Hometown Rankin - December 2015 & January 2016

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volume 2 number 5<br />

dec 15/jan 16<br />

Christmas Treats & Treasures

Thank You<br />

Paid for by Friends of Haydn Roberts<br />

My family and I sincerely thank<br />

the citizens of <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

for placing your faith in me by<br />

electing me as <strong>Rankin</strong> County's<br />

next Chancery Court Judge.<br />

The outpouring of love and<br />

support shown to us by so many<br />

is truly humbling and I<br />

appreciate all of you who<br />

donated your time, efforts and<br />

resources toward this campaign.<br />

I promise to all who call <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County home that I will<br />

dedicate myself to upholding<br />

and following the law and being<br />

the kind of Chancery Court<br />

Judge <strong>Rankin</strong> County needs<br />

and deserves…one of honesty,<br />

integrity and impartiality.<br />

-Haydn Roberts<br />

4 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

publisher & Editor<br />

Tahya A. Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin W. Dobbs<br />

Consulting Editor<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Account Executives<br />

Alicia Adams<br />

LeeAnn Evans<br />

Rachel Lombardo<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Susan O'Bryan<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Kerri Walker<br />

staff Photographer<br />

Othel Anding<br />

Contributing<br />

Photographers<br />

Bubba Brantley<br />

Charla Jordan<br />

Angie Miles<br />

Administrative<br />

Assistants<br />

Alisha Floyd<br />

Brenda McCall<br />

Layout Design<br />

Daniel Thomas - 3dt<br />

Missy Donaldson - MAD Designs<br />

• • •<br />

This special Christmas edition marks <strong>Hometown</strong><br />

Magazines’ second anniversary. As I celebrate our<br />

wonderful, exciting venture, I also reflect over the<br />

year’s happenings that have made up life for us in <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

There were wonderful things that happened<br />

along the way but it was also a year of great loss.<br />

We attended two funerals—my grandmother’s and<br />

father-in-law’s. Then, in October, we experienced the<br />

loss of our family pet, Thatcher. Maybe it was that it<br />

all happened within a relatively short period of time<br />

–but it felt like a lot to deal with and it was hard.<br />

However, sunshine always follows the storms,<br />

and the July sunshine was a big part of our oldest<br />

child’s wedding. Camea and Justin’s ceremony was<br />

a memorable highlight of <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

CandyLee, our youngest, added to the fanfare<br />

when she enrolled in summer school in order to<br />

graduate high school a year early. She completed<br />

her endeavor and is now a freshman at Hinds.<br />

And while we helped get her registered in early<br />

August, we packed Carson’s belongings to move him<br />

into an apartment in Oxford as a junior at Ole Miss.<br />

All those back-to-back highlights saved me a lot of<br />

tears because there was no time to cry!<br />

One of my favorite articles in this issue is the one<br />

on foster parenting. My own family cared for four<br />

brothers in the foster program for two years and saw,<br />

first-hand, the challenges and rewards. It changed<br />

our lives in such a profoundly positive way.<br />

In this season of giving, God may not ask you to<br />

become a foster parent, but He may touch your heart<br />

to encourage a foster parent you know. Perhaps you<br />

would consider a Christmas donation to an orphanage.<br />

Or, like the article suggests, be willing to help parents<br />

that foster by giving them a much needed break and<br />

offering an occasional hand.<br />

Christmas originated with the<br />

greatest Gift. In honor of Him,<br />

why not continue the giving spirit?<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownrankinmagazine<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>Rankin</strong><br />

may be reproduced without written permission from<br />

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

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

writers or editors. <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</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>Rankin</strong><br />

is funded by advertising.<br />

On the cover: Junior Auxiliary of <strong>Rankin</strong> County members Mindy Gilmore, Allison Cox, Lexie Wren, Patti Bryant,<br />

Megan Dallas and Jennifer Salter<br />

In this issue Favorite Christmas Memories 4<br />

Christmas Treats & Treasures 13<br />

The Gregg Harper Family 26<br />

An Authentic<br />

Christmas Journey 32<br />

Teach the Children 44<br />

Another Place at the Table 54<br />

Recycled Love 58<br />

Making Memories 94<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 5

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 7

8 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Karen Crowe<br />

My favorite Christmas memory<br />

is all of the Christmases of my<br />

childhood. I was blessed to be<br />

raised in a Christian home and<br />

the middle child of five children.<br />

My only grandparent lived with<br />

us. Holidays were magical and<br />

brimming with anticipation.<br />

As a family, we would go into<br />

the woods to select a cedar<br />

tree for Daddy to cut down.<br />

We made the decorations for<br />

our beautiful tree by stringing<br />

popcorn and making garlands<br />

of colored paper strips glued<br />

together. Our stockings were<br />

my daddy’s Sunday dress socks.<br />

They were filled by Santa with<br />

fruit, nuts and some candy. We<br />

gave gifts to each other like my<br />

grandmother’s favorite box of<br />

peppermint sticks or a neck tie,<br />

belt, socks, or a scarf—insignificant<br />

gifts by today’s standards,<br />

but it was perfect for us. They<br />

are priceless memories of love<br />

and family togetherness.<br />

Lisa Barber<br />

One of my favorite Christmas<br />

memories is when my younger<br />

brother and I would play the<br />

game Hangman together to<br />

guess what we got each other for<br />

Christmas. Once we both knew<br />

what we were getting, we went<br />

ahead and exchanged gifts—<br />

even if it was early in the month!<br />

Penny White<br />

My favorite Christmas memory<br />

is when I realized all our store<br />

bought Christmas stockings had<br />

worn out and then I looked at<br />

my girls and realized they are<br />

now in their teens. My how time<br />

is flying by! I decided to pull out<br />

all the craft boxes we had and we<br />

all, including my husband each<br />

decorated some amazing new<br />

stockings! No cell phones, or TV,<br />

just beautiful Christmas music<br />

and lots of laughter and time<br />

spent with my sweet family. We<br />

even decorated one for the dog<br />

and the cat!<br />

Michelle Moudy<br />

My favorite Christmas memories<br />

are simple times spent<br />

during the Christmas holidays<br />

with family. I remember the<br />

first Christmas pictures taken<br />

when our children were so<br />

young, making holiday candy<br />

and cookies with the kids getting<br />

their fingers so sticky and messy,<br />

playing games, and just spending<br />

time together. Every year we<br />

look forward to the Canton<br />

lights event with “Granna and<br />

Pop,” looking at all the beautifully<br />

decorated homes, and<br />

spending Christmas Eve together<br />

as a family, keeping focused on<br />

the true meaning of Christmas.<br />

It’s such a beautiful thing that<br />

Jesus was born so we could have<br />

life, and have it so abundantly<br />

in Him. Every good and perfect<br />

gift is from Him. I thank God<br />

for Christmas, family memories,<br />

and knowing that we will spend<br />

eternity with Him with even<br />

more beauty that we can think<br />

or imagine.<br />

Deron Harmon<br />

My most fond Christmas<br />

memory occurred when I was<br />

about ten. It was the year I<br />

received my first “Big Boy Bike”.<br />

It was a ten-speed, and despite<br />

it being a rainy and wet<br />

Christmas morning, it didn’t<br />

stop me from riding in the rain.<br />

Melinda Quick<br />

One of my fondest memories<br />

was the year my grandmother<br />

gave me and my twin sister,<br />

Belinda, baby dolls with “white”<br />

hair. We laughed because we<br />

wanted dolls with black hair to<br />

match ours.<br />

Chad Perry<br />

I would have to say back in 2002<br />

when I got my first guitar, an<br />

Ibanez electric Stratocaster.<br />

Curtis Carter<br />

I remember sitting around the<br />

dining room table and visiting<br />

with friends and family being<br />

among my favorite memories<br />

from the past.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 9

Every day of life is a blessing.<br />

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10 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 11

We have after hours coverage 7 days a week!<br />

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Flowood off of Lakeland Dr.<br />

New Patients Welcome!<br />

Our Doctors<br />

Sam J. Denney, Jr., M.D.<br />

Samuel A. Smith, M.D.<br />

Amanda H. Cook, M.D.<br />

Gordon H. Meador, M.D.<br />

M. Adam Adcock, M.D.<br />

Laura A. Barron, M.D.<br />

Visit us at www.thechildrensclinicms.com or find us on<br />

at /childrensclinicms

ChristmasTreats<br />

& Treasures<br />

Recently, we spent the day at Mockingbird Marketplace<br />

with the Junior Auxiliary of <strong>Rankin</strong> County tasting some<br />

yummy Christmas treats while discovering creative ways of<br />

displaying them for the holidays. Featured on the following<br />

pages are the recipes from that day. We hope that you’ll enjoy<br />

serving them in your homes this Christmas and will support<br />

the <strong>Rankin</strong> County Junior Auxiliary whenever possible.<br />

The Junior Auxiliary of <strong>Rankin</strong> County was founded in<br />

1986 and is a non-profit, volunteer, service organization that<br />

serves the needs of children, youth, and families in our community.<br />

This is accomplished through community service projects<br />

and by working closely with schools and other organizations.<br />

JARC depends solely on donations and sponsorship from<br />

individuals and local businesses. Visit their website at<br />

rankinja.org for more information.<br />

And be sure to check out the incredible selection of<br />

Christmas and holiday décor at Mockingbird Marketplace<br />

in Brandon. Merry Christmas!

Chocolate Chip<br />

Pound Cake<br />

1 box butter yellow cake mix<br />

1 large box instant chocolate<br />

pudding<br />

4 large eggs<br />

1/4 cup milk<br />

1 cup oil<br />

8 oz. sour cream<br />

1 cup chocolate chips<br />

1 cup chopped pecans<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients<br />

except chips and nuts (add after mixed<br />

well). Pour evenly into a greased/floured<br />

Bundt pan. Bake at 350 for approximately<br />

1 hour. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes,<br />

then remove to wire rack or cake plate.<br />

Serve warm or cold with whipped cream,<br />

ice cream and chocolate sauce.<br />

Allison Cox<br />

14 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Brie &Jelly Tarts<br />

1 8 oz. wheel of Brie cheese<br />

24 filo shells, thawed<br />

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted<br />

2 Tablespoons butter<br />

Hot Pepper Jelly<br />

Cut cheese in 24 one-inch cubes and<br />

freeze. Sauté pecans in butter, set aside.<br />

After removing cheese from freezer, cut<br />

off rind from each piece. Place each filo<br />

cup in small muffin tin. Put one cube of<br />

cheese in each shell. Bake at 350 degrees<br />

until Brie is melted (about 5 minutes).<br />

Remove from oven and top each tart<br />

with about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper jelly.<br />

Sprinkle with pecans.<br />

Lexie Wren<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 15

Mexican Corn Dip<br />

1 lb. ground chuck, browned<br />

and drained<br />

1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained<br />

1 can cream of mushroom soup<br />

1 can cream of chicken soup<br />

8 oz. sour cream<br />

1 can whole kernel corn, drained<br />

1 cup cheddar cheese<br />

onion/pepper seasoning blend<br />

to taste<br />

While meat is cooking, combine soups,<br />

Rotel, sour cream, corn, and seasoning<br />

blend in large saucepan. Mix until well<br />

blended and cook over medium heat<br />

until mixture is warm. Mix in meat once<br />

it is done. Place mixture in crock pot and<br />

keep on low. Top with cheddar cheese.<br />

Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos.<br />

Jennifer Salter<br />

16 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Unbaked Cookies<br />

In 2 quart pot bring the following to a<br />

gentle boil while stirring constantly:<br />

2 cups sugar<br />

1 stick butter<br />

1 can evaporated milk<br />

1/4 cup cocoa<br />

After it boils, remove from heat and<br />

stir in the following:<br />

2 cups instant oatmeal<br />

1 cup peanut butter<br />

(can be smooth or crunchy)<br />

1 tsp vanilla extract<br />

Stir well and when mixture starts to<br />

slightly thicken, use teaspoon to drop on<br />

wax paper. Do not move until completely<br />

cool. Enjoy! Store in airtight container.<br />

Mindy Gilmore<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 17

Velveeta Fudge<br />

4 boxes powdered sugar<br />

4 sticks butter- real unsalted<br />

1 cup cocoa<br />

1 lb. Velveeta cheese (small)<br />

1 T. vanilla extract<br />

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)<br />

Mix powdered sugar and cocoa then<br />

set aside. Melt cheese and butter<br />

together then add vanilla. Pour cheese/<br />

butter mixture into powdered sugar<br />

and cocoa mixture. Mix well. Fold in<br />

pecans. Pour into buttered dish and<br />

cool. Cut into squares.<br />

*Recipe can be cut in half.<br />

Megan Dallas<br />

18 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Mississippi Sin<br />

16 oz. sour cream<br />

8 oz. cream cheese at room temp<br />

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese<br />

shredded<br />

1/2 cup ham chopped<br />

1/4 cup green onion sliced<br />

hot sauce, a few dashes<br />

1 tsp worcestershire sauce<br />

1/4 tsp black pepper<br />

french bread unsliced<br />

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.<br />

Cut a one inch thick oval slice off the<br />

top of the loaf of French bread leaving<br />

a couple of inch perimeter. Set top aside.<br />

Remove most of the soft bread to use<br />

later with the dip if desired. Mix the first<br />

8 ingredients together in a medium bowl<br />

until well combined. Pour the mixture<br />

into the hollowed bread bowl. Place the<br />

saved bread top on the loaf. Wrap entire<br />

loaf in a double thickness of heavy duty<br />

aluminum foil and bake in preheated<br />

oven for 1 hour. Serve with reserved<br />

bread or crackers.<br />

Patty Bryant<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 19

20 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 21

Amanda Fontaine & Mandi Arinder Brenda Spiers & Rachel Lombardo Bridget Lowery & Jean Cooper<br />

