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Volume 4 Number 1<br />

Jan/feb 2018<br />

The Early Valentine<br />

____________________<br />

Special Agent-Special Man<br />

____________________<br />

A Picture of Happiness

Hometown madison • 3

publisher & Editor<br />

Tahya A. Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin W. Dobbs<br />

Consulting editor<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Account Executives<br />

Dacia Durr Amis<br />

Karla Johnson<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Dani Edmonson<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

staff Photographer<br />

Othel Anding<br />

Administrative Assistant<br />

Alisha Floyd<br />

Special Projects Manager<br />

Brenda McCall<br />

Project Assistant<br />

Carrie Truhett<br />

Layout Design<br />

Daniel Thomas - 3dt<br />

• • •<br />

As soon as I figure out how 2017 zipped by so quickly, I’ll try and find time to give 2018 its deserving<br />

welcome. I stand amazed at time’s fleet-footedness and make new resolve to initiate needed adjustments<br />

to our fast-track lifestyle.<br />

Recently, Kevin and I visited a dear friend who played a positive role in our “newly-married” years.<br />

It was a heart-rending visit because our friend was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Her daughter,<br />

who has taken on the role as major caretaker, has made major adjustments in her own life to assume this<br />

mission. She shared how she had intentionally simplified her life in order to be near her mother and<br />

enjoy the dwindling moments while her mother still knows her.<br />

Life truly is fragile. Sometimes it takes a disease, accident, or lab report to<br />

realize just how fragile. Who knows what 2018 will write into our lives? I’m<br />

certainly not greeting the New Year with gloom or fear, but I do sense a great<br />

need to prioritize my time so that busy-ness doesn’t dictate life or suffocate it.<br />

Take time to read the great stories we have in this issue of Hometown Madison.<br />

It’s our intention at Hometown Magazines to make that time well spent!<br />

Happy New Year!<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownmadisonmagazine<br />

For subscription information<br />

visit www.htmags.com<br />

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

601.706.4059<br />

26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F<br />

Brandon MS 39042<br />

• • •<br />

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

may be reproduced without written permission from<br />

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

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

writers or editors. Hometown Madison 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 Hometown Madison<br />

is funded by advertising.<br />

In this issue The Way We Were 8<br />

The Early Valentine 16<br />

I Love Us 26<br />

Special Agent-<br />

Special Man 30<br />

A Picture of Happiness 38<br />

Families First Canton 44<br />

That One Thing 54<br />

Hometown madison • 5

6 • Jan/Feb 2018

Hometown madison • 7

The way<br />

WE were<br />

Mary Lois & Gerald Rayburn<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

There are many recipes for a<br />

lot of things in this world. Ones<br />

for pot roasts or chicken<br />

casseroles, some for disaster or<br />

success. But love? Oh yes–love is<br />

probably the most desired yet<br />

elusive one. Gerald and Mary Lois<br />

Rayburn have done a great job of<br />

throwing the ingredients of life<br />

together to make their own love<br />

story one worth sharing.<br />

“Mother knows best” isn’t just a<br />

platitude in the Rayburn household.<br />

The couple was actually<br />

introduced by Mary Lois’ mother,<br />

lovingly known as ‘Little Momma’,<br />

in early 1964 in Batesville,<br />

Mississippi. They went out on a<br />

double date with some of Gerald’s<br />

friends, “and from then on it was<br />

very nice,” said Mary Lois. “We<br />

laugh about it even now,” she<br />

added. It was a very short courtship<br />

before they announced their<br />

engagement and were married<br />

on April 19th of that same year.<br />

They lived in Canton, Mississippi,<br />

for 45 years before they moved to<br />

Madison where they currently<br />

reside.<br />

Gerald had spent some time<br />

enlisted in the Navy and was<br />

stationed in Hawaii working with<br />

a flight crew before he met his<br />

wife-to-be. The rest of his working<br />

life was spent as a salesman of<br />

some sort or another, mainly<br />

dealing in farming equipment.<br />

Mary Lois made a lifelong career<br />

at bookkeeping–first for a car<br />

dealership, then First National<br />

Bank, and finally at Mississippi<br />

State Extension Service in Madison<br />

County for almost 20 years. She<br />

retired in December of 2008,<br />

excited to be able to spend more<br />

time with her husband and their<br />

grandchildren. Gerald continued<br />

working in sales until he officially<br />

retired “completely” in October<br />

of 2016.<br />

Family is the Rayburn’s main<br />

ingredient in their happy marriage.<br />

“We didn’t really even take any<br />

pictures until the kids,” said Mary<br />

Lois. When their sons were<br />

younger, they would take family<br />

trips every summer. “Probably<br />

when we carried the kids to the<br />

Grand Canyon would be my<br />

favorite memory,” said Gerald.<br />

“That was a beautiful, beautiful<br />

trip,” added Mary Lois. Their<br />

oldest son, Billy, and his wife and<br />

daughter, live in the Memphis<br />

area, while their younger son,<br />

Bobby, lives in Baton Rouge with<br />

his wife and two children. The<br />

Rayburns are sad that they are so<br />

far away from their sons, but love<br />

the fact that they are pretty<br />

centrally located between the two<br />

of them. “If they leave our house<br />

at the same time, they both call<br />

saying they got home at about the<br />

same time,” laughed Mary Lois.<br />

8 • Jan/Feb 2018

“Go to church.<br />

Don’t fight.<br />

When you have problems,<br />

sit down and talk them out.”<br />

Mary Lois’ Famous<br />

Painted Cookies<br />

Since their retirements, their<br />

time has been spent relaxing at<br />

home and enjoying the little things<br />

life has to offer. Gerald laughingly<br />

talked about how he “enjoys<br />

fooling with the flowers” and his<br />

Mary Lois has a local claim to<br />

fame as the baker of some of the<br />

best Christmas cookies you will<br />

ever eat. These light, delicate,<br />

beautiful cookies have been one of<br />

the highlights of the Christmas<br />

Gerald and Mary Lois know<br />

that, in addition to all of the little<br />

things like family trips and special<br />

cookies, the key ingredients to a<br />

successful marriage are as follows:<br />

“Go to church. Don’t fight. When<br />

Cookies<br />

• 1 cup Imperial Margarine<br />

• 1 cup sugar<br />

• 1-½ teaspoon vanilla<br />

• 1 egg<br />

• 1 teaspoon water<br />

• 3 cups Gold Medal flour<br />

• 1-½ teaspoon baking powder<br />

• ¼ teaspoon salt<br />

love of golf up until recent years.<br />

Mary Lois can be found almost<br />

every day enjoying coloring in<br />

season for many years among their<br />

family and friends. If you ask her<br />

about them, she will surely hand<br />

you have problems, sit down and<br />

discuss them and talk them out.”<br />

Mary Lois added that “young<br />

Icing<br />

• Confectioners’ sugar<br />

• Milk<br />

• Food coloring<br />

adult coloring books. “I usually do<br />

one page around the news time,<br />

and if I’m not too sleepy, I’ll stay up<br />

and color. They are very relaxing!”<br />

she beamed. The pair of them also<br />

greatly enjoy watching sports as<br />

well, Mary Lois perhaps even more<br />

than Gerald. The Pittsburgh Pirates<br />

and the St. Louis Cardinals will<br />

you a sheet of paper with the recipe<br />

lovingly scribbled on it, glowing<br />

with pride. “They are fun to make<br />

and I hope I’ll be able to do it this<br />

year,” she said. “Just a few weeks<br />

ago, my nephew’s wife came by<br />

one night and they made those<br />

cookies for Halloween. We used<br />

to make them for birthdays and<br />

people are missing out on<br />

conversations with their loved<br />

ones because all of them have<br />

these phones in their hands.”<br />

So keep these tips in your box<br />

of recipe cards, and know that<br />

these little things have cooked up<br />

a wonderful life and marriage<br />

for people like Gerald and Mary<br />

Thoroughly cream margarine, sugar, and<br />

vanilla. Add egg and water. Beat until light<br />

and fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder,<br />

and salt. Blend into creamed mixture.<br />

Divide dough in half. Chill for 1 hour.<br />

On lightly floured surface, roll dough to<br />

1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes<br />

with cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased<br />

cookie sheet at 375º for about 6-8 minutes.<br />

Cool slightly and remove from pan.<br />

always be held in prestige in the<br />

Rayburn household.<br />

everything,” Gerald reminisced.<br />

Lois Rayburn. n<br />

Mix confectioners’ sugar and milk.<br />

Add food coloring for desired color,<br />

then ice.<br />

Hometown madison • 9



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Hometown madison • 11

ServingOUR<br />

Community<br />

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

I think, like most firefighters, it’s for the<br />

opportunity to help other people on a<br />

daily basis. And it’s awesome to show up<br />

to a job you love and work within a team<br />

that’s all striving towards a common goal!<br />

It’s just what I wanted to do since I was<br />

a kid.<br />

How long have you been with the Madison<br />

Fire Department?<br />

Six years.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

It’s just me. But I have two amazing<br />

parents and beautiful twin sisters who<br />

keep me in check.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

I feel like the answer to this question<br />

would be the same among most people<br />

I work with. Although we train and<br />

develop certain skills and are eager to<br />

use those skillsets when needed, whether<br />

fire or medical, it’s still tough when you<br />

have to explain to a family member they<br />

just lost their loved one, or see the<br />

aftermath of the memories and things<br />

destroyed in a fire. And no matter who<br />

you ask, it never gets easy to see a child<br />

scared and in pain. But there are way<br />

more positive aspects of the job that<br />

balance those experiences out.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

