It’s very golden outside — goldenrod, golden aster, sunflower

Published 1:17 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noted the goldenrod, golden aster, and narrow-leafed sunflower, mixed with the purple adjuratum, tempting me to nickname October the Royal Month because of the colors.

To continue my inventory of the month, I turned to the fruit bowl on my teacart, piled with scuppernongs, grapes, muscadines, persimmons, and pomegranates.

About this time Miss Cora from across the way at Covington Hall knocked on my cottage door.

We were soon comfortably seated, enjoying tea and teacakes and reporting on whom we had seen this week.

Seen out and about were Alvin and Sharon Cobb.

Seen at David’s were Wayne and Lenora Johnson and “Miss Betty” Mitchell, “the Travel Queen,” on the brink of another of her bus tours.

Irene (Davis) Butler hosted a birthday luncheon in her home Friday, October 2, to honor Margaret Eiland, who turned 98 September 30.

Two of Mrs. Eiland’s five children were present, Buddy and John.

Mrs. Eiland wore yellow flowers, presented her by Gordon and Trudy Vickers.

An Italian cream cake, baked by Mrs. Butler, was crowned by a candle, extinguished as those present sang “Happy Birthday.”

Those with October birthdays were recognized, too.

The blessing was worded by the stately Richard Pass, still teaching a Sunday-School class at 94.

Most of the guests were members of Mrs. Eiland’s Sunday-School class, named in honor of the late Miss Mildred Hart.

The class teacher is Linda Finlin.

The class president is Vivian Hickey.

Those attending, not already mentioned, were Georgette Pass, “Chuck” Patterson, Joyce Leddon, Charlie Cope, Bea Miller, Barbara Linder, Rebecca Kinard, Lucy Martin, Doyce Cox, Hilda Goodson, Sue Wilson, and Joe Wingard, an assembly of 21 persons, total.

A cornucopian buffet included broccoli casserole, pineapple casserole, Boston butt, cured ham, corn salad, field peas, fried bread, Sunday rolls, dressing, cranberry sauce, rice in ham broth, sweet-potato casserole, chicken salad, carrots, pear salad, tea, and Kool-Aid.

Driving north from Andalusia, passing through Brantley on one’s way to Luverne, a motorist will come to the Dry Creek RV Camping Park on 331, to one’s right.

At this park last Saturday, October 3, four camps (local units) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans assembled for a brief program and a fellowship meal.

The camps, 396, 9ll, 385, and 1586, are all part of the Southeast Brigade, SCV camps in this part of Alabama.

Joe Clark, commander of the Southeast Brigade, was present with his wife Donna, former president of the Alabama Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Another dignitary, Mike Williams, Alabama Division adjutant, was also present.

The RV park, owned by the parents of David Coggins, is now managed by Coggins, who bought the land next to the RV park to establish the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park.

The CVMP is a beautifully landscaped clearing of grass and woods, lying next to the RV park, and easily seen from the four-laned 33l, leading north to Luverne, and south to Brantley.

In the center of the clearing is a tall flag post with a 10X15 battle flag of the Confederacy, which is flown 24 hours a day, and lighted at night.

The flag was first raised May 24.

Behind the central flag staff are four smaller ones, hosting 3X5 Confederate flags – the Bonnie Blue, Stars and Bars, Second National, and Third National.

In front of the large flagpole is a stone monument with the following words:

“In remembrance of those who served, who gladly wore the grey. A way of life he fought to preserve. He lived it every day. Confederate Soldiers of Alabama. 1861 – 1865. Lest we forget.”

Two cannons flank the flags.

The idea for the memorial park is that of David Coggins, commander of the Ben Bricken SCV Camp 396 of Luverne, which sponsored the afternoon’s festivities, the first “reunion” of its type in the Southeast Brigade.

Coggins established the memorial to honor his ancestors, especially his great, great, great, grandfather, Ebenezer B. Coggins of Company H of the 46th Alabama Infantry, who died in 1863 in the War Between the States.

A brief ceremony included a welcome by the host, Coggins; a blessing by Deke Scott, captain of Company E; and posting the colors by the 15th Alabama Company E, dressed in period uniforms.

One cannon was fired three times as a salute to the dead. Company E also fired their rifles three times in tribute.

Captain Scott fired his pistol six times in tribute to Confederate veterans, to current veterans, to his country, to his family, to all fallen veterans, and to Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Following the ceremony, those present, about a hundred, enjoyed a meal of grilled chicken, provided by the host camp, and various side dishes and sweets, brought by all attending.

Once 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.

The mysterian is the member of the AHS Class of 1926, still living.

Born this week were William Crawford Gorgas, American Army soldier and sanitation expert; Jenny Lind, Swedish soprano; James Whitcomb Riley, American poet; Edward William Bok, American editor; and Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer of operas.

Gorgas, an Alabamian, is credited with bringing Yellow Fever under control and thus assuring completion of the Panama Canal.

Known as “the Swedish Nightingale,” Jenny Lind has been called the best soloist the world has yet known.

Riley, nicknamed “the Hoosier Poet,” wrote “When the Frost Is on the Punkin” and “Little Orphant Annie,” which the late Jeanice (Paul) Kirkland used to recite to her students around Halloween.

Orphan Annie became a cartoon strip, drawn by Harold Gray, and then a musical, Annie, with the song, “Tomorrow.”

Bok lived by the philosophy of his grandparents: “Make you the world a bit better and more beautiful because you have been in it.”

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.