Hometown Brandon - Summer 2017

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volume 4 number 3<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

General Jo<br />

______________________<br />

Making Sweet Memories<br />

______________________<br />

The Big Lap

If something<br />

happened to<br />

the two of us,<br />

who would<br />

be responsible<br />

for him?<br />


12 Woodgate Drive, Suite F • <strong>Brandon</strong>, MS • 601.724.1870 • palmerslay.com<br />

Christopher P. Palmer chris.palmer@palmerslay.com / Craig L. Slay craig.slay@palmerslay.com

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 3

4 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Publisher & Editor<br />

Tahya Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin Dobbs<br />

CONSULTing editor<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Account ExecutiveS<br />

Dacia Durr Amis<br />

Administrative Assistants<br />

Alisha Floyd<br />

Brenda McCall<br />

Staff Photographer<br />

Othel Anding<br />

Contributing<br />

Photographers<br />

Charla Jordan<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Jonathan Barnes<br />

Beth Bowman<br />

Kyle Brown<br />

Charla Jordan<br />

James Kelly<br />

Melanie McMillan<br />

Beth Reiss<br />

Cate Rodgers<br />

Suzanne Ross<br />

Layout Design<br />

3dt<br />

Advertising Design<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

I flip the calendar to June and before I see the highlights attached to that month, I immediately think<br />

of Father’s Day. These men represent people holding powerful influence over their children. <strong>Hometown</strong><br />

Rankin salutes all those special fathers who have invested their most precious gift in their children–the gift<br />

of time.<br />

Right behind Father’s Day comes VBS. What wonderful memories I have of Kool-Aid, cookies, and<br />

getting my turn to carry the Bible or flag during the processional. My thoughts and prayers go with all those<br />

volunteers and young hearts being molded.<br />

June also heeds vacation days and sunburns at the pool. Add snow cones and lots of watermelon to finish<br />

off a full month.<br />

July is flag-waving month, and it’s our honor to highlight the Crossgates<br />

Exchange Club’s special patriotic flag weekend. Mark your calendars<br />

to visit this red, white, and blue experience. Then grill some burgers or<br />

hotdogs and celebrate our nation’s freedom. What a blessing!<br />

The calendar turns quickly for those of us working with deadlines,<br />

but we at <strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines treasure our opportunity to journal those<br />

events that fill our pages.<br />

Thank you, readers and advertisers. We celebrate<br />

you, too!<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownbrandonmagazine<br />

On the cover: Statue of Steven Power at Shiloh Park<br />

www.HTMags.com<br />

Contact us at<br />

info@htmags.com<br />

601.706.4059<br />

26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong>, MS 39042<br />

• • •<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> is published by <strong>Hometown</strong><br />

Magazines. All rights reserved. No portion of<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> may be reproduced<br />

without written permission from the publisher.<br />

The management of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> is not<br />

responsible for opinions expressed by its<br />

writers or editors. All communications sent to<br />

our editorial staff are subject to publication and<br />

the unrestricted right to be refused, or to be<br />

edited and/or editorially commented on. All<br />

advertisements are subject to approval by the<br />

publisher. The production of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

is funded by advertising.<br />

In this issue The Way We Were ....................6<br />

Genaral Jo ........................ 10<br />

A Baseball Legacy ................. 12<br />

United We Stand .................. 18<br />

Making Sweet Memories.......22<br />

The Big Lap....................... 26<br />

Black Rose Theater ................ 38<br />

The Value of Rankin County......... 42<br />

The Mississippi Law Journal ...... 48w<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 5

The<br />

way<br />

were.<br />

we<br />

Brigadier General Rebecca Wade &<br />

Command Sergeant Major Sam Wade<br />

“Solid friendships make for lasting<br />

marriages.” That’s what Rebecca and<br />

Sam Wade believe because it’s been their<br />

rewarding experience.<br />

After graduating from high school in<br />

Carthage, Mississippi, Rebecca went on to<br />

earn her nursing degree plus a masters. In<br />

1976, a friend who worked in the ER with<br />

Rebecca joined the military and persuaded<br />

Rebecca to do the same.<br />

Meanwhile, Sam had already begun his<br />

military career after graduating from Central<br />

High School in Memphis, Tennessee, and<br />

enlisting in the army<br />

after a semester at<br />

Memphis University.<br />

In 1982, Sam’s path<br />

crossed with Rebecca’s<br />

during a National<br />

Guard summer camp.<br />

Rebecca was working in the<br />

dispensary, and Sam went there to confirm<br />

that his unit was assigned a medical officer.<br />

Rebecca was not in, but Sam still remembers<br />

how the fragrance of her perfume filled the<br />

room. When he returned, Rebecca was<br />

confronting a young<br />

lieutenant doctor in “military style.” Sam’s<br />

respect was immediate!<br />

Rebecca remembers Sam’s professional<br />

manners and look - “dressed to detail.”<br />

6 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

“I knew we would be friends,” she said<br />

when describing their first meeting.<br />

In the military years that followed, their<br />

friendship grew within the parameters of<br />

army rules which stated that all enlisted<br />

dating was frowned upon. When Sam<br />

retired in 1995, they began dating as they<br />

continued building their friendship.<br />

They recall their long walks in Strawberry<br />

Park in Clinton where their long talks<br />

knitted their hearts more closely. On<br />

October 18, 1997, they sealed their friendship<br />

with vows and wedding rings. In their<br />

pre-marital counseling, Dr. James Street<br />

gave them two keys for growing their<br />

relationship: 1) tithe every payday and 2)<br />

continue to date. They are living testimonials<br />

to his sound advice.<br />

Sam has his own advice for couples<br />

considering marriage: “Become good friends<br />

first; too many people rush into marriage.<br />

It takes time to build friendships.”<br />

Rebecca shared additional advice, “Don’t<br />

go into marriage with debt; be free of<br />

financial obligations as much as possible.”<br />

The strength of Rebecca and Sam’s<br />

bond permeates the room like that special<br />

fragrance that filled the military dispensary<br />

years ago. Her being a “really good listener”<br />

and his exhibiting “true southern gentlemen<br />

qualities” continue to strengthen their<br />

marriage.<br />

Even Sam’s rank of command sergeant<br />

major being lower than Rebecca’s rank as<br />

brigadier general hasn’t been a negative<br />

factor in their relationship. Sam explains,<br />

“I always get the last word, and it’s always<br />

‘Yes mam!’”<br />

n<br />

“I knew<br />

we would<br />

be friends.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 7

8 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 9

10 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

General Jo<br />

Melanie McMillan<br />

Spend a little time in the company of <strong>Brandon</strong> resident Jo Leslie<br />

and you are sure to feel inspired by her energy and compassion.<br />

The 87-year-old brigadier general and retired nurse lives at Peachtree<br />

Village, her caring spirit towards friends and fellow residents a<br />

continuation of a life well lived.<br />

Jo’s story begins near Kosciusko, Mississippi, in the small town<br />

of Thomastown. Jo was the baby of the family and grew up working<br />

on a farm alongside her siblings and sharecropper parents. It was a<br />

hard life, but one she says she wouldn’t trade for anything. It was<br />

during the early years of her life that she determined she would be a<br />

nurse. “From the time I could talk, that’s what I wanted to do,” she<br />

says. “I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything else.”<br />

After high school, Jo enrolled in the Mississippi Baptist School<br />

of Nursing. Her education lasted three years and was very regimented,<br />

her every minute planned for her. As it turned out, it was good<br />

training for what would come later. Upon her graduation in 1951,<br />

she went to work in the emergency department at Baptist Hospital.<br />

Fast forward a few years. The previously all-male Army National<br />

Guard was now allowing women to join, thanks to a law passed by<br />

Congress. There were a few stipulations, however. In order to join,<br />

women had to be under the age of 40, unmarried, and be a<br />

registered nurse. Jo Leslie fit the bill, and in 1959 she became one<br />

of the first women to join the Mississippi Army National Guard<br />

Nurse Corps. She went on to become the chief nurse and achieved<br />

the rank of brigadier general. In 1992, having served for 33 years,<br />

she says, “I called myself retired.”<br />

Retirement didn’t last long for “General Jo”. General Jack<br />

Vance, head of the Veterans Affairs Board in Mississippi, called<br />

Jo one day and requested a meeting. At that meeting General<br />

Vance asked Jo if she would be willing to serve on the veterans<br />

affairs board. Her first inclination was to politely decline, but what<br />

he said next changed her mind. “Jo, the veterans need you.” And<br />

so, the previously “retired” General Jo went back to work, her chief<br />

job being to shape up the veterans nursing homes in Mississippi.<br />

She did just that, working tirelessly for fifteen years, improving<br />

the quality of all four nursing homes in the state. In July of 2013,<br />

the veterans home in Kosciusko was renamed The Martha Jo Leslie<br />

State Veterans Home, honoring the years of service Jo gave to the<br />

veterans of Mississippi. Friends, family, and state and local<br />

dignitaries were in attendance for the ceremony. People Jo had<br />

grown up with were there to celebrate their hometown hero.<br />

“It was a great day,” Jo says.<br />

Although she’s officially retired, Jo still spends her days caring<br />

for others. She and other residents and employees have created a<br />

beautiful courtyard garden, a relaxing place to enjoy a cup of coffee<br />

in the morning or visit with friends on sunny afternoons. For those<br />

residents with limited mobility, Jo is there to help them get out to<br />

the courtyard, believing that everyone should be able to enjoy the<br />

outdoors. The desire to care for others that drove her to become a<br />

nurse is alive and well, and her optimism and cheerfulness are<br />

contagious. “I’ve had a good life,” Jo says, and for those who are<br />

blessed to know her, she makes life good. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 11