It’s a really long list! Three things I can<br />

think of right off are that I want to fly in<br />

a fighter jet, scuba dive the Barrier Reef<br />

in Australia, and I want to watch a<br />

baseball game in every major league<br />

stadium.<br />

firefighter/EMT<br />

Ian O’Leary<br />

madison<br />

fire department<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

I love to travel! I get out of town at least<br />

once a month and try to experience new<br />

things. I’m big into anything health and<br />

fitness related as well as instructing<br />

martial arts. I’m an entrepreneur, so in<br />

that “spare time” I usually enjoy creating<br />

new opportunities and networking.<br />

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

Definitely my dad! He is for sure my<br />

hero! He has such a high level of<br />

integrity and the way he spends his life<br />

serving others is truly impressive to<br />

witness. He’s overcome so many<br />

obstacles in his life that have allowed<br />

him and my mom to afford me so many<br />

opportunities. It’s really remarkable. But<br />

most important is his support and belief<br />

in me to be happy in pursing my dreams.<br />

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

person, what would it be?<br />

If something seems too good to be true,<br />

investigate it. People aren’t looking for<br />

attention; they’re starving for connections.<br />

Connect with people. Ask questions.<br />

Never take advice from someone you’re<br />

not willing to trade places with. Pursue<br />

a life of significance, not success. If you<br />

aren’t obsessed with your life then you<br />

should be obsessed with changing it.<br />

Find mentors who have what you want<br />

and do what they’ve done to get it.<br />

What is a favorite childhood memory?<br />

I loved playing sports, so anytime I<br />

was outside competing in a game I had<br />

a smile on my face. I had the most fun<br />

traveling with the family for summer<br />

ball and competing against top teams<br />

from other states.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think young<br />

people make today?<br />

Not seeing the big picture. Not thinking<br />

for themselves and forming their own<br />

ideas. Relying on social media and other<br />

people’s opinions to develop their values<br />

and self-worth. They allow others to tell<br />

them what they “should” do, instead of<br />

pursuing what is in their heart and what<br />

they want to do. Trying to be perfect<br />

instead of just being present in the<br />

moment.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the City<br />

of Madison?<br />

The people. We have a very supportive<br />

community who show their appreciation<br />

for the fire and police departments on a<br />

regular basis. It’s nice to be appreciated<br />

for a career that we chose.<br />

12 • Jan/Feb 2018

Hometown madison • 13

14 • Jan/Feb 2018

ServingOUR<br />

County<br />

Why did you decide to pursue law enforcement?<br />

I enjoy helping others and I knew by<br />

becoming a law enforcement officer, it<br />

would put me in a position to do that.<br />

How long have you been with the Madison<br />

County Sheriff’s Office?<br />

27 years<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I’ve been married for 23 years to Karen<br />

Wilson and have three children, Olivia,<br />

Macey, and Cody.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

Death investigations – whether it is an<br />

accident or homicide (children especially).<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

Spending time with my family, also<br />

hunting and fishing.<br />

Captain of<br />

Investigations<br />

Todd Wilson<br />

Madison County<br />

Sheriff's department<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

Go on a cruise with my wife, kill a<br />

trophy deer with my bow, and own a<br />

piece of property in the country.<br />

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

This is a tough one; I admire a lot of<br />

people for a lot of different reasons so<br />

instead of taking the risk of leaving<br />

someone out, I will say that I admire<br />

people that choose to do the right<br />

thing–even when it’s not the most<br />

popular choice.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?<br />

I really don’t expect much will change in<br />

ten years. I hope to be still serving the<br />

people of Madison County.<br />

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

person, what would it be?<br />

Be a leader not a follower.<br />

What is a favorite childhood memory?<br />

Going to my grandparents’ house on<br />

Sunday afternoons. It was always the<br />

highlight of the week.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think young<br />

people make today?<br />

Again, I think it goes back to being a<br />

leader. Too many young people today are<br />

basing their decisions on popular trends<br />

instead of making informed decisions.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the City of<br />

Madison?<br />

The hometown atmosphere.<br />

Hometown madison • 15

16 • Jan/Feb 2018

The Early<br />

Valentine<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

Jason and Kisha Flanigan<br />

were excited about Valentine’s<br />

Day of 2016 more than they<br />

had been any year previously.<br />

They didn’t have special dinner<br />

reservations, bouquets of<br />

flowers, nor heart-shaped<br />

boxes of chocolates in order.<br />

They had much better plans than that; plans to meet<br />

their newborn son – Karter.<br />

The pregnancy was going well, and the anticipation<br />

and excitement of welcoming a new family member<br />

grew daily for the Flanigans. The chilly days of<br />

November came, and Kisha went in for a routine<br />

doctor’s appointment. Feeling great for being six months<br />

pregnant, Kisha was blindsided by the news she was<br />

about to receive. She was going to have to deliver baby<br />

Karter three months prematurely because she had<br />

developed walking pneumonia and her kidneys were<br />

starting to fail.<br />

When most people think of a baby being born<br />

prematurely, they probably assume that it is due to<br />

something being medically wrong with the child. But,<br />

like Kisha herself found out that day, that is not always<br />

the case. She had absolutely<br />

zero symptoms – no warning<br />

that something could be<br />

wrong. But her blood pressure<br />

had reached dangerous levels.<br />

“On the outside I was fine,<br />

but I was not doing well on<br />

the inside,” explained Kisha.<br />

Karter was rushed into this world through an<br />

emergency cesarean on November 7, 2015 weighing<br />

just 1 lb., 3 oz. He remained in the NICU for three<br />

months until his actual due date so that his lungs<br />

could fully develop, and Jason and Kisha were with<br />

him every day, sometimes multiple times a day, to<br />

watch over him and help him grow.<br />

As an 11th grade English teacher for Madison<br />

County School District, Kisha had participated in<br />

fundraisers and walks for the March of Dimes Foundation<br />

on several occasions because of the support the district<br />

had always lent to the charity. She was always happy to<br />

help and participate, but never expected that she would<br />

later benefit from the work that March of Dimes does<br />

for new mothers and their premature babies. “The<br />

research and the encouragement has really helped me,”<br />

Hometown madison • 17

18 • Jan/Feb 2018

she said. “I read positive stories every day. Hearing what they went through<br />

and that it’s not going to last forever helped me get through each<br />

day. Three months may not seem like a long time, but it feels like an<br />

eternity when you’re there,” she recalled.<br />

Through their research, March of Dimes has transitioned from<br />

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s original goal of finding vaccinations<br />

for polio to that of helping and preventing birth defects and<br />

addressing the alarming rise in premature births in the United<br />

States and around the world. They have created many vaccines for<br />

preemie infants as well as many therapies to help them and their<br />

families develop healthy lives.<br />

Because of March of Dimes, the Flanigans learned so much<br />

about caring for their strong little man. They learned how to do<br />

‘Kangaroo Care’ (a technique of skin-to-skin contact between<br />

child and parents), which helped Karter’s breathing and heartbeat<br />

regulate as well as develop a bond between him and his loving<br />

parents. “I swaddled him every day. He still does it. Sometimes<br />

I wonder if he remembers doing that,” laughed Kisha.<br />

Since Karter has been home from the hospital, Kisha and Jason<br />

have dedicated a lot of their spare time to participating with and<br />

supporting the March of Dimes Foundation. Friends and family walk<br />

with ‘Team Karter’ each year to raise money for research through<br />

donations. “I participated, but didn’t realize the importance until I<br />

had my baby,” said Kisha of her involvement before Karter arrived.<br />

“Your time is just as important as money,” she added. But one of the<br />

most important things Kisha said that these families need is the<br />

power of prayer.<br />

We were all small once. We came into this world in tiny<br />

packages, some smaller than others, but no less full of joy. This little<br />

boy, who was expected in the season of love, instead arrived in the<br />

season of thankfulness. The Flanigan family surely wants for neither<br />

of those feelings now that they are healthy and happy together. ♥<br />

Contribute to the work the March of Dimes is doing for premature babies and their<br />

families by making a donation. Please visit Kisha Flanigan’s fundraising website at<br />

