Alas, clothes, plants come and go in style

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 24, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, looking at the coreopsis, primroses, verbena, and daisy fleabane along the roadsides between Covington Hall and my little cottage, I recalled other blooms I had seen this week – the magnolia, Confederate jasmine, honeysuckle, oleander, catalpa, daylilies, and petunias. It is a beautiful world!

Last week I made a terrible mistake. I was talking about one of the writers I had heard speak at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville, Bob Ingram. Mr. Ingram is dead. I meant to write “Bob Inman,” who’s alive and kicking. I apologize, Mr. Inman. Both worked for WSFA in Montgomery and both worked for Governor Brewer. That may have been why I confused the names.

Our Martha and John Givhan are friends with the Inmans and used to take family vacations together. Martha and Mrs. Inman were sorority sisters in college and roommates as well.

Dr. Morgan Moore, retired physician, was honored Friday, May l6, by members of his civic club, the Civitan, at their weekly meeting at Tabby D’s. A plaque, recognizing Dr. Moore’s 50 years of membership, was presented by President Greg White. A Power Point, retracing Dr. Moore’s Civitan accomplishments, was part of the program.

On hand were Dr. Moore’s wife, Wilma, and his two daughters who came from out of town, Miss Sandra Katherine Moore and Linda Neff, plus Linda’s teenage son, Daniel. Dr. Moore’s son, Michael, was unable to attend.

The daughters were weekend guests of their father and step-mother, who served them many a good, home-cooked meal and dined out with them at David’s.

The Civitans also sang Dr. Moore “Happy Birthday” for his 80th birthday the following Monday, May l9.

Dr. Moore is a distinguished member of First Baptist Church, East Three-Notch, and still sings tenor in the Adult Choir. He also chairs the Senior Adult Council.

The senior adults of First Baptist, now known as Fifty Forward, assembled Tuesday, May 20, for their monthly luncheon in Fellowship Hall.

Gordon Vickers, director of senior adults, presided.

Bill Law worded the blessing and Dr. Fred Karthaus, preacher, prayed the benediction.

The guest speaker was Tim Mersmann, the district ranger for the Conecuh National Forest. He has served 25 years with the U.S. Forest Service.

Mersmann presented a fascinating Power Point about Conecuh National Forest, established in 1936 and today containing some 84,000 acres.

Among the interesting points Mersmann made were that the Conecuh has the only known nest of indigo snakes in Alabama and the biggest variety of frogs in the nation.

Reared in Birmingham, Mersmann is the husband of Suzi and father of two grown children, Calley and Clay.

He holds degrees from the University of Georgia and Virginia Tech.

Dr. Morgan Moore, who turned 80 May 19, was recognized with “Happy Birthday.” He is chairman of Fifty Forward.

The meal, catered by Gary’s Restaurant of Wages Market, included beef stew over rice, butter beans, fried bread, rolls, and chocolate cake.

Tables were decorated by Trudy Vickers, assisted by Betty Bass, with patriotic centerpieces in honor of upcoming Memorial Day. Red, white, and blue sprays with stars, surrounded by wild, white roses, matched red and white napkins and mints.

Dr. Rex Butler and his mother, Irene (Davis) Butler, drove to Orlando, Florida, so that Dr. Butler could attend a medical conference May 14 – May 16.

They left Andalusia Wednesday night, May 13, in that frightening storm and drove all night, through dark and rain, so that Dr. Butler could be present for the first session at 7:00 a.m.. Needless to state, the good doctor had little sleep.

The Butlers stayed at the fashionable Caribe Royale, from which Dr. Butler took a daily shuttle to the Gaylord Palms for his meetings, sponsored by the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine.

While Dr. Butler was in class, his mother visited with her nephew, Steve Poole, who lives only 50 miles away. Mrs. Butler treated Steve and his girlfriend to lunch, saw the sights, and discussed family matters.