12 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

A<br />

Baseball<br />

Legacy<br />

Beth Bowman<br />

The statue of the little boy<br />

playing baseball is an indelible<br />

mark in the minds of so many<br />

people who have visited Shiloh<br />

Park. This statue is representative<br />

of a special little guy who was<br />

an almost-constant presence at<br />

the Shiloh baseball fields. He lost<br />

his life in a hunting accident on<br />

February 17, 2002 when he was<br />

ten days away from his 10th<br />

birthday. The little boy’s name<br />

was Steven Power and he leaves<br />

a baseball legacy that lives on.<br />

Steven loved to play baseball<br />

and had a gift for the sport. In his<br />

almost-ten years he had played<br />

several positions on his teams; first, second, third, short, and<br />

outfield–but by far, pitching was his all-time favorite position.<br />

His coaches remember him as being hard-working, dedicated<br />

and focused.<br />

Shane King is a resident of <strong>Brandon</strong> and he loves<br />

baseball more than anything–except God and his family.<br />

He had heard about Steven from his wife, Suzanne. She<br />

was a former babysitter of Steven’s and a good friend of the<br />

Power family. Shane’s team had<br />

played the previous month in a<br />

memorial tournament in Jackson<br />

but the next time he passed the<br />

statue he thought, “What if I can<br />

organize a baseball tournament<br />

in <strong>Brandon</strong> that honors Steven’s<br />

memory?”<br />

With that one thought in<br />

mind, and an uncanny ability<br />

to garner support, Shane began<br />

work on the first Steven Power<br />

Memorial Tournament for U-10<br />

boys. Lee Pickett, <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

tournament director, with the<br />

assistance of the City of <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

Recreation Department, began<br />

to work alongside Shane to make the dream of a memorial<br />

tournament come true. Their hard work and dedication<br />

paid off as 25 teams registered to play in the two-day<br />

tournament held at Shiloh Park on March 18-19, <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

Valerie and Gene Power, Steven’s parents, were on<br />

hand to watch the tournament and Valerie threw out the<br />

first pitch. Before she tossed the ball, she warned everyone<br />

that the ball might be “a little bit outside of the box”.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 13

14 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

The catcher adjusted quickly<br />

to catch the ball off Valerie’s<br />

pitch and the tournament<br />

began.<br />

Several years ago, the<br />

baseball team from the year<br />

Steven would have graduated<br />

from <strong>Brandon</strong> High School<br />

sent cards and letters to the family. One player wrote these<br />

words of comfort, “Life is short, but friends and memories<br />

last forever”. These words and many others have served<br />

as a special reminder to Gene and Valerie that their son is<br />

not forgotten.<br />

More importantly than baseball, Steven left a legacy<br />

of his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. I had the privilege of<br />

being his children’s minister and watch him grow in his<br />

understanding of God’s plan in sending His Son. His parents<br />

investment in his spiritual nurturing, his brother’s example<br />

and his love for the Lord<br />

provided the background<br />

for Steven as he trusted Christ<br />

as Savior at our annual Kid<br />

Kamp in 2001. The decision<br />

to become a Christian gave<br />

Steven the peace of God’s<br />

guidance in his life and the<br />

assurance of eventual home in heaven.<br />

The current plans for Steven’s statue is to move it to<br />

the city’s new fields located on Boyce Thompson Drive.<br />

Shane is currently working to set up a fund at Trustmark<br />

Bank that will aid in the relocation of the statue and serve<br />

as a financial base for the annual event. The fields are<br />

set to open in 2018 and there’s no doubt that the statue<br />

will continue to remind baseball players and their<br />

families of the legacy and heritage of Steven Power. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 15

16 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 17

United We Stand:<br />

In 2013, the City of <strong>Brandon</strong> began to look<br />

at events that were successful and others that<br />

needed improvement or areas where a new<br />

event could be added. July 4th, Independence<br />

Day, stuck out as a date that <strong>Brandon</strong>, nor any<br />

other surrounding city, truly celebrated. That<br />

is when officials from the City of <strong>Brandon</strong>,<br />

David Prevost of <strong>Brandon</strong> Baptist Church,<br />

and John Clendinning of First Baptist Church<br />

sat down and discussed creating a 4th of July<br />

program that emphasized God and country.<br />

After countless hours of preparation and<br />

practicing, United We Stand: Tribute of Praise<br />

to God & Country was held on July 3rd, 2013,<br />

with <strong>Brandon</strong> Baptist, First Baptist, and<br />

Oakdale Baptist performing the music. As<br />

years have passed, more family fun has been<br />

added like Dunk-a-Chief where participants<br />

can line up at the dunking booth for a chance<br />

of dunking either the chief of police or fire<br />

chief. The Exchange Club of <strong>Brandon</strong> has<br />

passed out watermelon to attendees. 2016 was<br />

extremely special when, under the direction of<br />

David Young, a patriotic orchestra was added.<br />

Every year the 4th of July celebration grows<br />

and last year this event brought over 3,000<br />

to Shiloh Park.<br />

18 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Tribute of Praise<br />

to God & Country<br />

Kyle Brown<br />

This year even more local churches are<br />

participating at the event that will be held on<br />

Thursday, June 29th. Members from <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

Baptist, Crossgates Methodist, First Baptist, Grace<br />

Baptist, and <strong>Brandon</strong> First United Methodist<br />

will be present in the chorus. Everyone will enjoy<br />

patriotic music, an opportunity to play games with<br />

local businesses and city departments, over a<br />

dozen inflatables for children of all ages, and a<br />

stunning firework display to end the evening.<br />

One <strong>Brandon</strong> business that has participated<br />

every year at God & Country is McAlister’s<br />

Deli. This year’s event will have an increased<br />

importance to Audrey Coley and the employees<br />

at the <strong>Brandon</strong> store. United We Stand occurs<br />

on McAlister’s Free Tea Day. Audrey and her<br />

staff will help kick off a day of celebrating by<br />

offering free tea, music, and entertainment.<br />

Make sure you swing by McAlister’s before or<br />

after the event.<br />

United We Stand: Tribute of Praise to God<br />

& Country <strong>2017</strong> will begin with registration for<br />

the Black Rose Theater Bike Parade at 6pm.<br />

The bike parade will begin at 6:45 with bikes<br />

judged by the <strong>Brandon</strong> Garden Club. The<br />

musical presentation will start at 7:30 and<br />

the fireworks will close out the evening<br />

around dusk.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 19


It was an eventful gathering for <strong>Brandon</strong> Court Nursing Home on April 21st. The staff invited firemen, police,<br />

and city officials to meet and greet the <strong>Brandon</strong> Court residents. The response was gratifying and enjoyable for all<br />

the participants. That familiar adage is true: It’s never wasted or squandered time when we share it with others.<br />

20 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 21

22 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

the Cumbest family

Crossgates United Methodist Pastor Chris Cumbest has lived in<br />

Rankin County for three years, but his story begins in the southeast<br />

part of the state. He and his three siblings were raised by their mom<br />

and dad on a small farm in Cumbest Bluff, Mississippi, off Highway 63.<br />

Chris was called to the ministry<br />

shortly after he and his wife Sheila<br />

married, and pastored his first church<br />

at the ripe old age of 21. After<br />

completing their undergraduate<br />

degrees at the University of Southern<br />

Mississippi, the couple moved to<br />

North Carolina where they both<br />

enrolled in Duke Seminary. The<br />

Cumbests have been in ministry ever<br />

since, serving in churches in North<br />

Carolina and all over Mississippi.<br />

Chris also served for a year and a<br />

half as the coordinator of church<br />

recovery following Hurricane<br />

Katrina, helping those affected by<br />

the storm. Through storms and<br />

times of growth and change, Chris<br />

says he feels like God has shown him<br />

a theme of his ministry.<br />

“If there’s been one thing that’s characterized my ministry, it’s being in the midst of transition or crisis,<br />

and being there to help churches stabilize and see them through difficult times.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 23

