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2 • MAY 2021

Tahya Dobbs


Kevin Dobbs


Mary Ann Kirby


Brenda McCall


Caroline Hodges


Alisha Floyd


Daniel Thomas


Othel Anding


Jodi Jackson



Reader Spotlight 7

Hometown Family 20

Dickey’s BBQ 26

Summer Activities 31

A Rare Jewel 34

Ties That Bind 42

The Yearbook 57

The Medgar Project 90

Time Coin 122

www.facebook.com/hometownrankinmagazine. For subscription information visit www.htmags.com or contact us at info@HTMags.com / 601.706.4059 / 26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F / Brandon, MS 39042

All rights reserved. No portion of Hometown Rankin may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Hometown Rankin is not responsible for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.

Hometown Rankin maintains the unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted material. All advertisements are subject to approval by the publisher. The production of Hometown Rankin is funded by advertising.

Hometown RANKIN • 3

4 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 5

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6 • MAY 2021




HUFF ________

Why did you decide to make Rankin County

your home?

Kenneth and I both have lived in Rankin

County all of our lives, specifically the town of

Puckett. We love the family atmosphere here

in Puckett and would not want to live

anywhere else.

How long have you lived in Rankin County?

Our families have called Rankin County home

for many generations. Both of us graduated

from Puckett High School, started our family

here, as well as our business of 21 years,


Tell us about your family.

After college Kenneth and I married in 1988

making our home in the Antioch community

outside of Puckett. Our daughter, Kendall, is

an emergency room nurse at Baptist hospital

in Jackson and will soon complete her nurse

practitioner degree. Our son, Jacob, will

graduate in May of 2021 from the Doctor

of Physical Therapy program at UMMC.

Kenneth runs our family business of Huff-

N-Stuff, and I am a school nurse at Puckett

employed through Region 8.

What is your favorite memory of living

in Rankin County?

There are many memories that could be

discussed. However, attending sporting events

for my children along with other young adults

through the years are by far my favorite.

Where are your three favorite places

to eat in Rankin County?

Even after many years, the BBQ and fried

chicken at Huff-N-Stuff is still one of our

favorites. We are also fond of Billy Burgers

as well as Genna Bennas.

What are some fun things to do in Rankin

County on the weekends?

We enjoy boating with friends at the reservoir.

More local fun consists of riding backroads in

our jeep and spending time with friends.

Share some things you enjoy doing in your

spare time.

Our family enjoys attending Ole Miss sporting

events as well as frequent vacations to the


What are three things on your bucket list?

The top thing on my bucket list is becoming

a certified scuba diver so I will be able to dive

on trips with my family. The second thing on

my bucket would be to travel and explore the

underwater world of Honduras. I would also

love to travel to Alaska to see the northern


Who is someone you admire and why?

The people I most admire are my parents.

Their strong work ethic and unconditional

love has been such a great example as I have

built my own life. We enjoy spending time

together traveling and attending sporting


Where do you see yourself ten years

from now?

Even though I love my job and what I do

each day, in ten years I hope to be retired

and traveling.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Growing up in a rural area, my grandparents

and cousins played a huge role in my childhood.

My favorite memories definitely include my

cousin Julie and our many outdoor adventures.

If you could give us one encouraging quote,

what would it be?

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with

benefits, the God of our salvation!

-Psalm 68:19

What is your favorite thing about

Hometown Magazines?

Hometown Magazines does a great job of

sharing the wonderful aspects of our community.

As a business owner, we appreciate the

connection the magazine brings throughout

our community.

Hometown RANKIN • 7

8 • MAY 2021



with a bank that knows


Hometown RANKIN • 9

The way

WE were

Beverly & Jerry Leach

Camille Anding

Beverly Mayers and Jerry

Leach enrolled as freshmen the

same year at the University of

Southern Mississippi, but it

wasn’t until the last month of

their senior year that they met.

Jerry lived with three other guys

in an apartment, and Beverly,

along with some girlfriends,

went by to see the “other three.”

When they walked in for their

visit, Jerry was the only one there.

Beverly remembers thinking

that Jerry was really cute. Jerry

felt a magnetism, too, because

he asked her for a date the

following week. He carried her

to a softball game, and since

Beverly was a sports enthusiast,

she thought this was a positive

sign for a relationship. But she

wanted more confirmation.

Signs had always been a means

of confirmation for Beverly, so

she prayed that God would show

her a sign that Jerry was the right

one for a continuing a relationship.

It wasn’t what one would

call a simple confirmation.

She prayed that a song would

come on the radio – like

“The Wedding March.”

When the couple got in the

car to leave, Jerry switched on

the radio and “The Wedding

March” was playing. Beverly

was in disbelief.

That night she prayed again,

“Really, Lord? Is this guy the one

You’ve chosen for me? I still

need more confirmation.”

On their second date, her

confirmation came when they

turned on the radio. It was

“The Wedding March” again!

She realized later that the song

was part of an ad for tux rentals,

but the song’s timings complied

with her request. Obviously

Jerry was her true soulmate.

In June of 1977, a week after

graduating, Jerry began working

with Allstate Insurance in Jackson.

Beverly stayed in Hattiesburg,

working in retail. They continued

dating for another year, and

Beverly took a job in Prentiss

as a second grade school teacher.

After two years of dating,

Jerry surprised her on a date

she’ll always remember. He

presented her with a small box

that held her engagement ring.

She said, “Yes.”

On June 9, 1979, the couple

exchanged vows in Immanuel

Baptist Church in Natchez. The

church couldn’t have been more

special – the founding members

held their first service in the

home of Beverly’s grandparents.

The drive to their Pensacola

honeymoon destination was

marked by some uninvited

hitchhikers. Friends of the

newlyweds had emptied a

container of live crickets in

their “Just Married” vehicle.

For the next thirty-three

years Beverly would continue

teaching elementary grades with

the longest tenure in Brandon.

Jerry opened his own office

10 • MAY 2021

“There’s good

times and bad

times; you gotta

work through


– Leach Insurance – and

gained national recognition in

2009 as the #1 Allstate agent

in the nation. He was awarded

a trip for two to Chicago and

New York. The award ceremony

was held on the infield of Yankee

Stadium, a memory both hold

as one of the highlights in their

forty-four years of marriage.

Their greatest joy has been

parenting two sons, Brent and

Brian. Jerry was their sons’

baseball coach throughout the

Little League years and was

undoubtedly gifted in teaching

baseball skills because both

went on to play the sport

professionally. Brent played

with the Dodgers for eleven

years, and Brian was with the

Pittsburg Pirates for six years.

It’s been an added blessing

for the Leaches to live in close

proximity to their sons’ families.

Brent and wife Sara, with their

three children, live just a short

walk from Beverly and Jerry’s

backyard. Brent is head of men’s

ministry and men’s sports

ministry at FBC Brandon.

Sara is owner and instructor

at Downtown Pilates Studio.

Brian and wife Alison, with

their two children, make their

home in Reunion where Brian

operates Leach Insurance, and

Alison works with her mom in

their construction business.

Beverly said, “Jerry and I

were raised in strong homes of

faith with church as an important

part. We tried to follow our

parents’ examples in our own

home.” She continued, “We

believe the family that prays

together stays together.”

Jerry added to the advice for

marital and family life: “There’s

good times and bad times; you

gotta work through them.”

Even though the Leach

couple is listed on the retired

roster, they remain in the active

lane. Jerry has been a high school

and junior college basketball

referee for thirty-nine years

and still enjoys that position.

Beverly stays close to her

teaching background via

substitute teaching and getting

together with other retired

teacher friends named “The

Steel Magnolias” for special

occasions and birthdays.

But above all, their five

grandchildren rank first in

bringing them their greatest

retirement pleasures.

Reflections on their fortyplus

years together make up

some rich chapters of life with

lots of added wisdom. Beverly

laughed while recalling the day

she spent her first teacher’s

paycheck to buy a new car and

how excited she was to show it

to her fiancé. Jerry asked,

“What did you have to pay

for it?” “The sticker price is on

the window!” she answered.

It’s obvious that together

this couple has built a strong

marriage and gained a lot of

wisdom that they’ve passed on

to students, customers, friends

and family.

Hometown RANKIN • 11

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done — wherever the job takes us next.

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12 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 13

Mother’s Day



What is one thing your mother taught you

that you hope to instill in your daughter?


What is one thing you admire about your mom?

Shea & Lilly


Shea One thing that my mother taught me

that I hope to instill in my daughter is to

always lead with kindness. Kindness allows

for greater connections with all people and

cultivates lasting relationships. It is selfless

and merciful and these are qualities that

I pray Lilly will demonstrate every day.

Moreover, kindness is a choice and it is my

hope for my own daughter to always choose

to lead with a kind and compassionate heart.

