Waldrops appreciate their blessings

Barbara and Emmett Waldrop display one of their handmade birdhouses modeled after a church. (Contributed)

Barbara and Emmett Waldrop display one of their handmade birdhouses modeled after a church. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

After 51 years at First Baptist of Alabaster, Emmett and Barbara Waldrop are certainly well-known and well-loved. Having been introduced by a cousin of Barbara, ex-Marine Emmett “courted” Barbara for three months and they were married on a Christmas night 61 years ago.

An original Alabaster resident, Waldrop graduated from THS in 1950. Mrs. Waldrop is originally from Birmingham. The couple is very family oriented. Blessed with daughters Vicki and Susan, the Waldrops have five grandchildren: Jared, Jennifer, Jeremy, Abbie and Abe and two great grandchildren: Whitley and Baylor.

Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthdays are all celebrated in their home. The bigger dining room table seats 18 to 20 with another smaller dining room complete with hutch and a table for six, then the kitchen table with seating for four.

There are hutches, buffet cabinets and all manner of tables and chests throughout their home but the Waldrops’ specialty birdhouse collection is unbelievable. Some of the birdhouses (complete with real roofing in intricate designs) are dog-trot houses, log cabins, grist mills, fire stations, post offices, etc., but Emmett Waldrop’s favorite to build are churches, and he has some beauties.

Some are replicas of old and forgotten places of worship. Some are made from memory and some from pictures. The use of materials is varied so the results are unique to each house. Waldrop is also a talented artist.

Starting in the furniture business with Cardwell Furniture in 1963 and retiring from Braswell Furniture in 1996, Waldrop quipped “I went from selling furniture to building it.”

Started as a hobby, this busy man decided to give each grandchild a $500 CD if the birdhouse business was successful. He accomplished his goal the first year. Ideas come from magazines, craft shows and his own creative mind.

“If I were younger I would give serious thoughts of making this a business. Craft shows are a good sideline,” he said.

Barbara Waldrop, a well-known substitute teacher, is so welcoming and just sort of “beams” her kindness and love to those around her.

The Waldrops are a loving Christian couple who appreciate their blessings and their family.