Nothing like hot chocolate, banana-nut bread

Published 12:49 am Saturday, February 21, 2015

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I spotted Miss Cora, heading my way, arches of winter jasmine in her hand, the wind whipping her coattails about her knees.

I let her in with her floral gift for some hot chocolate and some banana-nut bread given me by Sue Wilson (Miss Sue; she runs this town; she do!)

Miss Cora and I settled down at my tea table in a cozy nook and fell to talking.

Seen for lunch at the Surly Mermaid on the Golden Square this past cold Wednesday were Regina Bass and Linda Mellown.

Also seen at the Surly Mermaid were Jim Wells, Susan Russell, and her daughter Sara.

Seen for supper at Larry’s were Don and Cheryl Cotton, Jimmy and Tammy Cox, and Jimmy Ponds.

Heading up I-65 to Montgomery, I noted some road work above Priester’s. It looked to me as if a new cloverleaf may be in the making. If so, that’s going to affect traffic, going north and going south, for a long time.

Stopping at the Cracker Barrel in Greenville for lunch with Mrs. Gotrocks, I saw the Portly Gentleman at his table under the picture of Hopalong Cassidy. Two waitresses, Sarah and Joy, were tending him.

The Portly One was on his way to Montgomery to attend a birthday supper at the Fantail, a popular seafood restaurant in Prattville. The occasion was his father’s 96th birthday, celebrated February 7, but actually on February ll.

Immediate family members present for the Fantail buffet were the honoree, William Cecil Wingard; his sons, Joe of Andalusia, Bob of Montgomery, Paul of Camden, and Dave of Montgomery; his daughters-in-law, Donna (Paul’s wife) and Veronica (Bob’s wife); Donna’s son, Henry Mann of Phenix City, and his wife, Gretchen; and their grandchildren, Stevi, Christian, and Jonah; Veronica’s niece, Leigh Ann, and her daughter, Lisa; and Dave’s date, Betty.

One son, Bill, was unable to attend.

Veronica brought birthday cupcakes, and the group sang a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.”

On Mr. Wingard’s actual birthday, he was taken to Captain D’s for more fish; and Donna prepared a home-cooked supper and a chocolate birthday cake.

Henry Wiggins, a retired barber and a pleasant fellow, and I engaged in a conversation this week about people we know in common and a visit he and his wife made to Savannah, Georgia. We both enjoyed recounting what we had seen in Savannah. Our talk fell eventually on Dan Shehan, who left Andalusia about ten years ago to live in Savannah. Mr. Wiggins said that he cut Mr. Shehan’s hair as long as he lived in the capital of Covington County.

Seen at the Corner Market for lunch were Sukoshi Underwood, Judge Jerry Stokes, Grant Hudson, Greg Caton, Brett Darnell, Robert and Sheila Williams, her mother, Mrs. Thompkins, James Bristow, and H. S., whose name I cannot recall, but whose initials I can.

Sukoshi, who was born in Japan, told me his name means “Little One.” We talked of Tony Horn, now ill in England, who used to spend half his time in our area and half in England.

Somebody left a box of valentine candy for Miss Cora at the kitchen door of Covington Hall. (I suspect it was her long-lost sweetheart.)

Seen at Tabby D’s for the Friday-night buffet were Esker and Ann Thomasson, their son, Roddy, his wife, Mary, their daughter, Beth; Ronald and Katherine Williamson, Byrom and Bobbie Lambert, and Jay and Beverly Farrington.

Roddy laughingly said that he was nicknamed “Rowdy” by his den mother, Bernice (Stokes) Holley, when he was in Scouts.

Roddy and his family have returned to Andalusia after years out West and is making a home in his paternal grandparents’ house, resolved to live out their days here.

Speaking at the Andalusia Lyceum, Colonel Covington said that “free speech has gone underground because of fear of hurting someone’s feelings.”

He also said that Sin walks the streets of the world, proudly, daring anyone to scold him and demanding admiration.

Seen for breakfast at the Corner Market was Judge Jerry Stokes.

Seen at Captain D’s for supper were Wayne and Lenora Johnson.

Fifty Forward, the group of senior adults at First Baptist, East Three-Notch Street, Thursday, a week ago, gathered to enjoy a meal at Hilltop above the Conecuh. They enjoyed a variety of dishes, especially steak, barbecue, and camp stew. The tantalizing smells wafted all the way to River Falls.

Does anyone of you recall Jan Turnquist? She portrayed Louisa May Alcott at the Florida Chautauqua in DeFuniak Springs a number of years.

Well, I received a valentine from her, which pictured her, her husband, Carl; their daughter, Nancy Marquist, Nancy’s husband, Andrew; their new baby, Iona Sophia; and Jan and Carl’s sons, Russell and Jonathan Turnquist, from Concord, Massachusetts, where Jan has been in charge of the Louisa May Alcott house.

Camp 1586, the Covington Rifles of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, met February 5 in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library.

Randy “R” Kelley, commander, presided.

“Hank” Roberts, chaplain, prayed both invocation and benediction.

Jimmy Cobb led pledges to the flags.

All stood to sing “Dixie.”

Sir Francis McGowin, a past commander, spoke on the true Confederate battle flag, which resulted in the group’s vote to buy a square-shaped Confederate flag, an effort to be more historically accurate.

Joe Clark, SCV brigade commander of this area of Alabama, and David Coggins, both guests from the Coffee County Rangers, spoke on David’s idea of buying an acre of land on Highway 331 and making a Confederate Memorial Park, featuring a flag on a 56-foot pole.

A pistachio cake was sent by Wanda Davis, Derick’s mother, for refreshment.

Attending were Derick Davis, Randy Kelley, Larry Shaw, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Wingard, Joe Clark, David Coggins, Vaughn Bowers, Sir Francis McGowin, and “Hank” Roberts.

It was good to see Jimmy Kirkland home from Gadsden last weekend, attending First Baptist, a guest of Jerry and Linda Andrews.

Sunday-School workers were honored last Sunday at First Baptist by being asked to stand. All who had been taught by them were also asked to stand after each group of teachers. Eventually the whole congregation seemed on its feet – an inspiring sight.

After morning worship the teachers were treated to a luncheon in Fellowship Hall. Jerri Stroud, retired, high-school teacher, “Miss Dependability,” coordinated, cooked, and, with her committee, served the meal. Mrs. Stroud also decorated each table with vases of flowers.

The luncheon speaker was Rick West, a Baptist adviser.

In morning worship Jennifer (Smith) Dansby sang a solo, “Written in Red.” It was a kind of musical valentine from Christ to the world. She sang it most beautifully.

That night at First Baptist the Glory Singers, made from the senior adults, sang several songs robustly.

Lynn Twitty played “I’ll Fly Away” on her violin, accompanied by John Beasley at the piano.

Also, Bill Law, gave a moving testimony.

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.