Groundhog Day prediction: 6 more weeks of winter

Published 1:22 am Saturday, January 30, 2016

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I thought of Groundhog Day next week and if the groundhog would see his shadow or not. I have a feeling that we are in for six more weeks of cold weather.

I ran into Meryane Martin-Murphy at the Surly Mermaid this week and learned that her mother is doing as well as can be expected and that Meryane and Mark have four granddaughters, two of them, twins.

By the way, the potato salad at the Mermaid is especially tasty.

Gentle reader, did you hear of the gathering at the home of Benny and Betty Gay after the Christmas Eve service at First Baptist?

Family and friends were invited to supper and a Christmas sing-a-long.

The sing-a-long reminded some of the old Christmas sing-a-longs sponsored by Dan Shehan and Joe Wingard for 25 years.

After supper guests sat in the living room and sang carols, accompanied by piano, bass guitar, and electric guitar.

Their voices were raised in praise to the Savior, born in Bethlehem.

The oldest guest was probably about the age of Zacharias; and the youngest, a babe in arms. One of the guests made mention of this and the fact that all could be reminded of God’s miracles.

The Covington Schools Federal Credit Union gathered for its annual meeting January 20 in the building on C.C. Baker Avenue, now used by the Covington County Board of Education.

The agenda included a business meeting, refreshments prepared by Angie Cotton and Paula Sue Duebelt, and door prizes, which were deposits into the winners’ accounts. There was one grand prize of $100 and fifteen drawings for $50 each.

Mr. Bridges Anderson, president of the board, presided.

This meeting is like a family reunion or church homecoming because one gets to see retired colleagues whom one hasn’t seen since last year.

I ran into Kay Cassady and her family at the Samurai last week. Kay has moved to Florida.

Fifty Forward, the senior-adult fellowship at First Baptist, gathered for its monthly luncheon January 19 in Fellowship Hall.

Dr. Morgan Moore, chairman of the Fifty Forward Council, asked the blessing for the food; and Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor, the benediction.

Gordon Vickers, director of senior adults, presided.

Since the last meeting of Fifty Forward, Gordon’s wife, Trudy, passed away, and a sadness hung in the air.

Trudy had always decorated the hall for the luncheons, and her touch was missed. As a tribute to her, Gordon had used as a centerpiece on each dining table glass vases filled with yellow roses. Yellow was Trudy’s favorite color. There was yellow, too, in the centerpiece mats, napkins, and newsletter. Also, Gordon wore a bright, yellow shirt.

After the meeting the ladies were invited to take a yellow rose home.

Wages catered the food – roast, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, garden salad, and lemon cake (another use of yellow).

The program, a warning against the use of marijuana, was presented by Susan (Jones) Short, executive director of Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition.

Susan, who holds two master’s degrees from Auburn and a science degree from the University of Alabama, is the wife of Circuit Judge Lex Short, and has been for 31 years.

They have three children, Sara Catherine (Mrs. Wilson Patrick), Alex, and Ada.

Fifty Forward began the new year with a fellowship dinner January 7 at Hilltop Restaurant.

Attending were Kittye Wyatt, Buddy and Betty Brunson, Bea Miller, Hazel Griffin, Billy Beech, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Doug Golden, Vivian Hickey, June Smith, Betty Bass, Bill Law, Gillis and Laura Ann Jones, Joe Wingard, Herb and Sue Carlisle, Kim Dyess, and Gordon Vickers.

I hear that Ray Burdeshaw, one-time minister of music at First Baptist, has had surgery.

Flowers placed on the altar of First Baptist Church January 17 were in memory of Sarah Gene Clark. I remember when Sarah Gene moved here as a widow to be near her sister, the late Margaret Smyly. The sisters lived next door to each other for a sense of security.

The Covington Rifles Camp 1586 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans met January 21 in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library to honor General Robert E. Lee and General “Stonewall” Jackson in the month of their births.

Meeting with the men was the Thomas Randolph Thomasson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).

About seventy persons attended with standing room only.

John Allen Gantt, commander, presided.

Randy Kelley offered a prayer.

Jimmy Cobb led in the pledges to the flags.

Larry Shaw led in “Dixie.” One lady whispered to me how beautiful the old song sounded to her. She had not heard it sung in years.

Following a short business meeting, Brandi Evans, president of the TRT Chapter, assisted by Tammie Evans, her mother, presented awards (medals and certificates) to local students who were state-wide winners in the UDC essay competition.

Essay winners were Michael Owens (“Mountain Creek: Home for Confederate Soldiers”), Cody Wagoner (“Tannehill Iron Works During the War Between the States”), Jarod Jernigan (“Jefferson Manly Falkner”), Emily Stubbs (“Music of the Confederacy”), Aubrey Merrill (“Arlington National Cemetery”), Anna Claire Harper (The Battle of Fort Blakely and Spanish Fort”), Anna Katherine Livingston (“Battle at Bryce, Mississippi”), and Daniel Bell (“Buglers of the Confederacy”).

Each child received the Jefferson Davis Historical Silver Medal, named after the only president of the Confederacy.

Curtis Thomasson introduced the speaker, Mike Willliams, SCV state adjutant and web master, who, dressed in his Confederate uniform, drove down with his wife from Montgomery to give a program on the transition of Robert E. Lee from military man to educator at Washington College in Lexington, Virginia (now Washington and Lee).

Williams was reared in Covington County and is a graduate of Straughn High School.

He read one of his own poems.

In his talk Williams explained that “those people” refers to “Yankees,” that “Civil War” is used by those who do not realize that “War Between the States” is more accurate, and that the Supreme Court gives opinions, not laws.

Williams spoke of reconstruction after the war and stated that he feels, in many ways, the South is still in reconstruction.

He said the minority is now ruling the majority.

Williams spoke of February 2, when a vote is to be taken in the Alabama Legislature on historical monuments.

Among those present was Joe Clark of Elba, commander of the Southeast Alabama Brigade of the SCV.

An abundant buffet, thanks to the ladies, was then enjoyed.

Governor Robert Bentley has reappointed our own Irene (Davis) Butler to the Board of Directors for the Historic Blakeley Authority, place nine, effective January 1. Her term will expire December 31, 2019.

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.

Recent birthdays are those of Robert Burns, Scottish poet; Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, author of the Alice in Wonderland books, who wrote under the name of Lewis Carroll; Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer; Thomas Paine, author of essays, such as “Common Sense,” intended to stir the Americans against the British during the Revolutionary War; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only American president elected to third and fourth terms; and Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, who wrote “the Unfinished Symphony.”

Burns, we recall annually, penned “Auld Lang Syne,” which we sing New Year’s Eve.

In old Howard College I took music appreciation. My classmates and I were required to identify various pieces of music, such as “the Unfinished Symphony.” A friend, Virginia Wilder, who had already taken the course, said she and her friends remembered the names of musical compositions by making up words to go with their melodies. Thus I came to memorize “This is the symphony that Schubert started, never finished.”

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.