There’s A Story In Every Grave
By Gene Gravlee
Ivy Paul Andrews
Born May 6, 1907
Died November 24, 1970
There are just so many fond memories I have from growing up in and around Walker County, Alabama in the early 1950’s. I recall so many of the people that were my seniors and recollect many special memories of my early adulthood.
On Sunday afternoon, there was always a baseball game to attend, whether it was in Dora, Cordova, Sumiton, Sipsey, Empire, Flat Creek, Union Chapel or other parts of the county or even adjoining counties. Now you first must understand, that my grandmother Roberts did not approve of baseball on Sunday as it was the Sabbath, the day of rest.
In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, I was attending elementary school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, As soon as school was out, I was on my way south to spend the summer with my mother’s brother, Horace Roberts and his family on the Dora-Flat Creek Road near Burnwell, then later to stay and finish my last three years of school at Dora High School.
So many of these people that I was around during this time in my life left an indelible print on my life, it still exists with me today. Whether the person was a merchant, high school principal, teacher, coal miner, or my grandparents; all influenced my life.
Paul Andrews was one of these people! To see him, one would just not believe that he once pitched baseball for the New York Yankees and had actually played with Babe Ruth. With his patented short cigar dangling from the left side of his mouth, and the smile or grin that seemed to be drawn on his face, he was always pleasant to be around.
Ivy Paul Andrews was born in Dora, Walker County, Alabama on May 6, 1907 to John William Andrews and his wife Rebecca Paralee Wilson Andrews. Paul was the grandson of Miles Preston Wilson and his wife Matilda Elenor O’Gwin and the great grandson of Abisha Wilson and his wife Elizabeth Brooks.
While talking with Paul’s nephew, Percy Andrews, I was told that since Paul and Josephine had no children, they would always have a special Christmas for all the nieces and nephews. Josephine and Paul would bring them presents, Percy related that once Paul, even had all of them a baseball uniform made as a Christmas present.
To actually visit the Andrews home on Red Star Hill in Dora was such a treat. Inside, hung on the walls of the home, were photographs of nearly every legend in baseball history before 1950. I wonder what happened to all those photographs after the death of both of these people?
Paul Andrews had played baseball locally until he broke into the Major League in 1931 with the New York Yankees. Can you just think about playing with, and knowing, Dizzy Dean, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Dixie “The Hat” Walker? Paul Andrews did! But he was always a down to earth guy. He never forgot his roots, nor his heritage back home in Alabama. He was always willing to assist in community service projects.
Most of us in the local Dora area were accustomed to seeing him drive around town in his overalls while he was doing his carpentry work.
What most people remember about Paul today is that he is a member of The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, being elected in 1985. He had letters of recommendations from Bill Dickey and Joe DiMaggio and many other people.
Paul and Josephine Andrews are buried in Shanghi Memorial Cemetery which is located in Township 16S Range 5W Section 8 near the Walker-Jefferson county line, one mile southwest of Quinton.