www.marchforbabies.org/KishaFlanigan.<br />

Hometown madison • 19

Thanks to<br />

our advertisers<br />

and readers.<br />

We appreciate you!<br />

Follow us on Facebook<br />

20 • Jan/Feb 2018

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2018<br />

Livestock Show &<br />

22 • Jan/Feb 2018

It’s that time of year again!<br />

Time when cowboys and cowgirls from all over the<br />

nation descend upon Mississippi’s capital city for the<br />

annual Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo. During<br />

the month of February, The Dixie National brings with it<br />

a variety of programs and activities that take place to<br />

educate, entertain, and engage participants and onlookers,<br />

alike. The 53rd annual livestock show kicks off February 1<br />

and runs through February 18.<br />

The Dixie National Rodeo is the largest professional<br />

rodeo east of the Mississippi River. It is produced by<br />

Smith, Harper, and Morgan Rodeo Company, hosted by<br />

the Mississippi Fair Commission in Jackson, Mississippi<br />

and has been nominated as one of the Top 5 Large Indoor<br />

Rodeos of The Year for the past five years. This award is<br />

voted on by the cowboys in the Professional Rodeo<br />

Cowboy Association (PRCA).<br />

The rodeo kicks off February 8 and goes through<br />

February 14 at the Mississippi Coliseum. Special entertainers<br />

are featured each day of the rodeo and include Josh Turner,<br />

Frank Foster, The Bellamy Brothers, John Michael<br />

Montgomery, Riley Green, Corey Smith, and Brett Young.<br />

Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster at the<br />

coliseum box office.<br />

The Dixie National Quarter Horse Show, the Southern<br />

Classic, is the premier event of the Mississippi Quarter<br />

Horse Association. Also held in February on the state<br />

fairgrounds, it is the largest quarter horse show held<br />

during a stock show in the nation. The Dixie National<br />

Quarter Horse Show is the largest in the South and the<br />

third largest quarter horse show in the United States.<br />

The national exposure the quarter horse show receives<br />

makes it a gathering place for the top horses in the country<br />

and a field day for spectators. With an average audience of<br />

over 4,500, the Friday night free-style reining is the most<br />

crowd pleasing class and demonstrates the great physical<br />

ability of the American Quarter Horse. The Southern<br />

Classic dates are February 13-18.<br />

The Dixie National Equine Expo, the largest equine<br />

related trade show in the south, runs in conjunction with<br />

the quarter horse show. It features everything imaginable<br />

for the equine enthusiast. With over 65,000 sq. ft. of<br />

shopping, the Equine Expo is located inside the Mississippi<br />

Trade Mart on the fairgrounds. With vendors from across<br />

the nation, the latest fashions, trends and shopping will all<br />

be under one roof. It is one of the largest equine tradeshows<br />

in the Southeast. The Equine Expo is February 14-18.<br />

Hometown madison • 23

Hometown<br />

goodness<br />

Chicken Tamale Pie<br />

• 3 cups diced cooked chicken<br />

(about 12 ounces)<br />

• 1-1/2 cups prepared salsa<br />

• One 15-ounce can black beans,<br />

drained and rinsed<br />

• 1-1/2 cups chicken broth<br />

• 1 tablespoon chili powder<br />

• 2 scallions (white and green parts),<br />

sliced<br />

• 3/4 cup cornmeal<br />

• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar<br />

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter<br />

• Kosher salt and freshly ground<br />

black pepper<br />

• Sour cream, for serving<br />

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat<br />

chicken, salsa, beans, 1/2 cup of<br />

broth and chili powder in a 10-inch<br />

cast- iron skillet over medium heat,<br />

stirring, until simmering. Stir in<br />

scallions and remove from the heat.<br />

Meanwhile, combine cornmeal<br />

with the remaining 1 cup broth and<br />

1 cup water in a medium pan. Bring<br />

to a simmer over medium heat,<br />

stirring, until very thick, 5 to 7<br />

minutes. Remove from the heat and<br />

stir in the cheese and butter. Season<br />

with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4<br />

teaspoon pepper.<br />

Spread the cornmeal mixture over<br />

the filling and bake until cooked<br />

through, about 30 minutes. Let stand<br />

for 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream.<br />

Pizza Pot Pies<br />

Tomato sauce<br />

• 1 tablespoon olive oil<br />

• 2 cloves garlic, minced<br />

• 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary<br />

• 2 ounces diced pancetta<br />

• 1 can crushed tomatoes<br />

(28-ounce)<br />

• 1/4 teaspoon salt<br />

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground<br />

black pepper<br />

Pies<br />

• 3 cups tomato sauce<br />

• 2 cups diced roasted chicken<br />

• 2 cups broccoli cut into small,<br />

bite-sized pieces<br />

• 1-1/2 cups diced mozzarella<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon salt<br />

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground<br />

black pepper<br />

• 1-1/2 pounds pizza dough<br />

• 1/3 cup olive oil<br />

• 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan<br />

Special equipment:<br />

6, 10-ounce ramekins<br />

For the tomato sauce: Warm the<br />

olive oil in a small saucepan over<br />

medium heat. Add garlic, rosemary,<br />

and pancetta. Sauté until crisp and<br />

golden, about 5 minutes. Add the<br />

tomatoes, stir to combine, simmer<br />

over very low heat for 15 minutes.<br />

Add salt and pepper. Set aside.<br />

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.<br />

In a large bowl combine tomato<br />

sauce, chicken, broccoli, mozzarella,<br />

salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.<br />

Divide chicken mixture evenly<br />

between the ramekins. Roll out the<br />

pizza dough and cut circles with a<br />

paring knife that are 1-inch wider in<br />

diameter than the ramekins. Place<br />

the circles of dough over the filled<br />

ramekins and press down to seal,<br />

making sure to pull the dough over<br />

the edge of the ramekin. Brush the<br />

top of the dough with olive oil and<br />

sprinkle with parmesan cheese.<br />

Cut a small slit in the top of the<br />

dough with a paring knife. Bake until<br />

crust is golden, about 25 minutes.<br />

Remove from oven and let cool<br />

slightly before serving.<br />

Pork Chops<br />

with Wine & Garlic<br />

• 2 tablespoons olive oil<br />

• 3 tablespoons butter<br />

• Kosher salt and freshly ground<br />

black pepper<br />

• 4 bone-in T-bone pork chops,<br />

1 inch thick<br />

• 16 cloves garlic, peeled<br />

• 1-1/2 cups red wine<br />

• 1 bay leaf<br />

• 1/2 cup beef broth, plus more<br />

if needed<br />

• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar<br />

Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of<br />

the butter in a heavy skillet over high<br />

heat. Salt and pepper both sides of<br />

the pork chops and sear until golden,<br />

about 2 minutes per side. (No need<br />

to completely cook the chops at this<br />

point.) Remove from skillet and set<br />

aside.<br />

Reduce heat to medium high,<br />

throw in the whole cloves of garlic.<br />

Stir and cook until golden brown,<br />

Add red wine, then bay leaf. Stir and<br />

cook, raising the heat inecessary,<br />

until the sauce is reduced and thick,<br />

several minutes.<br />

Stir in beef broth (add more if it<br />

needs the liquid) and add the chops<br />

back to the skillet, arranging them<br />

so they’re swimming in the sauce.<br />

Cook chops in the sauce for a few<br />

minutes, then add the balsamic.<br />

Shake the skillet to distribute, then<br />

cook for a couple more minutes, or<br />

until the chops are done.<br />

Remove chops from the skillet,<br />

let the sauce reduce a little more if<br />

needed, until it’s very thick and rich<br />

and the garlic is soft. Swirl in the<br />

remaining tablespoon of butter and<br />

sprinkle in a little salt and pepper.<br />

Arrange the pork chops on a<br />

platter, then pour the whole skillet<br />

of sauce (including the garlic) over<br />

the top.<br />

24 • Jan/Feb 2018

Spicy Turkey &<br />

Green Bean Stir-Fry<br />

Slow-Cooker<br />

Pulled Pork Sandwiches<br />

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole<br />

with Ham & Peas<br />

• 1-1/2 cups basmati rice<br />

• 1-1/2 pounds green beans,<br />

trimmed<br />

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon sugar<br />

• 3/4 pound 99 percent lean<br />

ground turkey<br />

• 1 clove garlic, minced<br />

• 1 small half-sour pickle,<br />

finely chopped<br />

• 2 teaspoons Asian chili paste,<br />

such as sambal oelek<br />

• 1 cup fat-free low-sodium<br />

chicken broth<br />

• 2 tablespoons low-sodium<br />

soy sauce<br />

• 1 tablespoon dry sherry or rice<br />

vinegar (not seasoned)<br />

• 2 teaspoons cornstarch<br />

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.<br />

Stir in the rice, cover and boil until<br />

tender, about 18 minutes; drain well<br />

and keep warm.<br />

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.<br />

Toss the green beans, 1-1/2<br />

tablespoons vegetable oil and sugar<br />

on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil,<br />

stirring once, until the beans are<br />

tender and charred, about 8 minutes.<br />

Heat the remaining 1-1/2<br />

tablespoons vegetable oil in a large<br />

skillet over high heat. Add the turkey<br />

and cook, breaking it up with a<br />

wooden spoon, until browned,<br />

3 minutes. Add the garlic, pickle and<br />

chili paste and cook until the garlic is<br />

slightly golden, about 3 minutes.<br />

Whisk the chicken broth, soy sauce,<br />

sherry and cornstarch in a bowl. Add<br />

the green beans to the skillet with the<br />

turkey mixture and cook, stirring,<br />

1 minute. Add the soy sauce mixture<br />

and cook, stirring occasionally, until<br />

the sauce thickens slightly, about<br />

3 minutes. Serve with the rice.<br />

• 3 tablespoons light brown sugar<br />

• 2 teaspoons hot paprika<br />

• 1 teaspoon mustard powder<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin<br />

• Kosher salt and freshly ground<br />

pepper<br />

• 1 3-to-4-pound boneless pork<br />

shoulder, trimmed of excess fat<br />

• 2 teaspoons vegetable oil<br />

• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar,<br />

plus more to taste<br />

• 3 tablespoons tomato paste<br />

• 6 potato buns<br />

• Barbecue sauce and prepared<br />

coleslaw, for serving<br />

Combine 1 tablespoon brown<br />

sugar, paprika, mustard powder,<br />

cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2<br />

teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub<br />

the spice mixture over the pork.<br />

Heat oil in a large skillet; add pork<br />

and cook, turning, until browned on<br />

all sides, 5 minutes. Remove the pork<br />

and transfer to a plate; whisk 3/4 cup<br />

water into the drippings in the skillet.<br />

Transfer the liquid to a 5-to-6-quart<br />

slow cooker.<br />

Add vinegar, tomato paste,<br />

remaining 2 tablespoons brown<br />

sugar and 2 cups water and whisk<br />

to combine. Add pork, cover and<br />

cook on low, 8 hours.<br />

Remove the pork and transfer to<br />

a cutting board. Strain the liquid into<br />

a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook<br />

until reduced by half, about 10<br />

minutes. Season with salt. Roughly<br />

chop the pork and mix in a bowl with<br />

1 cup of the reduced cooking liquid,<br />

and salt and vinegar to taste. Serve<br />

on buns with barbecue sauce and<br />

coleslaw.<br />

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter<br />

• 1 onion, chopped<br />

• One 8-ounce piece deli ham, diced<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme<br />

