Retirees keep busy

Published 5:08 pm Monday, September 14, 2009

“How are your parents and what are they up to?”

As the daughter of Pelham’s retired Mayor Bobby Hayes and his wife, Judy, I am asked this question often. As the one-year anniversary of my dad’s retirement approaches, I decided to offer an answer in writing.

Today, both Bobby and Judy Hayes are doing what retired people should do, enjoying a more leisurely pace of life –– most of the time. For people without a schedule, they certainly are following a lot of other folks’ schedules.

“Nothing is on our list that’s not fun to us,” Dad said. “We’ve watched our grandsons play football and golf and our granddaughters cheer for their teams. We’ve been to Clemson to watch Pelham’s Dabo Swinney coach his team too.”

Dad and Mom also enjoy Dabo and wife Kathleen’s three young boys Will, Drew and Clay, who are, according to my parents’ reports, the youngest –– and funniest –– football strategy analysts in the country.

When asked what he likes most about being retired, Hayes said without hesitation, “Not having Monday morning staff meetings. But I do miss the people I worked with everyday. Judy and I both love it when they stop by to see us.”

Dad attends Pelham High School pep rallies and can be found on the Panther sidelines on Friday nights.

Working with young people has always been his passion, and my mom shares his enthusiasm. She’s still at those Panther football games too.

My parents are almost always around young people and the kids they’ve spent so much time with through the years have become almost a part of the family.

Showing up regularly at plays, concerts, recitals, ball games, tennis and golf competitions, my parents are in their element.

They’ve come to watch the kids and enjoy the performances. If one of their nine grandchildren isn’t involved, other children my parents know will be.

My parents became grandparents on my dad’s 50th birthday and they fell in love with the job immediately. That same day, my thrifty mother went to the mall to buy herself a tennis skirt.

She came back by the hospital with lots of pink baby clothes and no tennis skirt. My practical parents were replaced by glorious grandparents.

What do they do when the kids are in school? Sometimes my mom plays tennis and my dad plays golf. They also watch the hummingbirds and sit on their porch swing.

“We really do have time to stop and smell the roses,” my mom said.

“That are growing right out back by the hummingbird feeder,” said my dad, grinning, and having the last word once again.

Columnist Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at