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

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 9, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I admired the beauty of the soft, pink blooms of the mimosa over at Covington Hall, remembering the warm, summer evenings of my childhood when I sat on the front stoop of my home and was intoxicated by the delicate fragrance of the mimosa.

Seen at Capt. D.’s for Sunday lunch were Wayne and Lenora Johnson, Richard and Georgette Pass, Wanda Davis, and Derek Davis.

Seen at the “deli” at Piggly Wiggly for lunch were Raymond Worley and that happy, smiling, sunnified family, the Jacksons – Jody and Nicole and their two sons, Haden and Whitman.

Soprano Charlotte Rogers, a teacher, sang a solo, “The Promise,” to taped accompaniment last Sunday morning in First Baptist.

Lenora, Wayne, and Campbell Rabren Johnson, their three-year-old grandson, motored to Dothan the Sunday before Memorial Day to spend the night in a hotel so that Campbell could swim and also ride the elevators. (Grandparents will do anything for their grandchildren!) On Monday afternoon Great-Grandmother “Nana” Faulk joined the Johnsons for a fun afternoon at Water World.

Said Campbell, “We had a ‘berry’ good time!”

This past week chronicled the Diamond Jubilee (sixtieth anniversary) of England’s Queen Elizabeth II on the throne. She ascended in l952 upon the death of her father, George VI.

If the Queen, now 86, lives four more years, she could meet and pass the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who ruled around 64 years.

Jubilee activities included races, sailing on the Thames (pronounced “tims”), and concerts.

The Covington Historical Society assembled for its 374th meeting May 3l in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library. Nancy Robbins, vice-president, presided in the absence of President John Scherf.

After guests were recognized, Bill Law prayed the invocation.

Curtis Hampton Thomasson led the pledge to the flag.

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

Evelyn Murphree, recording secretary, distributed the minutes.

Mrs. Wilson shared news as corresponding secretary.

Harmon Proctor, treasurer, reported.

David Walters, member, donated two books to the museum. One was a l952 yearbook from Andalusia High School that had belonged to one of its music teachers, Mary Clyde (Mims) Merrill.

Mrs. Wilson presented the museum report and announced that the City would provide two summer workers for the museum.

The program theme was May Day at Church Street School. The audience enjoyed an old film of May-Day activities, provided by Sheila Rhea. A discussion about May Day and memories of the special day followed. Someone estimated that the annual, school-day celebration of spring began after World War II and lasted into the sixties.

Many present had participated.

One memory was that the sixth grade provided those who actually wove the ribbons around the maypole. There were also May-Day kings and queens.

Refreshments for the meeting were provided by Bill Law, Ann McGowin, Curtis Thomasson, Larry Shaw, and Dick and Macil Chandler. Bea Miller coordinated.

There still stands on the campus of A.H.S. a deodar. There used to be another on the front lawn of East Three-Notch, and yet another on the front lawn of Church Street. Only the one at A.H.S. is left. I do not know, but I suspect that someone donated all three long ago, one per campus. If anyone knows anything about these special trees, please let me know. Thank you.

On television a few days ago a news reporter quoted a little rhyme, which I thought cute enough to repeat – “New York! New York! A city so nice, they named it twice!”

Stephen Caton, valedictorian of the A.H.S. Class of 20l2 and its president, provided the following information about senior parties.

Thank you, Stephen.

Seniors enjoyed a pool party at the home of Hosts Dr. and Mrs. Bill King to honor C. P. Rogers. Seniors spent their time taking a dip in the infinity pool (gentle reader, see your computer) and hot tub. The Kings’ back terrace and covered grilling area were perfect for the buffet of hamburgers, chips, dip, and a full banana-split bar.

Grayson Gantt was joined by friends and family for a fish fry in his honor at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Grimes. Guests enjoyed fried catfish, cheese grits, coleslaw, and chocolate éclairs on the Grimeses’ deck, overlooking beautiful Gantt Lake. The party was co-hosted by the Grimes, Susan Odom, and Tammy Portemont.

Austin Shirey and Samantha Hill were joined by friends and family at a poolside barbecue in their honor at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kerry Hill (Samantha’s parents). Seniors enjoyed swimming, trick diving off the board, and dining on barbecue and sushi.

Meredith Tillman invited the entire senior class to join her in a pool luau in her honor after baccalaureate practice. Guests dined on a scrumptious meal catered by David’s Catfish, following a long afternoon of water fun — swimming, cannon-ball contests, and “chicken” fighting. The party was attended at the home of Meredith’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Bill Tillman.

The senior youth of Bethany Baptist Church invited seniors to join them for a party, themed “Amazing Race,” and modeled after the TV show of the same name. Guests were divided into teams, each of which received clues to various destinations. Once there each senior group competed against the other groups in meeting challenges. Some of the challenges included digging through spaghetti, blindfolded, to find enough change to buy a water gun at the Dollar Tree, using the water gun to help run a water relay, and digging through manure to find a key to open a special lock. Seniors searched everywhere, from Prestwood Bridge to Point A Dam, to follow clues and find coordinates for the next challenge. Seniors honored were Austin Shirey, Will Jackson, Susie Watson, Michael Kelley, Meredith Tillman, and Ander Helms. The party was hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Bob Burkhardt, Jennifer (Spann) Scherzinger, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Tyson, Mr. and Mrs. David Marcum, Dr. and Mrs. Tim Day, and Dr. and Mrs. David McCalman.

