Graduation is soon to arrive, so get ready to party

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 18, 2013

Peeping through my Venetian blind, my eyes traveled down the road to the edge of the woods on the Covington acres and “took in” the privet hedge in bloom. In the “old days,” privet was used to line yards. I can remember it in use at my great-grandmother’s. Some people used to spread the “wash” on the tops of the hedges to dry or spread quilts to sun.

May brings with it the primroses, coreopsis and honeysuckle. We children used to pick the primroses (we called them buttercups) as we walked to school and ask friends to smell them. Of course, pollen would get all over their noses – thus, the name of buttercup.

There is much in bloom or in berry in May – purple or white verbena along the roadsides, the exquisite Van Fleet creamy rose, Mrs. Thweatt’s pink rose, daisy fleabane, foxgloves, marigolds, petunias, pansies, violas, magnolias, ligustrum, the elderberry, Seven Sisters roses, and the dewberry (some ready to be picked) and blueberry (still green).

Curtis Thomasson has already baked a dewberry cobbler, using a new recipe. Place the berries in the bottom of a pan, cover with a box of white cake mix, and top with liquid from one can of Diet 7-Up. The rest is up to your imagination.

Mother’s Day I ate the Sunday-buffet lunch at the Corner Market with A.G. and Pat Palmore. It was not only Mother’s Day for Pat, but it was also A.G.’s birthday.

Looking around, I spotted Mr. and Mrs. Mike Williams, Esker and Ann Thomasson, Fred and Dot Simpler, Ed and Judy Buck, Larry and Mary Avery and Jerri Stroud.

On Mother’s Day some churches recognize the oldest mother, the one with the most children, the youngest mother, and so on.

At First Baptist (East Three-Notch) last Sunday, all the mothers were asked to stand. They were applauded and given red carnations (supplied by the church) by their loved ones as the organist played “God, Give Us Christian Homes.”

During the offertory, Martha (James) Givhan, church organist, and her grown daughter, Endsley Givhan Bolen, flautist, played a piano-flute duet, “Amazing Grace.” It was close to perfection.

Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor, preached about mothers.

During Sunday school that morning in the assembly for the distinguished Baraca Class, Jennifer (Smith) Dansby, soprano, sang “The Gift of Our Mothers,” a Mother’s Day song composed by S. Daniel Shehan and Joseph C. Wingard to honor their mothers.

Martha Givhan accompanied Mrs. Dansby at the Ann Martin Memorial Piano. It has become traditional for Mrs. Dansby to sing this song each Mother’s Day in the Baraca Class.

Meanwhile, in Savannah, Ga., the same song was presented by S. Daniel Shehan at the organ in two churches that morning, Bull Street Baptist and Washington Avenue Baptist.

The song has been recorded on Facebook.

Carl Smyly, an attorney, was here from Birmingham Mother’s Day to sit with his mother, Margaret, in worship and to take her to dinner. He was one of many who made special trips to be with their mothers.

Seen at the Corner Market for lunch were Gwen Bonner, Judy Buck, and James Bristow and his daughter, Susan Cammack, with Susan’s grandbaby, little Preslee, Brian Pope’s daughter, here for a week.

Remember ol’ Roy Parker, the ALFA agent who, twice, resided here in the “Dimple of Dixie”?

Well, he and his better half, Lynn, drove down from Auburn, where they’ve retired, to Dothan May 7 to take their daughter, Kasey, to McLinn’s in Daleville for her birthday, May 6.

Kasey coaches girls’ basketball at Northview High School in Dothan. Her team won the area championship, and her girls’ tennis team placed fifth in the state this year.

Northview has another Andalusia connection. Teresa, one of the four daughters of Eve Fabbrini, is president of the senior class this year. Eve is the daughter of Max and Sandra Mathews of Andalusia.

Mrs. Tiller, Norman’s mother, and I ran into each other at the P.O. this week. We talked up a storm!

Seen at supper at the Huddle House were Robert Carr and his younger son, Brad, on a father-son outing. I remember teaching with Robert’s dad at the Andalusia High School – Willie Carr, a fine man.

Some time back I asked if anyone knew what the W.S. in W.S. Harlan School in Lockhart represented. Our own Dr. Morgan Moore solved the mystery – William Stewart Harlan. Thank you, Dr. Moore.

A senior party was given for two A.H.S. boys, Christopher Smith and John David Thompson, Wednesday afternoon, April 3, in the community room of the Covington County Bank.

