Terri Rainey stays busy with five jobs
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Oct 23, 2013 | 1426 views |  0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Terri Rainey is often called Miss Piedmont Chamber of Commerce by her friends. She likes that.

“Everyone says I’m the seat of all knowledge,” she said. “We have fun with it. I tend to lean toward the comedic side of life. I’m definitely a product of my community. If there’s anything good about me, it’s because of the dedicated and good people in this town.”

There’s a good reason Terri is called Miss Chamber of Commerce. She has five part-time jobs, which puts her in contact with a lot of people on a daily basis.

She works at Lively’s Foodland, Strickland Hardware and Piedmont Memory Gardens. Though she’s been a member of First Baptist Church since she was 11, she works in the office of First United Methodist Church and plays the piano there.

Terri was born in Rome, Ga., to the late Jack and Polly Green. Her brother and sister-in-law, Rick and Ann Green, live in Anniston. Terri has two nephews who also live in the Anniston area. Jason Green and wife, Christan have one daughter, Carleigh Ann. Jason is director of sales and marketing at M2 Connections and Christan teaches reading at White Plains Elementary. Andy Green and wife, Brandie have one son, Jackson Andrew. Andy is director, enrollment Management at Jacksonville State University and Brandie teaches physical education at Iola in Pell City.

Terri’s father was a sales representative for a hardware distributor in Birmingham. His territory included northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia. He had to do a lot of driving from Rome.

“So, my parents decided it would be less expensive on the family if we were to relocate,” said Terri. “The move was bittersweet though. We found ourselves traveling most weekends and holidays back to Rome because we still had relatives there.”

Terri graduated with honors in 1978 from Piedmont High School.

“I was able to take the CLEP exam and was fortunate to enter Jacksonville State University in 1978,” she said. “I went in as a sophomore, because I’d earned credit hours through my earlier education. I think that speaks well of the education system that’s always been in place in Piedmont.”

Her major was banking and finance but, before she could graduate, she was offered a job at Garcy Corporation in 1981. She started out doing clerical work, then went on to supervision and then management in the production and inventory control department. In 1994, she left Garcy to work at Engineered Fabrics in Rockmart, Ga., a company was involved with the aerospace industry. There, she was a department head until 2006 when she took an early retirement to help take care of her father who had suffered a stroke earlier that year.

In June 1994, she met her future husband Ralph. Terri had a reputation for being a talented pianist and keyboardist, so when a benefit concert was scheduled for victims of a tornado that struck that year, she was asked to play with Stoned Country, a band out of Michigan, who opened for Merle Haggard and the Strangers.

Ralph was a native of Piedmont and at that time was working with a lighting company out of Huntsville that was doing the lighting setup for the concert. He, too, was a musician and they began dating.

“It was love at first sight,” said Terri.

They married five months later.

She and Ralph had lived four blocks apart, at one point, during their childhood, but they’d never met.

Ralph died in 2009 after a brief illness.

Terri said she’s been blessed with three amazing stepchildren and one chosen daughter.

Amber Morris and her husband Jeremy live in Centre. They have two daughters, Anna Grace and Mary Claire. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in nursing administration from Auburn University. Collin Law and his wife, Sonya, live in Ball Play. Collin is certified in welding. They have a son, Carson, born earlier this year. Carly Law, youngest of the three, lives in Piedmont and is one semester from getting a bachelor’s degree in social work from JSU. She works part time at Jefferson’s in Jacksonville and does volunteer work.

Terri also has a chosen daughter, Leila Bragg, who works in the banking industry. She lives in Piedmont with her son, Charlie.

“I’m a real big Maya Angelou fan,” said Terri. “She has a saying about people and it goes something like, ‘People will forget most of what you said in life, and people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ I try to approach every day with that in mind. It’s my mantra. We all want to feel like we have worth and value, and we want people to acknowledge that. That’s why I put a smile on my face and try to spread a little sunshine every day.”

Terri is a member of Lozahatchee #99, Order of the Easter Star, and the Cherokee County Genealogical Society. She likes to crochet, dance, and she enjoys the arts.

