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2 • JANUARY 2020


Deadlines! I guess the first deadline that really got my attention

was for an English term paper in college. Then, with

marriage and a growing family, more deadlines appeared.

There were deadlines for tax returns, field trips for our kids,

sign-ups for camping retreats, and entering contests.

Then, just when I thought the deadline baton was about

to be passed on to our own children, I plunged directly

into publishing magazines—and am now constantly on

even more deadlines! How ironic. I remain in the throes

of deadlines.

I’m thankful to God, however, that I’m still able to multitask

and rock our new grandbaby in the midst of so many

deadlines. And I’m grateful that there are NO deadlines

on making new friends and cultivating new business

relationships for our publications. We’re blessed that

people’s stories aren’t affected by deadlines or are

ever really “finished.” So here we go into 2020!

Despite lots of deadlines, we have even more reasons

to celebrate life in our hometown. l


Tahya A. Dobbs



Kevin W. Dobbs


Mary Ann Kirby


The Sky's the Limit 8

Economic Outlook 16

The Herlihys 24

Staying the Course 30

St. Augustine School 34


Reader Spotlight 42

The Chalkboard 46

Living Well 52

The Time Coin 58



Brenda McCall


Lindsey Dees



Alisha Floyd


Daniel Thomas - 3dt



Meagan Pitts



Caroline Hodges


Othel Anding

...see you around town.

www.facebook.com/hometownmadisonmagazine. 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 Madison may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Hometown Madison is not responsible for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.

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

Hometown MADISON • 3

4 • JANUARY 2020

Hometown MADISON • 5

Explore Our Mississippi

Visit GenuineMS.com to connect with the people and places that

Grow, Raise, Craft and Make Genuine Mississippi products!


Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson, Commissioner

The Dixie National Livestock Show & Rodeo is the

largest professional rodeo east of the Mississippi.

The month-long livestock show and week-long rodeo

attracts cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation,

and internationally, to compete each year.

These events will bring more than 100,000 visitors

to the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson

for an estimated economic impact

of more than $20 million.

Visit www.mdac.ms.gov for more information.

Hometown MADISON • 7


Sky ’s



A New Look

at the Mississippi

State Fairgrounds

Erin Williams

8 • JANUARY 2020

As an integral part of Mississippi’s capital city,

the Mississippi State Fairgrounds plays a huge role

in economic development for the area and state as a whole

– larger, perhaps, than most realize. >>>>>>>>>>>>

Hometown MADISON • 9

In fact,

the 105-acre campus that consists of

27 buildings, including the Mississippi

Coliseum, the Mississippi Trade Mart, and the

Kirk Fordice Equine Center, welcomes over

1.2 million visitors and hosts over 550 events

each year. The Mississippi State Fair and

Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo

are two of the top events, among many more.

After the appointment of Andy Gipson as

commissioner of agriculture and commerce,

and the resulting immediate hire of Steve

Hutton as executive director of the fair

commission, the fairgrounds have become

a major priority of revitalization and modernization.

While both residents and tourists,

alike, have surely noticed the construction

surrounding the campus, many don’t know

about all the intricate improvements taking

place that will contribute to an overall

improved, beautiful, and updated campus.

In March of 2018, after our state legislature

approved construction of a new trade mart,

then-Commissioner of Agriculture and

Commerce Cindy Hyde Smith broke ground

on the new facility. The very next month,

Hyde-Smith was appointed to the U.S.

Senate and Andy Gipson became the new

commissioner of agriculture and commerce,

inheriting quite a large new project.

“Beginning April 2, 2018, just a few days

after I came in office, I spent three days

walking around in every building on the

fairgrounds,” said Commissioner Gipson.

“I went in basements, the livestock barns,

the equine center, the armory, etc., because

I wanted to see, for myself, what needed to

be done. It was very noticeable to me during

those three days just how much these

buildings were in need of repair.”

Although construction of the new $30 million

trade mart (which will include three giant bays,

a brand new entryway and foyer that will be

finished with Mississippi-made lumber, three

café areas, and a brand new commercial

kitchen) had already been approved and

began in 2018, Commissioner Gipson, Steve

Hutton, and the rest of their team didn’t

want to neglect the other improvements that

needed to be made around the rest of the

campus, as well.

“We knew with the new trade mart we’d

also need improvements to the coliseum since

the new trade mart will be connected to the

coliseum. After all, the coliseum was built in

1962, so it was time for improvements,” said

Gipson. “One of the first improvements we

made was repairing all 44 white, exterior

columns on the coliseum. Many don’t realize

that these columns are actually water drains

that drain underground and they were

leaking and causing structural challenges

so we repaired the concrete and added

new epoxy coating.”

While the columns were being repaired,

they also cleaned and shined up all of the

windows, leading many to believe that new

windows had been installed. Another needed

and much welcomed improvement to the

coliseum will come in the form of new seating.

“The chairs in the coliseum are actually so

antiquated that no one makes them anymore.

In fact, you can’t even buy the parts to replace

them now. Throughout the years, we’ve had

to tear out chairs from the top to replace

seating down low because we don’t have

the ability to buy replacement parts. Because

of that, the legislature approved for all new

seating in the coliseum which is a very great

thing. We are very excited about that and

hope to have the seating fully complete

next year.”

10 • JANUARY 2020

The livestock barns have also seen

improvements. New signage was added to

the barns for the first time in 20 years. Air

conditioning, which will also serve as heating

during the winter months, was added and

provided in the bathrooms for the first time

ever. All of the drains were cleaned out and

repaired, as well.

“One major thing we did to the livestock

barns was update the wiring. The barns were

built in the 1950s and the wiring was due for

an overhaul,” said Commissioner Gipson. “We

hired an in-house certified electrician who

rewired the entire livestock barn, completely

bringing all the electrical wiring and plugs to

current code. He also rewired all of the RV

connections outside, which resulted in over

500 outlets and breakers being repaired and

165 new RV slots being added.”

According to Commissioner Gipson, the

improvements made in the livestock barns

and RV park, alone, will allow for new

opportunities for the coliseum to host much

larger livestock shows and events than ever

before, which will generate additional

revenue throughout the years.

“While I’m passionate and excited about

the new trade mart and the improvements

we’ve been able to make to the coliseum

and fairgrounds as a whole, I’m most excited

about the agricultural and livestock improvements,”

said Commissioner Gipson. “Agriculture

and livestock is why we even have the

fairgrounds, these year-round events, and the

fair. It’s how it all started, and it needs to

remain the focus.”

