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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peeping through my Venetian blind one bright, September morning, I caught sight of Miss Flora, coming up my walk with a bouquet of seasonal blooms – crepe myrtle, honeysuckle, red (and the rare white) cypress vine, morning glories, lantana, Mexican petunias, roses, golden aster, and zinnias.

In she came for tea and talk; her bouquet, her passport.

After my friend left, I sat down and read again a little poem, written by the Portly Gentleman in the style of Emily Dickinson:

A morning glory volunteered

To climb my mailbox post;

And there it sat, receiving,

“At home,” and playing host.

September butterflies stopped by

To pass the time of day.

The scarlet cypress paid a call.

The sun sat down to tea.

The honeysuckle left its card.

Dame Nature changed her blouse.

The neighborhood took notice of

A lady in the house.

Jane Hill Crain, a teacher at Spain Park School in Birmingham, was weekend guest of her parents, John and Mary “the Belle of Excel” Hill, here in the “Dimple of Dixie.” I spoke with Mary about Jane’s sons, Jonathan, a student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and Andrew, a freshman at the University in Tuscaloosa.

Myrtle Ruth (Everage) Welch, Class of 1929, who died this past year at 98, was then the oldest living graduate of the Andalusia High School, for all I could tell. I am trying to help the high school find the oldest living graduate now, in time for homecoming October l. I think Mrs. Welch was the last of her class. I know that Jack Studstill, 92, was in the Class of 1936. Between Mr. Studstill and Mrs. Welch lie the classes of 1930 – 1935. Gentle reader, I want to list below the members of those classes. If you recognize anyone in the lists, still living, please let me know by calling the newspaper office and leaving a message. Thank you.

The Class of 1930: Susan Barron, Mary Catherine Bedgood, Jewell Blair, Alice Brooks, Leighman Brooks, Dorothy Brunson, Charles Burke, Dorothy Carr, Isabelle Chapman, Ruby Coplin, Ronald Daniel, Rebecca Darling, Ethel Lou Davis, Margaret DeLoach, Ruby Ellison, Abbie Findley, Arnette Grant, Jack Graves, Lois Greene, Mary Hand, Lynnie Pearl Hollis, Robert Kilpatrick, Minnie Lee Langford, Elizabeth Lorraine, Georgia Lowman, Edwin May, Martha More, Louise Patrick, Ruth Powell, James Prestwood, Wilma Proctor, Vera Redmond, Natt Ricker, Olin Ricker, Rebecca Riley, Eleanor Sessoms, Elizabeth Sessoms, Snowden Shehan, Sara Lee Stanley, Louise Taylor, Byron Vickery, James Ward, Jenelle Wiggins, Pearl White.

The Class of 1931: Mary Albritton, Christine Beasley, Mary Clyde Brawner, Mary Alice Bonner, Ruth Burke, Leonard Byrd, Sam Carmack, Grace Carroll, Jessie Mae Carter, Cyrus Chesser, Lewis Conner, Elsie Conner, Elsie Cook, Charles Crenshaw, Louise Darby, Dorothy Davis, Mabel Duffell, Vivian Duffell, Hazel Dykes, Eloise Ellisor, Edward Everage, Elizabeth Fletcher, Leola Gillis, Kate Givens, Inez Gunter, Mildred Hart, Egbert Hicks, Ouida Jones, Charles Knight, Bertha Mae Lunsford, Julian Maddox, Erline Moore, Annie Lee Mount, Leon Mount, Margaret Murphy, Ida Mae O’Neal, Cecil Padgett, Olin Ricker, Anice Riley, Robert Taylor, William Thweatt, Lucille Williams.

Class of 1932: Elizabeth Battle, James Bedgood, W. O. Bozeman, Grace Bullard, Allen Cook, Billie Cottle, Emmie Hall, Obie Lee Johnson, Harvey Jones, Tom Knight, Frances Livingston, Miriam Maddox, Elizabeth Merrell, Martha Murphy, Bragg Payne, Abner Powell, Hugh Prestwood, John L. Raborn, Elinor Southwell, Corine Stokes, Frank Sutton, Elizabeth Tilley, Carrilea Vickery, Harvey Wilson, Mabel Wilson, ? Williams, Doris Windham, Elizabeth Windham, Alma Wood.

