Highway 431 Blog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sally Elizabeth Hurt ::

From the Washington bureau of McClatchy:

Sally Elizabeth Hurt was born on Oct. 27, 1901, in rural Alabama. She has always remembered her childhood as a happy one, going barefoot in the summer, picking flowers and making mud pies. Later she graduated from the Tuskegee Institute, worked for decades as a public health nurse, and helped the elderly prepare tax returns until she was nearly 100 years old herself.

Amazingly, the story of Sally's life is still being written. On Wednesday afternoon at the James L. West Alzheimer Center in Fort Worth, her relatives joined staff members and other residents in a lobby decorated with balloons. Sally sat in her wheelchair, frail and drowsy but very much alive. Several times in the past decade, Sally has begun to fail, only to perk right back up.

"Did you know it's your birthday today?" said Kay Sharp, the West Center's director of resident services, as she bent over Sally's chair. "You're 109 years old."

Sally herself didn't seem that impressed, but she was probably the only one at her party who wasn't. There was a big birthday cake that an aide helped Sally eat. Her family gathered around, paging through a photo album that contained a note from President George W. Bush on the occasion of her 100th birthday and photographs going back a century.

Her parents were George and Pleasant Hurt, who lived on an Alabama plantation. Sally, the youngest, followed two older siblings into the woods to pick berries and nuts and carried their books home from school until she was old enough to go herself. By then her father had taught her to read, write and do arithmetic using a slate and chalk.

In 1919, her parents sent Sally to the Tuskegee Institute, where she finished high school and three years of nurse's training. She administered typhoid inoculations after a flood in Arkansas, before returning to Alabama to work as a public health nurse among the rural poor.

"In many of the back rural areas, some of the people had never seen a nurse before," she wrote in the 1940s. "Mid-wives were still being used in large numbers. My objectives were ... to see that all school children were vaccinated against smallpox, typhoid and diphtheria, and to organize home hygiene classes. ... Many of the parents would object to having their children inoculated. But we were able to sell the people the idea that health work was to prevent disease rather than to cure one."

Her work earned her a scholarship to study at Columbia University. In 1936, she began a decades-long career as a public health nurse in Washington, D.C. Though she never married, relatives recall a profound love of children, which inspired her to establish clinics for unwed mothers, supervise school nurses, organize clubs for foster children, and teach Sunday school at her church.

"She always encouraged others to do better, to strive to improve themselves," longtime friend Cassie Cundiff wrote when Sally turned 100. "When she retired, she did private duty in homes and hospitals. There was no limit to her achievements."

Sample Ballot For Nov. 2 ::

The sample ballot for the upcoming election can be found here for all alabama counties!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A New Watering Hole In New Hope ::

I haven't stopped in yet and I'm not sure that it's even open yet, but New Hope certainly needs a small intimate little bar!

[update] I stopped in yesterday to check on opening date and guess what? It's today! I plan to stop in this evening and see what's happening.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Cotton Picking Time ::

It looks as if the cotton harvest will be down in Madison County this year just based on what I see in the fields I drive by every day. I was over in Limestone County last weekend and the fields I saw there were much fuller with much larger plants.

Farmers have begun harvesting in the past few days and I'm constantly seeing cotton hauling trucks taking the huge bales to the gins every day. I'm going to try to pick up a pickup truck load of cotton seeds to till into my garden.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Ernest Nunley Update ::

I got this comment on a previous post earlier today:

Earnest, with three horses and a rubber tired wagon, spent Sept. 30 thru Oct 3 at Brady Lake Park, in central Texas. This coincided with the "Texas Muzzleloading Rifle Club" Fall Shoot. The club members were welcoming and he received hospitality and company during some beautiful weather. Good luck as Winter appraoches. ALR

Friday, October 1, 2010

From This Morning's Huntsville Times ::

Noted without editorial comment!

A 76-year-old man was severely burned in a Thursday morning home explosion, officials said.

Donald Page suffered external burns to his face and torso as well as internal burns following an explosion in his garage around 7 a.m., said Don Webster, chief operating officer for HEMSI.

Emergency officials said Page was smoking a cigarette while using an oxygen tank when the explosion happened at his home in the 100 block of Alpha Lane.

Page was transported by HEMSI to Huntsville Hospital's trauma services and is expected to be transported to the UAB burn center in Birmingham.