• 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth<br />

• One 17.5-ounce package potato<br />

gnocchi<br />

• 1 cup frozen peas, thawed<br />

• 1/4 cup heavy cream<br />

• Kosher salt and freshly ground<br />

black pepper<br />

• 1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere<br />

cheese<br />

Preheat the broiler to high heat.<br />

Melt the butter in a large ovenproof<br />

skillet over medium heat. Add onions<br />

and cook until softened, about 3<br />

minutes. Add ham and thyme and<br />

continue to cook until ham is lightly<br />

browned.<br />

Add chicken broth and 3/4 cup<br />

water and bring to a simmer. Add<br />

gnocchi, stir well, cover and cook<br />

until gnocchi is slightly tender, about<br />

5 minutes. Remove from heat.<br />

Uncover and stir in peas, cream, 1/4<br />

teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon<br />

pepper. Sprinkle cheese over the top<br />

and broil until golden and bubbly,<br />

about 3 minutes.<br />

Barbecue Mac & Cheese<br />

• Kosher salt<br />

• 1 pound large shell pasta noodles<br />

• 4 cups stemmed and chopped<br />

collard greens (about 1 large<br />

bunch)<br />

• 5 ounces beer<br />

• 5 ounces half-and-half<br />

• 2/3 cup your favorite spicy<br />

barbecue sauce<br />

• 6 ounces American cheese,<br />

chopped or shredded<br />

• 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar,<br />

shredded (about 1 cup)<br />

• 4 ounces Havarti, shredded<br />

(about 1 cup)<br />

• Freshly ground black pepper<br />

Bring a large pot of salted water to a<br />

boil. Cook the pasta and collards until<br />

the pasta is al dente, according to<br />

package directions. Drain and reserve.<br />

Combine the beer, half-and-half<br />

and barbecue sauce in a large<br />

saucepan over medium-low heat and<br />

cook, whisking, until it simmers.<br />

Stir in the cheddar and Havarti and<br />

cook over low heat, stirring, until all<br />

the cheese is melted. Add the pasta<br />

and collards and toss to combine.<br />

Season with salt and pepper. Serve<br />

immediately!<br />

Hometown madison • 25

26 • Jan/Feb 2018<br />

Mary Ann Kirby

alentine’s Day. My earliest<br />

thoughts of the beloved celebration<br />

date back to the third grade and are<br />

of tiny die-cut cards stating such simple<br />

messages like, “Some-bunny loves you”<br />

and, “Will you be mine?” I can remember<br />

the importance of finding just the right<br />

cards to give out, too. No way did I want<br />

anything too mushy or anything. Picking<br />

out the card was serious business.<br />

They would eventually be placed in<br />

individually decorated brown paper<br />

sacks that were taped to the back of<br />

everyone’s little-person sized desk.<br />

Love was so easy.<br />

Years later, flowers and gigantic<br />

helium balloons were the must-have<br />

order of the day, often delivered to the<br />

workplace. I was never the recipient of<br />

such over-the-top deliveries and was<br />

even admittedly a bit jealous of those<br />

who were. I mean, had they somehow<br />

figured out a secret code to love that I<br />

hadn’t? And how were you supposed to<br />

get those big ol’ things home anyway?<br />

I eventually married in my early<br />

thirties. Prior to that time, while I managed<br />

a couple of fairly decent relationships,<br />

I was mostly single–a lot. I mean, there<br />

were easier things in life than trying to<br />

find a nice guy, you know. Like nailing<br />

jelly to a tree. But it was worth the wait.<br />

I would eventually find my perfect<br />

match and we will celebrate 19 years<br />

of marriage this year. Yay!<br />

So as I look through the thousands<br />

of cards at the store and contemplate<br />

the message I want to convey, I’m<br />

struck by a simple yet powerful thought.<br />

I love us.<br />

In reality, the card I’m looking for<br />

should say, “Happy Valentine’s Day.<br />

Who, in a million years, would have<br />

ever thought that I’d be standing here<br />

for the umteenth time looking through<br />

this sea of red and pink hearts? But,<br />

despite the fact that I get grumpy and<br />

have unpredictable mood swings, you<br />

keep coming home–and I thank you<br />

for that. And even though you’ve yet<br />

to develop the ability to read my mind,<br />

I continue to love you anyway. We’ve<br />

made a pretty darn fabulous kid that,<br />

with any luck, will think marriage is a<br />

good thing after watching us. So, there’s<br />

that. Happy Valentine’s Day! I love us.”<br />

There need to be cards with those<br />

types of “real” messages. Someone<br />

could make a fortune.<br />

Relationships are hard. All relationships.<br />

And they take work. Anything worth<br />

having, does. And while my husband<br />

and I have certainly made a good run so<br />

far, we’ve definitely had our moments–<br />

but we always manage to work through<br />

them. Eventually, we even laugh it off.<br />

Laughter is about connection, and<br />

laughter and love go hand-in-hand.<br />

So while I might not be one of those<br />

that gets $100 worth of helium delivered<br />

to the front door, I will get a funny card<br />

from my fella. It will likely still be in the<br />

store bag from which it was bought<br />

along with one of my favorite Hollywood<br />

gossip-type magazines and a box of<br />

little white powdered donuts. He knows<br />

they’re my favorite and that means the<br />

world to me.<br />

The truth is that love isn’t always<br />

perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook<br />

and it doesn’t always come easy. Love is<br />

overcoming obstacles, facing challenges,<br />

fighting to be together, holding on, and<br />

never letting go.<br />

It’s a short word that’s easy to spell,<br />

difficult to define, and impossible to live<br />

without. Love is work, but most of all, love<br />

is realizing that every hour, and every<br />

minute, and every second of it was<br />

worth it–because you did it together.<br />

Maybe more marriages would<br />

survive if people knew that sometimes<br />

the “better” comes after the “worse.”<br />

And that’s ok. A successful marriage<br />

requires falling in love many times,<br />

over and over, with the same person.<br />

I’m thankful for my person. I really do<br />

love us. ♥<br />

Hometown madison • 27

Hometown Madison<br />

Reader<br />


Alison<br />

Martin<br />

Why did you decide to make Madison County<br />

your home?<br />

My mom’s family grew up in Canton, so I grew<br />

up coming for holidays and spending time in the<br />

summer with my cousin. My husband is from<br />

Canton, so we eventually moved back “home,”<br />

and I am so happy here.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

My husband Shan and I have been married for 19<br />

years (20 in May!) and we have three boys: Lane<br />

(16), Carter (13), and Sam (10). Both sets of their<br />

grandparents live in Madison County, so we get to<br />

spend lots of time together.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living in<br />

Madison?<br />

Since my boys were born, we spend every day of<br />

the summer at the pool at the Country Club of<br />

Canton. The boys can now all ride their bikes<br />

there, have become good golfers, and Lane wants<br />

to be a lifeguard this summer.<br />

Where are your three favorite places to eat<br />

in Madison?<br />

Chick-fil-A (of course), Santa Fe Grill is new to<br />

Canton and is delicious, and Culinary Cowboy<br />

Amish bread.<br />

What are some fun things to do in Madison<br />

on the weekends?<br />

At this stage in our lives, we go to Canton<br />

Academy ballgames of all sorts all the time!!<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

I used to scrapbook with some friends once a month,<br />

and we decided when our kids all get bigger, we are<br />

going to try to start back. We all miss it!<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

Oooh. That’s a tough one. I’d love to visit somewhere<br />

tropical, see the Grand Canyon, and visit the set of<br />

the TV show The Goldbergs – my family loves that<br />

show.<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

When I was in elementary school, for summer<br />

vacation a couple of years, my mom would let my<br />

sister Ashley and me pick any place we’d like to visit<br />

in the Rankin/Madison/Hinds area, and that’s what<br />

we would do for her vacation week. We’d always<br />

pick places we’d been on field trips like Vicksburg,<br />

the Zoo, the Natural Science Museum or the<br />

Petrified Forest. Ashley and I thought we were big<br />

stuff when we went to see two movies IN A ROW!<br />

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

Pam Moore teaches science at Canton Academy<br />

and was our teacher of the year last year. She is<br />

amazing – always prepared, covers so much<br />

material, has tests graded the same day, and loves<br />

her students. She does all this AND works at<br />

UMC, too. She is definitely someone I admire.<br />

Where do you see yourself in ten years?<br />

I have thought at times that when my youngest son<br />

graduated from high school that I’d like to go back<br />

to school to become a nurse. We will see...<br />

If you could give us one encouraging quote,<br />

what would it be?<br />

“If you don’t want someone to find out, don’t do<br />

it.” I have a poster of that in my classroom because<br />

I think that advice could save some teenagers<br />

(and adults, too) lots of heartache.<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

Hometown Magazines?<br />

I love seeing the good things people are doing where<br />

I live. The news is filled with so much negative that<br />

it’s great to see people who love their hometown<br />

and are willing to invest time and money into making<br />

it somewhere other people can enjoy, too.<br />

Amy Edwards<br />

601-707-9434<br />

1716 Highway 51, Ste. I<br />

Madison<br />

+ = BIG SAVINGS<br />

Insurance and coverages subject to terms, qualifications and availability. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co.,Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co. Northbrook,<br />

