Hometown Madison - September & October 2015

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Volume 1 Number 6<br />

sep/Oct <strong>2015</strong><br />


______________________<br />

<strong>Madison</strong> County Coaches<br />

______________________<br />

A House Divided<br />

______________________<br />

Training Beyond Football<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 1

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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 3

“Mom, study group<br />

needed to de-stress. * ”<br />

Stress-relievers in assorted styles & colors.<br />

Because back-to-school lasts all year.<br />

*Miskelly Furniture does not advocate or support the use of pillows for aggressive de-stressing, aka pillow fighting.<br />

4 • May/June <strong>2015</strong><br />



publisher & Editor<br />

Tahya A. Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin W. Dobbs<br />

Consultant<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Account Executives<br />

Alicia Adams<br />

LeeAnn Evans<br />

Rachel Lombardo<br />

Misty Taylor<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Emily Witcher<br />

staff Photographer<br />

Othel Anding<br />

Layout Design<br />

Daniel Thomas - 3dt<br />

Missy Donaldson - MAD Designs<br />

For all you football fans, you can be a bit envious if you like. In this issue, our <strong>Hometown</strong> Team<br />

has had personal contact with high school, college, and SEC coaches in our local area and state.<br />

We were thrilled with their willingness to participate and are over the moon with the results!<br />

It’s been exciting to step into their worlds of grueling work and competition, and I’ve<br />

witnessed, again, the powerful and enduring influence they confer on their players and fans.<br />

This issue also highlights back to school advertisers and all those<br />

families affected by the buses and carpoolers soon to be cranking up.<br />

For me, it continues to be nostalgic. I have a newlywed and a new<br />

son, a college junior moving to Oxford, and a freshman at Hinds.<br />

It’s not only back to school but on-with-life for all of us. Join<br />

me as we all step into new chapters of our lives and appreciate life<br />

in our hometown.<br />

• • •<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownmadisonmagazine<br />

For subscription information<br />

visit www.htmags.com<br />

Contact us at info@HTMags.com<br />

601.706.4059<br />

26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F<br />

Brandon MS 39042<br />

• • •<br />

All rights reserved. No portion of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Madison</strong><br />

may be reproduced without written permission from<br />

the publisher. The management of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Madison</strong><br />

is not responsible for opinions expressed by its<br />

writers or editors. <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Madison</strong> maintains the<br />

unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted<br />

material. All advertisements are subject to approval by<br />

the publisher. The production of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Madison</strong><br />

is funded by advertising.<br />

In this issue Canton Flea Market ..................... 8<br />

Training Beyond Football ............... 12<br />

The Coach ........................... 16<br />

On & Off the Field..............18<br />

For the Record ...........................35<br />

SEC Tailgating ....................... 44<br />

House Divided ....................... 52<br />

A Classic European Invasion ........... 57<br />

It's a Wonderful Life.................. 66<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 5

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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 7

Canton Flea Market<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

What started as a small outdoor<br />

fine arts show around a county<br />

courthouse fifty years ago has<br />

become one of the largest arts<br />

and crafts shows in the region. The Canton<br />

Flea Market, held the second Thursday<br />

every May and <strong>October</strong> is a citywide affair,<br />

with over 1100 vendors drawing crowds of<br />

60,000 people or more.<br />

The event was created by the Canton<br />

Chamber of Commerce in 1965. There were<br />

15 artist who hung their work on the wrought<br />

iron fence surrounding the historic courthouse.<br />

The event continued to grow in<br />

popularity. “I think the reason for its success<br />

is that there was no other event like it,” said<br />

Jo Ann Gordon, executive director of the<br />

Canton Convention and Visitors Bureau<br />

and Canton Film Office. “From the<br />

beginning, the event has been so unique.<br />

The setting, on the grounds of the historic<br />

courthouse, plus the ladies that started it,<br />

were all so well connected. People came to<br />

know it as a quality event.”<br />

Tourism took over the event in 1990,<br />

carefully growing it to what it is today. It’s<br />

a destination event, with such accolades<br />

as “Top Twenty Event in the Southeast,”<br />

Southeast Tourism Society “Outstanding<br />

Promotional Event in the State of Mississippi,”<br />

Mississippi Downtown Development<br />

Association “Best of the Best of Mississippi,”<br />

Mississippi Magazine “Top 100 Event,” and<br />

American Bus named it one of the top 20 arts<br />

and craft shows east of the Mississippi.<br />

Lynn and Jan Ross have been vendors<br />

at the flea market for 39 years. “My husband<br />

does woodwork, and I paint it,” said Jan<br />

Ross. I’ve painted all my life, even taking art<br />

classes when I was a child, but I never took<br />

it seriously until I started painting pieces for<br />

the flea market.” From step stools to benches<br />

with backs, picture frames, fan pulls and<br />

light switch covers, each of the items they<br />

sell in their booth are not just pretty, but<br />

functional as well.<br />

“We love the Canton Flea Market,” says<br />

Ross. “This is the only craft show we do now.<br />

We see the same folks each time we go–it’s<br />

like going home to see old friends. If<br />

someone isn’t there, we’ll start calling to see<br />

if they’re OK.” Ross says they’ve had a booth<br />

on the courthouse grounds every year they’ve<br />

been there. “Back in the ‘70s it was like a<br />

gold rush–all the vendors would line up to<br />

claim spots when the gates opened. But now<br />

we have assigned spots, which makes it so<br />

much easier for unloading. I really love the<br />

helpful attitude of the town. It’s like a small<br />

family activity that has grown up, but the<br />

Canton folks still jump in to help when<br />

needed. That’s never changed.”<br />

Carol Baird has been selling her handmade<br />

dolls at the Flea Market since 1976.<br />

“We’ve been on the same sidewalk all this<br />

time, on the south side of the courthouse to<br />

the left of the stairs.” Baird crafts Raggedy<br />

Ann and Andy dolls, and sock monkeys.<br />

“We used to set up at 4 a.m., and people<br />

would start coming by to look by 5 or 6 a.m.<br />

They wait until 8:00 now,” Baird laughs.<br />

While there don’t seem to be as many buses<br />

as there once were, Baird says business is still<br />

brisk at the flea market. “We’ve had a rough<br />

economy for a while, but people are going to<br />

get what they want.”<br />

8 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

A Time Honored Tradition<br />

Baird says she has many repeat customers,<br />

many of whom say their mom got them a<br />

doll years ago and they still have it, and now<br />

they are buying for their children. “I love<br />

talking to people at the flea market. I see<br />

many of the same faces year after year, and<br />

meet new folks every time, too.”<br />

A familiar face at the flea market for the<br />

past 13 years is Angela Ladner, who makes<br />

the trek to the Square in Canton with her<br />

mother each fall. “We mark it on our<br />

calendars at the beginning of the year and<br />

try not to let anything get in the way. Then,<br />

if schedules permit, we try to attend the<br />

spring show as well.” The outing started<br />

after the birth of Ladner’s triplet daughters.<br />

“I needed to get out of the house, and my<br />

mom and I had so much fun, it became a<br />

tradition.”<br />

Ladner said she appreciates the unique<br />

items she always finds at the flea market.<br />

“When the girls were younger, we loved<br />

buying frilly outfits and hair bows for them.<br />

As they got older, we bought furniture for<br />

their rooms. This summer, each girl<br />

redecorated their room for their<br />

birthday, and we sold some of the pieces to a<br />

young mother in Flowood, so I know they’ll<br />

be loved and cherished by her child.” The<br />

bedroom of one of the Ladner girls is<br />

furnished entirely with furniture purchased<br />

at the flea market. “We also have photos of<br />

the girls from grades one through eight on<br />

display in picture frames we bought at the<br />

flea market. Just about everywhere I look<br />

around my house, I see pieces I purchased<br />

at the Canton Flea Market”<br />

Going to the Flea Market really is an<br />

event, and “pros” like Ladner know how to<br />

get the most of the experience. “The first<br />

thing is to try to see what the most popular<br />

item is. If you see lots of folks carrying<br />

weather vanes, that could be it! Then we<br />

have to decide if that’s something we want or<br />

need.” Ladner says she makes a list and does<br />

a good bit of her Christmas shopping at the<br />

flea market. “We also buy fun pieces for<br />

tailgate parties.” While there is plenty of<br />

good food from a wide variety of food<br />

vendors at the market, Ladner says she and<br />

her mother have often had a plate lunch at<br />

some of the homes outside of the square.<br />

“People prepare wonderful plate lunches,<br />

and we’ve sat in their back yards to eat. It’s<br />

always so much fun!”<br />

If you’re a first-time flea market shopper,<br />

be patient. Traffic into Canton can be quite<br />

heavy up both I-55 and Highway 49. There<br />

are several places to park, some with shuttles<br />

that will drop shoppers off on the Square.<br />

Handmade arts and crafts are located on<br />

the Courthouse grounds and the adjacent<br />

Union and Center Streets. Additional crafts<br />

exhibits are on the church properties on<br />

Peace Street, at the Old Jail Museum behind<br />

City Hall and on two blocks of East Fulton<br />

Street. It’s a good idea to bring a small cart<br />

on wheels to transport purchases made<br />

during the day. Comfortable shoes are a must,<br />

as you’ll be doing a lot of walking! Dress for<br />

the season, and take a breaks every now and<br />

then to rest and people watch. But most of<br />

all, enjoy! ■<br />

_________________________________________<br />

For more information,<br />

visit www.cantontourism.com.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 9


