Educators gather for history lesson, to make plans

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 13, 2013

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw Mrs. Gotrocks of Greenville pull up in her sedan. We were going driving to see the spring blooms, such as the redtop and snowballs.

The world is a beautiful place, especially this time of the year.

Seen at the Corner Market for lunch were Joe Davis, Raymond Worley and Jimmy Wilson, who was enjoying the chicken-pot pie and fried bread, in particular.

Dr. Fred Karthaus returned to the pulpit of First Baptist, East Three-Notch, Easter Sunday, having been away some weeks, following a heart attack.

Kathy Reeves and I enjoyed a conversation, awaiting our dental appointments.

Seen at lunch in the hospital cafeteria last Sunday were Rayford and Carolyn Davis, James and Keron Kyzar, Bobby and Judy Scott, Benny and Esther Barrow and Dan and Virginia Frasher.

Seen at the Friday-night, seafood buffet at Kayla’s up the Double Nickel were Bob and Cathy (Lee) Harry, Robert Lee Holley, Zack and Lori Campbell and their Bella, and Shane and Leigh Lee.

Also seen at Kayla’s was a Sunday school class from Southside Baptist in Andalusia – Wayne and Margaret Bennett, Joe and Linda Pittman, Benny and Charlee Dunn, Larry and Gail Mullen, Donald and Susan Maddox and James and Gail Grissett.

Seen at David’s for lunch were the Burke sisters, Janette (Burke) Carroll and Frances (Burke) Grimes, with Frances’s son Jimmy.

We fell to talking about the late Sara (Foreman) Hobson, and Frances told of how she used to walk to school with Sara. The Burkes lived in a white frame house on Baker Street. Sara lived just a block away on South Three-Notch in the Victorian house that is now painted green and serves as a dress shop.

Also seen at David’s were Dan and Virginia Frasher.

The Frashers, when they moved to Andalusia, rented the same house (circa 1970 – 1972) I first lived in when I moved here (1966) – the yellow, brick house on Sanford Road, owned by Alice Bonner.

They spoke of how good their neighbors were to them – Janette Carroll, who lived just across the road, and Hazel Cater, next door, who proved a “second mother” to them.

Harrell Cushing, then the new preacher at First Baptist, visited both the Frashers and me at that yellow brick house when each lived there.

Dan and Virginia soon built their own house, and Dan constructed the cabinets for it in the spacious attic of the yellow brick house. Once finished, the cabinets proved a challenge to move, but Dan and a few helpers moved them!

The Covington County Education Retirees Association assembled for its April 3 meeting in the W. S. Harlan Elementary School in Lockhart.

President Sharon Dye, retired county superintendent of education, called the meeting to order.

Principal Brent Zessin welcomed the retirees to the library. Zessin has 29 years in education with eight at W. S. Harlan.

Zessin said that the experienced teacher cannot be replaced.

Also making the visitors feel at home was Mary Ann Smith, secretary and bookkeeper, who helped arrange a table of refreshments.

Dye announced a rally by teachers, set for 10:30 a.m., April 11, in Montgomery to show support for education to the legislature.

Dye also announced the last meeting of the academic year, set for May l – a field trip by the CCERA to the Hyundai Plant in Montgomery with lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Greenville.

Allen Miller worded the invocation with special prayer for a member, Dot Jones, who underwent surgery.

Minutes were read by Glenda Presley.

A treasurer’s report was made by Kim Dyess.

A report was shared about the annual AERA convention, attended March 26 in the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel by seven members of CCERA. The local won a certificate of merit.

Margaret Sanders spoke of the first CCERA scholarship for a person going into education, to be awarded later this year. The deadline for applicants is July l.

Dye proposed increasing dues from $5 to $10 with half going each year toward a scholarship.

The speaker was John Paul Jones, who just ended his term (April l) as president of the AERA.

Jones said that this was his 6lst visit to locals since becoming president.

In his update about education in Alabama, Jones stated, “It’s all about money.”

Jones, a vocational coordinator, taught 25 years in Mobile County Public Schools.

He was born in Medford, Mass., grew up in New England, and moved south to be the husband of a girl from Mobile, Dianne McCoy.

The morning of the meeting was rainy, so Principal Zessin provided a line of young men with umbrellas to meet the teachers at the front door, take them by their arms, and lead them safely and dryly to their cars.

The students were attentive and extremely polite.

Attending the meeting were Christine Wilson, Allen Miller, Larry Presley, Kim Dyess, Sharon Dye, Margie (Jacques) Thomasson, Glenda Presley, Ophelia Merrill, Linda Lucas, Elaine Chavers, Margaret Sanders, Larry Sanders, Carolyn Davis, Ethel M. Robertson, Mary F. Bass, Rosalyn Wright, Gwendolyn Jessie, Linda Mellown and Joe Wingard.

District 24 of the Alabama Education Association – that’s most of the public educators and support personnel in Conecuh, Covington, and Escambia counties – met April 8 at Reid State Technical College in Evergreen for their monthly meeting.

A slate of officers for 2013 – 2015 was unanimously elected – Jimmy Ponds, president; Teresa Hultz, vice-president; Charlotte Ewing, secretary; and Dianne McKenzie, treasurer.

Supper was provided by Conecuh County, represented by Holly Tullis and Charlotte Ewing.

The last meeting of the academic year was set for May 13, again at Reid State.

Attending were Jimmy Ponds (interim president), Joe Wingard (secretary, 2011-2013), George McIntyre, Teresa Hultz, Kimberly Gibson, Beverly Wade, Marilyn Bradley, Charlotte Ewing, Holly Tullis, Ethel M. Robertson, Lynn Brown, Wanda Wytch, and Vivian Jones (district director).

The celebration of 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 to help preserve the history of our county, whether you attend meetings or not. Mail to CHS, P.O. Box 1582, Andalusia, AL 36420. Include your e-mail address if you wish to be reminded of upcoming meetings.

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

Federal naval forces attempted unsuccessfully to take Charleston Harbor. Southern forts, Sumter and Moultrie, in the Charleston Bay, repelled the Northern invasion.

Buy stamps to recall the Sesquicentennial, Mark Twain, O. Henry and the War of 1812.

No one has named the mysterian yet – the waiter at Grace Larson’s Gables Motor Hotel on Church Street. Who is he?

Birthdays this week are as follows: William Wordsworth, English poet; William Hazlitt, English essayist; and Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States.

Wordsworth’s poem, “My Heart Leaps Up,” contains the line, “The child is father of the man,” which means that what we experience in youth helps determine (fathers) the kind of adults we become.

That is one of those poems one should memorize in school.

The single greatest essay I have read is one by Hazlitt, called “The Feeling of Immortality in Youth.”

The War Between the States began April 12. We are still feeling the effects of it 150 years later in a thousand ways and more.

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

Fare thee well.