North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

June 17, 2009

Woman loves senior center events, ballroom dancing

By Margie Holloway

Special to The North Jefferson News

I recently met a very interesting lady, Emma Belle Burbage, at the Gardendale Senior Center.

She was born September 24, 1927, in the ACIPCO area of Birmingham. Her father and oldest brother worked at ACIPCO and it was only natural that you lived in that area if you worked at the plant.

The area was very close knit and they all took care of each other and had a lot in common. Emma helped raise her nieces and nephews and loves them as if they were her own children, as she does not have any children of her own. Her significant other is Jerry Snider.

In her spare time, she serves as chaplain of the American Legion Auxiliary in Fultondale and is a member of the Rainbow Girls. She was a very independent person in her younger life and still holds on to that independence today.

The day we met, she looked beautiful in a dark purple suit and she was wearing a very intriguing necklace. I remember thinking how she had flair and a great sense of fashion to be so elegantly dressed for no particular event. She doesn't chatter or talk about herself a lot, but she has a lot to tell.

She loves music and ballroom dancing. However, she remembers a time when the jitterbug called her name to the dance floor. As a child, she took tap dancing. Trying to get her to name a favorite song or type of music will not work. “I love it all,” she said. Her favorite food is seafood and she loves to eat fish at Captain D's.

Emma has been attending functions at the Senior Center since it opened. This makes her one of its longest-standing members, a fact she is proud of.

Emma is a very interesting and I would love to know more about her life.