It’s all about sharing a meal with friends, family

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peeping through my Venetian blind, out of habit, I looked for more rain. I thought , “Rain, rain, go away; Andalusians want to play!”

Miss Cora had reminded me of the fast-approaching St. Swithin’s Day, July 15. Miss Cora says if it rains on St. Swithin’s, that we shall have rain for 40 days more. On the other hand, if it doesn’t, then we shall have a dry spell for 40 days.

Stilling peeping, I noticed Miss Flora amid her extensive bed of zinnias with all their pretty colors.

The Murals Committee of Andalusia met Monday afternoon, July 8, in City Hall (former Andalusia High School) to discuss the latest panels designed by Wes Hardin, muralist from Dothan. These panels are intended to picture the textile process at Alatex at the plant’s old site on River Falls Street, converted lately into the new Chamber of Commerce.

After prayer by Pat Palmore, chairwoman, the committee shared ideas. Those attending were Elaine Manning, Willie Thomas, Nancy Robbins, Hazel Griffin and Joe Wingard.

A group of friends celebrated the 69th birthday of Joe Wingard with a noon-time buffet July 9 at 2 Guys Pies, the new Italian restaurant.

Sharing a meal and a birthday cake, provided by Sue Wilson, were Robert Lee Holley, Irene (Davis) Butler, Sue (Bass) Wilson, Curtis and Margie Thomasson, Joyce Leddon, Sonja James, Jan White, Lenora Johnson, and her grandson, Master Campbell Rabren, only four years old.

Mr. Wingard received a pile of gifts and cards and two rounds of “Happy Birthday,” one a solo by young Campbell.

Wingard shares a birthday with Polly Waits and Mrs. Grundy, who was surprised herself by the staff of The Star-News with pound cake, baked by Editor Gerlach herself, ice cream, and party favors by Mollie Riley.

The Portly Gentleman, driving up the Double Nickel and Highway 31 to Georgiana, found the by-pass connected to the old roads and close to completion.

In Montgomery for the Fourth of July with his Old Dad, brothers, and relatives, the Portly One met his ol’ friend, Charles Casmus of the Cuzamatics, at Chick-fil-A for lunch and talk. They engaged in conversation with Joe Elrod, a professor at Auburn University in Montgomery and a member of First Baptist, Montgomery.

On the way back to the Dimple of Dixie, the Portly Gentleman faced rain and backed-up traffic. Both southbound and northbound lanes, half way between Montgomery and Greenville, soon felt traffic stop because of accidents. The rain was a factor. At least five cars had skidded off the highway. The southbound lane cleared first, and the Portly One made it safely to Greenville, stopping for a late lunch at the Cracker Barrel. He thought that, by then, the crowds would have cleared. That wasn’t the case. There was a crowd and a half. He sat on the front porch and rocked, listening to the rain on the metal roof. People had made themselves snug inside the Cracker Barrel. There was a holiday spirit. By the time the Portly Gentleman had been called to a table and had eaten some warm, comfort food leisurely, the northbound lane had backed up below Greenville with hundreds of cars, bumper-to-bumper, for miles and miles. One poor family was trying to get a little granddaughter to summer camp at Mentone in North Alabama. I couldn’t offer much hope to them.

Peggy Tatum Arnold and I enjoyed a sidewalk conversation July 2.

Martha (Rodgers) Cordell and I enjoyed a visit at the Corner Market.

Richard Pass, 91, Baptist preacher and Sunday-School teacher of the distinguished Baraca Class at First Baptist, Andalusia, delivered an excellent lesson Sunday, July 7.

First Baptist on July 7 was decorated for the Glorious Fourth the past Thursday. Flags backed the choir loft and were draped in the l2 main windows. Martha Givhan, organist, played a grand version of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” The pledge to the flag was recited; and the national anthem, sung. Patriotic songs were part of the service – “God, Bless America,” “America, the Beautiful,” and “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”

Leroy Cole, one of our local Baptist preachers, a columnist for our local paper, and the guest speaker, preached on the Bible.

Sonia Crigger played the piano; and her husband, Dwight Crigger, minister of music at F.B.C., directed.

Seen at the Corner Market for the Sunday buffet were the following: John and Gloria Collier, Justin and Candace Vinson, Byron and Erica Thomasson, Monty Russell and his son Carter, Neal and Jennifer King and their daughter, LeAnn, Jessie and Elizabeth Sirmon, Robert and Nancy Smith, Fred and Dot Simpler, Billy and Sheila Garner (new to us from Monroeville), Louise Rabren and her daughter, Dr. Wayne and Lenora Johnson, Darwin Pippin, 90, and his daughter, Angelyn (her daughter, Olivia Ennis, has been chosen to be the new counselor at our middle school), Ed and Aubrene Ganus (she worked more than 50 years at Penney’s), Drexel and Christy Copeland (he is pastor at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church), Ted Cottle and party, Ralph and Sue Wells, Mickey and Jenny Pitts, Jimmy and Bertie Smith, Jackie Covington (pianist at Coldwater Congregational Church; Jackie once sang the most beautiful solo I have ever heard), Robbie and Lisa (Elmore) Ballard, Eugene and Phyllis Petersen (who celebrated their 50th anniversary this June), Will Hester (the summer youth minister for Cedar Grove Church of Christ), Vela Walden, Robert and Barbara Linder and their daughter, Elaine, from Montgomery, Dr. Daniel and Ann Shakespeare (he is principal of the Andalusia High School in his 11th year), James Summerlin, Frances Ptomey (she is in the A.H.S. Class of 1944, about to celebrate its 70th anniversary of graduation this coming academic year of ‘13 – ‘14; its gift to the school was the sidewalk, leading up to Old Main), Mary Lee Brawner, Mary Wilson, Wilma Tillman, Pat and Lamar Rhodes, Teena Cobb, Ernestine Cosby, Andy and Candy Willis, their twins, Chad and Laura Gatlin, Andy and Mickey Riley, Fred and Laura Hartin and their daughter, Lynn Hartin, Ellie Smith, Waverly “Boot” Flowers, Jimmy Gillis and Jelet Frazier.

The celebration 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 1582, 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.

After a siege of six weeks, the Confederates surrendered Port Hudson, Louisiana, having been reduced to eating rats, leaving the Mississippi River under Northern control.

Confederate raider, John H. Morgan, with some 2,500 men, swept through Indiana. They were eventually overcome, and a small group escaped.

General Meade, the Northern commander at Gettysburg, followed Southern General Lee as Lee’s forces retreated south, fighting skirmishes, and then safely crossing the Potomac into Virginia.

The “worst race riot in American history” erupted over a period of four days in New York, motivated by the first drawing for draftees under the new Union Enrollment Act of 3 March (draft). A mob of 50,000 Northerners – mainly Irish workers – were eventually quelled by veterans, returning from Gettysburg. More than 1,000 protestors were killed or hurt. Meanwhile, rioters burned a building that had served as a black orphanage, burned a draft office and newspaper office, attacked blacks, robbing and killing them, looted businesses, attacked the home of the mayor, and killed a Union general. Other draft riots broke out in the North.

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

The mysterian for a third week is a double answer. What were the two businesses advertised in the Bottom when trains arrived?

This week’s birthdays are those of “The Cross of Gold,” a famous American speech, delivered by William Jennings Bryan, four times a candidate for President; James Whistler, an American artist; John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth president, whose dad was John Adams, our second president; Julius Caesar, Roman general, writer, statesman, and subject of one of Shakespeare’s plays; Henry David Thoreau, American author of Walden; and the Panama Canal, which opened on July 12.

This month is named for Julius Caesar, by the way.

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

Fare thee well.