Snowy blossoms on Bradford pears bring spring

Published 10:04 pm Sunday, March 20, 2016

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I was “spring-touched” at the masses of snowy blossoms on the Bradford pears.

It was as though clouds had floated down from the sky and settled upon the earth, waiting for us to run through them, like children in the fall, jumping into piles of leaves.

Fifty Forward, the fellowship group for senior adults at First Baptist Church, met for its monthly luncheon Tuesday, March 15, in Fellowship Hall to enjoy a meal and listen to a guest speaker.

The theme was St. Patrick’s Day, and the hall was “done up” in green and white. Centerpieces of small shamrocks included chocolates wrapped in green paper atop a green underlay. The tables were set with green napkins and newsletters printed on green paper.

The decorations were from the collection of the late Trudy Vickers, who, though gone, still contributes. The room was decorated by Trudy’s past assistants, Kittye Wyatt and Betty Bass.

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

Gillis Jones worded the blessing; and Judson Blackstock, the benediction.

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

Returning, after a long absence, was Mary Hill, “the Belle of Excel.” She was greeted with prolonged applause. Oh, but it was good to see her again!

The meal was catered by Wages in River Falls – pork chops, turnip greens, cheesy potatoes, garden salads, cornbread, peach cobbler, tea, and coffee.

The speaker was Jason Thrower, pastor of the First United Methodist Church here in the “Dimple of Dixie,” since July.

He spoke on “Lessons Learned up a Tree,” based on the story of Zacchaeus in the New Testament, who climbed a tree to see Jesus.

Thrower was reared a Baptist in Jacksonville, Alabama, and attended Jacksonville State University, where his older son, Mark, is now a student. Thrower and his wife, April, have a second son, Luke, enrolled in the Andalusia High School.

Thrower’s education includes degrees from the Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.

At first serving Baptist churches in the Southeast, he changed to the Methodist church and served in the Methodist churches in Ozark, Alabama, and Graceville, Florida.

Christopher McKinley, grandson to Paula Hester, made the dean’s list at the University of Alabama.

Miss Cora Covington and I fell to talking the other day of sandwiches we enjoyed in our youth. We came up with plain mayonnaise on bread, banana with mayonnaise, banana with peanut butter, plain peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly (or jam), pineapple, fried potato, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, plain mustard, tomato, peanut butter and mayonnaise, and cheese. Children will eat anything! Gentle Reader, can you add to this strange list?

The Covingtons invited me to join them for their annual Arbor Day gathering. We circled a hole “Clydie” Clump had dug to plant a tree and had a short ceremony. Miss Flora recited “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer (a man, by the way, not a woman). Miss Dora sang the musical version of “Trees.” When I hear “Trees,” I always think of Alfalfa of the Little Rascals when he sang “Trees.”

Members of Fifty Forward, the fellowship group of senior citizens at First Baptist Church, ate supper together March 10 at the Surly Mermaid, a sandwich shop on the Golden Square.

Enjoying the sandwiches, soups, and side dishes were June Smith, Kittye Wyatt, Herb and Sue Carlisle, Vivian Hickey, Bea Miller, Lucy Martin, Joe Wingard, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Nancy Robbins, Betty Bass, Gordon Vickers, Buddy and Betty Brunson, Larry Shaw, Bill Law, and Gordon Vickers, the director of activities for senior adults.

The potato salad at the Mermaid is particularly tasty.

Dr. Moore is chairman of the Fifty Forward Council.

I wore green on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, so no one would pinch me. That’s the old practice. Mrs. Gotrocks of Greenville forgot to wear green, so I pinched the fire out of her.

Talking with the pharmacist, Bobby Scott, I learned that, when he was a boy, he flew a kite to the ends of the earth. He is “the Kite King.”

Have you seen, Gentle Reader, the cascading yellow blooms of the South Carolina jasmine, tumbling over the iron-wrought fence along Stanley Avenue at Keahey’s? Each year I look forward to that sight. The blooms look like the golden curls of a fairy princess. The yellow jasmine, by the way, is the state flower of South Carolina.

Seen out and about were E. E. Anthony, Jr., his daughter, Catherine, John Beasley, Cynthia Gunter, Marilyn O’Neal, Patricia Caton, Maggie Shelley, Kim Dyess, Robert Lee Holley, Peggy Eiland, Margaret Eiland, Pam Brannon, Laura Ann Jones, Martha Givhan, Dwight Crigger, Dr. Wayne and Lenora Johnson, Jan White, and Dr. Fred Karthaus.

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 an honorary member of the AHS Class of 1926, voted into the class at its reunion.

Recent birthdays are those of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet, and Catherine “Kate” Greenaway, English painter and illustrator.

Mrs. Browning was more famous than her husband, Robert, in her day; but, eventually, his fame out shown hers. She wrote, perhaps, the most famous of all love poems, “How Do I Love Thee?”

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, as well as the first day of spring. Wear a bit of palm on your clothing. I hope you get to hear “The Palms,” played upon Palm Sunday. It is especially thrilling, and a truly grand piece of music, one of the basics for musicians.

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.