Celeste Cade & Chrystelle Thames<br />

Annual Banquet<br />

September 29, <strong>2015</strong><br />

Clyde Muse Center<br />

Jack & Pauline Carroll, Ashley & Joseph Moss<br />

Debbie Blackwell, Kim LaFontaine, Daniel Elliott<br />

Tina Hooker, Joshua Lorenz, Anita Davis<br />

Laurin Bailey & Chris Walker<br />

Jack Stuart & Johnny Beck<br />

Noel Daniels, Betty Trammell,<br />

Tom Troxler<br />

Susie Wolfe, Kathy Deer, Jerry Hester Terri Wood, Barbara Mangum<br />

Mark Magee, Stanley Shows, Truitt Grubbs<br />

22 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Bradley Alexander, Jacque Sullins, Kay Shelton, Leigh James Chris Fontan & Reed Nunnelee Jeanine Pickering, Molly Ferguson, Megan English<br />

Larry Swales & Jamie Higdon<br />

Senator Josh Harkins & Brad Davis<br />

Derek Milner & Keith O'Keef<br />

Tim Courtney & Steve Bozeman<br />

Kyle Keeton & Thomas Eastland Jennifer Anderson & Amanda Carraway Derrel Palmer & Buddy Bailey Dr. & Mrs. Billy Thomas<br />

Sheriff Bryan Bailey, Noel Daniels, Irl Dean Rhodes, Carolyn Boteler<br />

Jason Walker, Collin Jones, Brad Hill<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 23

24 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

©2014 Ergon, Inc. All rights reserved.<br />

ergon.com<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 25

Gregg<br />

The<br />

harper<br />

Family<br />

26 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Home is a wonderful place to<br />

celebrate Christmas, and for<br />

Congressman Gregg Harper, it also<br />

serves as a welcomed reprieve from<br />

his hectic travel schedule between<br />

here and Washington D.C.<br />

We had the privilege of spending time with the<br />

Harpers while they shared some of their favorite<br />

Christmas memories. We’re grateful to Gregg<br />

and Sidney, along with their children Maggie<br />

and Livingston, for inviting us into their lovely<br />

Pearl, Mississippi home. <br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 27

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory<br />

≤. from your childhood?<br />

Because my dad was a petroleum engineer, he was often transferred to<br />

new locations. From kindergarten through the 12th grade, I was in 10<br />

different schools in 4 states. Every Christmas was special because we<br />

were together as a family.<br />

What’s your favorite part of Christmas?<br />

≤.<br />

It’s always Christmas Eve! That’s when Sidney prepares an<br />

amazing dinner and family comes over.<br />

Tell us your wait-for-it-all-year-long Christmas<br />

≤. dessert or candy.<br />

My mother-in-law, Marjorie Hancock, every Christmas since Sidney<br />

and I started dating in 1974, has given me a box of Pangburn’s<br />

Millionaires – rich milk chocolate covered pecans with caramel.<br />

And no, I don’t share them!<br />

Can you remember a “challenging” Christmas?<br />

≤.<br />

I made the mistake of trying to put together a pirate ship for<br />

Livingston that said “some assembly required”. Let’s just say that by<br />

about 3 a.m. no further assembly was required and<br />

Livingston never received a pirate ship.<br />

What’s your favorite Christmas<br />

≤. movie?<br />

Without question, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my<br />

favorite. I have a movie poster in my DC office<br />

that was signed by Jimmy Stewart and a small<br />

plaque that says “It’s a Wonderful Life” on my desk.<br />

It’s a reminder of how we all impact one another<br />

and how every life is special.<br />

Who are some of your past family members<br />

≤. that bring warm Christmas thoughts and why?<br />

I really miss my dad, Doug Harper, who died over 20 years ago. He<br />

was only 67, but I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Christmas of 1945.<br />

He was a gunner on a B-17 in WWII and was assigned to Columbus<br />

AFB right after the war. My mom, Lois Harper, lived just up the road<br />

in Lackey, and some of her friends told her she should go to the<br />

Christmas dance at the base but she didn’t have a dress. Two of her<br />

brothers put their money together, bought her a dress, she went to the<br />

dance, met my dad, and they got married 3 months later. He always<br />

made Christmas special and he was a year-round encourager.<br />

28 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

What can you tell your Washington associates<br />

≤. about Christmas in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

It’s all about the fact that God loved us so much that He sent his only son, Jesus Christ,<br />

to save us, and that it’s not Christmas without hearing that message in music in one or<br />

more of our amazing churches in <strong>Rankin</strong> County. I would tell them that the warmth<br />

of our people, the closeness of our families and the demonstration of Christ’s Golden<br />

Rule, is not just a Christmas phenomenon but it’s a year round reason we call <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County home.<br />

What do you hope you have instilled in your children about<br />

≤. Christmas?<br />

That it indeed is better to give than to receive. I hope that they can make sure to relax<br />

and reflect on the hope of Christ and share their faith with others, in words and by<br />

how they live. Christmas can get so rushed and be so stressful that you have to slow<br />

down and cherish each moment with your family and friends. It’s also important to<br />

remember those that may be struggling and be “doers of the word” to lift others up.<br />

What was one of your childhood Christmas traditions?<br />

≤.<br />

We always opened gifts on Christmas morning, but on Christmas Eve, we<br />

were allowed to pick one gift from under the tree and open it that night! Every wrapped<br />

gift had to be carefully held, shaken, weighed and otherwise thoroughly inspected<br />

before making that final decision. The last thing you wanted to do was open up a pair<br />

of socks, so you usually opened the heaviest one or the one that rattled the most!<br />

Can your family members share a favorite Christmas memory?<br />

≤.<br />

Maggie: My favorite Christmas memory has always been my dad putting<br />

out lettuce and carrots for the “reindeer” after I had gone to sleep and making it appear<br />

as if they crash landed in weird places like the trees, the roof, and even my car to<br />

embarrass me as I got older. My fiancé, Brett, and I are getting married next month<br />

so I am excited to carry over some old traditions into our family, but looking forward<br />

to making many new and special memories with him.<br />

Sidney: One of my many favorite Christmas traditions carried over from my<br />

childhood before Gregg and I were even married. Growing up, my mom taught me<br />

how to make many sweets and candies that I now enjoy making and delivering to all<br />

of our neighbors. Also, I will always remember the year I let Maggie pick out the<br />

family Christmas tree. She insisted on getting one that was TOO BIG for our 8 foot<br />

ceilings. When she and Gregg stood it up in our living room, it put a scratch across the<br />

ceiling, we had to cut off the top of the tree to fit the angel, and Maggie hasn’t been<br />

allowed to pick out the tree ever since!<br />

Livingston: My favorite thing is going to our next door neighbor’s house every<br />

Christmas morning and having him cook breakfast. This will be the 30th year in a row<br />

that he’s cooked for my mom and dad and every year since I was born! n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 29

<strong>2016</strong><br />


Celebrate the spirit<br />

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30 th Anniversary Charity Ball<br />

Saturday, February 27<br />

6:00 PM<br />

McClain Lodge<br />


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Silent Auction, themed packages and door prizes<br />

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Jackson-Flowood • 163 Ridge Way, Suite E • (769) 243-7108<br />

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30 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 31

Jessica & Ben Pettigrew Allen Cotton, Charlotte & Scott Stringer Amanda Cox, April Miller Amy & Kevin Rogers<br />

Carrie Thompson, Paige Muse, Gayle Matherne<br />

Brenda & Johnny Mardis<br />

Annual Auction Fundraiser<br />

October 22, <strong>2015</strong> • The Ivy<br />

Heath Jenkins, Sen. Josh Harkins, Dusty Rhoads<br />

Courtney & Reese Unger<br />

Debbie Hartung, Sylvia Russell<br />

Carrie & Gage Walker<br />

Beau & Cristen Nelson, Katie & Will Jones<br />

Gayle Fletcher, Julie Hart<br />

Nathan & Candace Smith<br />

Monica May, Kristi Peede<br />

Judge Kent McDaniel, Jay & Carly McDaniel<br />

Hailey & Reese Berry<br />

Eric & Lindsey Naquain<br />

Joe Brock Faulkner, Bryan Dallas<br />

Brian & Hollie Hall, Rachel & Zach Wade<br />

32 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Mary Neese, Kim Allen, Robyn Prall, Vicky Prall, Kathy Barlow<br />

Chelsea Berry, Courtney Anders,<br />

Mallory Norman<br />

Chance & Lauren Hall, Katy & Will Crump<br />

Beau Edens, Jan Pourciau, Justin Edens<br />

Chad Falgout, Coleman Cummins, Jeff McDaniel<br />

Dianne Baer, Scott Eiliott, Ron Baer<br />

Lee Adams, Hannah Adams, Christy VanHorn<br />

David & Amy Horner, Danny Cawthon, Jason & Amy Parkes<br />

Dr. & Mrs. Michael Rogers<br />

Wayne & Tina Willard, April & Clay Savell<br />

Josh & Michelle Carson<br />

Keys & Tara Hayes<br />

Chris & Olivia Kneip, Tracie & Justin Barnard<br />

Tracie Barnard, Cheryl Armstrong, Kent Williams, Jody Haten, Stephanie Sing<br />

Julie Lang, Fernando Reis, Debra Watson<br />

Karen Dean, Ashley Godwin<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 33

Ada Allison, Mr. & Mrs. Sammy Thames<br />

David Ruth & Michael Guest, DA<br />

Clara Nell & Billy Mancil<br />

prayer<br />

breakfast<br />

September 25, <strong>2015</strong><br />

Richland Mayor’s<br />

Richland Community Center • Guest Speaker Judge Kent McDaniel<br />

FUMC Men's Club<br />

Gloria Blales, Ethel Hines<br />

James Twiner, Michael Wolfe<br />

Lucien Bourgeois, Tom Troxler<br />

Judge Kent McDaniel<br />

Sen. Dean Kirby, Marty Miller Mr. & Mrs. Mike Hurst Mr. & Mrs. Prentiss Grant Mr. and Mrs. Eric Redd<br />

34 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Miles McNair, Rickey Emmons<br />

Richard Thompson, Josh Hartfield<br />

Eddie Grimes, Don Wilson, Lester Spell, Ricky Chapman<br />

Camden Cummins, Emily Taylor, Anna Lee<br />

Jack Holmes, Mary Scarborough, Blaise Thomas<br />

Mayor Scarborough, Larry Swales, Haydn Roberts<br />

Olivia Ward, Jessica Berryhill, Baylie Cook, Kay Alexander, Ava Ray Sullivan<br />

Ed Steed, Supervisor Jared Morrison<br />

Bill & Weda Lee<br />

Dell Vance, Joyce Porter, Rachel Marquez<br />

Terri Wood, Barbara Adams, Debbie Brinson<br />

Pat Sullivan, Amy Lee, Alderman Clay Burns<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 35

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36 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 37

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38 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

–wedding–<br />

LauraAnnWhittington<br />

& Lukas HarrisCox<br />

Laura Ann Whittington and Lukas Harris Cox were united in marriage at the<br />

Cotton Market Venue, Pearl, Mississippi on June 5, <strong>2015</strong>. The ceremony was<br />

officiated by Reverend Rod Borders of Madison, Mississippi.<br />

The bride is the daughter of Stan and Rhonda Whittington of Brandon, Mississippi.<br />

She is the granddaughter of Shelby Barnes of Philadelphia, Mississippi and the late<br />

Burdell Barnes, and the late Golden and Berteel Whittington of Carthage, Mississippi.<br />

The groom is the son of Mary Jane Cox and the late Nathan Cox of Canton, Mississippi.<br />

He is the grandson of the late J. C. and Hazel Smith of Poplarville, Mississippi and the<br />

late Sid and Pat Cox of Flowood, Mississippi.<br />

Guitarist Barry Leach of Brandon, Mississippi presented nuptial music.<br />

Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a gown of ivory lace and blush tulle<br />

by Maggie Sottero. The strapless mermaid gown featured a sweetheart neckline with<br />

embellished lace covering the fitted bodice. Layers of tulle with scattered lace appliques<br />

formed the skirt. Scalloped lace edged the hemline, ending in a sweep train. Her<br />

fingertip veil of ivory illusion was edged in beading. Her bouquet was an organic<br />

grouping of wedding white hydrangea, vendella roses, white stock, and white larkspur<br />

wrapped in organza ribbon with a white lace band. Her attendants carried a smaller<br />

version of her bouquet with an added collar of baby’s breath and burlap ribbon<br />

treatment with a band of mint organza lace band to complement their mint dresses.<br />

Matron of honor was Cayla Cain of Florence, Mississippi. Maids of honor were<br />

Bobbie Jo Beach of Nashville, Tennessee and Tamara Cumberland of Memphis,<br />

Tennessee. Bridesmaids were Lauren Cox of Canton, Mississippi; Kristin Cox of<br />

Brandon, Mississippi; Meagan Babb of Brandon, Mississippi; Claire Whittington of<br />

Brandon, Mississippi, and Spencer Brooks of Madison, Mississippi. Serving as flower<br />

girl was Ella Jane Babb.<br />

Groomsmen were Jake Cox of Canton, Mississippi; Joseph Cox of Brandon,<br />

Mississippi; Todd Babb of Brandon, Mississippi; Jay Whittington of Brandon,<br />

Mississippi; Nick Smith of Brandon, Mississippi; Sam Spengler of Shreveport,<br />

Louisiana; Brennon Sloan of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Adam Fowler of<br />

Birmingham, Alabama.<br />

The bride and groom, both graduates of Mississippi State University, proudly<br />

rang cowbells as they exited the ceremony.<br />

Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception in the reception<br />

hall located on the grounds of the Cotton Market Venue. Guests danced to the music<br />

of Smiley and the Young Guns and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres provided by Wendy Putt<br />

