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

Published 12:02 am Saturday, March 31, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I watched the grancy greybeard, its blooms gently swaying in the spring sunshine.

I know that spring has just begun, but it feels more like summer already.

Today is the last day of March; tomorrow is Palm Sunday. Some worshippers wear little bits of palm to church. Some sing the stately song, “The Palms,” or hear it sung or played on a pipe organ.

Easter is approaching April 8.

My mother used to prepare Easter baskets and hide them around the house for my siblings and me to find Easter morning. The baskets contained dyed eggs (real ones), candy, and sometimes a little Easter memento.

My paternal grandmother did the same for us.

My paternal grandfather made nests in his garden in the country and hid dyed eggs (real ones) therein for us to find. We believed the Easter Bunny had made the nests and left the eggs. We actually saw him, hopping off one year.

One of my dearest treasures is a little, chipped, plaster-of-Paris set of a mother bunny and two of her bunnies, which I found in my Easter basket at Grandmother’s.

Easter was the one day of the year for which Father bought us new Sunday school clothes, to be worn until the following Easter. My brother begged our father to let him select his new suit for Easter. Father, who usually selected my brothers’ suits, was against the idea, but let Brother have his way. Father had good taste in clothes; my brother had none, as seen by his choice – a charcoal-colored shirt, yellow tie and sickly pale, green coat with white dots. He had to wear that all year long, even after he realized he was the worst dressed boy in church.

First Baptist on East Three-Notch presented an Easter cantata Sunday night, March 25, in the sanctuary.

The cantata, Remember, was directed by Dwight Crigger, in his fourth year as minister of music.

While the adult choir, attired in black, sang seven anthems between narration of the life of Christ, images, corresponding to the lyrics, were shown on two large screens.

A tape was used, accompanied by John Beasley at the piano. Beasley is a retired math teacher from the Andalusia High School and local organist.

Beasley also played the opening hymn, “Were You There,” the offertory, and postlude.

Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor, worded the offertory prayer. Dr. J. Wayne Johnson, semi-retired doctor and special deacon for the day, worded the benediction.

Following the cantata, Dr. Karthaus and active deacons led in the Lord’s Supper, as Beasley played.

The supper was prepared by Bill Law.

The sound system was manned by Tripp Bass; and the computer, by Sandy Boyd, whose wife, Stephanie, sang in the choir, along with their son, Jeremy.

Also singing were Janet Brantley, Glenn and Cindy Cook, Sonia Crigger (pianist and wife of the minister of music), Neal and Jennifer Dansby, Nancy Darnell, Shelly Dooley, Amy Dugger (whose daughter had been baptized that morning), Peggy Eiland, Beverly Farrington and her daughter, Allison, Linda Finlin, Betty Gay, Martha Givhan (church organist), Mary Hill and her daughter, Joan Mitchell, Jeff Hopkins, Dennis Johnson, Dr. Wayne Johnson, Beth Maddox, Natasha Mallory, Jennifer McMath, Frank Moore, Dr. Morgan and Wilma Moore, Teresa Nelson, Frances Rabren, Charlotte Rogers, Randy and Connie Seale, Casey Thompson, Peggy Tucker, Gordon Vickers (minister to senior adults), Gayle Weaver and Sue (Bass) Wilson (sister to Tripp Bass).

A standing ovation followed the cantata.

Sunday night, April l, at 6 p.m., First Baptist on East Three-Notch, First Baptist on Whatley Street, and Southside Baptist plan to worship together in the East Three-Notch sanctuary.

Sunday morning, March 25, Dr. Karthaus baptized Ingram Dugger, daughter of John and Amy (Pitts) Dugger, in the morning worship service of First Baptist. Also on hand to witness the baptism were Amy’s parents, Mickey and Jenny (Hogg) Pitts; Mickey’s mother, Eleanor Pitts; Mickey’s sister, Pam Cottle; a great-nephew, Nicholas Appleyard; Jenny’s brother and sister-in-law, Jimbo and Darlene Hogg, and their son, James; John’s mother, Marjorie Harbuck; Ingram’s teacher, Angie Bowden; and friends from Prattville, Laura Pass and her daughter, Kate. Kate and Ingram were born the same day, just 12 hours apart.

Martha (James) Givhan, organist at First Baptist, played a lovely offertory, “Dogwood Blossoms,” in the morning worship service. She had learned it at the hands of her piano-organ teacher, the late Louise (Bozeman) Barrow, organist at First Baptist for some 50 – 60 years and a local piano teacher.

Seen at the Piggly-Wiggly “deli” were Mrs. Albert Weeden and Sterling Jones of Dozier. The Weedens’ son, also named Albert, is now principal in an Opelika school and has a wife and two children.

Don Parsons, retired insurance agent, related an interesting story to me the other day. His dad, Brother D. E. Parsons, a Baptist minister, during a “hymn of invitation” at Gardendale Baptist, received a 5-year-old girl at the altar. (It is common in Baptist churches to encourage those who newly believe in Jesus to walk down the aisle during the “hymn of invitation” and publicly declare their faith in Christ as their Savior and Lord.)

