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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 13, 2010

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I gloried in the bright sunshine of November. The roses, to my surprise, were “shouting out” in brilliant red. Pansies were smiling in many a bed and the jardinieres on the Golden Square. The firethorn tumbled its orange-red berries in great clusters. Pine straw lay like golden pick-up-sticks upon shaven lawns and woodland walks.

No one has identified last Saturday’s mystery person, so I shall repeat the “clues.” She is “respected and admired, dependable to the nth degree, shapely, professional, trim, attractive, likes to laugh but means business, sets a Christian example and is a devoted mother and grandmother.”

Congratulations again to the Boy Scouts of America, especially to the local Boy Scouts, upon their 100th anniversary (1910-2010). For those unaware, a special stamp honoring the scouting program in America is available at the U. S. Post Office. Each Scout ought to save some of those stamps as keepsakes and perhaps use them on Christmas cards and other mailings the next two months. I suggest framing some “blocks” of the stamp.

Seen at Tabby D.’s for lunch were Elmer and Myrtice Davis, Randy Wahl and his son Todd, Margaret Prestwood, Barbara Bradley and Abbie Taylor.

Some years ago when Jim and Eva Maloy lived in their idyllic home on Church Street, they had in their backyard the remains of an old piece of statuary, probably the image of a crane or some other waterfowl. The years had not been kind to the yard decoration. Their friend, the Portly Gentleman, used to tease the Maloys about their “sick turkey,” as he called the ruin. When the Maloys moved to Auburn, they left Sick Turkey at the home of the Portly One, for fun. He returned it; and back and forth it went. Eventually, the yearly swap involved a card with a drawing of Sick Turkey, mailed back and forth in November, the month for turkeys. To this day, Eva and the Portly One play “tag” with the card of Sick Turkey.

Today is the birthday of Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish novelist, essayist, short-storyist, and poet, author of Treasure Island and A Child’s Garden of Verses. Grandparents, be sure your offspring own and read those two books in their childhoods. I don’t know of a more famous book of poetry for children.

Other anniversaries this week were those of the births of Martin Luther, German leader of the Reformation; Oliver Goldsmith, Irish poet; J. C. F. von Schiller, German poet and dramatist; and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, American author.

It seems impossible to estimate the influence of Martin Luther upon us even today. I know that my family would not have come to America had they not been “Lutherans.” This column and all pertaining to it would not have existed had it not been for Luther. All pertaining to my life and the lives of all of my relatives would not have existed as it does had it not been for Luther.

Concerning Goldsmith, I wish that some wealthy person or group would purchase a copy of his statue from the University in Dublin, Ireland, and have it erected in Auburn, with Goldsmith’s name and life dates upon the pedestal, a tribute to the idea that Auburn (town and college) got its name from Goldsmith’s most famous poem, “The Deserted Village.” The first line, “Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,” should also be on the statue’s pedestal. That line gave Auburn University its name, its alliterative soubriquet, and its newspaper, The Plainsman. I hope that some Auburn-related organization or individual also has flowers placed annually on Goldsmith’s grave in London on the occasion of his birthday.

Schiller wrote the play, William Tell, made into an opera with that most famous of all overtures, known to generations of children in America as the theme song to the radio and TV series, The Lone Ranger.

The Covington Rifles, our local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, met Nov. 4 in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library for a business meeting led by Commander Sir Francis McGowin, third commander in the history of the local camp.

The main business was a discussion about placing a local monument in memory of Confederate soldiers from Covington County who died during the War Between the States. The camp voted to place such a monument as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration, 2010-2015, remembering the War upon its 150th-year anniversary.

Vaughn Bowers, chairman of the committee to design and locate such a monument, directed the discussion.

Jimmy Mott volunteered to be treasurer for the monument project.

Joe Wingard led in the invocation and dismissal prayers.

Jimmy Barlow led in pledges to the American, state, and Confederate flags.

Clay Thomasson led in “Dixie,” as all stood.

Larry Shaw led in another popular, Confederate song, “Bonnie Blue Flag,” for which Bonnie Blue Butler was named.

Also attending were Derick Davis (who set the stage), Jimmy Cobb, Morris Mullen, Rick Boswell, Jimmy Mott, Curtis Hampton Thomasson (past commander for 11 years) and Tony Wells.

Miss Cora Covington reminded me of the Oleander Club’s Tasting Fair set for Sunday lunch Nov. 21 at the Adult Activity Center here in “the Dimple of Dixie.”

Seen at C.J.’s Grille for supper were Greg and Olivia Ennis and their precious, little Emma Beth; Gary and Sherry Buck and their friends, Bob and Betty Wilroy from Orlando; Todd and Anna (Marler) Pate, Glen Kendrick and his date, Judy Stokes; and the Gossipettes, Sherry Pouncey, Barbara Eiland, Angie Cofield, Debbie Smith and Kay Fagerstrom.

I enjoyed a conversation with James Bristow, retired salesman, the other day at the “deli” of Piggly Wiggly. We fell to talking about his late wife, Helen, who died in 2005, and his daughter Edith, who once was president of the student government at the Andalusia High School. That was when group singing was part of weekly assemblies. Edith loved to lead in “Pearly Shells,” a favorite song of hers.

Colonel Covington said in an essay delivered to the Andalusia Lyceum that the Republicans wasted their opportunities under the last President Bush. They have now been given a second chance. Said Colonel Covington, “OK, Republicans, put up or shut up.”

The Colonel also said that the current turn of affairs should be discussed in the broad sweep of American history, especially in the ripples spreading from the War Between the States. He added that no honest evaluation of our times can be made without references to the causes and effects of that War and that “political correctness” has stifled both an honest discussion of current reality and freedom of speech.

The Portly Gentleman claims that he is a 4-4 measure in a syncopated world.

Miss Priscilla Primme, the English teacher, said to me the other day, “Rarely have I been as relieved as when I realized that that irritating Nancy Pelosi had lost her position of power in Congress.”

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