In addition to these improvements, new

LED, energy-efficient lighting has been

installed throughout the coliseum, new security

cameras and lighting are in the process of

being installed throughout the property, and

over 1,000 horse stalls are being renovated

along with their corresponding barns.

Even though these improvements to the

fairgrounds campus will positively affect the

state in terms of more, larger events, that bring

in additional revenue, as well as provide an

overall better experience for existing events,

the effects of these improvements will go

even further than that.

“Not a lot of people know that the

Mississippi fairgrounds is the primary staging

ground of natural disaster response in

Mississippi,” said Brian Perry, chief of staff for

the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and

Commerce. “There have been times where

the Coliseum has opened up as a Red Cross

shelter, like during Hurricane Katrina years

ago, and we may have to feed and house

people in need. These repairs directly impact

that as well. These repairs are for everybody.”

Looking forward, future improvement

goals would be to repave and concrete the

parking lot, transform the old, vacant amory

building, and continue to add additional

parking spaces. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >

Hometown MADISON • 11

“It’s hard for me to talk about these repairs without mentioning

how vital Steve Hutton has been in every aspect. I’ve got to give

him a lot of credit; he executes and implements the vision

for all of this, impeccably,” said Commissioner Gipson.

“He is someone that gets something done if he sees

it needs to be done and this is just as much a

part of his success story as it is for the state

of Mississippi. When all of this is finished,

I truly believe this will be a brand new

beginning for the Mississippi

Fairgrounds, and I’m excited

to witness it all.” l

12 • JANUARY 2020

Hometown MADISON • 13

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Hometown MADISON • 15

Madison County



Susan Marquez

Projects, property, and people. Those are the three “P’s”

used by Joey Deason, executive director of the Madison

County Economic Development Authority to present the

fourth quarterly economic development outlook for the

County. Co-hosted by the Madison County Business

League & Foundation, the event took place in the

banquet room at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Ridgeland,

filled with members of the MCBL&F, as well as legislators

and local and county elected officials.

16 • JANUARY 2020

Deason explained that the greatest change for a man or a woman is a job. “It can change someone’s whole

perspective on life, not just financially but in terms of self-esteem, and being part of the community. Having a

workforce that is well-trained and ready to work can make all the difference in the dynamics of a community.”

The focus of the meeting was workforce development. “We are on a path to discovering resources for

employers and to build a stronger workforce in Madison County,” said Jan Collins, executive director of the

MCBL&F. Collins and Daniel Winningham, MCEDA’s chief operating officer, traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina,

where Madison County was awarded with the Work Ready Community designation. Collins added another “P”

to the mix with partnerships. “I am a relationship developer,” she said. “I have suggested that we have one point

of contact with the state to serve as one source for all resources.”

Hometown MADISON • 17

18 • JANUARY 2020

Citing some impressive statistics, Deason illustrated just how strong Madison County is. “There are 3112

counties in the United States. Of those, Madison County ranks #138 in people 18 to 55 being employed. The

next highest county in the state is Rankin County, at #1082. The labor force in Madison County is strong, with

over 68 percent of adults ages 18 to 55 who are working. The average income is $61,895, which is the highest

income in the state. Madison County also has the highest number of both high school and college graduates,

and 12 percent of high schoolers score a 30 or above on the ACT exam.

Deason says there are currently five projects in MCEDA’s book of business, which represents a $1.4 billion

investment in the county. “We have three projects through MCEDA,

one through Entergy and one through the Mississippi

Development Authority. What we have learned is that if you

work to help yourself, other people will work to help you.”

That point was illustrated by the new Madison County Mega Site entrance road, which was financed with

$450 million from the Delta Regional Authority, $250 million by the MDA, and $15 million by Entergy, who

is also building a $57 million substation at the Mega Site. “The substation will provide 80 megawatts of

electrical power, with the capacity to provide 300 megawatts with triple redundancy. If you don’t understand

what that means, it’s a lot of power! Entergy wouldn’t be investing that kind of money if they didn’t believe

in what we are doing here. It’s all because our team was able to purchase 350 acres which can support

a large data center and other large projects,” Deason continued.

Hometown MADISON • 19

Invites you to explore

Madison County, Mississippi

















Relative Value of

$100 in Mississippi





















Prof/Mgmt - College Degree

Married/Single Family Houses

Upgraded Homes / 401(k)

Own 2-3 Vehicles

Latest Gadgets

40.8 Yrs Old / $132K












19.1% 11.4%





(2016, 2017 & 2018)


Prof/Mgmt - College Degree








Married/Single Family Houses

Gym Memberships

Mortgage / SUVs

Latest Gadgets

33.7 Yrs Old / $111K













Svcs/Prof - College Degree

Singles/Multi-Unit Rentals

Bank Online / Go Dancing

Buy Organic / Love Music

Redeem Coupons Apps

29.6 Yrs Old / $38K

SINCE 2006,
















20 • JANUARY 2020

Of course, those projects will mean hundreds, if not thousands of jobs in Madison County, which means workforce development will be

more important than ever.

“We are working to eliminate the dependency cycle in

Madison County,” said Winningham. “We are making the investments necessary starting with

pre-school because we know that the dividends will be good. Nationwide, between 40 and 50 percent of graduates from high school are

unprepared for college or work, so they enter entry level jobs, get stuck and become the working poor. Adults need more flexible options to

upgrade their skills continuously, and we are working on finding the resources to make that happen.” l

Hometown MADISON • 21

22 • JANUARY 2020



Please Vote March 10


Paid for by Friends of Michael Guest

Hometown MADISON • 23

24 • JANUARY 2020

The Herlihys



Susan Marquez

Dan and Mary Herlihy finish each other’s

sentences, like many couples do. Joking with

each other, laughing, and genuinely finding

joy in each other’s company, they are a

pleasure for all who encounter them at St.

Catherine’s Village, where they’ve lived for

the past 15 years. What makes their relationship

so unique is that they will celebrate

their 72nd anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

Jennifer Bird from JoyCare Senior Care

& Services has worked with the Herlihys for

many years and is inspired by their love story.

“You don’t see people like the Herlihys, who

have been happily married for so long,” she

says. “I enjoy watching them interact with

each other.” Jennifer says she works to keep

seniors active, independent, and safe. “We

work to maximize the quality of life of

seniors and working with the Herlihys has

been such a pleasure for me.”

When reminded that Valentine’s Day will

be their 72nd anniversary, Mary sat back and

sighed. “That’s a long time!” Mary says it

wasn’t really love at first sight when she met

Dan in a bar in Durango, Colorado. “She

was going with another guy,” states Dan.