Lilly One thing I admire about my mom is

how she always puts others before herself,

and she never lets her personal desires get

in the way. She would do anything for me

and my brothers, and I admire how much

she loves me and continues to love me, even

when I make mistakes.

Jessica & Belle Grace


Jessica My mom instilled a sense of

gratitude and appreciation that I hope to

pass on to my daughter. It’s easy to take

for granted God’s blessings if you don’t

intentionally take a moment to step back

and appreciate what you’ve been given.

Whether it be for friends, material

possessions, talents, or health, I want my

daughter to be grateful, and that’s exactly

the way she lives her life.

Belle Grace I deeply admire how hardworking

my mom is. She goes to work,

teaches all day long, directs after school

musical until 8 p.m., and comes home

and still cooks us dinner. I’ve never met

someone as loving and faithful as my mom.

Melissa & Mattie


Melissa My mom is one of the most

joyful people I have ever met; she is full

of God’s love and tries to find joy in all

things. She taught me to see the positive

in all circumstances and to show God’s

love and kindness to those around me.

I hope that my daughter sees this in me

and will strive to show love and find joy in

situations she may encounter throughout

her life, especially as she navigates the

tough teenage years!

Mattie What I love about my mom is

that she always reminds me to love people,

no matter who they are or what they’ve

done. Acceptance is a really powerful thing!

14 • MAY 2021

Paige Robertson

& Macy Polk

Paige My mom, my hero, was a woman

of God who had so many attributes that

I hope I’m instilling in my daughter, Macy.

One of those I pray Macy is learning from

me is a faithful perseverance. Life will take

her down multiple journeys, but having

faith in Christ will be the only constant

to get her through anything that comes

her way.

Macy One thing I admire about my mom

is the way she radiates positivity everywhere

she goes. There is never a dull moment with

her, and I love how she focuses on the

positive things rather than the negatives.

Her smile lights up the room and she will

forever be my favorite human.

Whitney & Kayleigh


Whitney My mom taught me the most

important thing is to love God and love

others (Matthew 22:37-40). Also, it matters

who you marry. I hope to instill in my

daughter to look for love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, gentleness, and

self-control in her future Christian

husband (Galatians 5:22-23).

Kayleigh I admire many things about my

mom, but her strength and willingness to

sacrifice anything for her children stands

out the most. She knows what’s important

in life - it’s not money, clothes or status -

relationships and experiences with family

are first in her heart. She loves Jesus and

always makes sure we’re plugged in somewhere

and cultivating our relationship

with Him.

Shundra Wilson

& Brookelyn Johnson

Shundra My mother taught me at an early

age to trust in the Lord and to respect my

elders. Throughout my life, with every

obstacle and with every decision to be

made, I meditate/reflect on the following

verse: Proverbs 3:5-6. As a parent, I have

instilled these same values of respect into

my daughter and pray that God will grant

her longevity on Earth.

Brookelyn One of the things that I admire

the most about my mother is her ability to

bring joy to everyone she crosses paths with.

I believe all of that joy is a blessing from our

Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I also admire

how she has a positive quote/scripture for

every situation we may encounter.

Hometown RANKIN • 15

Mother’s Day


Lisa, Maddy & Meredith


Lisa My mom taught me the importance

of cultivating relationships, especially with

family. My mom always made time to keep

up with what was going on in my life, even

when I became an adult. I hope that my

girls know how much they mean to me

and how special that mother/daughter

bond really is. They are both teenagers now,

and we each go our own way to work and

school during the day, but the best part of

my day is getting to catch up with them

when we get home!

Jennifer & Sara Foster


Jennifer My mom taught me to not judge

people by their outward appearances. She

always gives people the benefit of the doubt

and sees the best in people. I pray I will

pass this on to my children.

Sara Foster I admire my mom because she

has compassion for others. She loves helping

people and wants the best for everyone.

She will also do anything for her children

no matter what the circumstances are.

Cory & Taylor


Cory One of the many things my amazing

mom taught me is to treat people as you

would like to be treated. She continually

instilled the message of spreading love

and kindness always. I have always been

inspired by her kind and extremely

generous heart.

Taylor I love that my mom is hardworking

and will find ways to do things for others

before herself. She is selfless and full of love.

She has taught me to work hard in all that

I do while helping others along the way.

Maddy The thing I admire most is her work ethic. She inspires

me to work hard in school to get where I want in life!

Meredith I admire my mom because she works hard all day and

still takes such good care of our family!

16 • MAY 2021


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In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 of the Higher Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other applicable Federal and State Acts, Hinds Community College

offers equal education and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in its educational programs and activities. The following have been designated to handle inquiries regarding these policies:

EEOC Compliance: Sherry Franklin, Vice President of Instruction/Career & Technical Education, Box 1003, Utica, MS 39175; Phone: 601.885.7002 or Email: EEOC@hindscc.edu. Title IX: DeAndre House, Associate Vice President Student Services, Title IX Coordinator, Box 1100 Raymond MS

39154; Phone: 601.857.3353 or Email: TitleIX@hindscc.edu.

Hometown RANKIN • 17

18 • MAY 2021




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Hometown RANKIN • 19

20 • MAY 2021


Tell us about your family.

GABE REIHLE (44) I own Distinctive Woodworks, a custom carpentry business

that was started by my father, Don Reihle, forty-four years ago. I enjoy household

projects, playing guitar, and fishing at the neighborhood ponds.

JANET REIHLE (44) I am the executive director for the Flowood Chamber of

Commerce. I enjoy being outside with the kids, walking in the neighborhood,

and reading.

SILAS REIHLE (9) I am a 4th Grader at Flowood Elementary. I’m in the BETA

Club and math is my favorite subject. I play soccer with IFC, baseball with

Canes Baseball (formerly The Jackrabbits), and Futsal at F5.

IVAN REIHLE (6) I am a 1st Grader at Flowood Elementary in Mrs. Perkin’s class.

I’m really good at spelling. I play for the Yankees at Northwest Rankin –

NWRAA Baseball, and for the Cheetahs at NWRAA Soccer with Coach

Clint and Coach Brent.

How did you meet, and how long have

you been married?

JANET We have been married for 12 years,

although we are both terrible at anniversary

dates. We know we were engaged on 10/09/08 –

like a countdown.

GABE I met Janet at 5am when she worked at the

YMCA in Flowood. The first thing I ever said

to her was, “Can I have a basketball?”

Do you allow time to be with your spouse

for a date night?

GABE We do go out to dinner often – but as a

family. We really enjoy this time with our kids

and they have great taste in restaurants.

JANET We typically only have baseball nights,

soccer nights, or soccer/baseball nights and then

tournament weekends. Our best “date nights”

are when Gabe grills out and we stay up past the

kids’ bedtime on our patio.

Hometown RANKIN • 21

What brings you the greatest joy as a parent?

JANET Everything about it. We are blessed to be older parents

and just very aware of how precious this time is with our kids.

GABE Just watching them grow up and try new things. Seeing that

they have the potential to be better than you at everything.

Who is the financial manager in your home?

GABE We are very equal in managing the finances. I focus on the

big picture and Janet takes care of the day to day. It’s a balance.

When your children were younger, what was your

discipline philosophy?

JANET With Silas, we engaged in these long discussions, we would

really talk about our choices and our reasoning for good behavior.

Then we realized we created this child who will debate you on any

topic. By the time we had Ivan, we realized clear direction and

boundaries were a better strategy.

What do you see in your role as the greatest benefit to

your family?

JANET I have always been engaged in the community and for my

kids I think this has taught them to appreciate people and not

material things. I’m also the reader in the family, and I push them

academically. It has been great for them to come home from school

proud of their successes.

GABE The boys are both strong and active. I like to think that I

teach them the importance of working physically hard and always

challenging themselves because they are capable of doing so.

What’s a quick go-to meal that isn’t fast food?

And who does the cooking?

GABE Pasta for Silas and “meat and sauce” for Ivan – or spaghetti.

Janet will say she does most of the cooking, but I disagree. It’s

mainly who gets home first.

JANET I try to throw in salmon, broccoli, and sweet potatoes once

a week, because they really like it!

How long has Flowood been your home?

GABE I have lived in Rankin County for most of my life and spent

many days as a kid exploring the area we live in now - before it was

developed - with my friends on our bikes.

JANET I have worked in Flowood for the last 16 years and we have

lived in Flowood since we were married 12 years ago.

What are some of your favorite things about

Rankin County?

GABE Taking the kids to the cages at Flowood Liberty Park or

the fields at NWRAA baseball and soccer complexes, DBAT,

and F5 Futsal. It is great for the kids to have access to all of these

places where we enjoy spending time together.