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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 11

Training<br />

Beyond<br />

Football<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

When the opportunity presented itself for NFL<br />

player Micah Pellerin to host a football camp at<br />

St. Joseph in <strong>Madison</strong>, the school where he played<br />

high school football, he jumped at the chance.<br />

As a child growing up in New Orleans, Micah Pellerin<br />

remembers attending summer football camps to help him<br />

improve his skills. “I always looked up to those guys doing<br />

the camps, and I always learned so much from them.”<br />

Born in November 1988, Pellerin attended the<br />

Country Day School in Metarie. But when Hurricane<br />

Katrina rolled into the Gulf Coast and New Orleans<br />

was flooded, Micah evacuated to Jackson with his<br />

mother, Frankie Pellerin, and younger brother Jared.<br />

She enrolled the boys at St. Joseph Catholic School in <strong>Madison</strong>. Micah<br />

played football for the St. Joe Bruins in his junior and senior years at<br />

the school and was offered a football scholarship to the University of<br />

Southern Mississippi, where he studied international business. Recruited<br />

by Coach Jeff Bowers, Pellerin was excited to play for the Golden Eagles,<br />

but that changed his freshman year when the coaching staff changed.<br />

Pellerin took a second look at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia,<br />

where he was also recruited while in high school. “That year Hampton had double<br />

the number of people at the NFL Scouting Combine than USM had. I started<br />

realizing that I might have a chance at playing in the NFL if I switched colleges.”<br />

Not only did many of the people Pellerin played with at Hampton go on to<br />

play in the NFL, but he also entered the NFL draft in the summer of 2011. “I got<br />

hurt my junior year, tearing my meniscus, and I had to have my knee scoped.<br />

That set me back a bit, but I still graduated early, in May 2011, because it looked<br />

good that I would be drafted.” After his junior year, Pellerin started getting a lot<br />

of attention, which put more pressure on him to do well. “At first you’re playing<br />

because it’s fun. Then you think about each little thing you do. I ended up leading<br />

the nation in total passes defended.”<br />

12 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

When the NFL draft began, Pellerin said he tried not to read<br />

too much into it. “I was led to believe I had a good profile and<br />

agent. Everyone was under the assumption that I’d get drafted.<br />

I was eating crawfish with family and friends, and stopped<br />

watching after the first round. I got calls throughout, teams saying<br />

they’d take me, but they didn’t. In the end, I wasn’t drafted and<br />

that put me in ‘free agent’ status.”<br />

He ended up playing for the Dallas Cowboys. “I knew I’d be<br />

in the League for a while. The average time an NFL player is in<br />

the League is two years. I’m going<br />

on four years now. Based on<br />

projections, and what I’ve done,<br />

and what I’ve seen, I knew for<br />

sure I’d be around.”<br />

Pellerin was traded to the<br />

Tennessee Titans where he played<br />

on special teams the remainder of<br />

the season in 2013. Soon after the<br />

season ended, he was released from<br />

the Titans and picked up again by<br />

the Cowboys, where he played the<br />

entire 2014 season before being<br />

released. “I visited a couple of teams<br />

and chose the Cleveland Browns.<br />

They had a really good defense<br />

and produced four Pro Bowlers<br />

in the last two years. I believed I<br />

had a better opportunity to play<br />

with the Browns, because they<br />

play all kinds of guys.” Pellerin<br />

attended the spring training camp<br />

for the Browns, where he trained<br />

this summer.<br />

Remembering where he came<br />

from helps with the moving and<br />

transitions. “I wasn’t prepared for<br />

how real it is. Unlike playing on a<br />

high school and even college team<br />

with buddies, it became all about<br />

me. I’ve had to join teams where<br />

you don’t know anybody and they<br />

don’t know you. It’s not at all like<br />

college. Surprisingly to me, the<br />

players are somewhat isolated.”<br />

So when the opportunity<br />

presented itself to host a football<br />

camp at St. Joseph in <strong>Madison</strong>, the<br />

school where Pellerin played high<br />

school football, he jumped at the<br />

chance. “My high school teammate,<br />

Joseph Marquez, coordinated the first camp last year. Joe handled<br />

the marketing and public relations and registration. It was so<br />

much fun to reminisce about our glory days on the field together<br />

at St. Joe and to share our love of the game with those attending<br />

the football camp.” Marquez played college football at Mississippi<br />

College for a year, and three years at Millsaps, and says he used<br />

what he learned majoring in business administration at Millsaps<br />

to coordinate the camp.<br />

The first camp was a huge success, so the former teammates<br />

worked together to present<br />

their second annual camp<br />

at St. Joe in June. “We didn’t<br />

have as many kids this year,”<br />

lamented Marquez, “but those<br />

we had were fantastic. They<br />

have a real passion for the game<br />

and a strong desire to learn.”<br />

The three-day camp<br />

focused on the fundamentals<br />

of football. “There are some<br />

great life lessons to be learned<br />

on a football field,” said<br />

Marquez. “We have a great<br />

time sharing our knowledge<br />

and skills with the campers,<br />

as well as sharing what football<br />

has meant in our lives.”<br />

Pellerin encouraged the<br />

campers to be student athletes,<br />

with a strong emphasis on<br />

education. “As a kid, professional<br />

football wasn’t even on my<br />

radar. I wanted to be a<br />

stockbroker, or a lawyer like<br />

my dad. I majored in finance<br />

in college, and feel that with<br />

the education I’ve received, I<br />

can easily enter the traditional<br />

workforce or even start my<br />

own business whenever my<br />

football career is over. I like to<br />

talk to the boys about thinking<br />

beyond football.”<br />

Pellerin’s not sure how<br />

long he’ll continue in the NFL.<br />

“When it’s getting more out of<br />

me than I’m getting out of it,<br />

I’ll know it’s time to move on.”<br />

Until then, he’ll enjoy the ride. ■<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 13

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14 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 15

The Coach<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

16 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Coaches play an important role in the lives of their players.<br />

Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball or track, the men and women that push<br />

our kids to limits that even they, themselves, don’t know they can reach, leave imprints<br />