“But he wrecked his car. He hit a deer and

went through the windshield. He was OK,

but he no longer had a car.” Dan did have a

car, and he drove it from his job on an oil

crew in New Mexico to see Mary in Durango

every weekend for several months. It was

a little awkward for Dan, as Mary’s old

boyfriend was a member of the same oil crew.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the

couple decided that would be a good day to

Hometown MADISON • 25

26 • JANUARY 2020

“I think the secret is to make sure you’re compatible.

And don’t try to one-up one another.”

get married. Because they had to wait five

days after getting a marriage license to get

married in Colorado, the couple drove to

Aztec, New Mexico, where all they had to do

was present the license to the justice of the

peace and say their vows. “My brother went

with us,” says Mary, “so technically, we didn’t

really elope!” Dan was 23 when they married,

and Mary was 20. Both were raised as

Catholic, but Dan says they got “sideways

with a priest,” so they chose to get married

in a courthouse. “We eventually had a

Catholic wedding.”

Dan’s folks were in the Army, and growing

up, Dan moved all over the place as his dad

was re-stationed. He joined the Marines at

the age of 18 and went to officer training

school at Georgia Tech. Once he got out of

the Marines, he went back to Georgia Tech

where he earned his degree and went to

work for an oil company.

Mary was raised in Wyoming and ended

up in Durango when her family went to live

with her grandmother. After Dan and Mary

got married, Dan’s job had them moving

around to several different towns. They

settled in Louisiana for a while and Dan

asked if he could be transferred to the Jackson,

Mississippi, office. Their first daughter, Ann,

was born in Jackson, followed by John, Carol

and Tricia. When Dan decided to quit his

job and go into business on his own, Mary

helped him at work for a little while, but

decided they’d be better off if she went home

to care for the children. “I left because after

working with him all day, there was nothing

left to say to one another when we got home!”

With so many children at home, there

was pressure on Dan to be sure his business

would succeed. He worked hard and became

one of the first consulting geophysicists in

the area. “I stayed busy right off the bat,”

he says, “and I did really well. When an oil

company needed to know where to drill, it

was my job to tell them where to do it.”

After raising four children, the Herlihys

enjoyed life as empty nesters. “We liked to

hike,” says Mary. The couple hiked to the top

of Machu Picchu in Peru when they were in

their fifties. “We took all sorts of trips,” Mary

recalls, “some really good ones. For years we

did one big trip each year. We’ve been to

Venice several times, and all over Central

America. We also visited Scotland and other

exciting places.”

Dan says he misses the days of dressing

in a coat and tie when traveling. “Things

were so much simpler then and so much

more civilized. We went to some of the top

museums in the world, and we have stayed

in some very nice hotels. We were very


The Herlihys have a few bits of advice to

others who aspire to have a long and happy

marriage. “I think the secret is to make sure

you’re compatible. And don’t try to one-up

one another.” Mary agrees that a good

friendship is important. “You have to enjoy

each other’s company. I think the key to a

successful marriage is that you must be a

good listener. You can’t be thinking about

what you’re going to say next. You have to

really listen to your partner and hear what

they are saying.”

Dan says that the couple has always

celebrated their anniversary. “We don’t

always do something special, but we certainly

celebrate. The good thing about getting

married on Valentine’s Day is you never

forget an anniversary!” Mary looks at Dan

and says sweetly, “I still like him.” l

Hometown MADISON • 27

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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

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Hometown MADISON • 29

30 • JANUARY 2020


Susan Marquez

Each Thursday morning at 7 a.m. sharp, a group of young men

gather in a Madison home for breakfast and fellowship. In a weekly

Bible study led by Sam Kelly, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade

students spend a half hour or so together eating breakfast and


sharing the Word. It’s a special time for Kelly, who says the

gatherings are the highlight of his week.

Kelly always enjoyed being involved with baseball and other activities

with his son, Sam Clayton. “We have two wonderful daughters, Maggie Kate

and Anna Claire, and we love them to pieces,” says Kelly. “But the Bible

studies are a way to keep me connected with young men.”

On October 30, 2011, the Kellys lost Sam Clayton when he died in a

tragic one-car accident on I-55. Sam Clayton and two of his close friends,

Walker Kelly and Mason Wilbanks, were headed back to Ole Miss to attend

church services with their Kappa Alpha pledge class when their car left the

road and all three were killed.

“The following spring I started a little Bible study with some of Anna

Claire’s friends,” says Kelly. Today the Bible study is attended by boys from

Madison Central, although Kelly says that boys from other schools are

welcomed. One of the moms coordinates with other moms to schedule

meeting places. “We travel from house to house,” explains Kelly. “I have all

the boys on a group text, and I text them on Wednesday evening and tell

them where to meet the next morning.”

The topics are often dictated by what’s happening that week. “Unfortunately,

many of these boys have been affected by the death of classmates due

to accidents, drug overdoses or even suicide. We talk about that, as well as

about things like drinking and girls. I try to tie a scriptural reference to what’s

happening in their lives that will plant seeds. That’s what I like to think is

happening, that we are planning seeds that they’ll remember down the road

when they are confronted with various situations.”

From time to time, Kelly will teach from a book, including Make Your Bed:

Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World by Admiral William

H. McRaven (retired). “We’ve walked through that book and a couple of

others. I also teach a life group at Broadmoor, and often, when studying to

prepare for that class, I’ll find things I want to share with the boys.”

An average of 15 boys attend the Bible study meetings each week. “I’m

real tickled by that number,” says Kelly. When the group first started there

were 25 to 30 attending, but by the end of the school year, it had dwindled

down to eight or ten. “It’s hard to get senior boys to get up that early by the

end of the school year,” laughs Kelly. “But this year, the number has been

consistent, and I don’t anticipate that changing too much.”

The group meets throughout the fall and spring semesters and takes the

summers off. Because of the popularity of the group, Kelly’s wife, Kim, began

a Bible study for girls three years ago that meets on Wednesday mornings at

7 a.m. “It’s been something that means a lot to her as well,” Kelly says.

For more information on the Bible study, Kelly invites high school boys to contact him

via email at skelly@brunini.com.

Hometown MADISON • 31



• January

• JANUARY 2020 2020



The words “humble” and “generosity of

spirit” come to mind when describing Army

veteran Jonathan Toth. The Clinton resident

enlisted in the Army in 2005, at the age of 21.

