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C O A C H B O B G O D S E Y • F E A S T I N G F I E S TA • M I N D , B O D Y A N D S O U L

HARTSELLE LIVING March/April 2019 $ 4.95




W C O A C H B O B G O D S E Y • F E A S T I N G F I E S TA • M I N D , B O D Y A N D S O U L

HARTSELLE LIVING March/April 2019 4.95 $



ON THE COVER Chris, Christen and Marlee Hines Photo by Jonna Barrier

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Wow! We have been blown away by the response we received from our bridal issue. Seeing people I have never seen before come to our office to pick up an armful of copies just makes my day. This magazine is your magazine, Hartselle. This community is why I work so hard – that, and I know my momma would wear me out with a switch if I didn’t put my best foot forward in everything I try to do. I’ll turn 30 in April, but I’m still afraid of those swats. Seeing the response we have and the happiness a beautiful magazine like this brings to our readers is why we do what we do every day. I love displaying these gorgeous publications in our office and seeing them around town. Seriously, if you are reading the newspaper or the magazine in public, and you get the feeling you’re being watched, it’s undoubtedly me, and I’m beaming effervescently. I hope this magazine makes you just as excited to keep turning its pages. Trust me – we’ve got some great stories in this one. Our cover photo is the Hines family, and inside you’ll find the story and beautiful photos of their lovely Hartselle home. Also inside we have stories featuring Coach Bob Godsey, who became Hartselle’s winningest coach in the history of HCS last football season; Allison Smith, who was born and reared in Hartselle and spends her spare time painting and participating in community theatre programs; and, of course, our resident “farm chick” Constance Smith, who is keeping us hungry with her recipes and a feature on Don Alejo Mexican Restaurant – a favorite of yours truly. I hope you enjoy this issue of Hartselle Living. Let me hear your ideas and suggestions for future magazines and, as always, thanks for reading.



Alison James Lauren Jackson Contributors Hope Thompson Lauren Estes Constance Smith Jennifer Williams Andrea Owensby Clif Knight Sam Roberts Jodi Haas Marketing Tori Waits Josh Moore Administration Beth Jackson Daniel Holmes

CONTACT US Hartselle Newspapers, LLC 407 Chestnut St. NW P.O. Box 929 Hartselle, AL 35640 Phone: 256-773-6566 Fax: 256-773-1953 Hartselle Living is published bimonthly Hartselle Newspapers, LLC. A one-year subscription to Hartselle Living is $16.30 for 6 issues per year.



Hines family builds dream home in Hartselle

Local woman grows through theatre involvement



Hartselle’s Don Alejo welcome diners for Taco Tuesday and more

20 DISCOVERING HIDDEN TREASURES Antiquing in Hartselle unearths surprise gems, sweet nostalgia

Single copies are available at select locations throughout the Hartselle area. To advertise or to get more copies, call 773-6566. Copyright 2019 by Hartselle Newspapers, LLC

24 HOME SWEET HOME HHS head football coach Bob Godsey finds his happy place living, working in Hartselle

Hartselle native overcomes childhood obesity

36 FITNESS FAMILY Health and fitness is their way of life


CHALK COUTURE BEGINNERS CLASS Downtown Southern Sass 2 p.m.

March 2

March 7

SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS MEETING Mr. Henry’s Restaurant 701 Nance Ford Road SW 6-8 p.m.


March 7-9

Founders Park, Decatur 11:30 a.m.

2607 Highway 31 S., Decatur 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

March 4

March 8

HARTSELLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY LUNCH AND LEARN SERIES Topic: Cotton Gins, Hamburger Stands and Theaters Burleson/Hartselle Fine Arts Center Noon to 1:30 p.m.


TRICK ZIPPER Bentley’s at the Outhouse 8 p.m. until midnight

March 5

SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER TRAINING Burleson/Hartselle Fine Arts Center 6-8 p.m.

March 6

BIG DADDY WEAVE Hartselle High School 7 p.m.

March 6


March 12

Keramos Ceramics, Decatur 6-8 p.m.

Hartselle Civic Center All day

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March 28-30


Hartselle High School Auditorium 7 p.m./2 p.m. matinee May 30 Tickets $10 for seniors/students and $12 for adults

March 14-16


March 30


Sparkman Civic Center 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Ay Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant Priceville 5-8 p.m.

March 14

April 1

Keramos Ceramics, Decatur 6-8 p.m.

