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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I caught sight of Clay Clyde Clump, out on the great lawn of Covington Hall, flying a kite like a child without a care in the world. The clover was turning the great lawn green beneath Clydie’s feet.

Typical March weather is here – sunny but cool, windy – thus, the kites.

I hear tell that the Covingtons will again sponsor their Benjamin Franklin Kite-Flying Contest on their lawn this month. They started it to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Franklin. The Covingtons give prizes to the best homemade kite, the one that flies the highest, and the one that stays afloat the longest.

March came in this year like a lion. According to superstition, March should exit like a lamb.

With March comes spring, which is rushing in with grass, red clover, yellow clover, and blooms – the Bradford pear, azaleas, bridal wreath, daffodils, redbud, feather shrubs and dewberries.

Ah, dewberries! The thought of later dewberry cobblers and dewberry nectar delights me!

Miss Cora Covington reminded me that today we need to set our clocks an hour ahead to be on Daylight Savings Time tomorrow.

Seen Sunday at Larry’s were John and Judy Powers, Clint Bryant, Barbara Bryant and Dr. J. Wayne Johnson.

I hear that Mama T.’s Restaurant on the by-pass is a popular success. It hasn’t been open long, and was open on Sunday for the first time this past weekend.

The Covington Rifles “camp” (county chapter) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans gathered for its monthly meeting March 1 in the Dixon Memorial of our public library.

Vaughn Bowers, second in command, presided and led in pledges to the Alabama and Confederate flags.

John Allen Gantt, chaplain, offered an invocation.

Larry Shaw led in “Dixie” as all stood.

Rick Boswell volunteered to speak on the legality or illegality of the 14th amendment at the meeting scheduled for April 5.

Bowers reminded those attending of the camp’s project to erect a memorial to Covington soldiers who fought for the Confederacy.

For the program John Allen Gantt presented a book review on the biography, Nathan Bedford Forrest, by Jack Hurst.

Also attending were Derick Davis, Morris Mullen, Jimmy Cobb, Jimmy Mott, Fletcher Jones, Curtis Hampton Thomason and Joe Wingard.

Davis set up a stand of flags for display.

The Selma Pilgrimage (tour of homes) is set for March 16-17.

Don’t forget to wear green March 17, or risk being pinched on St. Patrick’s Day. Judy Godwin of Pleasant Home has her outfit already coordinated.

This past Saturday night in the Dixon Center of the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College I attended the 29th annual Red Garter Revue, produced by the Andalusia Junior Woman’s Club.

Here is a “Review of the Revue.”

The curtain opened to a bevy of beautiful dancers – the Red Garter “leggets” – dazzling the audience against the sparkling backdrop of a cityscape.

Towering amid the “hoofers” with rhythmic steps of his own was the evening’s emcee, Johnny Brewer, chief musician at L.B.W., “Mr. Versatility,” handsome in his tuxedo, who surprised some of us with his good, strong, solo voice and thoughtful humor.

Brewer strung the acts together for two-and-a-half hours with his commanding presence and witty commentary, as he led Andalusia’s premiere local-talent show.

Terri Jones and Janna McGlamory followed with “Party Line,” playing two women, receiving calls to a radio station. With dry humor, the duet satirized local situations, including a few “inside jokes.” One particularly hardy laugh came after their mentioning the new chain-link fence, separating Harold’s Furniture Store and the post office. That fence has cut off easy access from Harold’s parking lot to the post office, to the annoyance of many.

Another parody, one of musical personalities, presented by Roger and Cathy Powell, was on the cutting edge of satirical humor. This popular, talented couple is always ready with the very latest.

Next came the first of two solos by Paula Sue Duebelt, choral director at the Andalusia High School. The glamorous Mrs. Duebelt belted out “Don’t Rain on My Parade” with the gusto of Ethel Merman.

In the second half she returned with “Spanish Rose” from her upcoming, high school production of Bye, Bye, Birdie. For this number Mrs. Duebelt added a flair with dance, playing well the character of Rose from the musical.

She was accompanied at a grand piano by her multi-talented fellow teacher, Angie (Baker) Sasser.