JANET Walking to the library, the park, or to the baseball fields

on the walking trail from our house. We really live in the perfect

spot to raise a family! I am originally from a very small town,

Sebastopol, Mississippi, and I never would have thought you

could find that same small-town atmosphere in a “big city” like

Flowood. I feel like everybody knows our kids and looks out for

them – teachers, police officers, coaches and neighbors –

everyone is invested in their happiness and success.

How do you spend summer breaks?

GABE Going from one sporting event to another.

JANET We celebrate their summer birthdays so each kid gets

their whole birth month of making requests for treats or activities.

We hang out at the neighborhood pool and stay outside as much

as possible.

What accomplishments make you proud during your time

living in Flowood?

GABE I am proud to be able to devote the time to volunteer coach

for the kids. I started coaching both boys in soccer when they were

three and still currently pitch for Ivan’s 7U baseball team. I take it

seriously and really want every child to get a good hit! I like seeing

kids I coached continue to play now for competitive teams. It gives

me a great appreciation for the coaches that my kids have now and

how much time they devote to it.

JANET I have had the privileged to work with and employ a lot of

young people. I am very proud when I see them now, grown and

often with their children playing alongside mine.

What drives you to have the job that you have?

GABE I learned to do what I do at an early age from my father.

I enjoy it, and I’m happy to continue his legacy. What motivates

me is that you can see on each job if the work is good. That drives

me to always deliver high quality work.

JANET While I am new in my role as executive director for

the Flowood Chamber of Commerce, I have worked with the

Chamber for many years. It is the perfect job for me because

I really enjoy connecting businesses and people to each other.

What drives me in this role is Flowood’s belief that having

healthy, thriving businesses directly relates to healthy

communities for families like ours.

22 • MAY 2021



What’s your favorite

thing to do as a family?

SILAS Going to M-Braves games.

IVAN Swimming or playing games.

What your favorite


SILAS Ichiban

IVAN Soulshine

What’s your favorite

TV show?

SILAS I don’t really watch a lot of

TV, I watch YouTube videos and

play video games.

IVAN I like Garfield and Friends

or eating popcorn and watching


Hometown RANKIN • 23

24 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 25



A Little Something

for Everyone...

Susan Marquez

The son of a Navy man, Steve Earley was born in California,

but landed in Meridian for twenty-two years. He got into

law enforcement in 1992 and served as a Meridian police

officer for sixteen years before moving to Jackson.

“My brother started a floor cleaning business and I helped

him out. He also started an electronic recycling business.

One day he was in Meridian and ate at Dickey’s Barbecue

Pit. He called me and asked what I thought about getting

the ball rolling to buy one.”

26 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 27

Steve opened the first Dickey’s

franchise in this market eleven years

ago in Flowood. The restaurant

exceeded expectations. “I was

exhausted! I worked seven days a

week and I was swapping out shifts

with my dad. We worked long hours,

but we loved it.”

The Earley family naturally gravitated

towards barbecue. “We always loved

it. We grew up in the country, where

cooking out was a common thing.

We loved to grill steaks.” A few years

after opening the Flowood location,

Steve opened a Dickey’s location in

Madison off Grandview Boulevard.

The third location opened six years

ago in Brandon.

Dickey’s serves authentic Texas

barbecue. “We cook and smoke

everything on site,” Steve says. “We

use hickory smoke. We have an open

kitchen where guests can interact with

our pitmasters. They like to see where

their meat is smoked. We also give

samples so people can taste for

themselves, and it’s always a hit.”

There’s a little something for

everyone at Dickey’s. “We serve

pork, brisket, ribs, turkey, and chicken.

It’s not unusual for people to ask for

something that is not on the menu, and

we always try to accommodate them.

The idea here is that you can make

your plate your own.” Dickey’s offers

dine-in or carryout, curbside, or

delivery options. In addition to barbecue,

they offer delicious sides and desserts.

They can also cater anything from an

office lunch to a large event. And don’t

forget to sign up for the Big Yellow

Cup Rewards to earn points towards

free barbeque!

Dickey’s was started in 1941 by

WWI veteran Travis Dickey. He started

it in his kitchen in Dallas, Texas, and

before long, he was smoking the

now-famous brisket in the pit and his

wife, Ollie Dickey, served stacked

sandwiches to hungry patrons in their

neighborhood. Today there are 500

Dickey’s franchise locations, each

serving the same original recipes

and offering up the same Southern


Steve’s not sure if he will be adding

other restaurants to his portfolio. “We

have been asked to open Dickey’s in

Clinton and Raymond, but we haven’t

made a decision about that yet. I will

have to discuss it with my partner.”

Steve explains that growing up in a

Christian family, each decision is

weighed carefully. “If it’s not godly,

it’s not worth doing.”

Running a restaurant is hard work

and running three requires all hands

on deck. Steve’s family is very involved

with the restaurants. “My dad still

helps out, and my mom does the

books,” he says. “My wife, Amy, is our

human resources person.” Steve and

Amy have two children, Zach (23) who

works in Mobile and Josh (14) who is

a student at Park Place Christian


Being an active part of the

community is important to Steve,

who says that Dickey’s is a sponsor

of a golf team. “I enjoy playing golf

and fishing when I have time,” he says.

The family lives on seven acres in

Puckett, Mississippi. “It’s like our own

slice of heaven.”

28 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 29

Summer Camp!

Outdoor play inflatable water slide

arts & crafts

games petting zoo movies

and more!



Camps run Monday - Friday

from 8:00am to 3:00pm

June 7th-July 2nd and

July 12th-30th

For more information, or to register, visit us online at

hopehollowms.org or call 601-859-5290

$50 due upon registration

$250/week (includes registration fee)


Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @hopehollowlive

school of the arts

NOW accepting registration for



Mississippi’s Premiere Christian Ballet School

balletmagnificat.com (601) 977-1001

30 • MAY 2021


Central Mississippi

Regional Library System


Visit your CMRLS library in Rankin,

Scott, Simpson, or Smith Counties for

personal assistance, computer use, or

browse to find books, movies, audiobooks,

reference materials, magazines, and


Visit online for downloadable eBooks

and audiobooks, magazines, and music;

as well as World Book Online and the

Virtual Reference Library with databases

and handpicked websites for homework

research, foreign languages, and genealogy

databases, all available for you, 24-7-365.


Brandon Public Library - 601.825.2672

Florence Public Library - 601.845.6032

G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library

Flowood - 601.919.1911

Northwest Point Reservoir Library

Brandon - 601.992.2539

Pearl Public Library - 601.932.2562

Pelahatchie Public Library - 601.854.8764

Puckett Public Library - 601.824.2157

Richland Public Library - 601.932.1846

Sandhill Pisgah Library - 601.829.1653


100 Tamberline, Brandon, MS




Young Crusaders

Sports Camp

Park Place Christian Academy

201 Park Place Drive / Pearl, MS

May 24 - 27 / 8:00am – 11:00am

Incoming 1st -6th graders

$150 per person

(includes camp t-shirt and drinks)



Vacation Bible School


Flowood Baptist Church

1649 Old Fannin Road / Flowood, MS

May 30 - June 4 / 6:00pm-8:30pm

Ages 3-6th grade



Soccer Shots

Jackson Prep Camp

K3-K5 Students

June 7 - 10 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at jacksonprep.net/camps

Soccer Shots

Jackson Academy Camp

Entering K4 - 2nd Grade Students

June 14 - 17 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at jacksonacademy.org

Soccer Shots

St. Andrews Lower School


K4-2nd Grade Students

June 21 - 24 (tentative date)

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at gosaints.org

Vacation Bible School


Grace Church

2610 Napleon Avenue / Pearl, MS

June 21 - 25 / 6:00-9:00pm

(meal and snacks provided)

Ages 3-12




Soccer Shots Nature Camp

Lakeshore Park

July 6 - 7 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at jackson.soccershots.com

Twin Lakes Summer Camp

155 Milner Road / Florence, MS



For the past 50 years, Twin Lakes

Summer Camp has shown the love of

Christ to campers from a variety of

backgrounds in a safe and fun environment.

During their session, each camper participates

in each of our exciting activities –

horseback riding, nature, games, challenge

course, riflery/archery, rock climbing,

waterfront, crafts, and swimming pool.

The caring staff are carefully selected

and genuinely enjoy helping each child

make the most of his/her week.

Hometown RANKIN • 31



JULY 7 • 12:05 PM






Help us help


© Copyright 2019 BankPlus.

Member FDIC.

Friends of Children’s Hospital

supports Batson Children’s Hospital,

part of University of Mississippi

Health Care, Mississippi’s

ONLY hospital designed for the care

and treatment of sick or injured children.

*NOTE: All donations subject

to change on an annual basis.