in the hearts of our young people that are rarely ever forgotten.<br />

Another summer has come and gone – and<br />

what a summer it’s been. From contentious<br />

flag debates and seemingly endless discussions<br />

of Supreme Court rulings to a couple of 3-point<br />

magnitude earthquakes in the northern part of<br />

our metro, there has been no shortage of material<br />

to keep water-cooler conversations at a full tilt.<br />

But for my 12-year old, life is much simpler.<br />

It’s all about sports.<br />

My son plays baseball. For years we have<br />

been at the ballparks most every weekend<br />

during the spring and summer – and I knew<br />

early on that it would take some industrial-type<br />

equipment to keep me from exploding from<br />

the heat. So my husband was kind (and wise)<br />

enough to invest in a tent, a generator, and a<br />

couple of commercial-grade fans as a means<br />

for my survival. He knew that if I was ever<br />

actually going to see one of these games, and<br />

certainly if I was expected to be friendly and<br />

hospitable to the other player’s family members,<br />

then I would need to keep my core body<br />

temperature somewhere below boiling and the<br />

point of spontaneous combustion.<br />

As it turns out, we’ve made fabulous friends<br />

throughout our time “in the stands”. And, we all<br />

share in the common belief that America’s greatest<br />

pastime is particularly important for our boys –<br />

and for different reasons than you might think.<br />

Coaches play such an important role in the<br />

lives of their players. Whether its football,<br />

basketball, baseball or track, the men and<br />

women that push our kids to limits that even<br />

they, themselves, do not know they can reach,<br />

leave imprints in the hearts of our young people<br />

that are rarely ever forgotten.<br />

Kids will do things for their coaches that they<br />

might never do otherwise. They have an inherent<br />

desire to please. My son became a catcher this<br />

year, and a darn decent one at that. He did it<br />

because his coaches told him he could do it.<br />

Heck, I didn’t even know he could do it! But they<br />

did. A good coach will make his players see what<br />

they can be, rather than what they are.<br />

I’ve enjoyed reading all the Q&A’s from the<br />

area coaches in this particular issue of <strong>Hometown</strong>.<br />

What I found interesting is that when asked what<br />

their most important accomplishment was as a<br />

coach, none of them said “winning” – not a one.<br />

It was all about shaping a player’s life, having<br />

them become productive members of society,<br />

and teaching a strong work ethic. It was about<br />

influence versus control.<br />

These men have proven that in order to be<br />

a good coach, one must abide by a handful of<br />

basic rules. And if these rules are adhered to,<br />

their players will leave absolutely everything<br />

they have out on the field.<br />

The first is to be positive and make it fun.<br />

Great coaches know how to teach without<br />

criticizing and provide positive reinforcement.<br />

They help players develop confidence in<br />

themselves. And confident players someday<br />

make confident adults. What a gift.<br />

They set expectations early and provide<br />

feedback, often. And they teach their teams<br />

respect – respect for the game, respect for their<br />

teammates and respect for the opponent. Again,<br />

sounds a lot like life to me. That could be any<br />

day at the office for an adult.<br />

But as I continued to spend more and more<br />

weekends at the ballpark, I found that even more<br />

of life’s lessons closely mirror the game.<br />

For example, it’s imperative to take breaks.<br />

In the major league it’s called the 7th Inning<br />

Stretch. In little league, it’s called – well it’s called<br />

the end of the game. But the lesson in it is that<br />

no matter how important the task at-hand, it’s<br />

important to stop, stretch and revitalize.<br />

Fair or foul? It’s all in how you see it, right?<br />

Well, in baseball, there’s a clear foul line. But in<br />

life, there’s not. Sometimes what we think is<br />

good, isn’t, and vice-versa. And how many times<br />

have we heard the coach yell, “Pick your pitch!”<br />

Because as we all know, you can’t take back a<br />

swing.<br />

As the great Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘till<br />

it’s over.” My son’s baseball team played in the<br />

state championship several weeks ago. They<br />

made it to the finals. I’m not sure any of us ever<br />

thought they would. It was the 5th inning and<br />

they were down 5-0. Second-place looked<br />

imminent. But then something happened. These<br />

12-year old boys reached down into their hot,<br />

sweaty, filthy, exhausted souls and embarked<br />

upon a fight that few of us, if any, had ever seen.<br />

They fought back as if their lives depended on<br />

it – and won in the 6th inning, 6-5. They won the<br />

state championship.<br />

They gave it everything they had and left<br />

absolutely all of it out on the field. And their<br />

coaches did, too. No matter how bad the game<br />

got, they never ... stopped ... swinging. I’ve never<br />

been more proud.<br />

So, to our mighty team of baseball warriors<br />

– T-Train, PK, Pey-Pey, Ford, Austin, Chandler,<br />

Whup, Stone, Braedon and Zack – these<br />

lessons will serve you well in life. And it won’t<br />

be the last time you’ll have to fight hard and<br />

claw your way off the bottom, either. What starts<br />

as a simple game of baseball (or football, or<br />

basketball, etc.) can mold your character and<br />

help to pave the way for a wonderfully bright<br />

future. You just have to keep showing up and<br />

keep swinging.<br />

And to our coaches – all coaches, for that<br />

matter. Thank you. Thank you for investing in the<br />

future of our young people as they learn to navigate<br />

life both on, and off, the field. And thank you for<br />

helping them understand the importance of being<br />

a part of something larger than themselves. ■<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 17


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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 19

20 • May/June <strong>2015</strong>

On & Off<br />

the Field<br />

Coaching football is<br />

about more than just<br />

fundamentals and<br />

winning ball games.<br />

According to these area<br />

<strong>Madison</strong> County coaches,<br />

it's about providing leadership<br />

to young men so they can<br />

handle themselves both<br />

on and off the field. And<br />

winning a game or two<br />

along the way doesn't<br />

hurt, either .<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 21

Coach Tim Shramek<br />

Germantown High School<br />

What your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

I think the most challenging tasks for a football coach in today’s environment are to<br />

instill the love of the game, instill the concept of team, and to be a positive role model<br />

for everyone—the players, the parents, the student body, the faculty and the<br />

community.<br />

Being a positive role model is crucial, too. Coaches are the ones that the community<br />

and players look to for everything. Coaches are watched by everyone and we have a<br />

responsibility to always do the right thing, be there for our players, and to teach them<br />

how to act. It’s about loving the kids.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

There are a lot of rewards. Graduation and helping young people grow are huge. But<br />

the greatest reward for any coach is when you are out somewhere and a former<br />

player comes running up to you and hugs your neck and thanks you and tells you he<br />

loves you. Or getting a phone call from a former player and having them tell you about<br />

what’s going on in their life, good or bad. It’s never about how many games or<br />

championships you won. The greatest reward is the lasting relationships we build.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

Not very well. I am blessed to have the greatest and most wonderful woman in the<br />

world as my wife. Our life revolves around God, family, football, our school, and our<br />

community. We put in an incredible number of hours for our team. Family vacations,<br />

weddings, and family events are scheduled with our team in mind. We go support<br />

everyone and every group at Germantown. We do it as a family and it is a family<br />

choice that we enjoy and relish.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say you<br />

taught them?<br />

Love. You have to have love. Love of God, love of your family, love of your teammates,<br />

love of your school, and love of your community.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment of<br />

your coaching career?<br />

Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, my marriage to Sheri Lynn Shramek, the<br />

birth of my children, and my family. Then it would be the relationships I have been<br />

blessed with over the years with our players and coaches. Like I said before, wins<br />

aren’t significant. They keep you employed, but in the long run, they aren’t the most<br />

meaningful thing. Being a part of great programs like Clinton High School and<br />

<strong>Madison</strong> Central were big. Being a part of starting Germantown High School from<br />

scratch was big, too.<br />

22 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Coach Miller Todd<br />

St. Joseph Catholic School<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

Being able to rally 50 young men and direct them to a common goal. They are all<br />

going through something different at home or in the school buildings. Just being able<br />

to figure out which buttons to push for each kid is the hardest.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

When hard work pays off.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

Coaching is hard on a marriage or family. Most coaching duties are completed after<br />

hours or during normal “family time” for most families. It’s important to spend as much<br />

time with your family during the off-season as possible. My wife understands my<br />

passion and has always been the bridge between my professional and family life.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say you<br />

taught them?<br />

Accountability. I want them to know that we did things right and with a purpose.<br />

Whether wewin or lose – we play and coach hard no matter what.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment of<br />

your coaching career?<br />

Last year was my first year as a head football coach and athletic director. I spent 10<br />

years prior as defensive coordinator and head baseball coach. Saying this, the most<br />

significant accomplishment is that we “survived” with a do’s and don’ts list a mile long.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 23

Coach Ron Jurney<br />

Canton Academy<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

Time management will be my largest challenge this coming season as I will<br />

also be serving as Head of School. Fortunately I am surrounded by some real<br />

talented people so that will make it much less stressful.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

The greatest reward for me is seeing young boys develop themselves into<br />

men by the time they graduate. The character, discipline, and toughness that<br />

is instilled is immeasurable.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

It can be tough during football season but you have to make the time with<br />

the family quality time. We have found a way to make it work. We are a<br />

football family.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say<br />

you taught them?<br />

The one thing that I hope I have taught all of my players is to always give great<br />

effort no matter what it is they do and give Christ the glory when they achieve<br />

great things.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment<br />

of your coaching career?<br />

I think the strong relationships that I have built with my players and other<br />

coaches and teachers over the many years are among my most significant<br />

accomplishments in this profession.<br />

24 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Coach Cedric Wilder<br />

Velma Jackson High School<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

Preparing incoming freshmen and keeping them focused on the task at hand. Getting<br />

players to first believe in themselves and then getting them to collectively believe in<br />

each other so they can play as a team.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

My greatest reward as a coach is seeing young men and women that I have put so<br />

much time and energy into go on to become successful, both academically and<br />

athletically. The greatest reward as a Coach is motivating a player to perform above<br />

his abilities.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

I have been blessed to have a supportive and understanding wife and son. We<br />

create a date night to make up for time lost. For the past eight years I have had the<br />

opportunity to be an assistant coach on my son CJ’s team which helps to make up for<br />

the time that I miss. Now that he’s older, I have to find time watch him play since he<br />

plays at NWR.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say you<br />

taught them?<br />

The one character trait that I would want all of my players to say that I taught them<br />

was perseverance. Don’t follow the footsteps, create them. Be a leader. The quote<br />

that I use the most is from Invictus; “I am the master of my faith, I am the captain of my<br />

soul.”<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment of<br />

your coaching career?<br />

That’s a tough question. I would have to say earning the respect and trust of my<br />

players is very high on the list. I have been coaching for 17 years and I keep up with<br />

most of my players. I have some that call me weekly. Seeing my seniors leave with<br />

scholarships athletically and academically to schools of their choice is very high on<br />

my list. In one of my graduating classes, there were seven seniors that all received<br />

scholarships of some kind. Five of the seven have graduated college and all have<br />

successful jobs.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 25

Coach Brad Peterson<br />

<strong>Madison</strong> Central High School<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

