You just celebrated a milestone birthday, right?
Yes, my 70th. My oldest daughter decided to put together an elegant celebration for me. The only surprise was the location. She ran a covert operation in which she swore all of the guests to secrecy about the event and the plans. She knew that would really be an intrigue, given my love of mysteries. She enlisted my significant other. No one revealed a thing to me. On that evening I was driven to Houlihan's North for a gala evening I shall not likely forget. The room was overflowing with my friends and family members -- some from out of town. She had a great photographer who captured the evening well. Someone said to me. "You are in Heaven." I said, "Yes, Heaven is usually where folks are when something like this happens."
Now that you are 70 do you have any plans to slow down?
No. I don't really know how to do that. On another milestone birthday 10 years ago, I decided to go back to Columbus State University and get a master's in community counseling. I believe that my life's purpose is to help others. Hopefully, I can do that all the days of my life.
You have been in Columbus now for 44 years. How has it changed in that time?
Columbus is my beloved adopted community. The changes I have personally observed here are nothing short of impressive on a grand scale. When my Army husband and I moved to Fort Benning from Hawaii at the end of '69, the downtown area was dying; we had no interstate highway.
Columbus did seem to be just an ordinary town on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The riverfront area had not yet been developed.
Who knew we would one day have whitewater rafting here. But the rumblings of change were obvious even then.
This town, I think, has always been blessed with visionaries. After my divorce, I chose to stay here and raise my children. I have never regretted that decision.
You have held a number of different jobs in Columbus. What has been the one you enjoyed the most?
In 1972, I went into the real estate business. I was an agent for Brown Realty and Insurance Co. I also worked many years for T.M. Lowe Co. Realtors as an associate broker.
When I think of the one job I have enjoyed the most, I am conflicted. Working for the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts from 2002-2006 was a dream come true. I am so very fond of the arts. I worked in marketing and I absolutely loved it. I have been at The Family Center of Columbus for almost 7 years now.
It is not always enjoyable, but to be invited into the most intimate lives of others in a therapeutic way is most rewarding. One of my duties is often enjoyable. It is the teaching I do of parenting skills and the bimonthly divorcing parents' seminar. My belief is that the best way to help children is to help their parents.
What is the best kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
For the more than 200,000 people who live here it should be no secret, but sometimes I wonder.
Columbus is a wonderful place to live, raise a family and retire. The local government seems to work well here, though the complaints are loud sometime.
The government is supposed to serve the needs of its citizens. On this subject, I have no complaints. I unashamedly admit that I love this city.