AMY TOOTHAKER—Happy birthday, Jamie. Though Jamie and I became friends later in life, I feel like I’ve known her forever.
I knew we’d be forever bonded when we were up to our elbows, cutting up frozen chickens after Hurricane Michael, Lucy-and-Ethel style. Jamie can laugh like no one else and she brings that joy to everyone around her.
CASHIER AT PIGGLY WIGGLY—You mean the lady who was just in here? It’s her birthday? What do you want me to say about her? Um. Okay. Let’s see. She was a nice person. Gosh, I don’t know. I feel uncomfortable saying things about someone I don’t know.
MANDY MCKENZIE HOKE—Jamie has the heart of an angel, but you better not mess with the people she loves. I’m glad I’m one of those people… And I’m also a little scared of her.
KATIE HUELSBECK—I love talking to Jamie. She’s always ready to listen, even our heavy conversations are filled with laughs. And those biscuits are fire.
LYLE SANDQUIST—It’s not every day you get to meet someone who can do EVERYTHING with such efficiency.
She is able to schedule, coordinate, stay on top of orders, bills, mailings, dogs, dog sitters, housecleaning, relatives and friends who come through her house like hotel guests, grocery shopping, cooking exquisite menus, providing directions, booking hotels, vet appointments, and still, after all that, she’s able to be kind, sweet, congenial, social, and loving! Happy birthday, Jamie.
THE WASTE MANAGEMENT GUYS—She always separates the recycling stuff just right.
LANIER MOTES—I remember I was helping Jamie cook for a catering event. Sean showed up with an accordion. Only one of us was amused. And that person was me.
LESLIE SCHMIDT—I’m so thankful for Jamie and the love for family, flowers and dogs that we share. She is beautiful, genuine and real, and I love that about her. We need more Jamie’s in the world.
BENTLEY MARTIN—She has always been so special, but watching her care for her mother during her final days touched me greatly. I was able to see what a fine example of a human being that Jamie is. I will never forget the love and compassion she showed to our beloved Aunt Mary. I love you, Cuz!
MAIL LADY—I don’t know nothing about her.
STEPHEN DAVIS—I’ve known thousands of southern women. A few of those were even from Brewton. And among those, Jamie exemplifies what “whiskey in a teacup” means.
Better yet, rebar in bubble wrap. She sees through the smoke to get to the real fire and protects those she loves like a rankled wombat. Her laugh is distinguishable from ten miles away and her honesty, although pointed, never feels mean. There is only one Jamie. ‘Cause that’s all the world needs.
SAMUEL SMITH—I don’t recall the day we met but I have never regretted it. I love you Sis, Happy Birthday, [class of] ’92 4Life.
ALLEN CAVE— most of the best memories from my youth involve Jamie. We were thick as thieves back in the day. And during a season of life when friends have a tendency to come and go, Jamie was a constant fixture.
Even though we haven’t lived in the same city for years, I know whenever I see her or pick up the phone and give her a call, we’ll pick up right where we left off. Happy birthday, my friend. I love you big.
SARAH SCHMIDT—When I first met Jamie, she was dating my brother. I wanted her to like me. I genuinely wanted to impress her. Jamie has always been someone I silently aspire to be like; from her tender caring heart, to her deep love for her friends and family.
She is a woman with the true gift of hospitality. I love her beyond any words I could write, she was the beautiful angel who stayed by my side in the hospital for many sleepless nights holding in her arms my 11-day-old daughter who was sick with viral meningitis.
She will fight for you, cry with you, laugh with you and show you have to properly load a dishwasher. I love my sister.
CONNIE BAGGET—Jamie is so beautiful it shines from her very soul. That would be enough, but our Creator also swirled in all the sass he had in his pantry, a wit so sharp it could slice diamonds and THEN GAVE HER UNRIVALED COOKING SKILLS.
Best of all, she is a steadfast friend. So when I see photos of her in my phone’s memory, I give thanks for that glorious tornado of fun and love we call Jamie.
ELVIRA DAVIS—Here is my Ode to Jamie: One of the first things I noticed (and loved) about Jamie is how authentic and genuine she is. She’s sharp-witted, can cut through malarkey before you blink twice. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has a great sense of humor, she’s funny without trying to be.
She can be loud and brazen one minute, and soft and vulnerable the next. She takes incredible care of her people. Always puts them and their well-being first. She has a tender heart for all things nature and animals, especially the canine variety.
She is wise and perceptive. She is no respecter of persons. Never underestimate her, she has nothing to prove. Jamie is the real deal, a most beautiful soul, and I am honored to call her Friend.
MELISSA WHEELER—Jamie’s the kind of girl who will dress up in her best ‘80s neon and cut footloose for your birthday, in front of God and everybody. Her go-to karaoke song is “Watermelon Crawl.”
She will take you down in a game of Pac Man (or any game). She can eat a bag of Trader Joe’s cheese curls faster than anyone I know. She takes in all strays (animals and people). And if you’re lucky enough to be on her biscuit and pound-cake drop-off route… You’re lucky enough.
SHANNON ANDREWS SKIPPER—I’m so grateful for Jamie Martin Dietrich and all the ways she makes this world a better, brighter and funnier place. She has been my soul sister since first grade!
While growing up, her sweet family always treated me like their own. Now, after all these years, we are finally living in the same city again and life couldn’t be finer.
Happy birthday to the one we all need more of in our lives. Cheeahhhs!
AUNT CAT—My sweet Jamie. Her mother would be so proud of her. So, so, so proud. I just know Sussy is smiling down from Heaven on that beautiful girl.
When Jamie was a little girl, she used to suck her fingers. Like a security blanket thing. Her mother tried to get her to quit sucking her fingers by doing everything. But nothing worked. They even tried putting pepper sauce on her fingers, but it turned out that Jamie loved pepper sauce, so that didn’t work, either. So her mother just let her suck her fingers right until she was a senior in high school.
JAMES FOUNTAIN—She is loving, a great chef, witty, funny. She always has a great story to tell that will make you laugh and feel loved at the same time.
I’m proud to be her cousin and to know that I can count on her to always be there for me. Happy birthday to one of my favorite cousins, and favorite people in general.
JAMIE’S MOTHER (2017)—Jamie is my closest friend, and I always have to keep up with where she is or what she’s off doing in the world.
When y’all travel for work, I have Sandra get out the big map from the closet and point out where y’all are at that exact moment in time, and then I close my eyes and imagine where she is and what she’s up to. Because I’ve always just needed to know where Jamie is.
ME—I love you more than I love my own life, darling.
Happy 29th birthday, Jamie.