Kay Griffin continued her love of piano into adulthood
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jul 30, 2013 | 1277 views |  0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kay Griffin acquired a love of piano at a young age and decided she wanted her own. The 6-year-old knew she’d have to prove to her parents how badly she wanted one, so she saved $100 and gave it to them for a down payment.

That piano has a place of honor in her home today. She said it “plays just fine.”

Kay took lessons from Martha Harris Leonard and Jan Calhoun Rhodes and, as she grew older, her love affair with the piano grew. She began to play in churches and sometimes at events.

Music has always played an important role in her life.

“In the past few years, I’ve learned to enjoy contemporary Christian music,” she said. “But my favorite will always be southern gospel.”

Kay also likes classic country and Elvis Presley. Her 8x10 walk-in closet is painted pink and is adorned with photos of Elvis.

“I know people think I’m crazy, but I’ve loved him since I was a child,” she said. “I can remember being small and going to the drive-in with mother and daddy to see his movies.”

Kay retired from the federal government in 2010. She thought she’d enjoy being home and she actually did for awhile. It didn’t take her long to find out that because her children were older they didn’t need her as much and there was only so much cleaning she could do. She felt that she still had a lot to offer and set out to find another job.

In January 2012, she was hired as secretary for coliseum sports by the Jacksonville State University Athletic Department.

“It’s the most fun job I’ve ever had,” she said “The coaches are great. I get to see athletes all the time. They’re always in and out. I just love them. We have a very good group of kids here at JSU. They never come in without saying hello to me, and several will not leave without a hug.”

Kay said basketball is her busiest season.

“I wouldn’t call it stressful because I enjoy it so much, but we are busy then,” she said. “I get to see the teams play and can even travel with them some. I get so attached to the kids. It’s almost like they’re all mine.”

Kay works with men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field and cross country.

“They’re spread out enough through the year that we have something going on all the time,” she said.

Kay was born and reared in the Angel community, the daughter of Jim and Mary (Angel) Hyde. She and her husband, Kenny, have two children. Matt, 23, is majoring in secondary education at JSU, and Rebecka, 21, has just completed two years at JSU. She will move to Auburn Thursday to begin the pre-pharmacy program.

Kenny, who is from Locust Fork, works out of his home for Pruett Forest Products of Tuscaloosa. He and Kay met when they worked at Fort McClellan. Kay worked in the administrative office and Kenny was one of the fort’s foresters.

Kay’s sister and brother-in-law, Lea and Rick Davis, live in Jacksonville and have four children -- Drake Davis, Jordan Kittrell, Noah Davis and Tara Kittrell.

Kay and her family are members of First Baptist Church. She sings in the choir and is a member of the Praise Team. Kenny is sound technician for the 11 a.m. Praise Team service, and Matt plays the lead guitar in the Praise Team band.

She enjoys playing the piano, walking and interior decorating.

“I’m always rearranging in my own home,” she said. “I like to paint and decorate.”

All of the Griffins like sports.

Kay said she likes to cook “if everybody is out of my way and I have time. I’m not one of those old time cooks who can just throw things together. I have to have a recipe in front of me.”

She said with her family’s unusual schedules, it’s difficult to find time to share meals, but they cherish the times when they can do so.

Kay has several recipes that are meaningful to her. Peanut Butter Pie was always one of her mother’s most asked for recipes. Her aunt, Pauline Angel Johnson, was known for making delicious Squash Dressing Casserole. Another aunt, Betty Angel Noah, made equally delicious Santa Fe Soup. One of Kay’s own favorites is Breakfast Buttermilk Biscuit Casserole.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.


Peanut Butter Pie

1 - 8 oz. carton Cool Whip
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
½ c. peanut butter
1 - 9 inch graham cracker pie shell
¼ c. chocolate syrup

Mix cream cheese and peanut butter thoroughly. Add confectioner’s sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into crust and chill. Drizzle chocolate syrup over pie before serving.

Squash Dressing Casserole

2 c. sliced and cooked yellow squash, drained
2 c. crumbled cornbread
1 - 10 ¾ oz. can cream of chicken soup
½ c. chopped onion
½ t. sage
1 stick margarine, melted
3 eggs
2 c. cooked chopped chicken

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Santa Fe Soup

2 lbs. ground chuck, cooked with 1 onion, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes (hot or regular to suit your taste)
2 cans tomato wedges
3 cans shoe peg corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
2 packs taco seasoning
2 packs Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
2 c. water

Mix all ingredients. Simmer for two hours. Serve with sharp cheddar grated cheese, green onions, sour cream and corn chips.

Breakfast Buttermilk Biscuit Casserole

1 can buttermilk biscuits
1 lb. sausage
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs, beaten
2 egg whites
¾ c. milk
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Crumble and cook sausage over medium heat. Drain. Line bottom of greased 8x8 baking dish with biscuit dough, leaving no gaps. Layer sausage and cheeses. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over sausage and cheese layers. Bake 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
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Kay Griffin continued her love of piano into adulthood by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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