There are so many challenges that I don’t know if I can narrow it down to just one. Anytime you<br />

have over 100 players, it becomes difficult learning the different ways each player is motivated.<br />

But that’s our job as a coach – to motivate them. It helps us to motivate them when we know<br />

who they are and what they are about.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

I like seeing our athletes grow into young men. Seeing them become a better person because<br />

of our program, not only physically, but mentally, spiritually, and socially. We try to teach life<br />

lessons/skills in our year-round programs – how to be respectful, how to shake a hand, how to<br />

look someone in the eye when they talk to you, and many other things.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

Balancing coaching and family life is only done by having a great wife and family at home. My<br />

family is part of our program. They are around our players, coaches, and school, year round.<br />

During the season, I am at a JV game on Monday night and the 8th and 9th grade game on<br />

Tuesday night. Wednesday nights are usually late nights as well. Friday we don’t go home until<br />

after midnight. And Sunday from 2pm-10pm is planning for the next week. So the only time I’m<br />

not at work during the season is Thursday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday until 2. We really<br />

focus on family time on those days and hours when we can – and the other times you will see<br />

them at the games.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say you<br />

taught them?<br />

Not sure I can say what one character trait I want my players to say I taught them because I<br />

hope we teach them many positive traits along our journey. But I definitely want all my guys<br />

to respect everything we do. From the way we treat our teammates and our teachers to our<br />

classmates, and even our opponents on Friday nights. I want our guys to respect the game<br />

that we play and the officials and all the fans who make Friday nights fun.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment of your<br />

coaching career?<br />

As we go through our careers, we often look back at our accomplishments; from winning big<br />

games, winning regional and state championships, to having players go on to play college<br />

ball or even professional ball – it’s all special as a coach and makes you proud of those<br />

accomplishments. But having players come back that have gone on to get degrees, get<br />

married and have kids, or to become successful young men after seeing the way they grew up.<br />

That’s, without a doubt, the most significant accomplishment I’ve had.<br />

I had a mom bring me her son’s senior English paper about who he admired the most. When I<br />

read it, it was about me and how I had changed his life because he was going down the wrong<br />

path. It said that because of me, his teammates, and football, he changed his ways so he could<br />

be a part of something bigger. I will never forget that. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that<br />

we have an incredible influence over so many of these players and a responsibility to help<br />

mold these athletes into young men.<br />

26 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Coach Herbert Davis<br />

<strong>Madison</strong> Ridgeland Academy<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

Finding ways to motivate players to really understand the work ethic, teamwork,<br />

and discipline it takes to be champions.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

Seeing players improve with their skills, work ethic, leadership, discipline, and spirituality.<br />

These are what really make you successful in life.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

Not as good as I should. My family has been all over the state following me around. At<br />

MRA (because of my age, experience, and goals), I am trying to do a better job of not<br />

taking my work home, and spending more time in off-season with my family.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say<br />

you taught them?<br />

The same as what my greatest reward is above, I want them to know I helped prepare<br />

them be successful men in life.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment<br />

of your coaching career?<br />

Playing for seven state championships at five different schools. With two of those<br />

schools I went back to at a later date. Makes me feel good to know we found different<br />

ways to motivate and coach hard to take those programs to a higher level<br />

in a short time.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 27

Coach Kenny Burton<br />

Ridgeland High School<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

Young athletes these days have so much going on in their lives that it’s a big task to get<br />

them to remain focused on football at times. So that seems to be the biggest challenge.<br />

It’s something that we talk about everyday.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

My greatest reward is when I see a young man that I’ve coached many years ago and he<br />

talks to me about the rewards and lessons in life that he was able to take from the game.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say you<br />

taught them?<br />

I want my players to leave here with great work habits a strong faith that will carry over<br />

into their adult life.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment of your<br />

coaching career?<br />

Without question, the most rewarding accomplishment is seeing the players grow up to<br />

be successful and to be a great dad.<br />

28 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Coach Daryl Jones<br />

Canton High School<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

To get everyone on the same page and manage a variety of egos and personalities.<br />

This includes parents, coaches, players, managers, administrators, etc.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

When former athletes come see me and let me know how they benefited from having<br />

been in our program.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

This is a very difficult task. I don’t have any hobbies. Family is a priority and coaching<br />

requires a great deal of time. If I’m not at work, I am with my family.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say<br />

you taught them?<br />

Work ethic.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment<br />

of your coaching career?<br />

I have not taken time to consider this. I hope the best is yet to come.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 29

Coach David Blount<br />

Tri-County Academy<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

My most challenging task as a coach is trying to decide how hard to push your players to<br />

win. All coaches want to win every game, but you have to decide at what cost. It’s our job<br />

to keep our players safe, to teach sportsmanship, life lessons and make the game fun.<br />

When you win, all of these things are easily achieved. The real test is how you and your<br />

team react after a loss.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

Watching my team succeed and have fun.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

I’m lucky to have my son with me everyday when I go to work. I get to have family time<br />

and work at the same time. When I go home, I try not to take my work with me.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say<br />

you taught them?<br />

I hope that I influence them in a positive way and make them a better person.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment<br />

of your coaching career?<br />

The wins and championships are great, but I really enjoy seeing my former players grow<br />

into nice young men and succeed in life. I’ve really enjoyed coaching with several of my<br />

former players over the years.<br />

30 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Coach David Bradberry<br />

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School<br />

What is your most challenging task as a football coach?<br />

Sometimes we forget that the game is about the kids and their development.<br />

As I get older, I try to remember this. Maximizing the time we have with our players<br />

is vital at St. Andrew’s. These student athletes have a lot to juggle with work and football.<br />

What is your greatest reward as a coach?<br />

Watching our players develop into the best they can be in football and the other aspects<br />

of their lives. Hopefully, they all will become productive citizens and role models to the<br />

generations that will follow them.<br />

How do you balance coaching and family life?<br />

I am lucky enough to be married to the most wonderful wife a man could hope for. Rose has<br />

supported me through the good and the bad times. She raised our two daughters without<br />

much help from me for a lot of years. I’m thankful to have her as my partner.<br />

What is the one character trait you would like your players to say<br />

you taught them?<br />

Respect your fellow man. Don’t be afraid of failure. You have to get up the next day and<br />

go back to work.<br />

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment<br />

of your coaching career?<br />

Having the opportunity to be involved with so many remarkable people over these last 40 years.<br />

The relationships that have developed have been amazing.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 31

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34 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Few things generate the type of extreme excitement – often described<br />

as "religion" in the South – other than Division One Football.<br />

We recently caught up with Hugh Freeze, Dan Mullen and Todd Monken<br />

for a <strong>Hometown</strong> Q&A, to find out what their days look like<br />

just days leading up to kick-off.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 35

36 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Hugh Freeze<br />

Head Coach<br />

What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?<br />

Walk of Champions.<br />

Who or what inspired you to become<br />

a coach?<br />

My father.<br />

What do you consider your greatest<br />

achievement/accomplishment and why?<br />

Being the father of three girls.<br />

Is there a part of your job that you<br />

didn’t anticipate?<br />

Media.<br />

If you could give one piece of advice<br />

to a young person, what would it be?<br />

Work as hard as you can and trust God with the results.<br />

What do you love most about oxford?<br />

It fits my lifestyle.<br />

What is the most rewarding thing<br />

about your job?<br />

Having a platform to influence those I come in contact with.<br />

What’s your biggest win as a coach?<br />

Winning the conference title in my second season at<br />

Lambuth and the 2012 Egg Bowl.<br />

What is your favorite childhood sports<br />

memory?<br />

Playing baseball with all of my friends in a small community.<br />

What are your feelings about having<br />

more teams in the national play-offs?<br />

I would like to see the season shortened to 11 games and an<br />

eight-team playoff within the bowl structure.<br />

What’s one of the most difficult things<br />

about being a public figure?<br />

The criticism and negativity that comes from social media.<br />

what’s the most rewarding thing about<br />

being a public figure?<br />

The platform to influence people in a positive way.<br />

What’s your favorite thing to do in<br />

your spare time?<br />

Family, golf, and fishing.<br />

Who is your biggest fan?<br />

My wife and three daughters.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 37

