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March 2005 Neighbors

March 2005 Neighbors

Back in December, Joy Noble of Macon County was elected to her first term on the Alabama Farmers Federation’s State Women’s Committee. She says it was by default.

“I didn’t have anybody running against me,” she says. “I told the ladies it wasn’t really fair to them, because, like it or not, they were stuck with me.”

What Alfa Farmers women are “stuck” with in Joy is a go-getter who, admittedly, never slows down. “My parents taught me that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and that’s one lesson I learned really well,” says Joy, who, some weeks, is at some kind of meeting every single night.

Although she’s hesitant to list every iron she has in the fire—”if people knew, they’d probably come have me committed somewhere,” she says—here’s a partial rundown of some of her more passionate interests.

First, there’s her church, Union Christian Church in Macon County’s Little Texas. There, she’s an elder, a Sunday school teacher and the choir director.
On the organizational front, she’s chairman of the Macon County Farmers Federation’s Women’s Committee, and she is extremely active in PALS (People Against a Littered State), serving on both the county and state boards. She and her husband, Harry, also have “adopted” a two-mile stretch of right-of-way around their home that they regularly patrol to keep litter-free.

Joy’s active at the civic level, too, serving as a member of the Shorter Planning Commission, a body responsible for hearing land-use and rezoning requests and guiding the orderly growth and development of the rapidly expanding Alabama town.

Oh, and by the way; she also works full time, as a legal assistant for an Opelika law firm. This marks her 27th year at the firm.

This isn’t some new phenomenon or some passing phase for Joy. It’s who she is, and it’s who she was in 1985, when she and Harry got married, each bringing two children from previous marriages to form a “blended family,” Joy says.

Today, the four grown children, along with their spouses and nine (plus two on the way) grandchildren all live within 30 minutes of the Nobles’ cotton, corn and cattle farm in Shorter. And, yes, Joy delights in putting on a big spread for the whole clan.

We could write a few more pages to tell you a typical week in Joy’s life, but we wouldn’t have room for these fabulous recipes from the Noble kitchen.

Included in the bunch are Joy’s original ground chuck casserole, potato salad and biscuit recipes, along with one for Harry’s awesome meatloaf.

“It’s a recipe he found one of those nights when his wife was at a meeting and he had to either fix supper or go hungry,” Joy says, noting that Harry’s truly honed his cooking skills in recent years.

“He couldn’t cook a bit when we got married, and he never cooked when the kids were at home, but he’s gotten really good since it’s been just the two of us,” Joy says. “He’s the perfect example of ‘You can teach an old dog new tricks.’”

Harry, you old dog, you.