In the good old summertime ... yes, it’s finally here. Swim parties, barbecues at Twelve Oaks, beach bingo — and people celebrating birthdays:
• Sweet Regina Farley Yeager (hope the “barn cats” are still doing fine);
• Jeff Cheatwood;
• Paula Elkins (who remembers a trip to Tuscaloosa to a journalism workshop we all went to in 1965 and the teacher, me, couldn’t even drive);
• Jerald Rogers (my Sunday School substitute teacher who became the REAL teacher when the original teacher could not continue);
• Dohna Sorenson;
• Bea Thompson (who endured my first year at Gadsden High with real class);
• Lewis Fuller (who laughed at my silliness at every performance of “Driving Miss Daisy”);
• Faye Stewart;
• Bruce Ballenger;
• Shannon Dye;
• Pinky Prewitt;
• Angela Wolfe (who showed up one day ages and ages from our time at Emma Sansom High, to see someone do a living portrait of Martha Washington and the lady was her high school friend;
• Cindi Norton Gilliom;
• Linda Reynolds;
• Vicki Gay Hill (who was in my first class and still is my friend);
• Leann Spurlock Underwood (who became, and is, an excellent nurse);
• Cindy Brewer (a pixie of indeterminate age who lives her life with gusto and grace, courage and charm; and when I think of her birthday wish, I believe it already has come true surrounded by an ever-growing, loving family; I can’t wait to see the pictures).
Beulah Harrell celebrates a July birthday; you want to meet a real Southern lady? You should see Miss Beulah on Sunday morning. She’s beautiful, especially when her lovely twin daughters are with her.
But that’s not what’s special about her. It goes back to 1970, when teachers in the city schools were reassigned. She and her friends from Carver High School were assigned to Gadsden High; integration had
begun for real.
Miss Beulah taught American history and all that implies. Oncee she told big ol’ Cornelius if he didn’t listen, not only would he fail the test, but she would “get after him” with her long ruler. He continued his nap and woke up suddenly to a barrage of annoying — no, stinging — sharp blows to his long legs.
Embarrassed and laughing he said, “Stop, Mrs. Harrell! Stop! I’ll wake up! Don’t hit me!”
I can still hear the uproar coming from her room as the bell rang to signal class change. Through the long years, I hear it on the edge of a sweet dream from which I am loath to awaken. What people I have known!
Don’t forget about Theatre of Gadsden’s glitzy, slick musical, “Gypsy,” beginning this weekend and continuing through next. It’ll be spectacular! My little friend Bella Blackmon is in the cast; it’s her stage debut.
Get your tickets to see Bella (and the rest of the amazing cast) now by calling 256-547-7469 or visiting https://bit.ly/2KWpii4.
Well, I’ve daydreamed away another lazy, crazy summer afternoon — join me someday! A rocker on the porch is waiting, ‘Round Town.
Glenda Byars is a correspondent for The Gadsden Times. Send submissions to email@example.com.