38 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Dan Mullen<br />

Head Coach<br />

What is the typical day in the life of<br />

a college coach?<br />

It changes every day. It starts early and ends late with all<br />

kinds of surprises in between.<br />

Who or what inspired you to become a<br />

coach?<br />

I have always loved football since I was young. I learned the<br />

7-times table in math right away because of touchdowns. I<br />

have always loved teaching young people and have a master’s<br />

degree in education. So I think I was always drawn to be a<br />

coach.<br />

What do you consider your greatest<br />

achievement/accomplishment and why?<br />

Becoming a head coach. I have had to work for everything<br />

to get where I am today. I played small college football, had<br />

no family connections, am from the northeast and yet I am<br />

the head coach at MSU. It is a lesson that if you are willing<br />

to work hard, sacrifice and are committed to your goals you<br />

can make your dreams come true.<br />

Is there a part of your job that you<br />

didn’t anticipate?<br />

There is nothing that can prepare you to be the head coach<br />

and make all the decisions and deal with all the issues you<br />

have to deal with.<br />

If you could give one piece of advice<br />

to a young person, what would it be?<br />

Work hard, be willing to make sacrifices and stay committed<br />

to your goals and you will accomplish them.<br />

What do you love most about Starkville?<br />

The people. This is a great community and the best college<br />

town in the south because of the people that make this town<br />

great.<br />

What is the most rewarding thing<br />

about your job?<br />

Seeing young men graduate and get to live out their dreams.<br />

What is your favorite Mississippi State<br />

tradition?<br />

The cowbell. It means so much to people. It’s a sense of<br />

pride that is handed down from generation to generation.<br />

What’s your biggest win as a coach?<br />

Graduation Day when my players walk across that stage.<br />

Besides your home stadium, where is<br />

your favorite place to play and why?<br />

Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah. I had a lot of<br />

great memories there.<br />

What is your favorite childhood sports<br />

memory?<br />

Winning the 1998 New Hampshire State Football<br />

Championship.<br />

What are your feelings about having<br />

more teams in the national play-offs?<br />

We need to see how this system works first before we try to<br />

change again.<br />

What’s one of the most difficult things<br />

about being a public figure?<br />

The most difficult is that I, along with my family, have to<br />

give up all our privacy in our lives. We are open game to<br />

anyone, anytime, good or bad.<br />

what’s the most rewarding thing about<br />

being a public figure?<br />

I am in a position to make a positive impact on people lives<br />

just by being me. You are able to pick people up that are<br />

going thru hard times.<br />

What’s your favorite thing to do in<br />

your spare time?<br />

Spend time with my family<br />

Who is your biggest fan?<br />

My son Canon.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 39

40 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

todd mOnken<br />

Head Coach<br />

Who or what inspired you to become<br />

a coach?<br />

It would have to be my father. He was a coach and all of his<br />

brothers were coaches – all high school coaches. I would say<br />

that was the initial inspiration.<br />

What do you consider your greatest<br />

achievement/accomplishment and why?<br />

Getting my college degree in economics (at Knox College).<br />

If you could give one piece of advice<br />

to a young person, what would it be?<br />

You never go wrong with great energy, attitude and body<br />

language.<br />

What is the most rewarding thing<br />

about your job?<br />

Impacting young player’s lives. Trying to create the best<br />

version of them you can.<br />

What is the typical day in the life of<br />

a college coach?<br />

First of all, those days are atypical. These is something<br />

different every day. You go from having one child to 101<br />

children, so every day is consistently inconsistent.<br />

What is your favorite Southern Miss<br />

tradition?<br />

It is our Eagle Walk before home games.<br />

What do you love most about Hattiesburg?<br />

The people.<br />

What’s your favorite thing to do in<br />

your spare time?<br />

Spend time with my son.<br />

When you hear “Southern Miss fanatic,”<br />

is there someone who comes to mind<br />

and why?<br />

The one that is on the good end and loves everything about<br />

it is Bill Brodhead. He is not always at everything but he<br />

loves Southern Miss football. I don’t know if fanatic is the<br />

word, but he is fanatical about how kids are doing and about<br />

where we are headed.<br />

What’s your biggest win as a coach?<br />

UAB in 2013.<br />

Besides your home stadium, where is<br />

your favorite place to play and why?<br />

Anywhere we are winning.<br />

What is your favorite childhood sports<br />

memory?<br />

When I was a kid I was umpiring Little League baseball and<br />

my brother ended up pitching and couldn’t throw a strike.<br />

He must have walked like 10 kids and I had to keep calling<br />

balls, because he wasn’t throwing any strikes. He kept walking<br />

everybody and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing<br />

and that my Mom and Dad would be upset, but he just<br />

couldn’t get it over the plate.<br />

What are your feelings about having<br />

more teams in the national play-offs?<br />

I have always believed that a playoff system is unbelievable.<br />

There should be more teams. It would be more exciting –<br />

it has been proven with the NCAA Basketball Tournament<br />

how exciting it is – even just with the four teams that we<br />

had last year. I would hate to see it go to that, though; just<br />

based on the bowl games. I don’t think you can have as<br />

many neutral site games (in a playoff ) because there is a<br />

lot to be said for going to a bowl game and the reward for<br />

your season for your players and coaches at a site that hosts<br />

you and it really is a neat deal for your kids that have never<br />

been anywhere. The moment you that expand the playoffs it<br />

really diminishes the bowl. Right now, we don’t diminish the<br />

bowls. There is two weeks of it and all the other teams get to<br />

experience the postseason.<br />

Who is your biggest fan?<br />

My son Travis.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 41

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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 43

No matter where you spend your Saturdays<br />

during football season, there's one thing for<br />

certain. hometown hospitality is universal...<br />

regardless of your colors. So pitch your tent,<br />

load up the coolers and enjoy the best time<br />

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44 • March/April Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong> <strong>2015</strong>

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls<br />

• 1 can (8 count) Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls<br />

• 8 slices pre-cooked bacon<br />

__________________________________________________<br />

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.<br />

• Unwrap the cinnamon rolls and separate.<br />

• Carefully unroll each roll and place a piece of bacon on top<br />

of the dough.<br />

• Gently re-roll the dough and arrange cinnamon rolls in cake pan.<br />

• Bake for 15 minutes, or until cinnamon rolls are golden brown.<br />

• Remove rolls from the oven and cover with the included frosting.<br />

Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: 15 minutes • Servings: 8<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 45

Bully’s<br />

Bulldog Bash<br />

Blackbean & Corn Salsa<br />

46 • March/April Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

• 1 (8 ounce) cans Rotel<br />

• 1 (14 ounce) can whole kernel<br />

or shoepeg corn<br />

• 1 (16 ounce) can black beans<br />

• 1 (4 ounce) can green chilies<br />

(optional)<br />

• 1 packet taco seasoning mix<br />

• Shredded fiesta blend cheese<br />

• Lime juice to taste<br />

• Drain canned vegetables.<br />

• Reserve a few tablespoons<br />

of Rotel liquid.<br />

• Mix together all ingredients,<br />

making sure spices are well<br />

blended.<br />

• Cover and refrigerate,<br />

allowing flavors to blend.<br />

• Serve with a hearty scooped chip

Smoked Ham & Cheese Sliders<br />

• 24 Hawaiian rolls<br />

• 24 pieces smoked ham<br />

• 24 small slices Swiss cheese<br />

• 1/3 cup Miracle Whip<br />

• Spread Miracle Whip onto both<br />

sides of the center of each roll.<br />

• Place a slice of ham and a slice<br />

of Swiss inside of each roll.<br />

• Close rolls and place them into<br />

a large baking dish or heavy<br />

cookie sheet.<br />

• Place very close together.<br />

Poppy seed sauce<br />

• 1 Tablespoon poppyseeds<br />

• 1½ Tablespoons yellow<br />

mustard<br />

• ½ cup butter, melted<br />

• 1 Tablespoon minced onion<br />

• ½ teaspoon Worcestershire<br />

sauce<br />

• In a medium bowl, whisk together<br />

all ingredients.<br />

• Pour evenly over all of the<br />

sandwiches. You do not have to<br />

use all of the sauce. Just use<br />

enough to cover the tops.<br />

• Let sit 10 minutes or until butter<br />

sets slightly.<br />

• Cover with foil and bake at<br />

350 degrees for 12-15 minutes<br />

or until cheese is melted.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 47