Friends of Children’s

Hospital CheckCard

The Friends Card cost $12 per year, 100% of which is

donated to Friends

BankPlus makes a donation to Friends each

time the card is used

Available via instant issue

Since inception, the Friends CheckCard has raised

almost $2,000,000


32 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 33

34 • MAY 2021

A R are


Allison Hertel

I would give just about anything to swing by my grandmother’s

house for a visit and a glass of ice-cold sweet tea, which she

always had to offer. Maggie Jewel Tadlock Risher was born

and raised in Scott County, but most of these visits occurred here in Rankin

County, where she lived many of her later years. She was sister to ten siblings, mother

to three sons and a daughter, and Mawmaw to me and the rest of her grandchildren

and great grandchildren.

Hometown RANKIN • 35

With life so fast-paced these days, I’ve always admired

the closeness and value of family I could see among

Mawmaw, her siblings, and the generations that followed.

We would gather once a year at Roosevelt State Park to

share a meal and celebrate the Christmas season. With

ten siblings, their children, grandchildren, and great

grandchildren, one can imagine this was quite the crowd

and quite the feast!

I will always remember her sisters and her gathered

around the piano singing hymns filled with beautiful


Mawmaw was every bit the southern lady–sassy and

sweet. She taught me to always send a thank-you note

and most importantly, always bring food for just about

any occasion, from celebrating a new life, to saying goodbye

to a loved one for the last time. When we lost Mawmaw,

we gathered around my table and shared a meal just like

she taught us, and we shared stories of her. Some of these

stories may have been about the many years she worked at

McRae’s, and later Belk, helping women find just the right

outfit for the occasion. I think she most enjoyed helping

the repeat senior customers every Tuesday morning.

Many knew her by name, as once someone met her, they

most likely did not forget her.

Then, of course, there were stories of her as a grandmother,

and how she took several of us in for a season,

myself included. She taught me much about cooking,

but not from a recipe, mostly just a pinch of this or a

pinch of that, but always with lots of love. She loved to

cook and would tell me stories of her own mother waking

before sunrise to cook breakfast over a wood-burning

stove each morning. Then, after meeting my grandfather,

she spent many hours in the kitchen learning from her

mother-in-law, who was also an excellent cook. I have so

many warm memories from my grandmother’s kitchen

and of gathering around the table full of wonderful food

prepared by her. It was her way of loving us.

36 • MAY 2021

Now, I take pride in continuing her legacy by preparing and

sharing her recipes with the people I love. One of my favorites is

her apple cake, which is my go-to treat to whip up for friends.

Family dinner sometimes seems like a lost art, but now, more

than ever, it is a treasure. Good things happen around the table.

My grandmother taught me that.

Jewel Risher’s

Apple Cake

• 3 cups chopped apples

(she recommended Red Delicious)

• 1½ cup oil

• 2 cups sugar

• 3 eggs

• 2½ cups flour

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. soda

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 1 cup chopped pecans

Combine oil, sugar, and eggs, beating well. Sift dry

ingredients and add gradually to creamed mixture.

Add vanilla. Fold in apples and pecans. Bake in greased

10-inch Bundt pan at 350 for one hour.


• 1½ cup powdered sugar

• 3 Tbsp. water

• 2 tsp. vanilla

Drizzle over cake.

Hometown RANKIN • 37

38 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 39

40 • MAY 2021





Hometown RANKIN • 41

42 • MAY 2021




Mothers & Daughters

Working Together

TempStaff ’s

Carolyn Boteler & Jamie Higdon

Dani Edmonson

Making a difference can be a family affair.

Carolyn and Sidney Boteler, of Florence,

raised two daughters who chose careers that

involve helping others. Daughter Bethany

Sabins is a nurse practitioner in gynecologic

oncology at UMMC, while Jamie Higdon

co-owns and oversees the operation of

TempStaff along with her parents.

More than 40 years ago, Carolyn Boteler

ventured into a position with then-called

Norrell Staffing Company, now TempStaff.

After years of working her way up the ladder,

Carolyn, along with husband Sydney, bought

the company in 1991. It is here, as a child,

Jamie discovered her interest in office

management through tasks such as watering

plants, taking out the trash, and the now-extinct

art of filing paper.

Even while working on her undergraduate

courses, Jamie continued helping out at

TempStaff. “When I attended Mississippi

College, I became Carolyn’s college grunt for a

while, but then she kicked me out of the nest

and told me to find my own job,” Jamie

recalled. “I worked for a year at the Phi Theta

Kappa headquarters in Jackson,” at which

point an interesting opportunity presented

itself at TempStaff.

“A position came open in the accounting

department,” Jamie said. And since Carolyn

had always encouraged Jamie to focus on the

accounting aspect of her business major, the

decision to rejoin forces with her parents

seemed obvious. Twenty years later the familial

co-owners of TempStaff have found that the

secret to maintaining a working relationship

with anyone, especially a family member, is

simply trust.

“The previous owners trusted me completely,

which is something I’m very thankful

for,” Carolyn said. She learned this was one

important way to create an environment that

people wanted to work in. “The trust factor is

probably the most important thing. I don’t

ever have to be concerned that our company

will not be put first by every member of our

team. We both feel that way.” With their high

employee retention rate, it is clear staff

members believe they, too, will be put first by

Carolyn and Jamie.

Both women share a passion to help others,

and together they created a benevolence

mission that connects their workforce with the

community they love. Jamie explained that

over the years their staff has voluntarily

participated in an outreach program they call

The Sprout Initiative. “We wanted to ‘help

grow Mississippi through charitable giving’

with a focus on local non-profit organizations

and the name just made sense. We find local

nonprofit organizations that might be

struggling to meet their goals. Whatever our

staff chooses to donate toward this effort, we

match dollar-for-dollar,” she said. Over the

years, they estimate their collective efforts have

given out more than $40,000. “We feel the

need to give back because our community has

helped us to reach 40 years.”

Both women heap compliments onto the

other, but they admit making it work all these

years meant they had to “trust” their personal

and professional instincts regarding working

together. “When Jamie came into the business,

it was a big adjustment to both of us because

she sort of wanted to tell me how to do my

Hometown RANKIN • 43

job,” Carolyn half-joked. “And, I told her in

the beginning that employees would see her as

my daughter, so she would have to earn their

respect.” She even introduced Jamie as “my

business partner Jamie Higdon” to help

establish neutrality. Necessary or not, it worked

because according to Carolyn, “She came in

and has done whatever it takes, earning

everyone’s respect.”

Jamie stated that working with her mom is

just plain fun. “Carolyn is much more the

people person,” she began. “I learned long ago

that she is constantly working, always recruiting,

even if it is to strike up a conversation with

a friendly checkout clerk about employment

opportunities.” And while she is the perfect

social engineer, they joke about her technical

shortcomings. “They know not to give me the

password to the accounting software,” Carolyn

admitted laughing.

Perhaps their most important strategy is

their firm belief that there is a time for work

and a time for family. “We don’t take our work

home,” Carolyn stated, “because it can totally

consume you.” Jamie admits this took practice.

“When we were at home or on vacation, I

wanted to talk about issues at the office.

However, at this point, Carolyn is able to walk

away when I stray into conversations about


The two women are clearly a balance of

forces: Jamie being the “back-office person”

and Carolyn the “front-office person” but they

have found a way to cultivate and embrace

their differences. They have even become

intentional neighbors. In fact, while most

children look forward to vacating the nest and

finding their own path in life, Jamie, along

with her husband Scott and two children, built

their permanent “nest” right next to her

parents. Scott recently joined the family affair

by taking the job of IT manager at TempStaff.

Bethany and her family also enjoy living very

close to both mom and big sister.

While Carolyn may be slowing down after

some 40 years in the staffing industry, she has

no intention of stopping. “Jamie thinks I am

going to retire one day…” Carolyn began. Jamie

interrupted lovingly by stating, “No, she may

never retire. We’ll simply put her ashes on the

shelf at the office and keep on going.”

44 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 45

46 • MAY 2021




Mothers & Daughters

Working Together

Apple Annie’s

Ann Fryant

& Emily Porter

Jessi George

When you step into Apple Annie’s Gift Shop,

you immediately step into an ambiance of vibrancy

and joy created by a mother-daughter team who

love what they do as much as they love working

alongside each other. Because of this unique family

dynamic, when you shop at Apple Annie’s you feel

as though you are shopping with friends even if you

arrived alone. Ann and Emily have a close and loving

relationship that pours out into their business and

all those who come in contact with them.

Ann Fryant of Jackson originally started attending

craft shows to sell her own paintings and art work

with no idea that her hobby would turn into a

successful family business that she would one day

operate with her daughter, Emily. In fact, Ann began

selling her artwork out of her own mother’s booth

at the Canton Flea Market, so the mother-daughter

work dynamic actually extends three generations.

