Overheard, out and about, Mrs. Grundy sees all, tells all

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw Clydie Clump, coming up my walk with a watermelon in both hands. I swung wide my front door and invited him in out of the August heat to sit a spell and have some lemonade. Clydie presented the watermelon to me as a gift, and we sat down for a slice or two and a chat.

Seen at the lunch buffet at Tabby D.’s were Elmer and Myrtis Davis, Neal and Jennifer King and their little Leann, Willie Thomas, Robbie and Susan (Powell) Theus and their three, Jordan, Emily and Gage, Judge “Trippy” McGuire, and a little group of Dimpletonian Methodists, Maggie Shelley, Helen Philips and Judy Holmes. The last three had been to Wednesday Bible study at First Methodist. There, a Baptist friend, the much-admired Jewel Curry (a “jewel” of a person), had taught the lesson in the absence of the Methodist pastor, Tim Trent, who, with his Linda, was off to Savannah, celebrating their wedding anniversary – his first trip to Savannah. Maggie Shelley, who taught school for 13 years in Laurel Hill, Fla., told us of her youthful ambitions and happy memories of Laurel Hill. I believe our own Sue (Bass) Wilson once taught at Laurel too, and has happy memories. It must be a nice place.

Cousin Johnny Cobb of Mobile, his wife Janet, and their Bethany sent me a card from their travels to the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Fla., alligators in Okefenokee Swamp, Wormsloe Plantation and Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Hilton Head Island and the plantations around Charleston, S.C. Cousin Cobb plans a big trip yearly and posts detailed notes of his family’s travels.

While Clydie and I were talking, he told me of getting lost last winter in the deep woods behind Covington Hall and stumbling across a stone with these words: “The Middle of Nowhere.” Clydie had heard of “the middle of nowhere” all his life but had assumed it was not a real place. When he found his way out of the woods some hours later, he told Colonel Covington about the stone. The Colonel said that one of his ancestors had told him of seeing such a stone when he was a boy, but the Colonel himself had never found it, though he had searched many times. The Colonel added that he had been told that a treasure lies buried under the stone. Clydie said he went back to find the stone – and the treasure – but he never saw it again.

Seen at the Tuesday-night buffet at Country Folks in Florala were Foyl Hudgens and his niece, Jackie Powell, and their friends, Winfred and Alta Davis, Charles Jeffcoat, Robert Lee Holley, the Portly Gentleman, Alma Knowles, Betty Parker, Dennis Knowles, Keith Parker, Aylish Parker, Matthew Parker and Gene Stallings of Red Level, who is known for his country music.

Last week I spoke of Ruthie Dunn’s call from Boston, Mass. She called again Monday night, back in Boston from a vacation to Nova Scotia. She, her husband Joe, her brother and his wife were enjoying a delicious dinner in the Parker House in Boston. (I think it’s the oldest hotel still operating in the country.) They had already tried the Parker House rolls, originally created by the Parker House, and were about to tackle some Boston cream pie, also created by the Parker House. Ruthie couldn’t say enough good about the food.

They’d been in Plymouth earlier that day and planned to leave Tuesday morning on a flight for New Orleans. From there they were to motor home to Shreveport, Louisiana, where Ruthie teaches school.

I had met Ruthie on a tour of New England years ago; she is one of the most delightful people on earth. Gentle reader, I hope your path crosses hers.

Seen at Larry’s for supper Sunday night were Buddy Patterson and his mother, Beadie. Buddy works in Mobile and, on the side, still plays in a band, keeping his musical interests alive. When he was just a boy, he played in local bands here in “the Dimple of Dixie.” We talked about the good, old days. I didn’t know that Buddy was a first cousin to the late Pam (Patterson) Maloy. The mention of her name brought to mind an anecdote. Pam had been elected homecoming queen at the Andalusia High School her senior year. She and her court were to be presented on the football field – either at half time or earlier – at the homecoming game that night. No one could find the tiara to crown her. Ann Lancaster, who worked at the school then as an aide, ran up to the home-economics classroom and made a tiara out of some aluminum foil. She hurried back for the ceremony with this makeshift tiara, which was used to crown Pam. Pam and those-in-the-know had many a laugh thereafter about the “tinfoil tiara.”

One of Pam’s two daughters, Brooke (Mrs. Nick Chapman), lives here in Andalusia, and is a pharmacist. Pam’s husband was Sam Maloy, who has now remarried. Beadie and Pam’s mother were married to brothers.

Also seen at Larry’s were Johnny and Nelda Godwin, Ronnie Rawls, Gary Brooks, Jody and Nicole Jackson, Fred and Connie Karthaus and their Bethany and Allie, Sarah Castillo, Tori Mack, Kennedy Thompson, Katie O’Brien and Robin Mack. “Miss Robin” and “Miss Connie” teach these seventh-and-eighth-grade girls in Sunday School. The girls and their teachers were all out for a celebration before public school starts and the girls are promoted at church.

Seen at Perry’s for the Saturday-night, seafood buffet were Gordon and Trudy Vickers and Hubert and Rebecca “Butterfly” Sullivan. Mrs. Sullivan is nicknamed “Butterfly” because she always wears a butterfly pin on the shoulder of her dress.

The Vickerses had just returned from a vacation to the Pigeon Forge and Gatlingburg area the last week of July. The trip was made in honor of Trudy’s birthday July 29.

On her birthday the couple ate at the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. Other outings included breakfast at Denny’s, antique hunting, an Amish gift shop, a meal at the Apple Barn, and dining at Logan’s Steak House. Trudy also enjoyed sleeping late every day.

On their way home the Vickerses visited Don and Dot Lingle in Odenville. Don was minister of music at First Baptist some 28 years before his retirement a couple of years ago. Gordon is minister to the senior adults at First Baptist. He and Don had worked together on the staff at First Baptist.

The two couples ate at Ruby Tuesday in nearby Moody, Ala., where Tammy Hawkes, a daughter of Gordon and Trudy, is manager.

Two lovely bouquets were placed in the sanctuary of First Baptist last Sunday morning in memory of Miss Mildred Hart by the Mildred Hart Sunday School Class. Miss Hart, who taught home economics for years at the Andalusia High School, was a faithful member of First church and was known for her cross-stitch, her cooking, and her Christmas open house.

This past week brought the anniversaries of the births of Francis Scott Key, the American lawyer who wrote the words of what became our national anthem; Percy Bysshe (bish) Shelley, English poet; and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, perhaps the greatest English poet after Shakespeare.

Now, gentle reader, let me encourage each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend. Fare thee well.