The Eagle’s Nest<br />

Snickerdip<br />

• 2 pkgs. (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened<br />

• 1/2 cup brown sugar<br />

• 1 container (8 ounces) Cool Whip<br />

• 6 Snickers candy bars, chopped into small chunks<br />

(or 15 to 20 fun size Snickers)<br />

• 2 to 3 tablespoons caramel sauce for drizzling<br />

on top (optional)<br />

• Use a mixer to beat together cream cheese and brown sugar until<br />

smooth. Mix in Cool Whip. Fold in about three-quarters of the Snickers<br />

bars. Refrigerate at least a few hours. Before serving drizzle with caramel<br />

and top with remaining Snickers pieces. Great served with apple slices,<br />

pretzels, animal crackers and graham crackers for dipping.<br />

48 • March/April Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong> <strong>2015</strong>

Game Day Frito Chili Pie<br />

• Set up a big tub of single-serve Fritos and surround with bowls<br />

of your favorite toppings.<br />

• Lightly crunch the pack of Fritos in your hands. You don’t want<br />

them in crumbs, but you want them broken up a bit.<br />

• Slice open the side of the package.<br />

• Pour in 3/4 cup of chili.<br />

• Sprinkle some shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes on top of the chili.<br />

• Sprinkle onions on top, if desired.<br />

• Add a spoonful of sour cream, if desired.<br />

• Top it all with cheese a fiesta blend cheese and some sliced jalapeños<br />

for an extra kick.<br />

• Grab a plastic spoon and stick it in the middle, and you’re ready<br />

to enjoy a genuine Frito Chili Pie – right out of the bag.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 49

50 • May/June Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 51

House<br />

DividedEmily Witcher<br />

52 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

y connection to Mississippi began a little differently<br />

than most. Born into a Navy family, and moving every<br />

18 to 24 months, I didn’t have much of a personal<br />

understanding of southern roots.<br />

I was born in Hawaii and moved from<br />

California to D.C. to the Mississippi coast<br />

with several map dots in between. Everywhere<br />

we went people were astounded to<br />

learn that we all couldn’t wait to get back<br />

“home” to Mississippi. The only true home<br />

I knew was through my parent’s parents<br />

in Tupelo and Memphis. I saw that in the<br />

South people knew your name, cared about<br />

others and didn’t stare when you said,<br />

“Y’all”. Our visits to grandparents is where<br />

I learned that the South was special–and<br />

Mississippi was in my soul. I was raised to<br />

love Mississippi, all things southern and<br />

definitely Ole Miss.<br />

Typical of most SEC alumni, I followed<br />

in my parents’ and an older brother’s footsteps<br />

(then 2 younger brothers in mine) and<br />

attended their alma mater, Ole Miss. It was<br />

the longest I had ever lived anywhere and I<br />

relished in that experience. The friendships<br />

made along the way are the closest friends<br />

I’ve known. I still laugh at all the fun we<br />

had, road trips taken and stories told that<br />

make me glad for the lack of social media<br />

back then. Little did I know that the one<br />

night I wasn’t even going to leave the dorm<br />

I would meet my future husband.<br />

The night we met was full of banter, to<br />

say the least. He discovered really quickly<br />

that a girl with three brothers, and an athlete<br />

herself, was not going to take a whole lot from<br />

anyone. But, he still pursued me, regardless<br />

of my true allegiance to the Rebels and his<br />

to the MSU Bulldogs. We dated long distance<br />

for 5 years and were married in 2004. I’m<br />

not sure either of us could honestly say we<br />

had a clue what each football season would<br />

entail. We are both avid fans of our teams<br />

and couldn’t fathom downgrading that<br />

enthusiasm….not even for each other.<br />

Our football relationship was, and is still,<br />

far from golden and that Golden Egg is a<br />

tarnishing subject for us (and all involved<br />

in our lives) every year. But after 16 years<br />

together (11 married) and 2 children, we’ve<br />

come a long way. We sat together at the<br />

’99 Egg Bowl and didn’t speak for 2 weeks<br />

afterward. So, needless to say, haven’t sat<br />

together since. We’ve gradually learned to<br />

bite our tongues until they hurt and understand<br />

now that most things are better left<br />

unsaid. And, as with all things, it’s all<br />

fun and games until children are<br />

involved and thus, a book idea<br />

was born.<br />

I had grown tired of the<br />

endless debate with my<br />

two children, now 4 and 7,<br />

of why we didn’t all cheer<br />

for the same school–and<br />

in the midst of various<br />

explanations, a story grew.<br />

I began journaling about<br />

what I wanted my children<br />

to understand about a rivalry or<br />

any other difference of opinion that<br />

may come their way. I knew that the larger<br />

picture was most important which was to<br />

love God, love people and be kind. And<br />

at the end of the day, scores, records and<br />

“eggs” don’t earn us points for the Lord. We<br />

can love our schools and sports, but it’s our<br />

love for each other that grows His Kingdom.<br />

In the end, the souls of man and the<br />

Son of God are all that stands eternal.<br />

I believe that God gave me a gift of<br />

creativity and the ability to look at things<br />

from a different perspective due, in large<br />

part, to constantly adapting to new surroundings<br />

in my formidable years. Words<br />

and art are my outlet and I’m thankful that<br />

God opens doors for me along the way to<br />

use those gifts to glorify Him. So this book<br />

is a lot of my heart, on page.<br />

I wrote A House Divided as an endearing<br />

book geared toward children that I hope<br />

will showcase our heated rivalry in a new<br />

light. The illustrations, by Mississippi artist<br />

and MSU grad, Joanna Keith, were based<br />

off pictures of my own family. I hope that<br />

it is read and re-read by State and Ole Miss<br />

fans alike. After last year’s football publicity,<br />

now is the time to showcase how great this<br />

state, not just one school or the other, is to<br />

us all.<br />

In Mark 3:25 Jesus tells the Pharisees<br />

that, “A House divided against itself will<br />

not stand.” I kept this verse close to me<br />

throughout the entire publishing process<br />

and would be naive to<br />

believe the banter or<br />

rivalry will cease–but<br />

I do honestly pray that<br />

we as “divided families”<br />

remember that, “for better<br />

or worse” also means on<br />

Saturdays in the fall. And<br />

life does go on after the<br />

whistle blows.<br />

It is our Mississippi,<br />

and being proud of what<br />

we have, believe and do<br />

is something on which to<br />

hang your hat. Take it from<br />

this Navy brat; no one ever retires and<br />

moves up north. It took me long enough<br />

to grow roots and taking that for granted<br />

is not something you will catch me doing.<br />

I pray this book displays that love for my<br />

state and that not only children, but adults,<br />

see the big picture I wanted to portray.<br />

As Faulkner once wrote, “To understand<br />

the world, you must first understand a place<br />

like Mississippi.” We don’t have to understand<br />

each other’s schools, just our state. ■<br />

_________________________________________<br />

Emily is a 2002 graduate of Ole Miss and now lives in <strong>Madison</strong><br />

with her husband, Jay, and two children, Tripp and Sophie. Tripp<br />

is a Bulldog with Jay while Sophie is a Rebel with her mama.<br />

She is the owner of Ruff Draft Papers, a custom stationery business<br />

that she runs out of her home. They continue to go separate ways<br />

in the fall for most respective home games but have definitely<br />

learned not to divide themselves when it’s all said and done.<br />

She is currently working on other SEC rivalry stories.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 53

54 • May/June <strong>2015</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 55

56 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

A Classic European Invasion<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Some of the most elite names in European automobiles like<br />

Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Alfa Romeo will be on display<br />

at the seventh annual Renaissance Euro Fest Classic European<br />

Auto and Motorcycle Show on <strong>October</strong> 3rd.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 57

Mike Marsh is a self-proclaimed car guy. So where does a car<br />

guy go to see other cars? Cars like Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz,<br />