Fresh Cut Floral and Catering. That Special Touch of Pearl, Mississippi prepared the<br />

bride’s four-tier cake of strawberry, almond and funfetti while the mother of the<br />

groom lovingly prepared the groom’s favorite coconut cake in three tiers depicting<br />

their alma mater. On the eve of the wedding following the rehearsal, a dinner was<br />

hosted by the mother of the groom at the Cotton Market Venue.<br />

After a wedding trip to Maui, Hawaii the couple is at home in Madison, Mississippi.<br />

The bride is an associate client services representative with Southern Farm Bureau<br />

Life Insurance Company and the groom is an electrical engineer for Automated<br />

Power of Flowood, Mississippi.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 39

40 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Camille Anding<br />

For the 160 members of Shiloh United Methodist Church in<br />

Pelahatchie, Christmas becomes a church-wide journey to Bethlehem.<br />

Young and old, along with a few non-members, volunteer their time,<br />

talents, and animals to fully recreate the birth of Christ for two nights<br />

in <strong>December</strong> for all to come and see.<br />

The significant event was the brain child of the ladies’ Explorer’s<br />

Sunday School class in 2008. Even though that first year was a much<br />

smaller model, news spread rapidly about the drive-through tour of<br />

Bethlehem. The ladies followed with a similar production in 2009.<br />

The task was so daunting that the class decided to take a break the<br />

following Christmas. Debbie Rhodes, a major team member on the<br />

planning and production, said, “The community threatened to tar and<br />

feather us if we didn’t continue the event.”<br />

The class agreed to the challenge but turned to the entire church for<br />

help and support. Pastor David Slaughter of the Shiloh congregation<br />

was a first-time participant in 2014 but still recalls his shock in seeing<br />

the scale and quality of the now annual pilgrimage.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 41

Donna Miller, a retired Bank Plus employee and active<br />

church member, takes charge of the nativity staffing. Last year,<br />

120 plus members along with 40 or more animals were casts<br />

in the Nativity. “We have two veterinarians in Pelahatchie<br />

who help us locate farm animals as well as exotic collections.<br />

A volunteer near Pelahatchie raises camels and another<br />

volunteer from Purvis brings a pair of oxen for both nights.”<br />

The Sunday School teacher from the class where the idea<br />

was birthed is Judy Thrash. She, along with Skip Latham, a<br />

church trustee, are two more team members that help in the<br />

planning stages that begin in September of each year.<br />

“It’s been a major building operation,” Pastor David shares.<br />

A 40x40 foot storage room was built to house costumes and<br />

props. Wooden stations built around the church grounds serve<br />

as replicas of Bethlehem store fronts where cast members display<br />

wares authentic to those times.<br />

Debbie opened a thick binder and flipped through pages of<br />

neatly typed committees and scale drawings of the Christmas<br />

village. “It’s a major undertaking,” she said with a smile of<br />

accomplishment. “It’s our Christmas gift from our church and<br />

community. Admission is free, but be prepared for a wait. We<br />

have a growing problem with that much traffic.” Her records<br />

show 159 cars with 659 passengers in their first year. Last year<br />

they counted 723 cars with nearly 2,700 passengers.<br />

It’s a major commitment but a major blessing for its<br />

volunteers. Pastor David has emails and notes from grateful<br />

visitors. Some share how they pick up pizza and enjoy a<br />

Christmas picnic as they drive through the streets of Bethlehem.<br />

Others share how they viewed the production and rushed<br />

home to bring others back the same night.<br />

This year’s journey is scheduled for <strong>December</strong> 12 and 13<br />

from 6 to 9 p.m. The planning team promises an even bigger<br />

and better experience. Just put 2394 Shiloh Road, Pelahatchie,<br />

Mississippi in your map app. It will lead you to Bethlehem and<br />

a special Christmas blessing. n<br />

42 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Teach the Children<br />

Author Unknown<br />

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I<br />

just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to<br />

go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the<br />

door to the front room, and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out<br />

next to the fireplace.<br />

"What are you doing?" I started to ask him. The words caught in my<br />

throat as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was<br />

gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then<br />

answered me with a simple statement . . .<br />

“teach the children.”<br />

He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of himself. “Teach<br />

the children that I, Santa Claus, merely symbolize the generosity and<br />

good will we feel during the month of <strong>December</strong>.”<br />

He reached in again and pulled out a holly leaf. “Teach the<br />

children the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the<br />

crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent<br />

blood shed by Him.”<br />

Next he pulled out a gift from the bag and said, "Teach the<br />

children that God so loved the world that He gave His only<br />

begotten Son. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.”<br />

I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question, and<br />

with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from<br />

behind the tree. As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, “Teach the<br />

Children. Teach them the old meaning of Christmas—the meaning that<br />

now-a-day Christmas has forgotten.”<br />

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a fir tree and<br />

placed it in front of the hearth. “Teach the children that the pure green<br />

color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the<br />

everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward,<br />

making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven.”<br />

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant star.<br />

“Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises<br />

long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the<br />

sign of fulfillment of that promise.”<br />

He then reached into the bag and pulled out a candle. “Teach the<br />

children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world,<br />

and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces<br />

the darkness.”<br />

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a wreath and<br />

placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes<br />

the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous<br />

round of affection.”<br />

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a candy<br />

cane and hung it on the tree. “Teach the children that<br />

the candy cane represents the shepherd's crook. The<br />

crook on the shepherd's staff helps bring back sheep<br />

that have strayed from the flock. The candy cane is the<br />

symbol that we are our brother's keeper.”<br />

He reached in again and pulled out an angel<br />

“Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded<br />

in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang<br />

‘Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, and good will<br />

toward men.’”<br />

Suddenly I heard a soft tinkling sound, and from his bag he<br />

pulled out a bell. “Teach the children that as the lost sheep<br />

are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to<br />

the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.”<br />

Santa looked at the tree and was pleased. He looked<br />

back at me and I saw the twinkle was back in his<br />

eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the<br />

true meaning of Christmas, and not to put me in<br />

the center, for I am but a humble servant of the<br />

One who is, and I bow down and worship Him,<br />

our lord, our god."<br />

44 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 45

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 47

Mr.& Mrs.TristenHarmonJackson<br />

Mr. and Mrs.<br />

Thomas Harmon<br />

Jackson of Brandon,<br />

Mississippi along<br />

with Mr. and Mrs.<br />

Thomas Flowers<br />

Dickson, Jr. of French<br />

Camp, Mississippi are<br />

pleased to announce<br />

the marriage of Mr.<br />

Tristen Harmon<br />

Jackson to Miss Jessica Lynne Dickson of Oxford, Mississippi. Tristen<br />

is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. George Dudley Ward of Brandon,<br />

the late Ms. Martha Egger Jackson of Shreveport, Louisiana and the<br />

late Mr. and Mrs. William Hutchinson Jackson of Shreveport. Jessica<br />

is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Henry Nettles of<br />

Brandon and Mr. and Mrs. Tommie Flowers Dickson of Hendersonville,<br />

North Carolina.<br />

Miss Dickson graduated as the Class of 2008 salutatorian at Grace<br />

Christian School in Louisville, Mississippi. She earned a Bachelor of<br />

Arts in Chinese with a minor in biology from the University of<br />

Mississippi in 2012. During undergraduate, she was a member of<br />

the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Jessica was also a<br />

Luckyday Scholar and earned a Critical Scholar Scholarship, which<br />

allowed her to travel to China in pursuit of mastering the Chinese<br />

language. She then earned a Master of Science in Biology from the<br />

University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson in May <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

Jessica is currently employed by Innovative Construction Management<br />

in Oxford and plans to attend medical school.<br />

The bridegroom is a 2004 honors graduate of Brandon High School.<br />

In 2008, He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a<br />

bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences. During his undergraduate<br />

time at Ole Miss, he was a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale<br />

Honors College, and Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, elected campus<br />

favorite and Who’s Who Among College Students, and he was actively<br />

involved with the<br />

associated student<br />

body as pharmacy<br />

senator representative.<br />

Tristen spent time<br />

volunteering and<br />

serving for several<br />

organizations,<br />

including the<br />

American Heart<br />

Association Heart<br />

Walk, Campus Crusade for Christ, and was a worship leader at College<br />

Hill Presbyterian Church. He was the School of Pharmacy Honor<br />

Council representative, Ole Miss Ambassadors co-director of special<br />

events/ housing ambassador, and the CHEERS webpage chairman.<br />

Upon undergraduate graduation, Tristen attended pharmacy school<br />

where he received his Pharm.D. in May of 2010. He is currently<br />

working on his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences with a concentration<br />

in pharmacy administration and has an expected completion date of<br />

May <strong>2016</strong>. While in graduate school, Tristen has joined and is still<br />

a member of Rho Chi Pharmacy Honorary Society, Phi Kappa Phi<br />

Honorary Society, and Phi-Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership<br />

Fraternity. He has also served on the Graduate Student Council as<br />

secretary and president.<br />

The couple exchanged vows at half past five o’clock in the evening<br />

on the thirty-first of October at College Hill Presbyterian Church,<br />

followed by a reception hosted by the bride’s parents. Dr. Curt Presley<br />

officiated the double ring ceremony. The bride wore a Lillian West<br />

ivory gown with a fitted bodice and modified sweetheart neckline,<br />

accented by an Alencon lace bolero featuring a bateau neckline, and a<br />

“V” shape in the back with satin covered buttons. The natural waist<br />

was accented by a pleated cummerbund just below the lace bolero,<br />

and then shaped into a silk satin ball gown with a chapel length train.<br />

A cathedral length illusion veil, adorned with matching lace, accented<br />

the dress.<br />

48 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

The father of the bride escorted her down the aisle as she carried a<br />

bouquet of white O’Hara garden roses, pale pink roses, peach roses,<br />

and pale pink dahlia’s. The roses and dahlias were accented with a collar<br />

of lamb’s ear, and the stems were partially wrapped in an ivory ribbon.<br />

Serving as her matron of honor was Natalie Rose Dickson Richardson<br />

and serving as bridesmaids were Anna Beth Baker, Tabitha Bandi, Sarah<br />

Joy Champine, Andrea Thomasson Foley, Emily Powell Ford, Kaylin<br />

Mittan Satterfield, and Mollie Winter Wright. Each attendant carried a<br />

bouquet of pink and ivory roses with a touch of lamb’s ear that elegantly<br />

complimented their pale blue, cap sleeved, long chiffon dresses.<br />

The groom and his groomsmen wore boutonnieres made of a small<br />

pink rose, a mini succulent, a touch of silver brunia berries and backed<br />

with a leaf of lamb’s ear. Serving as best man was Brenden Reynolds<br />

Jackson, and serving as groomsmen were Edwin Brad Batte, Robert<br />

Louis Carr, Craig Neal Daniel, James Kyle Duff, Joel David Duff,<br />

David Daniel Sibley, and Clifford Thomas Wiggins. Serving as ushers<br />

were Samuel Thomas Dickson, Mitchell Chandler Goddard and<br />

George Brooks Richardson. Katherine Elizabeth Gilliam, Violet Wren<br />

Nettles, and Eva Valentina Nettles all served as flower girls. Robert<br />

Payne Gatewood IV and Beren Julian Nettles served as program<br />

attendants. Violinist Sarah Brannan and pianist Andrew Panney<br />

performed ceremony music.<br />

At The Lyric Oxford, guests were greeted by the bride’s three-tier<br />

cake that was finished with textured buttercream icing. Joyce Hudspeth<br />

of Mantee, Mississippi crafted both the bride and groom’s cake. The<br />

groom’s cake was placed to the right of the bride’s cake as guests entered<br />

and was an Ole Miss number “38” jersey and football.<br />

After walking past the cakes, guests were treated with a large spread<br />

of hors d’oeuvres. Upon the main food table, in the center of the room,<br />

sat a large arrangement of pink and white roses, white gladiolas, various<br />

greeneries, and curly willow. Each guest table was perfectly decorated<br />

with arrangements that consisted of flowers in the pinks, ivories, and<br />

gray-blue hues. Specialty lighting was brought in to accent the decor<br />

and a stunning five crystal column chandelier was hung over the dance<br />

floor. Brother of the bride, Samuel Dickson, introduced the couple as<br />

they made their way to the dance floor for the first dance. They were<br />

surprised to have Mississippi artist Wyatt Waters live-painting the<br />

scene of their first dance—a wedding gift from the parents of the<br />

groom. Following the first dance, the couple each held a special dance<br />

with their parents and Meet the Press kept guests on the dance floor<br />

for the night until it was time for the sparkler exit.<br />

The night before the wedding ceremony, the parents of the groom<br />

hosted a cocktail hour followed by a three course seated dinner in honor<br />

of the couple at the Oxford University Club. The theme of an “old<br />

world club” was kept with dimmed lighting, navy blue linens, wood<br />

chargers, wood club chairs, live piano music, and flowers upon each<br />

tabletop of blue hydrangea’s, yellow roses and calla lilies, peach roses,<br />

and touches of green berries, seeded eucalyptus, and various greenery<br />

in hand gold leafed containers. Following a salad, guests were treated<br />

to an entree created as a collaboration between the mother of the<br />

groom and bride that was a flight of proteins, consisting of a beef filet<br />

medallion, crab stuffed grouper, and creole chicken, all complimented<br />

with a side of asparagus, carrots, and mashed potatoes. Guests were<br />

surprised by dessert with another flight of New York cheesecake,<br />

chocolate cake, and bread<br />

pudding, all served on the same<br />

plate with a chocolate “J+T”<br />

written in the center.<br />

On the day of the wedding,<br />

the groom’s family hosted a<br />

“Groom’s Gathering” lunch<br />

held at South Depot Taco Shop<br />

on the Oxford Square for his<br />

groomsmen, friends, and<br />

wedding guests in town for<br />

the wedding.<br />

Following a honeymoon to<br />

San Francisco, Napa Valley,<br />

and Carmel, California, the<br />

couple will make their home<br />

in Oxford, Mississippi. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 49

MilitaryBall<br />

November 7, <strong>2015</strong> Brandon Civic Center<br />

✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯<br />

50 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 51

52 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 53

Another Place at the Table<br />

Kerri Walker<br />

54 • Winter <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong><strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Scott and April Selman found a new calling when they discovered<br />