For many years now, the Cumbest family has<br />

been involved in a different kind of transition, the<br />

kind that takes a field of sugar cane and turns it<br />

into delicious cane syrup. It began with Chris’s dad,<br />

Otis Cumbest, and his friends Bobby D. Kennedy<br />

and Frank Hamilton. Mr. Bobby D, as he is known,<br />

has long been a craftsman and collector. “He’s<br />

restored all kinds of things. His house and barn<br />

are like a museum,” says Chris. One of the things<br />

Mr. Bobby D collected is a genuine cane mill, run<br />

on old-fashioned horse power. Luckily he also<br />

has horses. With Mr. Frank’s cooking expertise<br />

and sugar cane from the Cumbest family farm,<br />

the three friends began making their own syrup.<br />

The syrup-making venture soon became a<br />

family affair and is now a Thanksgiving weekend<br />

tradition. While others watch football or shop<br />

the sales, the Kennedy and Cumbest families<br />

make syrup. Chris’s dad and Mr. Frank have since<br />

passed away, but their children and grandchildren<br />

ensure that their legacy lives on. Chris and Sheila<br />

have two grown children, Elizabeth and Jesse,<br />

and they, along with Elizabeth’s husband Phillip,<br />

help with the syrup making every year. Making<br />

biscuits for dipping in the syrup, Sheila continues<br />

the tradition begun by her mother-in-law.<br />

Friends and even strangers show up to feed cane<br />

into the mill or just watch the process. Local<br />

musicians have even been known to make an<br />

appearance, and a sing-a-long inevitably ensues.<br />

24 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Although the big event takes place over<br />

Thanksgiving weekend, the work actually begins<br />

in October, when dead leaves are cut off the<br />

stalks. One week before Thanksgiving, the sugar<br />

cane is cut and put on a trailer to dry. It’s then<br />

taken to the Kennedy farm where family and<br />

friends feed the cane into the mill to squeeze out<br />

the juice. The juice is cooked for approximately<br />

8 hours, and takes the cook’s full attention and<br />

plenty of patience. The last year that Mr. Frank<br />

cooked the syrup, he insisted that Chris watch<br />

closely, as though he sensed it would be the last<br />

time. He died the following spring, and Chris, the<br />

willing apprentice, has been the cook ever since.<br />

What began as three friends making syrup<br />

together has grown into a community event, and<br />

the family understands it’s about more than a<br />

few jars of syrup. “It’s about keeping the tradition<br />

and making sure it lives on,” Chris says. No doubt<br />

this family will be making sweet memories for<br />

years to come. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 25

26 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Camille Anding

Jeff Farris<br />

was only six-years old<br />

when his grandfather<br />

and Aunt Jean Farris<br />

ordained Jeff’s<br />

future and career.<br />

His granddad built a family tennis court<br />

at their home in Morton, Mississippi, and his<br />

Aunt Jean gave him his first tennis challenge.<br />

She handed young Jeff a tennis racket<br />

and ball and said, “When you can bounce<br />

this on your racket ten times, I’ll give you a<br />

dollar.” Jeff answered the challenge, earned<br />

his dollar and caught the tennis bug that’s<br />

remained “chronic!”<br />

Jeff reminisces about his middle and<br />

high school years with great fondness and<br />

appreciation. His parents and two sisters,<br />

along with Jeff, moved to North Lake Drive<br />

in <strong>Brandon</strong> during the first year of Jeff’s<br />

middle school. When he walked in his middle<br />

school classroom, the present Learning Center,<br />

he expected to see only strangers. To his delight,<br />

he quickly recognized Jason Townsend, a<br />

Camp Wesley Pines camper that Jeff had<br />

met a summer before and had been writing<br />

as a pen pal. Life was off to a great start in<br />

his new hometown.<br />

Three years later, his family moved to<br />

Eastgate Subdivision on Dawnview Drive.<br />

He describes it as a “fun street.” Members of<br />

his church youth group of Crossgates United<br />

Methodist Church, along with other friends,<br />

lived on his street. Together they made lasting<br />

memories at Crossgates pool, in church,<br />

and fishing and boating on Crossgates Lake.<br />

It was positive small-town life.<br />

The “big lap” was a familiar term among<br />

middle school classmates who participated<br />

in P.E. Every day their instructor would shout,<br />

“Big lap!” That meant running around the<br />

school’s boundaries, including the big hill.<br />

Jeff remembers it as a tough challenge but a<br />

part of the training that he needed for his<br />

budding tennis career.<br />

He recalls playing tennis with an insatiable<br />

desire to improve in the sport that he could<br />

play through a lifetime. Coach Scott Huskey<br />

took over the tennis program Jeff’s senior<br />

year, and Jeff is convinced the new coach put<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 27

<strong>Brandon</strong> High School tennis on the map.<br />

Academics were an integral piece of Jeff’s<br />

tennis plans, and Mrs. Lee Tucker held him<br />

accountable. She was his computer and<br />

accounting teacher who inspired him while<br />

being a “good-listening” friend.<br />

Jeff prizes the special relationship that he<br />

and his dad shared growing up in <strong>Brandon</strong>.<br />

“We traveled to all kinds of sporting events<br />

together. Seeing the Atlanta Braves win the<br />

World Series in 1995 was a special highlight.”<br />

While they enjoyed sitting together as<br />

sports spectators, Jeff appreciated being<br />

chauffeured by his mom to all the tennis<br />

lessons and matches. “She kept me going<br />

and motivated,” he says of his mom.<br />

A life lesson that Jeff learned from his<br />

dad has been key to making friends. “My dad<br />

stressed the importance of speaking to people.<br />

‘Always shake their hand and speak a kind<br />

word,’” Jeff remembers being instructed. “I<br />

think it’s a big deal,” he continued, “because<br />

we are so caught up in our cell phones and<br />

other technologies.”<br />

When asked what comes to mind when he<br />

hears the word <strong>Brandon</strong>, he said, “<strong>Brandon</strong><br />

Bulldogs, Crossgates United Methodist Church,<br />

Crossgates Lake, <strong>Brandon</strong> Day, <strong>Brandon</strong>’s<br />

own Miss America, and a wonderful town,<br />

rich in history.”<br />

An outstanding high school tennis record<br />

earned Jeff a college scholarship to Delta State<br />

University where he continued to excel in his<br />

beloved sport. He was named the 2001 Gulf<br />

Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and<br />

a two-time All GSC selection as a tennis<br />

student-athlete at Delta State University.<br />

In 2016, he was selected to head the Lady<br />

Statesman and Statesman Tennis program and<br />

also remain as Delta State’s director of alumni<br />

affairs. He continues to play league tennis at<br />

level 5.0 and was recently elected vice-president/<br />

president elect of the Mississippi Tennis<br />

Association.<br />

He and wife, Stephanie (Batchelor) Farris,<br />

have a four-year-old son, Keegan. Their<br />

aspiring offspring already has a tennis racket<br />

just his size.<br />

For all the curious tennis buffs, Jeff’s overall<br />

favorite tennis player is Michael Chang with<br />

Andre Agassi coming in second. The answer<br />

to what’s the difference between a great tennis<br />

player and an average one, Jeff says, “It’s mental<br />

toughness and the fitness level. Both are key.”<br />

It appears Jeff is still on his “big lap” in his<br />

athletic career. There will be some tough hills<br />

and long straightaways, but he’s destined to<br />

make friends along the way and always have<br />

room for a tennis game – plus great memories<br />

of his wonderful hometown. n<br />

28 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 29


1475 W. GOV. ST • (601) 825-2672 • brandonatcmrls.lib.ms.us<br />

Congratulations to the <strong>Brandon</strong> Public Library<br />

for being named Central Mississippi Regional Library System<br />

Branch of the Year - Large Division - <strong>2017</strong><br />

June-July-August <strong>2017</strong> Events<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Reading Signup For Children and Adults<br />

Starting May 22 Kids, make sure to get your registration bag with a<br />

reading log, activity dates, and more! Adults, be sure to get your yard<br />

stick when you sign up for summer reading!<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Reading Weekly Events (organized by days of the week)<br />

Mondays 10:30am <strong>Summer</strong> Library Program Toddler Time Build A Better<br />

World...Read! Stories, songs, and activities for ages 0-2.<br />

Mondays 3pm SLP Teens/Middle Graders<br />

June 5 Electronic Experiments. Let’s see what we can make with littleBits,<br />

snap circuits, and more! For teens and middle graders 10+.<br />

June 12 You bring your imagination, we’ll bring the Legos--and maybe<br />

some other supplies as well! For ages 10+.<br />

June 19 Bridge Building! Can your bridge stand on its own? How much<br />

weight can it hold? Test your might! For ages 10+.<br />

June 26 Skyscraper Food! Just how strong is spaghetti? How good of a<br />

binder are marshmallows? Come find out and build as tall as you can! For<br />

ages 10+.<br />

July 3 Mural Making! Leave your mark on the <strong>Brandon</strong> Library by creating<br />

murals to cover our cement columns! For ages 10+.<br />

July 10 FINALE! Join us for a great hero movie! We’ll bring the snacks and<br />

pizza. For more information and titles, visit our website www.cmrls.lib.ms.<br />

us and click on the Events tab. Location <strong>Brandon</strong> and search for teens.<br />

