlines and we moved to the Atlanta area. In 1967 we moved to Fayetteville. Our son Phil Jr. and his wife Jann have a little girl and live in Pooler GA. Our daughter Tracie and her husband Dan have a daughter and son and live in Bel Air Maryland.
I’m retired from Delta Airlines, having worked as a mechanic in the power plant shop (aircraft engines) and on the aircraft as a line mechanic. When I started with Delta they were still flying a lot of propeller aircraft, and were starting to build their jet fleet, Convair 880′s, and DC8′s being the first. I later became an inspector in power plant nondestructive testing, and then became foreman over that shop.