Ann opened her own shop in Brandon in 2004,

and was later joined by Emily who was a teacher for

ten years before joining her mother full-time in the

family business. “I really love what we do here,”

describes Emily. “We work really well together

and there’s not a single day that I don’t want to

come to work.”

Emily and Ann collaborate on the beautiful

and intricate displays in the shop that look and

feel more like works of art than just tables filled

with products for sale. Emily says that even when

shopping for and decorating her own home she

has to have her mother’s opinion because she

loves what they design together at the store.

They complement each other well as each one

has different strengths they bring into the shop.

“She’s the night owl, and I’m the early bird,”

chuckles Emily. “She really gets into her creative

mode at night whereas I’m ready to go to bed.”

Hometown RANKIN • 47

48 • MAY 2021

“Emily really likes shopping for all the clothes we

sell, and I enjoy shopping for pretty much everything

else,” says Ann. “She is also the one who handles our

technology and social media, which we leaned on

heavily during the last year.”

The close relationship that Ann and Emily have

has drawn many loyal customers to their shop—

many of whom come several times a week to visit

the mother-daughter team and see what is new and

exciting in the store. Although the pandemic last

year was difficult for Apple Annie’s, Ann and Emily

feel extremely blessed with the loyalty of their

customers who made sure to support them

throughout the two months of complete lockdown

where they were only able to do delivery or porch

pick-up. “During that time, we had to send all of

our staff home. We still paid them because we

couldn’t stand to see them go without,” says Ann,

“but it was just Emily, myself, and my husband here

to take and fill orders for both our Brandon and

Madison stores.” It was a lot of hard work for Ann

and Emily without the support of their staff, but

they leaned on each other to get through the

uncertain times and were thankful for their loyal

customers who supported them so faithfully.

The close bond that Ann and Emily share, and

the joy they have in working together creates a

positive working environment for their staff as well.

Their employees agree that it is a great environment

and a lovely place to get to come to work

everyday. Sue Eberett, who has been working at

Apple Annie’s since 2005, drives 45 minutes one

way just to come work for Ann and Emily. When

asked what she likes most about working there, Sue

simply said, “Everything.” She later elaborated,

“When you are working for good people, you enjoy


Julie Byrd, who is a full-time teacher, comes to

work at the shop in the afternoons after school. She

says, “Emily and Ann are the best, most generous

and loving people to work for. It is such a happy

place. It’s the place where I come to decompress

after a long day at school.”

When asked what makes them different from

other boutique shops in the area Ann said, “We

really try to find those new and unique pieces that

not everyone has. We want to listen to our customers

and make sure we have exactly what they are

looking for. We also want to always provide a

customer friendly, Christian atmosphere.”

It is evident to all who step inside Apple Annie’s

that what truly sets this place apart is this delightful

mother-daughter duo who exude warmth and joy.

Apple Annie’s has locations in both Brandon and Madison

and is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through

Friday, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday.

They are closed on Sundays.

Hometown RANKIN • 49

50 • MAY 2021




Mothers & Daughters

Working Together

AbernathyMistie Desper

Red Wagon Boutique’s

Deanna & Camrien

From pink lace and pigtails to a business

partnership, mom and daughter team up to keep

others looking stylish and having access to unique

gifts at their Richland boutique.

“Our business really feels like a family and

we relate and connect to our customers more

[because we are mother and daughter],” said

Camrien Abernathy. She and her mom, Deanna,

are the proud owners of the Red Wagon Boutique

in Richland.

While raising her family and having the busy

life that comes with children, Deanna began a small

monogramming, screen printing, and prom dress

business. Soon it was larger than she had space for.

She recalls, “We just kept growing and growing and

knew it was time for a storefront.” Red Wagon

opened its doors in 2016.

A loving and devoted mother, Deanna, admitted

that her dream was to “create a brand that she could

leave to her two daughters.” Little did she know that

one of those daughters would be an integral part of

building that brand. Oldest daughter, Camrien, was

in college at Mississippi State at the time and then

spread her wings in the corporate world while Red

Wagon continued taking off. It wasn’t long before

Camrien felt led to leave the corporate world

behind and join forces with her mom to take

Red Wagon even further.

The bond between a mother and daughter is

one that is very unique and special. For a mother

to watch her daughter become a young, independent

woman is indescribable. Combine that feeling

with being able to have the same passion for their

business and then to be able to create that dream

together, grows a sense of pride that runs deep.

Deanna said, “I think one of the advantages of

working with your daughter is the trust you have

with one another. I know I can leave things with

her and the biggest blessing is being able to see

each other so much.”

Hometown RANKIN • 51

52 • MAY 2021

Their lively boutique is full of hand-picked

items to suit a variety of styles and tastes. From

the latest trends in jewelry, shoes, clothing, and

various gifts, they have it all. Deanna added,

“We love to showcase local vendors in our

store and have items made by local artists.”

Deanna and Camrien take great pride in

having the ability to connect with other women

of all ages and being able to bring trendy

fashion that appeals to a wide range of ages

and tastes. One of their favorite things to

showcase are “mother/daughter” styles. Deanna

added, “We like to be able to show what things

look like on each of us for our customers.”

Although the ladies are clearly having fun

working together, the aspects and sometimes

challenges that come with the running of a

business have brought them even closer over

the years. Deanna admits, “It’s definitely give

and take.”

The pair also admits to liking similar choices

in clothing. However, Camrien, along with her

younger sister, offer a fresh, trendy perspective

when the girls get to travel to market together.

Deanna said, “My youngest daughter likes

more of the trendy items.” They admit that

this helps to keep their store items fun and

exciting for their customers.

Their business took an unexpected turn

that actually aided in their commitment to

service for their customers when the pandemic

hit. Deanna recalled, “We were thriving one day

and virtually shut down the next.” The duo had

to lean on each other more than ever. Keeping

a business thriving became a priority. Being

family owned, they knew the importance of

the business and the necessity of being able to

continue serving their valued customers.

The unexpected business shutdown came

right at the time many local seniors were

gearing up for their graduation. Deanna and

Camrien came together and immediately

sprang into action to help local families find

some normalcy during this time. They offered

custom shopping and gift services mailed

directly to seniors and their families. They also

amped up their live sales on social media. This

truly one-of-kind service connected them to

each other more and to their loyal customers,

while still gaining new customers.

The live sales showcase styles being worn

on a live Facebook feed with instant feedback

between them and their customers. Customers

can ask a variety of questions and be able to

shop on the spot. Camrien said, “The live sales

have been very beneficial and more personal.

It has been really fun getting to see our people

more and getting to connect with them.”

Watching the pair in their live sales is fun as

you see their sweet personalities shine. You can

see the love and adoration they have for each

other and their passion for what they do.

Operating a successful business during a

pandemic has had its challenges. Deanna said,

“Our preacher came by and prayed over our

store regularly. This helped to keep us

motivated and encouraged during uncertain

times.” Camrien added, “It really helped us to

be able to adapt and grow online also.”

Red Wagon is not showing any signs of

slowing down. Deanna said, “We have talked

some about the possibility of opening a second

location. But for now, we are looking forward

to several local markets and traveling out of

state as well.” She joked, “We have reached as

far as Hawaii and I’d like to be able to have

sales in all 50 states by the end of this year.”

Camrien also has taken the same path as her

mom and started a side business offering a

“balloon boutique” business that specializes in

unique decorating for special occasions using

intricate design balloon garlands. Deanna

helps Camrien in this new adventure any time

she can.

The pair consider themselves “blessed” to

be able to work together and thankful for the

opportunity to serve their community.

Hometown RANKIN • 53

Back to






54 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 55

56 • MAY 2021

The Yearbook

Also known as an annual (because of the frequency in which it is published), the yearbook

has been as an important part of the school year as recess and sitting with your friends during lunch!

The yearbook reflects important school events and documents the lives of the people that participated.

It’s a memory book. A history book.

A record book, and a reference book.

As a celebration of the

impending graduations,

we decided to take a peek

into the yearbooks of our

Rankin County seniors.

These pages were

designed by each

individual yearbook

staff and submitted

for inclusion in this

special issue.

Best wishes to all

the graduating high

school seniors–

the distinguished

Class of 2021.

Hometown RANKIN • 57


Class of 2021

58 • MAY 2021


Senior Scrapbook

Hometown RANKIN • 59

Discovery Christian Sch

Class of 2021

We are so proud of each of

you! Congratulations!