Tuesdays at 4pm <strong>Summer</strong> Library Program-Kid Connection<br />

June 6 Fun with Electronics – Join us for some electronic experiments<br />

with littleBits and snap circuits!<br />

June 13 Tools – Learn all about tools with the Rankin County Historical<br />

Society!<br />

June 20 Build a Better Sandwich – Come learn how to build a better<br />

sandwich with expert Natasha Haynes!<br />

June 27 Red, White, and Blue Splash Down – Let’s have a water party<br />

with the <strong>Brandon</strong> Fire Dept. Wear your swim suits and bring a towel!<br />

July 11 Constructing Incredible Stories – Enjoy incredible and immersive<br />

storytelling with renowned storyteller Dianne Butler.<br />

Wednesdays at 10:30am <strong>Summer</strong> Library Program-Preschool Storytime<br />

June 1 Build a Better World: Find out about our amazing summer<br />

programs and activities!<br />

June 7 My Home: A Puppet Show – A special show by our Children’s<br />

Librarians just for our preschoolers!<br />

June 14 Community Helpers – Come learn how to build a better community<br />

with the <strong>Brandon</strong> Fire Department and Mayor Butch Lee!<br />

June 21 Building in Our Community – Learn about all kinds of cool<br />

construction equipment during a very special visit from Billy Ray and<br />

Debra Robinson of <strong>Brandon</strong> Rental.<br />

June 28 Building is Fun! Let’s talk about <strong>Brandon</strong>’s playgrounds with the<br />

Parks and Rec department and then use our imaginations to build with<br />


July 5 Building an Animal Home. Learn about animal homes and make<br />

your own bird feeder with Heather Jennings from the Mississippi State<br />

Extension Service.<br />

July 12 Keep Our Community Clean. Lori Redden of M-Dot will show us<br />

how to keep our community clean with fun activities!<br />

Thursdays at 6pm <strong>Summer</strong> Library Program-Family Night<br />

June 8 Dorian the Magician<br />

June 15 Animal Tales at 6:30pm<br />

June 22 Inky The Clown<br />

June 29 Home Depot will bring a fun wood project that you and your<br />

child can work on together and take home.<br />

July 6 Puppet Show.<br />

July 13 <strong>Summer</strong> Library Finale! Carnival Games, Inflatables, visit with a Fire<br />

Truck, snacks, and much more!<br />

Fridays at 1pm <strong>Summer</strong> Library Program-Family Movie Day<br />

June 9 -July 7 Come enjoy a family movie with us. Bring your own drinks.<br />

Popcorn will be sold for 25 cents a bag by the Friends of the <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

Library. For more information and titles, visit our website www.cmrls.lib.<br />

ms.us and click on the Events tab. Location <strong>Brandon</strong> and search for<br />

movies.<br />

Beading Class - Mondays, 4 and 6pm - Please register.<br />

June 12 Guitar Pick Pendant - $7 supply fees. Bring your jewelry tools.<br />

July 10 Annual Christmas Ball. $8 supply fee. Must have a bead loom.<br />

Two part class. The second class is Monday, July 17 at 4 and 6pm<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Book Club - Mondays, 10:30am<br />

June 12 Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks.<br />

July 10 My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.<br />

August 14 Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly by Rob Dalby.<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Quilters - Mondays June 5, July 3, August 7, 6pm<br />

Bridge Lessons for Beginners - Wednesdays, 1:30pm<br />

Harry Black is our teacher. Free. Please register.<br />

BYOP Bring Your Own Project Thursdays, 1pm Weekly crafting group.<br />

CODING CAMP July 24 - July 27, 1 - 5pm Get tech savvy with our<br />

four-day CODING CAMP! Grades 3rd & up. Space is limited.<br />

Registration and permission forms REQUIRED. Call the for more details.<br />

Coin Club - Thursdays, June 1, August 3, 6pm - Tuesday, July 11, 6pm<br />

Join the <strong>Brandon</strong> Coin Club for their monthly meeting!<br />

Computer Classes - Tuesdays, 9am<br />

June 6, 13, 20 Basic Computer Classes<br />

July 11, 18, 25 Word, Excel, Power Point. Free classes. Please register.<br />

Creative Crafters - Thursdays, 6pm Join us as we learn and craft together.<br />

Dulcimer Group - Mondays, 6pm Bring your dulcimer and let’s jam.<br />

Family Night - Thursdays, 6pm<br />

August 24 Back to School Night with Raising Canes<br />

Friends of the <strong>Brandon</strong> Library - Tuesdays, July 18 - August 15, 6pm<br />

Genealogy Club - June 1, July 6, August 3, 10:30am<br />

Genealogy topics and assistance are the topic of the day.<br />

DNA Discovery Group - June 15, July 20, August 17, 10:30 am<br />

Understand the differences in DNA tests and testing companies. Learn<br />

about, discuss and test out different databases to enhance your Family<br />

History research. Bring your laptop if you like. Free. Contact the Genealogy<br />

Department at 601-825-2672 or email brgenatcmrls.lib.ms.us.<br />

Rankin County Historical Society/<strong>Brandon</strong> Genealogical & Historical<br />

Society - Tuesday, July 18, 7pm Join us for History and Fellowship.<br />

The public is invited. Refreshments provided. For more information,<br />

contact the Genealogy Department at 601-825-2672.<br />

Kid Connection - Tuesdays at 4pm K-5 afterschool story and craft hour.<br />

Make a Mosaic Picture Frame - Monday, July 31, 6pm<br />

$10 Supply Fee. Please pre-register.<br />

Painting with Carla Nations - Monday, July 24, 6pm<br />

We will enjoy a seasonal painting. $6 supply fee. Please register.<br />

Preschool Story Time - Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:30am<br />

Songs, stories, and crafts for preschoolers aged 3-5.<br />

Pottery Hand Building Basics - Friday, June 9, 10:30am<br />

Learn the basics of hand building pottery including pinch pot and coiling.<br />

Supply fee $5. This class is for adults.<br />

Sewing - How to Make an Easy Pillowcase - June 3, 10:30am<br />

Please pre-register. Limit of 15. Must have basic sewing experience.<br />

Must bring your sewing machine, supplies, and a lunch. Complete list of<br />

supplies available at Circulation Desk.<br />

Sign Language Free class. Please register.<br />

Beginners - Saturdays, June 10, July 8, August 12, 10:30am<br />

Advanced - Saturdays, June 24, July 22 and August 26, 10:30am<br />

Solar Eclipse Watch Party - Monday, August 21, 11am<br />

Start of the partial eclipse is around noon. The maximum partial eclipse<br />

will be around 1:30pm The end of the partial eclipse will be around 3pm.<br />

The library will have free eclipse glasses during the party.<br />

Third Thursday Book Club, 6:30pm<br />

June 15 WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson<br />

July 20 THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS by C.S. Lewis<br />

Toddler Time - Mondays, 10:30am<br />

Come join us for stories, songs, and finger plays for ages 0-2 years.<br />

V.V.A. Meeting - June 14 and July 12 at 1pm - August 9 at 10:30am<br />

Video Game Day – Saturdays For gamers of all ages. Please register.<br />

June 17 - MineCraft at 10am and 1pm<br />

July 15 at 12 noon - Smash Brothers Tournament<br />

July 28 & August 19 - MineCraft, 10am and 1pm<br />

Displays for June, July<br />

Lego Display of Lego Free Play Group / The Ark Display of Leon Shank<br />

Services offered at the <strong>Brandon</strong> Library<br />

Black and White and color printing/copying, Scanning, Wireless Printing<br />

Additional services offered by the Friends of the <strong>Brandon</strong> Library -<br />

Free shredding - Notary services available for a fee of $3. Available<br />

10-8 Monday-Thursday and 10-5 Friday. Call to check Saturday availability.<br />

The library will be closed July 4 for Independence Day<br />

______________________________________________________<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Public Library is part of the Central Mississippi Regional Library<br />

System, which serves Rankin, Scott, Simpson, and Smith Counties.<br />

30 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Brandon</strong>, Mississippi<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 31