Illinois © 2010 Allstate Insurance Co.<br />

226958<br />

28 • Jan/Feb 2018

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11:00 AM - 1:00 PM<br />




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and readers.<br />

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Hometown madison • 29

30 • Jan/Feb 2018

Special Agent-<br />

Special Man<br />

Dani Edmonson<br />

“In order to adequately serve our communities,<br />

we need to know our community members,”<br />

says Jeffery Artis, FBI Special Agent from Madison.<br />

He adds that you have to respect someone before you know them—<br />

words that resonate heavily in these times of national cultural confusion.<br />

Artis, who specializes in investigating civil<br />

rights violations within the law enforcement<br />

and public official agencies, believes healing<br />

communities can be as simple as following the<br />

Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would<br />

have them do unto you.”<br />

“As law enforcement, we don’t disrespect<br />

individuals intentionally,” Artis said. “It is complicated<br />

because we are trained to take control and eliminate<br />

the threat. But to what extent an incident is perceived a threat is<br />

subject to human interpretation.” And with all manner of incidents<br />

being posted on social media almost immediately without the benefit<br />

of any context, often the public receives a version of the event that,<br />

at the very least, needs to be vetted for clarity.<br />

One moment of an officer’s interaction with a citizen is seen now<br />

thousands of times before any law enforcement leaders have a chance<br />

to sort things out. Sadly, often the officer is publicly condemned before<br />

all the facts are disseminated. Artis added that for every officer that<br />

actually does something wrong, at least ten of them do something<br />

noble that rarely gets publicized. “But they don’t do<br />

it for the recognition,” he added.<br />

Born and raised in York, Alabama, his goals in<br />

life were, “…not to live in York, Alabama, and not<br />

be poor.” Although the statement was made in<br />

jest, his work ethic along the way has enabled<br />

him to achieve those two goals and much more.<br />

He joined the Bureau in January of 1988 in<br />

Birmingham, Alabama, working the lowliest of positions<br />

available at the time. The initial pay was not enough to support<br />

himself, so taking on a second job was necessary.<br />

“While I was getting ready to attend grad school, my former<br />

department chair at Miles College asked me if I could help him run<br />

his pizza store,” he said. A “soft” job for the soon-to-be federal agent.<br />

But the department chair appealed to Artis’ natural public-service<br />

nature when he went on to say, “Right now I need to hire someone<br />

who won’t steal from me!” Artis needed the additional income, and<br />

the owner needed a trustworthy employee, so he juggled two jobs<br />

learning extensively from both for one year.<br />

Hometown madison • 31

“Over the next six and a half years, I was able to learn exactly what<br />

the FBI was about, and it gave me the opportunity to be sure that was<br />

the career I wanted,” he said. “Although this is an honorable profession<br />

in which to serve, it is not for everyone when you consider the fact that<br />

we investigate over 300 federal violations to include cyber-attacks,<br />

homicides, child crimes, public corruption and terrorism, oftentimes<br />

having to confront well-known individuals.”<br />

The FBI places agents within specialties that best suit each<br />

individual’s background. “If a science major is hired, but that person is<br />

tired of the whole ‘chemistry thing,’ he/she can be assigned to other<br />

violations, such as national security threats,” Artis said. He entered<br />

undergraduate school with the idea that he would become a politician<br />

who would help bridge ethnic divides. “Jim Crow laws were still being<br />

observed in some places in the South,” he said. “I wanted to be at the<br />

table that brought about change in our community.”<br />

Fate smiled upon his youthful aspirations, not through public office,<br />

but through public service.<br />

Artis is a special agent assigned to investigate civil rights violations.<br />

“This includes hate crimes, human trafficking, and individuals using<br />

their powers to take advantage of others,” he explained. “We may be<br />

assigned to a case involving a 30-year veteran of the police force who<br />

has a sterling reputation,” he began. “Then one day, the officer just has a<br />

bad day maybe due to professional and/or personal issues. That cop<br />

responds to a call, the suspect reacts negatively, and next thing you<br />

know, we have an alleged violation.” If there are repeated complaints on<br />

an individual or office, Artis checks that out as well.<br />

But he is just one man.<br />

In an effort to smooth the ethnic wrinkles that still raise their ugly<br />

heads, Artis and his department provide satellite training to any law<br />

enforcement personnel and public officials willing to undergo a<br />

rigorous course in cultural diversity management. The training has<br />

proven invaluable, and it is provided at no cost to the participants.<br />

“We teach law enforcement to minimize their mistakes,” he said.<br />

“For example, one can have good intentions when making a routine<br />

stop, and a justified search. However, how will that officer respond<br />

once they notice the individual stopped is wearing a turban or kippah?<br />

We have to understand that each person has certain beliefs regarding<br />

how his property and his person should be handled and treated,<br />

especially in front of other people.” Artis said that even the tensest<br />

situations can be diffused using basic human dignity.<br />

“You must establish rapport. Be honest, clear, empathetic,” he<br />

explained. “It cannot be made personal. We have to understand that<br />

experiences are different, but emotions are universal.”<br />

This extension of basic respect does not just apply to black and<br />

white as is assumed in Mississippi. “Take a look around at the various<br />

types of restaurants you will find in virtually every community,” Artis<br />

said. “You will normally find Asian, Mexican, Greek and others.” These<br />

businesses are representative of our communities at large, and bridging<br />

cultural differences is key to healing diversity wounds. Being in touch<br />

with all manner of citizens includes being able to manage sensitive and<br />

even dangerous situations.<br />

Crisis negotiation is the other area Artis specializes in. Although he<br />

is based in Mississippi, he travels internationally responding to those<br />

types of situations. “Using techniques largely developed by former crisis<br />

negotiators, we help individuals manage their crisis,” he said. “We don’t<br />

fix things, but we help that individual handle whatever it is resolving<br />

things positively,” – a skill that would lend itself to a myriad other<br />

professions.<br />

“The five-day interactive training is not a seminar,” he said. “We<br />

task them with one crisis experience after another to challenge them<br />

emotionally. We need to be confident they can handle it.” This<br />

intensive training is also provided at no cost, but is invaluable to those<br />

who attend – although they do not know it at first. “Participants<br />

oftentimes come in looking bored at having to attend more training,”<br />

32 • Jan/Feb 2018

“<br />

Although this<br />

is an honorable<br />

profession in<br />

which to serve,<br />

it is not for<br />

everyone...<br />

”<br />

Hometown madison • 33

34 • Jan/Feb 2018

he explained. By the end of the training session, their minds are<br />

blown and the typical response is, “This was the best training I’ve<br />

ever received!”<br />

Corporal Alan Chavers of the Tupelo Police Department<br />

attended (and later assisted) a crisis negotiations training session<br />

in 2010 where he first met Artis. “Jeff was able to keep the classes’<br />

attention with knowledge and humor mixed in,” he said. Although<br />

the comic relief element was emotionally necessary to handle this<br />

type of intense training, Chavers said the primary content was life<br />

changing. “I believe this training is the most important thing I have<br />

ever been involved in,” he said. “When different cultures, races,<br />

and religions begin to communicate, listen, and respect each other,<br />

that’s when we see resentment, misunderstanding, and hatred<br />

soften and subside.”<br />

From talking a jumper down off the top of a building to<br />

teaching others how to respect and handle diverse cultures and<br />

lethal situations, we assume that spending quality time with the<br />

family must be impossible. “No. I love the chaos and confusion,”<br />

“...I am married<br />

to a woman<br />

who not only<br />

understands my<br />

working situation,<br />

but is also strong<br />

enough to tell me<br />

to calm down<br />

when I need it!<br />

”<br />

Artis responded. “We see it as opportunity or challenge, and I am<br />

married to a woman who not only understands my working<br />

situation, but is also strong enough to tell me to calm down when<br />

I need it!” He admits he was in love the first day he met her.<br />

“We met in Birmingham because we happened to be keeping<br />

the scorebooks for our college basketball teams. I started pursuing<br />

her that day.” Her name is Monica, and she admits Artis was<br />

memorable but, “I can’t say that it was love at first sight.” Her sense<br />

of humor is evident as she continued. “As a matter of fact, he made<br />

me a little nervous at first because he wouldn’t stop talking and<br />

was doing a pretty good job of distracting me from my assignment.<br />

I would inch a little away from him, and he would in turn inch a<br />

little closer to me,” she recalled. She was drawn to his sense of<br />

humor and careless approach to life, “and it didn’t hurt that he<br />

was pretty cute.”<br />

How does the FBI agent and his professional forensics wife<br />

manage a “normal” life outside of work? “As far as being normal,<br />

I’m not quite sure that we are,” she quipped. She does understand,<br />

though, that Artis often cannot afford to be distracted by personal<br />

problems, “so, I try to make sure that when he is called upon to help<br />

resolve hostile or touchy situations, he can do so without worrying<br />

about me and the things that need to be taken care of at home.”<br />

She said that she is thankful that he’s a great listener – most of<br />

time. “Sometimes I stop him when his is agreeing with every word<br />

and regurgitating my sentences and say, ‘Don’t forget that I have<br />

seen your negotiations training material. Stop handling me.’”<br />

Monica said she and the kids try to keep things light at home.<br />

“Laughter is a big part of our gatherings, whenever they come<br />

home from school.” And she stated she and Jeff spend plenty of<br />

quality time together where she has his undivided attention,<br />

“unless there is an Alabama game being televised!”<br />

This sophisticatedly trained federal agent clearly infuses<br />

humor in every aspect of his life. He said he is handy around his<br />

home making nearly all home repairs himself, and has extended<br />

his God-given handiness to family and friends. Upon explaining<br />

that he has installed toilets for friends, he looked up seriously and<br />

said, “There is nothing like messing with other people’s crap.”<br />

A jest that could ironically apply to his difficult profession. n<br />

Hometown madison • 35

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36 • Jan/Feb 2018

Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce<br />

Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast<br />

December 19, 2017<br />

Colonial Heights Baptist Church<br />

Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University,<br />

keynoted the breakfast with an inspirational and moving message,<br />

“Peace I Leave With You; My Peace I Give You” – John 14:2-7.<br />

The breakfast included area pastors and clergy giving scripture readings<br />

as well as vocalist Michelle Johnston of Broadmoor Baptist Church.<br />

Diamond Sponsor<br />

C Spire<br />

Gold Sponsors<br />

BankPlus, MS Baptist Medical Center, Butler Snow, LLP,<br />

CenterPoint Energy, Community Bank, Entergy Mississippi,<br />

John Dorsa - State Farm Insurance, John Hancock-Southeastern Financial,<br />

Madison County Journal, Neel-Schaffer, Inc., Origin Bank, PriorityOne Bank,<br />

Regions Bank, Renasant Bank, Stewart Sneed Hewes/BancorpSouth Insurance,<br />

Trustmark National Bank, Waggoner Engineering, Inc., Wells, Marble & Hurst, PLLC,<br />