“I had been to college for awhile to be a game

warden,” he explains. “I love hunting, fishing

and being outdoors, and I thought that would be

the perfect career for me, until I realized it was

more about writing tickets than communing

with nature.” Still wanting to go to college, he

decided joining the military would help pay for

his education down the road. “What I discovered

is that I really liked the Army, and I was prepared

to make a career of being in the military.”

Toth married his high school sweetheart,

Amber, whom he had dated since the tenth

grade, in July 2005. He was deployed to Iraq in

2006 and spent 15 months there, only to be

deployed again for another year and six months

in 2009. Unfortunately, he was “blown up” by an

improvised explosive device and hurt his back

– an injury that led to him getting a Purple Heart.

He made a full recovery, but still struggles with

back issues from time to time. Due to his back

injuries, he was medically discharged from the

Army in August 2013. Today he works for the

Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg.

The couple, who has three children,

purchased a home in Clinton. “We utilize Dave

Ramsay’s methods of financial management for

our family,” says Toth. “We use the envelope

system, and we saved for a long time to buy

our home.” While the home looked good, they

quickly realized that it had the cheapest

appliances available on the market, and those

were starting to go out. “Our oven only works

on one temperature, so it’s a challenge.” Despite

those challenges, Toth says the family is blessed

beyond measure. “There are so many who have

it worse than we do.”

Recently, Toth received a call from Cheryl

Bruce, founder and director of Wounded

Warriors of Mississippi. “She said she knew we

owned our home,” Toth recalls. “She said she

had an opportunity for us to get a new heating

and air conditioning unit if we wanted it. She

had no idea that for the past year, we’d been

having problems with our unit, but just didn’t

have the means to replace it just yet.”

Bruce had contacted Nickie Morris, sales

manager at Pure Air Consultants, a heating and

air conditioning company in Pearl, to nominate

Toth for a free unit the company was going to

give to a local veteran. “We have an opportunity

each spring to bless a family in need with a new

unit through our PAC Gives Back program,” says

Morris. “We accept nominations so we can

learn people’s stories, then a committee chooses

the recipient.”

Pure Air Consultants also provides a

veteran with a new unit each fall. “Cheryl Bruce

contacted us and told us about Jonathan,” says

Morris. “She said he never asks for help, even

when he needs it himself. Instead, he is always

looking for ways he can help others.” In getting

to know Jonathan better, Morris says that he

has a good, Christian family with children who

are active in several activities. “Jonathan is just

a selfless person and so deserving. Then we

found out he had been patching their current unit

for a year, which made it such a joy to provide

them with a new unit.”

Morris says that Pure Air Consultants

provides service and installation work for Home

Depot, who also likes to do projects for veterans.

“They came in behind us and said they’d like to

bless the Toth family as well. They told Jonathan

to get a wish list together and they’d do what

they could.” Jonathan was trying to save for a

new oven and microwave to surprise Amber for

Christmas, but medical bills have made that

difficult. “This has been such a godsend for us,”

says Toth. “I’m not usually at a loss for words,

but how do I begin to say thank you for such a

needed and unexpected gift?” The donation will

make it easier to provide a good Christmas for

their children, Alex (13), Tucker (9) and Rivers (4).

Pure Air Consultants was founded in 2004,

and services everything within residential and

commercial ventilation systems, including HVAC

repair and maintenance, new system installations,

new construction installations, and even more

specialized services such as duct cleaning, air

purification and dryer vent cleaning. PAC is

a fully licensed, bonded, and insured company.

For more information on nominating someone

for the PAC Gives Back program, visit their

website at mypureairconsultants.com.

Hometown MADISON • 33

34 • JANUARY 2020

A Classical Foundation

Susan Marquez

Although she was raised in

“traditional” schools, when

it came time to educate her

own children, Ann Lowrey

Forster and her husband

chose to take the homeschool

route. A graduate of Jackson

Prep, Ann Lowrey went to

Ole Miss where she majored

in philosophy and political

science. “I never dreamed

that I’d one day be involved

with starting – and running

– a school!”

But she did just that.

In February 2013, a group

of thirteen couples who

had a number of children,

several of which were being

homeschooled, gathered to

discuss the possibility of

starting a school. “We wanted

some more structure,” Ann

Lowrey explained. “A board of

directors was appointed, on

which I served, and I was

tasked with finding a plan.”

Hometown MADISON • 35

In her research, Ann Lowrey discovered the

National Association of University Model

Schools based in Texas. St. Augustine School

was certified by NAUM in 2013. “We don’t

report to them, but they review our policies

and provide guidance where needed,” explains

Ann Lowrey. “There are 100 schools like us in

the United States.” The school is located at

Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland.

The first classes at the school were

attended by 56 students in grades K4 through

six in August 2014. A grade has been added

each year, and now the sixth graders in 2014

are in the eleventh grade and will be the first

class of graduating seniors in 2021. There are

currently 215 students enrolled in the school.

The university school model shifts work

from home to classroom a few days during

the week, but not to the extent of a traditional

school. “One of our points of difference is the

amount of time spent in the classroom,” says

Ann Lowrey. “The younger students attend on

Tuesdays and Thursdays and once they reach

the sixth grade, a third day is added. The other

days are spent with a parent at home for a

single, unified program.” High school students

spend 18 hours a week at school. “That’s

about the same amount of time they spend in

class in college. Our hope is that students will

seamlessly adjust to college life, because

they’ll have the time-management skills and

ownership of their own education.”

Other names for this type of school are

collaborative schools, cottage schools or

hybrid education. Parents who are looking for

an alternative to both traditional five-day and

homeschool models have found St. Augustine

to be an answer to a prayer. St. Augustine is

the first collaborative-education model option

in Mississippi.

St. Augustine exists to cultivate excellence,

wisdom, and joy by assisting parents in the

education of their children, so they may grow

into a thorough understanding of God’s truth,

goodness, and beauty. “We are a Christian

school,” says Ann Lowrey. “There was a time

in education when the classics were taught.

Around the turn of the century in the early

36 • JANUARY 2020

1900s, there was a shift from classical

education to education to prepare for jobs.”

The St. Augustine website explains that the

classical education it provides is a means to

gaining a fuller understanding of God’s world

and promoting excellence in education. “Our

students are taught to be good citizens, and

they are taught to learn, not just English, math,

history and science, but how to love truth,

goodness, and beauty in God’s world and to

express that love in a way that persuades

others to do the same.”

