Overheard, out and about, Mrs. Grundy tells all

Published 12:50 am Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw a profusion of the white, starry blooms of the sweet autumn clematis, covering my arched trellis over the entrance to my side garden. The clusters of delicate blooms reminded me of bridal bouquets at a wedding.

A “Happy Birthday” to Curtis Hampton Thomasson, who turned a youthful 70 on Wed., Aug. l8. Curtis or “C.T.” writes the genealogical column for this newspaper, faithfully, weekly. I don’t see how he keeps coming up with family history. He is certainly doing a great service for Covington County by preserving thousands of facts about our citizens. A faithful member of the Cedar Grove Church of Christ, Curtis and his wife Margie (Jacques), a retired schoolteacher, reared three children, Curt, Christy and Clay, and have three grandsons. Active in Civitan, the Covington Historical Society and Sons of Confederate Veterans (commander for the past 11 years), Curtis stays busy “30 hours a day” with civic and church projects. Once a teacher/counselor at the Andalusia High School, he became the first counselor at Lurleen Burns Wallace State Junior College when it opened in 1969. He retired from L.B.W., now L.B.W.Community College. There seems no limit to all the good that this ideal, Christian man has done for “the Dimple of Dixie” and continues to do.

Seen at lunch at C.J.’s Grille were Dr. Shannon Cobb, local chiropractor, and his Aunt Trudie (Cobb) Steele, local artist.

Seen at lunch last Sunday in the hospital cafeteria were John and Mary “the Belle of Excel” Hill, Lucy Martin, Voncile Newman, Jack and Marcia Reichert, Jack and Marian Perry and Rayford and Carolyn Davis.

Seen at the Huddle House for supper after church were Paul and Judy Armstrong, Jay and Beverly Farrington, James and Joan Mitchell, Sonny and Sally Steele, Ted and Jeanette Short, Neal and Jennifer Dansby, Jennifer’s mother, June Smith, and the Dansbys’ daughter, Judith Anne, a junior at Samford University in Birmingham.

Anyone heading to North Georgia September 17-18 might want to drive through Madison for its fall “Kitchen Tour.” Eight local kitchens will be on display, as well as some chef demonstrations. Madison is rich with ante-bellum homes and other beautiful buildings – well worth the time.

Fashions eventually go out of style. I’ve been wondering when the saggy-baggy jeans would. They may be on their way out. The new style is skinny jeans. Some call them “Jonas jeans.” The “new look” could have been predicted because the world of fashion would, logically, design an opposite look to make the old, baggy clothes seem out of style – “un-cool” – and to tempt teenagers to buy new clothes to be in style. That way, the fashion world makes more money.

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery presents A. A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, starting September 25. This should be a delight for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and a chance for Grandma and Grandpa to do something really nice for their offspring.

Miss Priscilla Primme tells me that our English language is “going to the dogs.” She blames TV “crawlers,” newspapers, texting, advertising and e-mail, and will probably think of other “villains.” Of “crawlers,” those bands of information that “crawl” across the TV screen, Miss Primme cites abbreviations, missing punctuation and missing words as problems that create a bad language example for readers. She praises newspapers for being champions for education but says that newspaper language often contradicts what students learn as proper English in school. Miss Primme claims that “texting” is almost creating a separate language with its own shortcuts, a language unrecognizable to older persons. Advertising, in order to be attractive, destroys capitalization rules and correct spellings. E-mail, she says, gives the writer a feeling that he can make up his own rules for spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar. The haste and carelessness of e-mail contribute to the ignoring of rules learned in school. All, combined, have eroded the English language and continue to do so. Miss Primme predicts that English will be more of a code than a language in the future.

Irene (Davis) Butler recently motored with her late husband’s niece, Mitzi Butler, to Talladega for three days to attend a Christian concert presented by Janet Paschal, Ivan Parker and others in the Faith Worship Center in Talladega.

The concert was sponsored by Comfort Care Hospice for whom Mitzi works here in Andalusia. “Miss Irene,” who is known for her ability to gather an audience, helped raise one in Talladega; some 652 attended the concert.

While in Talladega, Miss Irene saw friends from two organizations she supports, Pilot International and the Alabama Silver-Haired Legislature. She also ran into Miss Evelyn Waites, a close friend, who teaches home economics at the deaf and blind school in Talladega and lived some six years in Andalusia, working with the Auburn Extension Service.

