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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noticed the morning glories, still climbing and a-blooming atop my post box and gateway trellis, up my birdhouse post, and over my picket fence.

I looked down the road and saw the waysides all golden with bitterweed, narrow-leafed sunflowers, aster and goldenrod. October is indeed the Golden Month.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, I want to comment.

Time was in America that there was only one Bible that the average person knew – the King James Version. It was THE Bible. Many thought it the first and only Bible; of course, it wasn’t. The original Bible wasn’t even written in English. In fact, there wasn’t an England, let alone an English language, when the books of the Bible were written.

Now most are aware of more modern versions. These versions have been helpful to people in making the scriptures clearer. Preachers use the modern versions more and more from the pulpit. There are still those who prefer the King James Version and don’t like to use any translation but it. This merging of the old and the new has created two problems that will be realities in the future.

One is memorizing verses from the Bible. Which version will one use to memorize? Using the same words for centuries has united the generations. What will learning different words do?

The second problem is the use of a version unfamiliar to the listeners, especially in sermons, weddings and funerals. There is a sentimental attachment to the words of the King James Version.

Again I ask that each citizen of Andalusia join the Covington Historical Society and pay its annual dues of $25 so as to help preserve the history of our county, whether you attend meetings or not. Mail to CHS, P.O. Box l582, Andalusia, Alabama 36420.

CHS President Sue (Bass) Wilson asked me to include the address of a new CHS website: www.3nmsm.com.

To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, let us return to this week 150 years ago.

President Jefferson Davis was at odds with his own Confederate soldiers who wanted to go home and protect their respective states.

The struggle between North and South for Missouri and Kentucky continued.

The Confederates repulsed the Federals at Leesburg, Va., (also known as the Battle of Ball’s Bluff).

At this point in time the Confederates controlled all important points along the Potomac River, south of Alexandria.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

Who is the mystery person? She’s short, petite, dark-eyed, chic, a business woman, cultural ambassador, fashionable, artsy, theatrical, tactful and attractive.

This week past saw the birthdays of Noah Webster, the most famous of American lexicographers; Christopher Wren, the English architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (where he lies buried); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet; and Franz Liszt, the Hungarian composer and pianist.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the launching in 1797 of Old Ironsides (USS Constitution), an American ship, still afloat on the Charles River at Boston. The ship was spared destruction because of a sentimental poem, “Old Ironsides,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Coleridge wrote “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which contains the poet’s most famous lines, a quatrain (four-line stanza):

“Water, water everywhere/ And all the boards did shrink./ Water, water everywhere/ Nor any drop to drink!”

Liszt (list) made fashionable the sitting sideways to an audience while one plays a piano during a concert so that the audience can see the pianist’s profile. He wrote what is to me the greatest piece of piano music in history, “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.”

I have been wanting to feature the following, provided by Rachel and Shelby Searcy of Greenville, and have taken the time this week to do so.

The following essay is about William Samuel Norred, our Pennye Anderson’s father, who coached at the Andalusia High School three years in the 1940s, earning a place of admiration in the hearts of those who knew him.

Norred’s widow graciously accepted recognition of her late husband at the second annual Andalusia High School Sports Hall of Fame this past August.

The piece that follows was compiled by Kitty (Norred) Lamkin, a daughter; Donna-Marie (Lamkin) Crocker, a granddaughter; and Shelby Searcy, a former student who played for Coach Norred, finished at A.H.S., and taught and coached at A.H.S. himself.

“William S. Norred, a native of Pine Apple (nothing to do with a pineapple), Ala., was born April 6, 1917. He was the youngest of ten children born to Mance and Bernice McKee Norred. Mr.

Norred was graduated from Moore Academy (in Pine Apple) in 1936 and received an athletic scholarship to Troy State Teachers College (Troy University, Troy, Alabama, today). He won the designation of being the all-state center of the Alabama Intercollegiate Athletic Association for 1939 – 1940. He played on the Troy varsity for three years and was alternate captain of the football team for his senior year. He also played varsity baseball and basketball while a student at Troy. Mr. Norred was graduated in 1940 with a bachelor of science degree.

“Mr. Norred began his teaching and coaching career in September of 1940 in Headland. In l941, he accepted a position as head coach at Luverne High School in Luverne. By Dec. 7, 1941 (when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor), he was ready to serve his country. He had previously signed up with the Army Air Corps.

“Coach Bill Norred arrived in California on Dec. 12, 1941, and became Cadet Bill Norred in the United States Army Air Force. Upon graduation, Norred received his second-lieutenant bars and the silver wings of a pilot. After further training in Louisiana to fly the twin-engine B-26 Martin Medium Bomber, Lt. Norred of the 319th Bomb Group, 437th Squadron, was in route overseas. He reported for duty to Telergma Air Base, Algiers, North Africa, in October of 1942. Captain Norred’s forty bombing missions were in the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns, as he flew his ‘Pine Apple Express’ B-26. Captain Norred received the European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Medal with three Bronze Stars for Air Offensive and the Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters. In December of 1943, he arrived in Del Rio, Texas (Laughlin Field), as a flight-test-engineer officer, supervising four officers and 400 enlisted personnel. While stationed there, he met Doris Simmons of San Antonio, Texas. They were married June 30, 1945.

“Years later on April l3, 2009, Mrs. Norred accepted the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal posthumously for her husband’s successful bombing raid over Sicily in 1943. Presenting the award for singular heroism and outstanding achievement above others was Lt. Gen. Allen Peck, commander of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

“By September of 1945 Captain Norred became head coach at the Andalusia High School, Andalusia, Alabama.

“Due to World War II, A.H.S. did not have a football team in 1943. The 1944 team won only one game, that against Samson. In 1945 Coach Norred took over a team with very little experience and only two seniors on the starting 11. The season began with an opening victory over Luverne, 18 – 0. Andalusia continued its winning streak by winning the next six games before letting an undefeated Enterprise team defeat them. The next week they closed the season by defeating Opp. Coach Norred had led an inexperienced team to an eight-and-one season.

“In 1946 with only three seniors on the team, the team won five and lost three and tied one; however, Coach did get some revenge by defeating a then two-year-undefeated Enterprise team, 12 – 0.

“The 1947 team with eleven seniors on the starting team opened the season with a 13-0 victory over Eufaula. The team continued the season by winning all their games and completed the first ever undefeated and untied season at Andalusia High School. This team scored 290 points to 13 points for the opposition. Seven teams were held scoreless. The offense rushed for 2,324 yards and held opponents to 356 yards. “Coach Norred’s overall record was 22-4-1.

“In June of 1948 Coach Norred was appointed to the U.S. Post Office in Pine Apple, his hometown, as a rural letter carrier, a position he held until his retirement in 1982. Through the years, he enjoyed his ‘hobby’ of raising cattle. He remained a fan of high-school and college sports, particularly football and baseball. He was a member of his hometown Friendship Baptist Church for over 80 years and served as a deacon for over 50 years. Mr. Norred died Aug. 8, 2008, at the age of 91. He and Mrs. Norred were blessed with 63 years of marriage, four children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mrs. Norred continued to live in the family home following her husband’s death, but eventually moved into Homewood of Greenville.

“The Norred children are Kitty (Mrs. John Lamkin of Pine Apple), Roger (of Pine Apple; married to Mary Lou Cooper of Montgomery), Pennye (Mrs. Ziba Anderson of Andalusia), and Keith (married to Lee Lancaster of Columbus, Ga.).”

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