A Field & Club of Heroes<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Betsy Ross, a seamstress in Philadelphia<br />

in 1776, made it into the history books<br />

as the maker of the first American flag.<br />

However, her actual involvement in its<br />

development is highly debated.<br />

No official records or documents<br />

place her with the first American flag<br />

across her lap, but there’s ample<br />

evidence that the Exchange Club of<br />

Crossgates has honored and celebrated<br />

our national flag and the patriots who<br />

gave their lives for the freedom Ole<br />

Glory represents.<br />

Let me introduce this special club.<br />

The National Exchange Club is the only<br />

service organization that exclusively<br />

serves communities in the United States<br />

and Puerto Rico. Volunteers use their<br />

talents and time to benefit their local<br />

communities and their country. Their<br />

core values are basic: family, community,<br />

and country.<br />

Exchange members are involved in<br />

activities and programs that benefit youth,<br />

promote pride in our country, and honor<br />

military and public service providers.<br />

The Exchange’s National Project is the<br />

prevention of child abuse.<br />

The Exchange Club of Crossgates is<br />

our local chapter and carries out<br />

enormous accomplishments with their<br />

small band of twelve members, men<br />

and women.<br />

Their first major goal was to provide a<br />

park for children close to the community.<br />

They purchased 12.5 acres of land from<br />

Tom Underwood in 1978 to create a<br />

youth sports complex. It is adjacent to<br />

I-20 at Woodgate Drive South. It’s been<br />

the home park for the <strong>Brandon</strong> Soccer<br />

Organization since its inception and was<br />

named after the club’s first president,<br />

Frank Bridges.<br />

32 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Updates to the park over the years<br />

have included a sprinkler system<br />

covering ten acres, field lighting,<br />

a concession building, and several<br />

additional buildings on the property.<br />

To fund these major expenses, the<br />

Club constructed a 50’ long BBQ pit<br />

and have cooked many thousands of<br />

chicken halves to sell to the public.<br />

They eventually turned to the annual<br />

October Haunted House for their main<br />

fundraiser which the club members<br />

begin work on in March. With help from<br />

the Boy Scouts and the First Baptist<br />

Church Youth Group, the Club raises<br />

thousands of dollars to give toward<br />

and fund their various projects.<br />

The project that <strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines<br />

wishes to spotlight is their Memorial Flag<br />

Field. This July 1-3, they will display 500<br />

full-size American flags that originally<br />

flew on the Exchange Club’s first 9/11<br />

Memorial Flag Field.<br />

This Club has hosted two 9/11 Memorial<br />

Flag Fields on their park with over 4,000<br />

full-size flags standing in a uniform grid<br />

that Mayor Butch Lee and Sheriff Brian<br />

Bailey, along with other volunteers,<br />

helped implement and complete.<br />

The flags were displayed with names<br />

and information of those who died in<br />

the attack of 9/11 plus soldiers who were<br />

killed in the following war.<br />

This July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, the 500<br />

flags will be waving on the soccer field<br />

park, reminding I-20 travelers of the<br />

price of freedom. The entrance to the<br />

parking lot is on Woodgate Drive South,<br />

next to the Enterprise Building, for those<br />

who want to walk through the flags.<br />

The memorialized flags will be for<br />

sale with pole and the original yellow<br />

ribbon and a name tag that identified<br />

the fallen soldier associated with the<br />

flag. The cost is only $10. There is no<br />

set program planned, but a concession<br />

stand will be open for visitors.<br />

Louise Pipitone, a forty-year member<br />

along with husband Pat, said about the<br />

flag display, “It’s the most rewarding<br />

thing our Club has ever done. Truckers<br />

have pulled off the interstate all hours<br />

of the night to walk through the lighted<br />

flag field, the largest in the nation. Others<br />

have brought flowers and teddy bears<br />

to leave by the flags.”<br />

A special salute and thank you go out<br />

to this band of patriotic, hard workers.<br />

They need our participation in community<br />

projects and “new blood in memberships,”<br />

Mrs. Pipitone expressed. “We<br />

need parents to teach their children to<br />

volunteer and become active.”<br />

Community involvement in an<br />

organization that promotes Americanism,<br />

patriotism, and youth, would be an<br />

excellent means of commemorating all<br />

the fallen on this July’s Memorial Flag<br />

Field. The Exchange Club members urge<br />

us all to, “Come and show respect.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 33

serving our community<br />

Fireman Bryhn Beck<br />

brandon Fire Department<br />

Why did you decide to be a fireman?<br />

The 24 on 48 off work schedule is what lured<br />

me to the department at first. Then I found the<br />

brotherhood that comes with the job, and it<br />

stuck.<br />

How long have you been with the<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Fire Department?<br />

Since January of 2006.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I have a dedicated wife of five years and two<br />

amazing boys, 4 and 9, that are bound to grow<br />

up to be fireman at some point in their lives.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

Doing everything in my power for a family and<br />

it still not being enough.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in<br />

your spare time.<br />

I love being on the water. Whether it is at the<br />

sand bar with the family or pulling all night<br />

tuna fishing trips with my brothers, I feel more<br />

relaxed out on the river, lake, or ocean.<br />

What are three things on your<br />

bucket list?<br />

I want to see the northern lights and scuba dive<br />

the blue hole in Belize.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

My father. He has pushed, encouraged,<br />

motivated, and disciplined me to become the<br />

man I am today. He never gave me anything<br />

I did not earn.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

I see myself attending college ballgames of my<br />

son’s. I also will be planning my retirement from<br />

the BFD.<br />

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

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

The same advice my father once gave me: Be<br />

careful of the toes you step on today, because<br />

they could be attached to the person you<br />

answer to tomorrow.<br />

What is a favorite childhood memory?<br />

Growing up in small-town Georgetown running<br />

through the woods barefooted chasing turtles<br />

and snakes with my best friend, Jimmy.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think<br />

young people make today?<br />

Chasing the dollar. I feel young people are too<br />

quick to change their minds to chase a dollar.<br />

Sometimes the grass is not greener on the<br />

other side of the bridge. Stay put and endure<br />

the hard times.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the<br />

City of <strong>Brandon</strong>?<br />

The growth. I love being able to watch where<br />

the city was when I first came here—and to see<br />

how it has changed and where it will be in the<br />

future.<br />

34 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

BRANDon's finest<br />

Officer Christy Snow<br />

brandon police Department<br />

Why did you decide to be a policeman?<br />

I actually had not thought about being in law<br />

enforcement until a good friend and I were<br />

talking one day about her job being a Jackson<br />

police officer. During our conversation, I decided<br />

that it was something that I wanted to do, so<br />

I went to the Jackson Police Academy in June<br />

of 2000. It wasn’t long after I began working for<br />

the Jackson Police Department that I realized<br />

I had found my calling.<br />

How long have you been with the<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Police Department?<br />

Since September 2016.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I grew up in the small town of Sebastopol.<br />

My dad passed away in 2005 and my mother<br />

in 2012. I have two children Hayes and Rylea.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

Having to inform an individual’s family that<br />

someone they love has died in a car wreck.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in<br />

your spare time.<br />

I love the outdoors and spending time with<br />

family and friends.<br />

What are three things on your<br />

bucket list?<br />

I would love to experience the Grand Canyon,<br />

and have a long vacation in Hawaii. I also want<br />

to visit Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

I really admire teachers. Serving as a school<br />

resource officer, I have had the privilege of being<br />

in the <strong>Brandon</strong> schools and have seen, firsthand,<br />

the dedication and hard work of our teachers<br />

serving our students.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

I see myself continuing to serve the city of<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong>. I want to be able to continue to have<br />

a positive impact on students.<br />

What is a favorite childhood memory?<br />

I have two favorite childhood memories. One is<br />

going to Florida with my family every summer,<br />

and the other is eating my grandmother’s<br />

homemade biscuits for breakfast every morning.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think<br />

young people make today?<br />

The biggest mistake I see young people making<br />

is not being able to truly understand that the<br />

choices they make today can have a lasting<br />

impact on tomorrow.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the<br />

City of <strong>Brandon</strong>?<br />

My favorite thing about the city of <strong>Brandon</strong> is the<br />

people. It is amazing to me how a city the size of<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> is able to maintain such a small town<br />

feel.<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

Rankin County?<br />

It’s a safe and wonderful place to live.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 35

36 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Celebration<br />

May 3<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Municipal Center

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 37

Black Rose<br />

Theatre Company<br />

Local Actors,<br />

Murder Mystery,<br />

& Comedy<br />

Beth Reiss<br />

38 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Despite the warming temperatures<br />

of late April, it was Christmastime inside<br />

Black Rose Theatre Company in downtown<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong>. The community theatre<br />