Ferrari, and Alfa Romeo? Some of the most elite names in<br />

European automobiles will be on display at the seventh annual<br />

Renaissance Euro Fest Classic European Auto and Motorcycle<br />

Show on <strong>October</strong> 3. Founded in 2008 by Marsh, the show has<br />

grown each year and is now recognized as one of the premier<br />

European classic car shows in the country.<br />

A collector of vintage Mercedes-Benz, Marsh has been<br />

entering his cars in shows for years. “The problem for me was that<br />

most car shows were mixed shows,” said Marsh. “There were hot<br />

rods, muscle cars, trucks and more, but very few classic European<br />

cars. I wanted a show that was purely European cars, and classic<br />

cars, meaning the cars are 25 years old or older. I always said if I<br />

could find a local venue that’s right for this kind of show, I’d make<br />

it happen.”<br />

When the Renaissance at Colony Park opened in Ridgeland,<br />

Marsh saw more than a collection of stores and restaurants. He<br />

saw the elegant Mediterranean architecture, a dedication to green<br />

space, the majestic clock tower and the old-world fountain. “It had<br />

a real European flavor to it, and I knew it would be the ideal place<br />

for the kind of car show I wanted to present. I went to Jan<br />

Mattiace, the marketing and communications director for<br />

Mattiace Properties, and Renee DeWeese, the marketing director<br />

for the Renaissance, and after selling them on the idea, they took<br />

the flag up the hill to get it done.”<br />

The first event was held with mixed anticipation, according to<br />

Marsh. “The Sunday after the show, I was home catching up on<br />

paperwork and emails, and made a note to call Renee the next<br />

day to make sure she was pleased. Just then, the phone rang and it<br />

was Renee, wanting to set the date of next year’s show.”<br />

Now locked in on the first Saturday of each <strong>October</strong>, Euro<br />

Fest has always enjoyed ideal weather. “We’ve been lucky,” Marsh<br />

said. “We haven’t been rained out yet!” But there is a contingency<br />

plan. In case of rain, the event will be held in the parking garage<br />

next door.<br />

The event draws approximately 15,000 people each year,<br />

many of whom come from several states away. There are typically<br />

over 150 entries with cars manufactured in five countries: Britain,<br />

Italy, Germany, Sweden and France. The car owners have come<br />

58 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

A Classic European Invasion<br />

from nine southeast states. Spectators can see such classic cars as<br />

Volkswagen, Porsche, Land Rover, Royal Enfield, Talbot Lago,<br />

Daimler, Jaguar, Bugatti, Ducati, Marcos and more. All cars are<br />

manufactured before 1991. To see how many of the cars have<br />

evolved over the years, local dealerships will be on hand with the<br />

latest 2016 models.<br />

Marsh says Euro Fest is the only show of its kind that is both<br />

European and open, and charges no registration fee for the<br />

exhibitors, and the event is free to the public. The cars are judged<br />

at 9:00am by a team of judges headed up by a gentleman from<br />

Vicksburg who judges big shows all over the world. “Winners are<br />

announced at 4:00pm,” said Marsh, “and the prizes are really<br />

nice, ranging from engraved silver plated trays and champagne<br />

buckets to mahogany dresser boxes.”<br />

The show is financed by “a very loyal and generous group of<br />

sponsors,” said Marsh. “They use the show as an opportunity to<br />

entertain clients.” It’s no accident that the show is held within a<br />

stone’s throw of several office buildings that house Fortune 500<br />

companies as well as some of the most successful companies in the<br />

state. A partnering presenting sponsor is Ridgeland Tourism.<br />

“They were always supportive,” said Marsh, “but when I shared<br />

the hotel report from the show a couple of years later, they were all<br />

onboard!”<br />

Those attending the festival are quite loyal as well. “The first<br />

year of the festival, we had a FedEx pilot from Memphis come<br />

down to show his Ferrari,” Marsh explained. “He loved it so<br />

much, the next year he brought three more FedEx pilots, all<br />

Ferrari owners. They have become disciples of sorts, telling others<br />

about how good this show is.”<br />

The merchants of Renaissance at Colony Park like the event<br />

as well. An event that would bring 15,000 people to a center in<br />

one day is a good thing, as not everyone spends the entire day<br />

looking at cars. “When Lee Michael’s Jewelers moved into the<br />

center, they wanted to be a part of the show,” said Marsh. “This<br />

will be the third year in a row the store will host an opening<br />

reception for the exhibitors.”<br />

Another interesting aspect of the show is the youth training<br />

program. Marsh said that one of the festival sponsors, Hagerty, an<br />

insurer of classic cars, works with area youth at the event to teach<br />

them about the various cars and what the judges are looking for.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 59

“It’s fun to watch the kids tell their parents about the cars.”<br />

Marsh stressed that Euro Fest is a family-friendly event and<br />

said the public is encouraged to come and bring their cameras.<br />

“Chances are, you’ll see a vehicle you’ve never seen before, or may<br />

never see again.” And chances are, you’ll wish you were in the<br />

driver’s seat. ■<br />

For more information<br />

on Renaissance Euro<br />

Fest Classic European<br />

Auto and Motorcycle<br />

Show, visit the<br />

event website at<br />

www.euro-fest.net<br />

60 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 61

62 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

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66 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

I t’s a Wonderful Life Camille<br />

Anding<br />

Spend a brief time with Betty Clarke, a resident of<br />

Sunnybrook Estates, and you’ll find that “wonderful” is<br />

a standard word in her vocabulary. She will celebrate a<br />

wonderful life of eighty-eight years this <strong>October</strong>.<br />

As a child growing up in Florence, Mississippi with six sisters<br />

and one brother, she remembers the depression as a time that<br />

her parents worked hard to provide for their family. “We had a<br />

huge garden and a lot of love,” she recalls. For Betty, that meant<br />

that their essential needs were met.<br />

Her grandmother, widowed at age thirty-nine, lived with<br />

them and added to Betty’s joy as a child. “Her sweet face was<br />

always at the door waiting on us when we got off the school bus,”<br />

Betty remembers. “It was comforting to know someone was<br />

always home.” Their after-school snack was always waiting too<br />

– a biscuit that she poked her finger into and filled with syrup.<br />

When asked about a favorite childhood memory, she said<br />

that her baptism in a local pond was a highlight. Two men with<br />

sticks waded into the water before the candidates to scare away<br />

any snakes. Immediately after the young ladies emerged from<br />

the water in their white linen dresses, they donned raincoats in<br />

keeping with expected genteel attire.<br />

Soon after completing Hinds Junior College, a friend<br />

invited her to a picnic with a Marine Corp fighter pilot,<br />

Cy Clarke. “He was a confirmed bachelor,<br />

but he asked me for a date the next night,”<br />

Betty said with a contagious laugh. She<br />

turned him down because she was to<br />

attend a church meeting. The young<br />

pilot was even more captivated with her<br />

because of her spiritual priorities.<br />

Six months later in 1959, they were married. Betty paused in<br />

a quiet reflection on those wonderful days before continuing<br />

her conversation. “He was a wonderful husband and daddy.”<br />

The happy couple raised two sons and a daughter that<br />

Betty calls “wonderful,” and she’s equally proud of their six<br />

grandchildren.<br />

Cy survived a severe heart attack but wasn’t able to overcome<br />

their next challenge: Alzheimer’s. He was diagnosed in 1991<br />

and for the next five years, Betty became his chief care-giver.<br />

“It’s the saddest disease anyone can have,” Betty asserted.<br />

She would arrange after-hour appointments for his dental<br />

care and for his haircuts. Every day he asked to “ride.” It was his<br />

single desire. Most days, she chauffeured him around the<br />

Jackson and Florence area for up to seven hours a day.<br />

After five years of challenging care-giving, Betty’s physician,<br />

now concerned for her health, encouraged her to place Cy in a<br />

VA nursing home. He lived three more months while Betty<br />

made two to three daily visits to be with him.<br />

Two years ago, Betty decided it was time for a change in her<br />

fourteen-year independent lifestyle. She moved into Sunnybrook<br />

and immediately brightened its halls with her broad<br />

smile and stately pace. “It’s a wonderful new home,” she says of<br />

her comfortable apartment and new list of friends.<br />

After a lifetime of caring for others, Betty’s indulging in the<br />

care now given to her. She’s a bundle of<br />

energy and participates in all of Sunnybrook’s<br />

activities. On Bulldog game-day,<br />

you’ll find her in her apartment, alone,<br />

watching the competition. She’s one of<br />

those die-hard, “wonderful” fans who<br />

frowns on conversation during the games.<br />

Go Dawgs and go, Betty Clarke! ■<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 67

68 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

ALL<br />

FOR<br />

ONE<br />

JaCKSON aCadeMY<br />

RaideR Night<br />

{<br />

Open House<br />

}<br />

with guided<br />

tours showcasing grades 7–12<br />





THE JA WAY<br />

Learn more at<br />

jacksonacademy.org/raidernight<br />

Register online by Mon., Sept. 21, to be<br />

entered to win a pair of Beats headphones.<br />

One entry per person. Must be present to win.<br />

Register online:<br />

jacksonacademy.org/raidernight<br />

Thursday, <strong>September</strong> 24, <strong>2015</strong><br />

Tours begin in the Performing Arts Center from 4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. JA | 4908 Ridgewood Road | Jackson, MS 39211<br />

jacksonacademy.org/raidernight | 601.362.9676<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 69

Marie Hull (1890-1980), Bright Fields (detail), 1967. oil on canvas. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art. Mississippi Art Association purchase. 1972.008.<br />



