Mrs. Grundy: Locals see Blakely rededicated

Published 12:25 pm Monday, September 24, 2012

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I admired the morning glories, a-bloom on my picket fence. Among them were the red and white cypress vines. In my little, cottage yard the spider lilies stood like red-turbaned soldiers. Down the road I could see the goldenrod, nodding through the last, idyllic days of summer. Here it is, the first day of fall; “summer hath ended.” The golden glories of the Golden Month of October are almost upon us.

Irene (Davis) Butler was joined by her son, Dr. Rex Butler, and friend, Sue (Bass) Wilson, as they motored Sunday last to Spanish Fort and Blakeley State Park for the re-dedication of the Foundation Ruins of the first Baldwin County Courthouse, there in the ruins of Blakeley, a town that, in its day, rivaled Mobile. Today the ruins of Blakeley, Alabama, are known as the site of the last battle of the War Between the States.

Sunday’s ceremony was staged in what is known as Washington Park, an area across from the ruins of the first courthouse.

Gov. Robert Bentley, enjoying his first visit to the park, served as keynote speaker and cut the dedication ribbon.

Mrs. Butler treated her guests to dinner at O’Charley’s in Pensacola, Fla.

The senior adults of First Baptist, East Three-Notch, assembled last Tuesday for their monthly luncheon in the Fellowship Hall.

Gordon Vickers, minister to senior adults, presided. New member, R. K. Price, worded the blessing.

The hall was festively decorated with centerpieces of beach balls, sand buckets and shovels, shells, real sand, beach blankets, and air floats by Trudy Vickers and Betty Bass for the end-of-summer theme.

Green’s catered with chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, English peas, rolls and fried bread, banana pudding and tea.

Margaret Smyly hosted the tea table.

Joe Davis made a special presentation about “Get ‘er Done,” a new program at First Baptist in which those in the congregation who are not able to do simple chores around their houses any longer may call upon a committee to help them. For example, someone unsteady on a stool could ask for someone to come by and change a light bulb.

“Happy Birthday” was sung to those present with September birthdays, Mary Hill, Herb Carlisle and Bea Miller.

Mary Hill, “the Belle of Excel,” always has a rhyme to go with her age. This year, it’s “I’m 83; be nice to me!”

Emily Yehling, executive director of Meredith’s Miracles, spoke briefly. She was followed by Janna McGlamory, wife of Russell McGlamory. They lost their little girl, Meredith, to cancer Sept. 7, 2003.

Meredith’s Miracles, named for the little 5-year-old, is a non-profit mission that helps families with non-medical expenses, incurred by having a sick or injured child.

Janna works for Harold’s Furniture and Flooring, a business begun by her grandfather, Harold Grimes. She is associated with the Coterie Club, Andalusia Junior Women’s Club, Distinguished Young Woman (formerly, Junior Miss), the L.B.W. Foundation, Bethany Baptist Church, and is the immediate past president of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce. She and Russell have four children, John Reid, 16; Mitch, 8; and twin girls, Natalie and Mallory, 4.

In a beautiful, inspiring, deeply moving testimony, and as a witness to the goodness and faithfulness of God, Janna told of her daughter’s fight with cancer, her bravery, her faith, her last days.

Janna, in a tribute to her precious child, called Meredith a “warrior” and developed a lesson from her daughter’s death by using the letters of that word: wisdom, appreciation, refinement, reality, insight, optimism, and rejoicing. Each word was accompanied by scripture, praise, hope, comfort, peace, understanding, memories and testimony about Jesus.

Many fought back tears as Janna opened her heart.

It was the best talk I have ever heard.

Tuesday, Sept. 11, senior adults from First Baptist met to eat at David’s Catfish. Attending were Herb and Sue Carlisle, Buddy and Betty Brunson, Betty Bass, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Kittye Wyatt, Gillis (the “Combman”) and Laura Ann Jones, Gordon and Trudy Vickers, Vivian Hickey, Dan and Virginia Frasher, Bill Law, Jean Thomas and Joe Wingard.

Some of these same senior adults motored Thurs., Sept. 13, to Troy to visit its Pioneer Museum, which includes historic structures and thousands of artifacts. Motoring were Herb and Sue Carlisle, Betty Bass, Morgan and Wilma Moore, June Smith, Gordon and Trudy Vickers, Vivian Hickey and the jovial Bill Law.

