Remembering childhood Valentine’s Day

Published 12:08 am Saturday, January 31, 2015

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I thought of my childhood and Valentine’s Day when we would leave valentines before the doors of our friends, knock and run off.

It was all a big mystery!

Gentle reader, do you remember valentine boxes covered with white paper and red hearts, cut from construction paper? Do you recall valentine candy with brief messages written on it?

That reminds me — I’d better buy some cards for February (FEB roo airy) 14 and prepare them.

Seen at the Corner Market for lunch were Judy Stokes and her sister, Dot Gullberg, and Dot’s daughter-in-law, Courtney Hudson. Also seen there were Robert and Sheila Williams, Joe and Sandra Davis, Jeanne Bozeman, Randy and Sharon Cornelius, Charlie Cope, James Bristow, Wayne and Lenora Johnson, Mr. Sorrells, Grady Williamson, Marshall and Jane Bentley, Paul Owens, and Ab Powell.

Mr. Bristow recently had visitors from North Carolina, his daughter, Edith, her daughter, Amy, and Amy’s daughter, Harper.

The Covington Schools Federal Credit Union assembled January 21 for their annual business meeting in the Covington County Schools multi-purpose room in Andalusia.

Bridges Anderson, president of the board, presided.

Traci Locke, secretary/treasurer, took notes.

Names were drawn for deposits to accounts (these deposits served as door prizes). One person received $l00 and fifteen persons received deposits of $50 each.

Refreshments were served by Angie (South) Cotton and Martha (Eiland) Steele.

The Covington Historical Society met for its 402nd time January 22 in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library.

Sue (Bass) Wilson, vice-president, presided.

Irene (Davis) Butler, hostess, welcomed members and guests and presented each with a jar of peanut butter.

Col. William Blocker prayed the invocation in the absence of Bill Law, chaplain, who was ill. Law and Margie Thomasson, also ill, were sent cards by the group.

Following the pledge to the flag, Mrs. Wilson played “Alabama” as the group sang the state song.

Nancy Robbins, secretary, distributed the typed minutes.

A report from the Museum Committee was presented by Mrs. Wilson, who announced that Linda Castleberry and Gwen Ryland each worked 15 hours a week in the museum.

Harmon Proctor, treasurer, distributed his financial report.

Joe Wingard, founding president of the Society, installed officers for 2015, using the original 1976 president’s gavel: Dr. Morgan Moore, president; Sue Wilson, vice-president and historian; Nancy Robbins, recording secretary; Harmon Proctor, treasurer; and Jan White, corresponding secretary.

Mrs. Wilson presented the program, a review of her booklet, A History of the East Three-notch School, dedicated to the Andalusia High School Class of 1965, her class, celebrating their 50th class reunion this 2014 – 2015 school year.

Refreshments were provided by Mrs. Wilson, Betty Copeland, and Mrs. Copeland’s sons, Madison and Robert.

A combined meeting of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Covington Rifles Camp 1586, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Thomas R. Thomasson Chapter 2471 celebrated the birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee (born January 19, 1807) January 20 in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library.

A memorial address by Sir Francis McGowin honored General Lee and highlighted outstanding facts about Alabama, “which Lee never visited,” as Sir Francis kept comically repeating.

Tammie Evans, district director of the UDC, local treasurer and registrar, and third vice-president of the Alabama Division of the UDC, decorated round tables with white cloths and centerpieces of kerosene lamps, greenery, and First National flags of the Confederacy. She also laid the buffet with gold cloth.

Members brought dishes for the buffet, which included Irene (Davis) Butler’s famous chicken salad.

Randy “R” Kelley, commander of the Covington Rifles, presided.

“Hank” Roberts, chaplain, worded the invocation/blessing.

Larry Shaw then led all in pledges to the flags and the singing of Lee’s favorite hymn, “How Firm a Foundation,” the national anthem, the state song, and “Dixie’s Land.”

Introductions were followed by the buffet-supper.

After supper, Sir Francis presented a summary of the life of Lee.

Brandi Evans of the UDC assisted her mother, Tammi Evans, in presenting the Jefferson Davis Historical Silver Medal and certificate to state winners of Confederate essays. Each student was sponsored by the Thomas R. Thomasson Chapter of the UDC.

The four state winners were Riley Brooks, Sara Grace Dye, William Austin Harris, and Lana Gail Jordan.

