Portly gentleman travelling again

Published 2:13 am Saturday, August 11, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I dwelt upon the beauty of the sweet autumn clematis, climbing and twining the trellis at the entrance to my little yard. The starry, white blooms remind me of a bridal veil, billowed by a gentle breeze.

I can see the green pears among their green leaves. They put me in mind of pear cobblers and pickled pears. Louise Barrow could make the perfect pears with just the right amount of vinegar and sugar.

Glenn and Cindy Cook were among those who were in Dothan on Aug. l to eat at a popular, fast-food restaurant on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, suggested over national television by former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee. Like the Cooks, people by the thousands across the nation turned out to support the principles of Chick-fil-A owner, Dan Cathy, who believes in traditional marriage and freedom of speech.

While in Dothan, Glenn was interviewed and quoted by The Dothan Eagle.

The following Friday, Aug. 3, the opposition to Dan Cathy’s stand on traditional marriage were supposed to stage a “Kiss-In.” In Dothan, at least, no one puckered.

Colonel Covington in a debate at the Andalusia Lyceum read from the dictionary for a definition of marriage. The meaning is clear. Perhaps there should be a new word for a new meaning.

Flowers have been placed in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, East Three-Notch, in memory of Allen Smyly by his family at the time of his birthday.

Flowers have also been placed at First Baptist in memory of Miss Mildred Hart by her Sunday school class.

The Covington Rifles Camp (local unit) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans met Aug. 2 in the Dixon Memorial of the public library for their monthly meeting.

Larry Shaw presided and led in the pledges to the national, state, and Confederate flags and in the singing of “Dixie.”

John Allen Gantt led in the invocation and benediction.

His wife Rosemary provided refreshments in the form of banana-nut bread.

Derick Davis collected dues and festooned the room with flags.

Joe Wingard presented a program on the state S.C.V. reunion (convention) June 8 – l0 at Guntersville State Park in Northern Alabama.

Attending were Larry Shaw, Derick Davis, Jimmy Mott, John Allen Gantt, Curtis Hampton Thomasson, Jimmy Cobb, Ken Reeves, “Hank” Roberts, Joe Wingard, Randy Kelley and Randy’s son, T. J., a guest.

I enjoyed a sidewalk visit with Pete Blackwell, the Andalusia High School Class of 1971, the other day.

Seen at Mama T’s for the Sunday buffet were “Uncle Bob” and Denise Brooks, whose daughter Emily is being trained to take over the family business.

Seen at Larry’s for supper were Esker and Ann Thomasson, their daughter Kathy Futrell, her daughter, Ashlee Hill, and Ashlee’s daughter, Lillee Hill, a pretty 3-year-old. Kathy, Ashlee and Lillee had flown in to Pensacola, Fla., for a visit from Midland, Texas.

Seen at Chen’s for supper was Harmon Proctor, who shared that he attended the 80th Proctor Family Reunion in mid-July, staged in Helen, Ga.

Also seen at Chen’s was Sharon Smith, A.H.S. Class of 1980, who told me, “What you taught me stuck like a pot of hot grits!”

Seen also at Chen’s were Jeff and Madelyn Fuqua, Robert Lee Holley, Jeff Pittman, Jenny Adams and Sheriel and Jeanette Stacey.

Bethany Baptist Church gathered for its annual homecoming this past Sunday, Aug. 5.

The Portly Gentleman has agreed to complete his notes about his trip to Georgia and South Carolina at this time.

After staying awhile in Savannah, Ga., with his ol’ colleague, S. D. Shehan, and then spending a few days in Charleston, S.C., touring with his cousin Jo Driggers, the Portly Gentleman found himself, heading back to Savannah for a few more days before returning to the “Dimple of Dixie.”

“Taking Highway 17 south from Charleston, I stopped at the Carolina Cherry Co., housed in a simple, wooden, old-fashioned store by the side of the road, and bought some boiled green peanuts and cider, both muscadine and peach.

