Waldrop celebrates 100th birthday
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
On Sept. 30, more than 50 family members, friends and neighbors came together to celebrate “Ms. Clara” Waldrop’s 100th birthday. The party was held on the festively decorated patio at City Café in Alabaster. Guests ranged from babies to adults. Born Sept. 30, 1912, in West Blockton, Waldrop remembers her mama chasing quail near their yard and fixing them for her daddy’s lunch.
“I don’t remember much about the depression, since all us kids worked in our garden and we always had plenty to eat,” Waldrop said.
When she was 10, the family moved to McCalla, where her daddy was a barber to support his family of four girls and five boys. Waldrop graduated from McAdory High School and then went to work at Kress Department Store working the lace and handkerchiefs counter.
“In those days, you had to be single to work at Kress and could not talk to customers unless it was work-related,” Waldrop said. “My future husband, Woodrow Waldrop from Bessemer, would come in daily to purchase handkerchiefs from me. After our marriage in 1933, I had to say goodbye to my friends at Kress.”
Waldrop busied herself with work at “Ma Bell” (now the AT&T Bessemer Branch), dancing, swimming and parties with friends and family. This along, with raising three children led to a busy and fulfilling life. In 1975, Waldrop spent 45 days in Germany when her grandson, Kelly Glenn, was born. She traveled through Europe that year and returned the next year to visit England. She has made numerous trips to Las Vegas, driven across the country and traveled to Hawaii. Matriarch of 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, Waldrop attends Crosscreek Baptist Church, loves eating out (especially sweets….peach cobbler being her favorite) and visiting with family and friends.
“If I had it to do over again, I would change only one thing,” Waldrop said. “I’d write everything down in a journal. I’ve forgotten so much.”