Mrs. Christine Gaddis celebrated her 90th birthday on July 11.
Due to the pandemic, the family could not celebrate with a traditional celebration. Instead, Mrs. Gaddis was honored with a parade.
Approximately 50 cars drove past her home. Car horns were blasting, streamers were streaming and balloons floated.
Mrs. Gaddis was seated under a tent, in front of her home, and continuously waved and smiled at the procession.
Although social distancing was in place, several in the procession stopped and showered her with gifts, cards and balloons.
The birthday cake, actually cakes, were lemon flavored and decorated with real lemons. They were designed in the form of "90" -- one cake for each number -- and were baked by Kalynn Fomby, Mrs. Gaddis' granddaughter.
All of Mrs. Gaddis' children were in attendance, along with the majority of her grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Mrs. Gaddis is the widow of Isiah Gaddis, the mother of eight children and a member of Sycamore Missionary Baptist Church, where the Rev. Brian Miller is pastor.
Parade for Houston Wills
A birthday parade for Houston Wills will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1.
Line-up will be at 5:45 p.m. on the corner of Elbert Davis Street and West Battle Street, and the parade will proceed past Houston's home at 1713 W. Battle St.
Houston will be 67 years old Saturday, is an honorary deacon at Mt. Cleveland Baptist Church and a client at the Burton Center.
All family and friends are invited to celebrate with Houston.
Remembering my friend
Speaking of birthdays, my upcoming celebration is Aug. 5.
Last year, I celebrated with Gladdean W. Castleberry and Phyllis W. Shields. We enjoyed a long lunch with an abundance of food.
Gladdean, Phyllis and I used to be coworkers. And, although we're retired, our days “at work” was the main topic. I can actually remember the first day Gladdean and I started our friendship "at work."
Our friendship included regular phone calls, a few home visits, her husband helping me locate a repairman/mechanic, friendship with her family and just figuring out the daily trials of life.
Gladdean was someone that I trusted and believed in. Therefore, when I received the phone call that she had died, I couldn't believe it.
I sat on my bed, still in disbelief, and called her mother. Ms. Keith confirmed my deepest fear. That entire day was gloomy.
As I look back at how pretty and healthy Gladdean looked at my birthday celebration, it is still unbelievable. She was wearing a bright colored blouse with matching lipstick. I told her how pretty she looked, and she briefly commented on her health issues.
During my birthday celebration last August, Gladdean, Phyllis and I finished our meal and continued to enjoy each other's company in the restaurant's outside seating area.
Gladdean's birthday is also in August. We did not set a date to celebrate her birthday because she had upcoming doctor visits.
During the following months, Gladdean and I lost contact (illnesses, doctor appointments, etc.).
I knew she was ill but never had an idea how ill she was.
Thanks Gladdean, for everything, and I will always celebrate your birthday in August, too.
Thanks to all those donating fruits, vegetables
Lastly, I want to thank all of the churches and organizations that have been donating boxes of fruits and vegetables to the public this summer.
Due to that kindness, we are probably receiving the required daily amount of fruits and vegetables (according to the American Heart Association, etc).
So many have enjoyed a good supply/meals of potato and onions, carrots, garden salads, squash casseroles, stir-fried squash and onions, fresh fruit, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, egg plants and apple pie.
I received a tip on how to freeze white potatoes and apples. I was instructed to slice or cut the items to desired widths, place in a freezer bag and add Fresh Fruit (a preservative). The amount to add to each bag should be on the Fresh Fruit container.
"Be Safe" and "Be kind to each other!"
Maxine Beck is a contributing columnist for The Daily Home. She writes about the African-American community in and around Talladega.