60 • MAY 2021


Hometown RANKIN • 61

62 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 63

East Rankin Academy congratulates our

Senior Class of 2021

Tyler Arnold Anslee Boyd Kelly Boydston Kellar Brown Macy Brunt Barron Burnham Ben Carter

Dylan DeLaughter Kobi Denson Ethan Ezelle Anna Fisher Will Freeman Carson French Lexie Gibson

Landri Gray Olivia Hales Bre Harrison Halle Huffman Maggie Leach Emily Loe Tucker Loper

Brandyn Luke Ethan Martin Riley Mayes JoAnna McCollum Peyton McDill Eli Moore Anna Castle Peden

Sydney Phillips Jack Pittman Mikayla Reeves Brennan Rials Brodie Rials Knox Ross Elijah Rowell

Rylye Smith Adyson Tadlock Colton Taylor Brock Tullos Preston Turnage Elijah Vining J. T. White

West Winstead

Carson Wofford

Class Officers

West Winstead, President

Brennan Rials, Vice-President

Elijah Vining, Secretary

Elijah Moore, Treasurer

Student Council

Tucker Loper, President

Bre Harrison, Vice-President

West Winstead, Secretary

Elijah Moore, Treasurer

Drone Photos

Senior Breakfast

Dear High School Me,

I know you’are stressed, and it may not

feel like it right now, but everything is

going to be alright - more than

alright - really, really great! Remember

to relax and enjoy this time because it

will be gone before you know it! Take

lots of photos, make those memories

because you are going to look back on

them and really cherish high school!

By the way, get ready for some great

surprises that are coming our way.

Remember that some of the best things

in life sometimes come unexpectedly! Be

ready for it! The best is yet to come!

P.S. Don’t forget to study

for those final exams!

You’ll thank me later!


Future Me





2021 FHS Senior

232 Highway 469 N

Florence, MS 39073

How did THIS happen?!?

Senior Walk - August, 2020

66 • MAY 2021

You just can’t hide that EAGLE PRIDE!

So many good times to REMEMBER with people I’ll never FORGET!

Social distancing & campus construction

meant improvising, a LOT!

2021 - not




better than


That’s all I’ve

got for you.

- Coach Williams

You will always be

my boo boos.

- Mrs. Helms


- Mrs. Toyota

Need a hurt feelings


- Sgt. Norris

Frequently Overheard at FHS

twenty twenty

Have you restarted your laptop?

- Mrs. Reed

Where are you supposed to be?

- Mr. Reed

You don’t need your computers.

- Mrs. Lingold

Once an Eagle...

Always an Eagle!

Hometown RANKIN • 67

At Richland High School, the

2020-2021 school year has

definitely been "A Year Like

Never Before", hence our

yearbook theme! Through

virtual, hybrid, and traditional

learning options, our seniors

have managed to thrive

academically, physically, and

socially, even while wearing

masks and practicing social

distancing! From having a stellar

football season, to the "GREAT

ICE STORM", to whatever is to

come, we know these seniors

will continue to excel like they

have during

"A Year Like Never Before!"


I plan to make the most impact through

volleyball, as a freshman on the team.

julia dyess

I hope to make an impact by others seeing who

God is through me!

barbara jane hopkins

Hard work gets you further than just skill.

sam martin

Other people's opinions don't


cole anderson

The impact I want to make for college is to

succeed academically, but also make connections

that will last into later years.

jack edens

I would love to meet and become friends with as many people and

experience the diversity my college holds. I hope I can learn from

people and their experiences and mature in my opinions and beliefs. I0m

not a person that will lead by words and public speaking, but I hope my

actions will speak louder as I attend events and just everyday class.

molly holaday

I plan to get involved and hopefully join a club

that helps give back to our community.

sydni smith

I plan to make an impact by being nice to everyone I come

into contact with and shining the light of Jesus.

reagan williams

Throughout my college career, I plan to treat whoever

God brings into my life with the same love and kindness

that Jesus has shown me throughout my life.

kyndal white

How I plan to make an impact at college is by doing my

best and maybe starting a club that will bring people


jackson sykes

Moving forward in my life, whether that means heading to school, or starting

a career, I plan on not only having an impact but making a difference in

wherever I may end up. If there's one thing I learned throughout high school

it was how important it is to truly apply yourself in all things. If I work as if I am

working for the Lord in all aspects of my life I believe it will be impossible for

me not to.

I plan to make an impact during my first year of college through my

participation in extracurricular activities. I plan to join my school0s FCA and

rush in the fall. I want to radiate the love and light of Jesus to all my peers

around me!

sophie delacruz

myles mathieu

I plan to make an impact in college by branching out of my comfort

zone. I plan to join different student organizations and help make an

impact on campus. Also, I plan to pledge, to gain the experience in

sisterhood as my mom had.

jaden barber

I think the best way for me to make an impact in college is to make

relationships with the people I meet and try to lead by example. I want them

to see Christ through me and impact them in a positive way.

jake jesiolowski

My goal is to start off making really good grades so that I can get into PA

school when I graduate. I am also looking forward to making some lifelong


claire stone

I plan on making an impact in college by

being the best person and basketball player

I can be.

mia wheeler

How do you plan to make an impact

during your first year of college?

Things aren't always as bad you

think they are. preston blakely

Animals are better than than


olivia sallis

I would say my biggest takeaway from high school is that you

really shouldn0t be scared to branch out or care what

everyone around you thinks about you. Once you realize that

being liked by everyone doesn0t matter at all and all you

need are the friends who actually love you, you0ll wish you

had been more involved in your earlier years of high school.

It0s not 1cool2 to act like you are 1too cool2 for Jesus.

taylor phillips

My biggest takeaway would be that it is ok to

change your mind and make new decisions as

you get ready for college. The path is not always

straight and certain but Jesus will help you rest in

the fact that risks are what make life exciting.

megan mcminn

Knowledge brings opportunity.

ross james

High school goes by fast so make every

minute count tyler sheffield

My biggest takeaway from high school was to find

a close group of friends and stick with them

throughout high school.

josh neuville

My biggest takeaway would be as long as you

keep working hard you will get through it and the

payoff will be great.

xavier horne

Time flies and if you don't enjoy the moment while

you're in it, it will pass you by fast. josh lee

Respect will take you far, things may not always

go your way but it is important to respect other

people's ideas, and opinions. carson turner

jesse ishee


High school helped me to understand who I am supposed to be.

Both in a social, personal, and spiritual sense. While this growth is

never finished, such an experienced starting point is invaluable,

and I have no doubt that the school, peers, and faculty have been

crucial in forging my character.

david dick

What0s your biggest

takeaway from high school?


Having a good time on the football field, cutting up

in class, and getting to hang out with everyone.

jesse ishee

by the legacy staff

Have an appreciation for those around


annelise bell

I will remember the time spent with friends and

winning the ninth grade championship.

brysun redmond

I will remember all of the mission opportunities that

Hartfield provided! My favorite memories are my trips to

Guatemala and how much of an impact they had on me!

mattie grace morris

When I look back, I will remember the impact that the staff

had on me. I am so thankful for the time and effort each

teacher has put into me during my time here. I will forever

be grateful for this school and its staff.

kailee claycomb

When I look back at my time at Hartfield, I will remember

the teachers that made an effort to make sure I was

okay and always have the best intentions in mind for me

the most.

charleston de vaughan

If I was to look back to reflect on Hartfield I would

remember all the football games and the bus rides back

and all of my teachers and friends.

christian hobson

I would say that I will definitely look back and see all the fun

times I have had with my friends. Hartfield has brought me

and my friends closer together and given us so many

opportunities to have good times. regan henderson

The relationships I built with people.

jay clark

As funny as it sounds, I0m pretty positive that the

lunch ladies and the janitors will be the thing I

remember most about Hartfield.

mary presley harrington

When I look back on my time at Hartfield I will remember

all the friendships and memories I have made and all of

the spiritual opportunities Hartfield has given me.

will edwards

The thing I0ll remember most is how fun cheering on our basketball

team was. It was one of my favorite sports to watch and our student

sections were so fun.

olivia stegall

I will remember how dedicated the teachers were to help

me prepare for college, the welcoming staff, students,

and faith-centered atmosphere, and most of all being

able to pursue my volleyball career with the most

amazing team and teammates. nikki lawrence

I will remember Mrs. Lee0s history class. She is my

favorite teacher and I looked forward to her classes.

ryan roberts

My most memorable moment at Hartfield would have to

be my first mission trip to Guatemala.

lyly mcgee

When you look back at your time at

Hartfield, what will you remember most?

My advice would be to be to make the most out of every Hartfield

event. The more fun you can make of it, the better high school

experience you0ll have!

laken schurb

School isn0t that bad.

john wyatt

My advice would be not to change who you

are just to fit in.

haley myrick

I would just encourage all underclassmen to really stay

active in everything going on especially like sport

events because it0s always so much fun cheering on

your classmates. aubrey tucker

Always be intentional. Oftentimes you will find that no matter your own

circumstances, going out of your way for someone else will reward you

as much as the other person. You will never fully understand the power

you have to make someone feel noticed.

jill sullivan

If you're going to be late might as well go get

Chick-fil-A and be extra late.

mattie frances powell

Don0t get caught up in trying to be like everyone else.

