Spring is here, flowers a plenty are blooming

Published 2:54 pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw Miss Flora, coming across from Covington Hall.

I had tea, waiting, including some chicken-salad sandwiches with the crusts removed, cucumber sandwiches, and petit fours.

We wanted to compare notes on what’s in bloom, now that spring is officially here.

In the distance I could also see “Clydie” Clump, trying to fly a kite and having the greatest difficulty.

Miss Flora reported having seen already azaleas, oxalis, pansies, violas, Gerbera daisies, redbud, red clover, thrift, flowering almond, peach, pear and Bradford pear, daffodils, camellias, snapdragons, pinks, tulips, cherry, blueberry, spirea, snowdrops, South Carolina yellow jasmine, plum, peach, winter jasmine, saucer magnolias, henbit, star magnolias, and purity.

I added Kiss-Me-at-the-Gate (or, Breath of Spring, as Cousin Jo calls it), bluets, and flowering quince.

We both lamented that we had seen no stock and likely would not since Betty Greene was gone. Betty kept such a lovely yard, garden, and house. She was the only person in Andalusia that I knew who regularly grew stock.

Miss Flora and I rejoiced that Kendra Bolling is back at the Star-News as magazine editor. We certainly have missed her since her sojourn to Luverne as editor.

The senior adults of First Baptist, East Three-Notch, now known as Fifty Forward, gathered for their monthly luncheon March l8 in Fellowship Hall.

Guest speaker was Alan Williamson, vice-president and co-owner of Covington Casket Company, the oldest manufacturer in Covington County, now celebrating 90 years.

The son of Dorcus and the late Johnny Williamson, Alan shares the business with his brother Eddie, its president and co-owner.

Williamson, a 1982 graduate of the Andalusia High School, who went on to the local junior college as well as MacArthur Tech, has been married to Paula for 27 years, with whom he parents two children, Devin and Andrew. The family attends First Baptist Church.

Williamson gave a fascinating history of Covington Casket, interspersed with local names and sprinkled with humor. There was good audience interaction, too, all of which made a successful talk.

Williamson credited local historian, Sidney Waits, with some information he shared.

One interesting fact was that 150 – 200 caskets are made per week.

Another is that Covington Casket serves 5 states. Some famous people have been buried in Covington caskets, such as Jerry Clower.

The company makes over-sized caskets, as well as regular.

Williamson mentioned the sixty years that Levi Wishum devoted to the company and how it changed hands eventually to his father, the beloved and popular, Johnny Williamson, who worked with Covington Casket from 1971 – 1993, leaving the business in the hands of his sons.

Johnny Williamson, known for his good-natured humor, came to Andalusia as a salesman for Lance crackers and later ran a station until invited to join Covington Casket in 1971.

Tim Nall is presently the traveling salesman for Covington Casket.

The luncheon began with a welcome by Gordan Vickers, director for senior adults.

Gillis Jones worded the blessing. Dr. Fred Karthaus, preacher at First Baptist, worded the benediction.

Three with March birthdays were asked to stand and were treated with the song, “Happy Birthday.” They were Betty Bass, Betty Brunson, and Kittye Wyatt.

With St. Patrick’s Day, fresh on the mind, tables were centered with green and white. A bouquet of shamrocks was surrounded by coins (from the pot of gold), green candy, and parade beads atop a green mat. At each place were St. Patrick’s napkins, green utensils, and a newsletter printed on green paper.

The decorations were by Trudy Vickers, assisted by Kittye Wyatt.

Gary’s at Wages Market catered with pork chops, cheesy potatoes, turnip greens, fried bread and rolls, and peach cobbler.

Seen at the Huddle House for supper were Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. McCrory, their daughter, Renay Smith, her daughter, Shae Smith Page, and Shae’s daughter, Annistyn, Dr. Wayne and Lenora Johnson, Charles and Kristy (Shuford) White, and their children, Taylor and Madison, Ted and Jeanette Short, Douglas and Frances Castleberry, Lenora Campbell, Jennifer King and her daughter, LeAnn, Billy and Pam (Mullen) Doster, Waylon and Michelle Browder, and their children, Dylan and Marley.

Four youth were baptized by Dr. Karthaus Sunday morning last at First Baptist – Olivia Jones, Colby Lee, Tori Rucinski, and Brennan Strong — despite bad weather.

Those who had arrived early for Sunday School huddled in a hall as local sirens sounded danger. Storms threatened the congregation, and Sunday School was delayed until an all-clear was received.

Dr. Karthaus preached, appropriately, on the storms of life.

The local Scouts, who had been camping in the woods near Andalusia, until they became aware of the threat of a tornado, quickly packed and headed into town, taking refuge in First Baptist.

Attendance was affected by the weather, but church went on at First Baptist and across the area.

Seen Sunday at the Corner Market were Thagard and Linda Colvin and their son Ray and his family, visiting from Tuscaloosa, Ray’s wife, Leah, and their children, Addison and Tray, Mickey and Jenny Pitts, Randy and Sharon Cornelius, Byron and Erica Thomasson, Sharon’s daughter, Erica, John and Gloria Collier, Joe and Vickie Ptomey, Gary and Gayle Johnson of Opp, their Paige Sutherland, and her son, Tucker.

The Andalusia Chamber Music Society has planned a piano-and-violin concert for April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church along East Three-Notch.

Tickets are $15 and can be bought in advance at Harold’s and Brooks.

The music was written by Brahms and includes his violin sonatas.

For a beautiful time of beautiful music in a beautiful setting among beautiful people with beautiful culture, assemble, oh, beautiful, gentle readers; assemble!

The celebration of the War of 1812 (1812 – 1815) continues.

Again, I ask the citizens of Andalusia to 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, Alabama 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 the last two weeks 150 years ago.

Federal forces headed toward Alexandria, Louisiana, by means of the Mississippi and Red rivers with Federal Generals A. J. Smith, Banks, Sherman, and Steele, involved. This expedition was known as “the Red River Campaign.” Opposing the Federals was Gen. Kirby Smith.

Union forces arrived by river and began to assemble in Alexandria.

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 struck over the head with a walking stick (his own, I think) in our public square by a man who was angry at the victim. The wound became infected, and the man died. Who was he?

There is no special birthday this week.

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.