Poetry is Smith's new hobby
By By LYDIA GRIMES Features writer
Poetry was not her first passion, but after all these years Jane Ward Smith has found something that she really loves to do-write poetry.
She began writing a few years ago for her own pleasure but life was too busy for her to get to involved with it very much. She had deaths in the family and children were getting to the point that they were leaving home.
One of her latest poems is about mothers and with Mothers' Day coming up on Sunday:
Mother was a rare pearl
Even as a little girl
Who was the apple of her father's eye.
She was a rare jewel precious as a pearl.
Mother's beauty was complete
From an inner glow radiating to all she would meet.
Quiet and unassuming like the soft translucent pearl.
Her soft beauty of face
Followed by kindness and quiet grace.
Like the pearl which the oyster formed
From the irritation of sand, just a grain
Mother had her share of pain
But by the grace of God's love within
Her strength and beauty formed
Pearls of wisdom gained through the years
Of joy and tears
She passed along to those she knew
To help them love and grow strong and true
Following pearls of wisdom she shared.
With a song in her heart
She was happy and full of joy as each day began to start.
And with patience and love all the while
She did your work with a smile
Making a happy home for husband and child.
Mother was truly a pearl of great price
For all who touched her life,
Always humble and loving
With hope of eternal life.
I gave her a string of pearls,
Luminous shimmers of pearly white,
To wear around her neck,
for beauty through and through was she
As she lived and great love gave to me.
Smith grew up during a time when things were hard. It was right after the depression and during wartime. Her father had been a cowboy in Quail, Texas, working on the Borland Ranch, which was a massive ranch covering several sections of land. He took his cue from Mr. Borland and later bought several hundred acres of his own, which was eventually divided among his children.
Smith attended school in Double Springs and graduate from Winston County High School in 1954. She never dreamed that she would be able to attend college, but with the advice and help of her chemistry teacher, and the influence of her home economics teacher, she entered college.
In 1955 she went to Berry College near Rome, Ga., and worked her way through college with various jobs. She worked in the laundry room and later worked as a cook at the college guesthouse. In this capacity, she saw and served many of the notables of the day who visited the college. It had been her intention to become a home economics teacher since high school and she set out to accomplish this goal.
Her first job was to have been in Georgia, but the teacher she was to replace decided to stay on, leaving Smith without a job. Fate stepped in the form of an encounter between Peggy Bracken and Smith's old home economics teacher. The two were sitting across the table from one another in Montevallo and Bracken mentioned that she would not be returning to her job as home economics teacher at W.S. Neal because she was pregnant. Smith's teacher recommended her for the job as home economics teacher at W.S. Neal High School.
After teaching at Neal for a couple of years, she went to Tallassee for about a year and a half. At that time she married James Smith, whom she had met while at Neal. She came back to teach at Neal where she began her long 30 years career of teaching.
She retired in 1989 from teaching and has been a tupper ware salesperson and a substitute teacher in the intervening years. She has been on mission trips with the church.
She and James, who is deceased, had three sons, Jeffrey Allen, James Timothy and Chris. There are also two grandchildren.