presented “The Games Afoot” by Ken<br />

Ludwig, April 20-23 and 27-30. As the<br />

lights went down inside the theatre, actors<br />

swarmed the stage, some coming from<br />

behind you, up the aisle.<br />

The play is set in December 1936 and<br />

Broadway star William Gillette, played<br />

by Clayton Southerland, is admired the<br />

world over for his leading role in the play<br />

Sherlock Holmes. Gillette has invited his<br />

fellow cast-members to his Connecticut<br />

castle for a weekend of fun.<br />

The set, constructed and decorated<br />

by David and Brenda Black, included a<br />

staircase and hidden room. The mantle<br />

spins to reveal a bar behind it – perfect for<br />

hiding the body of Daria Chase, played by<br />

Paula Herrington. Daria is a theatre critic<br />

visiting Gillette to write a story about him.<br />

But when she’s stabbed, the festivities in<br />

this isolated house of tricks and mirrors<br />

quickly turn dangerous.<br />

The set really comes into play in Act<br />

Two as Herrington brings some of the<br />

biggest laughs of the show. Her dead body<br />

continuously falls out of its hiding spot at<br />

the most inopportune times. Gillette calls<br />

the police to report the murder, and then<br />

changes his mind. But it’s too late as<br />

Inspector Goring, played by Brandi<br />

Southerland, is already on the case.<br />

Much to Inspector Goring’s dismay,<br />

Gillette takes it upon himself to solve the<br />

murder. Gillette assumes the persona of<br />

his beloved Holmes to track down the<br />

killer before the next victim appears.<br />

The danger and hilarity are non-stop as the<br />

mystery unravels and the audience<br />

discovers the masterminds behind the plot.<br />

The rest of the cast is rounded out by<br />

Abbey Goldman as Aggie, Leon Phillips<br />

as Simon, Elizabeth Marsh as Madge.<br />

Thomas Medina as Felix, and Donna<br />

Lewis as Martha Gillette. The show was<br />

directed by Tom Lestrade and produced<br />

by Tempy Murray. Charli Bardwell served<br />

as stage manager and Angela Sellers<br />

operated lights.<br />

_____________________________<br />

Learn more at<br />

www.blackrosetheatre.org<br />

BRTC’s next show is “Boeing, Boeing”<br />

– a comedy set in Paris, France where<br />

a bachelor tries to juggle dating three<br />

airline stewardesses at once. The show<br />

is June 15-18 and 22-25.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 39

andon<br />

Recipes<br />

Strawberry<br />

Cheesecake Salad<br />

• 16 oz. cream cheese, softened<br />

• 1 c. powdered sugar<br />

• 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract<br />

• 16 oz. Cool Whip<br />

• 16 oz. strawberries, sliced<br />

• 2 ripe bananas, sliced<br />

• 12 oz. raspberries<br />

• 3 tbsp. crushed graham crackers<br />

In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together<br />

cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until<br />

light and fluffy. Beat in Cool Whip until combined.<br />

Fold in strawberries, bananas, and raspberries.<br />

Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle top with<br />

graham cracker crumbs.<br />

Frozen<br />

Hot Chocolate<br />

Cheesecake<br />

CRUST<br />

• 24 oreos<br />

• 6 tbsp. melted butter<br />

• 1/4 c. sugar<br />


• 2 blocks cream cheese, softened<br />

• 1/2 c. powdered sugar<br />

• 1/4 c. chocolate sauce<br />

• 2-3 hot cocoa packs<br />

• pinch of salt<br />

• 2 c. heavy cream<br />

• 1 c. mini marshmallows<br />

In a food processor, pulse Oreos until they are<br />

fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl, then<br />

add butter and sugar and stir until combined.<br />

The texture should be similar to wet sand.<br />

Grease a 9” pie plate and press in the crust<br />

mixture. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat<br />

cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered<br />

sugar, chocolate sauce, cocoa packets and salt and<br />

mix until smooth.<br />

Add about half of the heavy cream and beat<br />

until smooth. Add the rest of the heavy cream<br />

and beat until very fluffy.<br />

Fold in mini marshmallows. Pour cheesecake<br />

mixture into the prepared crust.<br />

Freeze until solid, about 4 hours.<br />

Peaches n’ Cream<br />

Lasagna<br />

• 8 small peaches, sliced<br />

• 1/4 c. sugar<br />

• 1/4 c. brown sugar<br />

• 1 tsp. cinnamon<br />

• 15 graham crackers<br />

• 2 c. heavy cream<br />

• 1/4 c. powdered sugar<br />

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract<br />

• 1/4 c. sliced almonds<br />

Macerate peaches: In a large bowl, combine<br />

peaches, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Toss<br />

until the peaches are evenly coated in the sugar.<br />

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.<br />

Make whipped cream: In a large bowl, combine<br />

heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat<br />

mixture with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.<br />

Assemble lasagna. In a 8” square baking pan,<br />

place graham crackers in an even layer. Spread an<br />

even layer of whipped cream over the graham<br />

crackers, top with macerated peaches then sprinkle<br />

some almonds on top. Repeat three more times.<br />

Chill in refrigerated until the graham crackers<br />

have softened, about 2 hours.<br />

Serve cold.<br />

40 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

andon<br />

Recipes<br />

Drunk & Dirty<br />

Beef Tenderloin<br />

Marinade<br />

• 1 cup low sodium soy sauce<br />

• ½ cup bourbon, or other sour mash whiskey<br />

• ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce<br />

• 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar<br />

• ½ teaspoon ground ginger<br />

• 4 cloves garlic, cut in half<br />

• ½ cup water<br />

Main Course<br />

• 2 pound beef tenderloin (feeds 4-5 easily)<br />

• 2 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper<br />

• 1 teaspoon ground white pepper<br />

• ¼ cup vegetable oil<br />

Prepare the smoker for an indirect cook at<br />

225-275 degree dome temperature. Add wood<br />

chunks and/or chips (oak, pecan, or hickory -<br />

don’t overdo it).<br />

Combine ingredients down to the garlic with<br />

1/2 cup water and marinate beef for 2-4 hours.<br />

Remove beef from the fridge, reserve marinade<br />

and cover beef with ground pepper. I don’t measure,<br />

I just completely cover both sides with black pepper<br />

and then add the white pepper not quite as liberally.<br />

Put half the marinade in the refrigerator and add<br />

the vegetable oil to the other half, if planning to baste.<br />

If not basting put all the marinade in the fridge.<br />

Heat the basting sauce to a boil for a few minutes<br />

and keep warm on low.<br />

Put the roast on the smoker and cook until<br />

almost done–1½ to 2 hours, mopping every 20<br />

minutes.<br />

When almost done (120 degree internal temp)<br />

remove from the grill and bring it up to sear temps<br />

(500-600 degrees).<br />

Holding with tongs, place the roast back on<br />

when grill is 500 degrees or so for about 1 minute<br />

per each of the four sides. You’re just trying to get a<br />

nice char but not too much.<br />

Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and let sit at<br />

least 5 minutes (closer to 10 is fine). While resting,<br />

bring reserved marinade to a boil for a few minutes<br />

then lower to low and reduce by about one quarter.<br />

Slice and either drizzle marinade over the slices<br />

or serve on the side for guests to drizzle themselves.<br />

Flat Iron Steak<br />

• 1.5 pound flat iron steak<br />

• Cluck and Squeal ‘Beef Specific’ Rub;<br />

Cavendar’s Greek Seasoning; Montreal Steak<br />

rub; or your favorite steak seasoning<br />

Coat steak liberally with the rub and allow it to<br />

“melt in” for 45 minutes to an hour, while the<br />

steak is coming to room temp.<br />

Prepare the grill for a direct cook at 600+ degrees.<br />

Sear for 60 seconds per side, then remove<br />

while bringing the temp down.<br />

Close the vents down and get the temp close to<br />

400 degrees.<br />

Finish, flipping as needed to prevent<br />

overcooking on any side.<br />

Remove when the internal temp reaches<br />

125 degrees (for medium rare).<br />

Rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against<br />

the grain.<br />

Simple Salmon<br />

• 1 12 oz. skin-on salmon fillet, center-cut<br />

• Dizzy Pig Raging River Rub<br />

• Dizzy Pig Shaking the Tree Rub<br />

• Olive Oil<br />

• Big Green Egg Kodiak River Rub<br />

Pat the filet dry then liberally coat salmon with<br />

the Raging River or BGE Kodiak River rub. Allow<br />

to “melt in” for 45 minutes to an hour.<br />

Prepare the grill for a 400* direct cook (on an<br />

Egg, the grid can be elevated or at the fire ring<br />

level). Add any chips (alder, apple, etc.) just before<br />

putting the salmon on the grill.<br />

If using “Shaking the Tree” rub, add just prior to<br />

placing on the grill.<br />

Oil the grill surface generously with a rag (or<br />

paper towel) soaked in vegetable oil, then place the<br />

salmon flesh down (skin up) on the grid.<br />

Grill with the dome closed for 2 minutes, then<br />

using a thin spatula, flip the filet to skin down and<br />

insert a temp probe, if using.<br />

Grill for another 5-8 minutes or so - until the<br />

internal temp is 120 degrees or until white protein<br />

starts to ooze onto the surface of the fish.<br />

Remove, cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes<br />

before serving.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 41

42 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

nyone who has lived in <strong>Brandon</strong> for very long<br />

has likely made a trip down Value Road.<br />

Running alongside the railroad track, Value Road<br />

comes to a four way stop that most <strong>Brandon</strong> residents<br />

are familiar with. Gold Coast is on the right and to the<br />

left...well, there’s a story there.<br />

It begins more than a hundred years ago with<br />

J.C. Atkins, Rankin County sheriff and prominent<br />

businessman. J. C. and his wife Mary owned and<br />

operated a successful mercantile that sat on the<br />

northwest corner of Value Road and Highway 471.<br />

The community around the store was originally settled<br />

in the early 1800s, and by the early 1900s, was thriving.<br />

The nearest post office at that time was up the hill in<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong>. Not far by today’s standards but in the days<br />

