A communty well served A family well loved
None of this is made up and none is fluffed or flowered nor overstated for the simple reason it is not neccessary and would be redundant to do so. I have known this lady for slightly less than a third of her life and she simply becomes more remarkable as time goes on. As sweet a child as a wonderful mother and father could hope and pray to be blessed with she was gorgeous and as happy as a little girl could possibly be growing up on a farm surrounded by humble country folks and wild flowers and song birds. But even in this idyllic river bottom greenery she had a special glow and aura surrounding her that could not be missed. A rambuctious liver of life and giver of splendid and simple gifts of love and wonderment to her parents, she was also a case study of the "Perils of Pauline" racing through childhood at breakneck speed and leaving no tree left unclimbed, no creek unswam or unwaded, no rare snowball unthrown, breaking and or spraining and straining every part and parcel of her remarkably intact over time body.
Due primarily to the intervention of luck, pluck and a pair of loving to the max parents she survived or they survived her preschool days. Entering first grade as a beautiful child. A child whose big smile and Good Morning Miss Ballard, Good Morning Miss Boothe, Good Morning Mister Holloway brightened and enriched each teacher, student and even Mr Carnley the custodian. Good Morning Mister Carnley. Smartest child in the first grade and a charter member of the blue birds she was a reading writing and arithmetic whiz. Partly because her dear, sweet mother was herself a librarian and substitute and outrageously popular teacher her self. Taking the lead and becoming a self starting leader she breezed through the early years. Immensley popular and easily the golden child of Fleeta School. A school blessed with a staff of dedicated, old fashioned PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL TEACHERS. The kind who took personal ownership of each child's education and welfare. This example would serve Sally well later in her life when she became what she saw and experienced at Fleeta School. A reader, a leader, a little lady and for sure and certain a TOM BOY who backed down from no academic challenge, no sports challenge from either sex. In later years the song lyrics (yes I was a male classmate) "any thing you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you" resounded everytime I thought of her and those years. During all those years I don't recall a single tear, ugly remark or bad day from her corner of this hop, skip and jump through life that she lead. Amazing. But why would she be unhappy. Smartest child (she thought and took for granted), blondest hair, bluest eyes, prettiest smile, fastest runner (again she thought) best writer and reader and the absolute sweet heart of whatever teacher whose class she happened to grace that day.
Grew up a bit and of course Halloween Carnival Queen, retiring the trophy, perfect attendance, straight A's and the most positive little girl EVER! Living day to day, asking no more and garnering the simple goodness of life. Maybe her happiest days. They certainly were mine cause I claimed her. And of course she receprocated by flying up unexpected and whaling the tar out of me. Kind of a drive by like affair we had going on. Fine by me long as I'm the only one you're attacking her. Course my mom had explained to me what the genesis and motivation for her reverse ardor was. The big A word. Attention. Which was strange to my way of thinking. Here is a child who everyone adores. All smiles, blond hair and eyes even bluer than yesterday. Thursday afternoon Rythams. Oh what a bitter sweet day that was. No getting out of it. Those Southern ladies were determined that we would waltz, square dance and Virginia reel our way into adulthood with elan. And we did at least throught the 8th grade. And of course Sally in her infinite wisdom and sneaky counting shuffled around to where we were always paired up. Which made me red faced but pleased, a conundrum of feelings for sure. And she could cut a fancy little rug and I was all flopping tennis shoes and wrong directions but she managed to snatch, grab and adjust me through. 30 minutes of heaven and yes the pits of hell.
Off to high school @ dear old Opp. I managed to drift away and got interested in only the Good Lord knows what. But she never changed. I would catch glimpses of her and beam in pride, little did she know. But I knew, the aura was still there and the pride in knowing her character was there for me only at a distance. but she was still the happy, perfect child, participating in the band and other activities. As the poet says: happiness consists of activity, such is the constitution of our nature, it is a running stream and not a stagnant pool. she was still the running stream of Opp High School. But she changed physically. Growing up tall and straight. With the accent on straight. A vivid memory for me is a ball playing chum making a comment on her straightness whereupon I took offense and asked for and received satisfaction. Score settled and I still secretly "claimed" her although she had obviously outgrown me. Wonderful student, leader and off to college.
In the long and storied history of the stately and acclaimed and greatly endowed by natural beauty and feminine glory and beauty of an outrageously artistic level, the University of Alabama has never had a more charmed and graceful example of drop dead gorgeous, beyond approach character and pristine freshness than Sally the grown up farm girl from South Alabama. A mix of genteel poise and grace she was the all American girl. And of course an English major and future teacher. What a gal, what a young woman and what a friend and what a graceful example of what an Alabama girl and young woman should be. But not much difference from the third grader, A smile, those eyes and a positive can do attitude. And a VW Beetle. Poor thing knew two speeds of course. Stop and wide open. Ripping through the gears like Junior Johnson at a Nascar event she careened and beat and banged her way through college. Again surviving physically against all odds.
Finished and did her practice teaching and instead of jumping right into making money she did what he would do much of later in life and that is put others in front of her own ambitions. Going on a two year missionary trip to an Asian country spreading the good news to those who have not heard. It is of these little giving traits that the greatest human character is composed.
Returning from this largely self financed excursion she met and married the fortunate man whom she would raise six children with. Putting her family first she kept the home fire burning and privately educated her children while helping her husband finish his education and gain a law degree. She sacrificed her own well being to give her youngsters the finest educations available, yet managed to gain a master's degree of her own. Serving for upwards of 25 years she is one of the longest tenured teacher/librians in the same school in Alabama. While maintaining and keeping a beautiful country oasis of flower gardens, vegtable gardens, shade trees. Proving that nature and wisdom are never at strife.
But the joy of her life has been her six wonderful children. All unique, all wonderful in their own little ways. all educated, all happy, and all dedicated to the lady who made it all possible with her grace charm and never quit attitude.As Jackie Kennedy-Onasis said "if you bingle the raising of your children I don't think much else you do in life matters." Sally didn't bungle hers. Plenty else matters in the community blessed to have this great lady along with the wonderful family she didn't bungle aslong the way.
Her life has had it's ups and downs but seemingly she has perservered and when one door closes another has always opened. Sally the librarian this is for you: "we deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear it's ills without being overcome by them." Poet unknown. Thank you Sally for letting us share your beautiful life and existence with you.