The faculty and staff of Andalusia Elementary honored their own graduating seniors – Catherine Grace Searcy, C. P. Rogers, Susie Watson, and Allison Daniels – in the library/media center of A.E.S.. Superintendent Ted Watson (and Susie’s dad) led the teachers and their graduates in reminiscing about their days at A.E.S. and A.M.S.. Debbie (Boswell) Grimes was especially pleased that she had taught seven of the ten seniors in attendance. All dined on pizza and cake. Guests of the graduates were Alectrecia Barnes, Hunter Albritton, Stephen Caton, Kelsey Ramirez, Josh Atkinson, and Grayson Gantt.

A 20l2 graduate, Jessica Park, honoree, celebrated her graduation by enjoying a Mexican fiesta with friends and family. Before dining on a traditional Mexican spread, seniors signed each other’s mug, a party favor. Hosted by Mr. and Mrs. David Darby, Mr. and Mrs. John Givhan, Mr. and Mrs. David Moore, Mr. and Mrs. John Parham, and Mr. and Mrs. Brownie Woodall, the seniors gathered at the Darbys’ home on Stratford Court.

The Andalusia City Ambassadors, high-school youth who serve as guides at civic functions, had their end-of-the-year, appreciation picnic at Springdale, the renovated Scherf home, now under control of the City, Tuesday, May 22. Hosted by Mayor and Mrs. Earl Johnson, the Andalusia City Council, and Mrs. Gene Stroud, retired teacher and advisor to the youth, the Ambassadors enjoyed a sunset dinner of hamburgers, potato salad, and baked beans on the immaculate grounds behind Springdale. The 20l2 Andalusia City Ambassadors honored were Kathryn Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Williams; Hunter Albritton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Albritton; Stephen Caton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Caton; Catherine Grace Searcy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Searcy; Alexandra Hart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hart; Jay Brewer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Brewer; Austin Shirey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Shirey; Ben Ballard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Ballard; Michael Kelley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Kelley; John David Thompson, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Thompson; Pierre Johnson, daughter of Maria Smith Johnson; and Raegan Eiland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Eiland. Only John David, Pierre, and Raegan plan to return as ambassadors next year.

Thank you, Stephen Caton, for the information above.

If anyone has information on other senior parties, please feel free to share through this column.

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

The celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, English novelist, continues. His first novel was Pickwick Papers, in which the main character, Mr. Pickwick, and his friends traveled all over England, a kind of story-tour.

This year is also the l00th anniversary of the birth of the movie cowboy, Roy Rogers, born last November 5. One can watch reruns of his old movies and television series on local Cable 67.

This year is also the 200th anniversary of the War of l8l2.

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.

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

A Union flotilla of some 68 vessels on the Mississippi took the river town of Memphis, Tennessee, by defeating some 28 Confederate ships.

In New Orleans a Confederate by the name of William Mumford was hanged because he had removed and destroyed the flag of the United States that had flown over a public building. Southern hatred of the “dictator” of New Orleans, Gen. Benjamin Butler, grew more intense because of this.

Federal troops in the Peninsular Campaign pressed against Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America, especially at Cross Keys, Port Republic, and Port Royal; but the Confederates managed to push the Northern invaders back. Southern leaders in these victories included Gen. R. S. Ewell and Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson. General Lee, recently appointed, worked to defend Richmond and to go on the offense against the invaders as well.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps. Four Sesquicentennial stamps have so far been issued.

Congratulations to Melba Kelley for identifying the mysterian as James Bristow. Mrs. Kelley said that he and his wife Helen are “dear and precious to me.” Mrs. Kelley was the first person to “do” Helen’s hair when the Bristows moved here; she was also the last when Helen died.

The new cluegram is as follows: this Presbyterian pharmacist bubbles with wit and mischief.

Birthdays for the past week include those of Thomas Moore, Irish poet; Patrick Henry, American patriot; Gilbert Keith Chesterton, English author; Edward Elgar, English composer; Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet; Jefferson Davis, first and only president of the Confederate States of America; Robert Schumann, German composer; and John Howard Payne, Americana actor and dramatist.

Also, D-Day, the invasion of Europe, changed the course of World War II on June 6, l944.

Moore’s lyric poems include “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing, Young Charms,” “The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls,” and “The Last Rose of Summer.”

Tara, by the way, is a place in Ireland. Do you recall that Scarlett O’Hara’s family was Irish and that their estate was named Tara?

In “Believe Me” one stanza ends with “the heart that has truly loved never forgets but as truly loves on to the close.” This sentimental, romantic song, which Moore performed in public, is one of the most beautiful in the world, words and music.

I hope that John David Thompson and all of Mrs. Givhan’s students learn these three at the least.

Patrick Henry, an orator, delivered the best speech in American history, ending it with “Give me liberty or give me death!” He spoke these words in a church in Richmond, Virginia. It still stands, and his speech is reenacted often.

Sir Edward Elgar’s most famous piece is “Pomp and Circumstance,” a march written as part of Queen Victoria’s jubilee. Here in Andalusia we have heard it at A.H.S. graduation ceremonies since l946. John Beasley, retired math teacher and organist, has played it at graduation for the past 33 years.

The phrase, “Pomp and Circumstance,” is found in a play by Shakespeare, Othello, Act III, sc. 3.

John Howard Payne wrote an opera called Clari, Maid of Milan. In it was a song more famous than famous – “Home, Sweet Home,” better known to moderns as supplying Dorothy’s words at the end of the movie The Wizard of Oz.

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

Fare thee well.