Some 40 friends joined Christopher and John David for an ice-cream social, sponsored by three A.H.S teachers, Cavelle Jones, Linda Mellown (retired), and Debbie Posey (retired), who wanted to honor the children of their colleagues.

Christopher is the son of Maria Smith, who teaches Spanish at A.H.S., and John David is the son of Dawn Thompson, who teaches English at A.H.S.

In addition to the ice cream, a photo booth provided entertainment. Costumes were available for guests to “dress” for comical pictures.

Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream were served. The seniors decorated their sundaes with sprinkles and other toppings.

The two guests of honor were presented with monogrammed duffle bags.

When Steve Posey was asked what Mother’s Day gift he gave his wife, he responded, “Being married to me is Mother’s Day enough.” (He did wash her car for his wife.)

Congratulations to Meryane Martin-Murphy and the Andalusia Ballet for a professional performance of Coppelia, for stunning scenery, eye-catching costumes, and a delightful evening of beauty for the eye and ear, especially the Maypole dance.

The ballet was a dancing rainbow!

This was the third presentation of the light-hearted Coppelia by Andalusia Ballet and was close to perfection.

Robert Evers filmed the production for posterity.

The amazingly talented local Laura Villalobos who moved here to instruct in ballet, was the star of the show. Laura and her husband, Joseph, who also instructs in ballet, are leaving us, I am sad to report, and re-locating to San Antonio, Texas. This ballet was their “swan song” here. In fact, Laura danced the part of Swanilda. A reception is being given the couple tomorrow between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Church Street Cultural Arts Centre (old site for the A.H.S. and the Church Street Elementary School).

So impressive were the precision and discipline of the groups of dancers that the audience burst into applause at the accomplishment. That precision marked a crest of excellence for the ballet company.

The music by Leo Delibes was entrancing throughout.

Educators enrolled in the Alabama Education Association from three counties, Conecuh, Covington and Escambia (known as District 24), met May 13 at Reid State Community College in Evergreen for their final meeting of the academic year.

Jimmy Ponds, librarian for the elementary school at Straughn, presided.

Officers for the next two years were installed by outgoing secretary Joe Wingard – Jimmy Ponds, president; Teresa Hultz, vice-president; Charlotte Ewing, secretary; and Dianne McKenzie, treasurer.

Attending were Jimmy Ponds, Joe Wingard, Dianne McKenzie, Joyce Belcher, Nathaniel Belcher (who worded the invocation), Eugene Smith, Lynn Brown, Wanda Wytch, Ethel M. Robertson (wife of Coach Richard Robertson), Holley Tullis, Charlotte Ewing, Teresa Hultz and Kimberly Gibson.

Ethel M. Robertson, retired, assisted by Emma Locke, provided supper – finger sandwiches, chips, grapes, cheese, cookies and soda pop.

The next meeting for District 24 was set for Aug. 12, 6 p.m., at Reid State.

Each person attending is asked to take a dish for a “potluck” supper.

An AEA summer workshop was announced for Aug. l in Brewton Elementary.

The AEA Leadership Conference was set for June 12-14 in Mobile.

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.

The Federals closed in on Vicksburg, the Southern town high above the Mississippi River, a threat to Northern vessels on the river. The Federals occupied Jackson, Miss. An Indiana newspaper was wrecked by Union troops because of anti-Union publications. The Federals took Champion’s Hill in Mississippi on their way to take Vicksburg. Southern Gen. John Pemberton remained in Vicksburg with his troops rather than leaving when he had the chance. The siege of Vicksburg by the Federals, that horrible ordeal, began May 18. (Poor Vicksburg! So much uninvited company!)

For those who collect stamps, consider those associated with the War of 1812 and the Sesquicentennial of “the War.”

Thank you, Sidney Waits, for identifying the residential area at the hilly end of Montgomery and Watson streets as Pleasant Hill.

Mr. Waits, born and bred in the briar patch, is one of Andalusia’s chief historians, the author of a number of books.

The next mysterian is a business. This department store occupied a corner of the town square. For years, folks bought almost anything they wanted there.

Birthdays this week are those of Edward Lear, the most famous English writer of limericks, and Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan, English composer of the music to “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” “The Lost Chord,” and some 14 operettas with lyrics by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert.

The most popular of the Gilbert-Sullivan comical operas are H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado.

These operettas are among the most enjoyable music in the history of the world.

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

Fare thee well.