the great needs of foster care in Mississippi.<br />

The Selmans have four adult biological children, three adopted<br />

children, and currently two foster children. Two of their children were<br />

adopted through foster care, and one was adopted internationally.<br />

When their four biological children began transitioning into<br />

adulthood, the Selmans began to wonder what was next.<br />

“We started hearing about the needs of foster care,” said April.<br />

“We listened to a sermon series by David Platt on the book of James.<br />

He talked about how his church in<br />

Alabama was basically emptying the<br />

foster care system. They were licensing<br />

families in their church to become foster<br />

families, and we started thinking that<br />

was something we could do. James 1:27<br />

calls us to care for orphans and widows.<br />

meal that day and they will have clothes to wear and they will be<br />

protected and safe. It’s a big change.”<br />

This healing brings joy into the Selmans’ hearts. April said,<br />

“We’ve had kids come through who really had no idea how to give or<br />

receive affection, and we see that slowly start to change. All kids crave<br />

love–they need it. It’s incredible. I never expected to be able to<br />

witness that. You get so much joy out of seeing that healing take place.”<br />

“The ultimate goal is for the kids to gain the ability to become<br />

functioning adults—to break the cycle and to have the ability to<br />

come to know about God’s love,”<br />

continued Selman. “A lot of kids come in<br />

and don’t know the first Bible story and<br />

have never set foot in a church, which is<br />

unfathomable with us living in the bible<br />

belt. It really happens, and it’s great to see<br />

them learn about the Bible and God’s<br />

We got started. It’s our next step.”<br />

love. They become different people.”<br />

The Selmans have cared for several<br />

“One day after supper, we had a child<br />

children placed in foster care throughout<br />

who asked, ‘How do y’all always have<br />

recent years. “Group homes are not the<br />

food?’ I asked, ‘What do you mean?’<br />

best solution in my opinion, and that’s<br />

“Once our eyes are open to the need,<br />

The child said, ‘Well at my house we don’t<br />

where a lot of kids end up,” said April. we are commanded to respond.” always have food, and we’re hungry. Y’all<br />

“I think that giving kids a chance to see a<br />

always have food,’” April recalls. “This<br />

–Scott Selman<br />

functioning, healthy family is way more<br />

child was trying to figure out how we<br />

preferable. It also brings you a lot of joy to see them heal and grow could make that happen, and it kills your heart when you hear a kid<br />

and start to flourish. There are kids every week that need a place to say that. Here in Brandon, Mississippi, there’s a kid who is hungry.<br />

sleep. We’re a very affluent society, and a lot of us have extra bedrooms. That seems crazy to us. There shouldn’t be a kid who is hungry when<br />

Why not meld kids who need a place with us who have extra space? we all have so much to give.”<br />

I think God calls the church to take care of vulnerable children and<br />

“It’s bittersweet when a child goes back to his or her family<br />

people. You just don’t get much more vulnerable than a kid in foster because you do get attached and learn to love them,” said April.<br />

care who doesn’t have the support of his or her biological family.”<br />

“In some cases, you can still have contact and in some cases you can’t.<br />

Becoming a foster parent is not without its challenges. “Kids who You just have to pray that you’ve done a little bit of good for them<br />

come from traumatic backgrounds have many different behaviors than while they were with you. That’s the number one thing that people<br />

our biological children did,” said April. “The biggest challenge is say to me: ‘Oh, I could never foster because I would get attached.’<br />

learning how trauma affects children and how to best help them heal.” You do get attached. But fostering isn’t supposed to be about the<br />

Despite the challenges, the Selmans have seen a lot of healing in adults. It’s about the kids. If everyone decided they couldn’t do it<br />

their home. “It really is amazing to see a child that comes into your because they would get attached, then we would just have group<br />

home withdrawn, introverted, closed off from building relationships, homes filled to the brims because kids have to have somewhere to<br />

and completely at a loss for how to function, go through a complete go and somebody to take care of them.”<br />

transformation—to laughing, telling jokes, smiling, and wanting hugs. “I think it’s good when you can step in and be a safety net for a<br />

To go from almost being expelled at school to being a great student family and give the parents time to stabilize so they can get their kids<br />

within a short period of time. The kids learn how to feel safe and back,” said April. “That’s good because kids should be with their<br />

how to count on people when they’ve never been able to count on families. That’s the ideal solution. It’s bittersweet because you miss<br />

someone before. They learn how to trust that they will have another them and think about them, but if their parents are able to get things<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 55

ight and have their kids returned, then that’s where the kids should<br />

be long-term. That is the goal of foster care—to help families fix what<br />

needs to be fixed and reunify. When a family is able to do that, it’s a<br />

good thing. And sadly, sometimes they’re not able.”<br />

“You don’t have any idea what you’re getting into if you haven’t<br />

been exposed to it,” said Scott. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of energy, a lot<br />

of sacrifice. But at the end of the day, you have to look at what you’re<br />

sacrificing for. We all take for granted the luxuries in our lives. There<br />

are so many people who don’t have those. If you educate yourself and<br />

get exposed to it, it’s hard to turn away. Once you’re aware, it takes a<br />

pretty hard heart to back away from it. I went into it thinking these<br />

must be some bad kids. I don’t know why I thought that. But once you<br />

get into it, you realize that these children have done nothing. They<br />

don’t deserve the hand they’ve been dealt in life. It breaks your heart<br />

because they didn’t ask to be born into these situations or handed<br />

disabilities, diseases, or whatever. But here they are, and a lot of times<br />

they just have no chance. I think we should all do something to help.”<br />

“At one point, we wrote down verses that jumped out at us,” said<br />

April. “We were filling up books with verses. If God puts something<br />

in the Bible over and over, clearly it’s very important to Him. Isaiah<br />

1:17 tells us to bring justice to the fatherless. Ephesians 5:1 says to be<br />

imitators of God. That’s so simple. If you’re going to imitate God and<br />

He’s commanding us over and over to care for children, then we ought<br />

to care for children.”<br />

“At some point, Christians abdicated compassion to the government.<br />

I think it is up to us as the church to pull it back,” said Scott. “The<br />

story from Biblical times is that if Romans had a child that they didn’t<br />

want, they would set that child beside the road or outside at night and<br />

it would die. It was the Christians that would pick these children up,<br />

care for them, and show value for them. I think that’s what we are<br />

called to do today. There are a lot of children that are being cast aside<br />

by society. It’s up to us to show compassion and take them in.”<br />

Jonathan Nason, the Next Generation pastor for Crossgates<br />

Baptist Church in Brandon, shares the view that the church should<br />

step up to the plate. Nason has two biological siblings and one<br />

adopted brother. His parents have been foster parents since before he<br />

was born. Some of Nason’s foster siblings were with his family for just<br />

a weekend, but most were with them for one to six months. Many of<br />

the children became like family, and a couple of sibling groups were<br />

with the Nasons for up to three years. By the time Nason moved out<br />

of the house as an adult, he had been a brother to 73 children who<br />

had been placed in his family through foster care. His parents<br />

continue to foster children to this day.<br />

“Foster care has been my family’s ministry for my whole life,” said<br />

Nason. My brother who was adopted is my best friend. I can’t imagine<br />

not having him as well as other foster brothers and sisters growing up.<br />

It’s highly affected my wife and me because we want to do the same<br />

thing. I don’t believe the church has done a very good job of taking<br />

care of orphans and widows in the state of Mississippi. My wife and<br />

I want to make a statement of taking care of orphans and widows.”<br />

Nason and his wife plan to become a foster family when they<br />

become fully eligible. “My wife and I haven’t spoken on foster care<br />

here because we haven’t led by example on that. We fully intend to do<br />

so, but you can’t ask people to do something that tangible that you<br />

haven’t done, yourselves. We see ourselves as advocates for orphans<br />

and widows, but in order to advocate for that as a pastor, we have to<br />

model that. We want our kids to have what I had—to see the nations<br />

in our home. It changed my life.”<br />

“Kids who are adopted or in foster care go through a season of<br />

realizing: ‘Yes, I was adopted, and I’m thankful for that, but in order<br />

to be adopted, I was rejected at one point by my parents.’ For kids to<br />

be in a gospel-centered home when they’re going through an identity<br />

crisis is extremely important. We can explain that we were all like that<br />

in our sin, but Christ adopted us. As the church, we should model the<br />

gospel of adoption. My wife and I are passionate about that.”<br />

“Christ gave his life so we could be adopted. We should be willing<br />

to give our lives, our time, our money, our energy, our complacency,<br />

whatever it may be, for the sake of adoption. It’s about taking one more<br />

that doesn’t have a home or family and giving them something that they<br />

could never earn or get on their own. People’s lives are at stake, and<br />

you have the opportunity to change someone’s future in an extremely<br />

tangible way. That’s pretty rewarding in and of itself,” said Nason.<br />

The Selmans cited a number of ways that we can help foster<br />

families. Clothing and school supplies donations are great when a<br />

new placement arrives. Meadow Grove Baptist Church in Brandon<br />

accepts brand new clothing and hygiene items to have on hand for<br />

foster children. The church also accepts duffle bags to put the items<br />

in so children do not have to carry a trash bag or grocery bag. Families<br />

can also become licensed to provide respite, allowing foster families<br />

to have a safe home to temporarily keep the children when the foster<br />

parents, themselves, must go away overnight. Or just delivering<br />

meals, mowing the grass, and visiting the children. The possibilities<br />

for lending a hand are endless.<br />

“Not everyone is called to full time foster care, but we are<br />

commanded to care for orphans and widows,” said Scott. “There’s<br />

not more clarity than that.” n<br />

56 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 57

Love<br />

Recycled<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Peggy Sims had no idea what she initiated on February 28, 1980<br />

when she delivered her sister’s birthday card at Trustmark Bank’s<br />

drive-thru window in Richland, Mississippi. Her sister, Clara Nell<br />

Mancil, was handed the card but “got mad” at her sister for not<br />

taking the time to hand-deliver it. “I saved the card and decided I’d<br />

send it back to her on her birthday on September 11,” she admits.<br />

That was the beginning of the recycled, traveling birthday card<br />

that made its 70th round this year. If the story of a repeated, recycled<br />

card is strange, the manner of the recycling is even stranger.<br />

The sisters, whose love for each other is enviable, have tapped<br />

into their creativity for their card delivery, and the postal service<br />

can’t take any credit.<br />

In 1981, Clara Nell had the Richland Chief of Police, complete<br />

with siren and megaphone, deliver the card to Peggy’s office at<br />

Hubbard Butane Company. Peggy reciprocated by copying the<br />

original card 48 times and giving the copies to random bank customers<br />

to hand-deliver to Clara Nell on her birthday.<br />

58 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 59

That infamous card has been frosted between birthday cake<br />

layers (in a Ziploc), replicated in 4x8’ plywood sheets, transported<br />

with their mother’s doll in a glass case, shipped UPS, and delivered<br />

by a florist with a funeral wreath. And that’s only a partial list.<br />

The sisters have a collection of treasured photos depicting many<br />

of the deliveries. The original card has a birthday bunny that<br />

Peggy impersonated when she sewed an identical rabbit outfit<br />

and hid in a giant box. When Clara Nell began opening<br />

the box, Peggy, the birthday card rabbit, hopped out.<br />

On Peggy’s 80th birthday, a community-wide birthday<br />

party/reception was held and stories shared about the<br />

rambling card. As usual, the birthday card was part of the<br />

celebration.<br />

The sisters’ merry laughter and light-hearted personalities<br />

are contagious. They give their mother great credit for raising<br />

them and their two brothers in a safe, loving environment<br />

while their carpenter dad made a good living for them. They<br />

now enjoy families of their own. Clara Nell has two children<br />

and Peggy has five. When they gather for family celebrations,<br />

the crowd of spouses, grands, and great grands spill out of the<br />

homes.<br />

The traveling birthday card isn’t their only binding similarity.<br />

They were both Miss Florence High School, salutatorians,<br />

basketball team players, city board members, presidents of the<br />

PTA, Sunday school teachers, and both married husbands from<br />

Richland.<br />

As for the birthday card delivery challenge, this past September,<br />

Clara Nell felt like she had topped the charts when she conscripted a<br />

son-in-law to deliver the card via drone. Peggy nodded in agreement<br />

that the idea would be hard to top. However, she hasn’t given up on<br />

delivering it atop a live elephant.<br />

“Anyone know where to rent an elephant?” she asks. n<br />

60 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 61

April Rigsby, Weatherly Rose<br />

Ariel Barnes, Tanner Aby<br />

Laura Harper, Anna Shorter<br />

Rob Oates, Jairo Garcia<br />

Flowood Health Fair<br />

September 24, <strong>2015</strong> • Flowood YMCA<br />

Theresa & Harold Parks<br />

Tina Hooker<br />

Monica Evans, Jeanette Evans<br />

Pam Hamrick, Ashley Biggs,<br />

Ann Marsh<br />

Meredith Anne Hornsby, Kate Arthur<br />

Charle Osborne, Brittany Kane<br />

Doris Everett, Pete Everett<br />

Robby Stringer, Kyle Clayton<br />

62 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Avery Mitchell, Audrey Capton, Autumn DeHuff<br />

Brenda Hutton, Hunter Chisholm, Britton Bufkin,<br />

Megan Pierce<br />

Derrel Palmer, Leigh James, Kay Shelton<br />

Emma Shorter, Riley Miranda<br />

Spencer Pipitone, Andrew Fox<br />

Lizzy Lacoste, Justin Brumfield<br />

Erin Williams, David Ruth<br />

Mr. & Mrs. Charles Porter, Jennifer Anderson<br />

Kylee Grace & Laurie Cutrer<br />

Shane Dubois, Tammy Phillips, Deborah Bryant<br />

Kevin Collins Family & Johnny Harper<br />

Harold Horton, Shirley Huches<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 63

