Oh, the grancy greybeard abounds with beauty

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I was taken with the beauty of the fringe tree over at Covington Hall. Some call it grancy greybeard.

Gentle reader, do you remember Waco and Nina Taylor? They were a couple hereabouts known for their love of gardening and their civic efforts to beautify Andalusia. They once gave me a Cherokee rose, which is in bloom this week. Every time I see that wild rose I think of the Taylors. I imagine all of us associate different plants with various people and memories.

Curtis Hampton Thomasson, a member of our local Civitan Club for the last 44 years, was guest speaker for the Enterprise Civitan Club Tuesday, April 8.

Thomasson serves also as chairman for Campus Civitan in the Alabama West Florida District of Civitan.

His subject was recruitment of new members for the club.

Thomasson also outlined the history of the civic organization, founded in 1917 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thomasson likewise involved members of the Enterprise club in sharing what it means to be a Civitan and the many benefits of membership.

His wife, Margie (Jacques) Thomasson, accompanied him to the meeting at Po’ Folks Restaurant on Boll Weevil Circle.

Richard Pass, 92, a Baptist preacher, passed on some good advice of late, “Do what you can while you can.”

Colonel Covington, speaking at the Andalusia Lyceum, also shared some advice, “Anything won by force is not really won at all.”

Driving up to Montgomery this past week, I took the new Georgiana by-pass, which is still being “patched” into I-65.

Stopping in Greenville to have lunch at the Cracker Barrel, I dined with Mrs. Gotrocks. We liked their green-tomato soup, tart and tasty.

The red Knockout roses at the four-leaf at Greenville were beautifully in bloom.

Along the way to Montgomery I saw a few pink dogwoods. They are rarely seen, compared to the white dogwoods.

Many of the white dogwoods were losing their blossoms. They looked like bits and pieces of torn parchment paper, aged with brown spots. The heavy rains that came through this week knocked almost all of the rest of the dogwood blossoms to the ground.

I attended a small reunion last Sunday in the Gold Star Park in downtown Wetumpka.

My relatives and I represented several connected families – the Browns, Johnsons, Wingards, and Grays.

Steve Jackson of Montgomery was in charge.

We met in a rented room next to a relocated log cabin in the dogtrot style. It had once been home to Matt (Nobles) Brown, the ancestor or aunt of many present. One of her grandsons, Ralph Brown, recalled spending Christmases at the old place, which had been moved from its original location to the Gold Star Park along the river in Wetumpka. Ralph said that a kitchen and “side room” off the back of the log cabin had not been moved.

The cabin is a pretty sight, fronted with a rustic fence overgrown with wild, pink roses.

After Ralph worded the blessing, we enjoyed a buffet of good, country cooking, followed by a time of identifying ourselves in the family tree.

Among those attending were Ralph’s wife, Billie (Wingard) Brown (who fascinated me with her travels to Charleston and to France), their only son, Ben, and his son, Bradley; Hilda

Johnson, Amber Jean Goolsby, Linda (Wingard) Parrish, Roy Parrish, Lea Jackson (Steve’s wife), Kathryn Jackson (Steve and Lea’s daughter), Kathryn’s daughter, Claire Wohlford, Kathryn’s fiancé, Joshua Chambers, Steve Tyler (whose late dad helped found this reunion), Lois Brown (whose late husband created the reunion), Helen Carroll, Cecil Wingard (oldest present at 95), Joe Wingard, Pat (Wingard) Chambliss, Tanner and Ryan Parrish (brothers), Mary Wingard, Gladys Allen, and Clyde Chambliss.

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 this week 150 years ago.

The Federal Congress ruled that the Nebraska Territory could join the Union.

The Southern CSS Albemarle sank several Union ships.

Northern General Grant required that Southern prisoners be exchanged for Northern prisoners equally – they had not been – and with no distinction between white and colored prisoners in the exchange.

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

We have about a year more of highlights of “the War,” Lord willing. Lee surrendered April 9, 1865.

The mysterian has been identified. He is Guy Wilder, the father of Polly (Wilder) Waits. Mr. Wilder was both a military man and banker and served as president of his Class of 1919 at the Andalusia High School. He was identified by his son-in-law, Sidney Waits, local historian.

The new mysterian rode in an air balloon before her death, one of her dreams come-true.

Easter is tomorrow. I join my fellow believers in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord of our lives. Hallelujah!

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.