Youngster shares travels

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 12, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noted the red tops, one of the best bushes/small trees hereabouts. The white blooms, red berries, and leaves take the eye in turn. The plants make nice borders.

The roadsides at this time are beautiful with red clover, white clover, yellow clover, and, already, the May primroses, or buttercups, as some call them. Remember when a playmate would ask you to smell a buttercup? You’d end up with a yellow nose – all in fun. I hope the road crews leave such beauty in bloom as long as possible.

Mickey Rooney, the actor, died at 93. Goodbye, ol’ pal.

James Bristow told me that his daughter, Susan, flew to Cape Town, South Africa, for a two-weeks visit with her husband, Walter Cammack, who works off shore. While there, Susan hopes to go on a safari. (Safari, so good.)

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. If you can, wear a bit of palm on your clothing in remembrance of Christ. I hope you are able to hear that grand, old song – “The Palms.”

The Covingtons are hosting an Easter-egg hunt on their front lawn this afternoon.

Andalusia has looked like an Easter basket this past week with Lady Banks roses, cultivated azaleas, dogwoods, bridal wreath, trailing dewberry, wisteria, iris, snowballs, Indian hawthorn, pink feathers, and wild azaleas.

Seen at David’s for supper were Brian and Mollie Riley, Cindy Hobbie, Lena Boswell, Sherrell Dees, Bobby and Judy Scott, Gary and Tavia (Scott) Tillman, Adeline Fischer, Annaleigh Fischer, Cassidy Tillman, and Carley Tillman.

Young Campbell Johnson sent me a note from his travels.

“I have been on another trip to Huntsville, Alabama, to the Space ‘mu-z-um.’ I want to tell you that I had the best time, riding in the space shuttle and all the other rides and ‘x-zi-bits.’ My dad, Grandmama, and Granddaddy Johnson took me during spring break. Another thing – I bought a space suit. It is really cool!

“We also visited the Vulcan statue in Birmingham. Boy! That is HIGH and very cool.

“Then we went to Montgomery and stayed at a Big Hotel. We ate at one of my dad’s favorite places, Dream Land BBQ. The ribs are sooooo good!

“My dad and I went to the zoo. Then we came home.”

Happy Birthday, for April 5, Cousin Jo, of Lexington, South Carolina.

Whitman Jackson, son of Jody and Nicole (Burnham) Jackson, was baptized on a rainy Sunday morning, April 6, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church by his pastor, Dr. Fred Karthaus.

In addition to Whitman’s parents, other members of his family present were his brother, Haden, and both sets of grandparents, Charles and Norma Jackson and Harold and Gail Burnham.

The families later ate lunch together at the Corner Market.

Two of the most beautiful arrangements I have ever seen flanked the podium in First Baptist that Sunday morning. I am told they were by Alan Cotton, local florist and member of First Baptist. The arrangements were plush with snowballs, azaleas, bridal wreath, and yellow wild azaleas.

The ladies’ singing group, One Accord (as in “singing in one accord”) of First Baptist sang last Sunday morning “This World Is Not My Home.”

The ladies are Janet Brantley, Teresa Nelson, Charlotte Rogers, Betty Gay, Beverly Farrington, Allison Farrington (mother and daughter), Frances Rabren, Sharon Bulger, Maegan McMullen, and Linda Finlin.

A fundraiser followed morning worship at First Baptist last Sunday.

A buffet was offered to anyone wanting to eat lunch in the church Fellowship Hall in exchange for a donation to support a mission trip to the Children’s Hope Orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti, June 14 – 21.

Fried catfish, slaw, cheese grits, hush puppies, and a variety of desserts were offered by Alan Williamson and his son Andrew, Brent and Beth Maddox, Neal Dansby, Jeff Hopkins, Daniel Bulger, and Haiti team members, Sharon Bulger, Garrett Davis, Tyler Dent, John Dugger, Becky Garner, Emory Garner, Grant Holley, Tammy Holley, Matt Johnson, Jonmichael Lee, Kevin Lee, Duane Mooney, Tim Nall, Raeanne Pugh, Preston Quillen, Brian Seymore, Jenny Searcy, and Eric Searcy.

The congregation of First Baptist, also last Sunday, voted to call Eric Searcy, a local teacher, as their new director of student ministries.

Jewel Curry’s picture appeared in Mosaic, a magazine of Alabama Humanities, as she stood, viewing the recent exhibit from the Smithsonian, “The Way We Worked,” when it was on display in the “Dimple of Dixie.” The full-page picture showed Jewel in color but identified her only as “a woman.” We Andalusians knew already, though, that Jewell is quite ‘a woman.’”

Some of my relatives were in town this past weekend for the annual Girls’ Softball Tournament. By Saturday afternoon the competition had narrowed to two Montgomery teams, Alabama Christian Academy and Trinity Presbyterian. ACA won 2 – 0.

One of my young cousins, Peyton Kegley (# 20), a senior at ACA, faced another cousin, Kayla Pittman (# 2), a seventh-grader at Trinity.

The girls’ grandfather, Steve Pittman, was on hand, rooting for both girls, as were Kayla’s mother, Ivy (Mrs. John Pittman), and Peyton’s dad, Greg Kegley, who was one of the coaches for ACA.

Pete Lee, a friend of Steve’s, also attended.

First Baptist sponsored a Bible Drill Sunday night, April 6, featuring seven youth, Drew Seymore, Hannah Grace Blackstock, Ashli Parker, Ada Short, Abigail Lee, Rosemary Bass, and Everett Thompson.