“I’ve done a lot of work over the years in community theatre, and I’ve done a little acting along the way,” she said. “I took ballroom dancing from Hector Baeza at Premier Ballroom Dance in Anniston. I love to dance. I’m definitely a bookworm. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is one of my favorites.”

Terri enjoys playing the piano and organ. She took lessons from Mary Ellen Ginter Rhuel for 12 years. She took guitar lessons from Darrell Jordan and voice lessons from Dr. Randall Richardson. Terri plays clarinet and percussion instruments, thanks to former band directors Doug Borden and Don Wheeler.

“I enjoy cooking, but I don’t have a lot of time for it,” she said. “My mother and grandmother were the culinary experts in the family.”

Her grandmother is the late Lillie Mae Greene. Her last name is spelled differently from Terri’s father.

“When my father went into the military, they dropped the e on his last name, and he just kept it that way,” said Terri.

The following recipes come from her mother and grandmother.

Call Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.


Pineapple Casserole

2 (20 oz.) cans crushed pineapple
5 T. flour
½ c. sugar
1 c. grated sharp cheddar
1 ½ c. Ritz crackers (crushed into crumbs)
½ c. butter, unsalted
1 t. butter
Gallon size plastic Zip-Lock bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 t. butter. Take three sleeves of Ritz crackers and place inside a plastic baggie and crush into crumbs. Measure out 1 ½ cups and set aside.

Open and drain 2 cans of crushed pineapple. Place the drained pineapple evenly along the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Mix together flour, sugar and cheese. Sprinkle evenly over pineapple n bottom of casserole. Cover the flour, sugar and cheese mixture evenly with the crushed cracker crumbs.

Melt ½ c. butter in microwave in a microwave safe dish or cup and pour over the cracker crumbs, being careful to evenly distribute the melted butter over all the crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Serve warm. This is a great side dish when serving ham.

Polly's Pecan Pie

2 Pet Ritz deep dish pie shells
1 bottle Karo pancake syrup
2 T. flour
2 c. sugar
6 eggs
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. pecan pieces
1 stick butter (in pats)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pie shells by placing equal amounts of pecan pieces into the bottoms. Mix Karo, flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla together. Pour blended mixture into pie shells over pecan pieces, equally distributing amounts between the two pies.

Take butter and place in pats over mixture, using about 1;/2 stick per pie in pats. Bake at 400 degrees about one hour. If you are using both top and bottom racks in your oven, you may need to switch pies about half way through banking. Because ovens vary, so may cook times. Cook until centers are set and tops are golden brown. Let cool. Serve warm or cold.

Squash Cornbread Dressing

2 c. squashed, cooked (fresh boiled squash or canned squash works well)
2 c. crumbled baked cornbread
1 (10-12 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 med. onion, chopped fine
1 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1 t. sage
1 t. black pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. butter (to grease baking dish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until knife comes out clean from center of casserole and top is golden brown. Serve hot.

Mama Green's Old Fashioned Pound Cake

3 ½ c. cake flour, sifted (Swan’s Down)
3 c. sugar
2 sticks butter, unsalted
1 c. Crisco
1 c. milk
5 lg. eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. pure almond extract (or substitute 1 t. pure lemon extract)

Enough Crisco shortening and flour to prepare a tube pan for baking

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend sugar, butter and Crisco together with mixer. Add flour and milk alternately and take care you are blending well after each addition.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix again. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube cake pan and add cake batter. Bake at 325 degrees for one and one-half hours. Do not open oven.

Baked Chicken and Rice

1 (10 ¾) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. water
3/4 c. uncooked, long-grain rice (not quick cooking type)
¼ c. butter (in pats)
½ t. black pepper
½ t. salt
½ t. paprika
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix soup, water, rice ¼ t. black pepper, ¼ t. salt and ¼ t. paprika in an ungreased shallow 2-quart casserole pan. Lay chicken breasts on top of soup mixture in pan and place pats of butter on top of chicken. Sprinkle tops of breasts with remaining 1/4 t. each of black pepper, salt and paprika.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45-50 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven until bubbly and chicken shows no signs of pink in center.
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Terri Rainey stays busy with five jobs by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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