I sent out a note recently and asked people to consider sending in some information about themselves…what they’ve done since high school and a little about their lives. Sandy Combs Amerson was one of the first to respond. She is a special friend to Jilda and me. We’ve known her for most of our lives and she is an amazing person. She has overcome adversity and kept an incredible attitude when others would have thrown in the towel. And she did it with a smile on her face. This is the first of what I hope is a continuing series of profiles of Dora High School alumni.
I live in Union Chapel with my husband L.J. I have 3 stepsons and Mark, the youngest, lives with us. My mother Helen Combs still lives in Dora at the old home place. I graduated from Dora in 1967.
I have 2 high school memories–Graduation night–I was born with Cerebral Palsy which affected my legs-and I wore leg braces and crutches but most of the time I had to have 2 people help me walk.That night, I led the graduation class coming into the gym with Billy Joe Cummings on one side of me and Mike Prince on the other side of me. Boy, I had reached one of my goals in life, to graduate from High School and Glen Gant giving me my diploma! Another memory is going to the Beta Club Conventions with Mrs. Josephine Andrews and her husband, Paul.
I had no favorite teacher–all of my teachers were great and I was treated no different than any other student–as far as learning , grades or anything else.
This is what I wanted to be treated like “everyone else’.
There were (and still are) great people who attended Dora High School—in attending school with my classmates and other students, I was taught that a person with a handicap didn’t have to be treated as such–I was one of the gang!!
I am semi-retired. I went to Jeff. State Jr. College, University of Montevallo and received a double major in Speech Pathology and Psychology. I worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Walker County Board of Education for 27 years. I came out of retirement to work for the Board as a Contract SLP for the County School System. The reason I went into speech pathology is as a child, I would go to the CP telethons in Birmingham and be a theme child. I often sat with the adults or children that had Cerebral Palsy and I could understand what they said. God opened the door for me to let me know what I needed to do with my life. I wanted to help people like I had been helped throughout my life. I have not regretted my decision on my career for one minute. It has been very rewarding!
My parents were and are still my heros. Dad died 10 years ago and Mother is still in Dora. They instilled in me that I was no different than anyone else just because I walked different. They taught me courage, understanding and the meaning of determination in order to succeed in life and to try and never give up. I followed their advice…I tried, and I did succeed. Yes, my parents were and still are my heroes!!!!
I am doing what I wanted to do–and I am still fulfilling my dreams and goals.
I want to be remembered as Sandy Combs who never let anything get in her way–she met everything and every obstacle head on–showing determination, understanding and love for her family and friends and or any person she came to know.
I love to talk and anyone who knows me knows THAT. I enjoy getting on the Dora High Alumni Website and look up old friends.