Mrs. Grundy for Sept. 15

Published 12:21pm Monday, September 24, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I thought of the sunny days and cooler temperatures we enjoyed this past week. I thought, too, of summer, which has only a week to remain with us. Fall should come a-calling Sept. 22, Lord willing.

James Bristow and I shared a table for lunch Sept. 11 in the “deli” of Piggly Wiggly. He said Sept. 11 was the same date that he and Helen, his late wife, were married. He recounted the more infamous date when airplanes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. He and Helen were shopping in University Mall in Pensacola, Fla., that day when an announcement over the “intercom” warned shoppers to leave the mall immediately, that all the shops were closing. (That was in fear of the unknown.) James and Helen learned what was happening only when they reached their car and turned on the radio.

Flags were at half-mast Sept. 11 in Andalusia. Programs on TV brought back vividly the horrors of that day.

The sign outside First Presbyterian Church on South Three-Notch Street caught my eyes with the following words: “No God. No peace. Know God. Know peace.”

At Wednesday-night choir practice at First Baptist Church on East Three-Notch Street one of the basses, Neal Dansby, initiated a sweet moment. Each week, when practice is over, “Happy Birthday” is sung to those who have birthdays that week. One such was Kim Dyess, another bass. Kim, however, was out of town, staying with his twin brother, Ken, in Montgomery. Neal used his cell ‘phone to call Kim, and the choir sang to Kim over the ‘phone. That was a particularly thoughtful, little act of kindness, wasn’t it?

Colonel Covington, during a discussion at the Andalusia Lyceum, stated the following: “The Democrats at their national convention in Charlotte, N.C., voting on their platform, seem to have cheated. I was watching the actions on TV. There was no way the voice vote was enough to restore ‘God’ and ‘Jerusalem’ to the platform. The presiding officer cheated in his ruling. To save face, he ruled in favor of restoring ‘God’ and ‘Jerusalem.’ It looked to me that at least half the delegates voted against ‘God’ and ‘Jerusalem.’ It looked, too, that some even booed God and Jerusalem, although I think the boos were against the ruling, not God and Jerusalem. If there are Democrats against God, and they feel so strongly about it, then they could split into another party called the Demoncrats.”

The Covington Rifles, the local “camp” (group) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, met Sept. 6 in the Dixon Memorial of our public library.

Cookies and cake from Sir Francis McGowin and scuppernongs and muscadines from Jimmy Cobb served as refreshments before the meeting began.

“Hank” Roberts worded the invocation.

Derick Davis led in pledges to the flags as well as preparing the room for assembly.

All stood as Larry Shaw led in the singing of “Dixie.”

Sir Francis McGowin, commander (president), presided and gave a report on both the Alabama “reunion” (state convention) at Lake Guntersville in North Alabama and the national “reunion” (national convention) in Murphreesboro, Tenn.

He announced the locations of the national conventions for 2013 (Natchez, Miss.), 2014 (Charleston, S.C.), and 2015 (Richmond, Va.).

Plans for the year were made, and a round-table discussion was enjoyed.

Others attending were Vaughn Bowers, Kelly Veasy and Joe Wingard.

Last Sunday, flowers for the sanctuary of First Baptist were placed in memory of Kervin Griffin, local businessman, by the Griffin Sunday school class. His widow is Hazel Griffin, recently re-elected to the Andalusia City Council.

Seen at Green’s on the Conecuh a week ago Friday, enjoying supper, were Sir Francis and Ann McGowin, along with their son Dan and his wife, Leslie (Campbell), and their friend, Larry Shaw.

Green’s has become known over the years for its barbecue, onion rings and fried pies.

The owner/hostess, Diane Green, is known for her smile and friendly hospitality. It’s worth the drive up to Gantt from Andalusia just to be greeted by Diane.

Also dining at Green’s were Joe and Rachel (Kimbro) Riley of Gantt, celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary.

The Rileys retired to Gantt after 40 years in the auto-parts business in Crestview, Fla. There they knew my banker cousins, J. D. and Virginia (Petrey) Wingard. J.D.’s son, Jake, and his wife, Cammie, live there yet.

Joe’s dad, “Boots,” and granddad, W.D. “Judge” Riley, ran a general store in Gantt years ago. Joe worked there, as third generation, in his younger days.

