Chat Room: Sharon Hannum

Sharon Hannum

Sharon Hannum

Name: Sharon Hannum

Retired from Alcoa, Inc., after 30 years of service. All 30 years were spent in management. Her last 15 years or so were in Central Services. She is president of Alcoa City Schools Foundation and chair of Chamber Foundation and chair of Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration Committee.

Age: “I’m 56 for a little while longer.”

Marital status: Single

Children: A son, 34-year-old Robert “Todd” Hannum.

Hannum spends a lot of her time helping and serving others. “I feel like most of my days are pretty full. I’m up about 6 in the morning and out the door and gone until 5 in the afternoon,” she says. Much of her free time I spent volunteering on church-related projects. “I feel like the Lord freed me up to retire early so I could do just what He purposed for me to do, which is serve and help other people,” she says.

• What was your first paying job?

“A summer job at the Girls Club. Back then the Boys and Girls Clubs were separate. It was administrative stuff in the office.”

• If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?

“Build my dream house and every room would have its own bathroom. I have this thing about bathrooms, probably from growing up with six people in a small house. We had one bathroom, and we didn’t have central heat and air.”

• What’s your favorite television or movie quote?

“From ‘The Lord of the Rings:’ “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back. There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.”

• What are you guilty of?

“Being too busy and not taking time for myself.”

• What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?

“Visit Egypt and the Holy Land. I had this fascination with Egypt since I was a little girl… Everything about Holy Land, I have an interest in.”

• What is your favorite material possession?

“Anything given to me or made by my son.”

• What are you reading currently?

“Several books, ‘Life Without Strife’ by Joyce Meyer and ‘Freedom’s Child’ by Carrie Allen McCray, to name a couple.”

• Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?

“Martin Luther King, Jr., I wasn’t always a Martin fan. In my younger days, I didn’t always appreciate his theology. As I got older, I recognized how wise he was and his whole influence… his love for Lord and humanity. He had an influence on not only people of color but of the whole world.”

• What was your most embarrassing moment?

“When I was learning to drive a stick shift, my task for the day was to drive up a steep hill, hold the car on the hill at the stop sign and then proceed, making a left hand turn. Thirty minutes and a half tank of gas later I had still not made the turn! I believe I burned out a clutch as well. It the most embarrassing thing in the world, getting to the top of the hill and rolling all the way down.”

• What is one word others often use to describe you and why?

“Perfectionist. I believe in giving my best and being the best that I can be. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

• When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“A dancer, ballerina specifically.”

• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

“To be more disciplined in a work out schedule.”

• What is your passion?

“Helping others, and I love children.”

• With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?

“My parents, who are both now deceased, My father died when I was 18 years old. I’ve been without him a whole lot longer than I was with him. My mother lived a lot longer. She passed in 1999. I would appreciate being able to sit down with them.”

• What do you hate?

“Intolerance.”

• What is your all-time favorite movie?

“I really have two....’The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy and ‘The Color Purple.’ “

• What is the best book you’ve ever read?

“The Bible.”

• If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?

“None. I am perfectly content in the present.”

• What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?

“I don’t know about a book or movie, but I once thought it might be pretty cool to be Samantha on ‘Bewitched.’ I thought it was too cool. This whole business that you could twitch your nose and dishes be done and the house clean, and you could send your mother-in-law packing just the twitch of a nose.”

• What is the best present you ever received in a box?

“I have received some wonderful presents in my life, so it is hard to say. I guess in terms of dollar value it would be a diamond ring. In terms of sentiment it would be a gold and diamond watch. Both came from same person near and dear - safe to say, my soul mate.”

• What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?

“Never love anything or anybody more than God.”

• Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?

“Yes in the 4th or 5th grade, for disobedience, of course -- leaving the school grounds. A bunch thought we could get where we were going and make it back and not be missed, but that wasn’t true. The few times I broke the rules I got caught, every single time. It never failed.”

• Who is your hero?

“My Pastor, Rev. Willa Estell is my ‘Shero.’ I admire her greatly. She leads by example and is one of the most compassionate and genuine people that I have ever met. If you had asked me who my role model is I would say Jesus.”

• What was your first car?

“A 1970 Dodge Challenger -- candy apple red with a white vinyl top and white leather interior. She was a beauty.”

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