Young Wells Williams , P.A. and The Township at Colony Park<br />

- a Kerioth Corporation Development<br />

Hometown madison • 37

38 • Jan/Feb 2018

A Picture<br />

ofHappıness<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

If you want to know the real me, a stroll around my<br />

home is a good way to find out. On my shelves you will<br />

find books about Europe, architectural history, humor,<br />

stories about good winning over evil, trinkets from my<br />

travels, and mementos from friends scattered amongst<br />

them. There are baskets and chests full of cozy blankets,<br />

and two fuzzy cats that sit on the couch waiting to be<br />

scratched under their chins. But the things you will<br />

find the most of are a plethora of old cameras and<br />

photographs that cover the living room walls and fill<br />

countless boxes and albums in almost every closet and<br />

bookcase. These are my treasures. Photography has been<br />

a major component of my entire life. From the chunky<br />

blue Fisher Price camera I wore around my neck as a<br />

tiny child to the DSLR that travels with me and captures<br />

life’s important and beautiful moments; photography<br />

has and always will be my most fulfilling hobby.<br />

It’s important for people to have a hobby to call<br />

their own: something that takes their mind off of<br />

their daily stresses and brings them joy in some way or<br />

another. January just so happens to be National Hobby<br />

Month, so I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to<br />

people about what they love to do to enrich their lives<br />

on a personal level.<br />

Like my love for photography, some people’s<br />

passions start very young. The students at Drama Kids<br />

International have invested a lot of time and devotion<br />

into their interests in the theatrical arts. Participants<br />

Camille Toles (9), Sarah Carney (11), and Ellie Smith<br />

(12), have all enjoyed taking part in dramatic<br />

productions since the age of five. Camille especially<br />

loves exploring what it’s like to step into a character’s<br />

shoes and imagining being that person. Sarah shares<br />

those sentiments saying, “When you act out a character,<br />

it feels almost real, like you’re becoming something<br />

different than yourself.” Ellie has realized that she has<br />

not only received personal and social satisfaction from<br />

acting, but confidence as well! “It’s nice to know I’m<br />

better at conversations because of skills I’ve developed<br />

[while at Drama Kids],” she said.<br />

Social hobbies are a great way for people to meet<br />

like-minded friends that they might not have otherwise<br />

Hometown madison • 39

known. Jackson Area Gamers, a club formed through Meetup<br />

(an online interest-based group organizer), has brought together<br />

dozens of people to do what they enjoy most: play games! Adam<br />

Chance, a married father of four, has been enjoying playing video<br />

and board games for the majority of his life. He started out playing<br />

video games in the heyday of the 1980s, but soon discovered that<br />

he enjoyed board games even more because of the social aspect.<br />

Adam’s main interest is in historical games, and he takes<br />

advantage of the availability of game nights with Jackson<br />

Area Gamers whenever he can—which is about once<br />

every other week.<br />

Fellow JAG member Jay Ouzts is also a fan of board<br />

games—Pax Brittanica and Terraforming Mars being his<br />

favorite. “I enjoy the games and the strategy,” he said.<br />

“The social aspect is secondary for me, though<br />

it is important.” Jackson Area Gamers has<br />

many events throughout the week<br />

covering different gaming interests and<br />

encourages people to come out and have<br />

a great time together.<br />

While some enjoy the comforts of indoor activities,<br />

others love to get out into the fresh air and onto the water<br />

like Robert Muller, the incoming rear commodore for the<br />

Jackson Yacht Club. Robert has been an avid sailor since<br />

the age of 12 when his father purchased a Catalina 22-foot<br />

sailboat. Upon moving to the Jackson area in 1975, his<br />

parents joined the Jackson Yacht Club and he has been an<br />

active member ever since. “I am at the club 3-6 days a<br />

week,” he said. There is almost always something going on<br />

like youth swim team meets, Picking and Grinning on<br />

Tuesday nights for some great food and local music, blue plate<br />

dinners on Wednesdays, bingo games once a month, Commodore<br />

Steak Night on Fridays, beer can racing on Saturday afternoons,<br />

after-church brunches and racing on Sundays, and year-round<br />

pool access with a view of the reservoir.<br />

Some hobbyists focus less on social activities and more on<br />

creating something tangible. Artists like BJ Weeks have become so<br />

passionate about their creative endeavor that they’ve built their<br />

professions around it. She has worked as a painter and multi-media<br />

artist for nearly 10 years, and her pieces are available in over 50<br />

retail and gallery spaces across the southeast including Texas,<br />

Oklahoma, and Kansas. “I am blessed, truly blessed,” she said, “to<br />

use my gift to create and ‘color’ someone else’s space.” Thankful<br />

for all of God’s blessings in her life, BJ has dedicated herself to the<br />

pursuit of creating beautiful art full-time.<br />

Other crafty people have taken to the internet to sell their<br />

wares on websites like Etsy, which celebrate hand-crafted work.<br />

Jennifer Wigginton, owner of Deep South Handmade, has<br />

found a great way to put her hobby of embroidering to<br />

good use as a source of extra income for her household.<br />

“I’ve always enjoyed seeing ‘plain’ things transformed into<br />

beautiful things,” she said. After helping her mom run an<br />

Etsy shop selling clothing for American Girl dolls, Jennifer<br />

decided that it would be a great way to share her work and<br />

hobby with others. In addition to her shop,<br />

she has partnered with the Madison<br />

Marketplace gift shop and “loves to<br />

work with the wonderful ladies there!”<br />

Like Jennifer, Maggie Owen has also<br />

opened a successful Etsy shop called The Gold<br />

Magnolia, which has turned into her full-time career.<br />

Maggie has honed her life-long hobby of sewing into a<br />

home-grown clothing design empire. “I love to plan,<br />

pick out fabrics, select designs, and then create!” she<br />

exclaimed. Her repertoire includes modest and stylish<br />

clothes for girls. Shops like these are great not only for<br />

the crafters themselves, but also for consumers who<br />

want to support artists and find the perfect gift for their<br />

hard-to-buy-for loved ones.<br />

The celebrated ‘French Chef’ Julia Child encouraged<br />

us to “find something you’re passionate about and keep<br />

tremendously interested in it.” Her words have stayed with me and<br />

fueled my desire to be in the constant pursuit of happiness by<br />

indulging in interests and curiosities whenever possible. Our<br />

hobbies help us connect to people and find ways to express our<br />

identity to the world.<br />

So what will you be passionate about? Cooking? Reading? Bird<br />

watching? As for me, my camera will never be far away. n<br />

40 • Jan/Feb 2018

Hometown madison • 41

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Hometown madison • 43

Families<br />

First<br />

for<br />

Canton<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

Families First for Mississippi has become a staple in<br />

communities across the state because of their resources<br />

for youth development, parenting and life skills, employment<br />

aide, and a myriad of other positive life assistance topics.<br />

Their newest location in Canton is sure to be a treasured<br />

gift to those in the community who could use a helping<br />

hand. They opened their doors on November 7th, 2017,<br />

and have hit the ground running. This month they are<br />

hosting a health expo to help locals make sure they start<br />

out the new year happy and healthy!<br />

44 • Jan/Feb 2018

Hometown madison • 45

Families First is always looking for<br />

donations and volunteers willing to help.<br />

Their clothing closet offers people in<br />

need a place to come and find suitable<br />

clothing for interviews and work attire<br />

once they have procured employment.<br />

Gently used, work-appropriate clothing,<br />

shoes and accessories in a variety of<br />

sizes are always well received.<br />

Children’s clothing and books for all<br />

ages are also always accepted.<br />

Every service offered by Families<br />

First is available to everyone free of<br />

charge. “Our goal is to connect the<br />

dots and strengthen entire families<br />

through a generational approach<br />

called Gen+,” said Community Liaison<br />

Betsy Nicholson. Classes like Workforce<br />

Development, Life Skills, Parenting,<br />

Child Care Classes, and Anger<br />

Management are offered as well as a<br />

program called Read and Reap. “Our<br />

Read and Reap class takes place on<br />

Friday mornings from 9:30-11am. This is<br />

an opportunity for parents with young<br />

children to come in and spend quality<br />

time with their children reading and<br />

doing fun activities that promote school<br />

readiness and literacy,” said Betsy.<br />

46 • Jan/Feb 2018

“Many of our participants come in needing help<br />

with employability skills,” explained Betsy. Families<br />

First offers people assistance in creating resumes<br />

and provides resources to aid in finding suitable<br />

jobs. They even have a place for job-seekers to<br />

come and practice interview skills and learn tips to<br />

handle stress and conflict in the workplace. “We also<br />

have a lot of parents interested in our parenting<br />

classes,” she continued. “These classes are designed<br />

to enhance and support parents in their<br />

mission to raise healthy and<br />

school-ready children.”<br />

Executive Director of Mississippi Community<br />

Education Center, Dr. Nancy New and Executive<br />

Director of Family Resource Center, Christi Webb<br />

explain, “Our main goal for Families First for<br />

Mississippi is to impact the entire family by<br />

connecting the dots between all of the Mississippi<br />

family services. We are serving people in all areas<br />

of life. We believe that everyone deserves an<br />

opportunity to become a success.”<br />

__________________________________________<br />

If you are in need of assistance or would like to<br />

make a donation of time, money, or clothing,<br />

the new Canton location of Families First<br />

will be happy to see you.<br />

Hometown madison • 47

48 • Jan/Feb 2018<br />

A Hot Night Out for a Cool Cause<br />

September 19, 2017 • Renaissance at Colony Park

Hometown madison • 49

The Price<br />

Of Fame<br />

movie Premiere<br />

The Story of<br />

Ted<br />

“Million Dollar Man”<br />

Dibiase<br />

November 6, 2017<br />

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theater<br />

50 • Jan/Feb 2018

Hometown madison • 51

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54 • Jan/Feb 2018<br />

That One Thing

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

In light of the recent flooding in Houston and wildfires in California,<br />

where people were literally forced from their homes with only what<br />

they could carry, and no time to spare, I considered the daunting task<br />

of having to decide, what does one take in that situation knowing<br />

that a complete loss was imminent? What is that one thing you<br />

couldn’t leave behind?<br />

Asked that question in two different decades and my answer might<br />

be drastically different.<br />

In my 20s, I would have been most concerned with my shoes and<br />

clothes. My purse collection, makeup, and favorite leather bomber<br />

jacket with fur trim would have all made the list, too. To this twentysomething<br />