The headmaster of the school is David

Herndon, who was a principal in the Jackson

Public School system. “He has been an

excellent fit for our school. He and his wife

homeschooled their own children, so he has

embraced this model,” says Ann Lowrey, who

serves as provost for the school. “I do the

curriculum, and the academic mission of the

school. I deal with families, including parent

training, and support the teachers in implementing

the curriculum. I also take a lead role

in the school’s communications.”

Ann Lowrey has looked at what people

studied in school throughout history, all the

way back to the Greeks and Romans and to

the time of Jesus. “Classical education was the

education that all our past great leaders

received, and it shaped many of our country’s

founders, the apologists of the Christian faith,

classic authors, and great scientists. We are a

classical school. We start Latin in the second

grade and it’s taught all the way through the

eighth grade. We also teach logic and rhetoric,

something you don’t see in most schools.”

The school offers sports for those who are

interested. “I don’t think we’ll ever have a

football team,” says Ann Lowrey, “but we do

have teams in archery, soccer, tennis, and

cross country.”

For more information on

St. Augustine School, visit


Hometown MADISON • 37

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38 • JANUARY 2020

NOW OPEN in Gluckstadt!

Baptist Medical Group announces the opening of our newest

location. Visit Baptist Medical Group – Gluckstadt

for all your primary care and physical therapy health needs.

For your convenience, routine and same day appointments

with Dr. Green can be made with the BaptistGo app, online

at baptistmedicalclinic.org/clinics or by calling

1-855-733-8863. We also accept walk-ins.

102 Lexington Drive – Suite 100 – Madison, MS 39110 David Green, MD


Get Better.

Hometown MADISON • 39

Madison Avenue

Upper Elementary


What are3 GOALS

you have for



1. Anna Garletts

Spend more quality time with my four children and husband,

and not let the busy-ness of life get in the way. Spend more quality

time in God’s Word. Learn to lay back and let things go. Enjoy life!

2. Debra Morgan

To be more deliberate about taking care of the important things

first, and not let all of the unimportant small things crowd out my

day. Take better care of my body with plenty of rest, good whole

food and exercise.Take better care of my spirit by spending more

time in prayer, in God’s Word, and in fellowship with other believers.

3. Emily Smith

Love deeper. Cook more family meals. Read more.

4. Gina Phelps

Learn to crochet. Cook more. Do a daily devotion.

5. Jamie Lanford

I would love to have a daily devotion with my family. I want to

make more time with my children. Create and implement more

interactive/hands-on lessons for my students.

6. Jennifer Mayo

Have a consistent prayer time. Have a consistent weekly family

night – my oldest is headed to college in two years!. Continue to

find new ways to engage my students and grow their love for


7. Kyla Sanford

Support others on their health and wellness journey. Exercise

DAILY. Be in the Word daily!!

8. Michelle Smith

Get HEALTHY – eat better and exercise. Read the Bible daily.

Spend more one-on-one time with my own children.

9. Mina Spinosa

My goals are to exercise three times a week. Eat healthy.

Be more patient.

10. Stephanie Rouser

Travel and see more of the U.S.A. Exercise more and eat more

healthy. Have a closer relationship with God.

11. Kim Brewer, Principal

Grow in my faith. Ensure my marriage and family are the top

priority in my life. Challenge myself to be the best leader to

serve my students, faculty, parents and community.




40 • JANUARY 2020

5 9

6 10

7 11

Madison Upper Elementary

is proud to be an “A” school!


Hometown MADISON • 41




COMPERE __________________

What is your favorite memory

of living in Madison?

My favorite is speaking as Ms. Wheelchair

Mississippi 2015 at the Statewide Mississippi

Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS)

annual meeting held at the Madison offices.

MDRS is a state agency that provides resources

to help Mississippians with disabilities find new

careers, live more independently, overcome

obstacles, and face new challenges. This is my

favorite memory because it was the first occasion

I spoke at the state level.

Where are your three favorite

places to eat in Madison?

El Ranchito, Kristos, and Bonefish Grill.

Why did you decide to make Madison

your home?

Madison became my home about 16 years ago.

I am a quadriplegic who lives life from a power

wheelchair. I require assistance with all activities

of daily living. Prior to relocating to Madison,

my parents, my brother Will, and I, were living

in Flowood, Mississippi, in a house that was not

designed for my disability and physical needs. My

parents began looking for houses that were already

built with wheelchair accessibility in mind; however,

they were unable to locate such a house that would

meet our needs. My grandfather, Tommy Cottrell,

was gracious enough to give us two acres of his property

on which we built a wheelchair accessible home.

Aside from the land availability, my family and

I were drawn to Madison for several reasons. First,

we believed in the excellence of the public school

system and the services that were offered to students

affected by disabilities. We also chose to move to

Madison because of the wholesome, family-friendly,

safe atmosphere. Because of the leadership of Mayor

Mary Hawkins Butler and others, Madison is a

beautiful, classy, elegant, and thriving city. My family

and I were attracted to the attention to detail and

pride the leadership places in the appearance and

presentation of Madison. We remain honored,

blessed, and grateful to live in a city that appears to be

unashamed of the death, burial, and resurrection of

Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and free gift of

eternal life to those who simply believe.

Tell us about your family.

I know I am biased, but I truly believe God gave

me one of the greatest families on earth. As their

dreams of having a healthy baby girl were shattered,

my parents Richard and Lisa quickly accepted and

embraced a “new normal.” Contrary to societal

norms and common perceptions of people with disabilities,

my parents, grandparents, and extended

family taught me to never say, “I can’t.” I could say

the task was hard or that I needed help, but I was not

allowed to say that it was impossible. This positively

changed the trajectory of my life and has been the

foundation upon which I have lived.

My father, Richard, has been a special assistant

with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office since

1989. For the last 27 years, he has been the general

counsel for the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

My mother, Lisa, is currently a sonographer at

St. Dominic’s Hospital. My younger brother, Will, is

currently an entrepreneur developing his own

e-commerce business.

I have a team of wonderful personal care assistants

(PCAs) who are like family. We call ourselves

Team LC (for Lauren Compere). My team sacrifices

time, energy, and often sleep to ensure that I am living

a full, impactful, and productive life. These extended

family members are dedicated, conscientious,

efficient, dependable, and personable.

What are some fun things to do

in Madison on the weekends?

I am a coffee lover. So, going to Cups or

Starbucks with a good book or friends is a must.

I also enjoy the outdoors. Madison has two

beautiful, wheelchair-friendly parks called

Strawberry Patch Park and Liberty Village Playground

at Liberty Park. These are both great outdoor

locations to take a stroll, have a picnic, or

spend quality time with family on the weekends.

