George Smith: A visit to 'downtown' Abanda ...
Apr 10, 2013 | 1897 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

WEDNESDAY’S LIST ... of beans ’n greens ’n other things:

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IT’S NO secret I love small towns, also wide places in the road that by any stretch can’t even be labeled a town. Abanda, on Alabama 77 in the northern tip of Chambers County, fits the “non-town.”

The business district is the Abanda Bake Shop and Café. I’ve become a frequent visitor there for breakfast. Across the highway is Ray’s Package Store. That, friends, is it.

But the “downtown,” according to locals, is just south, where the railroad now has a gate to protect traffic from passing trains. Just past the railroad are two churches, Abanda Baptist and Abanda Methodist.

From atop a small rise you see twin white steeples against the blue sky. Then comes the unusual part.

The two churches sit side by side, sharing a parking lot. Abanda Methodist got there first. It was established in 1911. Abanda Baptist was established in 1912. The Rev. Johnny Bishop leads the Methodists, the Rev. Mickey Vaughn the Baptists.

Out on the rural route, you just DON’T see Baptist and Methodist churches sitting side-by-side, let alone sharing a parking lot. And with that, I’ll leave Abanda with this from the Methodist marquee:

“An empty tomb proves Christianity, an empty church denies it.”

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IF YOU’RE over 50, sit down at your computer, google, and listen to The Green Side of the Grass.

In fact, you kids and grandkids out there just might want to listen, too. It’ll not only give you a nice chuckle or two, but also an understanding of what your parents and grandparents are dealing with.

You can thank me later.

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BIRTHDAYS: Apr. 7 – Sheree Owens and  Gloria Woosley; Apr. 8 – Bonnie Rich; Apr. 10 – Bryan Otwell; Apr. 11 – Tony Coalson and Glenda Spoon; Apr. 13 – Louise McAuley.

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FOR A very special lady, Minnie Lou Vice, much love.

Minnie Lou hit 99 years April 6. My aunt by marriage to the blonde, I’ve spent a lot of time over the years with my feet under her table.

In fact, “her table” was once legend around Peek’s Hill. Every day you’d find six places set at her table. Seldom a day passed that she didn’t feed two or three “drop-ins.” The  “policy man” was a regular. Her preacher also showed up frequently.

Now living with a son, she is not only a love, but also one of the more remarkable people I’ve ever known.

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BILL NESTOR reaches his 91st birthday Friday, April 12, and you might like to stand at attention and offer a salute.

Bill is a vanishing breed, a Pearl Harbor survivor. And had a grandstand seat while parked atop a hill overlooking the harbor.

A memory is of a Japanese plane coming just overhead, low enough they could see the pilot grinning at them.

Happy birthday, Mr. Nestor.

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QUOTABLE: “All true wisdom is found on T-shirts.” — Anonymous


Those automated calls from hucksters and politicians can run you up the wall, right?


Whatever, there is a sliver of good news in recent calls to our house. Listening to the finish, three times I’ve gotten this:

“If you no longer wish to be called, hit 5 now and we will not call you again.”

Like they say ... will miracles ever cease?


George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:

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