Lambert brings humor, insight to Exchange Club

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 24, 2017

Alva Lambert is well known in different Alabama circles, as a Montgomery attorney, as executive director of the State Health Planning and Development Agency and as host of “Good Morning Montgomery.”

But ask the members of the Troy Exchange Club about Alva Lambert and they’ll say, he’s a knee-slapping funny man.

Lambert was the guest speaker at the Thursday meeting of the Troy Exchange Club and he kept the club members alternately chuckling and belly laughing.

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Lambert is well known for his impersonations of public figures, mainly politicians. If his audiences would close their collective eyes, they would think that Lambert had left the building and Gov. George C. Wallace or Dr. Ralph Adams had entered.

Lambert said Wallace viewed the average citizen as ignorant on Election Day. Joe Voter’s head came to a point, a triangle so to speak, with his brain barely filling the tip of the peak.

Wallace grew up in Clio and Clayton at a time when boys would take a watermelon from an unattended wagon, go behind the stores, “bust” it open and eat it. “Wallace,” he said, “once took a watermelon and ran behind the stores to eat it but, once he bashed it open, he got a bad feeling. So he went and put that watermelon back and got a ripe one.”

Lambert said when Wallace was married to Cornelia, her mother, Ruby, who was the sister of former Alabama Gov. Jim Folsom, lived with them.

“Ruby would get the newspaper before Wallace could read it. In reading it, she would fold it 25 different ways, Lambert said. “One morning, Wallace got the paper first. He took the syrup and poured it between the pages of the newspaper.”

Lambert had stories to tell about Dr. Ralph Adams, president of Troy State University, who was widely know as a penny pincher.

“In 1983, Dr. Adams, wife, Dorothy said he was thinking about getting a color TV,” he said, laughing. “In 1983!”

Lambert didn’t spare former Gov. Guy Hunt. He quoted Hunt who, in heralding tourism as a profitable industry, pronounced tourism “terrorism.”

Lambert had a field day with U.S. Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama.

“Heflin was a rather portly man who liked to graze at the ‘boo-fay,’” Lambert said. “He was at an event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and got grease on his tie.”

Heflin rebuffed attempts to clean him up saying, “Just put it in the freezer, it won’t spoil.”

When dining at a black-tie affair, Heflin, who had gotten up and dressed in the dark room where his wife was sleeping, reached in his pocket and pulled out what he thought was a handkerchief. But it was actually, his wife’s underwear.

“He wasn’t embarrassed a bit,” Lambert said. “He said he thought he’d blown a hole in his handkerchief.”

Lambert ended with some of Jimmy Clower classics. He talked some football but stayed away from any comments about Gov. Robert Bentley.  “I still work for him,” Lambert said.