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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noticed a few pears and plums in bloom over at Covington Hall, as well as some winter jasmine and, in the lawn, some early henbit.

I had lunch twice of late with Mrs. Gotrocks of Greenville in the Cracker Barrel. We ate both times at the Hopalong Cassidy table by a porch window, my favorite spot.

The bicentennial of the birth of Charles Dickens, the English novelist, is being celebrated this year. He was born Feb. 7, 1812. This Feb. 26, a new production of his novel, The Old Curiosity Shop, is scheduled to air on Masterpiece Theatre that Sunday night. It has been said that the novel was so popular and the public, so in love with its main character, Little Nell, that crowds stood on the docks in New York City, awaiting the fate of Nell, crying out to those on incoming ships, “What about Little Nell!?” The novel, like most of Dickens’s novels, was published in chapters, which had to be shipped over here. There were no airplanes then. Those aboard, of course, had had a chance to read the latest chapter and could answer as to the fate of Nell.

When in London, I came across a quaint shop, identified by some as the Old Curiosity Shop. As far as I know, it still stands.

Sanctuary flowers were given Feb. 5 at First Baptist in memory of Roy Weaver III (1959 – 2004) by his family, who quoted Romans 14:11.

Seen at David’s were Jerry and Linda Andrews, past mayor and first lady of Andalusia.

Have you seen the cutting in Georgiana? Acre after acre, surrounding the town, has been cleared for timber.

Work is progressing on the “by-pass” around Georgiana.

We are in the yearlong celebration of the centennial of the birth of Roy Rogers, the movie cowboy, born Nov. 5, 2011. You might want to watch an old movie about him to celebrate.

Colonel Covington said he thought he saw a Democrat the other day. He ran to get his camera; but by the time he returned, there was nothing there!

The Murals Committee of Andalusia met Feb. 8 in City Hall (formerly, Andalusia’s second brick and only school, and, for years, its elementary school, and, then, one of two elementary schools).

Chairlady Pat Palmore opened the meeting with prayer, and then received financial reports.

Four possible new murals were discussed – Piney Woods and Spanish cattle, textiles, schools and the Three-Notch Trail.

Sites for these were suggested.

Member David Fuqua reported on his investigation into Andalusia’s role in the Three-Notch Trail and its possible connection to a state route.

Attending, too, were Elaine Manning, Mary Lee Howard, Hazel Griffin, Nancy Robbins, Willie Thomas and Joe Wingard.

The Murals Committee is scheduled to meet next on Feb. 28, Lord willing.

I saw my first redbud in bloom this week.

Seen at Larry’s for supper on Valentine’s Day were Hubert and Rebecca Sullivan, Greg Mayberry, James and Mary Ann Rabren, Bill and Wilma Tillman and Robert Lee Holley.

The Sullivans were celebrating Hubert’s 88th birthday – he was actually born on Valentine’s Day. With them was her daughter, Beth Tolbert. Rebecca wore her signature piece of jewelry, her butterfly.

Thank you, Marcia Reichert.

Seen at Tabby D.’s for the lunch buffet were Elmer and Myrtice Davis, Marvin and Jeanette Britt, Willie and Thelma Thomas, Gayle (Rodgers) Weaver, Wade and Gearlon Rogers, and the sisters, Emily (Hooper) Brown of Niceville, Fla., and Christi Hooper of Destin, Fla., of the A.H.S. Class of 1971.

Cecil Wingard of Montgomery celebrated his 93rd birthday, Sat., Feb. 11, with all five of his sons about him, Joe, Bill, Bob, Paul and Dave. Paul baked his dad a birthday cake; and Bob and his wife Veronica provided a store-bought one, along with vanilla ice cream.

Miss Sue reports that Tabby D.’s “surprised their customers … with a newly coated and striped parking lot and new commercial carpet inside – a fresh look for guests to enjoy the South Alabama cuisine served daily on the sumptuous buffet.”