Joan (Hill) Mitchell continued in her role as director of the drill in which the youth are trained to memorize 25 verses, l0 references, the books of the Bible, and to find chapter and verse in l0 seconds or fewer.

Mrs. Mitchell was assisted by Allison Farrington.

The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans met the evening of April 3 in the Dixon Memorial of our public library.

April, by the way, is Confederate History Month in Alabama.

Commander Curtis Hampton Thomasson called the meeting to order.

Chaplain “Hank” Roberts prayed.

Vaughn Bowers led the pledges, and Larry Shaw led “Dixie.”

After business came a program of “Show and Tell,” beginning with Bowers, who shared pictures of his grandmother, a “real daughter” of a Confederate soldier.

A ceremony is being planned to place a special marker at the grave of Bowers’s maternal grandmother, Bonnie Eva Jane (Day) Morgan, daughter of Henry Joel Day, Company B, 15th Alabama Regiment, April 12 at 3:00 p.m. in Pine Level Cemetery, Elba.

Kelly Veasey shared several items, a Union canteen, preserved by his grandfather, a wallet, revolver, rifle, and Minie ball.

Veasey’s ancestor was wounded in Vicksburg and had three sons that served in “the War.”

Thomasson showed a decorative souvenir dish from the Centennial celebration of “the War” 50 years ago and pictures of Confederate relatives.

Joe Wingard brought a souvenir cane from the Centennial celebration in Montgomery 50 years ago when he was in Lee High School.

John Allen Gantt shared his great-grandfather’s match box from “the War.”

Roberts presented family pictures and history connected to “the War.”

Jimmy Mott showed an antebellum pistol and other pistols, as well as a sergeant’s jacket.

The camp welcomed a visit by Hal Sims.

Attending were Curtis H. Thomasson, Derick Davis (adjutant), Joe Wingard, Vaughn Bowers, Ken Reeves, Larry Shaw, Hank Roberts, John Allen Gantt, Kelly Veasey, and Jimmy Mott.

Adjutant Davis provided refreshments after the program.

Congratulations to the Andalusia Chamber Music Society for their successful concert Friday night, April 4, in lovely St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

Two professional musicians presented the three violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms, one of the great composers in musical history.

Dr. Robert Holm, professor of music at the University of Mobile, played astonishingly the piano part on a Steinway, at moments sending thousands of notes into the air, each as if part of a stained-glass window, meant for a great cathedral.

The Steinway Holm used was shipped from Mobile, especially for the concert.

John Brewer, music instructor at our local community college, said that it was a rare treat to hear a Steinway in Andalusia.

Jenny Gregoire, concertmaster for the Mobile Symphony, played her violin dramatically and with breathless beauty, bringing to life again the creations of the old master, Brahms.

The attendees were welcomed by Dr. Herbert H. J. Riedel, president of the Lurleen Burns Wallace Community College, instrumental in establishing the ACMS.

The two guest artists were introduced by Brewer.

A reception with refreshments followed in the parish hall.

Congratulations to Meryane Martin-Murphy and all involved with the Andalusia Ballet for a pleasing and memorable production of Cinderella, replete with beautiful costumes and sets, dramatic music, and talent abundant.

I wish I could have seen all four presentations, but I saw only the last one Sunday afternoon.

Emily Kelley as Cinderella swirled in loveliness like a shower of diamonds.

The “hit” of the show was that clowning duo, Lee Cagle and Roger Powell, as the ugly stepsisters, especially Cagle and his beads, which he swirled like a hula hoop.

They “stole the show.”

Especially disciplined and professional were the fairies of the seasons, Sydney O’Brien, Savannah Claire Morgan, Sneha Bang, and Erica Bernstein. They were repeatedly impressive and inspiring.

The trolls and their clock offered a nice cartoon relief and brought admiration for their creativeness.

The person who surprised me most was Jonathon Weed, the jester, who has grown by leaps and bounds – literally. I have watched him through the years as he has faithfully and consistently improved his abilities. Now all that work is really paying off. He is ready for the “big league.”

The prince, a professional imported from New York, was all that a leading man should be, but especially impressive were his leaps, which seemed to leave him momentarily floating in the air.

An effective feature of the choreography was the tableaux used at the beginnings and ends of each scene.

Mark Murphy, husband of the remarkable Mrs. Murphy, again did an excellent job with the sets.

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 up-coming meetings.

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

The U.S. Senate by a vote of 38 – 6 passed the l3th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

Confederate General Taylor’s troops won the day at Sabine Crossroads in Louisiana, part of the Red River Campaign. The next day Federal General Banks’s troops took the field. These battles were the last major efforts by both sides in Louisiana until the end of the war. The Confederates held Louisiana, west of the Mississippi River, till the end of the war.

New Union governments were established for Louisiana and Arkansas.

Troops of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest took Union Fort Pillow on the Mississippi in Tennessee. Some called it a massacre because so many Federals were killed, especially black Northern soldiers.

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

The mysterian this week was a military man and banker. He served as president of the Class of 1919 at the Andalusia High School.

The birthdays this week are those of William Wordsworth, an English poet, and William Hazlitt, an English essayist.

It was in April that General Lee of the South surrendered, April 9, 1865.

Wordsworth is one of the major poets whose volume should have a place on your shelves and should be studied off and on all of one’s lifetime.

The best essay I ever read was written by Hazlitt. It’s called “The Feeling of Immortality in Youth.”

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.