64 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 65


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We are pleased to have been able to celebrate with these amazing school employees<br />

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congratulations to all our winners.<br />

66 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 67

68 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 69

Susan Marquez<br />

Started in the 1920’s by a Greek immigrant baker,<br />

Primos Café has successfully blended the past with the present–<br />

appealing to both lifelong Primos diners and a new generation of customers.<br />

For more than 85 years, the Primos name<br />

has been synonymous with good food in<br />

the Jackson metro area. Angelo “Pop”<br />

Primos first started a bakery on Capitol<br />

Street in 1929. Feeling the need to do more<br />

than bake bread and doughnuts, he added<br />

a grill and his business evolved. Primos and<br />

his wife had four sons and a daughter,<br />

and as they became adults with families of<br />

their own, he built a restaurant for each one.<br />

My first memory of Primos is the old<br />

Primos Café, located on the corner of North<br />

State Street and Fortification, followed by<br />

Primos Northgate Convention Center, the<br />

place where many in the area celebrated<br />

with wedding receptions and other social<br />

functions, meetings and dinners. It was<br />

there that Don Primos first cut his teeth in<br />

the restaurant business in 1977. He managed<br />

the banquet facility until a Jackson attorney<br />

offered to buy the property. It was a huge<br />

operation, and the family felt it was time<br />

to move on to something new.<br />

The newest Primos ventures are nearidentical<br />

restaurants, one on Lakeland Drive<br />

in Flowood and the other on Lake Harbor<br />

Drive in Ridgeland. The Lakeland location<br />

opened in <strong>January</strong> 2002 as an all-new<br />

concept that gives a definite nod to the past<br />

Primos restaurants. The restaurant features<br />

an open dining room filled with deep vinyl<br />

booths and tables. It has a very nostalgiameets-contemporary<br />

feel that creates a<br />

cozy dining atmosphere which appeals to<br />

both lifelong Primos diners as well as young<br />

moderns. An almost identical Primos Café<br />

opened in Ridgeland in <strong>January</strong> 2006.<br />

Primos is what is known as a “fast<br />

casual” restaurant, which means you place<br />

your order at the counter, grab a number,<br />

and seat yourself. The food is then brought<br />

to your table quickly and great service<br />

70 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

continues throughout the customers’ stay.<br />

Service begins with breakfast at 6:30 each<br />

morning through lunch and dinner. The<br />

restaurants close at 9:00pm.“I love<br />

breakfast at Primos,” said Mary Claire<br />

Primos, the daughter of Don. She began<br />

working at Primos in high school, and for<br />

the past five years, she’s been the marketing<br />

and branding expert for the company.<br />

“The batter is an old family recipe. As a<br />

matter of fact, my dad brings the batter<br />

home during the holidays and we have a<br />

huge pancake breakfast while everyone is<br />

together. A lot of people don’t know we<br />

sell the batter, so you can include that<br />

with your holiday order, along with our<br />

fantastic cheese grits and homemade<br />

cinnamon rolls.”<br />

Like the pancake batter, most of the<br />

recipes for food served at Primos are old<br />

family recipes, cooked for generations at<br />

the Primos restaurants. “We make all our<br />

food from scratch,” said Mary Claire. “We<br />

tell folks that at Thanksgiving and Christmas,<br />

they can order their meal from us and all<br />

they have to do is set the table!”<br />

Many families enjoy delicious holiday<br />

meals from Primos in their own home each<br />

Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each holiday<br />

season, Primos cooks entire turkeys and<br />

hams, and offer cornbread dressing, giblet<br />

gravy and everyone’s favorite side dishes,<br />

including squash casserole, sweet potato<br />

casserole, green bean casserole, macaroni<br />

and cheese, butter beans and turnip<br />

greens. And of course, there’s the famous<br />

Primos desserts. The two most popular are<br />

the caramel cake and strawberry cake, but<br />

equally delicious are the Italian cream cake<br />

and red velvet cake. Also offered are sweet<br />

potato, lemon ice box and pecan pies,<br />

lemon pound cake and German chocolate<br />

cake. “And our gingerbread men have<br />

become legendary,” laughed Mary Claire.<br />

Holiday parties aren’t complete without<br />

Primos cheese straws. “They make great<br />

appetizers for parties and football games,<br />

and people love to receive them as gifts,”<br />

said Mary Claire. “They pair well with red<br />

wine. Our signature cheese straw tins<br />

feature Pop on the top, since he’s the<br />

godfather of Primos!”<br />

Ordering holiday meals from Primos<br />

has become a family tradition for many.<br />

“Our pickup dates for Christmas are<br />

<strong>December</strong> 22, 23 and 24,” Mary Claire<br />

stated. “We close at 11am on Christmas<br />

Eve, and we are seeing a real trend of<br />

families coming in for a big breakfast on<br />

Christmas Eve before picking up their<br />

pre-ordered dinners to take home for<br />

Christmas day.”<br />

The entire holiday menu can be found<br />

online at www.primoscafe.com/holiday.<br />

Ordering early is encouraged. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 71


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72 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 73

Pearl<br />

River<br />

Wood<br />

Carvers<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

From Santa heads carved in cypress<br />

stumps to fire-breathing dragons,<br />

the Pearl River Woodcarving Guild<br />

show is a treat for everyone.<br />

Sitting on the front porch, pocket knife in one hand, block of wood in the other, a pile<br />

of shavings at your feet...it all seems very, well, Mayberry RFD. So yeah, Sheriff Andy would<br />

whittle to relax after keeping the peace in Mayberry all day, but whittling and wood carving<br />

are still just as popular today right here in <strong>Rankin</strong> County.<br />

The Pearl River Woodcarving Guild is a non-profit organization that exists solely to<br />

promote woodcarving through regular meetings and an annual show. It started in October<br />

1983 as the Mississippi Pearl River Woodcarvers. The meetings are held on the third<br />

Monday night of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Brandon City Hall/Senior Center<br />

on West Government Street. The annual show was held in October, with entrants in a<br />

number of categories.<br />

74 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

To go to a Pearl River Woodcarving Guild show is a treat. The first<br />

thing you may notice is the person working the registration table is<br />

doing double duty, pocketknife in hand and actively carving Christmas<br />

stars for ornaments. Dale Anderson, clad in his green vest and Pearl<br />

River Woodcarving Guild hat, carves for the fun of it. “It’s relaxing and<br />

it’s fun,” the 88-year-old Reservoir resident says. “I enjoy taking a<br />

simple block of wood and creating something out of it. It’s ideal for me,<br />

because I do it just about anywhere.”<br />

Inside the Brandon municipal complex, an array of birds, fish, bears,<br />

ducks, dolphins, deer, and other wildlife are caught in poses, frozen in<br />

time. Hands have carefully carved the figures out of a variety of different<br />

woods, then painted or stained them to look as real as they do in nature,<br />

or artfully stylized. There are Santa heads carved in cypress stumps, a<br />

fire-breathing dragon, humorous caricatures and more. The pieces are<br />

entered in the appropriate categories then a panel of judges evaluates<br />

the relief carvings, miniatures, embellished turnings and other wooden<br />

works of art.<br />

Wade Buie coordinated the show for the second year. He’s been a<br />

member of the Guild for about six years. “My cousin, James Buie, was<br />

one of the founders of the club. He and another cousin, Kendall<br />

Winstead, tried to get me to visit one of the meetings. I finally did, and<br />

then decided to attempt to carve something. That was it. I fell in love<br />

with it.” Buie had four pieces in the show for competition, with another<br />

three on display only.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 75

“I enjoy carving because it’s relaxing. It’s my quiet time, and it<br />

takes all my stress away. I love the joy of seeing characters emerge<br />

out of a piece of wood.” Buie said he carves caricatures,<br />

snowmen and Santas.<br />

This years’ show had more in the open class than ever<br />

before, but the entries in the interim and novice classes were<br />

down. “That shows that we need to recruit more folks,”<br />

Buie said.<br />

Horace McNeal serves as the Guild’s<br />

president. A resident of Pelahatchie, McNeal<br />

only joined the group in 2013. “I started<br />

carving in 2012,” he said. “I attempted carving<br />

in prior years, but it didn’t really go anywhere.<br />

Then I met a gentleman in <strong>Rankin</strong> County who helped<br />

me get started. I ordered some tools and he helped me<br />

until I felt confident on my own.”<br />

The attendance for this year’s show was good, according<br />

to McNeal. “We had demos throughout the day, and those were<br />

well attended. Everybody seems to like to learn something new.”<br />

The woodcarvers in the Guild are from all different walks of life,<br />

and all ages. The scope of their work is broad, and there’s a strong<br />

emphasis on encouraging one another. The monthly meetings<br />

feature various speakers and artisans who provide informative<br />

seminars and workshops, and the public is always welcomed.<br />

A typical meeting consists of a word of welcome by the president,<br />

introduction of guests, presenting of a carving project consisting of<br />

a cut-out and a pattern, a “show and tell” time, special program and<br />

a give-away of donated items related to woodcarving. The club<br />

maintains a free lending library of books about woodcarving and<br />

related subjects that can be checked out by members.<br />

From the inception of the Pearl River Woodcarvers organization,<br />

the experienced wood carvers sit with beginner carvers and help<br />

them carve a heart, mostly out of donated basswood or water tupelo.<br />

The patterns are taken from books and magazines, or sometimes<br />

original patterns by club members. “We want to expose as many<br />

people to woodcarving as we can,” said McNeal. n<br />

________________________________________________________<br />

For more information, visit www.pearlriverwoodcarvers.org.<br />

76 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 77

78 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 79

Be a Scout<br />

Susan O’Bryan<br />

Scouting is about more than just<br />

camping out and building camp fires.<br />

It provides a sense of family,<br />

teaches character, and truly<br />

builds future leaders.<br />

More than 140 <strong>Rankin</strong> County boys and<br />

parents are learning the value of old and<br />

new as they work to produce upstanding<br />

young men. With the help of enthusiastic<br />

leaders, parents and volunteers, the boys<br />

of the Boy Scouts of America’s Pack 85<br />

and Troop 85 are preparing for whatever<br />

may come their way as adults.<br />

It obviously appeals to the boys in 85,<br />

a single number shared by the pack and<br />

troop. 85, part of the Andrew Jackson<br />

Council of the BSA, now is one of the<br />

largest Scouting groups in Mississippi.<br />

It has grown from 14 members in 2008<br />

to more than 140 boys and teens today.<br />

The national average size for a pack or<br />

troop is 25.<br />

“The growth is outstanding and quite<br />

extraordinary,” said Tony Haines, CEO and<br />

scout executive for the Andrew Jackson<br />

Council. “Cubmaster Todd Bridges and<br />

Scoutmaster John White have taken<br />

scouting to a whole new level for the youth<br />

in the Florence/Richland area. The kicker is<br />

that they have accomplished this in an<br />

area that is more rural than urban and where<br />

the median income is below average.<br />

I would say ‘phenomenal’ is a great word<br />

to describe the program’s growth."<br />

Haines said Bridges and White saw a need<br />

for a quality youth program for boys in the<br />

area, and they committed themselves to<br />

achieving that goal. “And it wasn’t just a<br />

flash in the pan for one or two years. They<br />

have maintained a quality program, quality<br />

leadership and excited youth for over five<br />

years. Now that is commitment,” he<br />

continued.<br />

More than 38 adult leaders help Bridges<br />

and White with Pack and Troop 85. The<br />

pack is for boys in grades 1-5 and the troop<br />

for fifth-graders through age 18.<br />

“Nowadays boys don’t get out as much<br />

because they’re glued to their video games.<br />

There are more single moms with no men<br />

in the home,” White said. “Boy Scouts is<br />

the best organization for boys this age, bar<br />

none. What they experience by way of the<br />

program prepares them for life.”<br />

Victory Congregational Methodist<br />

Church, where Pack 85 meets, is proud of<br />

their scout program. “It’s exciting for our<br />

church and other people in the community<br />

to see what the boys are doing,” said the<br />

Rev. Chris Covington. “We’ve had several<br />

Scout families become church members,<br />

and then some of our church members<br />

have joined the Scouts. It’s a circle where<br />

we all benefit.”<br />

When fifth-grader Bryce Henderson was<br />

in the first grade, he told his mother that he<br />

wanted to join Pack 85. “I always thought<br />

of Boy Scouts as a father-son thing. As a<br />

single mom, I didn’t think we’d fit in,” Kim<br />

Henderson said. “Todd told me it was OK,<br />

that the pack was family-oriented. He<br />

wasn’t kidding. All the family is included,<br />

whether it’s mom, brother or little sister.”<br />

“We call ourselves the 85 family<br />

because everyone does what they can.<br />

Everybody takes ownership. Whether it’s<br />

a campout or a meeting, parents are<br />

involved,” said Bridges. “They do what they<br />

can, whether it’s leading a hike, preparing<br />

80 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

up to 1,000 feet of wood for birdhouses, or<br />

making meals for 300 people at a camp out.”<br />

“The success of the Pack 85/Troop<br />

85 program is about great quality adult<br />

volunteers and involved parents and<br />

guardians,” Haines said. The Andrew<br />

Jackson Council provides services and<br />

facilities, “but the leadership for Pack/Troop<br />

85 provides the lifetime memories and<br />

experiences.”<br />

White, himself an Eagle Scout from<br />

Troop 85, has been Scoutmaster since<br />

1996. He wanted to expand the program,<br />

so he signed papers in 2008 to begin Pack<br />

85. That year Bridges and his son Joshua,<br />

then a first-grader, joined the pack with 11<br />

other boys and four leaders. There were<br />

only two Troop 85 members at the time.<br />

Participation increased the next year, just<br />

as it has done every year since.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 81

