Pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, glow at Covington Hall

Published 2:51 pm Monday, November 3, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw the pumpkin jack-o-lanterns, all a-glow, over at Covington Hall. Clay Clyde Clump did a good job.

Seen Friday night at the seafood buffet at Tabby D’s were Jimmy and Tammy Cox, David Little, Lynne Searcy, Judge Jerry Stokes, and Robert Lee Holley.

New officers for the Covington Education Association for 2014 – 2015 and 2015 – 2016 are Patricia Oates of Straughn Elementary, president; Paula Simpson of Straughn Middle School, vice-president; Susan Bondurant of Florala High School, secretary; and Traci Locke of Red Level High School, treasurer.

The CEA is the professional organization for teachers, administrators, and support personnel in Covington County.

It is connected to the Alabama Education Association.

Seen Saturday night for supper at the Samurai Restaurant were Billie Jo Butler and her daughter, Rexanne, Robert Evers, Jimmy Ponds, and Jimmy Head.

Sandra Mathews told me that her daughter, Hope, was here for a week’s visit. Sandra also shared that she had seen Roy and Lynn Parker recently at the beach. The Parkers have twice lived in Andalusia and now dwell in Auburn where they are active as Auburn volunteers. Roy is practically one of the Tigers team. Good ol’ Roy!

Seen at David’s for supper Tuesday night were Kenny and Gwen Lee, Dwight and Babs Mikel, Wayne and Lenora Johnson, their son, Ken Johnson, and his young son, Campbell, whose sixth birthday comes up this month.

The Portly Gentleman declares he heard a panther the other night.

While I have the Portly One’s attention, perhaps he will add a few details about his trip to South Carolina this summer and his travels with his cousin, Jo Driggers of Lexington.

“After the weekend conference on William Gilmore Simms, the antebellum author and the most important writer of the Old South, Jo and I drove back to Lexington Saturday afternoon. Once there we visited the graves of beloved relatives, including Jo’s parents and grandparents, and ate supper at Fatz Restaurant.

“The next day was Sunday, and we attended worship services in Zion Lutheran Church, Lexington, where our ancestors and relatives have worshipped for over 200 years. It is our home church in America.

“At Zion we ran into our cousins, Steve and Jeannie Wingard; Jo’s cousin, Tim Driggers; and a friend from the old days, Thomas Kleckley.

“Before heading for Alabama, I treated Jo to lunch at Lizard’s Thicket, part of a local restaurant chain. I was especially delighted with the country-fried steak, which covered half the plate.

“I thank God for a safe trip up to S.C., there, and back.”

Recently I lost to death a dear friend, Jule Browder. We taught across the hall from each other for many years at the Andalusia High School.

I have been reluctant to talk about her because she meant so much to me, and I feared that I could not and fear that I cannot do her spirit justice. My words won’t ever be good enough.

I finally made up my mind that I shall never be satisfied with the words I say about her. She was gold; I am iron.

Also, talking about Jule is admitting she’s gone; and I don’t want to face that fact.

Jule Browder was most precious to me. My eyes are filling with tears as I write this, gentle reader.

She was gentleness itself, reserve, dignity, graciousness, sweetness and light, loveliness, culture, a true friend, a Christian lady – love.

Lucy Martin said if ever there were an angel on earth, it was Jule.

Jule was meek and mild, humble, faithful, kind, encouraging.

She was a study in lamplight, a member of the Old School, Sunday morning with the golden sun flooding through the stained glass, an engraved invitation, laughter and smiles at a family reunion, hospitality at a club meeting, a tea table set with silver, laces, fine china, roses in a crystal vase.

All her life Jule waited politely for her turn. Now it has come. She stands at the gates of Heaven, and her worth is known. Her name is called. She is presented to the King!

Calvin Grace, AHS Class of 1978, came by the newspaper office today and quoted some lines I made him learn in school years ago. I was touched.

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.

If you collect stamps, now is the time to buy those remembering the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States and the War of 1812.

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

“Bloody Bill” Anderson, a Confederate, was killed.

The Siege of Petersburg, held by the Confederates near Richmond, Virginia, continued.

Southern General Hood positioned his army to invade Tennessee, occupying Tuscumbia and Florence in Northern Alabama.

Southern General Forrest captured several Northern boats.

The C.S.S. Olustee ran the Federal blockade outside Wilmington, N.C.

Republican Nevada became the 36th state in time to help re-elect Lincoln.

Congratulations to Sue (Bass) Wilson (Miss Sue! She runs this town; she do!) for correctly identifying last Saturday’s mysterian. The railroad man was R. L. Baugh. His wife, Sarah, taught school. Their son was Lee Baugh.

The new mysterian was nicknamed “Bulldog.” It is thought that the AHS Bulldogs got that name because he helped coach the early teams.

Recent birthdays are those of Teddy Roosevelt, 26th U.S. president; Erasmus, a Dutch scholar whose room at Cambridge University can still be seen; Harvard, the oldest college (1636) in the U.S.; the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to our country; Jonas Salk, an American whose vaccine saved the lives of a generation from polio; James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson (said to be the greatest biography ever written – The Life of Samuel Johnson); John Adams, second U.S. president; Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter; John Keats, English poet; and the 95 theses of Martin Luther.

My generation is forever grateful to Jonas Salk for the vaccine that helped save us from the effects of polio. My good friend, S. Daniel Shehan, suffered for years from polio; it changed his life.

Keats wrote perhaps the most famous of all lines of poetry – “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Luther’s 95 theses detailed his complaints against the established church of his time. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Martin Luther. I came from Lutheran ancestors. I wouldn’t live in America. My ancestors sailed here for religious liberty.

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.