When it comes to buying décor for her home, if Carolyn Jackson likes it she buys it.
“I don’t care if it’s $2,” she said. “If I like it, I buy it. I’m humble.”
Jackson, 71, and her husband, James “Joe” Jackson, 77, moved to Silver Lake Two on Secretariat Way in 1989 shortly after their home was built.
“This was our first home,” she said. “We didn’t know much about buying a home.”
Jackson grew up in what was called the “Bottom” or the “Craw,” which was the neighborhood that was torn down as part of an urban renewal project in the late 1950s to make way for the former Capital Plaza Tower, Capital Plaza Hotel and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building. Jackson went to Mayo-Underwood School, then Second Street and Frankfort High schools after her neighborhood was demolished.
“We lived in the Bottom — we didn’t have much, but my mother and grandmother loved whatnots,” she said. “I love whatnots too. My grandmother would always figure out something to put together.”
While working and raising their family — two boys and two girls — Jackson and her husband lived in a few different areas around town. They lived in the apartments on Wilkinson Boulevard, now Urban Woods. They also lived in apartments on Walter Todd Drive, Steadmantown Lane, Centennial Drive and Hickory Hills Apartments.
Jackson said the landlords would raise the rent, so they would have to move to a more affordable location. Jackson worked at Union Underwear for 14 years. Then she worked at a couple of nursing homes, a local preschool and her last job was in the cafeteria at Kentucky State University. She worked there for about 20 years before she had to quit seven years ago after having knee surgery.
Her husband worked for Cardinal Office Products for 30 years. He also worked at the former Kings Daughters Hospital.
In 1989, after the kids were grown, they decided to start looking for a home. With the help of a real estate agent, they were able to find their forever home on Secretariat Way. The subdivision was in the process of being developed at the time, so they were able to talk to the builder and pick their lot and floor plan.
“I liked it,” Jackson said. “It was small and I liked the area.”
Their home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining area, laundry room and a two-car garage.
“My favorite part of the house is the living room and dining room,” she said. “I love the dining room.”
Above her dining table is a 200-piece chandelier, something she had wanted since she was a young girl.
“I always said when I have a house, I want a chandelier.”
Above the entryway to the dining area and kitchen is a cutout that Jackson has decorated with a floral candle arrangement.
“At Big Lots, I found a huge flower arrangement that held five candles,” she said. She added more artificial flowers to it to make it more to her liking.
Also in her dining room is a mirror that she bought from Tuesday Morning.
“It was black and I painted it gold,” she said. “My style is anything and everything I like. I don’t buy expensive stuff. I can get something at the dollar store and make it look $50 or $60. I just love decorating.”
Jackson’s color scheme throughout her home is gold, burgundy and green. Her two guest bedrooms have beautiful bedspreads in those colors.
In the corner of one of her guest bedrooms is an ornate birdcage that hangs on the wall with birds she clamped inside.
In her living room, Jackson has two curio cabinets. One is full of things that people have given to her and the other is filled with angels and other spiritual items.
Her living room also has lots of space for her grandchildren to play. She and her husband have 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
In the hallway is a picture of Jesus and a decorative Bible. She also loves to decorate with sconces.
“I don’t have as much in the living room as I used to,” she said. “The grandkids want to turn flips, so years ago I sold my end tables and coffee tables so they would have room to play around.
“It’s just a plain, livable and comfortable house. I don’t try to live like the Joneses. I just want to stay humble and do God’s work. I don’t have money to buy expensive stuff. Even if I did, I wouldn’t buy it.”
Jackson and her husband are active at First Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church in South Frankfort. Jackson sits on many church committees including the beautification committee that she sits on with Pam Jones.
“Pam does the downstairs sanctuary and I do the upstairs and dining areas,” she said. “I fix tables up nice for receptions.
“Whatever Pastor (Les) Whitlock and God puts on my heart to do, I do it.”