82 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Henderson wanted to be involved with<br />

her son, so she became a den leader three<br />

years ago. “He is doing things that he would<br />

never have been able to do with a single<br />

mom,” she said. “The memories we’re<br />

making are very special.”<br />

“When these boys come together,<br />

there’s no black or white, rich or poor.<br />

Everyone is equal whether we’re working<br />

or playing,” he said. “At school they might<br />

not have ever been friends, but come a<br />

scouting activity, and they’re all friends.<br />

It’s one place where it doesn’t matter what<br />

you do – athletics, band, theater or being<br />

smart. What matters is you belong here.”<br />

Bridges and White grew up in scouting.<br />

“We didn’t do cool stuff then like we do now,”<br />

Bridges said. “We don’t just go camping or<br />

learn to make fires anymore. In 85, we do<br />

it to the max. In 85, it’s cool to be a scout.”<br />

There’s a weeklong summer camp,<br />

several tent campouts and nearly a dozen<br />

overnight trips to science museums,<br />

observatories, planetariums and battleships.<br />

There’s also time for rappelling, swimming,<br />

zip-lining, geocaching and mountain biking.<br />

Bryce Henderson doesn’t have a favorite.<br />

Instead, he says he likes “everything.” His<br />

mom prefers the trips, especially spending<br />

the night at the McWane Science Museum<br />

in Birmingham, Ala. “We slept under this<br />

huge tree, so it felt just like camping, but<br />

with an indoor bathroom.”<br />

Service and leadership are the heart of<br />

the 85 program and a point of pride for<br />

Bridges and White. It is the foundation of<br />

the group’s motto, “We help those who<br />

can’t help themselves.”<br />

“I tell the boys that people will help any<br />

worthwhile cause, but they need leaders<br />

to get the ball rolling and they are those<br />

leaders. We have rallied the community<br />

for tornado relief, comfort supplies for<br />

soldiers stationed overseas, food drives<br />

and countless hours of community work,”<br />

Bridges said. “What seems just like work<br />

to us adults is fun for these kids. They not<br />

only don’t mind spending their free time<br />

and weekends helping others, they think<br />

that is normal behavior and it’s what you<br />

are supposed to do.”<br />

“At the end of every meeting, I challenge<br />

my boys to make a difference,” White said.<br />

“Make a difference in their communities,<br />

their homes, their churches and their<br />

schools. They’ve never let me down.”<br />

The 85 family is known throughout<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County for its abilities in organization,<br />

leadership and service. “People know<br />

they can count on our help,” Bridges said.<br />

“We’re a machine that can come in and<br />

make it happen, whether it’s for one person<br />

or several hundred.”<br />

85’s latest project is heading up the toy<br />

drive for Batson Hospital for the council. The<br />

boys are working with other scout groups<br />

around the state and the community to<br />

collect toys and gift cards for kids that have<br />

to be admitted to the hospital.<br />

“The toys not only provide Christmas<br />

cheer for those who are there over the<br />

holidays but also throughout the year,”<br />

Bridges said. “Doctors and nurses use<br />

the toys to help take the kid's minds off<br />

of chemo treatments, dialysis and many<br />

other illnesses. With over 150,000 patients<br />

a year they can use our help.”<br />

Each year when registration rolls around,<br />

Henderson gives Bryce a choice about the<br />

coming year’s extracurricular activities.<br />

She asks if he wants to stay in scouts or<br />

do something else. Each time he gives his<br />

mom the same answer.<br />

“Why would I not do scouts?” he asks.<br />

Henderson doesn’t argue. n<br />

For more information about Pack 85 and Troop 85, contact<br />

Todd Bridges at todd_bridges@comcast.net. To learn<br />

more about Boy Scouts of America, visit beascout.org.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 83

84 • <strong>December</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Alex Kelly, Woody Barnett<br />

Belinda, Austin, & Emma Harrell<br />

Carmen, Kate, & Leo Roa<br />

Chris Walker, Ray Morgigno<br />

Kiwanis Club of Pearl<br />

Annual<br />

Pancake<br />

Supper<br />

Pearl High School<br />

November 19, <strong>2015</strong><br />

Diamond Vanderford Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Tadlock,<br />

Sheila Vanderford<br />

Jerry Hester, Brande Lewis<br />

Chris & Bailey Chism<br />

Erma Gay Jones, Mitch Childre, Mr. & Mrs. R.W. Castens,<br />

Jim Withers, Leon Miller<br />

Houston Briggs &<br />

Sheriff Bryan Bailey<br />

Jim & Susan Newton<br />

Dave Burke, Steve DeSalvo, Jim Bishop<br />

Nicole Westerfield, Nicole Marin, Rebecca Watkins,<br />

Doyle Russell, Jean Cooper<br />

John Branch, Bryan Ellis, Gene Newman<br />

John Perry, Mr. & Mrs. Garren, Marie Braswell<br />

Kathy Deer & Shawn Cochran<br />

86 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Olivia Herring, Breanna Mcquirter, Azazih Parker<br />

Madison Canfield, Kaehlyn Saxton, Morgan Olexy<br />

Rebecca & Hawk Alexander, Susan Alexander<br />

Nikki Graham, Steve Alexander<br />

Kim & Ainsley Scutch<br />

Sheila & Kayla Karr<br />

Ron & Emmalyn Humphrey<br />

Samuel & Kim Miller Sean Nissen, Jennifer Darling Melissa & Josh Murray, Caroline, Gabriel, David<br />

Elizabeth Varner, Layla Childress, Ed Varner<br />

Shirley Russell, Anne Edwards, Merri McCoy<br />

Shelby Chapman, Sarah Romines, Jake Watts, Morgan Olexy<br />

Thomas Blanton, Hannah Chapman<br />

Tracy & Shelby Yates<br />

Tyler & Reid Stephens,<br />

Debbie Jones<br />

Zack & Mayor Brad Rogers<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 87

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88 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 89

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Beloved Pottery Nativity Plate<br />

polk's drugs<br />

E-Z-GO Terrain 1000<br />

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90 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Fringe Booties<br />

Miss Priss<br />

Kendra Scott “Elle” earrings<br />

Apple Annie’s<br />

Alex Ladner artwork<br />

Chapman’s Florist<br />

Bethany Lowe<br />

Retro Red Nosed Reindeer<br />


Ceramic Santa Ornament<br />

Handmade in Mississippi<br />

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14k rose gold amethyst, garnet, pink<br />

tourmaline, and diamond necklace<br />

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Mariana jewelry<br />

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 91

92 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>



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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 93

Making<br />

Memories<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Sometimes you will never<br />

know the value of a moment<br />

until it becomes a memory.<br />

- Dr. Suess<br />

94 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

This time five years ago, my family was<br />

gearing up to move into a new house. If<br />

you’ve never moved anywhere the week<br />

of Christmas, don’t. It’s insane. And it’s the<br />

second time we’ve done it. The first time<br />

was sixteen years ago as newlyweds into<br />

a home that my husband and I had just built.<br />

It was Christmas week and all we had was<br />

some random furniture, each other, and big<br />

dreams. Our biggest priority, at that point,<br />

was to have people over for New Year’s<br />

Eve to ring in Y2K before the cyber-world<br />

collapsed.<br />

The second time we moved was different.<br />

We were a family that included a child, two<br />

dogs, a cat, and more stuff than anyone<br />

should haul from one place to another—<br />

all, of course, in boxes. Countless boxes.<br />

We stuck a tree up in the corner and put a<br />

handful of ornaments on it including one,<br />

brand new and still wrapped in tissue that<br />

said “Our New Home”. I was starting a new<br />

tradition of collecting ornaments that told<br />

our story, and this was our first. There were<br />

no elaborate decorations or<br />

wreaths or swags. There<br />

was no gourmet meal, no<br />

Christmas cookies and no<br />

eggnog. But despite the stress<br />

of moving, and all the<br />

back-breaking work that comes with it, it was<br />

undoubtedly one of the best Christmases I<br />

can remember.<br />

It allowed us to reflect on the true meaning<br />

of the season. Actually, it forced us to, I guess.<br />

We had each other, a roof over our heads<br />

and a warm place to sleep. My husband and<br />

I didn’t even exchange gifts that year and<br />

my then-seven-year old son only had a few.<br />

I would love to tell you that we limited our<br />

gift giving as the result of some new-found<br />

stance on materialism–after all, Baby Jesus<br />

only got three gifts. But the truth is, that with<br />

the all the packing and moving and working,<br />

I hadn’t had time to shop. And as it turns out,<br />

no one seemed to mind at all–particularly<br />

my son. It made me proud. There we were–<br />

all genuinely grateful for what we had and<br />

for being together. It’s one of my fondest<br />

Christmas memories.<br />

It is incredibly easy for us to take our worlds<br />

for granted and many of our children may<br />

likely never remember a time when things<br />

weren’t constantly available–and in great<br />

abundance. But sadly, we are surrounded<br />

by people in our own zip codes that struggle<br />

with keeping a roof over their heads or<br />

feeding their own families.<br />

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of<br />

seeing, firsthand, what the efforts of a<br />

determined few can do to offer hope to the<br />

weary. I’ve volunteered for several organizations<br />

that are committed to changing people’s<br />

lives and I’ve learned more from the broken<br />

than I ever learned anywhere else. It makes<br />

me appreciate, even more, all we have, and<br />

even more so, all we can do. It’s important to<br />

help others–particularly during the holidays.<br />

Remember, “To whom much is given, much<br />

is required,” Luke 12:48.<br />

So this year, as we continue to whittle<br />

down our holiday to-do lists and prepare for<br />

our annual family gatherings, let’s remember<br />

those who are truly in need of our time and<br />

generosity.<br />

Consider sponsoring a needy family.<br />

Help to put food on the table for those<br />

that might not have the means to do so<br />

themselves. Or commit to helping the<br />

homeless. At a time when warm homes<br />

and family get-togethers are common,<br />

the homeless are left feeling particularly<br />

isolated.<br />

Deliver a meal, visit a senior, or adopt<br />

an angel. (The Salvation Army Angel Tree<br />

program is one of my favorites.) Help a<br />

co-worker or over-tip your waiter. There<br />

are lots of ways to make an impact.<br />

I know that as a child, I couldn’t wait to<br />

open gifts on Christmas morning and<br />

probably asked a hundred times when it<br />

would be time. But, looking back, I don’t<br />

remember many of the gifts I received.<br />

I do remember baking holiday cakes in<br />

my grandmother’s kitchen, though. Those<br />

memories are more valuable than any board<br />

game or Barbie doll I ever got, I can assure<br />

you. Making memories is what it’s all about.<br />

And so, time marches on. My son will<br />

turn thirteen just two days into <strong>January</strong>. And<br />

since that first Christmas in our new home,<br />

we’ve collected five more years’ worth of<br />

memories–many commemorated by special<br />

ornaments on our tree. There are no<br />

cardboard boxes in our living room and our<br />

halls are all suitably decked. But nothing will<br />

ever take away from the lesson we learned<br />

from our very first Christmas here. We know,<br />

beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the most<br />

important things in life are being grateful for<br />

what you have and being together with<br />

people you love.<br />

And that the best thing about memories,<br />

is making them. Merry Christmas. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 95

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Classes start Jan. 11.<br />

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<strong>Rankin</strong> Campus<br />

3805 Hwy. 80 East, Pearl<br />

www.hindscc.edu<br />

Hinds Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to<br />

handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, Vice President for the Utica and Vicksburg-Warren Campuses and Administrative Services, 34175 Hwy. 18, Utica, MS 39175; 601.885.7002.<br />

96 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Serving our county<br />

Constable Barry Bean<br />

rankin county sherriff's Department<br />

Why did you decide to become a<br />

constable?<br />

After serving 9 years with the 113th Military<br />

Police Company in Brandon, I realized my<br />

passion was law enforcement.<br />

How long have you been with <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County Sheriff’s Department?<br />

I was sworn in as a reserve deputy in 1995<br />

under J.B. Torrence’s administration and<br />

continued to serve as a reserve officer until<br />

I was elected constable in 2000. I have been<br />

honored to serve as bailiff in <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

Chancery Court for Sheriffs’ Ken Dickerson,<br />

Ronnie Pennington and Bryan Bailey, since<br />

2001.<br />

What do you enjoy most about<br />

your typical day as a constable?<br />

There is never a typical day. My duties as<br />

constable are varied with a new experience<br />

every day.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced as a constable?<br />

Responding to a scene with fatalities and<br />

having their family members present. Also,<br />

an unfortunate part of the job as constable<br />

is having to evict people from their homes.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

While I have a small family, I am so blessed.<br />

I have been married to my loving wife, Angela,<br />

for 28 years. I have the best mom around, Kitty,<br />

who has always shown me love and compassion.<br />

A great sister in law Sherry Sills and her two<br />

children, Taylor and Meredith Sills.<br />

Share some things that you enjoy<br />

in your spare time.<br />

SEC Football, hunting and fishing.<br />

What are three things on your<br />

bucket list?<br />

Travel to Alaska, Hawaii and enjoy the<br />

experiences of another mission trip to<br />

Nicaragua.<br />

What do you consider your greatest<br />

achievement/accomplishment and why?<br />

I am humbled to have been elected to my<br />

fifth term as constable in <strong>Rankin</strong> County.<br />

I am grateful to know that the citizens in District<br />

Three have stood behind me and continue to<br />

support me as their constable.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

My late brother in law, Jeffrey Sills, for his<br />

direction and encouragement to run for this<br />

office and impressing on me the ability to<br />

help others.<br />

What is your favorite holiday and why?<br />

I have two; Christmas, celebrating the birth of<br />

our Savior Jesus Christ and Easter where we<br />

are able to celebrate His resurrection.<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

Hunting and fishing in the Delta with my late<br />

father, Carlos Bean. My father taught me many<br />

things that I will cherish and always carry with me.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think<br />

young people make today?<br />

Succumbing to peer pressure.<br />

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

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

Like my father always told me, “Remember<br />

where you came from and where you are<br />

headed.”<br />

What is most rewarding about your job?<br />

Helping people.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

Enjoying retirement and helping others.<br />

What’s your favorite thing about<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

