Hill adopts new slogan: ‘85 and still alive’

Published 2:37 am Saturday, September 20, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw a yellow butterfly flitting about in the late summer sun. September is the Yellow Month, the month of bitter weed, morning glories, golden aster, cypress vines, trumpet vine, honeysuckle, Confederate roses, lantana, petunias, gloriosa lilies, zinnias, abelia, and spider lilies, standing like soldiers in red turbans, of boiled, green peanuts, of scuppernongs and muscadines.

September is the end of summer and the beginning of fall, which bows in this coming Monday, September 22.

Fall was the theme of the centerpieces at the monthly luncheon of the older members of First Baptist Church on East Three-Notch, the group known as Fifty Forward, when they met last Tuesday, September l6, in the Fellowship Hall.

Each round table was decorated with fall leaves and flowers, clustered around small pumpkins and skirted with candy corn, all matching some “pumpkin” napkins, provided by Trudy Vickers, assisted by Kittye Wyatt.

The invocation was worded by Frank Moore; the benediction, by Judson Blackstock.

The meal was catered by Wages of River Falls – chicken tenders, English peas, mashed potatoes, rolls and fried bread, and banana pudding.

“Happy Birthday” was sung to September “babies” present – Kim Dyess, Herb Carlisle, Peggy Eiland, and Peggy’s mother, Margaret Eiland.

The speaker was Judy Short of Dothan, coordinator of several programs in the Southern Area Regional Council on Aging (SARCOA), a government agency that educates and assists older Americans with benefits provided by the nation and state.

Mrs. Short enthusiastically provided an hour of facts and anecdotes about the benefits.

She highlighted Alabama’s new elder-abuse law, which has set the standard for other states, and was pushed to passage by Alabama’s Silver-Haired Legislature, represented by our Irene (Davis) Butler. When Governor Bentley signed the bill into law, Mrs. Butler was present and received the pen the Governor had used to sign the bill.

The senior adults present at the luncheon gave Mrs. Butler a round of applause.

Mrs. Short holds degrees from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and has a husband of 39 years, two children, and four grandchildren, all in Dothan.

Mary Hill, “the Belle of Excel,” received well-wishers into her home Saturday afternoon, September 13, to celebrate her birthday, September 15.

Mrs. Hill always has a rhyme to pinpoint her age. This year it’s “Eighty-five and still alive!”

The reception for Mrs. Hill was organized by her two daughters, Joan Mitchell of Andalusia and Jane Crain of Birmingham, assisted by Joan’s husband, James; Mary’s spouse, John Hill; and a friend, Pennye Anderson.

Friends enjoyed a buffet of cake, nuts, mints, cheese straws, coffee, punch, and water, especially the cool punch, the day being so warm.

Sylvie King celebrated her fifth birthday (September 15) at home with a Princess Tea Party, provided by her parents, Parrish and Katie King Saturday, September 13.

Sylvie’s younger sister, Pearson Jane King, three months old, was recognized by their parents Sunday, September 14, with lunch at Simone’s the day she was baptized by Tim Trent in the First United Methodist Church.

Present for the occasion were Parrish and Katie King (parents), Helen King (great-grandmother), Bill and Cathy King (grandparents), Jim and Jane Ferguson of Dadeville (Katie’s parents), Dale Broussard of Houma, Louisiana (Parrish’s mother), Kathy Little of Fort Walton Beach, Florida (Bill’s sister), Will and Anna and their little daughter, Baylin King of Auburn (Parrish’s brother and family), and Nicole Pettie and her daughters, Catherine and Caroline (Cathy’s daughter and granddaughters).

Last Sunday, September 14, the bicentennial (200th birthday) of the lyrics of our national anthem, “The Star-spangled Banner,” was celebrated across America. Locally, schoolteachers, like Sonia Crigger, led the children in singing the national anthem in the classroom. Sue (Bass) Wilson told the story of the poem on the radio. Dwight Crigger, minister of music at First Baptist Church, sang spendidly in stentorian tone two verses of the anthem in the Baraca Class (Sunday School for the oldest men in the congregation), accompanied by his wife, Sonia. Joe Wingard shared a cake ordered for the day, a cake topped with the American flag in icing and with the words “O say can you see?” (The cake was baked and decorated by Val of Simone’s.) It was a grand day, never to come again. Thanks to all who participated!

