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

Published 12:02 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I spotted the Seven-Sisters rose in early bloom. My thoughts went to Jim and Eva Maloy, who gave me my first Seven Sisters.

May is usually the month of roses; but they seem to be opening early this year, like so much else, including the primroses (buttercups) along the highways, mixed with red, white, and yellow clovers and purple verbena, a pretty and a rustic sight.

The English dogwood was in bloom this week, too.

March went out, in general, like a lamb, though rain fell on its last day in the “Dimple of Dixie.” March had come in like a lion.

Seen at Tabby D.’s for lunch were Elmer and Myrtice Davis, Marvin and Jeanette Britt, Gayle Weaver, and Wade and Jearlon Rogers.

Seen at Mama T.’s for Sunday lunch were Larry and Mary Avery, Mickey and Jenny Pitts, the Neal Kings, Jimmy and Jeanice Kirkland, Dr. Wayne Johnson, the Johnny Brewers, and Bobby and Judy Scott.

First Baptist Church, East Three-Notch, was decorated in green-on-white last weekend for Palm Sunday. Six large, potted palms flanked the podium. Huge palm fronds curved against white shutters in the twelve main windows of the sanctuary, all placed by Alan Cotton, deacon and florist. The choir wore white robes with green stoles. Organist Martha Givhan opened the service with a prelude of “The Palms,” that traditional, grand, and inspiring piece. Some wore small palm fronds on clothes to recall the day when Christ entered Jerusalem to joyous acclaim, palms spread before Him and the donkey he rode.

The Covington sisters, Miss Cora, Miss Dora, and Miss Flora, are filling baskets for each other, I hear, for Easter Sunday tomorrow. I plan to dye eggs, even at my age. The Covingtons have a big egg hunt on their lawn today.

Last Sunday night at First Baptist, East Three-Notch, the congregation had as their guests the congregations of First Baptist, Whatley Street, and Southside Baptist.

Dwight Crigger, minister of music at East Three-Notch, led his choir in two anthems, as well as congregational hymns.

Martha Givhan accompanied at the organ; John Beasley, retired math teacher from the Andalusia High School, the grand piano.

A praise team of five ladies from Southside sang to taped music. They call themselves Sisters by Grace – Gabrielle Baldwin, Lori Godwin, Heather German, Beth Dean, and Amy Nichols.

The choir from Whatley Street sang next, featuring solos and clapping, and a variety of instruments.

The sermon was delivered by Johnny Davis, until recently the pastor at Whatley Street. Bro. Davis has delivered two baccalaureates to the graduates of A.H.S., so this was his third time behind the pulpit at East Three-Notch.

Following the benediction/blessing by Bill Pritchett, pastor of Southside, those in attendance reassembled in Fellowship Hall for homemade cakes.

Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor at East Three-Notch, served as host for the evening.

A group of senior adults from First Baptist, East Three-Notch, motored to Mobile Friday, March 30, to attend the first of three passion plays, presented at Dauphin Way Baptist Church along I-65 and co-sponsored by Dauphin Way and the University of Mobile, a Baptist college. Some 250 participated at a cost of $l00,000 a performance.

Neal Dansby drove the new church bus on its “maiden voyage” out of Andalusia. His passengers were Herb and Sue Carlisle, Irene (Davis) Butler, Annette Burt, Dr. Morgan and Wilma Moore, Gordon and Trudy Vickers, Sue (Bass) Wilson, Betty Bass, Gillis “the Comb Man” and Laura Ann Jones, Jerry and Linda Andrews, Jerry “the Bing” and Sally Hall, and Joe Wingard.

Gordon Vickers, minister to senior adults, organized the trip.

The group supped at Morrison’s, one of only two Morrison’s left in the country, both in Mobile where Morrison’s originated. The older generations may recall this excellent cafeteria, long popular in Alabama.

The fantastic play was presented with impressive sets, costumes, music, and singers. A large live orchestra accompanied.

The inspiring story drew a standing ovation from the audience.

Gordon and Trudy Vickers ran into many of their old friends, having been members at Dauphin Way for 23 years before moving to Covington County.

Sue Wilson was joined by her sister Sally and brother-in-law, Bill Gilmer, who live in Mobile. Sally is a teacher. Bill is a funeral director.

The Crigger family also attended to see Callie Marie, the daughter of Dwight and Sonia Crigger, in the chorus of the play. Callie Marie is a student at the University of Mobile. With Dwight and Sonia were their son Carl, her sister Amy Sewell, and her parents, Joe and Joyce Sewell.

Joe Wingard ran into David Eubanks of Mississippi, an acquaintance he had met at the national reunion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a few years ago. Mr. Eubanks was in Mobile to visit his daughter and her family.

On the way back home the senior adults stopped in Atmore to refresh at McDonald’s. No one visited the casino.

