Have you noticed that Bradford pears are everywhere?

Published 11:54 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noticed the Bradford pears in their snowy glory over at Covington Hall. Later, out and about, driving with Mrs. Gotrocks from Greenville, we saw the Bradfords all over town, dewberry blooms, a flowering almond, and yellow (rabbit) clover. The earth is a-greening and buds are blooming everywhere.

Spring came in officially yesterday, March 20, you know.

My friend, S. Daniel Shehan, formerly of Andalusia, now a resident of Savannah, Georgia, tells me that Savannah has the second largest celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the nation. He said he dressed in his greenery and went to town to watch the parade. He dined on corned beef and cabbage, Irish potatoes and carrots, to celebrate his Irish heritage.

I celebrated St. Paddy’s Day by dressing in green (so no one would pinch me) and by attending the monthly luncheon of Fifty Forward (the senior-adults group) of the First Baptist Church.

All was green and white in the Fellowship Hall in keeping with St. Patrick’s Day. The tables had been laid with white cloths and green napkins with centerpieces of shamrocks, green beads, and green candy, placed by Kittye Wyatt and Betty Bass, using decorations sent by Trudy Vickers, still recovering her health.

Wilma Moore added bouquets of Bradford-pear blossoms.

Gordon Vickers, director of the senior-adult activities, presided.

Billy Beech worded the invocation. Dr. Fred Karthaus prayed the benediction.

All sang “Happy Birthday” to those present with March birthdays – Betty Bass, Betty Brunson, and Kittye Wyatt.

The catered meal included pork chops, cheesy potatoes, turnip greens, fried bread, peach cobbler, and tea.

The guest speaker was Sue (Bass) Wilson, who gave an excellent program on Ireland, appropriately.

“Miss Sue” said that some 44 million Americans have Irish connections.

Playing the piano, she led all in two songs, “Irish Eyes Are Smilin’” and “My Wild Irish Rose.”

She read Irish names from Magnolia Cemetery here in Andalusia – quite a few.

While Madison Copeland operated a slide machine, Miss Sue shared facts and pictures about Ireland, read some Irish poetry, and presented memories of her trip to Ireland with a group from Samford University.

To conclude the program, Dr. Morgan Moore sang “Danny Boy” and Billy Beech sang “That’s an Irish Lullaby.”

Sue accompanied both and called them “the Irish tenors.”

Sue Bass was born in Andalusia, is married to Jimmy Wilson, and has two grown children, Wynne and Blaine, and four grandsons.

She is a member of the Andalusia Class of 1965.

Wynne was present to hear her mother speak.

Blaine is “the radio man.”

Miss Sue, a member of First Baptist, teaches music at the Andalusia High School, is in real estate, is an Alabama graduate and fan, active in the Covington Historical Society, plays the piano, and is one of Andalusia’s most active and prominent citizens.

Last week I wrote of Brian Peterson. I have more information this week, thanks to “Computerella.”

Brian Peterson of Cecil, Alabama, Sir Francis McGowin told me, won the national amateur free-for-all championship at Sedgefields Plantation in Union Springs as of March 3. Peterson’s pointer male was Lester’s Prime Poison Lane.

Union Springs is known as the Field Trial Capital of the World.

Some 83 bird dogs were entered, most pointers. There were 46 handlers, four being women.

Seen at Larry’s for supper were Jeff and Leine Scott, Jack and Norma Goolsby, Mickie Riley, Robert Lee Holley, Jim O’Neal, Anne (O’Neal) White, Jerry and Mary Lou (Bush) Bass.

Anne and her brother Jim were in town, working on the estate of the late Carolyn O’Neal, their mother.

This time of year the blooms of the South Carolina yellow jasmine cascade over the iron-wrought fence along Stanley Avenue, in front of Keahey Funeral Home. Each year I look forward to that scene of beauty.

So briefly here, and that, which seemed eternal summer, proves the last, cold hours of winter.

Seen at the Friday-night buffet at Tabby D’s were Jeff and Laquetta Grimes, Nathaniel and Joyce Belcher, Jimmy and Tammy Cox, David and Melanie (McVay) Dreading, Linda Ammons, Chris and Shannon Jackson, Steve and Kristi Jackson and their son Brady, Shaun Jackson and his children, Kailey and John Tyler, Judge Jerry Stokes, David Little, Willie and Karen (Marvin) Foster.

A re-enactment of the Battle of Blakely is planned for March 27 in Blakely, Alabama (near Spanish Fort and Mobile) to commemorate the Sesquicentennial (150th) of the War Between the States.

Go with plans to spend the day. Activities are free.

Our own Irene (Davis) Butler is on the board that manages Blakely State Park.

Blakely is thought by some historians to be the last battle of the War Between the States.

Seen at Larry’s for supper were Dwight and Babs Mikel, Judge Jerry Stokes, Sukoshi and Susan Underwood, and their son, William Underwood.

Seen out and about were Jimmy Ballard, Donnie Dean, and Johnny Syler.

Seen for lunch at the Corner Market were Mike O’Neal, Jody Jackson, Benny and Esther Barrow, Gene Jacobs, Ruth Lawson (Esther, Gene, and Ruth are siblings), David Moore, the good-looking Ralls twin, Maria Thigpen, Gloria Short, Thagard Colvin, and Donnie Dean.

Donnie Dean is an interesting person with his knowledge of Indian lore, his extensive, historical travels, and his wide range of reading.

Thagard Colvin reminded me of the old James Store, a clothing store that stood off the square on South Cotton Street and advertised itself as “just down the hill from high prices.”

Colvin and I discussed his guitar playing and his novel, being readied for publication.

He calls it Alapaha River Night Hunters.

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

The Sesquicentennial ends in a couple of months.

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.

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

Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston blocked Sherman’s advance into North Carolina.

Johnston was aided by Gen. Wade Hampton.

Sherman was aided by Gen. Henry Slocum.

The Federals prepared to take Mobile Bay.

Sue Wilson (“Miss Sue! She runs this town; she do!”) identified the mysterian as Carolyn (Raborn) Rankin, who once taught science at the high school and was known at her bridge games for saying, “The older the bird; the brighter the plumage!”

The new mysterian is Miss Mattie Waters. Who was she?

The one birthday this week is Kate Greenaway, an English illustrator of children’s books. Look her up on the computer.

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.