By Tiffany Pelt@
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Born and raised in Hale Center retired Texas Speaker of the House Pete Laney is known for all his work in the legislature and for being one of the longest serving speakers at ten years, but his wife is also known for something.
Her house is covered with her husband's work but Nelda Laney does not just sit in his shadows. She has been named Texas Tech's distinguished alum in the College of Education, but she also goes by a different name. "The ornament lady. I've already told my family you might as well put it on my tombstone," said Nelda Laney about her nickname.
Laney started making ornaments in 1996, while her husband was speaker of the house to help raise money to preserve the capital. "Did seven, raised a couple million dollars and sold 300,000," said the ornament lady.
"Some of the capital ones have been in space. Some of the astronauts took them to space and back," she said. "I'm pretty picky, way picky, about little pieces and parts of the ornament so they are all three dimensional."
Nelda has since designed about 36 brass and 24-karat gold ornaments for several organizations like the Keep Texas Beautiful campaign, Texas Tech, and charitable causes.
"If you add it all together which is something that makes me very proud to help organizations it would be many million dollars have been made," said Laney. "It is a way to give back to the communities and there is no one that I design or do an ornament for that I'm not proud of so I'm glad to help."
©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.