AND<br />


with MARIE HULL<br />

Unseen sketchbooks from<br />

the artist’s far-flung travels<br />

Traveler.<br />

Trailblazer.<br />

Teacher.<br />

Mississippi<br />

Master.<br />

ON VIEW SEPTEMBER 26, <strong>2015</strong> – JANUARY 10, 2016<br />


These exhibitions present nearly<br />

150 works by beloved artist Marie Hull<br />

(1890-1980) – the most ever assembled –<br />

drawn from the Museum’s unsurpassed<br />

collection of Hull’s work as well as those<br />

found at Delta State University, the Ogden<br />

Museum of Southern Art, the University<br />

of Mississippi Museum, and many private<br />

collections.<br />

Cost: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 students.<br />

FREE children 5 and under, FREE FOR MUSEUM MEMBERS<br />





601.960.1515 1.866.VIEWART<br />


Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull is sponsored by<br />



BETSY & WADE<br />


On the Road with Marie Hull is sponsored<br />

by Dea Dea and Dolph Baker<br />

70 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>

Worthy of Merit<br />

Steve Dobbs has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merit Health<br />

to oversee efforts of enhancing quality, improving access to quality care, and<br />

expanding services for patients across the central Mississippi region.<br />

Dobbs has nearly three decades of executive healthcare management experience,<br />

serving in leadership roles at hospitals and healthcare organizations in Oklahoma,<br />

Florida and Kansas. Most recently, he served as CEO of Urologic Specialists of<br />

Oklahoma, a 20-member physician practice in Tulsa. He has worked with countless<br />

boards of directors, institutional officials, government regulators, the media, and<br />

community leaders. His accomplishments have graced the front page of USA Today<br />

and he has even been a healthcare contributor on The Fox News show, Fox & Friends.<br />

Dobbs holds a master’s degree in health services administration from the<br />

University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from<br />

Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> spoke with Steve in more detail about his role with Merit Health:<br />

Q. What is your vision for Merit Health?<br />

A. Ultimately, I look forward to utilizing our vast group of physicians and professionals<br />

to expand access to quality care. Merit Health is developing innovative ways to care<br />

for the central Mississippi community, and I am excited about the opportunities in our<br />

future. We hope to become the first choice of patients in the region.<br />

Our company culture is also evolving. New programs empower employees to<br />

optimize the overall patient experience through a more mindful approach. We are<br />

also providing new tools that enhance safety, communication, and quality measures.<br />

Q. Lately, I have seen the Merit Health name<br />

more frequently. What have been some of your<br />

growth initiatives?<br />

A. Recently, we added over 30 Merit Health Medical Group clinics to our six<br />

hospitals (Merit Health Central, Merit Health <strong>Madison</strong>, Merit Health Rankin, Merit<br />

Health River Oaks, Merit Health River Region, and Merit Health Woman’s Hospital)<br />

in the Jackson/Vicksburg metropolitan area. Overall, we employ more than 3,300<br />

people, have 1,200 licensed beds, and 1,800 physicians on active medical staff.<br />

As these entities join together in various ways, we are making a concerted effort<br />

to inform our patients that first and foremost, their health and experience in our<br />

facilities is our top priority.<br />

For example, you may have seen our 30 minute ER service pledge campaign.<br />

We’ve incorporated a tool within our emergency departments that allows us to see<br />

patients within 30 minutes of their arrival. Providing this level of service is one way<br />

we are communicating the benefits of utilizing our facilities to the community.<br />

Q. Now that Merit has expanded in the market,<br />

how do you plan to get involved in each of the<br />

facility’s surrounding communities?<br />

A. We are currently involved in several community programs and there are others<br />

we are further researching and engaging with over the next several months. For<br />

example, we work with a local school district to supply school nurses and health<br />

education information to families and students. We are also participating in<br />

community programs supporting cancer care, heart disease, maternal and fetal<br />

health, and many more. Personally, I am excited about getting to know community<br />

leaders and figuring out ways we can work together to improve health and vitality in<br />

all of the communities we serve.<br />

Q. I know you’ve been busy, but what do you like<br />

to do in your spare time?<br />

A. My favorite past time is going on cruises with my family. It allows us to enjoy<br />

and explore new places and unplug from our busy lives. My kids are grown, so when<br />

we have time alone together on vacation, I definitely treasure it.<br />

Q. What are you impressions of Mississippi?<br />

A. It has been a great experience thus far. Throughout my career, I have had the<br />

opportunity to live in a lot of different places and uncover the unique nuances of each.<br />

It’s been a hot summer, but one full of friendly faces and exceptional possibilities.<br />

Q. What are the latest trends helping patients<br />

lead healthier lives?<br />

A. Emphasizing the importance of prevention and patient education has become<br />

paramount. This trend started some time ago, but it has taken a while for everyone<br />

to figure out the best way to address this paradigm shift. Clinical data supports the<br />

value of prevention and we want to encourage our patients to be their own advocates.<br />

To support this endeavor, we have accelerated and improved the volume,<br />

content, and reach of our educational materials. In addition, prevention has become<br />

a more integral part of the provider and patient conversation, especially as new<br />

research uncovers ways for patients to prevent and/or live “well” with common,<br />

but debilitating illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 71

72 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>



Preview Gala & Auction<br />

Presented by the Junior League of Jackson<br />

A LEGACY OF LIGHT TOAST | 7 p.m.<br />

Presented by Ergon, Inc.<br />

WALK THE RED CARPET | 7 – 9 p.m.<br />

Presented by C Spire<br />

SILENT & PREMIER AUCTIONS | 7 – 10 p.m.<br />

LIVE AUCTION | 9 p.m.<br />

Presented by Patty Peck Honda<br />

PRESENT PICK | 6 – 10 p.m.<br />

Presented by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry<br />

Thursday, November 5<br />


8 – 11 a.m.<br />

Presented by Trustmark<br />


Girls’ Night Out Event<br />

6 – 8 p.m.<br />

Presented by Belk<br />



THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5 | 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.<br />

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 | 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.<br />

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.<br />

Friday, November 6<br />


8 – 11 a.m.<br />

Presented by Regions<br />


11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.<br />

Featuring Vicki Lawrence<br />

Presented by Baptist Health Systems<br />


For Tweens and Teens<br />

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.<br />

Presented by University of Mississippi<br />

Medical Center<br />

#flashbackfriday<br />

7:30 – 11 p.m.<br />

Presented by Southern Beverage Co., Inc.<br />



2:30 – 6:30 p.m.<br />

Saturday, November 7<br />



8 a.m.<br />

Presented by St. Dominic’s<br />



9 a.m. – 3 p.m.<br />


9:30 – 11 a.m.<br />

Presented by the<br />

Junior League of Jackson<br />

For more information or to order tickets, please visit MistletoeMarkeplace.com or call 1.888.324.0027.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 73

Camille Anding<br />

The Time Coin<br />

Beth waved to her son, Walker, as he<br />

backed out of the drive. He stopped,<br />

rolled down his window and said, “This is<br />

the last time I’ll be doing this.” And with<br />

another wave he was off to his last football<br />

season at college.<br />

It wasn’t raining, but the clouds were<br />

heavy and dark like Beth’s heart. Sadness<br />

nudged her and wanted to move in, but<br />

she refused the request and tried to<br />

were no butterflies or jitters like that first<br />

departure. This was just the final leg of a long,<br />

arduous journey. Maturity was his companion<br />

today.<br />

Beth busied herself with the usual work all<br />

afternoon, but her demeanor was very sober<br />

and reflective. Time had done it to her again<br />

– slipped up behind and rearranged life.<br />

Another era was about to end in their lives, and<br />

nothing she could do could alter what time and<br />

concentrate on the blessings she and her family had enjoyed the few<br />

short weeks he had been home. Beth slowly walked back into the house,<br />

but Walker’s words followed close behind her.<br />

Where had the years gone? She thought that she had kept count by<br />

months, weeks, days, even by the hour. She could remember that first<br />

summer he pulled out of the drive – his vehicle loaded like a gypsy<br />

wagon and she and his dad following him with a van filled with more<br />

typical freshman essentials. It was a giant step from his bedroom down<br />

the hall to a second floor room in the college dorm.<br />

Today’s leave was so different. He didn’t need a caravan to carry his<br />

belongings, and there certainly wasn’t a need for a parent escort. There<br />

change were affecting.<br />

Suddenly the words of a song came to her mind: “Seize the moment.”<br />

It wasn’t just the “firsts” and “lasts” we were to tuck away in our<br />

scrapbooks. It’s each moment, good and bad that join together to<br />

make up life.<br />

It was a fact. Reminiscing over the past, dreaming about or fearing the<br />

future were enemies that could rob her of the present. Some wise<br />

person had said that it’s called the “present” because today is a gift.<br />

The heavy clouds cleared the room as Beth headed for the kitchen.<br />

Walker would need a box of his favorite cookies. She would start early<br />

to make his senior year his most special. ■<br />

74 • Sept/Oct <strong>2015</strong>


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<strong>Hometown</strong> madison • 75

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