The group also enjoyed a meal at the Sisters Restaurant in Troy.

Seen at the voting place Tues., Sept. 18, was the hard-working Hazel Jordan, one-time dietician for the Andalusia High School, member of the A.H.S. Class of 1948, and one-time member of this paper’s staff. I can’t help but associate Hazel with those delicious cinnamon rolls she and Caudy Faye (spelling?) Patterson used to bake at the high-school cafeteria. I can still see in my mind Carolyn Rankin, who taught science, when she tempted me to walk over to the cafeteria at the end of our planning periods in order to have a cinnamon roll in the quiet before the children came to eat. On days when the cinnamon rolls were baked, everyone could smell them. Yum! Recently Dan Shehan of Savannah, Ga., has been wishing for some of those rolls on Face Book (whatever that is; and that’s the way it should be spelled, not run together like a train wreck!).

Seen at the Huddle House for supper were Mike Jones (retired teacher), Howard Easley, Wayne and Lenora “the Lass of the Wiregrass” Johnson and their 3-year-old grandson, Campbell, Anna Lois Nall, and her sister, Retha Watkins.

Recognized for their work in the Baptist Bible Drill exercises were Allie Karthaus, Mary Taylor Seymore, Garrett Davis, West Parker and Stinson Thompson, all of First Baptist. Each received a plaque for winning at both district and state levels. Their advisors are James and Joan (Hill) Mitchell.

There is a featured article and picture about our own David Sanders in the latest Alabama Baptist state newspaper. David retired this summer after 40 years in church-music ministry, most recently serving at West Highland Baptist in Andalusia for almost six years.

Educated at A.H.S. and Mobile College (now the University of Mobile), David served with Lockler Memorial Baptist in Mount Vernon, Magnolia Springs Baptist in Baldwin County, Selma Baptist in Dothan, Providence Baptist in Gallion, and Bethlehem Baptist in Dothan, as well as serving as interim music director in various churches.

At one point in his career he and his family moved to Minnesota to plant churches through the Baptist Home Mission Board.

Otis Corbitt has been called as director of missions for Covington Baptist Association. With him come his wife Geri and their son, Kenyon, and daughter, Devon.

Seen at Hilltop for supper were Dorcas Williamson, T. J. McLeod, Jo Florence, Randy and Kym Keahey and their son, R. J., Clayton and Barbara Bryant and their son, Clint, and Larry and Sandy Skipper.

I ran into Ed Buck the other day at the P.O. He’s still using a cane, but is feeling so much better after his surgery.

Ruthie Dunn of Shreveport, La., one of my dearest friends, called for a telephone visit last week.

Seen at Chen’s for supper were Patricia (Barefoot) Felts, James and Nancy Barron and Robert Lee Holley.

Spider lilies, I noticed in Southern Living, come not only in red but also in yellow, white and variegated.

Gloria Riley and I stopped to chat in Dollar General the other day. She said she had read about Kate Head in this column and remembered that Kate directed her wedding and decorated for it. Kate owned a flower shop at one time.

Bea Miller celebrated her 90th birthday (Sept. 19) on Sat., Sept. 15, between 2 and 4 in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church, hosted by family and friends.

Bea was beautiful in a purple dress with matching, lace jacket, wearing a corsage of white, sweetheart roses, baby’s breath and purple-and-green ribbons, two of her favorite colors and the theme colors for her reception. With a warm smile and sparkling eyes, Bea energetically welcomed and chatted with her guests, thoroughly enjoying herself and her guests.

Well-wishers sat at round tables, covered in white cloths with brown overlays and centerpieces of artificial songbird nests, eggs, bird, and all.

Two bulletin boards displayed snapshots from Bea’s life.

Three tables were used for a buffet of finger foods, a birthday cake and punch. Another table at the entrance held a souvenir guest book, gifts, and decorations.

Green napkins with Bea’s initials and the date were provided.

The buffet included cocktail sausages, teacakes, cheese, grapes, nuts, and pinwheel sandwiches.

In the center of the buffet was a large vase of purple delphiniums, yellow daisies, yellow Fuji mums, green Bells of Ireland, and greenery. These flowers were used the next day, Sunday, in honor of Bea, to decorate the sanctuary of First Baptist.