before automobiles, the trip could be cumbersome.<br />

So in 1913, J. C. Atkins applied to the U.S. Postmaster<br />

General for a new post office to be located inside his<br />

store. His request was granted and<br />

the post office began operation.<br />

Folks in the community could<br />

now shop and send and receive<br />

mail at one location.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 43

44 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

For the first few years, the post office was<br />

the <strong>Brandon</strong> Depot branch, presumably<br />

because of its close proximity to the railroad<br />

depot. By 1916, however, the name had changed<br />

to Value, and the post office and surrounding<br />

community were known by this name for<br />

several decades.<br />

More than one story exists regarding how<br />

the community and post office got their name.<br />

One account is that while shopping in the<br />

mercantile, a man held up an item and asked<br />

what its value was, and the name Value stuck.<br />

Another story suggests that the name was<br />

chosen simply because there wasn’t another<br />

post office in the country with that name.<br />

Whatever the true origin of the name, the<br />

post office inside the store was an important<br />

part of the community. Mr. Atkins served as<br />

the postmaster until his death in 1931, at which<br />

time his daughter, Linda Atkins McRae, became<br />

the postmistress. She and her husband, Jim,<br />

operated the store which became the McRae<br />

Mercantile. Business was good and the post<br />

office and store experienced some growing<br />

pains. To accommodate their customers, the<br />

McRae family built a new store in 1940,<br />

and retained the original building for use<br />

as a warehouse.<br />

Upon the death of Linda McRae in 1941,<br />

her sister, Lillie Atkins Moore, became the<br />

postmistress of the Value Post Office and<br />

served until 1964, when she retired. This<br />

marked the end of the Value Post Office, having<br />

been staffed by only three people, members of<br />

the same family, over the course of 51 years.<br />

The McRae Mercantile continued to<br />

operate until 1975, when the owner Duncan<br />

McRae, son of Linda and Jim, closed its doors.<br />

It served as a warehouse for the Hill Mattress<br />

Company for a while, and then remained<br />

vacant until it was eventually torn down.<br />

The original Atkins store remains, not at<br />

the corner of Value Road where it once stood,<br />

but as part of the Rankin County Historical<br />

Society Museum. Generously donated by<br />

Duncan McRae, the old building takes one<br />

back to a time gone by, when the center of a<br />

community was the general store and post<br />

office. It’s a testament to hard work, family,<br />

and commitment to community service, and<br />

a reminder of the “value” of Rankin County. n<br />

Special thanks to Anne Vanderleest, Genealogy Librarian at <strong>Brandon</strong> Public Library<br />

Sources: ”<strong>Hometown</strong> Mississippi” by James Brieger<br />

”A History of Rankin County Mississippi” by the Rankin County Historical Society<br />

Rankin County Historical Society Searchlight Article, May 11, 1988, Rankin County News<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 45

46 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Towne<br />

Station<br />

St. Paddy's<br />


<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 47

The Mississippi Law Journal, founded in 1928, is the fourth-oldest studentedited<br />

law review in the South. The Journal is funded and operated almost<br />

exclusively through student efforts. Each year, the Journal publishes four to<br />

six books containing articles by legal scholars and practitioners, as well as<br />

pieces by student members. The Journal also publishes a weekly case briefing<br />

service that provides synopses of Mississippi Supreme Court and Mississippi<br />

Court of Appeals decisions.<br />

Cate Rodgers, James Kelly, and Jonathan Barnes have each made extraordinary<br />

accomplishments as members of the Journal. Each has or will soon have articles<br />

published in law reviews. Cate, in 2016, and James, in <strong>2017</strong>, were both elected by<br />

their peers to serve as editor-in-chief, the primary leadership position on the<br />

Journal responsible for overall management.<br />

In <strong>2017</strong>, Jonathan was appointed executive notes and comments editor to assist<br />

new editors in writing legal scholarship and seeking publication. But what each<br />

of these three accomplished Ole Miss Law students agree is most important is<br />

another characteristic they all share: they proudly call <strong>Brandon</strong> home.<br />

Cate Rodgers<br />

Class of <strong>2017</strong><br />

Editor-in-Chief, Volume 86<br />

The City of <strong>Brandon</strong> can easily be summed up in one single term–<br />

community. Despite having grown to reach a population of over<br />

23,000, <strong>Brandon</strong> continues to be a place where you run into your<br />

neighbor at the grocery store, or your high school friends while out at<br />

dinner. Being a part of the <strong>Brandon</strong> community has impacted my life<br />

in many ways, the primary way being the support and encouragement<br />

I have received over the years.<br />

My mother and I moved to <strong>Brandon</strong> when I was in the 9th grade,<br />

and instantly I felt that I was a part of the <strong>Brandon</strong> family. My mother’s<br />

family is from Pelahatchie, so until then I had ties to Rankin County,<br />

but now I was an official resident. The <strong>Brandon</strong> community welcomed<br />

us and it didn’t take long for me to begin telling everyone, “I am from<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong>” when asked, “Where are you from?” <strong>Brandon</strong> provided me<br />

with a new church home, new friends, and in all, a new family. From<br />

youth trips with Crossgates Baptist Church, to <strong>Brandon</strong> Day at<br />

Shiloh Park, to the annual Christmas parade, being from <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

has given me wonderful memories and a constant stream of support.<br />

Even though I have been a law student here at Ole Miss for the<br />

last few years, I can always head home to <strong>Brandon</strong> and feel like I have<br />

never left. I am thankful to continue to be a part of a community that<br />

feels like home the minute you take the I-20 exit. After graduation<br />

this May, my new job will take me from Oxford to Washington, D.C.,<br />

but I know the support and encouragement I have received from the<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> community will continue to follow me as I embark on a<br />

new adventure.<br />

48 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

James Blake Kelly<br />

Class of 2018<br />

Editor-in-Chief / Volume 87<br />

I remember when my family first moved to <strong>Brandon</strong> from my<br />

mother’s hometown of Clinton in 1997. It was summertime, and, as<br />

I contemplated starting second grade at <strong>Brandon</strong> Elementary School,<br />

my mind was occupied with the concerns typical of a seven-year-old:<br />

Would I like our new house and neighborhood? What would my<br />

new school be like? And, most importantly, would I be able to make<br />

friends as good as the ones I had left behind in Clinton?<br />

However, my concerns were short-lived. Very soon after we<br />

moved into our house on Eastgate Drive, my brother, sister, and I<br />

were quickly welcomed by a number of new friends who liked to do<br />

all the same things we did, such as riding bikes through Crossgates,<br />

playing at Shiloh Park, and hanging out on the <strong>Brandon</strong> Soccer Fields.<br />

My experience growing up in <strong>Brandon</strong> only improved from there.<br />

I got to attend great schools, which offered caring and committed<br />

teachers and top-notch courses. Whether it was the excellent language<br />

programs, the mind-opening experience provided by Venture, or<br />

outstanding math, science, and humanities classes, I always had the<br />

strongest of educational opportunities.<br />

I feel very fortunate to have been able to grow up in <strong>Brandon</strong>, and<br />

to benefit from the town’s strong and close-knit sense of community.<br />

Now that I am a law student and am serving as editor-in-chief of the<br />

Mississippi Law Journal, I am incredibly grateful for all of the<br />

influential people from my childhood who helped shape the person<br />

I am today.<br />

Jonathan Michael Barnes<br />

Class of 2018<br />

Executive Notes & Comments Editor / Volume 87<br />

With hands interwoven, and in the hush of inexplicable serenity,<br />

Janice whispered her last words in this life to my father and to Christ;<br />

She desired, above all else, that I would be reminded of her love,<br />

raised in a manner consistent with Christ’s precepts, and that I would<br />

mature into a man that loved and served the Lord with all my heart.<br />

Twenty-years later, I see the blessings God has provided on behalf of<br />

her desire. But specifically, I see that our hometown, <strong>Brandon</strong>, has<br />

truly been an answer to my mother’s prayers.<br />

I’m proud to be a fifth-generation <strong>Brandon</strong>ian. When my father<br />

remarried, blessing me with Tammy and Marshall, we joined<br />

Crossgates Baptist Church, and Joseph and I started attending<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> schools. As a family, we thrived in <strong>Brandon</strong>, not because<br />

of ourselves, but because of the way this community loves and<br />

supports each other. Our town has incredible people in our schools,<br />

our businesses, and our government who faithfully follow Christ.<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> is a rich soil, permeated with the Gospel, and has cultivated<br />

a desire within me to follow Christ.<br />

Since starting law school, I’m frequently asked: What type of<br />

attorney do you want to be? Most people know the job outlook for<br />

law-students is bleak, so I usually reply in jest: A paid one. But that<br />

answer is only partially true. Of course I want a good job–but<br />

because of <strong>Brandon</strong>’s impact on my life–I desire, as my mother<br />

did, to be a man with a legal education that’s willing to love and<br />

serve Christ wherever He leads me. My legal education, success in<br />

school, and career don’t define me–that’s because of a great town<br />

like <strong>Brandon</strong>.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 49

