DeWitt on Sondheim By: Dash DeWitt

Hello, Readers. Dash DeWitt here, reporting live en route to BlueBell, as I return from my annual pilgrimage to New York City, New York. This year’s ticket? The Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s underrated treasure, Follies.

For those of you not familiar with Follies (which I am sure is most, if not all of you), it is the story of a reunion of a Ziegfield-esque group of retired chorus girls. The incomparable Bernadette Peters leads the cast, and what a performance! One of the best star turns I’ve seen since Bev Mayfair starred in our local production of Into the Woods (under my direction of course).

As for my theater going experience, I was disappointed, yet again, that I was not allowed to bring in my own snacks. This caused me to be beyond famished during the first act. I was excited when the lights went up and it was time for intermission. I quickly hurried to the lobby to grab something and then to my astonishment I saw the prices. $6 for a bag of peanut M&M’s? Are you serious? That’s criminal! After the show my empty stomached self waited for the actors. Fortunately the hunger subsided when I got to meet Bernadette Peters and get her autograph! She said she’d heard me cheering for her at the curtain call. Another brush with fame during my annual New York tip – remember the photograph I took with Matthew Broderick in ’02?

Should you go see Follies? It might be a little sophisticated for you, honestly. But I give this performance a triple dash! Bravo, Mr. Sondheim!


Ask Susie


Ask Susie By: Susie

Q: Dear Susie,

I am a single, Southern woman with a lot to offer. I recently broke up with my boyfriend after five (what I thought were) amazing years. During those years you could say that I kind of lost touch with the fashion world, or as my ex boyfriend put it, “got all frumpy.” So, now that I’ve mended my wounds and am ready to get back into the dating scene I need to sass myself up a bit to attract a new mate. Help me, Susie!


Fashionably Challenged

A: Dear Fashionably Challenged,

Susie always says that it’s not just the outer beauty that attracts men (although it sure does help some), but it’s actually the inner beauty that will trap your new guy and make you forget all about that no good for nothin’ cowboy who broke your heart.

With that said, the inner beauty can only do so much without the outer beauty meeting you half way. So, I suggest if you want to meet a new beau you should consider wearing a bright colored sundress while the weather is still hot. To show of those legs of yours, although not too much leg… you don’t want to go attracting the wrong kind of man. Colors that melt a man’s heart are Sea Green and Daisy Yellow. Try wearing those color schemes to your local harvest festival or the Country Square-dance coming up. Because if you do, there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be handing out numbers left and right to all the men waiting to ask you out! Honey, you deserve it!

Yours truly,


Q: Dear Susie,

I attend Bluebell Community Church every Sunday (which is more than I can say for some, ahem, younger citizens of this town), and like every other self-respecting, churchgoing lady, I wear my Sunday best. Sometimes, however, it’s nearly impossible to see Reverend Mayfair over the bigger hats of other congregants! I don’t want to name names, but really – what is the appropriate size for a hat in church, and what is one to do about the offending chapeaus?


Hat Chat

A: Dear Hat Chat,

First of all, let me commend you on your commitment to fellowship. Everyone should take a few hours out of their busy lives for quiet contemplation with family, friends and neighbors. It’s also just plain fun to see people looking their best, and let’s face it – many Sunday outfits just aren’t complete without a hat. But we mustn’t forget that church isn’t all about the fashion, and we must choose our accessories with courtesy in mind. Brim width should not extend past the shoulders, and decorative elements should not supplement one’s natural height by more than an inch or two. Though, in the spirit of community, I hope you can forgive those hat-wearing transgressors and remember that it is the Reverend’s words that are most important, anyway.

Yours truly,


Q: Dear Susie,

Like any proper lady, I wear stockings every day. I try to be careful, but they always get runs and holes no matter what I do! It’s a most unseemly situation, but buying new hose constantly is getting expensive. Is there some way to fix the stockings I already have?


Running Up A Bill

A: Dear Running,

Rest assured, you are not the first reader to write in with this question. If you’re buying new stockings every time, the cost can indeed add up fast. But with just a dab of clear nail polish, you can save the ones you already own! First of all, act fast while the hole is still small, because nylon can unravel faster than a Founder’s Day parade. Stop the run in its tracks by dabbing the nail polish around the edges of the hole to seal any loose ends, and wipe away any excess before it dries and voila – problem solved. Just don’t glue them to your leg! Good luck!