By the way, the musical, Bye, Bye, Birdie, is set for tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. and Monday night at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

The crowd-pleasing Jeff Sellers and Jeremy Craig took center stage to share “Dueling Banjos” from the film, Deliverance. The two lads inspired a “clap-a-long” with their foot-stomping tune.

The Red Garter Dancers returned to the stage to dance to “Men in Black,” choreographed by Lindsey Reeves.

The “lookers” were Bridgette Brannon, Mary Michael Byars, Anna Johnson, Angie Miller, Kim Rasberry, Lindsey Reeves, Meg Shelnutt, Susan Theus and Lesley Thorn.

After intermission the Ritz Crackers, the men’s answer to the Red Garter Dancers, impressed an appreciative audience with Sarah Sightler’s choreography of the music to the film, Napoleon Dynamite.

Showing some serious talent with their stylized steps were Ben Bowden, Jeffery Douglas, Shannon Glenn, Parrish King and Scott Riley.

Then Ted Watson, the “Singing Superintendent” of the Andalusia City Schools, with his strong voice and romantic style, “Sinatraed” “The Way You Look Tonight.”

Sisters by Grace, a quartette of Gabrielle Baldwin, Beth Dean, Heather German and Lori Godwin, presented a medley of gospel music from the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Their harmony was admirable.

As the ladies sang, they were joined by Ricky Counts, as if he had just stepped out of the silver screen. His twang mesmerized the audience. He was a hit, born to the part!

A video flashback followed with scenes from past revues, narrated by the energetic Amy Dugger, current AJWC president. Three of the founders of the revue were honored – Nancy Hammett, Paula Harr and Linda James.

The show-stopper for the night ambled out onto the stage next, his bicycle at hand, fluff cap drawn down, overalls buckled on, and buck teeth, protruding – the one, the only Buford P. Nerdley, played by the ever-popular Danny Posey, who kept the audience spell-bound and laughing with his slow, dry, down-home observations on local life, leaving the crowd wanting more – and more – and more.

Returning for their third time for the finale of the revue were the Red Garter Dancers with the Ritz Crackers, dancing to Lynsey DuBose’s choreography of “Dirty Dancing.” Mr. and Mrs. Parrish King were the standouts.

The “running gag” throughout the evening was the between-acts voice of “Mrs. Grundy,” who sat behind a literal “Venetian blind” and was never seen. I can only guess the identity of the person who impersonated me with her gentle and refined parody of this column and her own observations on the “Dimple of Dixie.” I’ll tell you this – she was much sharper than I’ve ever been.

In a voice dripping with honey and hinting of magnolias, she used her subtle wit to dissect local foibles and personalities.

I could not see them, but I knew that Jerry and Wynora Wishum were behind the scenes, coordinating the technical aspect of the revue. Jerry is a synonym for faithfulness.

Seen among the crowd was Agnes Gatlin, out and about at 105! What a lady!

Gentle reader, have you seen a Roy Rogers western lately? Remember that this year is the centennial of his birth.

I remind you, too, of the new film of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, set to air on public television April 1 and April 8 on Masterpiece Theatre. This year is the bicentennial of the birth of the greatest novelist in our language.

Yet 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. 1582, Andalusia, AL 36420.

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

Gen. Andrew Johnson was approved as the military governor of Tennessee. After the death of Lincoln, Johnson served as president of the United States.

The Battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., was fought, a Union victory. The battle saw the death of two Confederate generals, McCullock and McIntosh. It has been called the “most significant” battle in the Trans-Mississippi (across the Mississippi) West.

At Hampton Roads, Va., a channel of water, leading into the Chesapeake Bay, the ironclad, CSS Merrimack, inflicted damage on several federal ships, acting as a blockade squadron. The USS Monitor showed up to engage the Merrimack, and the battle of the ironclads was ruled by some a “draw.”

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

For the sixth week no one has identified correctly the mysterian, though Bea Miller has been suggested by several.

Here is the clue-graph again – soft-spoken, quiet, professional, a bookworm, known for growing African violets in her windowsills.

Birthdays this week include that of Elizabeth (Barrett) Browning, English poet of the Victorian era, wife of Robert Browning (another English poet), and authoress of the most famous love sonnet in our language, beginning “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” The true-life story of the love between Robert and Elizabeth is a valentine.

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