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Getting to know your neighbor

Editor’s Note: Getting to Know Your Neighbor is a regular feature spotlighting residents in Franklin County and how they look at certain things.

Name: Sherry May Baldy

Hometown: Phil Campbell

Place of employment: I have been unemployed since 1989 due to a back injury. However, prior to that, my places of employment have ranged from Burgers and Cream, Chat-n-Chew, Blue Bell, Bristol Furniture Co. and H.D. Lee. And of course the year-round job of being a daughter, mother and granny, which I suppose could count as my present job.

Q: What is the best thing about your job?

A: I suppose each job had its “best” thing. I can remember friends I made and good times I had, then of course there was always the pay check! However, the one that comes to mind right now is the job of being a mother. The best thing about that job was the day when one of my children said to me, “Momma, thank you so much for raising me the way you did.” That, my friends, is the best “pay check” ever!

Q: If you weren’t in your current profession, what would be your ideal job?

A: I think my idea of an ideal job would be photography and photojournalism requiring traveling and road trips. I love taking pictures and lots of times when I go places, if I had a purpose for them, I would so enjoy just sitting on the sidelines taking random candid shots of people and things.

Q: If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

A: This is something I’ve never really given any thought to before now. There are probably lots of people I could think of that it might be nice to be them for a day, like someone famous or rich.

I mean, who wouldn’t like to swap places for just one day with someone with seemingly unlimited resources?

I have no doubts I could do a LOT in 24 hours with a blank check! Then there’s the idea of who all might listen to me if I were famous, but if you really think about it, swapping places with them for the day would mean that along with their “best” I would also have to take their “worst,” and what if their worst outweighed their best?

So, having said all that, I think I would have to pass on swapping places for even just a day and just continue to be me, because even though my best may not seem all that good to others, at least I know what my worst is and I wouldn’t want to chance anything worse.

Q: If you could sit down to dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A: Rita Springer. I just said to someone the other day I’d love to meet her. If you aren’t familiar with Rita, she’s a contemporary praise and worship singer/songwriter. I would want to sit down to dinner with her because she has this song, “I Have To Believe,” that came out in October 2005. At that very time my husband of 13 years lost his battle with leukemia and her song was one of the things that got me through that difficult time in my life. That one song on her CD played 24/7 in my room for probably close to a year.

I would like to share a meal with her and tell her how thankful I am that she obeyed God in writing and recording the words of that song that reminded me day in and day out that I had to believe that God saw my darkness, that He knew my pain, that I had to declare He was my refuge and deny that I was alone – that I had to lift my eyes to God and my hands to praise Him, even in my pain, in order to get through this heartbreak.

Q: What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

A: Like most people, I’ve received many gifts in my life. There were toys and such when I was a child, then handmade gifts from my children when I became a mother. There have been flowers, money, trips, jewelry and many more I’m sure I’ve forgotten about. There have been gifts of friendships and love, truth and honesty, a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. Even though I’m sure each of these held a special place in my heart at the time I received them, they pale in comparison to the gift of salvation that God gave me some 40+ years ago. The only gift that has lasted my lifetime and will continue to last for eternity!

Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?

A: Going to Florida to visit my grandparents. I didn’t grow up living close to my grandparents so anytime I got to visit them, or they us, was always fun. The visit I suppose I recall the most was when I was probably 10. We went to Sea World and we also visited a Seminole Indian Village. I don’t recall the details, other than those I can look at in pictures, but I do remember it was fun because I spent it with my grandparents who I loved dearly. They have all been gone now for years, too many, and each passing year I realize how very blessed I am to have such fond memories of them not only from childhood but also from adulthood.

Q: What do you think of as your greatest accomplishment in life?

A: I would have to say raising my three children. Being a parent isn’t for wimps. It takes perseverance and patience among many other things. No I wasn’t, and still am not, a perfect parent. However, I have tried with the guidance of God to raise them according to His standards. Have they always abided by my teachings? Well, no – no more than most of us have abided strictly by our parents teachings. But all in all I am well pleased with the young adults they have become.

Q: If you only had one meal left, what would it be?

A: I’d have grilled burgers and hot dogs with all the toppings and grilled corn on the cob smothered with butter fresh off one of the grills in Spring Park, baked beans, maybe some coleslaw, and homemade ice cream (two or three different flavors), all at one of the picnic tables surrounded by all my family and closest friends.

Q: If you won a million dollars, what would be your first purchase?

A: After tithes and paying off mine, my kids and my momma’s bills, the first purchase would be a family vacation for all of us to Disney World for at least two weeks with a Disney Cruise on the side where we would all swim with dolphins.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: Back in 1999 when my Grandpa Steward died, I had only been to Massachusetts where he had grown up once when I was young, so when he passed I wanted to go there to see the places he had told me about many times knowing in doing so I would feel a connection to him. I did get to make that trip and the sights were so beautiful, but more than that, knowing I was walking on some of the same ground my ancestors walked on, especially my beloved grandpa, I felt so connected and close to him again even though he was no longer with me. At this point in my life, if I could go anywhere it would be to Jerusalem/Israel – the land that Jesus called home when he walked this earth – so that I could feel more connected to Him, and better understand some of the things He talks about in His Word.

Q: If you were the President of the United States, what would be your first law that you would enact?

A: That no laws be made that contradict God’s Word and any already made that do so be abolished.

Q: If you were in local government, what would be the first thing you would change about the area?

A: I would bring in a good coffee cafe, something with Internet access, books, music, board games and lots of quiet nooks for customers to get comfy in. Other things I could think of are getting in more restaurants, especially a good steak restaurant. And there would be more for the young people to do, maybe a nice splash pad surrounded with shaded areas where the parents could relax as they watch the kids, and an amphitheater where the residents could plan to have plays, concerts, tent revivals and such.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Franklin County?

A: I’d say the friendliness of most that live here. Driving down any given road, passing any given vehicle, and being greeted with a hand wave. Just good ol’ country folk. Oh, and the Watermelon Festival, too.

Q: What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?

A: Well, considering how much I like to talk, I’m not sure there’s much someone that knows me very well doesn’t know about me, but the one thing that comes to mind is that I can only swim when I can either touch the bottom or in a pool where I can see the bottom.