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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2010

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I listened to the dry, curled, falling leaves, tippy-tippy-tap-toeing across my paved walk, dancing like Emerson’s swirling dervishes.

The Golden Month is drawing to a close with the royal colors of the goldenrod and adjuratum, cotton fields, hay bales, Confederate rose, spider lilies, abelia and butterflies, tea olive, persimmons, pomegranates, narrow-leafed sunflowers, bees, boiled peanuts, pumpkins, “mums,” and Halloween tomorrow, like an exclamation point to the month.

Irene (Davis) Butler identified last week’s mystery person – Myrtle (Brooks) Boyette, known as “Aunt Mutt.”

This week’s mystery one is short, petite, always dressed to the nines, a bit on the talkative side, outgoing, friendly, cheerful, encouraging, married to a long suffering and quiet husband, proud of her birthdays, a soprano, good with money (her husband’s), and a golfer.

My hat is off to Sue (Bass) Wilson for all the work she does for good here in the “Dimple of Dixie.” She attends to little things as well as large, such as taking time to prepare a bulletin board for homecoming outside the Heritage Room of the Andalusia High School. Thank you, Miss Sue. (She runs this town; she do!)

October 14, some 18 senior adults from First Baptist, Andalusia, enjoyed a fellowship meal at Hilltop Restaurant. Attending were the genial Bill Law, Betty Lucas, June Smith, Dennis Johnson, Trudy Vickers, Gillis “the Combman” and Laura Ann Jones, Morgan and Wilma (Short) Moore, Betty Bass, Bea Miller, Herb and Sue Carlisle, Kim and Eleanor Dyess, Martha Griffin, Margaret Eiland and Gordon Vickers, minister to senior citizens at First church.

We lost one of our best citizens recently with the death of Louise Jones. I recall that when I moved to Andalusia some 45 years ago that Louise and her husband, Brown Jones, were the first people at First Baptist to welcome me and include me in the church’s fellowship.

Jeanice (Paul) Kirkland, organist at First Baptist, has announced her intention to take a leave of absence for a year or so for health reasons. Mrs. Kirkland is a twice-retired teacher of English here in the Andalusia City Schools. She will still play from time to time, but not on a regular schedule. Taking her place will be Martha (James) Givhan, who has been serving as evening organist. Mrs. Givhan played the morning service last Sunday, receiving applause for her offertory. She is a former student of the late Louise (Bozeman) Barrow, who played the piano and organ at First Baptist for some 60 years.

Colonel Covington in a talk at the Andalusia Lyceum stated that America is becoming a nation of tattletales, spoiled brats and sissies.

I was a bit disconcerted last week when, following an X-ray, the technician said as I left, “Good luck.”

While at the hospital I took time to wander through the courtyard with its roses, seating, palms, and fountain, a halcyon spot.

Miss Primme, the English teacher, tells me that she often dislikes and resents the type of music played over the telephone, during a business call, when she is put “on hold.” She feels like a prisoner, trapped in a cell of sound, not of her choosing. It is annoying. Some restaurants play low-class “music” while I’m dining. I prefer silence in the background. If you operate a business and put people “on hold,” please be careful of the type of “music” you impose upon the waiting customer.

Some remaining birthdays this month are those of the following: Geoffrey Chaucer, the first great poet of England, still as modern as they come, great because of his presentation of human nature; Thomas Babington Macaulay, optimistic English historian; Johann Strauss, Jr., Austrian composer; Cesar Bizet, French composer of the opera, Carmen; “Teddy” Roosevelt, dynamic American president; Desiderius Erasmus, influential Dutch scholar; Harvard University, America’s first college, founded 1636; Statue of Liberty, a gift from France in l886, now an American icon; Jonas Salk, the American doctor who discovered a vaccine for polio, thus saving the lives of thousands of my generation in the l950s and l960s; James Boswell, Scottish biographer of his hero, Samuel Johnson, and author of The Life of Samuel Johnson, perhaps the greatest biography in English; John Adams, our feisty second president; Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter; John Keats, English poet of the most famous of poetic lines, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”; and the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 theses about the Catholic church on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, an action which still greatly influences all of us in Andalusia to this day.

Public schoolteachers of English still require that their students memorize some lines of Chaucer in Middle English to this day. I know Mrs. Thompson at A.H.S. does this, and I commend her and others who keep up this cultural appreciation of our language.

The distinguished Baraca Class of First Baptist, once a citywide Sunday School for the whole of Andalusia, made of hundreds of men and a small orchestra, too, have for decades gathered for an annual steak dinner. The custom, which had lapsed, was renewed Thurs., Oct. 21, at Hilltop. Wives and widows of former members joined the men for ribeye steaks, potatoes, toast and green salad. Larry Shaw, president, presided; and Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor, worded the blessing.

Attending were Herb and Sue Carlisle, A.W. and Lucille Donaldson, Jerry and Patricia Kennedy, R.E. and Edwyna Ivey, Gillis and Laura Ann Jones, Harland and Muriel Taylor, Graham and Peggy Tucker, Charlie and Mary Ann Cope, Bill Law, Robert and Norma McLelland, Darwin Pippin, Larry and Cindy Shaw, Ed and Judy Buck, Zelmer Jones, Robert and Barbara Linder, Frank and Tina Moore, Richard and Georgette Pass, Gordon and Trudy Vickers, Joe Wingard, Betty Lucas, Dan and Virginia Frasher, Fred and Connie Karthaus and Lee Sullivan.

Sat., Sept. 25, “Miss Betty” and Zolly Mitchell hosted her annual travelers luncheon at the American Legion Building in appreciation of those who travel with her bus tours.

Some 125 attended.

James Allen worded the devotional and prayer.

Ferrolyn Elmore read a poem, “Thanks,” expressing what Miss Betty feels about her travelers.

Entertainment was provided by Harland Burton from Dadeville. Burton, who plays the piano at Southside in Opp on Sunday mornings, thrilled the guests with his ability.

Special door prizes were given to DeWain Bass and Lela Bradley.

All brought dishes for a wonderful, covered-dish meal. Miss Betty bragged on all the good cooks.

Since tomorrow is Halloween, I want to warn Dimpletonians to stay away from the Conecuh River and its supplying waters where Mudicus, the Mud Monster of the Conecuh, dwells. Beware! It has been known to appear out of the muddy banks without warning and embrace its victims in suffocating hugs of death. Through the years, dating back to Indian lore and stories of Spaniards, many fishermen, campers, hunters, boaters, hikers and swimmers have disappeared, never to be heard from again.

Beware, too, of the Old Lady of Five Runs Creek, who comes out to scratch on the windows of parked cars.

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