It was a week of suppers, singings and sightings

Published 12:04 am Saturday, June 22, 2013

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw some volunteer petunias, which reminded me of a little spot of petunias, volunteering by our post-office door. Beauty can be found in the most unexpected places.

Miss Cora Covington told me that she and her sisters, Miss Flora and Miss Dora, ate supper at Tabby D’s Friday and saw the following: Don and Cheryl Cotton, their son Chase and LeAnne Cotton, and their children, Savannah and Crews; Kenny and Gwen Lee and their son Tanner; Shaun and Amanda Jackson and their children, Kailey and John Tyler; Patrick and Misty Barrow and their little McKenzie and John Bentley; Mr. and Mrs. Larry Maddox; and Addie Simpson and her sister, Lou Floris.

Some 21 senior adults from First Baptist on East Three-Notch motored to the Old Barn Restaurant in Goshen Thursday evening, June 13, to enjoy some really good food, fun and fellowship. They traveled in the church bus, driven by Neal Dansby.

Perhaps the most unusual dish on the menu was quail, fried or grilled.

Making the trip were Nancy Robbins, Gillis “the Combman” and Laura Ann Jones, Billy Beech, the alliterative Buddy and Betty Brunson, Dan and Virginia Frasher, Dr. Morgan and Wilma Moore, Herb and Sue Carlisle, Kittye Wyatt, Vivian Hickey, Bea Miller, Bill Law, Annette Burt, Joe Wingard and Trudy and Gordon Vickers, the senior-adults director.

Curtis and Margie Thomasson entertained Charles and Helen Hodge of Dallas, Texas, as their houseguests recently. While visiting, Bro. Hodge taught a Bible class and preached both worship services Sunday at Cedar Grove Church of Christ.

The Hodge family has been visiting and speaking at Cedar Grove since 1962. Bro. Hodge often mentions the “country church out under the large oak tree.”

The Hodges and Thomassons traveled to Montgomery the following Monday for the annual Elders Connect, a workshop of several days for church elders and wives. Bro. Hodge was a keynote speaker and made presentations on three days.

Seen at Yo’ Craving, the yogurt shop on our Golden Square, were LeAnne Cotton and her children, Savannah and Crews. Savannah was being rewarded for doing so well at the dentist. Crews was reaping the benefit of having an older sister who did well at the dentist.

The Murals Committee of our town met June 17 in the City Hall to discuss the latest, proposed mural, to stand in a series of panels at the former Alatex site.

Seven other murals have so far been painted here in the “Dimple of Dixie” by Wes Hardin of Dothan.

Guest adviser for the Alatex mural was Bill Hamiter, Alatex executive who worked 34 years with Alatex and its mergers, retiring in 1990. He and his wife, Tillie, lived part of that time in Atlanta.

Committee members present were Elaine Manning, David Fuqua, Joe Wingard, Nancy Robbins and Willie Thomas.

Pat Palmore, chairperson, presided, beginning with prayer.

Committee members voted to contribute themselves to the mural as well as ask the community to help, especially those connected to the history of the Alatex, a local, shirt-manufacturing plant and a financial rock in the local economy.

Those who are willing to help out can mail donations to the City of Andalusia (for the Alatex Mural), P.O. Box 429, Andalusia, AL 36420.

By the way, the Smithsonian Institution out of Washington, D.C., is supposed to set up a traveling display in Andalusia for six weeks in January and February. Only six cities in Alabama are to be so honored.

The Smithsonian has agreed to label our murals with audio explanations for us, free of charge; so, the sooner we complete the Alatex mural and any others, the more we can benefit from the Smithsonian. This is a motive to donate to the Alatex mural, especially, and soon. The deadline for getting Smithsonian help is October, I think.

Future murals discussed were those highlighting dominoes, businesses, law enforcement, and rare cattle.

The next meeting was set for July 8 at 2 p.m. in City Hall (the old Andalusia High School).

