Charlie's Blog

Happy Birthday Gladys


This week we celebrate the 93rd birthday of Todd’s grandmother, Gladys Clifton who resides in Corning, Arkansas. Born on February 8, 1924. Gladys is a great inspiration to all of us and helps to keep us historically informed when we are working on product development for the Park Hill Collection. Todd spent weekends and every summer growing up on a farm with his Grandmother Gladys and Grandfather Leon. He learned everything from farming, gardening to cooking.  Raising chickens and cooking are two subjects Todd has always loved. Gladys felt all her grandchildren should know how to cook and made sure all of them attended her summer classes in her farmhouse kitchen. Todd was of course her best student. During these lessons she would share stories of her younger days. She comes from the depression era where learning to sew, cook or fix a car where not just hobbies, but necessary for survival. As a young woman she went to Wichita Falls, Kansas to work in the Boeing aircraft factory and became one of those fabled “Rosie the Riveters” working long hours to produce enough planes for the war effort. During her training period, she was required to stay in the barracks, but once this step was completed she had to find a place to live outside the factory. Her sister had joined her and was waitressing.  Every place they looked for a room they encountered a “NO GIRLS ALLOWED” Sign. They were about to give up hope and go home when a woman over-heard their plight and explained to these naïve country girls the signs were intended for the men,  to prevent them from sneaking girls up to their rooms. We still chuckle over that story every time it is told.

Recently we took a family trip to Seattle to tour the Boeing aircraft factory. When she heard about the trip she wanted to go and starting packing her suitcase immediately. It was a full circle moment to see her tour the huge factory for a company she had once worked for as a young girl. 

One of my favorite stories was when Gladys was out having dinner at a local restaurant and met a Park Hill customer. Upon her introduction as Todd’s Grandma , the customer exclaimed, “you’re Gladys’ kitchen”!  This was in reference to our top-selling, Gladys’ Kitchen fragrance candle. She was tickled to discover her new found celebrity status.

At 93 years old she continues to beat us at Dominos. She is a true Southern woman who can wear overalls, crawl under the house to fix the plumbing and them fix her hair, put on some pearls and lipstick and charm everyone over an incredible dinner she helped to prepare. She will always be an inspiration to the family and to the Park Hill Collection.

Happy Birthday Gladys!

In addition to our top-selling willow wrapped fragrance candle, Gladys Kitchen (PH 306) we also have included family in these other spice candles. Leon was Todd’s grandfather, Sarder was Grandma’s maiden name and that is Gladys’ image on Clifton’s Vanilla Extract fragrance candle.