January’s Southern Appalachian Woman is Velma Beam Moore
I met Velma in Clay County, NC on my first job after college. I was the Agricultural Extension Agent. Velma was retired from there so we had something in common. Velma was 94 years old and only 4’11’, but her personality and presence made her a giant.
There are two nuggets of knowledge that I have carried with me from my experience with Velma.
The first is a saying she used when she would be disappointed in herself, “I don’t mind being ignorant, but I hate to be stupid.” Boy have I had lots of opportunity to use that one.
The second was an answer to a question I asked her once. The question was, “Velma, after 94 years of living, what advice could you give a girl like me who’s just starting out?” Her answer has helped to guide my life ever since. She said, “There’s three A’s: Attitude, Accountability, and Adaptability. Everything depends on your attitude. Have a good one. You are accountable for your own body. Treat it well. Life is about change. You must be able to adapt to your circumstances.”
Velma died at the age of 95. It has been my pleasure to allow her legacy to live on by sharing her wisdom with you.