John Foster, former pastor of First Baptist, East Three-Notch, for almost 20 years, and I enjoyed a telephone visit this week. He turned 80 June 18 and lives in Birmingham with his second wife. His first wife, Betty, is buried in Andalusia. I asked John if he plans to be buried here, too; and he said he did, near John and Mary Hill, good friends. He added that Harrell and Ann Cushing, also former F.B.C. pastor and wife, have reserved plots nearby. I guess that instead of a Poets’ Corner, we’ll have a Preachers’ Corner at Andalusia Memorial.

Oh, the Hills, too, are still very much alive! Just ask Mary, the “Belle of Excel”!

John and I talked of his three children, all of whom are doing well, his grandchildren, of people we know in common, of his family’s taking him to Orange Beach for Father’s Day, of the good, old days, and, especially, of Ann (Barton) Chapman, a distinguished church member, who was so influential with another F.B.C. pastor, Bob Marsh.

The senior adults of First Baptist met for their monthly luncheon Tuesday, June 18, in the Fellowship Hall of F.B.C.

Presiding was Gordon Vickers, director of senior-adults activities.

Buddy Brunson, senior adult, worded the blessing; Judson Blackstock, assistant pastor, the benediction.

Following a meal, catered by Hilltop, those present with June birthdays were sung “Happy Birthday,” Bill Law and Gillis “the Combman” Jones.

Also recognized were Gillis and Laura Ann Jones for celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary June 12.

Tables were appointed by Trudy Vickers with “flowerdy” napkins and centerpiece vases of spring flowers – hydrangeas, Queen Anne’s lace, daylilies, seven-crown lilies – provided by Wilma and Morgan Moore.

Hosting the entrance table was Margaret Smyly.

The program was provided by Vickie C. Wacaster, widow and grandmother and a consultant for Comfort Care Hospice of Andalusia.

Her speech was not only informative, but also inspirational, giving comfort and hope for one’s final days.

Vickie said that she is doing the job that God would have her do at this time in her life and believes hospice to be a ministry as well as a profession.

Her interests include the following: reading, writing (she writes a weekly column for this paper), sewing, entertaining, decorating, dance, the Luncheon Pilot Club, Kiwanis Club, Relay for Life and speaking.

She has worked 28 years in the healthcare industry.

The Hilltop menu included chicken pie, fried okra, fried bread and rolls, garden salad, tea and banana pudding.

The celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 continues.

Again, I ask that citizens 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 l582, Andalusia, AL 36420. Include your e-mail address if you wish to be reminded of up-coming meetings.

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

Southern General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia advanced north into Pennsylvania.

Northern General Grant’s forces continued their siege of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River.

President Lincoln proclaimed West Virginia the 35th state of the Union.

The CSS Tacony, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Read, seized five Federal fishing vessels off the coast of New England.

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

Last week’s mysterian, the first male member of our library board, has been identified correctly by Curtis Thomasson. He was S. Daniel Shehan, now living in Savannah, Ga.

The new mysterian is a place. No lady dared to be seen there on Saturday nights.

The birthday this week is that of Charles Gounod, a French composer, best known for his opera, Faust. This opera was based on Part I of a famous German poem, written by Goethe. In the poem and in the opera Faust sells his soul to the Devil for youth and all its pleasures. One of his pleasures is the love of a maiden, Marguerite. She has a child by Faust and is imprisoned. When Faust and Mephistopheles (a devil) try to free Marguerite from prison, she refuses to leave, declaring she has repented and wishes to die. The devil sentences her to Hell, but an angel choir says that she is saved. This final scene of the opera in which the three principal singers join their voices in song is one of the glorious moments of music.

Another great song in the opera is sung by Valentine, Marguerite’s brother, who sings proudly of his sister, “Even Bravest Heart May Swell.” Valentine is later killed by Faust in a duel, defending his sister’s honor.

Now, gentle reader, allow me to encourage each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend, Lord willing, especially those who forget to set their clocks.

Fare thee well.