By Stacy Smith

Pauline Ashworth is gifted not only at crocheting a bedspread, but also at knitting together a good tale. Ashworth has much to give as Ms. Gadsden Health & Rehab Center.

“In my way, every day I try to bless someone with something I have made. Some days that is just a big smile,” said Ashworth.

She has been crocheting and making things since she was 16 years old, and hopes to always be able to crochet.

“Ms. Ashworth is a gifted craftswoman, and has crocheted a number of complex projects ranging from church purses to bedspreads to portraits. She can knock out a number of small crosses, ponytail holders or toboggans in a matter of a few hours,” said Rhonda McCoy, Activities Director at Gadsden Health & Rehab Center.

The 88-year-old has conducted craft tutoring activities, and also is quite a performer. She was a fortune teller at last year’s carnival using her Christian fortune cards. She attended the senior’s prom and modeled in the December fashion show.

She has a penchant for telling jokes. When approached to perform as a joke teller in last year’s variety show, she jumped in, and got quite a few laughs.

“What do you call an alligator with a vest? An investigator,” said Ashworth.

Knowing Ashworth, she would also crochet a vest for that alligator.

“I love it here. I know in my heart this is where I need to be,” said the jovial Ashworth.

Her working years were in various types of assembly work. She said she enjoyed every job, enjoyed going to work and loved every co-worker. She has been a cotton mill spinner, auto parts clerk and worked for a poultry farm that had 40,000 laying hens.

She remembers her very first date. While she was getting into the car, she slipped on gravel, fell and skinned both knees. Today, she laughs about it, but when she was 17 years old, did she laugh?

“No, I did not laugh then. I was so embarrassed,” said Ashworth.

She went on to marry Billy Earl Ashworth, and spent 56 happily married years laughing with and loving him. So, there was recovery from that first date incident.

She continues to be an eager participant in the various activities that life continues to bring her way, often with a laugh, always with a smile.

Editor’s note: This is the fifth story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2018 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 23, we’ll post a story about Ms. Haleyville Health & Rehab Christine Arnold.

Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant is July 30. Click here for more information.