That weekend, as it just happened, Mrs. C. C. Bennett, the widow of Pastor Bennett, who once ministered at West Highland Baptist in Andalusia, was buried in Talladega on that Saturday morning. Mrs. Bennett’s son-in-law, Harvey “Pete” Donaldson, there for the funeral, was staying at the same motel as Miss Irene; there they ran into each other. Pete spoke wonderfully well of his friends in Andalusia and said that he hopes to be back in the fall to attend his class reunion at the Andalusia High School.

Janet Paschal and Ivan Parker, both Christian vocalists, plan to be in Florala to perform at First Baptist on Jan. 14, 2011, (Irene’s birthday), Lord willing.

The senior adults of First Baptist heard Todd Sasser, who works with Crossover Ministry, at their monthly luncheon on Aug. l7 in Fellowship Hall.

Sasser gave his Christian testimony and explained Crossover Ministry. The name, which came as a suggestion from a prisoner, means crossing out of the dark of addiction to sin and into the light of Christ. Crossover is an eight-month, non-profit, faith-based, voluntary program for those who are addicted to sin, especially those who have been in prison, and want to overcome their addiction.

Sasser, who grew up in the Rose Hill Community, gave his life to the Lord in 1999 and has dedicated himself to His service. He is the originator of Crossover Ministry, which began in 2005. Sasser, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Sasser, has a wife, Donna, and four children, Levi, Lacey, Dawson and Sarah. The family attends Good News Baptist Chapel in Rose Hill.

Helping with the senior-adult luncheon were Margaret Smyly, who served; Trudy Vickers and Betty Bass, who decorated; Kim Dyess, who worded the blessing; and Gordon Vickers, who presided.

Those with birthdays and anniversaries were “serenaded.”

Green’s catered with fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, green beans, and “nanner” pudding.

Tables were set with centerpieces of bowls of fruit with matching napkins.

Miss Primme tells me that at her church Sunday the congregation sang one of the old hymns. She was looking forward to singing it because, nowadays, the new ones are “all the rage.” When she opened her mouth to sing the first word, the last word of the first verse had been reached and the congregation was starting verse two. Miss Primme said she ought to call Ripley’s to nominate the song for holding the record for speed singing.

Jennifer (Smith) Dansby sang the solo part in the Adult Choir anthem this past Sunday at First Baptist, “I’ll Put on a Crown and Walk Around.” Mrs. Dansby, a retired schoolteacher, is a dramatic coloratura, whose high note at the ends of anthems is the signature of the Adult Choir.

Martha Givhan, pianist and organist at First Baptist, accompanied her daughter, Endsley Givhan Bolen, last Sunday morning as the two played “If My People Will Pray.” Endsley, a flautist who has moved home from South Carolina, played the flute beautifully and inspirationally.

The Baraca Class Quartet of First Baptist sang “The Unclouded Day” in three Sunday-School assemblies last Sunday, too, Adult III, Adult I and the Baraca. Singing were Kim Dyess, Casey Thompson, Dwight Crigger and Joe Wingard, accompanied by Mary Clyde (Mims) Merrill, piano teacher and church pianist for more than 25 years.

Herb Carlisle taught the Baraca Class last Sunday in the absence of Richard Pass, who has been ill.

The Sunday-School classroom of Dr. Wayne Johnson has been redecorated with matching chairs, tables, and book shelves by his wife, Lenora, and their three children, Suzanne, Ken and Brooks, as a birthday gift for the good doctor.

First Baptist met in a business session last Sunday night, voting to make two major changes, reducing their budget by more than $93,000 and returning church management from a church council to the deacons.

August 15 was the birthday of Sir Walter Scott, one of the major writers in Scotland’s history, known as a poet and novelist. His most famous novel is Ivanhoe. Perhaps his most famous, poetic line is, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave/ When first we practice to deceive.”

Scott, through his settings and plots, glorified the geography and history of Scotland, causing the public to associate practically every foot of his native land with some story or character of his.

He became the preserver of Scottish history and traditions, living in a mock castle like a lord of old. His descendants still live there today.

Scott was not only a poet on paper but a poet in life, a living poem, like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in America and William Gilmore Simms in the Old South. (In fact, Simms has been called the Sir Walter Scott of the South.)

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