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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I studied the weather. March went out “like a lion” with rains, overcast days, and wind. If one is superstitious, that was as it should have been because March came in “like a lamb,” fair, mild and sunny.

Blooms continue to add to Spring’s bouquet. She arrived March 20 in a profusion of blossoms. This week she added the fringe tree, Indian hawthorn, spiderwort, pink dogwood, and more azaleas, like belles in pretty gowns at a ball.

Speaking of blooms, one can now visit Jasmine Hill Gardens above Montgomery, near Wetumpka, on weekends through June 26. The hours are 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays the gardens are open noon till 5 p.m. One can learn much there, too, about Greek mythology because of the art reproductions placed throughout the pretty paths.

Bellingrath Gardens at Theodore near Mobile is also especially lovely this time of year. Please note the articles about the Bellingrath family written lately by Curtis Hampton Thomasson, the genealogical columnist for this paper. One of the Bellingrath sisters made her home here in Andalusia.

The Eufaula Pilgrimage of Homes is this weekend, ending tomorrow, Sunday.

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day. Did anyone swap your salt for your sugar?

Judy Knox correctly identified Esker Thomasson as the mystery person of the week. Thanks, Judy.

This week’s person is so true-blue an Auburn fan that, if you cut him, he bleeds orange and blue. His Auburn bill is paid first each month, if all others have to wait. A former baseball star, the son of a teacher and a Baptist, he has an “underground” job. He has one wife, “so far,” she says, and is master of a beloved dog, Little One.

Celebrating the March 25 birthday of Ken Johnson, his family gathered at the Dairy Queen Sunday after church for an informal lunch. Joining Ken were his wife, Mary Ann (Rabren), their little son, Campbell, Ken’s brother from Tallahassee, Brooks, and Ken’s parents, Dr. Wayne and Lenora Johnson. Ken and Mary Ann are working toward opening offices in the old Brightwell’s location along East Three-Notch.

Seen at Larry’s for Sunday-night supper were Steve Dyess, B. J. and Hazel McClain, Jimmy Prestwood, Johnny and Nelda Godwin and Larry Turman.

Seen at Granny’s (old Perry’s) Friday night for the seafood buffet were Tom and Martha Steele, James and Eula Davis, Robert Lee Holley, Jimmy and Crystell (Stokes) Prestwood, Charles and Audie Thomasson, Fred and Dot Simpler and Joe Ptomey.

Famous birthdays this past week include Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, and Hans Christian Andersen, the “Great Dane,” Danish writer of fairy tales, such as “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Little Match Girl.”

For our Sesquicentennial Moment to recall events in the War Between the States 150 years ago this week, I mention that President Lincoln decided to supply and support federal troops in Fort Sumter, out in Charleston Harbor. (I guess we know what’s coming.)

Senior adults of First Baptist, East Three-Notch, Andalusia, enjoyed an outing March 10 to Hilltop Restaurant on “Steak Night,” when the tasty steaks are priced to please. Attending were Herb “the Barbecue King” and Sue Carlisle, Bill Law, John and Mary “the Belle of Excel” Hill, Lucy Martin, Vivian Hickey, Gillis “the Combman” and Laura Ann Jones, Betty Bass, Dennis and Anna Johnson, Kim and Eleanor Dyess, Dr. Morgan “Slide” and Wilma Moore, Joe Wingard, John and Nancy Smith, A.G. and Pat Palmore and Gordon and Trudy Vickers.

Sir Francis McGowin, retired veterans officer for Conecuh, Covington, and Crenshaw counties, spoke at the March luncheon for the senior adults of First Baptist.

On Sat., March 26, five men from First Baptist built two handicapped ramps for Mrs. Nobie Daniel, 10 years young. Participating were Brent Maddox (“the boss”), Eric Searcy, Brian Seymore, Neal Dansby and Gordon Vickers.

