By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Jennette Carden was born at home in Escambia County on April 6, 1940, and their family doc was the attending physician. Her daddy was a farmer, and her mom stayed at home. Jennette was the oldest of four girls and a boy, and there was a creek on their property called Little Escambia Creek where they would cool off in the summer. “Sometimes we got to go to the beach,” she said. The name of the nearest town was Flomaton, AL, a name made up by locals that was “Fl” for Florida, “Ma” for Alabama, and “Ton” for town. The town had previously been given other names, and this last one stuck.
Jennette got her degree in math from Montevallo, and for several years, she was a senior systems engineer for Monsanto. This was back in the day when computers took up whole rooms. She designed systems, wrote programs and code, and was described by her co-workers as “The Queen of the ‘If Statement.’” That was her way of thinking outside of the box, asking “if-then” questions to come up with new ideas.
Jennette had two sons, one whom she recently lost to pancreatic cancer. She has two grandchildren—a boy who is now 30, and a girl who is six. They are the joy of her life.
We talked about favorites, and started with colors. Most residents will fire off the first color that comes to their minds as their favorite, but Jennette had to really think. She finally chose yellow, purple and green.
Her favorite foods to cook are candied sweet potatoes, as well as her own individual version of Chicken Kiev. She also loves to bake and make desserts, and her specialties are chocolate pecan pie and carrot cake.
Favorite food to eat? “Dressing.”
Favorite musician? Elvis. Jennette is a HUGE Elvis fan.
Favorite movie? “Gone With The Wind,” and she especially likes the fact that it is long.
Favorite actor and actress? Tom Selleck and Sela Ward.
Favorite scripture? Matthew 7:12, more commonly known as the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Favorite author? Mary Higgins Clark.
Favorite President? If she had been old enough to vote, it would have been JFK. She really liked Reagan and George W. Bush as well.
The biggest change in her lifetime? 9/11, and the day the Challenger exploded.
Jennette is very happy with the care she receives at Limestone Health Facility, and is especially grateful for the treatment she gets for her feet. As a diabetic, it doesn’t take much for feet to get into real trouble quickly, and the medical staff has worked hard to get her feet back in good shape.
Jennette likes the vegetable medleys cooked up by the kitchen, including green beans and sweet potato casserole. She says that the pies, cakes and cookies are great as well.
Her advice to young people? “Follow the Golden Rule. You can never go wrong with that.” Sound advice from Jennette Carden.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner