It’s beginning to look like Christmas

Published 11:58 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw Clay Clyde Clump over at Covington Hall, decorating for Christmas.

Yes, Christmas is coming! It’ll be here before you know it; so I’ll say, “Christmas gift!” According to tradition, the first one to say that is entitled to a gift from the one addressed.

Seen at Larry’s Monday night for supper were David Little, Jennifer King and her daughter LeAnn (Neal was working), Walter and Paula Sue Duebelt, Ted and Jenny Watson, David and Karen Barton, Jimmy Ponds, and Conrad and Barbara Fowler.

Seen at Tabby D’s for the Friday-night buffet were Morris and Rita Mullen, Charles and Jullianne Ward, Don and Laura McMullan, and Martha Duggan.

Miss Birdie Purdy tells me that she’s getting up a carload to drive to DeFuniak Springs, Florida, to see the Christmas lights around the lake. They’re on show now through New Year’s Eve each night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Cost is $3 per person.

Colonel Covington said at the last Lyceum that Washington, D.C., ought to be renamed Hypocritolis because of all the lies. Washington himself said he could not tell a lie, but others who came after him have been able to do so.

Seen at the Dairy Queen for lunch on a recent Sunday were David and Carol Moore and their grandson, Wilson Stroud; Merrell and Amanda Hammett, Benny and Sherry Thompson, Thelma Glisson, Leslie Glisson, Sandra Roberts, and Ashlan Glisson.

Leslie is Sandra’s daughter and Thelma’s daughter-in-law. Her birthday was Sunday, November 23; and the ladies were celebrating.

Ashlan is Leslie’s daughter and granddaughter to Sandra and Thelma.

Mr. Topper Propper observed the other day that each man tailors the world to suit himself – puns intended. Mr. Propper is keeping company with Miss Priscilla Primme. One might say they are Primme and Propper.

Miss Flora Covington said that she prefers Thanksgiving to Christmas because there is no prolonged preparation, no great price, and the possibility of peace and quiet.

Thanksgiving also remains truer to its purpose, a religious holy-day. Christmas has become hectic.

At the P.O. I ran into Peggy James, a local artist, and her son. We enjoyed a sidewalk conversation.

Mrs. Gotrocks of Greenville informs me that a branch of Wintzell’s Oyster House is being built just off the I-65 “clover” in Greenville and may open in December. The original Wintzell’s stands in Mobile, known for its oysters and for its sayings all over the walls.

In Montgomery a new restaurant advertises “free smells.”

A childhood friend by the name of Hawkins is playing Santa Claus at the Eastdale Mall.

Seen at the Samurai Restaurant here in “the Dimple of Dixie” for supper Saturday night were Brian and Jennifer (Kennedy) Earnest.

Traveling to Montgomery for Thanksgiving with my family, I observed the winterscape – bleak woods, bare branches, broom straw like spun gold, harvested fields, vines, wildflowers like “November Snow,” rustic scenes, leaves by the millions, yellow, orange, brown, gold, bronze, red, russet, sunset, carpets of leaves and pine straw, green pines interspersing all, and colors whose names I do not know.

The beauty reminded me of words from Psalm 65, “Thou crownest the year with Thy bounty” and “the hills gird themselves with joy.”

I sang, as I motored along, Lydia Maria Child’s “Thanksgiving Day,” better known today as “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

When I was dining at the Samurai, I heard, to my surprise, an old Irish song, being played, “’Tis the Last Rose of Summer.” The thought crossed my mind that fewer and fewer people know that lovely piece. Civilization can be measured by music like that, by the number who know and appreciate such beauty.

Seen at lunch in the Cracker Barrel in Greenville were Sarah Spurlock and her two daughters from Andalusia, Tereasa Sorrells and Alicia Cook. Tereasa had her two children with her, Adelyn and Aiden.

Sarah has four other grown children.

The Covington Historical Society assembled for its final meeting of 2014, November 20, in the Victorian-style home of Steve and Harriet (Jay) Hubbard, the lovely Simmons Hall atop Bay Branch Hill along South Three-Notch Street.

In the absence of her husband, Mrs. Hubbard graciously hosted members of the Society.

Simmons Hall, built by the Simmonses, a prominent and much respected Andalusia family, was decorated throughout beautifully for Christmas. A fire blinked bonnily on the hearth.

John Scherf IV, president for his second time, a descendant and namesake of the famous industrialist, presided.

Bill Law worded the invocation.

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

Harmon Proctor, treasurer, shared a gift to the Society’s museum, a wooden box in which small bottles of cream were once delivered by the Covington Creamery.

Following the pledge, Scherf announced a nominating committee for new officers, Jan White, Curtis Thomasson, and Joe Wingard.

Each brought dishes to make a Christmas buffet.

After dinner Mrs. Wilson played Christmas songs as members gathered around the piano to sing.

Mr. Wingard read “Jest ‘Fore Christmas,” a poem by the newspaper poet, Eugene Field.

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 commemorating 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. (I include an extra week since I did not compose a column last week.)

Authorized by Southern agents in Canada, Southern arsonists set fires in New York City, putting afire Barnum’s Museum, a couple of theatres, and ten hotels. Not much damage resulted.

Sherman’s “March to the Sea” continued from Atlanta to Savannah.

At Franklin, Tennessee, the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Hood lost the day to the Northern General Schofield.

Today live oaks outline the Golden Square in Andalusia. Which type of tree used to outline the square a hundred or so years ago?

Recent birthdays are those of John Harvard, for whom Harvard University is named; William Blake, an English poet; Louisa May Alcott, American novelist of Little Women; John Bunyan, English author of Pilgrim’s Progress (this book, the plays of Shakespeare, and the Bible were the essential “library” of pioneers, heading west); Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), American novelist of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and The Prince and the Pauper; Winston Churchill, prime minister of England during World War II; Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian; and Walt Disney, American creator of Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, Disney World, and a million dreams and memories and live-happily-ever-afters.

During the American Bicentennial celebration in Andalusia, two locals, Dan Shehan and Joe Wingard, turned Little Women into a musical to raise money for Bicentennial projects.

Every Christian ought to read Pilgrim’s Progress as well as the Bible.

Walt Disney brought unmeasured beauty into this ol’ world.

Churchill may have been the greatest man of his time.

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.