Many people give up on their dreams as they get older, settle down and have children. For veteran and Hattiesburg resident Ben Compton, this wasn’t an option. He always knew he was interested in comedy, and a few years ago, he finally took his chance and with the support of his wife and children, began his career as a stand-up comic.
Rob Walker, 33, is a Petal native and Jones County Junior College graduate. Walker loves fishing and kayaking on the river and you can usually find him at one of the bars in Downtown Hattiesburg. After getting his first camera in middle school, nearly two decades passed before his love affair with photography came into full bloom. Specializing in live music photography, Walker was named Best Event Photographer in this year’s Best of the Pine Belt awards. His portrait is compliments of fellow photographer Grant Hobgood.
Keith Kujath of Hattiesburg has combined two of his passions into one avocation, and now he has found a mentor that provides him the inspiration in both of his endeavors.
Kujath is a music maven, with collections of guitars, albums, recordings and – thanks to his mentor, Dick Waterman – the largest individual collection of Waterman photos. A certified clinical perfusionist by profession, Kujath bundles his love for photography and his knowledge of music, both performing and producing, to capture the essence of a stage or musical performance.
Whether it’s from her time spent with the United Way of Southeast Mississippi, the Avenues Alliance or the Luckyday Scholars, Cox makes it a point to better the people and places around her on a daily basis.
“Community is what makes life possible,” said Cox, who now serves as director of community impact for United Way SEMS. She’s also the winner of this year’s Best of the Pine Belt’s Best Volunteer award.
“Tupac (Shakur) said, ‘I am a reflection of the community,’ and that is the absolute truth – we all are.
Now in its ninth year, FestivalSouth continues to enjoy a part of the Hub City’s days and nights each summer. This year FestivalSouth runs June 9-23.
The multi-genre arts festival was the brainchild of Jay Dean, who recently retired as music director for the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company.
Dean said the idea for FS was developed in 2009 because he wanted to create a major community-based arts and entertainment event.
“It took 18 months to bring it to fruition in June 2010,” he said.
Cody Morse, 28, hails from Perry County, but headed to the Hub City once his persona grew larger than life. Morse is a bartender at The Porter Pub in downtown by trade, a trendsetter by nature. He enjoys guest-hosting Tuesday night trivia at The Porter, dressed to the nines. A member of Hattiesburlesque and a friend to all, Morse enjoys promoting Hattiesburg and hopes to make it a lil more glittery. Morse says he has a beautiful family of friends and enjoys dancing, sewing, and just being out in the Pine Belt.
What is your idea of happiness?
There are many faces and facets to Rachelle Fortenberry Steinhauer of Hattiesburg. She’s an actress, director, crafter, crocheter, attorney, wife, mother, daughter – and the list goes on.
And on any given day, there’s a chance she wears several of those hats.
While Valerie Cagle’s vocation was once hospital administration (she spent 12 years working at the cancer center), her love of the unique has become an avocation and vocation all neatly packaged together.
That has resulted in her newest venture, The Longleaf Market, located on Hwy. 589 south of Sumrall, not quite six miles from Hwy. 98 in West Hattiesburg.
Cagle said she enjoys the business set up in what she describes as “the rural hills at the edge of a pasture.”
“Some have described it as an escape and very peaceful,” she said.
I don’t shy away from a sweaty workout. In a former life, I operated a Hot yoga studio for several years and still managed to get away with washing my hair only once a week. When I first heard whispers of a hot yoga in Hattiesburg, that was taught by someone other than yours truly, I saw it as a challenge. And then I met the virtual instructors of the HOTWORX infrared spa at Planet Beach, located right next to my pals at UpDown Trampoline Park.
Robert and Christy Amay have spent the majority of their lives in the jewelry business. So, it only seems natural that one day they’d want to design their own piece of jewelry.
“We did not just want to make some meaningless piece,” said Christy. “Whatever we made we wanted to be special and one of a kind.”
That day has come. Enter the Hub City Cuff.