May flowers are soaking up raindrops

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2016

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I watched the rain fall steadily on the earth beyond.

The May flowers soaked up the drops.

As I watched, memories of the past days flooded my mind.

On May 10 Fifty Forward, the fellowship group of senior adults at First Baptist Church, motored to Greenville to enjoy a bus tour of the historic downtown section of Greenville, Alabama.

The sites visited included the restored L & N railroad depot (built in 1910), the old courthouse, the restored Ritz Theater, several antebellum houses (circa 1840), and other historic landmarks.

A luncheon at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant followed.

Traveling were Betty Bass, Annette Burt, Herb and Sue Carlisle, Kim Dyess, Vivian Hickey and her daughter, Nancy Cochran, Bill Law, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Nancy Robbins, June Smith, and Kittye Wyatt.

Fifty Forward met again May 17 in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist for their monthly luncheon.

Gordon Vickers, director of senior adults, presided.

Kim Dyess prayed the invocation.

Dr. Fred Karthaus, pastor, worded the benediction.

“Happy Birthday” was sung to those present with May birthdays, Morgan Moore, president of the Fifty Forward Council, and John Jones, husband of the guest speaker.

The tables were decorated patriotically with red napkins, blue napkins, white cloths, and centerpieces, used Sunday past for the baccalaureate luncheon for high-school graduates.

The centerpieces were red vases, filled with red carnations, white hydrangeas, and blue delphiniums, arranged by Jerri Stroud. The vases rested upon a crisscross mat of red, blue, and stars and stripes.

Mr. Vickers had added American flags, peppermints, and toothpicks with tiny flags, decorations saved by his late wife, Trudy Vickers.

He was assisted with preparations by Kittye Wyatt and Betty Bass.

Fifty Forward newsletters were printed in matching blue.

The catered luncheon offered beef stew over rice, rolls and fried bread, butter beans, garden salad, chocolate cake, and tea.

The guest speaker was Amy (Williamson) Jones, born in Florence and educated in Mars Hill Bible School, the University of North Alabama, Samford University, and Jones School of Law.

The wife of John F. Jones, Jr., they have one son, Trip, recently married to Lori Vanarsdall of Opp and hired as the new preacher at Central Church of Christ in Andalusia.

Mrs. Jones, the new circuit clerk of Covington County, spoke of her duties and services, of absentee voting, passports, and jury selection.

Then she took questions from the audience.

The discussion led to memories from those present.

Among the guests were her husband, his parents, Fletcher and Jean Jones, and his sister, Karen Jones.

The Classes of 1943 and 1944 of Straughn School assembled Saturday, May 14, for combined reunions at Chen’s Garden in Andalusia.

A total of nine attended. Four more were unable to travel – Sara Nell Bell, who’s in a nursing home in Pensacola; Ewin Moody, former owner of the Moody Drug Store in Florala, now living in Eufaula with a daughter; Florine D. Parsons, in a Dothan nursing home; and Curtis Eiland of Clio.

Those present took turns, giving accounts of their lives since meeting a year ago.

The nine attending follow:

Rebecca Langford, wife of the late Dr. John Langford, chaired the event, mailed invitations, and decorated.

Clyde Powell and his wife Fern came from Dothan, driven by a grandson.

Aaron Jordan from Rose Hill has retired as the head officer in forestry in Tallahassee, Florida.

He lives on 78 acres in Headland, Alabama, to be near his daughter and grandchildren.

He is said to be the healthiest member, working his pecan trees and gardens, exercising 45 minutes daily, and walking.

Jordan picked up the tabs for the nine attending.

Paul Langford from Pensacola assisted Rebecca in setting up the room and decorating.

Bill Langford from Okinawa arrived just in time to join his classmates for lunch.

Minnie J. Wallace of Opp was graduated in 1939 with Ray Butler.

Irene (Davis) Butler, widow of Ray Butler, took notes.

Rebecca and Paul beautifully decorated the room with a variety of flowers.

The large, central vase had amaryllis, hydrangea, and other flowers. Smilax was used down the center of the table with many tiny, cup-sized vases, filled with tiny hydrangea.

Baccalaureate exercises for the Andalusia High School were conducted last Sunday, May 15, in First Baptist Church.

A detailed, printed programme was distributed. A few facts not printed are listed below.

A group of five seniors sang “O God, Beyond All Praising.” The five were Katrine Christensen, Heidi Cross, Jasmine Bryant, Jeremy Boyd, and Austin Arnold.

Nicole Jackson, grand marshal for her fourth year, sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” accompanied by John Beasley, organist for his thirty-seventh year.

This was Mrs. Jackson’s first time to sing at baccalaureate. She sang beautifully.

The morning of baccalaureate the graduating seniors who attend First Baptist were honored in several ways.

Jon and Teresa Ward entertained the seniors with a breakfast in their home.

During morning worship the seniors and their parents were recognized. Each senior was given a study Bible.

Sonia Crigger, church pianist, sang “Find Your Wings” as slides of the seniors being honored were shown.

After morning worship the church sponsored a luncheon for the seniors and their guests in Fellowship Hall.

Baccalaureate exercises were attended at 2:30 p.m..

Dr. Fred Karthaus III, pastor of First Baptist, delivered the baccalaureate.

His older daughter, Bethany, was among the graduates of the Class of 2016.

Also among the members of First Baptist in the graduating class were the class president, Amy Hines; the valedictorian, Hannah McCalman; and the salutatorian, Elizabeth McCalman. Hannah and Elizabeth also happen to be twins.

There was another set of twins in the First Baptist group, Ashton and Colton Elmore.

As Alice said, “Curiouser and curiouser.”

Martha (James) Givhan, church organist at First Baptist, was recently honored for her 30 years of service as organist.

She was recognized in morning services and was given a monetary gift, a certificate, and red roses.

On Mother’s Day, May 8, at First Baptist, Jennifer (Smith) Dansby sang a solo in the Sunday School class of the distinguished Baraca Class, accompanied by Martha Givhan at the Ann Martin memorial piano. Mrs. Dansby’s selection was “The Gift of Our Mothers,” lyrics by Joseph Cecil Wingard, music by S. Daniel Shehan. Mrs. Dansby sings this song yearly on Mother’s Day.

The morning of Mother’s Day “Muffins for Mom” welcomed First Baptist mothers to church. Each mother was also given a gift bag and a red carnation.

Senior parties have been given throughout the graduation season.

This tradition at the Andalusia High School goes back a hundred years.

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 P.O. Box 1582, Andalusia, Alabama 36420.

Congratulations to Dr. Rex Butler for identifying the first counselor at Lurleen Burns Wallace Junior College, Curtis Hampton Thomasson.

The new mysterian is the set of colors of the Andalusia High School before red and white were chosen.

The birthday of the week is that of Alexander Pope, an English poet. He is the most quoted poet next to Shakespeare.

One of his quotes is “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Elvis Presley made part of this famous.

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.