Woodruff comes full circle in Alabaster

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Raised in a farming, church-going family of five in Georgiana, Thelma Bush became Thelma Woodruff in June of 1965.

Woodruff on Buck Creek Trail behind Alabaster Senior Citizens Center.

She had known for years that Curtis Woodruff was “her guy.”

Soon they were blessed with three children, Suzanne, Daphne and Clint.

In 1976, the Woodruff family came to Alabaster and it has been home for more than 36 years. Known to more than 100 area kids as “Ms. Thelma,” Woodruff opened and operated a home daycare for more than 25 years. Two separate stints at Thompson school lunchrooms adds in another 12 years of employment.

“I was the oldest in our family and had a ton of cousins that I constantly watched over as I grew up,” she said. “That job paid nothing but my grandpa did pay me $2.50 per day for picking cotton.”

As for childhood memories, Woodruff has many: family Sunday dinners, vegetable gardens, cows, hogs, chickens, fishing, tree climbing, vine swinging, playing in the creek, building “frog houses” in the dirt and walking barefoot in a fresh plowed field.

“We worked hard and played hard,” she said. “Daddy stayed home with us while Mother worked. Daddy was crippled in an auto accident in 1950.”

Lloyd’s is still her favorite local place to eat and she loves the seafood at Fan Tails in Prattville.

“My someday dream vacation would be the Grand Canyon,” she said. “Curtis and I just celebrated our 47th anniversary. God has been so good to us…three kids, seven beautiful grandchildren, fairly good health and enough of whatever we need.”

Since October 2011, Woodruff has been the kitchen manager for the Alabaster Senior Citizens Center. She is in charge of the 30 meals served there each day and the list of qualified folks who get home delivery.

“I have come full circle from youngsters to senior citizens. I have the best job ever now — living, loving and laughing with some of Alabaster’s seniors,” she said. “No more feed sack dresses or home perms on the day before school pictures and no more picking cotton.”

 

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