June 20, 2010 2:30:00 AM
Several Columbians have been on the coast this past week. Terry and Anne Freeze spent a week eating, napping, sippin'' and dippin.'' Terry''s brother Buck and his wife Millie joined them for supper one evening. They live in Lillian, Ala. Their grandson Zane is in the Coast Guard and has been stationed on a ship in Pensacola, Fla., doing oil-related work.
Anne said they enjoyed picking up produce at Burris'' Farm Market in Loxley and making BLTs, when they weren''t enjoying the fresh flounder or shrimp. They had lunch at Lulu''s (Jimmy Buffet''s sister). Anne said that breakfast at Hazel''s Nook in Gulf Shores was memorable for its red leatherette banquettes and the waitresses that still call everyone "Hon."
Maureen Lipscomb and her daughter Lindsay returned home today after a week at Orange Beach with friends. They were there when President Obama visited. His motorcade went right by their condo, and his helicopter later flew overhead. Maureen said the almost-empty beaches didn''t look too bad, but they were told not to go in the water.
The ghost town atmosphere made for a pensive mood as the restaurants and shops were lacking their usual summer crowds. Maureen said that the City of Orange Beach is doing a tremendous job of keeping the beaches clean. All the restaurants are open and the food is great.
C''est la vie
Mademoiselle X, the daughter of a prominent local attorney, just returned from a week in France where she and her mother and her grandmother joined her uncle in Brittany. The highlight of their trip was a stop at the Allied cemetery in Normandy, where her grandmother placed an American flag on the grave of her brother-in-law who died at Normandy. Mlle X thanks her Heritage High School French teacher, Mrs. Jan King, for giving her the language skills that were so useful to her on this trip.
The Billups clan wrapped-up a relaxing and heartfelt week at their Atlas Plantation. The name is derived from Carleton''s declaration; "home at last," when he returned to Columbus in 1975 after having left at the height of the Depression. He was able to purchase his favorite prairie place where his uncle Bailey Hardy and his father and grandfather before him had lived. The house that Bailey and Mary Ita built had burned years earlier. Locals will remember the haunting stone columns that stood for years marking the site of the residence. This farm is just down the road from Billups Gate where Carleton was born.
Maryann Hardy and her family were guests of their Billups cousins one afternoon for a swim party at Lake Mimi. She said that Carly and Sarah Small jumped right into the tepid water, but it took a little more coaxing to get her little darlings into the water. It was their first adventure in a non-cement pond. Carly and Sarah were the guests of their cousins Carlton and Collier Hardy for an afternoon swim, and they all later enjoyed a dip in the lake at The Magowah Gun and Country Club. Carleton Billups once said that the first time he ever saw anyone in Columbus do anything other than the dog paddle was when Mary Sharp Owen and her sister Frances jumped in the lake at Magowah and, to everyone''s amazement, did the Australian Crawl. Mary Sharp''s daughter Owen Smith Shuman is in town for Elizabeth Ford''s wedding.
Anne Hardy and her family were recently in Oxford where her son John and his wife Sarah Frances live. Anne''s daughter Sarah Webb, from Hattiesburg, ran into Will Cox at a wedding there. Will is the son of Annis and Bill Cox. Sarah said she hadn''t seen Will in 15 years and was thrilled to see what a dashing young man he had become.
He lives in Houston, Texas, and is an engineer with Exxon. Will''s sister Mary just completed her first year at the U.S. Naval Academy and is currently sailing to Bermuda. She just finished a sailing competition in Nantucket, where her team placed third on their boat "Invictus."
Lynn Rosamond''s sister Lisa Sykes was in town for a visit from her home in Brevard, N.C. She graduated from Mississippi State with a degree in chemical engineering, and her husband got his master''s in civil engineering there. She hadn''t seen the school in about 15 years, so Lynn and Wanda McIntyre took her over to Starkvegas for dinner and a tour of the much-changed campus and town.
Chance and Gail Laws recently hosted their supper club at their Pilgrimage home, Belle Bridge. Gail served a deliciously cool strawberry soup, with berries from the Mayhew Tomato Farm, and succulent lamb loin chops. Her dessert course consisted of homemade ice cream and slices of Douglas Glenn''s locally famous pound cake. Douglas has been baking since he was 3-years-old and has perfected his guarded cake recipe. He sells his cakes at the Hitching Lot Farmers'' Market, but you can always call him and order one.
Bob Raymond is a retired French teacher. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.