Birds of a feather

Published 1:08 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2003

By By Suzanne Digmon Staff writer
Mrs. Alma Lewis moved to Atmore one and a half years ago with her companion of 10 years-a cockatiel named Baby.
She and her late husband lived in Texas, but moved to Alabama for three years to be closer to their son in Flomaton. They moved back to Texas because her husband missed the farm they owned in Abilene, but Alma came back to Atmore a few years after her husband passed away.
"I'm very happy here. The people are precious," she said of Atmore. She first lived in The Meadows, on Medical Park Drive, but moved into an apartment about a year ago.
Born on Christmas day, Lewis will be 85 this year. That doesn't stop her from staying active, though. "Making something out of nothing, that's my life's work," Lewis explained. Along with teaching Baby new words-yes, he can talk-she stays busy arranging flowers and making all sorts of arts and crafts. She gives those crafts to friends and as gifts.
Lewis is also active in her church, United Pentecostal Church, located at 906 N. Main St. In fact, her pastor, Rev. Fred Gibbs, is her neighbor.
The bird was a gift from her daughter, a companion for her after her husband died. Lewis had her bird about one year before she ever knew he could speak.
Then, one day, out of the blue, Baby said, "Do you want a drink of water?" She was so surprised, she said, that she called her son in Flomaton immediately. Apparently, all her children knew of her cockatiel's talent already.
Since that day, Lewis has been teaching him countless words and phrases.
He can even sing Yes, Jesus Loves Me. She said, "I want it to be a sweet little bird, so I don't teach him any slang words. My son told me 'That's not just a bird, Momma, God gave you a little angel.'"

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