First and foremost is the quality of life that<br />

includes a strong law enforcement presence<br />

and the ability to work together for the common<br />

good. This combination provides an unparalleled<br />

quality for the present and future generations.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 97

98 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 99


rankin county School district<br />

Florence<br />

During homecoming week, Florence Elementary School<br />

was asked to spotlight firefighters as their highlighted “Heroes.”<br />

The staff and students raised money in honor of their highlighted<br />

heroes, and the money collected was donated to the Mississippi<br />

Burn Camp Foundation.<br />

FES is full of heroes, and during Florence High School’s<br />

homecoming game we were able to recognize a few of our<br />

Firefighter Heroes (pictured L to R):<br />

• Florence Elementary School Principal, Vallerie Lacey<br />

• Richland Fire Department - Assistant Chief Scotty Gainey<br />

(with son Ben Pruett)<br />

• Pearl Fire Department - Lieutenant Preston Harris<br />

(with son Kayson Harris)<br />

• Pearl Fire Department - Lieutenant Blake Ball (uncle of<br />

3rd grade student Conner Ball )<br />

• Florence Fire Department - Firefighter Michael Burkes<br />

(with son Jacob Burkes)<br />

• Flowood Fire Department - Lieutenant Robert Wilson<br />

( father of 4th grade student Gage Wilson)<br />

• Flowood Fire Department, Captain Karl VanHorn<br />

• Flowood Fire Department-Lieutenant Michael Lacey<br />

( father of 5th grade student Emma Lacey)<br />

• MS Burn Camp Foundation representative Tammy Moore,<br />

counselor in training Mercedes Carnell, and camper Jada Amerson.<br />

The MS Burn Camp Foundation is an independent group of<br />

citizens and fire service volunteers who provide a free summer<br />

camp for young burn survivors ages 7-15. This camp includes a<br />

week of food, lodging, and fun for the participants and is funded<br />

entirely by donations. This is offered at no charge to the participants.<br />

It is with great honor we presented our check for $2,553 to<br />

the MS Burn Camp Foundation.<br />

Top: FES Homecoming MS Burn Camp f loat<br />

Bottom: Ms. Sones 4th Grade Class<br />

100 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.

McLaurin<br />

Shelby Tew and Jade Westbrook, sixth grade McLaurin Beta students<br />

McLaurin Elementary, is located in Florence, Mississippi.<br />

As a model school, we proudly support PBIS. What is PBIS?<br />

It is Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports or a positive<br />

reinforcement system. This system creates a safe and positive<br />

environment for students and teachers.<br />

We are in our sixth year with this system and have been a model<br />

school for the last five years. To reinforce good behavior, teachers<br />

give out tiger tickets and correct behavior as nicely as possible. A<br />

whole class may receive a golden ticket, meaning that the class has<br />

been safe, respectful, and responsible. PBIS benefits teachers by<br />

giving them more instructional time because they spend less time<br />

correcting students.<br />

Parent and community volunteers help during Big Events. Big<br />

Events are scheduled every nine weeks to reward students that had<br />

good behavior. Members of our PBIS team also meet with other<br />

PBIS schools.<br />

On October 28, we had Jr. Beta Club induction. This included<br />

fifty students from the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. McLaurin Jr. Beta<br />

members are participating in Beta Buddies. Beta Buddies is a<br />

tutoring program where we are assigned a certain class to tutor<br />

different students. In the spring we are planning to attend the<br />

Mississippi Jr. Beta Convention in Biloxi.<br />

At last year’s state convention, Lily Kaczkowski placed 3rd in<br />

handmade jewelry, which qualified her to attend the National Beta<br />

Convention in Nashville with a group of McLaurin Beta students<br />

and Mrs. Consuela Dixon. The girls competed in “Convention<br />

Invention”, placing 5th and “Reimagine – Recreate – Recycle”,<br />

placing in the top ten of the fashion show. Lily also won the John<br />

W. Harris Leadership Award and will attend the Beta Leadership<br />

Camp this summer.<br />

Girl’s attending 2014-<strong>2015</strong> National Beta Convention:<br />

From left: Rebecca Ozborn, Lily Kaczkowski, Nyla Johnson, Emily Webb,<br />

Olivia Crosser Back row: Sara McRaney, Paula Duplessis<br />

McLaurin Elementary<br />

Jr. Beta Club Induction<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 101


rankin county School district<br />

Northwest<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong><br />

What is so special about Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> Elementary? Out of<br />

the abundance of blessings to choose from, one stands far above<br />

the rest – we’re a family. The moment you walk onto our campus<br />

you are included into our circle of family members, be you faculty,<br />

parent, student, or community associate.<br />

In this circle of family we have surrounded one of our own<br />

- our librarian, Ms. Alicia Bowie, as she has bravely fought and<br />

CONQUERED cancer. Not an<br />

easy topic to approach with young<br />

children, Ms. Bowie has kept her<br />

loving smile as she openly explained<br />

to her students that her lack of hair<br />

is due to medicine that will make<br />

her better.<br />

Only being absent from school<br />

when absolutely necessary, Ms.<br />

Bowie is there for her students as<br />

they come to the library looking for the most amazing book to<br />

read next. On days when she would rather be resting and<br />

recovering, Ms. Bowie is opening new worlds for children<br />

through books. No one at NWRE doubted that Ms. Bowie<br />

would not get well. We have our very own miracle on Vine Drive!<br />

Ms. Bowie, you are a true friend and teacher, and we are all<br />

blessed to call you family. Thank you for your daily example of<br />

how to live, love, learn, and leave a legacy. Stand strong in the<br />

comfort that we’ve got your back!<br />

Pelahatchie<br />

On November13th, the Pelahatchie High School JROTC<br />

underwent its first command formal inspection administered by<br />

members of U.S. Army Cadet Command in recent years and<br />

achieved a highly proficient rating well above the 90 percentile<br />

threshold under new<br />

Cadet Command<br />

regulatory guidelines.<br />

The unit achieved an<br />

overall 93 rating exemplifying<br />

the outstanding<br />

job the cadets did on the<br />

inspection. This<br />

inspection occurs once<br />

every 3 years on average<br />

and rates the unit’s overall proficiency in a number of areas to<br />

include a formal company in-ranks inspection, formal Color Guard,<br />

and full staff briefings focusing on continuous improvement<br />

efforts and service learning highlighting community service.<br />

Under the command of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Hunter<br />

Martin, a junior at PHS, the entire JROTC battalion was inspected<br />

with all of our cadets performing their command and staff<br />

assignments. We are very excited about our high rating as we are<br />

the first school in the RCSD and Mississippi and among the first<br />

in our nation to be inspected and accredited under the new<br />

regulations and guidelines.<br />

102 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

As shown by the high inspection rating, the Pelahatchie High<br />

JROTC is achieving its mission to motivate students and teach<br />

them the values of citizenship, leadership, service to community,<br />

personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment while<br />

building upon teamwork, self-discipline, and enhancing self-esteem.<br />

PHS Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)<br />

is a program offered to high school students that teach cadets<br />

character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership,<br />

and diversity. Collectively, these lessons motivate cadets to be<br />

better citizens which is the main focus and mission of JROTC.<br />

In addition to promoting citizenship, JROTC also prepares<br />

cadets for college while providing service opportunities involving<br />

school and community.<br />

Pelahatchie Chiefs - Game Changers Building Literacy<br />

Dr. Bryan Marshall and Lisa Attkisson<br />

How to motivate young children to read is a question that is<br />

typically asked by most parents and teachers. When contemplating<br />

how to reach beginning or struggling readers, it is highly<br />

important to bring a sense of excitement to the literature.<br />

This year at Pelahatchie Elementary and High School,<br />

students are helping students learn to read and to develop a love<br />

of reading. These are not<br />

just ordinary students<br />

from Pelahatchie High<br />

School but are senior<br />

football players. The<br />

players spend their time<br />

reading to the kindergarten<br />

through third grade<br />

students. These reading sessions are held several different ways.<br />

Some sessions are held with individual students, groups of<br />

students, and sometimes they read to an entire class. The football<br />

players are given a series of questions that probe for higher order<br />

thinking to ask before, during and after the reading session.<br />

This program has been hugely successful and has brought<br />

about a new attitude toward reading in the schools. This is a two<br />

way street because the football players see how much of a role<br />

model they really are and how much the younger students look<br />

up to them. The elementary students, in turn, see the importance<br />

of reading, and it is fun for them to see their heroes up close and<br />

personal.<br />

Literacy has been a focus on both campuses at Pelahatchie and<br />

will continue to be an important part of the education of the<br />

students. Literacy is the foundation for building life long readers<br />

and consequently life long learners is the ultimate goal of the<br />

Pelahatchie school zone. The faculty and staff at Pelahatchie<br />

Elementary and High School encourage each parent to promote<br />

reading and to help develop a love of literature that will spill over<br />

into the school. It is the parents that make our jobs easier, and we<br />

thank you for sending the students we educate daily. We are truly<br />

blessed to be a part of their lives.<br />

Pisgah<br />

Pisgah High School is proud<br />

to announce its Teacher of the<br />

Year for <strong>2015</strong>-<strong>2016</strong>, Mrs. Lindsey<br />

Winn. Mrs. Winn has taught<br />

junior high science at our school<br />

for the past five years. She<br />

graduated from William Carey<br />

University with a degree in K-8<br />

Education, and also earned certification to teach reading, history,<br />

and science. She recently earned her M.Ed. in Administrative<br />

Leadership from the American College of Education. She is<br />

originally from Flowood and is a graduate of Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

High School. Lindsey is married to Jamie Winn and they have<br />

two children, Rivers and Laken.<br />

Mrs. Winn teaches all of Pisgah’s seventh and eighth grade<br />

science courses, and therefore is able to guide students through<br />

both grades, culminating at the end of eighth grade with the<br />

Mississippi Science Test 2. Mrs. Winn chose a career in teaching<br />

science because “it is full of experiments, it is engaging, and it<br />

allows me to create a fun learning environment.” She enjoys the<br />

challenge of competing to improve her students’ test scores each<br />

year and also creating innovative ways to design a reflective<br />

environment. Last year, her eighth graders created a portfolio of<br />

their strengths and weaknesses in science; the preparation taught<br />

them to be optimistic about their abilities, and she thinks that<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 103


rankin county School district<br />

impacted their success in science the most. Mrs. Winn’s students<br />

earned 86% proficient and advanced on the <strong>2015</strong> MST2 test<br />

(with zero scoring minimal) and they had the highest average<br />

scores in the <strong>Rankin</strong> County School District.<br />

Mrs. Winn also recognizes the importance of literacy as a key<br />

to success schoolwide and is always looking for new ways to<br />

improve literacy at PHS. She works with teachers from all<br />

departments to improve reading instruction and comprehension,<br />

and trains new teachers on Achieve 3000 (a reading program at<br />

the school). Mrs. Winn is a wonderful team player and we are<br />

honored to have her as a part of our PHS family!<br />

Puckett<br />

Welcome to Puckett, Mississippi, home of “300 Good<br />

Friendly Folks and a Few Old Soreheads,” according to the town’s<br />

city limits. This is what most passer-byes know about the town,<br />

but its residents know it and its school as one of the best-kept<br />

secret in the state.<br />

During October, the Wolves sought to get involved with the<br />

community and raise awareness for breast cancer research. We<br />

held Pink Out week where students donned pink and raised<br />

$1,000.00 for the Tackle A Cure Foundation. Students have also<br />

raised their ACT scores, participating in a $30 for 30 campaign<br />

where they receive real compensation for academic excellence.<br />

Dr. Blanton from Millsaps College recently conducted a two-day<br />

ACT boot camp and will return for future test preparation.<br />

Seniors have already received multiple scholarship offers nearing<br />

$1 million, to date.<br />

Teens are not only hitting the books but also getting their hands<br />

dirty to keep the campus beautiful. This fall, the art program sold<br />

coloring books and marble cheese cutters at the Canton Flea<br />

Market to raise funds for its school gardens. The department has<br />

added two waterfalls, a stream bed, and with a generous grant<br />

from Lowes, a sprinkler system for the newest garden expansion.<br />

Lastly, we owe a big shout out to the spirited students of PHS.<br />

This year, they created the first ever student section to cheer on<br />

the Wolf Pack football team. They are donning maroon and<br />

white and celebrating success with our football team. They have<br />

104 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

een an intimidating presence at the games this year, and the<br />

team is feeling the love, reeling with an exciting 9-1 record.<br />

The city limits may advertise small-town soreheads, but<br />

students and community partners are working together to change<br />

the world from the inside out.<br />

Park Place<br />

Lori Clendinning, PPCA Librarian<br />

PPCA announces first-ever National Merit semifinalist<br />

Matthew Wise, a senior at Park Place Christian Academy (PPCA)<br />

in Pearl, Miss., was among those announced as a semifinalist in<br />

the <strong>2016</strong> National Merit Scholarship Program. Out of a pool of<br />

about 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools, the<br />

prestigious honor of being selected as a National Merit Semifinalist<br />

is limited to approximately 16,000 students in the United States.<br />

The selection proclaims Matthew to be an individual student<br />

who shows exceptional academic ability and potential for success<br />

in rigorous college studies. He will have the opportunity to<br />

compete for one of the 7,400 National Merit Scholarship awards<br />

worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.<br />

Matthew is the son of Michael and Susan Wise. He is a member<br />

of Park Place Baptist Church in Pearl, Miss., where he is active in<br />

the youth group, helps with mission-focused activities, and assists<br />

with media ministry and worship, handling camera and sound<br />

equipment duties. An avid reader, Matthew is a member of PPCA’s<br />

National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Book Club, as well as the<br />

cross-country and tennis teams at PPCA, where he has attended<br />

since three-year-old kindergarten. Matthew has served in student<br />

government, helped begin the school’s Robotics Club, and<br />

supervises the student team responsible for hoisting the PPCA<br />

flag every morning. As a junior, Matthew placed first in the MAIS<br />

District Science Fair and was awarded second place in the MAIS<br />

State Science Fair. Always willing to help out faculty, staff, and<br />

fellow students at PPCA, Matthew is currently considering<br />

pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering at Mississippi State<br />