Class of 1933: Hazel Adkison, John Albritton, Mary Olive Avant, Lena Baldwin, Marguerite Beckett, Alfonso Boggan, Florence Bonner, Mabel Bonner, Guy Brewer, Wayne Brown, Illette Bundy, James Caton, Lucy Chestnut, Ralph Chewning, Thurman Cravon, Buna V. DeLoach, Harris Daniels, James Dunn, Monrie Ellison, Marguerite Ellisor, Leon Gilchrist, Byron Hair, Beatrice Hamner, Eldora Hines, Ruth Hudson, Wendall Jordan, Hunter Kendall, Edgar Pugh King, Lillian Law, Bruce Little, J. C. Maxwell, Margaret May, Mildred Miller, Billie Metcalf, James Murphy, Vernice Neighbors, Evelyn Padgett, Albert Perrett, Alfred Perrett, Thelma Pollard, George Proctor, Mildred Ross, Iris Tranum, Avis Turner, Harriet Waits, Maxine Williams, H. D. Williams, Inez Snowden, Roy Wylie.

Class of l934: James Marvin Albritton, Harold Harper Beasley, Frances Bonner, Ralph Nix Brown, Tolon Brown, Charles Bethea Caton, John Foster Chapman, Voncile Farnell, Mary Emma Hudson, Jack King, Robert E. Mock, Margaret Lucile Mount, Jeanette Hazel Norris, Perry Ausbon Patterson, Miriam Payne, Bill Chris Pless, Donald Plummer, Sarah Strother Prestwood, Clara Bell Redmon, Maggie Evelyn Rodgers, Harold James Snowden, Henry Studstill, Jr., Helen Catherine Talbot, Mary Katherine Thweatt, Evelyn Mary Tisdale, Buford Truett, Verna Louise Vickery, Eva Gladys Ward.

Class of 1935: Jessie Tignor Albritton, Margaret Bond, James Bozeman, Sara Ellen Brawner, Robert Tisdal Brooks, Margaret Janette Brown, Estie Mildred Bunch, DeWit Duddley Chapman, Genieve Craven, Dorothy Olivia Duffell, Carrie Augusta Ellisor, Harry Joseph Graves, Erma Louise Grider, Robert Theron Holley, Mary Allen King, Josephine Syble Maddox, Clara Mae Merrill, Eli Benjamin Merrill, Helen Louise O’Neal, John Fairley Plummer, Edwin Clayborn? Prestwood, Margaret Shreve, Mary Susan Smith, William Allen Smyly, Martha Cornelia Stokes, Oliver Lester Thagard, Cedric Turner, Audrey Bernice Ward, Sara Frances Waits, Phillipa White, Adaline Miriam Williams, James Wilton Williams.

The above names were typed from old notes, so the spelling and information may not be correct.

Janet Brantley and Frances Rabren sang a lovely duet, “What a Day That Will Be,” in the Sunday school assembly of the Baraca Class of First Baptist here last Sunday. Martha Givhan, one of the church organists, accompanied the ladies at the Ann Martin Memorial piano.

Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor of First Baptist, baptized Van Starnes last Sunday. At the end of the morning service Scott Adams professed his faith in Christ publicly.

Also, three youths joined the organist, Martha Givhan, and pianist, Jason Tucker, in accompanying the congregational singing: Erica Ziglar with her trumpet, Jesse Johnson with his trombone, and Carl Crigger with his drums.

Sunday’s beautiful bouquet of flowers on the altar was given in memory of the much-admired Kervin Griffin by the Griffin Sunday School Class of First Baptist.

Seen at Chen’s for supper were Ray Powell, his daughter-in-law, Menette Powell, Sir Francis and Ann McGowin, Larry Shaw, and Robert Lee Holley.

Seen at Tabby D.’s for lunch were Charles Jackson, Byram and Bobbie Lambert and their daughter, Lori, Sara Hobson, Benny Barrow, a host of preachers, eating, following a monthly meeting of Baptist ministers in Covington County, Mayor Earl Johnson, John Thompson, and Dan and Rita McMullen.