Richard Pass, 92, still serving the Lord, taught the lesson in the Baraca Class last Sunday. He said that “We can’t work our way up” to heaven and “We can’t buy our way in.”

“We must trust.”

Seen at Simone’s last Sunday were Laura Darby and her mother, Helen Griffin, Lamar and Pat Rhodes, the Bill King family, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hobson and party, Gordon and Trudy Vickers, and Steve Sikes, “a Sikes for sore eyes!”

The Murals Committee of Andalusia met the afternoon of September 10 in City Hall to discuss the latest mural project, one on law enforcement.

Members present were Pat Palmore, who opened the meeting with prayer; Robert Anderson, Elaine Manning, Mary Lee Howard, Sara Catherine Patrick, Nancy Robbins, Hazel Griffin, Willie Thomas, and Joe Wingard.

When last we left the Portly Gentleman, he was in Charleston, touring the grand, old city with his Cousin Jo Driggers of Lexington, South Carolina. He and she parted Tuesday afternoon, July 22; she, for Lexington; he, for Savannah to spend a few days with his ol’ friend and former colleague, S. Daniel Shehan, before returning to “the Dimple of Dixie.”

Taking Highway 17, the Portly One passed or by-passed Ravenel, Edisto, Sheldon Church, cider stands, Ridgeland, and Hardeeville, crossing after three hours the Talmadge Bridge and the Savannah River into Savannah itself.

He found his friend at home in the gated community known as the Merritt on Whitemarsh Island.

After a short tour of the latest changes in the Savannah landscape, the two stopped for supper at a new restaurant downtown, Tondee’s Tavern on Bay Street.

The next morning the ol’ friends attended a meeting of the Spice Company at Bull Street Baptist Church where Shehan is a member. The Spice Company is a nickname for the fellowship of senior adults in the church.

Each member brought a brown-bag lunch to eat during the meeting.

The program that morning was viewing an episode of the old Andy Griffith TV shows to find Christian morals, singing, praying, and fellowshipping.

One of those present was Sandra Bath, a friend of Dorinda Duggan, formerly of Andalusia, and a first cousin to Allene Ezell and aunt to John Earl Duggan.

On the way back to the Merritt, the two stopped for gas at Parker’s, a chain convenience store in Georgia, and at Fresh Market, a fancy grocery.

While Shehan took a nap, the Portly Gentleman did some writing, including the following couplet,

“Savannah is a place for shade, But Charleston for the sun was made.”

For supper the friends drove out to Pearl’s, a modern restaurant with large glass windows, set on the edge of an inlet and overlooking the marshes and a skyline of boats and piers.

Pearl’s specialty is small, rounded hush puppies.

The Portly One ate she-crab soup, a casserole of shrimp-crab meat au gratin, rice pilaf, and collards. (Collards has become THE side dish in the Low Country. They are “the rage” and the fashion.)

Shehan ordered fried oysters and shrimp, plus fries.

The next morning Shehan, who is an organist and composer, played for his guest “Recessional ’76,” written by him for the baccalaureate of the Andalusia High School Class of 1976.

For breakfast, Shehan, who now drives a Jeep, drove his houseguest downtown to Clary’s, a plain-looking restaurant but famous as a scene in the novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The Portly Gentleman left for Andalusia about noon, stopping along the way in Valdosta, Georgia, to spend the night. On his way he came to the following: Love’s Seafood on the Ogeechee River, Richmond Hill, Midway (where he left 17 and got on 84-West), Hinesville (a handsome town), Ludowici, Jesup with Sybil’s Restaurant where he had eaten on his way to the Low Country, Screven, Patterson, Blackshear with its Pierce County Courthouse, Waycross with Captain Joe’s Restaurant (a chain) and Waycross’s tangled skein of roads, through the swamp to Homerville (where Jimbo’s Restaurant, sadly, had been closed), and over the four lanes to Valdosta, where he spent the night at the Clarion, taking supper at Austin’s, as he had on his way east.

The final day the Portly One came to the following: Quitman, Boston, Thomasville, Cairo, Whigham, Climax, Bainbridge, Iron City, Donalsonville (home of Benny Gay), the Chattahoochee River and Alabama, Dothan, Enterprise, Opp, and “the Dimple of Dixie.”

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

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.