Luman retires after 21 years service

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 6, 2003

Not all of us grow up knowing exactly what we want to do as a future vocation. In Linda Luman’s case, however, there was never any doubt. An avid 4-H Club member from the third grade through her high school days, this native and current resident of the Industry Community in south Butler County says she always found happiness in homemade comforts.

&uot;I always knew I wanted to be a home demonstration agent, as we called them back then.

I especially loved working with breads, food and food preservation with 4-H—I showed a few cows, too,&uot; she recalls with a fond smile.

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Dreams do come true. Luman’s childhood desire to some day work with the county extension system has culminated in 29 years of service in the states of Florida and Alabama. (Additionally, the Auburn University and Florida State graduate taught high school home economics for eight years in Florida.)

Everyone willing to work together

Luman is retiring this month after spending 21 of those years with the local extension system. A reception was held in her honor at the county’s Conecuh St. offices on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 4.

A steady stream of local and out-of-town guests bearing cards, gifts and their good wishes stopped in to congratulate Luman. They also enjoyed the punch, plentiful sweet treats and hors d’oeuvres served by fellow employees in the festively decorated foyer of the old armory building.

"We're going to miss Linda around here, for sure," noted Willie Williams, the county's 4-H extension agent, as he helped snap photos at Luman's reception.

His words were echoed by many in attendance at the event.

&uot;I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at this job,&uot; the retiring agent reflected on Friday morning, briefly pausing during a phone interview to accept yet another retirement gift. (It was one right up Luman’s alley: homemade pear preserves.)

&uot;There has always been a wonderful working relationship between our offices and other community organizations – DHR, the YMCA, the county school board, our county commission and so many others,&uot; she noted.

&uot;People here are really easy to work with, I’ve found. They are not protective of their ‘turf’. Everyone is willing to work together and not duplicate the same services,&uot; Luman explained.

From stitchery to storm windows

She recalled some of the special projects undertaken by the county extension offices during her 20-plus year career in Butler County.

&uot;One of my favorite projects was organizing the quilt shows we had back in the 1980s. We had many gorgeous, wonderful quilts, all locally made – some of them, quite old – all on display in Greenville. That was a treat,&uot; Luman said.

An undertaking that was less creative, but one that proved very worthwhile to local homeowners, was the county extension system’s storm window project.

&uot;We supplied the materials and people were actually able to come here and make their own storm windows,&uot; she explained.

She also fondly remembers the Family Days, which were held each April at the fairgrounds for four years. &uot;We worked with many organizations and local businesses to put those together… it provided a really fun and educational day for the whole family,&uot; Luman recalled.

Also noted by Luman as personal favorites: the ongoing litter clean-up campaign, implemented through the local fire departments, and the three-year-old ‘Walk! Alabama’ eight-week fitness programs.

Retiring, but not resting

While Luman joked with reception attendees she is going to &uot;do nothing&uot; after her retirement later this month, she actually has many plans in place.

&uot;First, I am going to get my house in order and then move on to my yard, do some gardening…I also plan to get out all that handwork I’ve been putting aside for years. I want to see if I actually remember how to crochet,&uot; she said, noting she is also looking forward to doing more hand and machine sewing.

One thing’s for sure. This member of the Sprig and Twig Garden Club of south Butler County and the Industry Community Club is sure she won’t get bored.

I’ve got plenty to do,&uot; she laughed.

And don’t be surprised if she still turns up at the home extension offices from time to time.