Seen at lunch Sunday at C.J.’s Grille were Tim Nall, Tammy Holley, a group from Central Church of Christ, wearing Missions Team T-shirts, Dr. Wayne and Lenora Johnson (now identified by the Rabrens as the OTHER grandparents of Campbell Johnson), Bill and Frances Rabren (now identified by the Johnsons as the OTHER grandparents of Campbell Johnson), Mary Ann (Rabren) Johnson (now identified as the mother of Campbell Johnson), Campbell Johnson himself, Mickey and Jenny Pitts, Charles and Norma Jackson, Leamon and Fostine Hudson, David and Jill Bryant and their Anabell, Fran Davidson and her Kyle Baumgartner, his Kim, and their Mia, Carl and Sharon McInnish from Brewton, Carl’s extraordinarily beautiful mother, Betty Sue McInnish, Mr. and Mrs. Terry Wilson, Neal and Jennifer King and their LeAnn, Betty and Tommy Grimes (the former band director at the Andalusia High School, now in Panama City), his son Trey, Trey’s daughter, Allison Jowers, Malcolm Peevy, and Don Parsons.

Grandmother Lenora Johnson reminded me that I was “fortunate to sit at table with the best-looking baby in the world.”

Grandfather Bill Rabren warned me about our conversation, “If I want any of this told, I’ll tell it.”

Byron B. Mathews of New York, a semi-retired attorney, reared in Andalusia, is visiting his sister, Marcia (Mathews) Reichert, and brother, Max Mathews, here in Andalusia. After attending the Alabama – Penn State game, Byron journeyed on to Andalusia where he hosted a party for his sister’s 73rd birthday.

Senior adults from First Baptist, Andalusia, and friends motored to Crestview Tuesday night to eat at Ryan’s. Enjoying the fellowship were Margaret Smyly, Bill Law, Vivian Hickey, Irene (Davis) Butler, Betty Bass, Dr. Morgan and Wilma (Short) Moore, Betty Lawson, Kim and Eleanor Dyess, Gordon and Trudy Vickers, Robert Lee Holley and Joe Wingard.

During the drive Wilma was heard to say, “I don’t want an apple a day to keep the doctor away!”

I asked Irene (Davis) Butler to tell me about the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame induction ceremony and awards program she attended August 29 in First Baptist Church, Perry Street, Montgomery.

It should be no surprise to anyone that our very active Irene was inducted herself in 2001; and, as a permanent member, she may attend Hall of Fame meetings and vote during subsequent years.

Irene is among several from Covington County who have been honored by the committee for one reason or another. They include the late Dr. A. B. Lee of Opp, the late Thelma Dixon, Leland G. Enzor (statesman of the year), and Dr. Rex A. Butler (physician’s award).

The Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was created by our legislature July 28, 1983, to bestow honor and recognition upon Alabamians for their outstanding accomplishments, service, and contributions to the lives of older Americans. Each person elected for membership must be a citizen of Alabama. In 2008 the Hall of Fame became part of the Alabama Department of Senior Services.

Plaques and ribbons were given to the 10 new members this year: Dr. Paul Hubbert, Bill Hendrix, John Wesley Eubanks, William Clarke Daily, Lynn Mitchell, Calvin J. Moore, James Carlos Russell, Dorothy Irene Ryan, Dr. George D. Schrader and John Michael Woodall.

Nine special awards included one given to Senator Terrell “Ted” Little of Auburn, born and reared in Andalusia.

Nineteen couples were recognized for being married 65 years or longer.

Eight citizens 100 years of age or older were recognized. Only two were present – Fuller Kimbrell of Tuscaloosa, 101 on June 22, and Mrs. Julia Cochran of Hurtsboro, 106 and still active.

Following the ceremony a reception was hosted in Fellowship Hall of the church.

Irene ran into her friend, Nancy Worley, former secretary of state, while attending the ceremony, and also spoke with Dr. Paul Hubbert, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association and one of the most influential men in Alabama history. Irene informed Dr. Hubbert that she and he were on the same side of the fence, concerning Dr. Bentley for governor. Dr. Hubbert patted her arm and said, “We’re not in the legislature, are we?”

Representatives of A.E.A. members in the public schools in the District 24 counties of Conecuh, Covington, and Escambia of the A.E.A. assembled for their first meeting of the academic year at Reid State College in Evergreen the evening of September 13.

Jimmy Ponds, president of District 24 (in his second term) and librarian at Straughn Elementary, presided.

Attending were Paula Simpson (new president of the Covington Education Association), Ethel M. Robertson (organizer), Emma Locke (organizer), Jenelle Riley, Vivian Jones (district director), Jacqueline Earthly, Beverly Wade, Holley Tullis, Lynn Brown, Margaret Herbert, Rita Folmar, Sandra Tullis (organizer), Rebekah Sullivan, Norma Gavras (organizer), Roy Maye, and Joe Wingard (district secretary).

These and other representatives of educators and support personnel in District 24 schedule monthly meetings during the school year.

I wonder how many children nowadays have grown up, not ever having eaten a piece of fried chicken called the pulley bone (wishbone). When I was young, this cut of the chicken was quite common. At our family table my brothers and I fought over the pulley bone. We considered it the best piece of chicken on the platter. I haven’t seen that cut in groceries in years. After the pulley bone was clean, two of us would take the bone, which looked like a horseshoe, and pull it apart. In our family, I was told that the one with the longer piece of the bone would live the longest, and the one with the shorter piece of the bone would be married first. Others make wishes before pulling the pulley bone (wishbone) apart. The one who ends up with the longer piece of the bone gets his wish. Andrew Garner, the youthful sports editor of our paper, tells me that the wishbone is called the “merry thought” in England. He also tells me that he has never eaten a pulley bone.

Colonel Covington said at the last meeting of the Andalusia Lyceum that a certain segment of the population votes for candidates, based on appearance; thus, a youthful, attractive candidate has an advantage, even if he has little experience. The Colonel said that citizens would have a better chance, though, to elect a good representative – if outward appearance is such a factor – by selecting an older, plain-looking, even ugly, person as long as he has experience. He recalls an election in college in which a popular, handsome, athletic, football star ran for office against a dumpy, plain, balding classmate who had spent three years in the college student senate. “Handsome” had no experience. “Dumpy” had much. The Colonel says he can hear “Dumpy,” proclaiming now, “Experience does matter!” “Dumpy” won. So did the people.

It is human nature, though, to judge others by appearance. That often gets us a pretty face but an incompetent official. The Bible reminds us that man looks on the outside, but God looks on the inside.

Miss Purdie Birdie handed me the following thought, “Life is what is happening when you’re making plans.”

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Samuel Johnson, English writer, lover of London, the “literary dictator of his day,” famous for saying that the man who is tired of London is tired of life. He also edited one of the first dictionaries in English. The house where he composed his dictionary still stands, just off Fleet Street in London, near the famous restaurant where he often dined, Ye Olde Chesser Cheese, the first place I would recommend to anyone for dining while in London.

Other recent anniversaries include the birth of Anton Dvorak, Czech composer of the “New World Symphony,” containing that plaintive melody known as “Going Home”; the composition of “The Star-spangled Banner,” later our national anthem, by Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer; the birth of James Fenimore Cooper, author of frontier novels, the most famous being The Last of the Mohicans; the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock in 1620; and the signing of our Constitution in 1787, a fact promoted annually by the grand ladies of the Daughters of the American Revolution, one of the most important organizations in Andalusia, one, every young lady in Andalusia should aspire to join.

Our mystery person last week was Earl Johnson, recognized by Editor and Publisher Michele Gerlach.

This week’s mystery person has hair that is beautifully white, always wears a smile, and has a heart as lovely as her countenance.

Enjoy summer; autumn begins, officially, the 23rd, Miss Primme tells me.

I need to take a break, gentle reader; so, if you don’t see my column next week, just assume that I’m resting. I’ll miss you.

Finally, gentle reader, I want to encourage each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend. Fare thee well.