Be okay with being different. jonathan lucas

Always be patient and persistent and watch the


brandon buckhaulter

Meet as many people as you possibly can. I wish I would've befriended

people in my senior class before our final year of high school. High school is

an awesome time with some amazing people, enjoy it!

cailey walker

Don0t pass up on any opportunity that you get because

everyone counts, also try your best.

carson sied

One piece of advice I could give an underclassman is

not letting other people get in the way of your dreams.

carter renkenberger

Always be kind to people no matter how mean they are

to you because you never know who you might meet

one day. aaryka handy

I would tell the underclassman to enjoy your time as much as possible

and always treat people with respect and how you want to be treated.

zach sorey

If I had a word of advice for the underclassmen it would be to savour the

time you have with your friends and family now because time flies when

your having fun.

logan files

If you could give underclassmen one

piece of advice, what would it be?

Jackson Preparatory School



Class of 2021




Dear Class of 2021,

With the last year of your high school experience being more

unprecedented than you could have imagined, you have proven to the

rest of the student body and school that you will have a lasting impact

on Northwest as such a determined group of students . From decking

out at pep rallies, to supporting the soccer team when it’s thirty-eight

degrees outside, to studying at midnight for a DC Bio test that you

have the next day, you have proven over and over again that you are a

class with determination and the skills to do great things.

You have all embodied the Cougar Spirit since the first time you

stepped foot through the double doors your freshman year, walking

down the hall as the babies of the school. You experienced parking in

the parking lot for the first time your sophomore year, and finally knew

your way around campus. Although part of your junior year was

stripped away from you, you were able to make the best of it by proving

to the staff and administration that you are capable of overcoming

adversity. Finally your last year came, it was your time to be on top, to

have the long awaited senior release, and to have the best year of your

high school career. You have shown up when the rest of the school

couldn’t, when your entire senior year was in question, and yet you

have made the best of it, still maintaining that Cougar Spirit.

While you may be “twenty-twenty done”, you’ll always be black

and gold. And as always, Go Cougars!



78 • MAY 2021

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82 • MAY 2021

Pelahatchie High

Hometown RANKIN • 83

of 2021


High chool


We are....







84 • MAY 2021


Hometown RANKIN • 85


into a reality





(0) 601.203.2222

(C) 601.906.1921

NMLS# 730127

86 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 87

88 • MAY 2021




Hometown RANKIN • 89


90 • MAY 2021


Shower Power Operations Manager

“Medgar? How long has it been

since you’ve had a proper place

of your own to call home?”

He furrows his eyebrows as he calculates.

“I don’t know. I guess eleven or twelve years....

maybe longer. Hmmmm, yeah–longer.”

We met Medgar back in December of

2019 while we were just getting our feet wet

(pardon the pun). We are Shower Power,

a ministry that provides showers for, and

serves, many members of downtown

Jackson’s homeless or marginally sheltered.

Medgar was one of our original adopters,

has come regularly ever since, and remains

one of our very favorite friends.

So during the course of one of our

conversations around mid-2020, and

months after we’d known him, Medgar

mentioned having a house. We knew him

to spend most of his time on a bench

around one of the downtown landmarks–

so this news of a house was very surprising.

He said, “Y’all wanna come see it?” And

that’s all it took.

We followed Medgar to a structure

that was completely dysfunctional and

dilapidated. It explains why the majority

of his time was spent on that bench. Both

his mother and brother had spent their

lives living in it prior to their deaths and

were unable to manage any type of upkeep.

And since their passing, it just continued

to deteriorate.

It had no power and no operable

plumbing. It had become a hoarding site

with rooms of rubble and remnants of

former lives piled from floor to ceiling–

the result of years-long neglect. We thought,

at the very least, we could help clean it out

so that on days when it rained–or in the

extreme cold–Medgar could have shelter

from the elements.

So on Labor Day weekend the Shower

Power team, along with additional recruited

friends and family members, descended

upon Medgar’s house with shovels and

gloves, buckets and respirator masks, and

a commercial-sized dumpster. We shoveled

our way in and created a path from room

to room.

It took days of nothing but clearing out

in order to get the house completely emptied.

Nothing was salvageable. And what we

were left with, structurally, was devastating.

There were broken floor joists and rotten

subflooring. At one point, what used to be

the kitchen was now only dirt below.

An entire exterior wall gave way, rotten

from the absence of any type of vapor barrier

and moisture from a roof that didn’t seem to

deflect a single drop of water. In all honesty,

any reasonable human being would have

simply written the house off and slated it

for a complete tear-down.

We started a social media campaign

including a GoFundMe to raise money to

Hometown RANKIN • 91

at least stabilize the house enough to use as a reasonably fortified

shelter. And that’s when the miracles started happening.

By that very evening, through the power of Facebook, we had

secured a new roof–that was being donated! And everything from

there fell into place in a way that we could have never imagined.

Some longtime supporter friends of Shower Power called and

offered to provide us with the support of a general contractor to help

get us started. Sheetrock and all the supplies needed to hang it was

donated. A 2.5 ton HVAC and the installation of it was donated.

The calls kept coming–and so did the cash.

We started referring to our supporters as our “Village” and we

updated everyone routinely through Facebook. Plumbing fixtures

were donated along with windows and doors. An electrical company

agreed to donate all of the wiring and its installation–and the

owner of that company acted as a general contractor that got us

across the finish line.

Drywall installation was donated. Custom cabinets were built,

donated, and installed. A college group came and painted the entire

interior. A local business owner purchased flooring for us and the

company she purchased it from donated the installation! It was

amazing—and it had God’s fingerprints all over it.

92 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 93

Despite the total destruction that we’d left Medgar with, he

never once became discouraged or lost hope. He said, repeatedly,

that anything was better than what he had. And he was right—

despite my own occasional doubts.

Framing was repaired or replaced. New plumbing and wiring

went in. New subflooring went down. Insulation was put in.

Ductwork was installed. Windows were replaced.

If nothing else happened—this was ten thousand times better

than what we started with. It was an empty shell with a rock-solid

roof overhead. We had a tree removed that was looming above

threatening the entire structure—the removal of which was donated.

Sheetrock went up. Doors were hung. Trim work began. Plumbing

fixtures, cabinets, lighting, new flooring and moldings, appliances

and granite countertops were all donated and installed. An alarm

system was installed and insurance was purchased. New mattresses

were donated—and for the first time in a very long time, Medgar

had a bed.

As of this writing, we’re actually still putting the finishing touches

on his home. The pandemic created some supply-side and staffing

availability challenges. But it’s been such a labor of love for all of us,

and it’s fun to still be tinkering with it. It keeps us connected to our

friend in a super meaningful way.

94 • MAY 2021

Medgar worked harder than anyone there. He never left the job

site and has an appreciation for his new home that few can fathom.

We built a home he loves so that he can build a life he loves–and

we’ve been immeasurably blessed in doing so. All in all, the house

that should have been torn to the ground was rebuilt with the love

and generosity of complete strangers–and about $15,000 cash, all

donated. And since then, the folks at Shower Power have embarked

on several new projects—all with the purpose of restoring dignity

and providing opportunity to people that may just need a little help.

Thank you to the following friends and

businesses that donated products, services,

and labor. These are local businesses that

we can all support in a mighty way:

Strength Roofing & Siding - Brooks Strength

LiveWire Electrical Services - Marcus Buffington

Godfrey-McHann Realty - Brittany and Brad McHann

Adam Wilson Home Improvement - Adam Wilson

L&W Supply - Chris White

Pure Air Consultants - Tony Groover

Gotta Go - Lauren McGraw

Terry Murray Carpentry - Terry Murray

MidSouth Crawl Space - Josh Quick

The Stone Source - Troy Burnette and Bob Foreman

Treehouse Boutique - Jude Muse

Renfrow Decorative Center - Ross Renfrow

Mattress Firm of Jackson/D. Noblin Furniture

- Danny, Grant and Mason Gray

Ferguson Enterprises - Dallas Spence and Alice Querin

Energy Insulation Services - Wes Teten

Will Norris Drywall Services

Deviney Construction - Jason Cochran

Pennington & Trim - Ed Trim

Sunbelt Lighting

MGC Landscapes - Trey Deloach

Paint Plus Construction - Rob Deloach

Hopper Properties - Casey Bridges

Hopper Properties - Shane Saxton

Buffalo Peak Outfitters - Bob McCain

Hinds Community College Phi Theta Kappa

- Jane Foreman

Home Depot - Jodi Youngblood

Sherwin Williams Fondren - Andrew Lee

Cypress Depot

RiverBend Tires - Don Duncan

Tahya and Kevin Dobbs

Camille Richards

Tony Huffman

For more information about Shower Power visit


Hometown RANKIN • 95

Are you turning 65 or

new to Medicare?

