Just a Bit about Me

Brenda in 1957 Brenda in 1961 Brenda in 1973 Brenda in 1994 Brenda in 1996 Brenda in 2018


I was born September 25, 1955 just outside Heflin, Alabama (population about 3000), the county seat of Cleburne County, which has been called the "Southern Gateway to Appalachia"--or at least that's what a tee-shirt I have says. The highest point in Alabama, Cheaha Mountain is just 20 miles southwest of where we lived. I was the fourth and last child of Ulysses S. and Jessie Lee Parris. My parents gradually got into farming, and then left their other jobs to do it full time. Cattle and and broiler chickens were their main sources of income on that beautiful little farm with it's rolling hills and distant mountain views.

Sunrise over Ross Mountain

I had lived a lot of places in the twenty years since I left the little farm, but I won't go into all that just now. I was at Florida State University in Tallahassee when my mother had her stroke. I was enrolled at the School of Library and Information Studies there.

You know the story of all that happened when I took care of my mother if you've read my My Mother's Story and My Journal. But now I'll tell you what has happened since, where I am now and what I'm doing.

I worked for R.L. Polk & Company, the City Directory People, from Jan.-July 1996. Then I began working in July 1996 as Network Cataloger at LMN (Library Management Network), in Huntsville, Alabama, (which later moved moved to Decatur, Alabama--and we moved there a few months later) where I had ended up working for Polk. In February 1997, I began working an additional part-time job as Cataloger at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama, which is one of our LMN member libraries.

In January 1998 I finally felt like taking graduate school classes again, and I began taking my remaining twelve hours at The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. I continued working at both LMN and CCC during this time. I transferred my credits back to Florida State University, and graduated from FSU with my M.L.I.S. (Master of Library and Information Studies) in December 1998. At the end of December 1998 I left LMN and CCC to move to Troy, Alabama to begin working as Cataloging Librarian at Troy State University.

But that wasn't where we ended up staying after all. I loved my job at Troy State, and I made a lot of good friends, even helped start an Alzheimer's support group with a co-worker who had lost her dad to Alzheimer's. But eight months later I returned to Decatur after I was offered a position at Calhoun Community College, where I am now Technical/Services/Reference Librarian/ Library Webmaster. I love my job very much, and in a way I feel it is another of my mother's gift's to me, as I learned HTML from scratch (no, I don't use an HTML editor, never have, never want to) opening up Windows notepad and sharing her story.

Sunset over hills behind Mother's house

As I have time I will add more pictures of that pretty little farm with its rolling hills-- where my siblings still live, and where we still get together on holidays, and where memories of my mother are still so alive.

2023 Update: We no longer get together back home. My siblings started passing away eight years ago, and as of last year all my siblings and siblings-in-law had passed on. So much has happened over the years. I will try to catch up on telling some of it here as time allows. I still have not retired, although I have passed retirement age-- am 68 now, but I suspect I will in the next few years, although I may be taken out kicking and screamming, lol.

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This page began about January 1997 and was last updated December 11, 2023.
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