year old, “stuff” was important.<br />

At fifty, my priorities have dramatically shifted. But when faced<br />

with the question about choosing what to take, I still can’t come up<br />

with a definitive answer.<br />

It’s a given that people and animals come first, so we’re going to<br />

assume that my family and dog are safely evacuated in our little pretend<br />

scenario. We’re also going to assume that we all have our phones,<br />

laptops, purses and wallets, driver’s licenses, and important documents<br />

and papers.<br />

But now comes the tough part. What non-essentials do you take?<br />

What is that one thing that you absolutely would not want to part with?<br />

I recently posed this question on social media and the responses<br />

were varied . . . and fascinating. Many of them were, understandably,<br />

about precious family photos – boxes of pictures and photo albums<br />

that have been curated, inherited, or passed along from one generation<br />

to the next, which could never be recreated. Ironically, it has been<br />

during my lifetime that many people have actually stopped printing<br />

pictures. I pause for a moment and wonder how future generations<br />

will remember us without printed evidence of our existence.<br />

Bibles ranked as a top item along with jewelry, treasured artwork,<br />

children’s blankets and hand-made family quilts. Guns and ammunition<br />

were surprisingly important to many, as well. I’d never considered the<br />

need for weapons in an evacuation-type situation, but anyone that’s<br />

ever misplaced a child’s cherished binky knows that it is worthy of<br />

being heavily guarded.<br />

So as I continued to contemplate the question at hand, my inability<br />

to easily identify what “things” I would take was becoming a source of<br />

frustration for me. I began to realize that I’m not particularly attached<br />

to anything! And don’t get me wrong, I have a safe-box and fully<br />

understand the importance of protecting certain legal documents, but<br />

it was very revealing to me that not one material possession in particular<br />

stood out as being of paramount significance.<br />

Things don’t wear matching pajamas on Christmas Eve and watch<br />

Christmas movies seen so many times that every line can practically<br />

be quoted by heart. Things didn’t cheer on our favorite kicker on the<br />

football field or feel the excitement of watching him make his first-ever<br />

field goal.<br />

Things can’t get all dressed up and take you to dinner on your<br />

birthday or celebrate when you achieve an important milestone.<br />

Things can’t reassure you when someone’s hurt your feelings.<br />

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my most<br />

prized possessions are my memories–of the life experiences and<br />

adventures shared with the people I adore most–and no box or album is<br />

big enough to contain them. They’re the people and places and feelings<br />

and moments. They’re the hugs and the smiles. And the laughter.<br />

It’s not about what we’ve bought, but what we’ve built–and no<br />

fire or flood can destroy it. And it is in that moment, the moment<br />

I was forced to articulate what it was that I actually treasured most,<br />

that I had a breakthrough and it was an amazing feeling.<br />

While it is not likely that my son can tell me a single thing he<br />

received last year for Christmas without having to really stop and think<br />

about it–he can sing every word to the family vacation song we made<br />

up while driving through the mountains six years ago. We hiked to a<br />

waterfall hidden deep in the elevations and got caught in a rainstorm<br />

on our way out. It was freezing and we were soaked to the bone . . . yet<br />

it will go down as one of the single greatest family experiences that we<br />

ever had. We were with each other, where we’re truly the most happy,<br />

and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.<br />

Experiences make for the greatest treasures. And memories.<br />

So while this exercise has come full circle and prompted some<br />

much-needed soul-searching on my part, I come away with a single,<br />

glorious realization. When the waters rise, and the flames grow near,<br />

I’m already packed. And while I’d never want to be faced with having<br />

to part with the material things that have played such an important<br />

role in creating our comforts of home and have helped to define our past,<br />

I know that as long as we have each other, everything will be alright. n<br />

Hometown madison • 55

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madison county Schools<br />

Madison Central<br />

Madison Central High School broke its own record for the<br />

2016-2017 school year with a total of 80 AP Scholars. AP Scholars<br />

were awarded for scoring a three or higher on three AP exams.<br />

AP Scholars with Honor were awarded for scoring at least a 3.25<br />

on all AP exams taken and scores of three or higher on four or<br />

more exams. AP Scholars with Distinction were awarded for<br />

having an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and<br />

scores of three or higher on five or more exams.<br />

Emily Zhang, a 2017 graduate, was awarded State AP Scholar,<br />

which goes to one male and one female in each state with scores<br />

of three or higher on the greatest number of AP exams and the<br />

highest average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken. Zhang<br />