The trip took a sentimental detour for Mrs. Butler. As she and her son motored home, they went through Ocoee where she and her late husband Ray had built a home and visited Stark Lake where Irene had caught a two-pound shell cracker, the only fish she ever caught in her life. Rex spotted the place on the lake where he had swum as a boy many times.

The two also stopped in Winter Garden where they found Main Street blocked off for an antique-car show.

They stopped, too, at the Florida Power office where Irene worked 68 years ago. The Edgewater Hotel, next to the power office, still stands.

The Chevrolet dealership where Ray and Irene bought the sixth car released in 1946 after the war ended has moved. The first five cars were bought by doctors.

Some time back I said I did not know of a mulberry tree in the area. Roger Powell, the artist and retired circuit clerk, tells me that he has two in his back yard on Sixth Avenue. He thinks Art and Alane Brunson have one, as well as Tex and Becky Powell.

The month of May has been quite busy at the First Presbyterian Church. Early in May the eighth annual “roast,” honoring graduating high-school seniors, was held with Hope Caton, David May, Willie Riedel, and Abbie Young as honorees. They were feted with a barbeque dinner with an assortment of side dishes, hosted by the church’s Congregational Care Committee and coordinated by Nancy Boldog, Kelley Faulkner, and Dr. Ab and Judy St. John. As has become tradition, the seniors were “roasted” before their family, friends, and church members, during which time embarrassing and “interesting” moments from their lives were recalled. This year the “roastmaster,” Roger Powell, led the quartet in a Jeopardy-styled game with the four “contestants” selecting from categories such as “Fits and Tantrums,” “I Could Die Right Now,” and “Dumb and Dumber.” The seniors were good sports about the revelations, and the evening concluded with DVD presentations of their photos from childhood forward (set to music), prepared by Cathy Powell.

Later in May the Presbyterian seniors and their families were honored by the Presbyterian Women with a morning tea prior to church services, coordinated by Judy Scott and Gayle Mitchell. During worship, as has been the custom for more than six decades, Bibles were given to the seniors by the Presbyterian Women. Barbara McCommons, representing the women, made the presentations.

Long-time church secretary at First Presbyterian, Sandi Iverson, was honored upon her retirement at a dinner in the church fellowship hall. Catered by Jean McClellan and her staff, the dinner was coordinated by the Presbyterian Women, ably led by Moderator Emily Yehling on behalf of the church and the Session. The venue was beautifully decorated with spring flowers centering each table, set with china and silver pieces. Pastor Bob Madsen, Arlene Nettles, and Rhett Johnson were among those expressing heartfelt sentiments to Sandi on behalf of the congregation. Sandi, accompanied by her husband, Terry, also made remarks. Upon her retirement at the end of May, the Iversons plan to move to North Carolina.

A highlight of May was the official call to Bob Madsen to serve as installed pastor of First Presbyterian. Bob and his wife, Linda, have been at FPC since last fall, serving a temporary pastorate. They have been active in the life of the church and the community since their arrival here. FPC looks forward to years of ministry together. A formal installation is planned for later.

Fifty Forward, the senior adults of First Baptist, motored to Pat’s Secret Garden in Ozark May 8 to take a riding tour around the gardens and enjoy the beauty of unique plants and trees, a rose garden, prayer garden, scriptures, and country store. Pat herself presented each senior adult with a potted plant as each arrived at Pat’s greenhouse. After leaving Ozark, the group traveled to Ryan’s Steakhouse in Enterprise to enjoy a good meal and lots of fun and fellowship. Those who made the trip were Herb and Sue Carlisle, June Smith, Edwyna Ivey, Jeanette Feagin, Annette Burt, Betty Brunson, Kittye Wyatt, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Trudy Vickers, Bea Miller, Peggy Eiland, Margaret Eiland, Martha Cordell, Vivian Hickey, Neal Dansby (who drove the bus), and Gordon Vickers.

Herb and Sue Carlisle treated his grown children, Gary Carlisle from New York City and Nancy Meyette from San Diego, California, with a day trip to the annual memorial services at the Boswell/Moseley Cemetery in Herb’s “hometown,” Gilbertown, Alabama, the third Sunday in April.

