Saying ‘hello’ to old friends in the New Year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 11, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noticed Clay Clyde Clump over at Covington Hall, checking out-of-door pipes to see if the latest cold weather had burst any.

Turning back into my little parlor, I poured another cup of hot chocolate and checked my notes for this column.

Seen at Tabby D’s for the lunch buffet were Sammy Brown, Jimmy Eiland, Charles Jackson, Neal and Jennifer King, Herb and Sue Carlisle, Ken Johnson, Alvin Earnest, Boyd Pass, Sharon Cobb, Rebecca Barton, Betty Sue Coleman, Angie Cotton (celebrating her birthday as guest of Teresa Ward and Cathy Alexander), Superintendent of Education Ted Watson, Ed Buck, Gary Buck, Bob Bush, Maggie Shelley, Judy Holmes, Robbie Theus, Johnny and Nelda Godwin, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Harrelson (he used to run the azalea farm down the Brewton Highway), Phillip and Sally (Bass) Gilmer, Kenneth Curry, Gillis and Laura Ann Jones, David Andress, Steve Bozeman, Sue (Bass) Wilson (she plays the piano each Monday for the Kiwanis Club; she and Sally are sisters), Ed Short, Hunter Grimes, Harry Hinson and Casey Thompson.

Alvin Earnest told me that he and Betty are in the process of moving to Auburn where they have a married daughter. Their other married daughter lives in Atlanta – no grandchildren yet.

Evelyn Waites was day-guest of Irene (Davis) Butler this week. Miss Waites was here from Talladega where she teaches home economics to the deaf and blind. The ladies dined at David’s.

Seen for Sunday brunch at Simone’s were Roger and Cathy Powell and their daughter, Allyn.

Seen for lunch at the Corner Market were Joyce Fuller, Jimmy and Jeanice Kirkland, Judy Stokes, Judy Buck and her granddaughter, Shelley Nall, Jimmy Gillis, James Summerlin, Frances Ptomey, William “Sukoshi” and Susan Underwood, Judge Jerry Stokes, Al and JoAnn (Stuart) Kirk, and Marilyn Williams and her grandson, Taylor Copeland, a sixth grader at Straughn.

Mary Lou (Bush) Bass and I enjoyed a sidewalk conversation recently.

Seen at David’s for supper on New Year’s Eve were Hank and Jane Lambert and their three children, Elizabeth Claire, Norman James and Mary Jane, visiting from California. With them were Hank’s parents, Harold and Carolyn Lambert.

I remember the first time that ever I saw Hank. It was at a church campout. Harold was standing by the fire, holding a little fellow in his arms, his Hank, whose blond hair was so blond that it was almost white. The love between the father and son was so obvious that it seemed to make a halo about the two of them.

Also seen at David’s were Jimmie Nell Stewart and her son, Dale Edward Stewart.

Bill and Maria Thigpen hosted a dinner party in their attractive home in Forest Hills the evening of New Year’s Day. Their guests were Wayne and Lenora Johnson and Joe Wingard.

The traditional New Year’s menu included black-eyed peas, rice, collards, ham with relish, cornbread and coconut pie.

Dinner was accompanied by delightful conversation and a display of fireworks.

Sidney Waits, a local historian and author of a dozen books or so, celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday, Dec. 28, with a luncheon at Larry’s in Andalusia, one organized by his son, George, and his daughter, Mary Evelyn.

Born in Andalusia Dec. 29, 1923, Sidney, along with his wife of 66 years, Polly Wilder, has lived here all his life.

A meal of barbecued chicken was followed by a birthday cake, one served without candles because, as Sidney pointed out, a box with enough candles could not be found.

For the program each of those present stood and shared his personal memories of the honoree.

These testimonies were capped by words of welcome and appreciation from Sidney.

Celebrating were Sidney and Polly (Wilder) Waits, Bill Rue, Les and Penny Rue, Tom and Joy Rue, Ann Hair McGlaun, Joy Hair Tway, Nancy Hair Skinner, Jim and Patrice Waits from King George, Virginia, Marla Waits Tomlinson, Rivers Tomlinson, George and Jean Waits (George led the prayer before dinner), George and Charlotte Mae Waits, Luke Waits (a captain in the Air Force from Anchorage, Alaska, home for Christmas and the party), Libby Waits, Marianna Waits, Sterling Waits, Shepherd Waits, Mac and Mary Evelyn Smith, Brad and Bentley Sloan and Cobb (Sidney and Polly’s great grandson), Maclin and Ashley Smith, Yeates Smith, Becky Wilder, Dick Wilder, Frances Wilder Adams, Jenny Wilder Adams, Evelyn Wilder Anderson and Lynda Anderson Waits.

Seen New Year’s Day at Gary’s Restaurant in Wages Market, River Falls, were Sidney and Polly Waits, Johnny and Nelda Godwin and Mark and Cynthia Gunter. The traditional black-eyed peas, cornbread, and greens were part of the buffet.

Members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Andalusia welcomed guests to their annual tea and evensong, celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany, Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5.

The tea, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., was attended in the church library, made from the transported sanctuary of the old St. Mary’s.

Pam Rabren coordinated the hospitality tables, clothed in lace, elegantly appointed with silver and crystal, abundant with hot tea, served in floral china teapots, finger sandwiches and sweets of every style and taste.

A silver bowl filled with tulips, lilies of Peru, and other blooms centered the library and refreshments.

The beautiful sanctuary was decorated for Christmas with wreaths, swags, a tree, and manger.

The evensong officially concluded the Christmas season.

Jan Morris served as usher for guests.

Evensong followed with a prelude by guest organist, Dr. Steve Hubbard, and the entrance hymn and processional with the priest, Dr. Cynthia Carter Howard; the torch bearers, Jonathan Weed and his sister, Catherine Weed; the crucifer, James Albritton, bearing the cross; and the choir, Dr. Howard, Judy Stokes, Charles Morris and Mike Purnell.

The service continued with confession, chants, prayers, collects, scripture, lessons from the Bible, hymns, “the Apostles Creed,” “The Lord’s Prayer,” an anthem by the choir, and thanksgiving.

Readers during the service were George Proctor, Jan Morris and Mike Purnell.

It was a great pleasure this week to renew my acquaintance with Tim Mersmann, a delightful chap, and with his wife, Suzi.

The celebration of the War of 1812 (1812 – 1815) 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 upcoming meetings.

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

President Lincoln commuted the death sentence of a Northern deserter. He often did this.

Desertions proved a problem in both North and South.

Confederate raider, John Hunt Morgan, was feted in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, following his escape from a Federal prison in Ohio.

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

The mysterian is a bald-headed man who was hit over the head with a walking stick in our public square by a man who was angry at the victim. The wound became infected, and the man died. Who was the man who died?

This week saw Twelfth Night, Dec. 6, come and go. That’s the 12th night of Christmas or “Little Christmas,” a day in Europe when Christmas trees are piled into bonfires.

Twelfth Night is remembered in a play of the same name by Shakespeare. It is also remembered in a song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

It is, too, the eve or evening of Epiphany, which is why St. Mary’s Episcopal Church sponsored a tea and evensong to end officially the Christmas season.

Now, gentle reader, allow me to join Buffalo Bob Smith in encouraging each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend, Lord willing.

Fare thee well!