Beth Rhodes was a member of the VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) at Piedmont High School in 1980. This gave her the opportunity to work at the First National Bank of Piedmont owned by Lewis Savage while also working toward her high diploma.

Beth spent the next 25 years working at First National and SouthTrust banks. She was also active in the Piedmont Arts Council that sponsored the annual arts and crafts show, Piedmont Christmas parade and provided lunch for the first Cheaha Challenge as well as the next three to follow. Beth also volunteered at the Civic Center with relief efforts after the 1994 Palm Sunday tornado. It was during this time that she and Danny Stone, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, began dating. They had worked together on several occasions with events for the Piedmont Arts Council.

“We got to be friends first, and then started dating,” she said.

They were married on Sept. 30, 1995. Their son, Andrew Thomas Stone, II, is named after his paternal and maternal grandfathers. He is a 2016 graduate of Jacksonville Christian Academy. Andrew attends Gadsden State and plans to transfer to JSU to major in physical education.

Beth was a stay-at-home mom for two years and worked as a substitute teacher at Trinity Christian School and Piedmont City Schools. In 2007, she went to work at WEE Care at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville where she taught in the 4-year-old class for five and a half years. She left when her father started chemo after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

“My father was told he had stage four lung cancer on his 83rd birthday,” she said. “The doctor told us he had six months but we were blessed with 10 months of laughter and some great memories.”

Beth is the only child of Thomas and Lynne (Bedwell) Rhodes. She was born at Piedmont Hospital and has lived in Piedmont all her life. Her father was a truck driver and her mother worked at Lawtex and Bostrom, so Beth stayed with her grandmother, Mary Bedwell Stewart, before and after school and during the summers when she was younger. That worked out to Beth’s advantage, because her grandmother taught her a lot about cooking.

When she was in high school, her mother wouldn’t get home from work until 4:30 or 5 p.m., so she would have the dinner started when her mother came home. During the summers, she would clean house and have dinner ready when her mother came home.

Beth takes care of her mother now as well as taking friends and family members to doctor visits. Sometimes she takes someone to the doctor at least three days a week and often times to two or three doctors in one day. Staying busy like this doesn’t allow much time for cooking.

“When the weather is nice, we try to have friends and family gatherings at least once a month.” she said. “We enjoy entertaining at our home.”

The Stones are members of the Piedmont First United Methodist Church, where they are members of the Frank Wofford Sunday School Class. Beth is active in the Shared Bounty Ministry. Danny and Andrew are members of Methodist Men.

Beth likes to go to antique shops, estate and yard sales. She gets a lot of enjoyment working around her home decorating throughout the year. Beth enjoys spending time on their screened porch with their two cats, Sophie and Toby.

(Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com)

RECIPES

ZESTY BEEF CASSEROLE

2 lbs. ground beef

1 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped onions

½ c. water

2 T. season all salt

8 ½ oz. water chestnuts, chopped and drained

1 chopped bell pepper

1 c. chopped carrots

1 can diced tomatoes

2 T. garlic powder

8 oz. egg noodles

1 c. Parmesan cheese

Brown beef in large skillet. Drain off fat. Add raw vegetables and sauté until lightly brown (about 20 minutes). Add tomatoes, water and seasoning. Cover and cook slowly for 20 minutes. Cook noodles as directed and drain.

Spray 9x14 inch casserole dish with vegetable spray. Put noodles in dish. Add chestnuts to meat mixture. Stir well, then pour over noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

CLYDE PIKE’S CHILI RECIPE

2 lbs. ground beef

2 cans diced tomatoes

MEXENE chili powder

1 lg. onion, chopped

2 cans pork and beans

Brown beef and onions together. Drain off fat. Add pork and beans, diced tomatoes and add chili powder to your desired taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low for at least an hour.

COCONUT CAKE

1 box white cake mix

1 can cream of coconut

2 pks. coconut

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 lg. Cool Whip

Prepare cake mix according to directions on package. When cake is done, mix cream of coconut and Eagle Brand milk together and pour over warm cake. Let cool. After cake is cooled, spread Cool Whip over the cake and top with the coconut.

GRANNY’S TEA CAKES

3 c. flour

1 ½ c. sugar

1 T. vanilla

3 eggs

2 sticks butter

Sift flour and sugar together. Mix with eggs, butter and vanilla. Roll out thin. Cut out with a cutter. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.