Oh, for the love of plantation shutters

Published 12:20 am Saturday, August 9, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw Miss Cora Covington, making her way to my cottage from Covington Hall. She had in hand a jar of her freshly canned fig preserves for us to enjoy with hot, buttered biscuits at my teacart.

She reached my gate arbor and passed through, the sweet autumn clematis curling its delicate, white blooms above her like a halo.

We soon sat down to enjoy our brunch and fell to “the latest.”

Seen at Larry’s for supper were Stephanie Nelson and her daughter, Ora, Wesley Snodgrass and his two children, William and Amy.

Stephanie was with the Star-News for almost a decade before becoming editor of the Brewton Standard.

The family of Margie (Jacques) Thomasson celebrated her 70th birthday (July 14) with a long weekend visit, July 10 – 12, to DeGray Lake Resort near Arkadelphia, Arkansas, only a short distance from Margie’s home place in Okolona, Arkansas, a spot dear to the heart of the honoree.

Joined by Margie’s only sibling, Bill Jacques, and his wife, Sherry, from Austin, Texas, Margie and her daughter, Christy Clanton, spent a day visiting childhood sites beloved by Margie and Bill, as well as stopping at the graves of their parents and ancestors.

Back at the lake were Margie’s husband, Curtis Hampton Thomasson; their oldest son, Curt, his wife Heather, their sons, Tyler and Peyton from Oakman, Alabama; Christy’s husband, Andy Clanton, their sons, Hamp and Chappell from Andalusia; and Curtis and Margie’s second son, Clay, his wife Carrie, and their Hampton and Louanna from Oxford, Mississippi.

Activities included swimming in the lake, digging for diamonds at Murfreesboro, the only mine of its kind in the country, and visiting popular sites in Hot Springs. These were just some of the experiences Margie wanted her children and grandchildren to enjoy.

The grateful family attended a worship service before departing on Sunday for their respective homes.

The Covington Historical Society met the evening of July 3l, in the Dixon Memorial of the public library.

John Scherf, president for his second time, called the 397th meeting to order. Scherf is a descendant of the J. G. Scherf who is so important in the history of Andalusia.

Following the pledge to the flag, Bill Law offered a prayer.

Sue (Bass) Wilson, vice-president, played the state song as all sang “Alabama.”

Guests were asked to stand and introduce themselves. Harmon Proctor distributed his treasurer’s report.

Mrs. Wilson followed with a report on the museum, praising the work of Mary Ann Rabren Johnson, the current curator of the museum.

Bill Law, Morgan and Wilma Moore, directed by Bea Miller, provided refreshments.

Mrs. Wilson introduced the speaker, Sidney Waits, well-known local historian, who thanked Mrs. Wilson by saying, “Sue always does a good job at whatever she tries to do.”

Waits spoke on the Panama Canal, where he was stationed in World War II. He fell in love with the area; and he and his wife, Polly, have returned there half a dozen times.

Using a map of Panama, framed by Joe and Sandra Davis, Waits shared a cornucopia of facts; for example, the canal opened in 1915 and will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary; there are 3.2 million citizens; the canal operates by gravity; the canal runs with fresh water; a new canal is being dug; there are two seasons in Panama – wet and dry; Waits wishes the USA still controlled the canal; there are nine provinces in Panama.

Questions and comments ended the program.

Richard Jones, while in Scotland to play golf, also attended worship services at Holy Trinity Parish Church (the Church of Scotland-Presbyterian) in St. Andrews, Sunday, July 13. Holy Trinity was founded in 1230. John Knox preached there.

The thought that ran through Richard’s mind while there was the words to the hymn, “For All the Saints.” He thought, “Sitting where Believers once risked their very lives to worship the Lord in a Reformed manner was perhaps the most awesome and humbling experience of my life.”

The next day, July 14, Richard called Eland Anthony from the steps of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to wish him a happy 91st birthday.

Richard, a member of the Andalusia High School Class of 1972, is the son of a member of the Class of 1921, is married to a member of the Class of 1977, and is father to members of the classes of 2000, 2003, and 2009.

Jeremy Boyd, 16, an AHS junior, the son of Sandy and Stephanie (Hill) Boyd, became an Eagle Scout Sunday, August 3, at 3:00 p.m. in the chapel of First Baptist Church, East Three-Notch.

Presiding at the impressive ceremony was Jeremy’s pastor for the last 8 years, Dr. Fred Karthaus, himself an Eagle Scout, and the man who baptized Jeremy.

The service began with presentation of the colors and the pledge by local Boy Scout Troop 46.

Dr. Karthaus welcomed attendees and worded an invocation.

Jeremy was escorted to the podium by the honor guard, fellow scouts, Carter Russell and Jonathan Williamson.

There Jeremy stood while he was lauded by Assistant Scout Master Keith Williamson, the Scout Master at Red Level.

Williamson recounted Jeremy’s scout career.

Dr. Karthaus followed with the story of the eagle and its symbolism.

Jeremy then presented special pins to his parents, Sandy and Stephanie, followed by mentor pins of appreciation to four of his scout leaders, McCrory, Russell, Williamson, and Carpenter.

In turn, in a moving moment, Jeremy’s parents pinned their only son with his Eagle Scout pin.

