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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noticed the primroses Miss Flora Covington had planted at the entrance to the Covingtons’ drive. They rival in color pansies and violas, which are also cold-weather plants. The primrose doesn’t do well in the South when warm days arrive, but it thrives in the cold days of winter. I’m glad it is available in pots this time of year.

Some senior adults from First Baptist Church ate out at Hilltop Restaurant Thursday night, Jan. 12; most selected steak. Attending the fellowship meal were June Smith, Trudy Vickers, Gillis (“the Comb Man”) and Laura Ann Jones, Dennis Johnson, Bill Law, Margaret Smyly, Harland and Muriel Taylor, Kim Dyess, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Joe Wingard, Margaret Eiland, Peggy Eiland, Lucy Martin and Gordon Vickers, minister to the senior members of First Baptist.

The senior adults of First Baptist met again Tues., Jan. 17, in the Fellowship Hall for their monthly gathering.

Featured speaker was Barry Wilkinson, a native of Baker, La., and pastor for the last 13 years at Hopewell Baptist. His wife, Laura, accompanied him. They have two children, Hannah Grace, 9, and Joel, 7. Brother Wilkinson attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Wilkinson delivered a thought-provoking message, filled with questions. Are we Christians trying to be “church people” or followers of Christ? Are we “Jesus followers” or “church attenders?” Are we fans of Jesus or followers of Jesus? Will we follow Jesus when it costs us something?

Prayers were offered by Dr. Morgan Moore and Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor.

Food was provided by Green’s on the Conecuh – roast and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and fried bread, butternut cake, tea and coffee.

Tables were decorated by Trudy Vickers with snowmen centerpieces and matching napkins. Betty Bass placed fresh holly with berries around each snowman.

Margaret Smyly served the beverages.

Those present with January birthdays were honored – the charming Jean Jones, the irreplaceable Irene (Davis) Butler, and the dignified John Hill.

If you read this Saturday morning, gentle reader, the annual Chautauqua is ongoing an hour south of us in the lovely town of DeFuniak Springs, Fla. The Chautauqua, a cultural weekend, began this past Thursday and ends Sunday. You could drive down this afternoon for a few programs.

I miss ol’ friends and family members.

Some of the older Japanese magnolias (saucer magnolias) have been in full bloom this week. Now that sight’s a glory!

Did you see the birthday special on Betty White this week? She turned 90 this month – Jan. 17, I think. That show, honoring the actress, brought back many memories of the early days of television.

S. Daniel Shehan of Savannah, Ga., formerly of Andalusia, is at home, recovering from a brush with death. I do believe God heard all the prayers that went up in his behalf, and spared his life.

We continue to remember Roy Rogers, the movie cowboy, all year long. This is the 100th year since his birth.

Seen at Tabby D.’s were Seth Hammett, former state representative for our area, and Taylor Williams of Montgomery. The youthful Mr. Williams said of Andalusia that it is “my favorite place to be!”

Callie-Marie Crigger, a college student in Mobile and the daughter of Dwight and Sonia Crigger, sang a solo, “It Is Well,” recently in the Sunday school assembly of the distinguished Baraca Class at First Baptist Church. Miss Crigger, a recent graduate of the Andalusia High School, was accompanied by her mother at the Ann Martin Memorial piano.

The Covington Rifles camp of the Alabama Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Thomas Randolph Thomasson chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy met Jan. 19, the birthday of Robert Edward Lee, to honor the famous Southern general.

Commander Francis McGowin, resplendent in period garb as a Southern gentleman, not only presided but also presented a program on the admirable Lee, retracing Lee’s life from birth to death.

The Martha Dixon meeting room at Lurleen Burns Wallace Community College was decorated with Confederate flags and portraits of Lee and Jackson, whose birthday also falls in January.

Following an invocation/blessing by Vaughn Bowers, attendees enjoyed a buffet of finger foods.

Larry Shaw led two songs, “Dixie” and “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” as well as the benediction.

Tammie Evans, president of the UDC chapter, shared a video on Lee.

Little “Hamp” Clanton, the older of the two sons of Andy and Christy (Thomasson) Clanton, celebrated his third birthday (Jan. 11) on Sat., Jan. 14, in his parents’ home in the charming town of Grove Hill.

