New mural features dominoes, the Bear, and Clower

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 28, 2014


Work on Andalusia’s next mural, a tribute to the World Championship Domino Tournament, will begin next week.

Barbara Tyler of the City of Andalusia said Dothan artist Wes Hardin is scheduled to begin painting early next week, if the weather is good.

The new mural, for which the city has partnered with the Andalusia Rotary Club, which sponsors the tournament, will be on the Church Street side of the Prestwood Building, she said.

The mural features Dr. Charles Tomberlin, the Rotarian whose idea it was to start the tournament in 1976, as well as the three most famous people who ever played in the tournament – legendary University of Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant; Southern comedian Jerry Clower; and former Auburn University coach Doug Barfield, who was an Andalusia High School coach before rising in the college ranks.

When speaking to the local Rotary Club in September of 2011, Mal Moore, then-athletic director at the University of Alabama, recalled the domino match-up between his boss, Bryant, and Clower.

Moore recalled that Clower was on the radio boasting about his skills.

“He would say, ‘Y’all come on down to Andalusia and watch me whup the Bear,’ ” Moore recalled. “Coach Bryant wasn’t about to be ‘whupped’ by anybody.

“He made us play dominoes with him day and night,” Moore told the group.

Harden most recently completed a series of scenes that comprise a mural telling the story of how a dress shirt was made and marketed, from the cotton fields to the gin to cutting and sewing. It is located at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, which once was the corporate headquarters of Alatex.

Hardin also has completed sketches for a piney woods cattle mural, to be funded in part with a grant from the Alabama Allied Arts Council and destined for the Powell Furniture building. Another mural featuring law enforcement and also some of the older businesses in Andalusia, also is planned for 2014.