A product of the Hub City, David Ott had to leave for several years to truly appreciate what he was missing back in south Mississippi.
Ott’s family, which included three brothers and two first cousins who grew up with them, were quite a handful for his mother.
“There were six or seven guys in a three-bedroom house (on Miller Street),” Ott said. “It was fun. I was just glad I was the youngest. I would sleep anywhere.”
He said it was a shock when one of his brothers got married and his sister-in-law actually moved into the house.
Jerry Buti of Go Young Fashion in downtown Hattiesburg came to America chasing an education and wealth. He’s done pretty well for himself.
This year his downtown business celebrates 40 years of serving men of all ages, sizes and ethnicities. He was asked one time why he didn’t carry women’s clothing. “Because what women put on they look good; men tend to be a little slobby,” he said.
Photo by Keith Kujath
Cary Hudson’s roots run deep in the Pine Belt of south Mississippi. Raised in Sumrall with time spent in Jackson and Oxford, he toured extensively before making his way back. It’s here where he’s most at home – both with his life and with his music.
First impressions are important. For Greg and Leigh Ann Underwood of Hattiesburg, it was most definitely not love at first sight.
In fact, Leigh Ann found herself hoping she would be out of town at times when the group of friends that included Greg got together.
The couple met through Leigh Ann’s roommate, who had known Greg from high school and eventually married Greg’s roommate.
“She went to the sister school to his all- boys school,” said Leigh Ann. “There was always a picture of him in my room.”
Photos by Chad Edwards, MCE Photography.
If there’s ever a Zombie Apocalypse, you’re going to want to follow Joseph Hosey. But you better get in line behind the roughly 150 to 200 people who have already alerted him they are coming to him. In his own words, “I’m going to have to hide from all the non-zombies, so you better be quick, because I’m not waiting. I’m going to be disappearing.”
Margaret and David Tynes of Petal got an early start on what has become a number of Christmas traditions while on their honeymoon in Florida 38 years ago. Everywhere they travel they purchase an ornament to bring back.
That first year the couple bought an ornament – a clear glass pear in which sits a partridge in a pear tree. Each year the ornament has a special place of honor on the couple’s Christmas tree, which up until this year has always been freshly cut. Since building this house, their tree has always been upwards of 12 feet.
Even young children understand that sometimes during this particularly busy time of year – the holidays – that even Santa needs a helping hand at times.
In the week’s leading up to Santa’s Christmas Eve jaunt around the world, when the crunch to get the toys made becomes maddening, Santa can’t be everywhere hearing the final wishes of good boys and girls. That’s when he recruits the help of those gentle bearded souls around the world to go out and hear those wishes.
Enter Terry Burke, a hand-picked Santa helper in the Pine Belt.
You’ll soon see Hattiesburg’s Vaeda Mann, an Oak Grove High School graduate, on your television screen when Deal or No Deal airs on CNBC Dec. 5. You’ll find her standing beside Briefcase No. 10. You’ll also see familiar comedian Howie Mandel as host guiding guests through the 26 briefcases. Mandel also serves as executive director for the reality TV show, which previously aired for five seasons on NBC.
The show will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday nights on CNBC. However, on Dec. 3, there will be a special Christmas episode, which will air on NBC, where it originally debuted in 2005.