Jo Ray cut the cake, a large, sheet cake with white icing, decorated in swirls, topped with purple roses and green leaves.

The punch was golden in color, a mixture of white grape juice and ginger ale. The punch bowl rested in a wreath of purple and green.

Bea’s brothers, Quinton Wise and his wife Mona and Victor Wise and his wife Barbara, were there.

Bea’s son, Wayne, A.H.S. Class of 1966, was present with his wife Angeline and their two children, Ashley and Mickey, as well as Ashley’s husband, Jason Till, and their daughter, Kathryn Till, and Mickey’s wife Angie and their daughter, Madeline.

Bea’s daughter, Ann, was unable to attend.

The hall was packed with people, and the crowd “never let up.”

The reception was a great success; and, as Ed Dannelly might have said, “a good time was had by all.”

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

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

This year is also the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812; and, I think, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts. Is a local celebration planned?

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 1582, Andalusia, AL 36420.

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

The Confederates under Gen. A. P. Hill and Gen. Robert E. Lee, though outnumbered, stood their ground Sept. 17 at Antietam Creek, Maryland (known to the South as Sharpsburg, Maryland), against the Federal troops under General McClellan and General Burnside. Antietam is said to be the bloodiest day of the War. The next day the Confederates returned to Virginia. President Lincoln, after this, issued his Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet. (This document, to me, is one of great hypocrisy, for Lincoln “freed” – with no authority to do so – the slaves in the South but none in the North, a political move on his part, if ever there were one, and not the noble deed for which he is credited. Excuse my parentheses, but that man boils my blood!)

Remember to buy Sesquicentennial and Mark Twain stamps. There are some new ones of the War of 1812, too, showing the USS Constitution, which figured in the War – on our side. There are also Girl Scout stamps available to remember their 100 years.

The mysterian has been identified by Mary Frances (Ward) Taylor. Miss Ada Sentell was her great-aunt.

Miss Ada, nicknamed “A,” was the daughter of Professor John Troupe Sentell, who ran a boarding school in Ramer, near Luverne.

Miss Ada worked as a clerk in the Covington Stores, a popular, long-time department store, located at the corner of Court Square and East Three-Notch, where Mark Murphy now has his offices. Many a person, still living in “the Dimple of Dixie,” has purchased something at the Covington Stores, long out of business.

Each year Miss Ada and her niece, Erin Avant, would go by train to buy goods for the store in St. Louis, Mo. That was quite a trip for two single ladies in those days.

Miss Ada once ran a millinery shop at the corner of North Cotton and Court Square on the side where our courthouse now stands. She could make up new hats or take old ones and redesign them.

Miss Ada attended the Methodist Church.

She was a good friend of Mrs. Hill Guy, a local, wealthy woman, who would send her chauffeur-driven car to pick up Miss Ada so the two of them could go riding.

Miss Ada built a house, still standing, at the corner of Sanford Road and East Three-Notch Court; and there she lived.

She remained single, lived to be 99, and was said to be “a sweet lady, loved by everybody.”

Three of her great-nieces, still living, are Mrs. Paul Amos of Columbus, Ga.; (Mrs.) Jane Oexmann of Canton, Ga.; and (Mrs.) Patsy Shreve of Alex City.

If you have stories about Kate Head, Ada Sentell or any other historical characters in Andalusia history, please feel free to share. I do hope our local library considers files on Andalusians, to which we can all contribute.

The mysterian for next time is Mrs. Hill Guy. Who was she?

In history the Mayflower sailed, landing in America in 1620; the Constitution was adopted; and Samuel Johnson, the most influential English author/critic of his time, was born. Johnson said that a man who was tired of London, his adopted home, was tired of life. He lived in London most of his life and is buried there. Perhaps the greatest biography ever written is about him – The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell. One can still visit one of his residences, off Fleet Street, London, where he wrote his dictionary, the first really dependable dictionary in our language. When I visited his house, I came away with a portrait of him, which now hangs in my little dining room. Balancing his is another portrait, one of Boswell. “They” say everyman should have his Boswell, someone to record his deeds.

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

Fare thee well.

Oh, yes, I plan to be indisposed next week; so I may not be in print. Forgive me, if I cannot join you then.