North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 25, 2009

Person You Should Know — Eloise Blankenship

Eloise Blankenship, director of the Morris Senior Center, took a few minutes to answer some questions on a recent Monday before serving lunch.

• How long have you worked as director of the senior center?

I’ve been the director here since 1997. I’ll be starting my thirteenth year next month.

• What do you enjoy about it?

My people. Sometimes I get to help them. They like to play. They have worked all of their lives and now it’s time for them to play. I like to play along with them.

• What did you do before this?

I stayed at home babysitting my grandson Jonathan.

• And before that?

A: I was a hairdresser. I started out in 1970 — that’s when I got my license. I stopped working with the public in 1980, but I still cut hair here. I keep my scissors here in case anybody needs a haircut.

• Where did you work as a hairdresser?

My sister, Tiny Odom, had a shop in Mt. Olive beside the drugstore. I worked with her, and I also worked with Ossie Elliot, who had a shop in Mt. Olive too.

• Where do you live?

I’ve lived in Mt. Olive since 1959. I didn’t know anybody in Morris when I took this job. My brother-in-law Ralph Holliyan was the police chief of Morris and he wanted me to take this job. He wouldn’t leave me alone until I came down and talked to them.

• What else do you want to say about your work or your life?

Working at these (senior) centers has to be a ministry. You don’t work for the pay. But the City of Morris is very good to me and my people (at the center) are very good to me.