University.<br />

“We are especially proud of Matthew,” said Ted Poore, PPCA<br />

Head of School. “He is a fine young man who has worked diligently<br />

and we are pleased that he is our school’s first-ever National Merit<br />

Scholar semifinalist. We are praying for him as he continues to<br />

pursue the very best that God has for him.”<br />

Richland<br />

Richland Upper Elementary, a third through sixth grade school,<br />

is excited to have introduced a new program this year entitled,<br />

“Parent Parties”. This initiative works to promote parent education<br />

and parental involvement in our schools and community. The<br />

faculty at RUES believes parents are one of the greatest resources<br />

we have, and feel these parties are an excellent way to increase our<br />

parent participation and celebrate the diversity of our community.<br />

The faculty wants our school to be an inviting place for parents to<br />

feel welcome and to participate in the educational journey of<br />

their children.<br />

Informational flyers were sent home with all students to<br />

encourage parents to attend the initial organizational meeting.<br />

Interested parents met with faculty members in September and<br />

began planning the various events. RUES parents have been<br />

instrumental in the planning and implementation of the monthly<br />

parties that will alternate between day and evening events in<br />

order to accommodate parent schedules.<br />

October’s topic focused on our school’s literacy initiative with<br />

“A Story and a Snack”. Each homeroom class invited parents to<br />

read from various genres while enjoying delicious snacks sent by<br />

other parents who could not attend, but wanted to participate.<br />

November’s topic will emphasize family fitness by hosting a<br />

two-day event at the Richland High School old gymnasium<br />

entitled “Zumba Fitness Night”. Various activities are planned<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 105

Kick Off The Season<br />

Alumni House Style<br />

Located inside the Holiday Inn-Trustmark Park<br />

110 Bass Pro Drive, Pearl<br />

With over 27 HD TV’s all tuned to sports, you won’t miss<br />

a pass, punt or touchdown. Even if you’re not the world’s<br />

greatest sports fan, you can still have a lot of fun, and<br />

score some of the finest cuisine around, as well as a huge<br />

assortment of craft beers. Come on over!<br />

Join us for Happy Hour! Monday–Friday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.<br />

Lunch & Dinner: Mon–Sat: 11:00 am–10:00 pm • Sun: 11:00 am–9:00 pm<br />

Breakfast: 6:00-10:00 am, 7 days a week<br />

Phone ahead: 601-939-5238 • www.alumnihousepearl.com<br />

This Year,<br />

Go Bowling<br />

In The House.<br />

The Alumni House!<br />

In the Holiday Inn, Trustmark Park<br />

It’s as good as being there! Whatever bowl game your<br />

team is going to, with over 27 HD TV’s all tuned to sports,<br />

you won’t miss a pass, punt or touchdown. And, you can<br />

score some of the finest cuisine around, as well as a huge<br />

assortment of craft beers. Come on over!<br />

Lunch & Dinner:<br />

Mon–Sat: 11 am–10 pm, Sun: 11 am–9 pm<br />

Breakfast: 6–10 am, 7 days a week<br />

Happy Hour Mon–Fri:<br />

3 pm until 7 pm<br />

Phone ahead: 601-939-5238<br />

www.alumnihousepearl.com<br />

106 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 107


rankin county School district<br />

throughout the remainder of the year such as a Baptist Heart<br />

presentation for parent and students on being heart healthy.<br />

Richland Upper Elementary is excited to already see the<br />

growth in our parental participation! It is the school’s passion to<br />

help empower our parents to make a difference in the lives of<br />

their children.<br />

Steens Creek<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County School District has an exceptional reputation<br />

for preparing students academically, socially and emotionally to<br />

be the best citizens and community members within our society.<br />

Through our Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS)<br />

at Steen’s Creek, we are able to reinforce students showing good<br />

character by giving out tickets that they are able to redeem for<br />

rewards.<br />

with glowing jack-o-lanterns in the hallways of Steen’s Creek.<br />

The students created their own lantern with a milk jug that<br />

represented each student’s unique qualities. On Thursday,<br />

October 29th, the students were given a glow stick to put in their<br />

lantern to symbolize everyone’s exceptional qualities and to<br />

remind students to think about all they say or do.<br />

We are excited to see our Steen’s Creek Elementary students<br />

shining brightly with respect for all!<br />

StoneBridge<br />

Elementary students Avery Magee (2nd grade) and Lacey Wheeler<br />

(3rd grade) were presented awards by Principal Angela Nichols<br />

for receiving first place in the Mississippi Counseling Association’s<br />

poster contest. Students participating were to illustrate a career<br />

which represented the theme “Fostering Well-Being Through<br />

Meaningful Work.” The posters were exhibited at the <strong>2015</strong><br />

Mississippi Counseling Convention in Biloxi.<br />

Steen’s Creek Elementary has embraced the whole child<br />

approach and strives to promote good character through their<br />

counseling program led by counselor Chelsea Rushing. Ms.<br />

Rushing has been apart of SCE for the past two years and is a<br />

Mississippi State Graduate as well as a Brandon native.<br />

The students have a character trait focus to explore each<br />

month through our classroom guidance program. For the month<br />

of October, SCE students focused on respect. During the<br />

character lessons the students are able to identify, discover, and<br />

show how to be respectful to others. Ms. Rushing allowed<br />

students to demonstrate this respect through a spectacular lesson<br />

108 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Northshore<br />

The families of our Kindergarten through second grade<br />

students were invited to Thanksgiving lunch.<br />

The PTO had a coupon book fundraiser. Students that sold 10<br />

books celebrated with a pizza party. Students that sold 20 books<br />

got to ride in a Limo when they went to lunch at CiCi’s Pizza.<br />

Our PTO honored all of the students making all A’s for the<br />

first nine weeks with a breakfast.<br />

Some of the NWR High School football players and cheerleaders<br />

helped out with car rider duty one morning. A pep rally<br />

followed.<br />

The Kindergarten classes celebrated the 50th day of school by<br />

dressing up. They enjoyed Coke floats, a hoola-hoop contest, who<br />

could blow the biggest bubble, and dance off doing “The Twist”.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 109


pearl public school district<br />

ECEC Fall Fest Fun<br />

Fall is a favorite time of the year for the little Pirates at the<br />

Pearl Public School District’s Early Childhood Education Center.<br />

Following a study of fall’s changing leaves, creating scarecrows, and<br />

exploring the many uses of corn, students celebrated with a full<br />

day of hands-on activities during Fall Fest. Some of the activities<br />

included a cookie walk, mural painting, parachute toss, and corn<br />

sensory tubs. Among the volunteers were Pearl High School<br />

drama students who assisted with face painting, puppet theatre,<br />

and dress up fun. Arianna Nunnery (far left) and Destaniee<br />

Chenshaw (far right) are pictured with Viking maiden Keri<br />

Green and Princess Nevaeh Pennington.<br />

Three performances of this play were held in the William<br />

Dodson Performing Arts Center on the campus of Pearl High<br />

School on November 13. This special event was sponsored<br />

through an Enrichment from Experts Grant from the Pearl<br />

Educational Foundation for Excellence.<br />

Annual Farm Day<br />

Northside Enjoys<br />

New Stage Production<br />

Pearl Lower Elementary recently held its annual PTSO Farm<br />

Day. Students dressed in various farm attire and participated in<br />

numerous activities associated with living on a farm. From eating<br />

freshly roasted corn-on-the-cob and singing campfire songs to<br />

petting small farm animals and shearing shaving cream sheep,<br />

PLE kindergarten and first grade students had a “hoedown good<br />

time” pretending to be farmers for a day! Students in Mrs. Nicole<br />

Jones’ class learned how to plant vegetables with help from Scott’s<br />

Miracle-Gro representatives during Farm Day. Pictured clockwise<br />

are kindergarteners Benton Campbell, Gracie Brun, K’Mari<br />

Hicks, Peighton Graves, and Bailey Shack.<br />

Elementary students were treated to an in-school performance<br />

of Androcles and the Lion, a part of New Stage Theatre Arts-in-<br />

Education statewide touring program. This play cleverly combined<br />

two of Aesop’s famous fables: “Androcles and the Lion” and<br />

“The Lion and the Mouse.”<br />

Pictured with Mrs. Darah Peacock’s second grade class from<br />

Northside Elementary are Colin Baylot (Androcles), Briana<br />

Thomas (Mouse), Chris Ambrose (Lion), and Allison Heinz<br />

(Emperor/Narrator/Mother).<br />

110 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Pie the Principal<br />

The students at Pearl Upper Elementary were challenged<br />

during the first nine weeks to reach various achievement goals in<br />

language arts and mathematics. The goals were to demonstrate<br />

growth on STAR reading and math assessments and to earn the<br />

individually set number of Accelerated Reader points during<br />

the term. The reward for reaching two of the three goals was an<br />

opportunity to “pie the principal.” Pictured smearing a whipped<br />

cream pie on the face of PUE Principal, Gavin Gill, is Ja’Marion<br />

Turner. Preparing the next round of pies is Candace Batson,<br />

PUE counselor, with Adrianna Greenfield and Jocelyn Haymon<br />

anxiously waiting their turns. Over 450 fourth and fifth grade<br />

students met their goals and celebrated the accomplishment with<br />

Mr. Gill.<br />

PHS Performs<br />

Steel Magnolias<br />

Marshmallow<br />

Challenge<br />

Students in seventh grade math classes at Pearl Junior High<br />

School recently took part in the Marshmallow Challenge, a design<br />

exercise to encourage teams to experience simple but profound<br />

lessons in collaboration, innovation, and creativity. Each group<br />

was tasked with constructing the tallest free-standing structure<br />

possible using twenty sticks of spaghetti noodles, one yard of<br />

tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The teams were<br />

given eighteen minutes to complete the assignment. In this short<br />

period of time, students engaged in the mathematical practices<br />

of making sense of problems and persevering to solve them;<br />

reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; and constructing viable<br />

arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others.<br />

Pictured L to R with their structure are Brady Helms, Tori Douglas,<br />

and Weslyn McMurrin.<br />

The Pearl High School Drama Department recently presented<br />

Steele Magnolias. This classic story about the bond of friendship<br />

and the inner strength of southern women set in a Natchiotches<br />

beauty shop was brought to the PAC stage under the<br />

direction of PHS drama instructor Lacey Smith.<br />

(L to R) Raven McGowan (M’Lynn), Anna Smith (Clairee), Taylor Carpenter<br />

(Annelle), Jodi Bullock (Truvy), and Julia Smith (Ouiser). Sitting is Natalie<br />

Davis (Shelby).<br />

The mission of Pearl Public School District<br />

is to prepare each student to become a<br />

lifelong learner, achieve individual goals,<br />

and positively impact a global society.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 111

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112 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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Camille Anding<br />

The Time Coin<br />

It was with reluctance and a heavy<br />

dose of nostalgia that Maria turned<br />

the calendar page from <strong>December</strong> to<br />

<strong>January</strong> of a new year. She regretted leaving<br />

all the joys that spilled over the month of<br />

<strong>December</strong>. She wasn’t ready physically or<br />

mentally to leave the celebration and return<br />

to schedules and neat, uncluttered bedrooms<br />

– to meals that didn’t end in chocolate – to<br />

a pantry and cabinets void of grandchildren<br />

delights – to workdays that would replace lazy mornings of flannel<br />

pajamas and flavored coffees.<br />

Maria smiled as she remembered her pajama-clad family rushing into<br />

the frosty backyard to “ooh” and “aww” over the trophy buck draped<br />

over her grandson’s four-wheeler. She would want to remember the<br />

tastes of her mother’s ambrosia and grandmother’s tomato gravy<br />

brought to the table via their original recipes.<br />

Her <strong>December</strong> sound bank was packed with harmonious blending of<br />

grandchildren’s voices from the fireside carols and the squeals of<br />

grandchildren running down the hall Christmas morning. Reading<br />

books to her toddler grandchild still carried a warmth that blankets and<br />

thermostats couldn’t duplicate.<br />

Suddenly a regret from one of those <strong>December</strong> nights settled over<br />

Maria in a nostalgic cloud. The entire family had just finished another<br />

meal. The men had retreated to a lounging<br />

position near the den fire and the females were<br />

intent on making dessert and coffee last a few<br />

minutes longer. Virginia, her five-year-old<br />

grand, leaned into Maria’s ear and whispered,<br />

“Nana, let’s go snuggle in your bed and watch a<br />

Christmas movie.”<br />

Maria gave her a typical “just a minute”<br />

reply as the dirty dishes and clean-up took<br />

priority. In what seemed like a short time,<br />

Maria went to join her little bedfellow. She was under the covers but<br />

already in a deep sleep. Maria’s heart sank. She whispered her name,<br />

but Virginia’s childhood energy mode had switched to “recharge” and<br />

her day was ended.<br />

Maria had missed the special invitation and the calendar wouldn’t<br />

offer another like it in <strong>December</strong>. To most, it might appear a small thing<br />

among so many joys, but it continued to leave Maria with regret. Some<br />

joys, some invitations have expiration dates.<br />

The New Year begins with a new resolve for Maria. She’s acutely<br />

aware that the year will hold opportunities to respond immediately to<br />

life’s invitations and promptings. She could fall victim to busy-ness and<br />

forfeit blessings or indulge in treasured memory-making. It would be<br />

her choice. She had grown wiser. She knows from experience that regret<br />

is a heartless thief. n<br />

114 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2015</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> Brandon <strong>Rankin</strong> • 115

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116 • June <strong>2015</strong><br />


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