Then Dr. Karthaus read the Eagle Oath, and Jeremy repeated it.

Finally, Monty Russell, scout chaplain, prayed the benediction.

A reception followed in a nearby Sunday-School room.

Among those attending were Stephanie’s parents, the Hills, from Texas.

Refreshments were provided by the Boyd family.

A table of Scout memorabilia was on display. It included pictures of Jeremy’s Eagle Scout project, wooden walkways and steps, erected at the Power South property known as Eagle Point.

A program, printed in blue, was available.

A birthday reception in honor of Joseph Cecil Wingard, retired AHS teacher, was given Sunday, July 27, between 2 – 4 p.m. at the Springdale Estate on East Three-Notch Street by the AHS Class of 1972. The class wished to remember their former teacher of English in both eighth and senior grades.

Wingard turned 70 July 9.

When he retired in 2005, he had taught at AHS longer than any other teacher in the first 100 years of the school’s history.

He has often said of the Class of 1972 that they are the most organized, cohesive, and dependable class he ever taught. He recalls their senior year as the most perfect year he ever had in teaching.

The planning committee for the event was made of Angie (Baker) Sasser, Martha (Eiland) Steele, Charlee (Sullivan) Dunn, Dianne (Griffin) Curry, Larry Jones, Roger Powell, and Jerry Short, the class president.

The two hours of greetings were divided by remarks from President Short, who said that Wingard became the class’s official and unofficial class sponsor for their six years at AHS (1966 – 1972), and “he has been special to us ever since.”

Short spoke of “Mr. Wingard’s classroom routine” as “consistent and predictable.”

Roger Powell, class member, posing as “Mrs. Grumpy,” interrupted Short, comically, to give the top ten reasons why she should replace Mrs. Grundy, a local gossip who writes a column in the local paper.

Powell, a local artist, then presented Wingard with a framed print of his watercolor, entitled It’s All Over Town, a gift from the class.

Charlee Dunn, class member, presented Wingard a birthday cake with a big 7 and big 0, lighted. Everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” accompanied by Angie Sasser, class valedictorian, at the piano.

A large basket filled with cards and notes was given to Wingard. (Some cards contained generous checks.)

A cash donation in honor of Wingard is planned for the Heritage Room at AHS, which Wingard began in 1966.

Larry Jones, class photographer, captured the event for a photo album, planned for Wingard.

Refreshments were overseen by Martha Steele, class member, consisting of petit fours with w’s on top, cheese straws, mixed nuts, cucumber sandwiches, open-faced tomato sandwiches, and white grape juice spritzer.

Blue delphiniums, arranged by Dianne Curry, class member, graced the registry table and piano, and were placed in black iron urns borrowed from her mother, Martha Griffin. The flowers were accented with asparagus fern and aucuba leaves from Holly Krudop’s garden. Zinnias in a blue glass vase were placed near the guest registry.

Wingard wore a red carnation boutonniere (AHS colors), created by Alan Cotton, Class of 1971, accented with oak leaves from the AHS campus.

Prior to the reception, Wingard was treated to lunch at Simone’s, following church at First Baptist. He dined with Jerry and Teri Short, Terry (Shaw) Patko, Dr. and Mrs. Morgan Moore (Short’s stepfather and mother), and Charlee (Sullivan) Dunn.

A bust of Shakespeare, long used in Wingard’s Room 35 in the old Annex at AHS, and now on loan by him to the Heritage Room, decorated an entrance table at Springdale. Wingard said of the bust, “A very happy-hearted student by the name of Lester Hamiter used to greet the bust as ‘Old Bill.’ Lester always was that ray of sunshine, that breath of spring, who made us smile with his merry heart.”

An unusual gift to Wingard was 70 one-dollar bills, given him by his cousin Ken Johnson and Ken’s son Campbell, one dollar for each year of Wingard’s life.

Another unusual gift was a certificate for $100 to eat at Simone’s, given by the staff at the Star-News.

Out-of-town guests included Jerry and Teri Short from Montgomery, Terry (Shaw) Patko from Birmingham, Paul and Donna Wingard from Camden (Wingard’s brother and his wife), Mark and Lesa (Merrell) Wiggins from Tennessee (very special cousins who went the second mile), Hunter Reaves from Macon, Georgia, her sister, Marcia Reaves Green from Destin, Florida, Faron and Cecelia Brewer, Karon Nichols Campbell, Gail (Gibson) McInnish from Brewton, and Lynn and Evelyn (Mullins) Brown from Auburn.

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 Union fleet under Admiral David Farragut took Mobile Bay August 5, leading to the fall of Confederate forts Gaines, Powell, and Morgan. Farragut supposedly said, “Damn the torpedos; full speed ahead.” Torpedos were underwater mines placed by the Confederates to deter the Union fleet.

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

The mysterian is the answer to a riddle, “I am half, yet I am whole.”

Birthdays the past week are those of Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet; Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet; Izaak Walton, English authority on fishing; and John Dryden, English poet and playwright.

Bysshe rhymes with fish.

Tennyson must bow to Shakespeare for thought and expression, but Shakespeare must bow to Tennyson for variety of meter.

Walton’s famous fishing book is The Compleat (complete) Angler.

Tennyson’s most famous line is “’Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than never to have loved at all.”

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.