I can help you get Medicare ready.

Call a licensed Humana sales agent.


769-231-5357 (TTY:711)

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm




96 • MAY 2021


110 Kimball Drive • Madison, MS 39110 • 601.373.8408

Hometown RANKIN • 97


Night Out

April 24

Muse Center at Hinds Community College

Sponsored by the Pearl Chamber of Commerce

98 • MAY 2021

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to First Responders

Why did you decide to be a police officer?

I decided to become a police officer because I wanted to make a

meaningful impact on people’s lives. I want to help those that

cannot help themselves. I chose this career for the loyalty and


How long have you been with the Pearl Police


Since 2015 - six years.

Tell us about your family.

My husband is Deputy Sentel Easterling, and he works for

the Rankin County Sheriff Department. We have been married

for three years, and have a four-year-old daughter together. My

oldest son, Clayton Shaffer, is 19 years old and is a United States

Marine. My second son is Xander Jay, and he is 12. My third,

Taylor Jay is 10, and our youngest’s name is Jadyn Easterling.

What is the toughest thing you have experienced

in your job?

The toughest thing I have experienced so far is the passing

of a child. Nothing in this field prepares you enough to see

the life of a child taken so soon.

Share some things you enjoy doing in your spare time.

What I enjoy doing in my spare time is spending time with

my family.





What are three things on your bucket list?

- Visit Bora Bora

- Travel the world

- Move to an island

100 • MAY 2021

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire my father and mother. They gave me a life full of love

and acceptance, and never judged me or rejected me no matter

what I did. They were there with open arms no matter what, and

stood beside me in my every walk of life. They were my examples

of human kindness and made me who I am today. They are both

full of inspiration - my safe haven, my rock, my comfort, and my

pillars of strength.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young person,

what would it be?

Love God first. Live according to His Word.

What is your favorite thing about the city of Pearl?

My favorite thing about the city of Pearl has to be the people I work

with and the people I work for. The support of Pearl citizens makes

all we do worthwhile.

What is your favorite thing about Rankin County?

Deputy Sentel Easterling (my husband!) is my favorite part of

Rankin County!

Hometown RANKIN • 101

102 • MAY 2021








Collect six stamps from

participating attractions,

restaurants, and hotels

to redeem your prize.

For more information,

go to visitjackson.com/


Hometown RANKIN • 103








(601) 398-0151 • theironhorsegrill.com

schedule appointment today


msagmuseum.org 601 432 4500

Summer Camps

Birthday Parties

Doc McStufns: The Exhibit

Check mschildrensmuseum.org our website for • our 601.981.5469 full event • Jackson, calendar! MS

mschildrensmuseum.org • 601.981.5469 • Jackson, MS

This project is partially funded through a grant by Visit Jackson.

104 • MAY 2021












Museum District Pass

25 %

off a normal

priced ticket



Family fun for all ages!

June 12th

10 am - 3 pm

Hometown RANKIN • 105



Support our Small Businesses

106 • MAY 2021

SHOP Local

PreneLove Bags

& Kathrine’s Candles

Southern Grace & Gifts - Pelahatchie

summer essentials

Red Wagon Boutique & Screen Printing - Richland

Handy Dandy Back Pack

with USB & Changing table

Jan Seven / Jan7llc.com

Nurses are a Big Deal Mug

Apple Annie’s - Brandon & Madison

Hometown RANKIN • 107

108 • MAY 2021

SHOP Local

prayer Bracelets



Gifts &

Casual Wear

Wilander - Brandon

Spring & Summer wear

Southern Raised - Brandon

Small Town Proud

Coffee Mugs

Sweet Peas Boutique - Pearl

Hometown RANKIN • 109




Steven Wallace



110 • MAY 2021

Providing Strength,

Hope and Guidance for

Your Divorce.

Mel Coxwell P.A.

A Family Law Firm


20 Eastgate Dr. Suite E

Brandon, MS 39042


Experience that Matters for a Brighter Tomorrow

Hometown RANKIN • 111

112 • MAY 2021

April 17-18

Hometown RANKIN • 113

114 • MAY 2021





Grand Opening

& Ribbon Cutting


110 Pearson Road, Pearl

Hometown RANKIN • 115


Pearl WIN

Job Center

April 7 Hinds Community College

Rankin Campus

116 • MAY 2021

Hometown RANKIN • 117



Pelahatchie High School recently

received results from the Mississippi

Scholastic Press Association’s state

convention and won four categories in

the state, including an All-Mississippi

award, and placed as finalists in

several other categories.

All-Mississippi Honoree

(normally given to seniors but

won for the second year in a

row; student now a junior)

Laura Renfroe

Best Feature Photo

Malik Latin

Best Photo Illustration

Laura Renfroe

Best Lede

Laura Renfroe

Best Candid Photo

Malik Latin


Adviser of the Year

Laura Grice

(third year in a row to be nominated)

Best Photo Illustration

Malik Latin

(a finalist with two separate photos)

Best Lede

MaKaylee Hester

Best Sports Story

Meghan Herrington

Best Review

Laura Renfroe

Best Sports Writing

Hatchie Headlines staff

118 • MAY 2021

Pearl Public School District

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new multipurpose building on the

campus of Pearl High School on April 12, 2021. The multipurpose building

features a gym, drama and dance facilities, and large classrooms.

Hometown RANKIN • 119





Prom/Mini Prom was held

at Restoration Church

in Florence on April 1st.

120 • MAY 2021

TheTime COIN

Camille Anding

How did time manage to carry life

through such fleeting days and years?

It seems much too quick to see the end of life on this

earth and be left holding only memories and a few tokens

of our loved ones lives. Yet our God has a miraculous way

of bonding wonderful memories in our minds that are

associated with our parents, but in such a way that we

don’t live in the past or remain paralyzed in grief.

However, it is ironic that there are still moments when

I feel like a wide-mouth Lucy from Charlie Brown shouting,

“I MISS MY MAMA!” And even though I realize my memory

is losing some of its needed cells, I rejoice that there are

moments and images in my mind that time hasn’t erased.

I remember Mother converting the dining room into

her sewing room where she would cut out a new fall

dress on that mahogany surface and make her Singer

machine sing. Ther’s one specific two-piece ensemble I still

recall–a blue-green plaid with a gazillion pleats in the skirt.

It required way more time than I required for my taste, but

it was the latest style, so Mother kept making pleats.

It never dawned on me as a child that

Mother’s closet had a lot

more space than my sister’s

and mine. In years to come

I would realize more of her

sacrifices for her four children.

When I hear about plans for

VBS, I think of Mother. It was so

special to me that she was the

principal, the main person to

organize and make it work.

I thought she was an outstanding storyteller. Her

missionary stories came alive as we cleared jungle paths

to remote villages and glided down the Amazon in a

canoe to join the missionaries sharing the Gospel.

I sang the Psalms to present day tunes and learned

pledges to the Christian flag and Bible—all under

the tutelage of my mother.

I loved the way Mother loved my daddy, how she

trained us to appreciate and look for dessert after every

lunch and dinner, how she hung a line of clothes like the

military might have ordered, how she let us have a real

but small fire to cook our mud pies, how she saved all

her empty spice tins and oatmeal containers for our

playhouse, how she made our being sick almost better

than being well, due to her constant attention and

special treats, how she loved musical performances by her

offspring and how we knew she loved us unconditionally.

Life lessons, intentional and unintentional, were forged

into my years by my mother and

daddy. I know they weren’t perfect,

but time has a way of dissolving

the flaws and polishing the jewels.

I’m grateful that memories like

mine allow me to celebrate

Mother›s Day on a daily basis

because my mother’s influence

is branded in my heart and

mind. And I count that as

a really good thing!

122 • MAY 2021

You can postpone

the vacation.

You can postpone

the vacation.

But don’t put of f your

But don’t put of f your

health care.

Many things have been postponed because of the pandemic,

Many things have been postponed because of the pandemic,

but your health care shouldn’t be delayed. Routine screenings

but and annual your health wellness care exams shouldn’t can help identify be delayed. health issues Routine in the screenings

and earliest annual stages, wellness when they exams are most can treatable. help identify health issues in the

earliest stages, when they are most treatable.

Our providers are committed to helping you stay well. We are

Our taking providers extra precautions are committed to provide to a safe helping and clean you stay environment well. We are

and offer both in-person and telehealth appointments.

taking extra precautions to provide a safe and clean environment

and Make offer your both health in-person a priority and and schedule telehealth an appointments. today.


Make your health a priority and schedule an appointment today.




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