50 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Brandon</strong> Elementary School<br />

Bill-oxi Venture City<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong><br />

City Hall<br />

March 28-29<br />

52 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 53

Everything’s<br />

Coming Up<br />

Charla Jordan / Suzanne Ross<br />

Sharing<br />

Pass-a-long<br />

Plants<br />

<strong>Brandon</strong> Garden Club’s (BGC) April meeting<br />

with its annual plant swap is the perfect<br />

time to share spring-blooming perennials that<br />

were divided last fall and fall bloomers that<br />

may be showing a bit of green as the days grow<br />

warmer. BGC members, even those who swear<br />

that they have “brown thumbs,” look forward to<br />

the plant swaps. No one leaves without a “little<br />

something,” including renewed enthusiasm for<br />

working in the dirt and appreciation for tried<br />

and true pass-along plants.<br />

Plant swaps are a practical way to learn<br />

what works in our neighbors’ gardens and to<br />

try something new and different. Identification<br />

tags give the name of each plant, how much sun<br />

it needs, and other information for successful<br />

planting, plus a BGC member and/or master<br />

gardener provides additional information.<br />

Garden centers or catalogues can have terrific<br />

plants, but many of the plants at the swaps are<br />

noncommercial “pass-along plants” from family<br />

and friends.<br />

In both 2016 and <strong>2017</strong>, BGC member Karen<br />

Crowe has hosted the plant swap meeting at<br />

the house that she and her husband, Ron, built<br />

in Crossgates in 1972. Like most homes in the<br />

subdivision, the house originally had foundation<br />

plantings but little else. Over time, the Crowes<br />

began designing and adding new beds, some<br />

in areas dealing with too much shade or soil so<br />

compacted that even weeds wouldn’t grow.<br />

In 2015 a commercial landscaper redesigned<br />

and replanted the original front flower beds and<br />

made suggestions for other landscaping changes<br />

that the Crowes implemented. They installed<br />

a stone path with individual stones and built<br />

flower beds. They covered the spot where even<br />

weeds wouldn’t grow with a gazebo, where they<br />

can now sit and gaze upon the entire beautiful<br />

back yard.<br />

Karen receives great joy from her passalong<br />

plants and the warm memories they bring.<br />

Whether it is a Texas Star hibiscus from a now<br />

deceased friend, a plant from a garden club<br />

friend in Meadville, irises from her childhood<br />

home in Columbus; or plants received at BGC<br />

plant swaps, the plants bring special memories<br />

and a desire to continue BGC’s plant swapping<br />

tradition. She hopes that the plants that she<br />

passes along bring joy to the recipients as<br />

they watch them grow and attract birds and<br />

butterflies.<br />

Karen loves the easy connections and<br />

friendships generated from a common interest<br />

in sharing our gardens, and her friendships were<br />

strengthened in 2013 when she was diagnosed<br />

with a stage four incurable cancer. Garden<br />

friends became Karen’s prayer warriors as physicians<br />

made plans to treat the cancer. After four<br />

years, Karen’s physician recently told her that<br />

she is now cancer free and will no longer be on<br />

chemotherapy. “I will praise thee, O Lord, with<br />

my whole heart; I will shew (show) forth all thy<br />

marvelous works. Psalm 9 KJV.” BGC is thankful<br />

for Karen’s recovery. Plants and prayers make<br />

for good friends.<br />

Tips for a small plant swap:<br />

• Ask each attendee to bring one plant, either<br />

pass-along or purchased, and label it with the<br />

plant’s name, directions for growing, and a<br />

photograph of the plant in bloom or the site<br />

where it is currently growing.<br />

• Have a display area where plants may be<br />

viewed prior to the swap.<br />

• Choose a method to determine the order that<br />

members choose plants, such as by drawing<br />

numbers.<br />

• Assign a member or guest familiar with plants<br />

to read the labels on each plant, discuss the<br />

best location for planting, etc.<br />

• Encourage members to take extra plants<br />

remaining at the end of the plant swap.<br />

BGC invites you to view our display at <strong>Brandon</strong><br />

Public Library during June as we celebrate<br />

National Garden Week. For information,<br />

visit www.thebrandongardenclub.com.<br />

54 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Karen Crowe said, “I don’t know why we even painted this arch.<br />

It was completely covered in one season.”<br />

Louisiana irises are a perfect pass-along plant.<br />

They are prolific growers and grow well in areas with poor drainage.<br />

BGC members enjoyed touring Ron and Karen Crowe’s beautiful back yard.<br />

Karen has filled this bed with perennial pass-along plants from<br />

BGC plant swaps and summer flowering annuals.<br />

Mary-Ellen Hester, BGC member and master gardener,<br />

gave plant advice and instructions at the plant swap.<br />

Ron and Karen Crowe enjoy the gazebo built over<br />

the “dirt where even weeds wouldn’t grow.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 55

<strong>Brandon</strong><br />

Elementary<br />

Wax Figures<br />

Fourth grade students wrote stories,<br />

dressed up as famous Mississippians,<br />

and lined the halls of the school as<br />

wax figures. Passersby pressed a<br />

button that sprung the figures to life<br />

so they could share their stories.<br />

56 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 57

Camille Anding<br />

The Time Coin<br />

The church grounds were still<br />

shaded by the giant oaks decked<br />

in Spanish moss. The peaceful<br />

bay still rippled along the street that circled<br />

the property, but the newly constructed<br />

worship center dwarfed the original<br />

building that Dan and Evelyn had called<br />

their church home so many years ago.<br />

This day was their yearly visit with the Kratts. Evelyn could hardly<br />

contain her excitement.<br />

The visiting couple pulled into a crowded parking lot and found a<br />

single, vacant visitor’s spot. They waited in the welcome center for<br />

familiar faces and saw a large-framed gentleman, slightly stooped,<br />

walk through the corridor. The years had etched into his frame and<br />

face, but they remembered his servant heart when he worked with<br />

the youth. Dan greeted him and their old friend sorted through the<br />

hundreds of former military families he had known, and he recalled<br />

Dan and Evelyn’s friendships. His broad, contagious smile was the same<br />

that the couple remembered almost forty years ago.<br />

In the midst of their conversation, Mr. Kratt’s kind face caught their<br />

attention as he made his way toward the visitors. Their dear friend<br />

who had provided affordable rent along with godly mentoring in the<br />

couple’s first year of marriage was still smiling and involved in his<br />

church ministry. His ninety-two years weren’t a crutch or excuse but<br />

a reason to give thanks to God.<br />

His eyes still twinkled when he smiled,<br />

and his gentle voice brought back a tidal wave<br />

of wonderful, loving memories. The foyer<br />

traffic was picking up as the first service<br />

emptied through the large doors, but their<br />

reunion wasn’t hampered. They talked about<br />

their families and listened as he shared about<br />

his and the new church facilities.<br />

Mrs. Kratt soon joined them, and their fellowship was sweet<br />

and amazingly close to where Dan and Evelyn had left off a year ago.<br />

As the sanctuary music reminded them of the worship hour, they<br />

followed the elderly couple into the worship center. Mr. Kratt’s steps<br />

were slower, and time was attacking his body, but it hadn’t made a dent<br />

in his spirit. Evelyn’s heart hurt to see how the years were aging his<br />

once-strong frame, but she rejoiced that his faithfulness and servant<br />

heart were continuing to flourish.<br />

As they stood to sing hymns of praise, Evelyn looked to her left at<br />

this ninety-two-year-old friend and his sweet wife. She looked in front<br />

to see a young couple – military looking – a lot like she and Dan were<br />

almost four decades ago. Now, Dan and Evelyn were close to the age<br />

of the Kratts when they first met.<br />

Time is fleeting, “like a snowflake on a river.” It marches on<br />

– sometimes runs, seldom crawls, but it’s always moving. As the hymn<br />

of praise made heavenly background music, Evelyn whispered a prayer<br />

from Psalms: “Lord, teach us to number our days that we may gain a<br />

heart of wisdom.” n<br />

58 • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2017</strong>


Open House • 5pm-7pm • Thursday, July 6th<br />

Please join us • Light refreshments will be served<br />

202 North College Street • <strong>Brandon</strong>, MS<br />

To schedule a tour or to make reservations, call 601.706.4059<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Brandon</strong> • 59

More than 30 practices.<br />

Quick appointments.<br />

One number: 844-MSMERIT.<br />

Because there’s Merit in convenient care.<br />

With more than 30 primary care and specialty practices in four counties across the Jackson and Vicksburg metropolitan<br />

areas, Merit Health Medical Group providers offer quality care for your family with your schedule in mind. From sore<br />

throats and fever to annual wellness visits and more specialized care, we’ve got you covered.<br />

To see all locations and specialties, please visit MyMeritDoctor.com<br />

Call 844-MSMERIT for a provider near you.<br />

Walk-ins are welcome at all primary care practices,<br />

or ask about same-day and next-day appointments.

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