The Covington Historical Society assembled for their monthly meeting the evening of March 29 in the Dixon Memorial of our public library.

Bea Miller served as hostess of a buffet provided by various members.

President John Scherf, a descendant of the prominent Scherf family, called the 372nd meeting to order and led in the pledge to the flag.

Chaplain Bill Law led in prayer.

Larry Shaw led the state song, “Alabama,” accompanied by Sue (Bass) Wilson at the piano.

Guests were introduced.

Copies of the minutes were approved.

A treasurer’s report was distributed in the absence of the treasurer.

Sue (Bass) Wilson was named historian of the Society, as well as chairlady of the Museum Committee.

President Scherf expressed gratitude to the Star-News and WAAO for publicity, to Mrs. Grundy’s column, and for the Society website, organized by Sidney Waits, member and local historian.

Sue (Bass) Wilson offered copies of her January newsletter.

Darwin Pippin reported on the museum.

Nancy Robbins introduced the speaker, David Fuqua, whose wife Jana was with him.

They have recently moved here from Birmingham so that he can assist his mother, Jean (Carter) Fuqua.

He is counted as a close, personal friend of George Wallace, Jr..

Fuqua informed the Society of a proposed Three-Notch Scenic Trail, a historic byway for Covington County, connecting to the counties of Russell, Bullock, Pike, and Escambia.

His title was “The Making of the Three-Notch Trail into a Scenic By-Way.”

Fuqua said the idea grew out of the Murals Committee, of which he is a member. The murals being painted in Andalusia will contribute to a scenic trail and economic development.

Fuqua mentioned other scenic byways in Alabama – Talladega, Natchez Trace, Selma – to – Montgomery (the Civil Rights March), Governors, Coastal, and Stagecoach.

Three local historians were present to contribute to Fuqua’s report, Sidney Waits, Wyley Ward, and Curtis Hampton Thomasson.

Waits pointed out that the Society deserves credit for the signs, designating the Three-Notch Trail already.

Ward, with his encyclopedic mind, worded the Three-Notch marker downtown, and has penned several histories, including The Early History of Covington County, which Fuqua used as the basis for his presentation. Ward said his history was the first published about Covington County.

Ward added that Andrew Jackson only stepped foot in Covington County once, if that; that could have been in l8l8 if he walked around Lake Jackson in Florala, half in Alabama, half in Florida (thus, the name). Ward said that Jackson did camp at Lake Jackson, which bears his name. There is no proof, according to Ward, however, that Jackson made the Three-Notch Trail.

Thomasson has probably recorded more genealogical history of the county than any other person in its history, mainly through his weekly column in the Star-News.

Fellowship and food followed adjournment.

Jasmine Hills Gardens above Montgomery but below Wetumpka is open “for the season,” now through June, each Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m..

Please consider watching a new film of Great Expectations on public television April 8 on Masterpiece Theatre, in honor of its author, Charles Dickens, whose birth 200 years ago many are recalling this year. The first half of the film was shown April l. Most folks are required to read this novel during public school. It is fun to see it come to life – Pip, Estella, Miss Havisham, Joe, and Herbert Pocket.

This is also the l00th anniversary of the birth of the movie cowboy, Roy Rogers, born November 5, 20ll.

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.

Thank all of you who have thus far done this.

To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, let us return to this week l50 years ago.

The Battle of Shiloh (or Pittsburgh Landing) on the Tennessee River was fought over two days to a standstill. During the battle over l3,000 Federals and over l0,000 Confederates died, as well as the Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston of Kentucky.

Johnston was replaced by General Beauregard. The Southern troops withdrew to Corinth, Mississippi, leaving the Northern troops pretty much where they had been before the South attempted to oust them at Shiloh.

General Grant commanded the Northern troops.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.

President Lincoln insisted that more soldiers be assigned to protect Washington, D.C., his capital.

Apalachicola, Florida, was taken by federal troops. (I hope the oysters gave them what-for.)

Gen. George McClellan, head of the Army of the Potomac, continued his siege of Yorktown, Virginia, in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign, his effort to take Richmond, the Confederate capital, from behind.

McClellan was opposed by the Army of Northern 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. She is also deceased. If no one in Andalusia can guess after the tenth time, I shall reveal her name. That gives Dimpletonians two more weeks.

The following birthdays were celebrated this week: those of Hans Christian Andersen, the “Great Dane,” the Danish writer of fairy tales, such as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Little Mermaid”; Washington Irving, America’s first professional author, remembered in particular for two short stories, “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”; and William Wordsworth, English poet and poet laureate, who wrote “The child is father of the man” in “My Heart Leaps Up.” (The quotation means that the way we are as children determines the kind of adult we shall be.)

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

Fare thee well.