Seeing how young the child was, Brother Parsons wondered if she really knew what she was doing.

When he asked her if she did, she took a step backwards, arms akimbo, and said with great confidence, “Jesus saved me! Ain’t that enough?!”

Brother Parsons responded, “Enough said!”

Seven members of the Mildred Hart Sunday School Class of First Baptist celebrated their teacher’s 88th birthday last Monday, March 26, in their teacher’s home, that of Bud and Opal Couch on County Road 32.

Mrs. Couch, a retired, public-school teacher and a Sunday-School teacher for some 22 years, settled with her husband Bud in this area when retirement time came.

She has been described as a “great inspiration…as well as a great Bible teacher.”

Guests arrived in a yard beautiful with dogwoods and azaleas.

Class members, free to attend, took food for lunch – Margaret Eiland, Doyce Cox, Carolyn O’Neal, Rebecca Kinard, Carolyn Lambert, Muriel Taylor and Irene (Davis) Butler, who, as class president, presented a program of religious humor. Mrs. Lambert presented Mrs. Couch with a potted plant. Bud Couch worded the blessing.

Assisting was Kim Couch, Opal and Bud’s daughter-in-law, who has been described as a treasure who cooks and does housework for the Couches all the time.

Among the humor shared by Mrs. Butler was this story:

“A father was approached by his small son, who told him proudly, ‘I know what the Bible means.’

“His father smiled and replied, ‘What do you mean, you “know” what the Bible means?’

“The son replied, ‘I do know!’

“‘Okay,’ said his father. ‘What does the Bible mean?’

“’That’s easy, Daddy,’ the young boy replied excitedly. ‘It stands for Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.’”

It’s time again for the senior parties, traditionally thrown for the graduates of the Andalusia High School.

This is a custom with our local school, dating back to the early days of the last century. I have never heard of another high school with this same custom. I’m glad to see Andalusians keep up this sentimental practice.

The first party of the season, I’m told, was that for Meredith Tillman, a cookout March 8 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Buddy Wilkes on Cottle Creek Road, hosted by Meredith’s aunts, Barbara (Gaines) Mikel and Beth (Tillman) Wilkes.

Guests dined indoors and on the veranda with a menu of hamburgers (rumored to have come from cows raised by Buddy Wilkes himself), hotdogs, baked beans, and cupcakes.

After dinner the seniors engaged in games played on the “Minute to Win It” show; for example, building a pyramid out of plastic cups and stacking three golf balls on top of each other.

Greeley Foshee and C.P. Rogers were feted at a barbecue at the home of Mr. and Mrs. David Walker March 16. Seniors dined on hamburgers, baked beans, potato casserole and cheesecake. Hostesses included Mr. and Mrs. Steve Posey, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Locklier, Mr. and Mrs. John Pugh, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Henderson and Lynn (O’Neal) Patterson.

Catherine Grace Searcy was honored for graduation and her birthday (March 25) with a fiesta, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Dendy, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Parker, and Mr. and Mrs. Rick Neal March 25 at the Parkers’ home on Hidden Forest Lane. Seniors participated in “south-of-the-border” festivities, such as breaking a piñata and pinning the tail on the bulldog.

Rachel Searcy, grandmother to Catherine Grace Searcy, made a surprise visit to our newspaper office this week to do a little research.

Thanks go out to Stephen Caton, president of the A.H.S. Class of 2012, who provided the above information about senior parties.

Tonight and tomorrow night at 7 p.m. a passion play is scheduled in Dauphin Way Baptist in Mobile.

Jasmine Hill Gardens above Montgomery but below Wetumpka is open now through June, each Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon– 5 p.m.

The Eufaula Pilgrimage ends tomorrow.

Please consider watching a new film of Great Expectations on public television tomorrow, April 1, and next week, April 8, on Masterpiece Theatre, in honor of its author, Charles Dickens, whose birth 200 years ago is being remembered this year.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of the movie cowboy, Roy Rogers, born Nov. 5, 2011.

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.

The Peninsular Campaign, an effort to take Richmond, the Confederate capital, from the south, continued. Union and Confederate troops clashed in Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico and, especially, Virginia.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

For the ninth week, no one has identified correctly the mysterian. Here is the clue-graph again – soft-spoken, quiet, professional, a bookworm, known for growing African violets in her windowsills, and deceased.

Birthdays this week are those of Alfred Edward Housman, English scholar and poet of “When I Was One-and-Twenty”; Robert Frost, American poet of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”; and Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer.

Frost, the most popular American poet since Longfellow, wrote a quatrain that may be the most quoted piece of American poetry in the last 100 years – “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep; But I have promises to keep/ And miles to go before I sleep —/ And miles to go before I sleep.”

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

Prepare your soul to honor Christ this joyous Easter season.

Fare thee well.