Joining in the fun were Curtis and Margie (Jacques) Thomasson, maternal grandparents of Hamp; Audrey (Thomasson) Wilson, maternal great-aunt of Hamp; and Joe Wingard, family friend, all of Andalusia; Margo (McIntyre) Sharpeless (Mrs. Brad Sharpeless) and her children, Marley and “Land,” all of Montgomery; Chappel, the baby brother of Hamp; Ann Clanton, the paternal grandmother of Hamp, and dean of students at Alabama Southern Community College; Aaron and Meagan Clanton, paternal uncle and aunt to Hamp, and their children, Malli and Emma; Kayla Jackson, a fellow teacher with Hamp’s mother and her daughter, Halli; Debbie Andrews, a friend; Melissa Gates, a friend, and her daughter, Maggi; Jennifer Abston, a friend, and her children, Cade, John Clayton and Kaylee.

A new family dog also joined the crowd – Lincoln.

Daddy Andy grilled “sliders” (baby burgers) and sausage dogs on the family deck while, inside, Mother Christy offered a buffet set with colorful, toy dump trucks, each filled with candies, chips, utensils or other foods.

The buffet included all the trimmings for the sliders and sausage dogs, chips, chicken salad, corn dip, white grapes, cheese rolls, hot, Rotel, cheese-meat dip, colas and “dirt” cake, in keeping with the dump-truck theme.

On a separate table was the birthday cake, a two-tier, blue one with icing “dump trucks” on its side. The cake was surrounded by miniature dump trucks, carrying candy, each a party favor to Hamp’s young friends.

Other favors for the children were toy hardhats (for the drivers of dump trucks) and T-shirts.

A special invitation sent to each child read as follows: “Shovel the dirt and level the ground. You’re invited to the best party in town. So, dump everything and head this way. It’s Hamp Clanton’s third birthday.” This was printed on a colorful, paper, cutout “dump truck” that could manually be moved so as to look like a truck, dumping its load.

Hamp enjoyed his guests, lunch, the birthday song, blowing out the candles (with a little help from Mother Christy), opening a mountain of gifts and playing outside.

Two of his favorite presents were a real fish in a bowl, brought by his Thomasson grandparents, and a super-cape, presented by his parents.

Outside, the children enjoyed two bounce houses and rides up in the air in Daddy Andy’s heavy-duty machine.

Many pictures were taken and many memories made.

Mother Christy, who had worked so long and so hard and so creatively, was about “pooped” when the two hours came to a close; and wondered if she would ever attempt a party again or “dump” the idea altogether (pun intended).

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, AL 36420.

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

General Grant of the Northern forces led troops into Kentucky and Tennessee. The North won the Battle of Mill Springs, Ky., creating a gap in the South’s defense of Kentucky and Tennessee. The South lost 125 men with 309 wounded and 99 missing, as well as 10 cannon, 100 wagons, more than 1,000 horses, and many boats, munitions and provisions. The Federals sank ships on purpose in Charleston Harbor to halt blockade running. Off Alabama’s coast, a Confederate ship was halted from blockade running.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

Congratulations to Irene Butler for identifying Dr. Morgan Moore as the mysterian.

The new cluegram follows: one-time librarian, retired, ex-mayor’s wife.

Recent birthdays include the following: Benjamin Franklin, the “Grandfather of Our Country” and early American statesman; Robert E. Lee, Confederate general and president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia (later, Washington and Lee College); Edgar Allan Poe, American writer of short stories and poetry, such as “The Raven”; “Stonewall” Jackson, a Confederate general; Lord Byron, English poet; Francis Bacon, English writer of essays; John Hancock, first to sign the “Declaration of Independence” (he wrote in a hand so large that the King of England could read it without glasses); Robert Burns, best beloved of Scottish poets (he wrote “Auld Lang Syne”); Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), English author of the two Alice-in-Wonderland books; and Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer.

Jan. 20 was the Eve of St. Agnes. On this night, if a maiden follows certain rituals, she will see in her dreams the face of her future husband.

Jan. 20 is also the date that our Revolutionary War ended.

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