Share some things you enjoy

doing in your spare time.

To be honest, I am known to be a bit of a

workaholic. I thoroughly enjoy my work advocating

for people with disabilities and helping

individuals achieve their dreams. Spending

quality time with my family, unplugged from

electronics, is something I value and treasure.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading personal

growth books and stories of individuals overcoming

difficult circumstances. I love expressing

my thoughts, ideas, and concerns in writing. I feel

that writing is therapeutic. I live for adventure

and traveling. A good movie or show on Netflix

or Disney Plus also never hurt anyone.

42 • JANUARY 2020

What are three things on your

bucket list?

Rather than having a bucket list, I have a dream

board in my office that I see every day. This helps me

have a mindset to accomplish the things that are on it.

Three things out of the many on my dream board are

surfing, zip lining, and writing a book.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire my grandmother, Doris Compere, who

passed away in August 2019. She always called me her

inspiration, but she was truly mine. Doris is my hero

because of her love for Jesus Christ. This love created in

her a genuine love for others. She was the type of

person with whom you could share anything, knowing

you had a listening ear and zero judgement; yet, if you

desired her opinion, you would receive an honest and

fair response. I admire Doris because of her ability to

not only see the best in others, but also to get people to

see and believe in the best of themselves. My grandmother

is my inspiration because of her grit and determination

in the face of difficult circumstances. She was

a missionary in Nigeria, Africa, for six years, and during

a portion of that time the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War

was raging around her, her husband, and three children.

Doris raised three children in Nigeria, one of whom

was critically ill on multiple occasions. My grandmother

is my hero because her grit and determination

persisted through years of medical issues and struggles.

She lived a life of honor to God with grace, boldness,

humility, joy, and sassy sarcasm. I am forever proud to

be the granddaughter of Doris Compere.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

My favorite childhood memory was getting my first

power wheelchair from T.K. Martin Center for Technology

and Disability in Starkville, Mississippi, at the

age of three. T.K. Martin Center for Technology and

Disability provides comprehensive, multi-disciplinary

evaluations and services to remove limitations through

the application of assistive technology, evidenced-based

practice, training, and educational supports. It is my

understanding that, at the time, I was the youngest

child to receive a power wheelchair in the state of

Mississippi. Getting that wheelchair was like letting a

trapped bird out of a cage!

Where do you see yourself ten years from


Ten years from now I see myself as a more bold and

confident Christian who is unafraid to share the good

news of Jesus Christ with whomever I come into contact.

Currently, I still live with my parents because of my

additional physical needs. Richard, Lisa, and Will are

a fantastic support system that I have to fall back on

if there is not a PCA available. However, I desire to

live in a home of my own and am actively working to

achieve that goal.

Two of my assistants, Peace Gill and Mikaila Howell,

are assisting me in putting together a PCA recruitment

system that will ensure I remain fully staffed with caregivers.

Ten years from now I see myself doing exactly

what I am doing now, but on a much larger scale.

About three years ago I was able to partner with

Joe Little to help start a nonprofit, Christian organization

called One Shred of Hope for families affected by

disabilities. I am currently the development director of

the organization. I know from personal experience the

struggles that families with disabilities face and the

solutions that could improve their quality of life. The

harsh reality is that we all experience the effects of

disability, whether it is through the aging process,

illness, or tragedy. At One Shred of Hope, our mission

is to empower and create opportunities for independence

for people with special needs. We are doing that

by creating jobs, accessible, affordable, integrated

housing communities, and community participation

activities for people with disabilities.

We have a document destruction service in which

we employ eight people with disabilities at above

minimum wage. One Shred of Hope document

destruction employees serve customers across the

Jackson Metro Area. We have a vision to develop accessible,

affordable, integrated, Christian co-housing

communities in college towns with those affected by

disabilities at the center of life together. The goal is to

create a model that can be scaled and duplicated

throughout the state and ultimately the country.

This community model will facilitate a second

family for our friends with disabilities for when their

current supports are no longer available. The opportunities

for college students and the nearby college to

get involved in the community are endless. Our first

community location will be in Clinton, Mississippi,

and our first college partnership will be Mississippi

College. We are currently renovating the first ministry

house on Wickstead Drive in Clinton that will soon be

home to two individuals with special needs.

In 10 years I see this ministry having at least one

thriving community in Clinton for people with disabilities.

Because of One Shred of Hope, 10 years from

now I see people and families affected by disabilities

who have come to know a personal relationship with

Jesus Christ. Ten years from now I see people with

disabilities who are equipped and confident to share

their faith with others and create disciples.

On a personal note, I have several business ventures

on which I am working. Ten years from now I see large

numbers of people who are experiencing financial,

physical, and spiritual freedom because of my personal

work. While it is a slow and steady process, I am working

on writing a book. Ten years from now I would love to

have published that book. Public speaking is one of my

biggest passions. Because of all of the previously

described endeavors, I see myself encouraging, inspiring,

motivating, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with

large audiences across the country on a more consistent


If you could give us one encouraging

quote, what would it be?

Losers win until they fail. Winners fail until

they win. l

Hometown MADISON • 43

202 North College Street • Brandon, MS

To schedule a tour or to make reservations,

call 601.260.9277

The CHALKBOARD Madison County Schools

Madison Central

2019-2020 Homecoming Court

Front L-R: Rowan Portera, Oliver Boothe, Sadie Bramlett, Kinley Peacock. Second L-R: freshman maid Emma McDonald; sophomore maids Ally Haynie, Sneha Cherukuri,

Mia Johnson; senior maids Shan Robinson, Queen Allison Hill, Diamond Bracey, Chloe Livingston, Jordan Williams, Anna Cate Strong; junior maids Lexie Sanders,

Anna Kay Bumgarner and Lana Evans. Third L-R: freshman maid Bergen Bianchi; sophomore beau CJ Barney; senior beaus Andre Mack, Logan Landis, Ja’Varius Jordan,

Jimmy Holiday, Brooks Stewart, RJ Mack; junior beau Dalton Stevens and freshman maid Ava Dear. Back L-R: freshman beaus Aiden Allen, Isaiah Spencer,

Victor Sutton; sophomore beaus Jack Houston, Rob Hill, junior beau Duke Arnold. Not pictured: junior maid Taylor Walls, sophomore maid Mia Valentine.

