Perry's Prattle

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 14:36 PM.

The opening song brought the house down with applause and set the stage for a full hour

of songs and merriment from “Georgia Piney Woods” to “Travelin’ Minstrel Band.”

Hester prepared food in our home for the Fosters as she did for other performers.  She still recalls Anne Foster’s comment about the gigantic Chicken Wiggles casserole she prepared for the main dish for the dinner menu on that joyous occasion. The first item on the recipe called for “one hen or two fryers.”   That reveals the enormity of the finished product.

After the 1982 performance in Chipley, I mainly kept in touch with Bill Foster through our mutual friend, Otis Peacock. Chipley residents will recall that Mr. Peacock, a native of Altha, Fla., began his teaching career in Cottondale. His last assignment in the educational field was at the University of North Alabama, the same college Bill Foster taught a variety of subjects for 39 years. Peacock returned to live in Chipley and married his former teaching colleague, Elizabeth Green, in 1980.

My niece, Melanie Russ Brown, knew Dr. Bill Foster as a professor at the University of North Alabama campus. She knew of Dr. Foster’s laundry list of scholastic honors and achievements which reads like a Who’s Who in American Education Circles. Melanie gave Uncle Perry periodic reports on the  Foster Family Band, before the musical group retired.

In an interview with Shernonda Allen, City Editor of the Times Daily Newspaper in Florence, Ala., after her father’s death, Melissa spoke lovingly of the experience: “I have been blessed to have lived with a treasure — to have sat on his knee as a child — and to have just been mesmerized by his stories,” Melissa said.

The daughter explaining that Foster was fluent in several dialects, stated: “He was such a scholar, We always said Daddy was multilingual. He could speak just enough German, just enough Spanish and was fully fluent in Appalachia!”



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