“Not far from this stop are the ruins of Old Sheldon Church, burned in the Revolutionary War, rebuilt, and then burned again in the War Between the States. The ruins are brick walls and brick columns, standing in the midst of a cemetery out in the middle of nowhere in a glade in the woods, a place that inspires poetry. It is well worth one’s time to turn aside and spend a few minutes alone with such sad beauty, tranquility, and peace.

“Arriving late in the day at Dan’s on Whitemarsh Island, Savannah, I suggested we go out to eat. We ended up at Tubby’s Tank House at Thunderbolt, which is a community between Dan’s condominium and downtown Savannah. There we enjoyed seafood.

“Dan gave me two copies of his composition, ‘Steamboat’s A-Coming,’ engraved by John Zechiel of California, that had arrived by e-mail. This instrumental piece sounds just like a steamboat, coming up the Mississippi River. Dan has recorded it on YouTube, in case you want to hear it, gentle reader. John Zechiel is in the business of taking manuscripts of music and lyrics, written or recorded, and fleshing them out to look professional.

“The next morning we went shopping and then to Sisters of the New South for lunch. Sisters reminded me of our local Mama T’s with its good home cooking. One unusual specialty at Sisters was oxtails and gravy.

“That evening we drove out to Tybee Island and ate supper at the Dolphin Reef Restaurant in the Ocean Plaza Hotel on the beach.

“Our table was next to a wide, two-story set of windows with a spectacular view – the sun-shorn, grey-eyed Atlantic, the beach, bathers, waves, grand pier, seagulls, dunes, sea oats, wind, ships on the horizon, beach umbrellas, swings, kites and wind surfers.

“My supper included she-crab soup (a favorite of John Givhan), crab cakes and a Shirley Temple.

“After supper we went to the beach dunes and sat a long while in a wooden gazebo (a belvedere), enjoying the sights mentioned above and the sea breezes. Dan uses a ‘scooter,’ a mechanized chair, instead of walking distances. He easily ‘scooted’ on the boardwalk to the gazebo (belvedere). A family, consisting of a Christian lady named Liz, her daughter and grandson, came and sat with us. We fell into a pleasant and long conversation about the Bible, Savannah, home and a book by Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, which Liz greatly admired.

“The next morning, after breakfast at a local eatery, Sunny Side Up, I departed for home, driving through Richmond Hill, Midway, Flemington, Hinesville, Ludowici, Jesup, Screven, Blackshear and Waycross.

“In Waycross, I ate lunch at Captain Joe’s Seafood, which has other locations in Jesup, Midway, Brunswick and Baxley.

“Driving on through Homerville, where Beverly (Davis), elder daughter of Joe and Sandra Davis, and her family live, I stopped for the night at the Clarion in Valdosta, as I had done on the way over to the Low Country.

“The next day I arrived home.”

Thank you, Portly Gentleman, for news of your “waddlings.”

The celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, England’s most famous novelist, continues.

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Roy Rogers, a movie cowboy, born Nov. 5, continues.

The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 continues.

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 Federal Secretary of War Stanton ordered that anyone attempting to evade military service would be subject to arrest. The second Battle of Bull Run (also called Second Manassas) began at Cedar Mountain in Virginia and lasted till September. Fighting for the South were “Stonewall” Jackson and A.P. Hill; for the North, General Pope and General Banks.

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps.

The mysterian for last week was Bea Miller, identified by Dr. Morgan Moore.

The next mysterian was a business lady, always dressed as though she had stepped out of a bandbox. She was a beautiful, Christian single and often appeared in local newspaper pictures.

Birthdays this week included those of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet laureate of England longer than any other poet; Izaak Walton, English author of The Compleat (Complete) Angler, the most famous book ever written about fishing; John Dryden, one of the great English poets; and Carrie Jacobs-Bond, the American who composed the sentimental “When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day” and perhaps the most famous love song ever written, “I Love You Truly.”

Tennyson, by the way, is one of the great English poets, who outdid Shakespeare himself in technical ability.

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

Fare thee well.