Seniors Homecoming Court

Back L-R: Ja’Varius Jordan, Logan Landis, Brooks Stewart, Andre Mack,

Jimmy Holiday. Front L-R: Chloe Livingston, Allison Hill, Shan Robinson,

Diamond Bracey, Jordan Williams and Anna Cate Strong.

Not pictured: RJ Mack.

Junior Homecoming Court

Back L-R: Justice Rose, Dalton Stevens, Carl White and Duke Arnold.

Front L-R: Taylor Walls, Lana Evans, Lexie Sanders, Anna Kay Bumgarner.

46 • JANUARY 2020

Sophomore Homecoming Court

Back L-R: Jack Houston, CJ Barney, Vic Hollins,Rob Hill.

Front L-R: Mia Johnson, Sneha Cherukuri, Ally Haynie, Mia Valentine.

Freshman Homecoming Court

Back L-R: Aiden Allen, Victor Sutton, Isaiah Spencer.

Front L-R: Bergen Bianchi, Emmy McDonald, Ava Dear.

2019-2020 Homecoming Queen Allison Hill

Madison Central High School’s Pawprint yearbook staff

attended the MSPA fall conference at USM on October 29. The staff was awarded the

following for the 2018-2019 yearbook: winner for academic photo by Cameron Rogillio;

finalist in feature writing by Zoe Keyes; finalist in sports writing by Payton Abner;

and finalist in copy for the yearbook publication.

Back L-R: Grayson Franks, Abby Boyd, Ella Gibbs, Erin McKee, Payton Abner,

Adeline Walters. Front row left to right: Maddie Bates, Haley Cote, Rossy Edmonson.

Hometown MADISON • 47

The CHALKBOARD Madison County Schools


2019-2020 Yearbook

Production Staff

Back L-R: Kayla Young, Caroline Walton,

Ella Maulding, Karrington Gainwell,

Millie Murphy, Tyndal Godwin,

Tae Mcgehee, Darby Miles

Middle L-R: Ainsley Belle Burke,

Perry DeLoach, Katelyn Culbertson,

Eme Bryson, Evan Mabe, Hollis Hewes,

Demi Damon, Keely May

Front L-R: Ashton Lawrence,

Kate Guillory, Mary Allyn McIntosh,

Isabella Hodges, Mary Kate Mansoor

2019-2020 Yearbook

Financial Staff

Back L-R: Drake Clegg, Ava Moreton,

Amelia Agostinelli, Anna Claire Savell,

Morgan Evans, Frankie Wood,

Justin Bergeron

Middle L-R: Bella Amis, Miriam Walker,

Calli Ainsworth, Callie Pope, Claire Price,

Abby Vance

Front L-R: Peyton Martin,

Anna Morgan Black, Iris Ball,

Hannah Montgomery, Nicole Easley,

Brooklin Kee, Baylee Williams,

McKenna Nolen, Natalie VanNorma

Germantown Senior Sydnee Pawlak

signed to play softball at The University of Montevallo.

Front L-R: Valerie Pawlak (mother), Sydnee Pawlak, Xenia Pawlak (sister),

Walter Pawlak (father); Back L-R: Kenny Perry (assistant softball coach),

Xavier Pawlak (brother), Lindsey McMullen (head softball coach),

Whitney Davis (former assistant softball soach).

Germantown Senior Madalyn Wilkinson,

signed to play softball at Copiah Lincoln Community College.

Front L-R: Leslie Wilkinson (mother), Madalyn Wilkinson, Brian Wilkinson (father);

Back L-R: Whitney Davis (former assistant softball coach),

Kenny Perry (assistant softball coach), Lindsey McMullen (head softball coach).

48 • JANUARY 2020

Student Government Association

Executive Officers

Bella Amis (Co-Executive President),

Tyler Hughes (Co-Executive President),

Keely May (Vice President),

Calli Ainsworth (Secretary/Treasurer)

12th grade SGA

Claire Applegate (President),

Ava Aslam (Vice President),

Luke McDaniel (Secretary/Treasurer),

Jake Worrell (Representative)

11th grade SGA

Erin McInnis (President),

Ella Maulding (Co-Vice President),

John Murry McCullouch (Co-Vice President),

Emma Ellard (Secretary/Treasurer),

Anna Claire Savell (Representative),

Kayla Young (Representative),

Amelia Agostinelli (At-Large Representative),

Anna Clare Sheehan (At-Large Representative)

10th grade SGA

Perry DeLoach (President),

Mia Eskridge (Vice President),

Essence Baker (Secretary/Treasurer),

Arisa Washington (Representative),

Ryan Augustine (Representative),

Daisia Keeton (At-Large Representative)

9th grade SGA

Laighton Green (President),

Addison Sawyer (Vice President),

Jayden Manning (Secretary/Treasurer),

Meallen Krauchenka (Representative)

Hometown MADISON • 49

Please Vote March 10



Byrd & Cook

Residential & Commercial

Carpet / Hardwood / Ceramic Tile / Laminate

Granite / Quartz / Custom Rugs / Concrete Stains

Paid for by Friends of Michael Guest

50 • JANUARY 2020


51 • JANUARY 2020


Hometown MADISON • 51

Living Well

through Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Perry Sanderford Ph.D., LPC, Director of Crossroads Counseling

Do you want

a good life?

Of course you do. Everyone does.

New Year’s resolutions come from an awakening

that another year has passed and we are not

where we want to be in, perhaps, several areas of

life, but most often, in the condition of our body.

Statistics show that good intentions generally fade

as we quickly revert to old habits. So how can you

increase your chances of success with your New

Year’s resolution? Success is more likely when you

challenge more than one part of yourself. Be aware

that your struggle is with more than just your body

image, it is with your “will,” your “thinking,” and

your “feelings.” These areas of self are at the root

of your life choices that impact the condition of

your body.


At the center of real change lies a wrestling

match with your will. What you truly want lies at

the center for choosing. At the very core of your

being human is the freedom one gets to make

choices that ultimately scripts their life story. A

closer look at the results of these choices reveals,

quite often, that our ‘basic wants’ are not always

for our ‘basic best.’

Consider our insatiable desire for sweets (cake,

candy, and ice cream), entertainment (movies,

gaming), leisure (vacations) and spectator activities

(watching others do). Choosing to regularly

engage in such activities, or in-activities, may bring

some form of immediate sensory gratification, but

do they add up to a true quality life? Looking in the

rear-view mirror, or front-view mirror, at the end of

the days...weeks... and months that make up the

year–what were the true gains of your ‘choices?’

Successful New Year’s resolutions begin with recognizing

and challenging, one step at a time, that

our choices ultimately impact our destiny.