Angelyn (Pippin) Simmons, Andalusia High School Class of 1969, hosted a birthday luncheon March 12 for some classmates who, like her, had turned 60. Attending were Kathy (Merrell) Southwell, Marianne (Martin) Chapman of Georgia, Judy (Bullard) Clark, Brenda (Barrow) Morris, Judy (Studstill) Heninger of Florida, Becky (Kyzar) Smith, Phyllis Taylor of New Mexico, Joyce Catrett of Georgia, Jeron (Darby) Reaves, Diane (Johnson) Palmer and Phyllis’s sister, Bari (Taylor) Rasbury.

I’ve been saving notes from Betty Mitchell, who organizes bus tours, about a trip she hosted to Callaway Gardens November 30 to see “Fantasy in Lights,” a pre-Christmas show of electric decorations.

Now’s a perfect time to encourage all of us to visit Callaway Gardens over in Georgia because the azaleas are in bloom.

I shall quote the notes from “Miss Betty.”

“We took time for a stop at Priester’s Pecan and Candy Store on 65 north. You know they have wonderful samples.

“Then we were on to Opelika for lunch at the Cracker Barrel. We did some shopping before going on to Callaway.

“The weather was uncooperative, so we took our time and traveled on, reaching the Callaway Country Store. (It sits on top of a mountain with a grand view and is a combination restaurant and gift shop.) We did some shopping there for jam, salad dressing, grits and corn meal. Mazel and Vernon Wiggins had told me about the Country Store, and I am so glad they had shared that with me. I read in Mrs. Grundy’s column that Joe Wingard had been to the Country Store and had had lunch there. Way to go, Mr. Wingard! We know where the good food is!

“After departing from the Country Store, we checked into the Mountain Creek Inn (down the mountain and across from the gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga.). After checking in, we had a wonderful dinner at the inn.

“After dinner we bundled up for our Fantasy in Lights tour. Some wanted to do the tour on the bus, and some rode the trolley.

“The ones of us that rode the trolley had a wonderful time. We sang Christmas carols, went ‘oh, look at that,’ and were grown children, having a blast.

“We strolled the grounds after the trolley ride to meet the bus.

“The next morning we had a fabulous breakfast at the inn before we picked up our tour guide and had a wonderful tour of the gardens, butterflies, and gift shops.

“As our tour ended, our guide, a retired minister, told me he wanted to tell me a true story that I could share on the bus.

“He had a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter who were riding in the back seat of the car on the way home from church.

“The son said, ‘Dad, can I ask you a question?’

“He said, ‘Sure, son.’

“The son said, ‘Those stories you were telling today – were they true or were you just preaching?’

“After departing from the tour, we traveled back to the Tiger Town Mall in Auburn where we had lunch and some shopping time.

“As we were leaving the mall, I was told I had a package underneath the bus. When I got home and opened it up, it was a beautiful Santa Claus I had admired in one of the gift shops. It was a gift from Frances Ptomey. Thanks for making my Christmas special.

“Everyone had a wonderful time. We didn’t let the weather dampen our spirits.”

Thank you, “Miss Betty,” for your report. I have another report from you of another trip, which I intend to publish soon, Lord willing; and I hope there will be many more.

Traveling with “Miss Betty” were the following: Joyce Adams, Wade Adams, Roy Donaldson, Margaret Donaldson, all of Opp, Lela Bradley, Martha Smith and Mary Brazzell of Andalusia, Ed and Patsy Bennett of Geneva, Frances Stokes of Red Level, Jean Brawner and Frances Ptomey of Andalusia, James Summerlin of Laurel Hill, Fla., Vernon and Mazel Wiggins, Gladys Trawick, Hattie Lawson and Rebecca Maddox of Andalusia, Ruby Flemming of Niceville, Fla., Crystell Prestwood of Andalusia, Dorothy Waldrop of Opp, Ferrolyn Elmore of Andalusia, Shelley White of Pensacola, Faye Meeks, Betty Sheffield, Jo Ray, Bea Miller, Jolene Boyington and Betty Reynolds of Andalusia, Nancy Stock and Joan Cibiras of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., Betty Hall of Freeport, Fla., Norma Gavras of Andalusia, Loraine Sutton and Gary Sutton of Red Level, and Vicki Day of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. Mike Smith drove the bus.

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