Yours truly,


Q: Dear Susie,

I just hosted my annual famous tea in October, where I brew the world’s most delicious sweet tea recipe handed down from my great Gran. Now, everyone knows when you attend one of my teas you must be dressed in proper formal attire. Everyone also should know that you should know that you should not wear white after Labor Day. Well… a couple of women, who I shall not name, showed up in their Sunday whites. I was utterly appalled! But then I thought maybe I was just being old fashioned and traditional (not that there’s anything wrong with that). So, I thought I’d leave it up to the expert. Is wearing white allowed after Labor Day? (Please say no.)

Best Wishes,

Fight About White

A: Dear Fight About White,

I cannot tell you how many times this question is in hot debate around here. As a traditional, Southern lady I do hold to not wearing white after Labor Day. Even though down in Alabama it doesn’t get too chilly come fall or winter, I still believe that wearing white should remain only in the spring and summer seasons. However, if you are just itching for some white in your wardrobe, try accessorizing. Accent your outfit with some white jewelry or white lace in your Sunday Church hat or a white bag or even a white belt. Because sugar, why not have the best of both worlds?

Yours truly,




The Blushing Belles of BlueBell Debutante Ball By: AnnaBeth

On the 20th of August, six lovely ladies made their debut to everyone who’s anyone in polite society at the 65th Annual Blushing Belles of BlueBell Debutante Ball. I don’t need to tell y’all that the presentation of the debs is one of the biggest events of the year, and this year’s Belle Ball did not disappoint. The Decorations Committee completely transformed our town square into a City of Lights — a gorgeous twenty-foot Eiffel Tower-shaped archway, adorned with imported white lilies and French silk ribbons, under which the debutantes made their grand entrance. With so many twinkly lights everywhere I literally felt like Meg Ryan in French Kiss! This year’s delightful debs were all a vision in white… except Abigail Cornwall Christensen, who wore a rather showy shade of eggshell. However, the poor dear is getting over a nasty break-up and is still healing her wounds. She had to be escorted by her cousin from Mobile. Bless her heart.

The five-course dinner, catered by Fancie’s, was a welcome bliss after last year’s unspeakable potato salad fiasco. (Though at Carrie Rose Ennis’ brunch the next week, I was able to wear my Jessica McClintock from middle school. And Lemon Breeland said I looked adorably vintage!) After the debutantes’ traditional first dance with their escorts, most of the party guests – including a few who should have perhaps sat out, or at least laid off the punch – joined them on the makeshift dance floor and frolicked under the stars until well after midnight. Congratulations to all of the darling new debutantes, their proud families and friends, and the many people who contributed to success of this fabulous night, especially the Belles, of course.

Police Logs

9/4 – 9/24 By: Police Log

9/5 A waiter at Fancie’s performed the Heimlich on a diner who was choking. Paramedics arrived at the restaurant but were ultimately not needed. Diner had already gone back to eating dinner.

9/10 A set of keys were located in the park and turned in to the police. Its owners later came forward and retrieved their misplaced items.

9/16 A resident notified the police department about a fallen tree on his lawn. It had been knocked over during the storm.

9/18 The fire department was called to the Rammer Jammer for the smoke detector going off. Some fried shrimp got heavily burnt.

9/20 911 received a wrong number.

9/24 Police responded to a call of possible loiterers outside of the Dixie Stop. Turned out, they were just boy scouts selling raffle tickets.

Pet of the Week

BlueBell Pet of the Week! By: Pet of the Week

Burt Reynolds

Son of Mayor Lavon Hayes

Birthday: April 8th

Favorite Food: Snails, crickets and gar. Also, leftovers from the Rammer Jammer (when lucky!)

Favorite Activity: Swimming in the swamp

Favorite BlueBell spot: My backyard!

Favorite Sports Team: Alabama Crimson Tide

Favorite Movie: Smokey and the Bandit (it’s where I got my name from)

Favorite Fellow Alligator: Wally Gator

Favorite Quote: “Never insult an alligator until you’ve crossed the river.”