The good news is that since your choices belong

to you, you participate in controlling your fate.


Thinking is a function of your brain that directly

impacts behavior/choices. Since all behaviors begin

with thinking, it is possible to demand honesty

of your thought life with two simple questions:

(1) Is what I am thinking actually true? (2) Does

acting on these thoughts really result in the best

life possible for me?

Whether or not we are willing to demand

honesty of our thought-life, we cannot avoid the

results of the choices they direct. Ask yourself–

does eating a huge dish of ice cream each night or

couch-sitting for hours watching sitcoms, movies,

or gaming, bring the best life? Be honest–in the

end, do these activities actually deliver the good

life you desire? Failing to honestly challenge the

true value of what your thoughts bring may ultimately

end with a destiny that is too late to alter.

You have experienced the very life you “thought”

was good. Time has run out and you have failed to

achieve the quality life for which you’ve longed.

The best life possible is found by those who

honestly challenge whether or not their thinking

actually delivers on that which is best.

52 • JANUARY 2020


Partnered with thinking, feelings have the

potential to greatly influence your behavior. I say

‘potential’ because what may come as a great

shock to the modern mind is–you do not have to

obey your feelings. In many cases, we should NOT

obey them. Why? Because feelings are not the

final word on reality. We feel empty, so we eat. We

feel bored, so we turn on the TV. We feel rejected,

so we withdraw. We feel afraid, so we become


A closer look reveals feelings serve as very

poor guides for seeking the “good life.” Just ask

inmates in correctional facilities across America

who elevated their ‘feeling’ for crystal meth to the

center of their life choices. Did gratifying their

longing for crystal meth deliver a good life? You

say, “But I’m not a crystal meth addict!” Perhaps

not, but what are the results of the feelings to

which you are submitting? Emptiness? Hopelessness?

Fear? Anger? All of these are subject to the

same laws of reality as craving crystal meth. You

eventually get the results they deliver.

Challenge your feelings with sober reality,

“Does obeying this feeling really deliver me the

best life possible?”


Your body is your essential power-pack for living

life on earth. But as important as our bodies are,

they have limitations in delivering the good life.

Elevating gratification of your body to the primary

source of experiencing the ‘good life’ (pleasure,

sensuality, fullness), also positions it to deliver the

‘bad life’ (pain, numbness, emptiness). You must

challenge centering your life on gratifying bodily

sensations–because ultimately the body can never

be fully satisfied.

Bodily gratification knows no limits. Ever known

an alcoholic with enough drink? A food-aholic with

enough food? A sex-aholic with enough sex? Is

guzzling actually better than sipping? Is gorging

really better than savoring? The irony is that centering

life on bodily pleasure actually deadens feelings.

Initial pleasure sensations eventually become

harder and harder to re-experience, which awakens

a relentless drive to feel something ‘more’.

The more bodily gratification is sought, the less

it delivers on the self-satisfaction scale. Challenging

your body through training, perseverance, and

practicing living within limits, ultimately delivers

the real goods. Testimony is used in court to establish

truth–so ask those regularly challenging, disciplining,

and limiting their body by smart eating, physical

activities, and exercising if the results are indeed


Add your unique goal to a New Year’s resolution:

“This year I will experience a healthier body,

better relationships, financial success, career

advancement, etc., by challenging the intent of my

will, the validity of my thinking, and the trustworthiness

of my feelings until ultimately my body

experiences the results of one good choice made

day by day, week by week, and month by month–

until I’ve lived the entire year.”

With patience and diligence you will experience

a better life. That’s a PROMISE. l

Hometown MADISON • 53

54 • JANUARY 2020

(601) 360-0200 • (800) 387-4559


Hometown MADISON • 55

Mark your calendar for the

Hometown Bride Expo

Sunday, January 12, 2020, at The Vault Venue,

one of central Mississippi's premier event venues.

This expo will provide attendees with an

opportunity to meet wedding planning

professionals, hair and makeup

experts, wedding gown and

tuxedo retailers, decorating

specialists, caterers, florists,

travel agents, photographers,

videographers, DJs – and

anyone else needed

to make your special

day spectacular!


JANUARY 12, 2020

1:30PM - 4:00PM






Call 601-260-9277

for more details.


TheTime COIN

Camille Anding

The calendar shouts 2020 and with

the New Year I have great intentions

- bordering on resolutions.

The first is collecting material for a book entitled:

From Mysteries to Meals. It will be a simple task

because all the collectibles are presently frozen stiff

in our freezer stationed nearby in our carport.

The upright freezer isn’t oversized, but it is a bit

larger than average and keeper of unnamed containers

and bags that hold items I deemed worth saving. Just

what kind of items, you wonder. That’s the mystery of

my book. A few containers are labeled; the majority

are not, and I’m well aware that it’s a job that’s months

past due. Every freezer shelf is crowded, and every

drawer is spilling over. Even the icemaker is screaming,

“Too tight!!”

There’s no better time than the present, the beginning

of a new year, to give me that initial push to begin.

My first step is where and how to begin – a shelf at

a time or a random selection of three or four items

per meal. I’m certain that the largest number

of mystery containers hold small portions

Our freezer testifies that soup day hasn’t been on my

calendar for months. That day WILL be on my calendar

this week.

The meat and remaining-casserole containers will

know their destiny once they are thawed. I will be a

chef-extraordinaire if I can concoct edible dishes from

taco meat and sweet potato casserole!

Within two, maybe three weeks, I’ll have a clean,

spacious, organized freezer with breathing room for

the icemaker. I’ll have created a variety of new dishes

for my recipe book, and we’ll eat so much “mystery”

soup that choosing to dine out will be an opportunity

with unparalleled gratitude.

There’ll be spiritual lessons, too. 1) I’m blessed to live

in a land that has leftovers and modern conveniences

designed to store them. 2) A large pot of soup (if not too

mysterious) should be shared so there won’t be any

leftovers recycled to the freezer. 3) It’s a wise person

who labels things and NOT people. ●

of vegetables that I saved for soup day.

58 • JANUARY 2020

Hometown MADISON • 59

15+ primary care locations.

Same-day appointments.


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in convenient care.

Merit Health Medical Group makes it easier to see a primary care provider – quickly. Just call 844-MSMERIT. Most calls

will result in a same-day appointment with a physician or a nurse practitioner at one of our 15+ primary care locations.

Walk-ins are welcome, too. If you or a family member needs to see a doctor fast, think Merit Health Medical Group.

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