Miss Sue also reports “a Sunday-afternoon bridal shower held in honor of Elizabeth Clark by a bevy of hostesses. Her Aunt Regina (Sellers) Bass offered her home where Elizabeth, bride-elect of Andrew Loflin, was feted. A hand-made quilt ‘stole the show’ as the most original gift presented – by her grandmother, Jane Sellers of Red Level. Jane hopes to make a unique quilt for each of her ten grandchildren – two down and eight to go! Hostesses were Keron Kyzar, Tammy Holley, Nancy Smith, Pat Palmore, Susan Short, Mary Avery, Laura Darby, Beverly Farrington, Terrie Frazier, Kay Ingram, Jackie McDanal, Nan Pike, Shonna Reeves, Cindee Strong and Kay Wossilek. Jane has her plate full with two weddings coming up this spring. Not only is Elizabeth marrying at First Baptist in February; but also, granddaughter Courtney Jane Bass, her namesake and bride-elect of George Patterson, plans an April nuptial at Springdale.”

Miss Sue helped me with a supply of news when I was away from my desk, ill.

Here’s some more “Sue’s News and Views:”

“There is always good food and fellowship at the Saturday-morning breakfast buffet at Green’s Barbecue in ‘downtown’ Gantt. Diane Green Pettie loves to welcome early morning guests where hot biscuits, mushroom gravy, scrambled and fried eggs, country ham, sausage, bacon, pancakes, grits and coffee are served with song and loving spirit. ‘You are my sunshine,’ Miss Diane! Did I overhear her whispering up plans with her city friend for a historical marker to be erected in Gantt?”

The monthly meeting of District 24 (Conecuh, Covington and Escambia counties) of the Alabama Education Association met Feb. 13 at Reid State Technical College in Evergreen.

Representatives from all A.E.A. organizations, both professional and support, in the tri-county area included Beverly Wade, Dianne McKinsey (treasurer), L. D. Goldsmith, Perry Dillard (president of the Andalusia teachers), Eugene Smith, Adrian Hixon, Paula Simpson (president of the Covington teachers), Jimmy Ponds, Calvin McIntyre (vice president), Jacqueline Earthly (president), Marilyn Simmons, Janelle Riley, Lynn Brown, Joe Wingard (secretary) and Vivian Jones (district director).

Following business, those present enjoyed a supper of cowboy soup and banana pudding. Dianne McKenzie of Brewton shared her cowboy-soup recipe: scrambled ground chuck, one can of Rotel, one can of diced tomatoes, one can of Spanish rice, one can of Veg-all and one can of creamed corn. Everyone raved over the soup and the banana pudding, prepared by L. D. Goldsmith.

The next District 24 meeting was set for March 11.

The annual District 24 banquet is set for Feb. 24 in Evergreen. (Members should check with their officers for time, place, and cost.)

The month of February, by the way, is pronounced “Feb-ROO-ary,” not “Feb-U-ary.”

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 week 150 years ago.

Union troops, under the command of General Grant, attacked and captured Fort Donelson, Tennessee, a stronghold for the South. Union vessels on the Cumberland River were part of the attack, and were heavily damaged by Southern fire. The Union victory, a major loss for the South, left much of Tennessee and Kentucky and the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers under Northern control.

Political prisoners were released by the North in exchange for oaths of allegiance to the Federal government.

The Provisional Congress of the Confederacy, which had begun in Montgomery and had been governing the South till this time, was replaced by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, which officially met for the first time.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

Birthdays this week include those of Jack Benny, the American comedian, and John Barrymore, an American actor known as “the Great Profile.”

The Barrymore family is a well-known family of actors, including John and his siblings, Lionel and Ethel. John’s granddaughter, Drew, is well known to audiences today.

“Remember the Maine” became a popular war cry after the Spanish supposedly sank the American ship, Maine, in Havana Harbor.

Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated president of the CSA this week l50 years ago. He had only been provisional president until this time.

For the third time I offer the cluegraph, describing the mysterian – soft-spoken, quiet, professional, a bookworm, known for growing violets in her windowsills.

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