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Leila S. Case: Booze in the blooms?

Pour whiskey in your flowers.
What?
Well, I never. I’ve put an aspirin in the water to keep flowers fresh, but whiskey? Is it like slipping a drink you don’t like in the nearest potted palm when the party hostess isn’t looking?
Pour booze in the blooms? Yes, that’s what the man said.
The man in this case was John Templeton of Clayton, Georgia, who led a delightful flower arranging workshop at Calvary Episcopal Church last week.
Of course, everyone laughed about the revelation, but it didn’t faze Templeton as he deftly created magic with flowers before the more than 30 people, mostly women and a few men of several denominations from the community and from as far away as Perry and Cordele. Some are accomplished flower arrangers and others novices. I fall into the latter category.
Templeton advised the use of a small amount of vodka and only for the water you use to soak hydrangeas. This will keep the blowsy blooms pretty and perky much longer. Another trick to keep hydrangeas fresh is to soak their heads in a bucket of cool, deep water or the bathtub overnight.
Drown the blooms and then get them drunk? Goodness. A little whisky isn’t bad – even for flowers. It’s medicinal after all.
I’ll try Templeton’s advice when the hydrangeas bloom again. Though we don’t have an abundance of these beauties in our yard, we have enough to gather and bring indoors to cheer us onward.
Everyone enjoyed Templeton and were impressed with his excellent demonstration, calm manner and knowledge on making lovely compositions of God’s gift of flowers. His arrangements were spectacular and abundantly graced the historic church.
Templeton is a retired Episcopal priest and a current member of St. James Episcopal Church. He told us that he became interested in arranging altar flowers when one of his parishioners asked that he fill in for her when she next had flower guild duty.
“I agreed and I have been hooked since,” said Templeton, who owns a floral shop, The Glorious Daisy, in his hometown. He studied flower arranging at the National Cathedral at St. Mount Albans, Washington, D.C. That, to me, would be an extraordinary opportunity.
Attendees learned a lot from Templeton’s demonstration and instructions. He is warm, gracious, calm, adept and a pure joy. Besides we all created a masterpiece to take home.
A huge thank you is extended to Joni Woolf, Calvary Church flower guild chairman, for organizing the successful event and inviting her longtime friend to lead it, and to her daughter, Carey Wooten, for co-hosting the delicious lunch.
OUT AND ABOUT: Congratulations to Caroline Carroll who was crowned Miss Columbus 2016 in Columbus last Saturday. Additionally, she won the swimsuit award and for talent she danced a classical ballet en pointe to “Hungarian Dance #5.” Caroline, a sophomore at the University of Georgia, is a political science major with an eye on a law degree. As Miss Columbus, she will compete in the Miss Georgia Scholarship Pageant, a part of the Miss America Organization, next June. Caroline volunteers with the American Red Cross and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as part of her platform. A graduate of Southland Academy and valedictorian of her class, she is the daughter of John and Beth Carroll. Meanwhile, Crystal Waddell traveled with her own little princess-daughter, Mary Margaret Waddell, 7, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the 95th Miss America Pageant, where Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell of Warner Robins was crowned Miss America 2016. “Seeing Betty win was amazing and we’re still on cloud nine,” said Crystal. “We’re especially proud since Betty was our Miss Presidential Pathways last year.” Crystal and her husband Mark Waddell direct that pageant. Crystal and Mary Margaret attended the “after party” following the pageant and enjoyed a number of other activities with good friends: mother-daughter Anna Lycee and Abbie Grace Flynt, 7, of metro Atlanta. Elsewhere, kudos to Sumter Players, the community theater group that never fails to present outstanding productions time and time again, the most recent, “The Andersonville Trial” at the Rylander Theatre last week. Anyone involved in the production please take a bow. Patrick Peacock’s directing was phenomenal. The element of cinematography he introduced intensified the drama based on the transcripts from the original 1865 trial of Capt. Henry Wirtz, commander-in-chief at Camp Sumter where 45,000 Union soldiers were held and 13,000 died during a 14-month period of the Civil War; Americus native and former Miss SAR Glover Womack of Mineral Wells, Texas, has captured another honor. An accomplished equestrian, Glover and her new paint horse have qualified for the World Rodeo finals to be held Dec. 12 in Las Vegas. Let’s wish her good fortune. She is the daughter of Bernard Womack and the late Bett Womack; Mike and Joyce Owsley hosted their daughter and son-in-law, physicians Drs. Bradley and Marie Owsley Easterlin, and children, Clara, 6, and Charles, 3, of St. Simons Island. While here, Bradley, an avid biker, rode 64 miles in the Nut Run in Albany. Sylvia Roland recently enjoyed a fun reunion excursion with friends from Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas. They toured Boston and biked 84 miles through Maine and hiked 12; spending last weekend with former Americus residents Theresa Myers, Lennart Borggren and Theresa’s daughter Angel Myers, Americus’ Olympic winner, at Reynolds Plantation at Lake Oconee were Harriett Peak, her daughter Sally Peak Lanier and son Will Peak, who flew in from New York City. They also visited former residents Terrie and Alan Mountjoy; welcome home to Andy and Lori Shivers who visited family in Phoenix, Arizona, and attended the wedding of her uncle Ray Keyrouse in Prescott; say hello to Bill and Carlanda Dragoin who spent the summer at their mountain retreat in Asheville, N.C.; Lori Case Shivers will blow out candles on her birthday cake Wednesday while Kay Markette Pace, and my daughter, Helen Barrett Penter, of Charlotte both celebrate another birthday Tuesday.

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.