Widowed with 5 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-granddaughters
Gladys, the wife of the late George McKinsey, says she is a housewife who has held several jobs over the years to supplement her late husband’s income as a Blount County Sheriff deputy. “I cleaned houses for a few people, including two families for 25 years. They are like family to me. I did ironing in my home. For the last several years I worked at the Election Commission during early voting. I started working at the polls in 1964 and finally called it quits after 40 years. My father always told us, “No work is beneath you as long as it’s honest.”
What was your first paying job?
“I worked at a soda fountain at Hooks Drugstore in Richmond, Indiana. Got paid 50 cents an hour. That was in 1948.”
If you could do one impulsive thing unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“I would travel the western United States. I have been in all the states East of the Mississippi, but not too many in the West.”
What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“I loved Red Skelton’s show. He always signed off by saying, ‘Good night and God Bless.’ He sounded so humble and sincere.”
What are you guilty of?
“My children would tell you I am a packrat. They would be right.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“I would like to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy.”
What is your passion?
“My passion is entering contests, I have won numerous things - 2 cars, TV sets, bicycles, so many things I can’t remember them all. When people ask me how I win so I much I reply, ‘You can’t win if you don’t enter.’ I also enjoy working crossword puzzles. I time myself and can usually work the Sunday paper puzzle in 15-20 minutes.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My mother. She passed away when I was 5 years old. I remember very little about her. I would like to know more about her early life.”
What do you hate?
“The one thing I really detest is people who are waiting on you who are chewing gum with their mouth open. If they could only see how they look!”
What is your all time favorite movie?
“ ‘True Grit’ with John Wayne.”
What is the best book you’ve every read?
“The best book was by Ernie Pyle. It was his columns from the paper in World War II. They were compiled in a book and so interesting.”
Would you travel in space?
“No, I haven’t lost anything there.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I don’t want to go back. I just thank God for every day I get to go forward.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“I know this is from TV but, Jessica Fletcher in ‘Murder She Wrote’ is my choice. She always used just good common sense to solve the crime.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“A cameo necklace that belonged to my late mother-in-law. She had inherited it form her great-aunt.”
What are you currently reading?
“Haven’t had much time to read for a few months. I have several books waiting. I like a good mystery. I have something by James Patterson and also Nicholas Sparks’ latest book waiting to be read, when things slow down.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“Ronald Reagan had a lot of influence and was a good president. Also Franklin Roosevelt got us through the depression years.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“This was hard to come up with because I don’t embarrass easily. But many years ago I was working as a waitress in Indiana. One of the regulars brought three businessmen in for dinner. I was their waitress. They had all ordered tossed salad with their meal. As I was serving the salads I lost my balance and tossed salad all over them. My face was red, but I said, ‘Well, you did order ‘tossed’ salad.’”
What is one word do others often use to describe you and why?
“Outgoing. I never meet a stranger. Many people can’t believe I was extremely shy as a child, but I definitely out grew that.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I just wanted to grow up.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would really like to be better organized.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My computer. I had no idea even how to turn it on. I got it for Christmas several years ago and enjoy using it. It is a great source for information and news.”
Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“No, but I got sent to the principal’s office a few times.”
Who is your hero?
“Dr. Jerry Price, a Blount Memorial Hospital emergency room doctor. In January, 2001, I was taken to the ER in great pain. Dr. Price treated me and realized that my pain was much more than a strained muscle. After testing, he diagnosed me with an aortic dissection. I spent many days in ICU, but I give Dr. Price credit for a proper diagnosis. I think he (and a lot of prayer) is the reason I am still here today.”
What was your first car?
“A 1942 Hudson Business Coupe.”
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“Half full and rising.”