What’s your claim to fame?

Published 7:48 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The late Mrs. Susie Morris was a fine Christian lady whose life’s claim to fame was her cheese rolls.

As a lunchroom worker at Florala High School, the aroma of fresh baked bread clung to her like the finest perfume; the flour dusted her hands like the softest talcum.

Spaghetti day was a great day at FHS because it meant Miz Susie’s cheese rolls – a culinary confection designed with the appearance of cinnamon rolls but constructed with cheese. Sounds strange, but trust me on this – if you didn’t get to eat one before now, you have missed out. So, in the words of my momma, “Don’t knock it, ‘til you try it.”

Mrs. Morris was also a sweet woman – always with a kind smile and an uplifting word.

We lived next to her when my daddy died, so it was with great dismay that I read her obituary in the newspaper a couple weeks ago.

It was that same obituary that chronicled her extraordinary merits as a human – she gave opportunities to special needs students by providing lunchroom employment and (my favorite line in the whole obituary) “saw diamonds in everybody and could make them sparkle.”

It got me to thinking about claims to fame.

Some want to be remembered for their jaw-dropping talent; others for their ability to make money. Now me, I like to read the remembrances and other claims to fame found printed in black and white in a community newspaper.

In a recent edition of my hometown newspaper, Mrs. Lora Rawls, 92, was immortalized for being a close personal friend of the family of Hank Williams, the famous country music singer. The writer goes on to tell how Hank Williams Jr. visited her at Florala Health and Rehab several years. Now, that is news.

In the same edition, Donnie Ray Tedder, 61, “was loving every bit of his adventure when he hit the road in his Harley and had that little bit of hair on his nearly bald held blowing in the breeze.”

On the front page of this paper, the 13-year-old boy who died Saturday in an sport utility vehicle accident is described as a child “who would give to anyone in need;” “a first chair baritone” with an “infectious smile” and zeal for life.

It’s a fine tribute to a child taken from this Earth way too soon.

It’s been several years ago since I wrote about my grandmother and her famous last line. It was never printed in newspaper or posted to a website. Instead, she chose to have this line engraved on a graveside bench for God and the world to see. It’s inscription – “I didn’t miss a damn thing.”

What’s your claim to fame and final line in life going to be?