Floral azaleas remind me of Southern belles

Published 12:03 am Saturday, March 28, 2015

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I saw the world, preparing for Easter with a thousand blooms, those of the dewberry, huckleberry, red-top, spiderwort, dogwood, Lady Banks rose, Cherokee rose, red clover, yellow clover, button spirea, red feather, pansies, snowball, wisteria, and tree honeysuckle.

There were draping bridal wreaths, looking like wedding dresses.

There were floral azaleas as if Southern belles dressed for the ball.

There were camellias, surrounded with fallen petals, like the tips of petticoats.

There were fields, blushing with Indian cane.

There was beauty everywhere!

I dreamed of dewberry nectar and of dewberry cobbler.

Miss Priscilla Primme tells me she has seen the first bluebird of the season. Not to be outdone, our friend, Miss Birdie Purdy, says she saw one even earlier than that.

Cousin Jo Driggers of Lexington, South Carolina, sent me through the post the Easter issue of Ideals, that beautiful magazine of literature and pictures, perhaps the most beautiful magazine, being published. I had thought it was no longer in circulation. I am pleased to learn it is still being created and distributed.

It is, as Keats wrote, “a thing of beauty and a joy forever.”

Friday night last, at Tabby D’s for the buffet, I made some new acquaintances from Crestview, Florida, Eugene Hart and his friends, Finith and Vanita Jernigan.

Also from Crestview were Randy and Tammy (Morgan) Capps, Danny and Jean (Taylor) Campbell, and their grown daughter, Susan (Campbell) Cassady.

Danny is a brother to the late Catherine (Campbell) Powell and uncle to her children, Roger Powell and his sister, Katie Lynn Powell.

Danny and Jean’s daughter, Susan, is a first cousin to Roger and Katie Lynn.

Jean is aunt to Jane Grice, who works at Tabby D’s. Jean is a sister to Jane’s dad, Merrill C. Taylor.

Jane and Susan are first cousins.

Seen, too, at Tabby D’s, from Dothan, were Charles and Jullianne Ward and their friends, Don and Laura McMullan.

Seen from Andalusia were Gary and Ann Goodson and their little granddaughter, Lillie Jackson.

Seen at the Surly Mermaid on the Golden Square in the heart of the Dimple of Dixie were Russell Broussard, Curtis and June (Grimes) Simpson, and their grandson, Greg DeBlock from New York State.

June shared that her grandson, John Reid McGlamory, is now a student at Troy University and recently received a nomination as the outstanding freshman.

At First Baptist last Sunday, during his morning sermon, Dr. Fred Karthaus said, “I have yet to meet a person who has regretted trusting in Jesus.”

During the same worship service a group of ladies, known as One Accord, sang a medley of gospel songs to taped music.

Singing were Janet Brantley, Teresa Nelson, Linda Finlan, Francis Rabren, Betty Gay, Beverly Farrington, Sharon Bulger, and Charlotte Rogers.

The group was formed about 15 years ago by Tamera Garner, who later moved to another town. The group has continued to sing as a unit.

Word comes that all chapters of the Alabama Education Association in Covington County have elected or selected officers except for two, Andalusia City Schools and Opp City Schools.

Colonel Covington, speaking at the Andalusia Lyceum, noted that in education, reform occurs with each new teacher, each new administration. Each feels bound to remake the world, according to his own views. It’s as if each plows the field, ready for planting. However, before a crop has a chance to grow, the field is plowed again when a new teacher, a new administration takes charge. Colonel Covington concluded that there is a better chance for a good education (a good crop) if one teacher, one administration, stays put for a long time.

He warned, too, of fads in education. Fads are a constant danger to a good education. Fads waste time and money and rarely prove effective. It’s better to stick to the tried and true.

The Covingtons celebrated Arbor Day this month. Although there is an official Alabama Arbor Day, the Covingtons set their own day to plant a tree.

There was a brief ceremony in which a poem about trees was read, and Miss Dora Covington sang “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. Joyce, by the way, was a man, a poet, a soldier who died in World War I.

Each member of the family and his guest took a turn, spading in the earth about the tree, which was dedicated to the memory of a loved one.

The Colonel gave a brief history of Arbor Day in America.

Seen out and about was Cindy Stokes Martin, a teacher at Pleasant Home.

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.

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.

Northern Gen. James H. Wilson led forces south to Selma, Alabama, to destroy its manufacturing, some of the last in the Confederacy.

President Lincoln with his wife and son traveled to the front lines, sensing the war would soon be over.

At Petersburg, Virginia, where Lee and his troops were under siege, the South won a brief victory by taking, then losing, Fort Steedman.

Federals attacked Spanish Fort on the heights above Mobile Bay.

President Lincoln met with Grant and Sherman at City Point, Virginia. Reconstruction was discussed.

The mysterian is Miss Mattie Waters. Who was she?

Birthdays belong to A.E. Housman, an English poet, and Robert Frost, an American poet.

Housman wrote the famous “When I Was One-and-Twenty.” Barbara Stanwyck recites it in the old, black-and-white film about the Titanic.

Frost is the most popular poet since Longfellow. His best – known lines are, “But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep,” probably the most quoted lines of poetry in the last 100 years.

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.