UDC members were recognized.

“Hank” Roberts worded the benediction.

Attending were Tammi Evans, Derek Davis, Randy “R” Kelley, James Harris, his grandson, Austin Harris, Brandi Evans, Ken Reeves, Tracy and Ruby Nall, Tracy Iler, Joe Wingard, Brenda Howard, Riley Brooks, Jennifer Brooks, Gail Wheeler, Sir Francis McGowin, Ann McGowin, Annaleigh Brooks, Jimmy Cobb, Madge Cobb, Linda Castleberry, Don Davis, Taylor Lawson, Billy Green, Gina Green, Wanda Davis, Vaughn Bowers, Sharon Dye, Joe E. Clark, Jr. (Southeast Alabama Brigade Commander, Coffee County Rangers Camp 911 Commander), Irene (Davis) Butler, Hank Roberts, Mary Tatum, Larry Shaw, Eleanor Williamson, John Allen Gantt, Donna Clark, J. Worley, Dr. Rex Butler, Robert Dye, Jr., Sara Dye, Sara Grace Dye, Elisa Edson, Nikki Green-Harris, Michael Grantham, Henry E. Jordan, Judy T. Jordan, Karla Jordan, Anthony Jordan, and about five more I missed.

This week we conclude Part III of “Miss Betty” Mitchell’s bus tour to New York City.

“Today we traveled to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty. What a sight that was for me to see – and must have been for the immigrants coming into our country! Once we left Liberty Island, we stopped on Ellis Island where the immigrants coming into our country had to register. That was another emotional time for me to think about and what all the people coming to our country must have felt as they came to this country for a new beginning. The ladies in our group were looking for the people who were selling purses out on the streets, but we had not found any so far; but THEN when we got off the boat coming back from Ellis Island, James said,’Here are the people with the purses’ – there was an unbelievable rush by the ladies to get the bags. James said it usually takes vendors three or four weeks to sell all their bags, but this poor man was mobbed and all his bags but two were gone in a few minutes. James told the ladies they had made this man’s day. He said he had been a guide for 15 years, and he had never seen anything like it. After the purse rush we came back to Times Square in search of the Naked Cowboy. When James spotted him (according to Wayne Bennett), the bus tilted so far to the right that he feared the bus might turn over. Well, guess what!? Not everyone got to see him, so Jorge had to go around the block a second time for the rest of the women to see him. Well, as luck would have it – when we got back around to where he was before, he was gone. He had moved to the other side of the street; and now there is another mad rush, and the bus tilts to the left. What women won’t do when they are out of town! After everyone calmed down, we were off to Ben’s New York Deli for dinner and some free time for shopping at Times Square. Then, back to the hotel to pack our bags to leave New York tomorrow morning. Believe me! Packing was a job for some of those ladies after all the shopping they did!

“Bags had to be ready early this morning as we packed to leave New York and head to Mount Vernon, Virginia, to visit George Washington’s home, a very beautiful and interesting place. After leaving Mount Vernon we headed to Manassas, Virginia, where we had dinner at the Great American Restaurant before going to the hotel for the night. Sharon Dye’s niece and Gladys Trawick’s nephew joined them for a visit before we left Manassas.

“Today we are on our way to Staunton, Virginia, to visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum and then on to Sevierville, Tennessee, for the night.

“After breakfast we were on our way home. What a wonderful trip, but a lot of tired people are ready to get home. We are now looking forward to Miss Betty’s next trip.”

Thank you, Miss Betty, for this write-up. It was interesting and humorous, too.

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.

Federals and Confederates skirmished near Paint Rock and DeKalb County, Alabama.

Confederates defended the Carolinas against Sherman’s invading troops.

The Federal House of Representatives passed the proposed constitutional amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the United States. (The amendment must then be passed by three-fourths of the states).

The mysterian is a place – the Little Building. What is it?

Recent birthdays are those of Robert Burns, the Scottish poet whose “Auld Lang Syne” is sung New Year’s Eve; Charles L. Dodgson, the English writer of Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole; W. A. Mozart, the Austrian composer; Thomas Paine, the American writer of pep talks during the Revolutionary War; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president of the United States, elected to four terms (the only one so elected); and Franz Schubert, the Austrian composer of “The Unfinished Symphony.”

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.