In those days, Gantt had three banks.

Joe attended Andalusia High School and would have been in the Class of 1945. He thought highly of Miss Clyde Simmons, teacher of English at A.H.S.

While watching the Democratic National Convention on TV, in particular, the casting of votes by state delegations, my eyes suddenly opened wide because of some familiar faces. Joe Reed was in charge; and, sitting right in front of him, for all the world to see, were Nancy Worley, Alabama’s former secretary of state, and our own Peggy Mobley, twice president of the Alabama Education Association and currently vice-president of the retired teachers here in Covington County.

Irene (Davis) Butler and I were discussing the late Kate Head this week. Irene said that Ray Butler, her late husband, was a pallbearer at Kate’s funeral. I learned, too, that Kate spent the last dozen Christmases of her life with the Butlers. When the Butlers’ older son, Rhett, was a high-school senior in 1965, Kate insisted that she give Rhett a graduation party; and so she did, decorating in style, using her talent as a florist. When Irene told Kate that she need not do that, Kate responded, “He belongs to me, too!”

Kate taught Sunday school despite the fact that she had peppery habits of speech.

It was Kate who invited Irene to be a Pilot; since then, Irene has become a leader and outstanding member of the Pilot’s club.

Newlyweds Gary Tillman and Tavia (Scott) honeymooned at the famous Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.

Seen, eating lunch at the Steamboat, were Barbara McClain and her granddaughter, Kayla McClain, Bob and Cathy (Lee) Harry, their son, Andrew, her mother, Ann Lee, Judge “Trippy” McGuire, DeAnn Butler, Kim Rasberry, Judy Scott and one of her granddaughters, Lynn Ralls, and Victoria Anderson.

There are two new stamps you might want to buy. One celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts. The other is a painting of the USS Constitution, which was used by us to fight in the War of 1812, 200 years ago. The famous ship, nicknamed “Old Ironsides,” still floats on the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge.

Seen Sunday for lunch at Larry’s were Allan and Nell Wiggle. Allan is from Richmond, Va.; Nell, from Louvale, Ga. They retired here from Pensacola, Fla., to be near their children. Allan was educated at Auburn.

The roses are in bloom along the iron-wrought fence at Springdale.

Daniel Roberts, who preached at Central Church of Christ, has moved with his family to South Carolina, where he hopes, eventually, to teach in the Church.

District 24, the division of the A.E.A., representing the counties of Conecuh, Covington, and Escambia, assembled Aug. 27, for its first meeting of this academic year at Reid State Technical College in Evergreen.

Elected as vice-president of the district was Jimmy Ponds, librarian at Straughn Elementary School.

Still serving as secretary for the district is retired teacher, Joe Wingard.

The local chapter of A.E.A., the Andalusia Association of Educators, is served by Perry Dillard, president; Daniel Bulger, vice-president; and Karen Pass, secretary-treasurer.

The celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, English novelist, continues.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Christian movie cowboy, Roy Rogers, born Nov. 5.

This year, too, celebrates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (ending in l8l5).

Again, I ask that each citizen of Andalusia join the Covington Historical Society and pay its annual dues of $25 so as to help preserve the history of our county, whether you attend meetings or not. Mail to CHS, P.O. Box l582, Andalusia, AL 36420.

To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, let us return to this week 150 years ago.

Fighting in North Virginia continued. Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson led his troops to take Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. The Battle of Antietam Creek, known to Southerners as the Battle of Sharpsburg, Md., came to a head.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

The mysterian this week is again Ada Sentell. Who was she?

“The Star-spangled Banner,” now our national anthem, was written Sept. 14, 1814, during the War of 1812, during the bombardment of Fort McHenry at Baltimore, Md. Francis Scott Key is the author. There are more verses than the one we usually sing. In one verse is the sentence, “In God is our trust.” From this we get our national motto, “In God we trust.”

Today, Sept. 15, is the birthday of James Fenimore Cooper, an American novelist, best known for The Last of the Mohicans.

Now, gentle reader, allow me to encourage each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend, Lord willing, like Andy, Aunt Bee, Opie, Barney, Gomer, Goober and Clara.

Fare thee well.

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