‘Miss Bertha’ is hanging up her apron

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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You may need to hurry up if you want to get some food cooked by Miss Bertha at David’s Catfish House — she’s retiring.
A special celebration for Bertha Brooks was held last week to honor her upcoming retirement from the local restaurant.
Josh Godwin, owner of David’s Catfish House, said Brooks’ retirement is well-deserved, but is a sad time for him and the family at David’s.
“They don’t make ‘em like her anymore,” Godwin said. “You just don’t see anybody staying on one job for 21 years very much.”
Godwin said Brooks’ position at David’s is only the second job the now-famous grill cook has ever held.
“She worked at Brewton Motor Inn in the kitchen until 1986,” Godwin said. “When things changed there, she came to David’s looking for a job. The previous owner, Terrence Breckenridge, hired her than and she’s been here ever since.”
Godwin, who took over ownership of David’s in 2008, said getting “Miss Bertha” was one of the best things about the package.
“She is steady, kind, loyal and one of the best things about the restaurant,” Godwin said. ‘I can’t say enough good things about her.”
Miss Bertha, as she is affectionately called at the restaurant, says she has plenty of ideas on how to spend her retirement.
“I’m going to clean up my house and visit my family,” Brooks said. “I have family in Montgomery, Ft. Walton, Tuscaloosa and Panama City. I’ll have plenty to do.”
Working in one place for 21 years has certainly created a side of life that Brooks says she will miss.
“I won’t miss the work part of the job, but I will miss the people,” Brooks said. “It’s like a family here and I’ll miss the people the most. These 21 years have been full of hustle and bustle but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I love cooking for people and even though it was busy work, we all worked together to get it done. I’ll miss that most.”
Godwin says Brooks has been an essential part of the restaurant and was a master a the grill.
“She is a master on the grill for us,” Godwin said. “She can have hamburgers, steaks, fish, shrimp – whatever has been ordered – all going on the grill at the same time and never misses anything and always gets the orders prepared just the way the customer wants it. Finding someone like that is a blessing in this business.”
Godwin said he and Brooks shared a love of sports and found himself being on the receiving end of some taunting on occasion.
“She is a big sports fan,” Godwin said. “She is a fan of the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, Bostin Celtics and Alabama football. Since I’m an Auburn fan, I would avoid her if Alabama won and Auburn lost. She would certainly ask me how the game was, but it was all in fun. I’ll miss that, too.”
The retiree will celebrate her 80th birthday this coming June

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