Retired teacher has taken up pickleball

Pam Jones poses before a game of pickleball.

A few months ago, a group of sports enthusiasts and health minded folks discussed playing pickleball at the Civic Center. Everyone was eager to begin playing, so it didn’t take long to pick a day to do so. Pam Jones was one of those who liked the idea and is now a regular member of that group.

“It’s a lot of fun and good exercise,” she said.

Pam also likes to read and camp at Coleman Lake. She and her aunt, Audrey Simpson, walk every day, mostly on the Chief Ladiga Trail.

She’s thankful she can do these things and she’s also thankful that she’s a six-year breast cancer survivor.

“God has blessed me, not really through the cancer, but what He’s done in my life since then,” she said. “I’m doing great. My health is good now.”

She’s not officially involved in any breast cancer survivors’ organization, but she doesn’t mind talking to anyone who might have it and is wanting advice.

Pam was born in Vigo. She graduated from Piedmont High and Jacksonville State University. She retired in May after a 37-year teaching career.

She taught at DeArmanville Junior High and the Calhoun County Career Academy. At CCCA, as a teacher of special education, she taught job and life skills. She helped students with small engine repairs and that often involved washing cars. Larry Pearce was the other instructor. He taught auto detail.

“We tried to give the kids job skills for the future,” she said.

She spent the last 10 years of her career in Rome, Ga. At Coosa High, she worked in a specialized program called employment training. Her last two years were at Pepperell High as a special education inclusion teacher.

Pam said teaching had always been her dream. Her desire was to make a difference in the lives of students. She liked her interaction with students, had a good relationship with them and has a good feeling knowing she helped them.

She misses not only the teaching, but the students and teachers with whom she worked.

When her husband, Jerry, decided to retire from his job at Federal-Mogul in Jacksonville, he wanted her to retire. They met when she worked at Dairy King. He came in one day with his cousin and asked Pam out on a date. They’ve been married 39 years.

They have two sons. Ben and his wife, Chelsi, live in Brundidge. Ben is project manager for a construction company. Chelsi is a pre-K teacher. Their sons are Bowen and Greer. Their younger son, Dan, lives in Piedmont and works at Anniston Army Depot.

Pam’s parents are the late Howard and Dorothy (Mobley) McFry. Her brothers are Stanley McFry of Piedmont and Mark McFry of Pensacola, Fla.

Pam and Jerry are members of First Baptist Church, where she teaches a Sunday school class and works with a missions program.

Pam said her mother was “a wonderful cook.” She worked at the Dairy King for many years and also at Greenwood School in Vigo. She was known for her coconut cakes.

Pam learned a lot from her and continues to use some of her mother’s recipes as well as recipes she’s obtained from others through the years.

“If I eat something I like I ask them for the recipe,” she said. “I have a lot of good recipes.”

RECIPES

COWBOY SOUP

1 lb. ground beef         1 can mild chili beans

½ med. onion            ½ med. bell pepper

2 cans minestrone soup        1 can Rotel

1 can whole corn        2 cans stewed tomatoes

½ t. salt

   Brown meat, onions and pepper. Drain. Mix all ingredients and cook for 25 minutes.

MEXICAN CORNBREAD

1 ½ c. self-rising corn meal

1/3 c. oil

½ c. self-rising flour        2 eggs

1 c. cream corn            ½ cup grated cheddar        ¼  med. onion chopped    

Chopped jalapeno (as little or as much as you want)

   Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

CINNAMON

BITS

1 can biscuits – cut in ¼    3 T. melted butter

¼ c. brown sugar        1 t. cinnamon

   Mix cinnamon and sugar in gallon bag. Add biscuits and shake. Put biscuits in 8x8 dish pour melted butter over biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Glaze

1 c. powdered sugar

2 T. melted butter

1 t.. vanilla

1-2 T. milk

 Mix together and pour over biscuits after they have baked.

CROCKPOT DRESSING

1 skillet cornbread or 2 pkgs. cornbread – baked

2 slices toast

4 cooked chicken breast

2 c. broth

1 sm. onion diced

½ t. sage

2 t. poultry seasoning

2 cans cream chicken soup

1 stick melted butter

2 hard boiled eggs chopped

   Mix crumbled cornbread and toast. Add onion, eggs, sage, poultry seasoning. 1 can soup, broth and butter and pepper. Spray crock pot with Pam. Place ½ can of soup on bottom. Top with 1/3 dressing and ½ chicken. Add another 1/3 dressing  and ½ chicken. Top with remaining dressing. Pour remaining ½ can of soup. Cook 1 hour on high or 2 ½ hours on low.