It was the first time for Herb’s children to attend and their first chance to meet many relatives. Gary and Nancy had grown up in Fairborn, Ohio, and had motored to Alabama only in the summers to visit their Grandmother Ercie Searcy in this area.

Gilbertown is in Choctaw County near the Mississippi line. Herb’s father and mother, John and Maud (Hendrix) Carlisle; his grandparents, Jasper C. and Mary Jane (Roberts) Carlisle; and other relatives are buried there.

Herb was born near Gilbertown and lived the first l8 years of his life there, so it was homecoming for him and his family. (By the way the first successful oil well in Alabama was drilled in Gilbertown.)

The Carlisles traveled on Easter Sunday to Gilbertown, some 133 miles from Andalusia. They found the cemetery beautifully decorated with flowers of every description for the memorial services. Herb and his family stood at the grave of Herb’s grandfather, covered with a small shed. Herb said the shed had been there as long as he could remember. This grandfather had lost an arm in the War Between the States, and Herb recalled hearing his grandmother tell about her husband’s return without one of his arms. He, the soldier, was in Co. F of the 54th Alabama Regiment. Herb pointed out the graves of his parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and others.

There was an Easter service at the cemetery, conducted by the local Methodist Church. Herb said the message was excellent.

Dinner on the grounds followed. The Carlisles joined in – “we were not hard to persuade,” Herb said – invited by Herb’s cousin, Linda, the wife of Phillip Moseley.

After the meal the Carlisles visited the home of Herb’s Uncle Wyatt’s daughter, Lillian Covington (age 92). All of her family were there as well as her sister, Lois Rentz (age 90), and her family. Their sister, Minnie Mae Holder (age 95) was not present.

Herb said that he enjoyed seeing the second and third generations of this family.

The Carlisles also went to see the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of his Uncle Ira Carlisle, a twin to Wyatt Carlisle and a brother to John, Herb’s dad.

The Saturday before this Easter journey, Herb and Sue served a breakfast brunch in their home in Andalusia for Gary and Nancy, Rachel Searcy, Vonceil Newman, and Susan Seales (Sue’s daughter).

S. Daniel Shehan, formerly of Andalusia, now of Savannah, Georgia, was surprised May 4, while attending the annual spring concert presented by Christ Church Anglican of Savannah, to hear one of his own compositions, “Shout! Shout! Shout!,” being sung by the Christ Church Anglican Choir.

Shehan found his name listed in the printed program as well as the words he had written and put to music.

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.

In the battle at Spotsylvania both North and South tried to outflank each other, neither able to claim victory. At Dallas, Georgia, Northern General Sherman continued to force Southern General Johnston back toward Atlanta. (I have visited this battle site at Dallas. It consists of many steep hills.)

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

The mysterian is Editor Ed Dannelley, quite a character. Thanks to Joann Miller for the first response. (Joann, I apologize if I have misspelled your given name.)

The new mysterian ran a miniature golf course along East Three-Notch.

The birthdays this week are those of Alexander Pope, English poet; Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish author; South Carolina, the eighth state to join the Union and the first to leave; and Victoria, queen of England, whose reign of 64 years is the longest for an English monarch, so far. The current Queen Elizabeth II, if she lives a few more years, may surpass her ancestor’s record.

Pope is second only to Shakespeare in being quoted most often in our language. Among his many “quotables” is “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” which Elvis used in one of his songs.

Doyle created the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his assistant, Dr. John Watson. The famous statement, “Elementary, my dear Watson,” came from movie scripts, not the pages of Doyle’s novels.

Doyle also gave us a novel about a lost world of dinosaurs, which later evolved as the Jurassic Park movies.

Concerning Queen Victoria, from what I have read of her, she was a devout Christian. It is my belief that the British Empire grew to be the greatest the world has ever known because Victoria tried to honor God, and He blessed her for that. It was said that the sun never set on the British Empire.

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.