360 years of wit and wisdom

Published 1:58 pm Friday, September 3, 2010

By SANDRA THAMES/Community Columnist

On Wednesday Aug. 24, I had lunch with four 90-year-old Alabaster ladies.

We lunched at the lovely home of Mrs. Nina Kent on Fulton Springs Road. “Mrs. Nina” turned 90 in May and is still very active in her church. She is an expert seamstress and cook, past board member of the Cattlemen’s Association and a former Thompson High School booster.

She is well known in our area for always being willing to help, whether it is Sunday School, Bible School, making crafts for the church’s fall bazaar or hosting a Joy Club meeting.

Kent said in 1935 there was a sign near the Keystone area that read “Welcome to Alabaster – population 525 – Watch us grow.”

She’s been watching ever since.

Kent is mother of Joy and Mike, grandmother to five and great grandmother to nine. She has been widowed for seven years.

Mrs. Geraldine Kelly Nolan was raised on Main Street (U.S. 31). At the age of 14, she and a cousin walked to a nearby café run by 23-year-old Arthur Allen. Gerry was short 10 cents on her order and he said he would collect on it later.

Two years later they took the bus into Birmingham and got married by a justice of the peace.

The Nolans built the fourth house on Smokey Road. She and her husband had one son (deceased), three daughters, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Nolen has been widowed 15 years and her favorite pastime is reading.

Mrs. Mildred Bozeman Baldwin was born near Chelsea. An accomplished quilter, she has some of the most beautiful samples and just lights up talking about all the love she passes on through quilting.

Baldwin has three sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren and one great–great-grandchild. Baldwin met her husband at an ice cream social. She was married by Bob Roy — in a house next door to where she presently lives. Baldwin loves life and being on the go.

Mrs. Hazel Pate Allen grew up in the same area as husband Cecil Allen — Spring Creek. She worked for Brittlings Cafeteria then Cummings Truck Line for more than 30 years. She retired from Linefast in Montevallo.

Widowed for 17 years, she is the oldest living member of Spring Creek Presbyterian Church.

Allen was not blessed with children of her own. She suffers from macular degeneration and is cared for by her niece, Anita Davenport.

All the ladies love the convenience of close shopping now but all remember with fond memories going downtown to Pizitz and Lovemen’s to shop.

What a wonderful group they are, a fountain of local information.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.

Front (L-R) are Baldwin and Allen. Back (L-R) are Nolen and Kent.