took a total of 14 exams. National AP Scholars were awarded for<br />

having an average of at least four on all AP exams taken and scores<br />

of four or higher on eight or more exams. The following 2017<br />

graduates were the National AP Scholars for Madison Central:<br />

Reyna Dixit, Kurk Harris, Jesse Li, Harrison McKinnis and<br />

Emily Zhang.<br />

Front row L-R: Current students AP Scholars Anna Bonvillain,<br />

Zoe Bush, Hannah Weaver and Kaylee Ricchetti. Second row left<br />

to right are AP Scholars with Distinction Parth Malaviya and David<br />

McDonald, AP Scholar with Honor Daniel Ramsey, AP Scholar<br />

Michael Zhang and AP Scholar with Distinction Rimika Banerjee.<br />

Third row L-R: AP Scholars Eli Howland, Chanu Cherukuri and<br />

Abigail Barton, AP Scholar with Honor John Michels and AP<br />

Scholar with Distinction James Michels. Fourth row left to right<br />

are AP Scholar with Distinction Jake Dellinger, AP Scholars<br />

with Honor Trey McMullan and Will Humphreys, AP Scholar<br />

Stroud Tolleson, AP Scholar with Honor Maddie Gall and AP<br />

Scholar with Distinction Alex Nguyen. Back row L-R: AP<br />

Scholars with Honor Luke Little, John Bethea, Logan Scott and<br />

John Walker Webb, AP Scholar with Distinction Noah Grovich.<br />

AP Scholars not pictured are Martha Brinson, Anna Brock, Alida<br />

Leroux, Bailey Magee, John Martin Paczak, Erin Patton, Advait<br />

Praveen and Aditya Surakanti. AP Scholars with Honor not<br />

pictured are Alexa Aubrey and Case Draughn. AP Scholars with<br />

Distinction not pictured are Mary Ranie Miller, Maeve Rigney<br />

and Claire Smith.<br />

Senior Nelson Washington represented his class at the Beyond<br />

Horizons–A Recognition of Scholarship and Achievement on<br />

December 8. This event was hosted by the University of Mississippi<br />

Medical Center. Students were chosen based on academics<br />

and plans to major in a STEM discipline in college. Pictured with<br />

Washington are parents Tiffiney and Curtis Washington.<br />

Seniors John Martin Paczak and Mary Ranie Miller are the<br />

Wendy’s Heisman winners for the Madison Central Class of<br />

2018. This award is based on academics and athletics.<br />

58 • Jan/Feb 2018

Homecoming court, Front row L-R: Nora Bennett, Stone Finley,<br />

Harper Yowell. Second row L-R: sophomores Diamond Bracey,<br />

Chloe Livingston; juniors Hannah Brady, Vertreace Sanders;<br />

seniors Laquintiana Kidd, Catherine Whitten, Brooke Thomas,<br />

Julia Bhansali, Brookleigh Johnson, Isabella Wade; juniors Bonnie<br />

Hill, Sydney Storm; sophomores Anna Cate Strong, Allison Hill;<br />

freshmen Lana Evans, Lexie Sanders, Anna Kay Bumgarner.<br />

Back row L-R: sophomores Reggie Black, Graham Quarles;<br />

juniors Myles Hopson, Peyton Wilbanks; seniors Bailey Magee,<br />

Will Stanard, Adam McDonal, Cedric Beal, Kobe Cole, Brooks<br />

Parker; juniors Xeric Watson, Michael Zhang; sophomores<br />

Brooks Stewart, Logan Landis; freshmen Creek Robertson,<br />

Daniel Zhang, Duke Arnold.<br />

Madison Central High School senior Brooke Thomas was<br />

crowned homecoming queen. Pictured with Thomas is her<br />

father, Dave Thomas.<br />

Journalism students attended the Mississippi Scholastic Press<br />

Association fall conference at the University of Southern Mississippi<br />

on October 30. Madison Central’s yearbook staff brought home<br />

awards for: best yearbook copy, illustration/graphic package, sports<br />

writing/reporting, state finalist for best yearbook of the year, overall<br />

design, senior advertising design, photography, feature spread, two<br />

awards for sports spreads, two awards for academic photos, sports<br />

writing/reporting, and two awards in feature writing/reporting.<br />

Pictured are members of the broadcast crew, yearbook and<br />

newspaper staffs. Front row: broadcast adviser Josh Stanford and<br />

yearbook/newspaper adviser Vicky Williams. Second row L-R:<br />

Emma Stone, Emma Gibbs, Alex Ricketts, Reagan Leeper, Caroline<br />

Riley. Third row L-R: Porter Herrington, Jillian Russell, Kaylee<br />

Ricchetti. Fourth row L-R: Carter Slater, Cameron Rogillio, Adele<br />

Russell, Phoebe Waters, Maeve Rigney, Ashton Giesecke. Fifth row<br />

L-R: Cameron Broadway, Gene Crunk, Sara Cavicchi, Mary Grace<br />

Nelson, Jordan Carter, Katie King, Kaitlyn Sills, Hayden Ray,<br />

Bradlea James and Bezal Jupiter. Sixth row L-R: Ryan Ricchetti,<br />

Ella Ward, Katherine Pudish, Elizabeth Barton, Vanessa Anguiano,<br />

Jordan Williams.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

Hometown madison • 59


madison county Schools<br />

Canton Academy<br />

The newly formed Outreach Club at Canton Academy organized<br />

the upper school students who collected 595 boxes for Operation<br />

Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse. Pictured are CA<br />

Outreach Club officers Shelby Johnson, Prestley Smith, Sloan<br />

Powell, Emerald Ravenstein, Annaleigh Sandridge, and Betsy Pace<br />

during their packing party.<br />

The student council organizes Santa visiting elementary<br />

students. He listens to the wishes of Ava & Will Hughes.<br />

After reading “Same Kind of Different as Me” and having heard<br />

about the movie’s creation from Executive Producer Stephen<br />

Johnston (Jackson, MS), Canton Academy’s upper school took<br />

a trip to Malco to see the movie.<br />

The Canton Academy student council spent the morning at<br />

MADCAAP packing food boxes and helping organizing<br />

supplies. Pictured are Front: Sydney Thomason, Jenson<br />

Williams, Allie Parkinson, Taylor Rosamond, Macy Gordy;<br />

Middle: Ava Dickerson, Betsy Pace, Leah Brooke Irby, Virginia<br />

Grace Lavender, Lyric Stewart, Edi Craft; Back: Andrew<br />

Hankins, Brayden Brumfield, Hayden Vaughn, Chris Clanton,<br />

Tony Handy, Lane Martin, Jacob Lott, Mrs. Lucy Johnson,<br />

Colson Lambert, Case Lambert<br />

60 • Jan/Feb 2018<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.

MRA<br />

Academy Talent Show Contestants<br />

The following students at Madison-Ridgeland Academy auditioned<br />

for and were selected as 2017 Talent Show contestants.<br />

Congratulations on this honor! These MRA Patriots did a<br />

wonderful job during last week’s talent show:<br />

L-R: James Hutcheson, Kat Nurse, Davis Moody, Parker Anderson,<br />

Sara Carson Hailey, Noelle Gee, Audrey Harper, Lilly Cobb, Sarah<br />

Powell, Caroline Redman, Skylar Jacobs, Drew Douglas, Sydney<br />

Holladay, Abby Sheffield, Lucy Allen, and Kate Hendry<br />

Fall signing day was held on Tuesday, November 28, . MRA had the following seniors commit/sign to play collegiately:<br />

Davis Ferguson<br />

Baseball<br />

Meridian<br />

Community College<br />

Bryson Jones<br />

Golf<br />

Copiah Lincoln<br />

Community College<br />

McAuley Ross<br />

Equestrian<br />

University of<br />

Tennessee at Martin<br />

Grace Self<br />

Softball<br />

University of<br />

West Alabama<br />

Breckon Young<br />

Track & Field<br />

Mississippi State<br />

University<br />

Congratulations to Aubree Dillon for being named<br />

Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s 2017 Homecoming Queen!<br />

Back Row: Blake Baldwin, Aubree Dillon, Caroline Cobb/2016<br />

Homecoming Queen, and MRA Board President Alan Hart<br />

Front Row: Hattie Hedglin and Harrison Rich<br />

Hometown madison • 61


madison county Schools<br />

Madison Avenue<br />

Over the summer, French drains were placed in front of MAUE.<br />

While the construction workers were digging they made some<br />

amazing discoveries. The crew found a tooth from a Megaladon,<br />

an arrowhead, a map with riddles, keys, a piece of train track and<br />

plow parts. Mayor Mary expressed her excitement when keys<br />

were found because she had a treasure chest at City Hall and<br />

didn’t know where the keys were. Most of these exciting finds<br />

were sent to museums for further analysis.<br />

The teachers began studying the history of Madison with<br />

their classes. Students learned about the Native Americans<br />

who lived in the area and the railroad that passed through town.<br />

Students also learned about the fire of 1900.<br />

On Thursday, October 26th, students and parents were<br />

invited to Adventure Night at MAUE. Students and their<br />

parents learned about the different time periods of Madison<br />

and read a clue by the Madison Fire Department, the Madison<br />

Police Department, and Mayor Mary. The students had to work<br />

their way through STEM activities to earn a portion of the key.<br />

After completing all three challenges, students were able to earn<br />

a key. One student from each grade pulled a key to open the<br />

treasure chest Mayor Mary had at City Hall. The third key<br />

worked! When Mayor Mary opened the treasure chest, she<br />

found a golden caboose!<br />

62 • Jan/Feb 2018

Ann Smith<br />

Principal Melissa Wise Philley traveled to Washington, D.C.<br />

to be recognized by NAESP as a National Distinguished<br />

Principal.<br />

During the month of December, we celebrated our students<br />

and taught them about generosity. We had three different<br />

stations for the children to attend during the event. At one<br />

station, the students were celebrated for their positive behavior<br />

and the counselor discussed the importance of generosity.<br />

At another station, students made cards to be donated to local<br />

nursing homes and organizations. At the third station, students<br />

packed blessings bags for individuals in need at local organizations.<br />

We celebrated students and taught them a lesson to encourage<br />

their personal character growth.<br />

Rosa Scott<br />

Three students won first place in the Madison County District<br />

Reading Fair. High School Fiction Storyboard- Emily O’Reilly<br />

High School Fiction Digital- Marshuna Pippin<br />

High School Non-fiction Digital- Christian Gines<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

Hometown madison • 63


madison county Schools<br />

Germantown<br />

Connor Carter, a senior at Germantown High, signed his letter<br />

of intent to play baseball at Hinds Community College. Pictured<br />

with Connor (front row) are parents, Christian & Lesley Carter.<br />

Back Row: Drew Crowell (Assistant GHS Baseball Coach),<br />

Wesley Bolden (Assistant GHS Baseball Coach), Brian Hardy<br />

(Head GHS Baseball Coach), TJ Grissom (Assistant GHS<br />

Baseball Coach), Presley Hill (Assistant GHS Baseball Coach).<br />

Harrison Haley, a senior at Germantown High, signed his letter<br />

of intent to play baseball at Hinds Community College. Pictured<br />

with Harrison (front row) are parents, Chris & Leianne Haley.<br />

Back Row: Drew Crowell (Assistant GHS Baseball Coach),<br />

Wesley Bolden (Assistant GHS Baseball Coach), Brian Hardy<br />

(Head GHS Baseball Coach), TJ Grissom (Assistant GHS<br />

Baseball Coach), Presley Hill (Assistant GHS Baseball Coach).<br />

McKenzie Nichols, a senior at Germantown High School, signed<br />

her letter of intent to play softball at Mississippi Gulf Coast<br />

Community College. Pictured with Kenzie (front row) are<br />

parents Jason & Courtney Nichols. Back Row: Assistant GHS<br />

Softball Coaches, Karen McCullouch and Kenny Perry, and Head<br />

GHS Softball Coach, Lindsey McMullen.<br />

Laura Peyton Trammell, a senior at Germantown High School,<br />

signed her letter of intent to play softball at Jones Community<br />

College. Pictured with Laura Peyton (front row) are parents<br />

Shane & Paige Trammell. Back Row: Stella Melton (grandmother),<br />

Assistant GHS Softball Coaches, Karen McCullouch<br />

and Kenny Perry, and Head GHS Softball Coach, Lindsey<br />

McMullen.<br />

64 • Jan/Feb 2018<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.

Hometown madison • 65

The<br />

Time<br />

Coin<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Ole Man Winter is in the<br />

process of wrapping us in<br />

his gray cloak.<br />

Just when I need to have visions of<br />

spring-green and flowers, the arctic winds<br />

pop the tree limbs and chase the little birds<br />

into hiding. New Year seems to come at a<br />

poor meteorological time.<br />

January days usually mean times of<br />

looking through the flower and seed<br />

catalogs to select plants for the new flower<br />

bed that I’m always preparing for spring.<br />

With temps in the up and down, cold and<br />

warm, I can’t concentrate on blooming<br />

plants! In fact, I’m concerned that the bulbs<br />

I planted in the fall have enough antifreeze.<br />

The only things that seem to flourish<br />

in these wintry conditions are flu and virus<br />

bugs. The winds speed their arrival and<br />

energize them as they travel. Grocery lists go<br />

from the party ingredients of December<br />

celebrations to fever and cough reliefs and<br />

remedies for chapped lips and skin.<br />

And the nights come quickly! They<br />

pounce on 5:00, and their darkness<br />

magnifies the chilling howls of the winds.<br />

Even the sun seems to have run for cover.<br />

It’s a brand new year – 2018 – a mere<br />

infant in the first days of January, but the<br />

bleak landscape and the constant hum of<br />

the heating unit are attempting to give a<br />

dismal outlook for the coming year.<br />

Suddenly I have a mental picture of<br />

our children when they were toddlers.<br />

They had no fears as little ones close to<br />

their parents. They would climb onto the<br />

kitchen chair, scramble to the kitchen<br />

island and squeal for their daddy to catch<br />

them. And he would, and they had every<br />

assurance that in their mid-air flight,<br />

Daddy’s strong arms would secure them.<br />

The night is still dark, the winds are<br />

whistling, but there’s a special warmth<br />

about me, and I know it’s not related to<br />

the thermostat. That mental picture has<br />

reminded me that my Heavenly Father<br />

stands within arms’ reach, and He says,<br />

“Launch out into the New Year. I’m here –<br />

always – and I know the way.”<br />

It’s a small Voice, but it muffles the<br />

winds and my fears. n<br />

66 • Jan/Feb 2018

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Hometown madison • 67

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