Topic: Early families Burleson Fine Arts Center 12-1:30 p.m.


March 16

NUCOR HERO DASH 2019 Founder’s Park, Decatur 8 a.m.


April 5


March 16

Celebration Arena Priceville 12-6 p.m.

Bentley’s at the Outhouse 8 p.m. until midnight

April 13


March 21

BEGINNER HANDǧBUILDING POTTERY CLASS Keramos Ceramics, Decatur 6-8 p.m.


Falkville Town of Falkville and the Morgan County Park & Recreation Dept will have a helicopter drop over 6000 candy and toy filled eggs; for children up to 12 years of age. 10 a.m.

March 22

SPACE DONKEY Bentley’s at the Outhouse

8 p.m. until midnight

March 22


Committee on Church Cooperation, Decatur 7 a.m.

March 23

MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE CONCERT Princess Theater, Decatur 8-10 p.m.

April 25


Alabama Center of Arts Hosted by Calhoun Community College Jazz Band Decatur 6-8 p.m. Hartselle Living 7


Tag @hartselle_living_mag in your Hartselle photos on Instagram and we’ll pick our favorites to regram and publish in each issue.

@juanitagon20 He loves the puppy đ&#x;?ś #puppies #puppyloveđ&#x;?ś @life_is_wow_rachel I’m so glad I got to see you today, and I love you bff!đ&#x;’ž can’t wait to hangout soon! You’re the bestestest ✨✨

@maconbacon11 Nora sure is going to miss her grandparents

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@misssieknowlton Don’t blink. You just might miss your babies growing like mine did. Sure enough, my youngest woke up as a six year old #dontblink #happybirthday #wyattthomas #mybaby #boymom


PUTTING DOWN ROOTS Hines family builds dream home in Hartselle



Christen Hines moved into a newly-built house on Highway 36 West of Hartselle in July 2017, but she already felt right at home. “I grew up right next door, and this is family land,” she said. “In fact, where our house sits used to be a softball field where my sister practiced; she still teases me about “taking away” her field.” Christen and her husband Chris lived near downtown Hartselle for several years, but Christen said she always knew they would eventually build a house on her family’s land. “We really loved living in the historic neighborhood,” said the Crestline Elementary second-grade teacher, “but we were ready to have some more space.”

So Christen researched house plans online “for about two years” and “watched a lot of home shows” on television, and she finally committed to a plan she liked. “There were a few tweaks I wanted to make,” she explained, “so we contacted David Dunaway (of Homestead Designs) in Sommerville, and he was able to customize the plans to fit exactly what I had in my head.” From opening up the floor plan to turning a porch off the master bedroom into a huge closet, Christen said she “planned out every inch of this house” with Dunaway and then entrusted Jason Self of S.E.C. Construction in Hartselle to bring it to life. “They both Hartselle Living 9

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were so wonderful,” she said. “David really listened to what I was wanting and that reflected in the final plans, and from the time they poured the slab in January 2017, it took about seven months for us to move in, so that was pretty good.” Christen credits her relentless research into finishes, flooring and cabinets with creating a smooth building process. “If I hadn’t already known what I wanted, it would have been pretty overwhelming to pick everything,” she said.

FAMILY TIES In every room, there is a piece of the past. “This was my great-grandfather’s land, and he did a lot of woodworking,” said Christen. Her great-grandfather’s work is prominent in each room, from the dry sink in the foyer to the jelly cabinet in the kitchen area. The land the Hines’ home sits on has been in Christen’s family for years. “My mom and her sisters and brother used to pick cotton on this land when they were

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younger,” said Christen. “My uncle owns about 25 acres behind us and has it planted with trees.” Her great-grandparents, Sebren and Lucy Garner, were longtime Hartselle residents on Barkley Street but also owned several acres along Highway 36 West. Her grandparents, Euel and Ramona James, built their house a little closer to town on some of that family land, and they still live there. Euel spent many years as a basketball coach and vice principal of Speake School in Danville. Christen’s parents, Chris and Renee Stephenson, are right next door, and her husband Chris’ parents, Hartselle church of Christ minister Phillip Hines and wife Julia, live within a mile of their house, so they are surrounded by family. “It’s such a blessing having our families close by,” said Christen. “It’s really helpful, and our daughter Marlee, 8, loves to go back and forth between our houses.” Christen, Chris and Marlee lived with Christen’s parents for a few months while their house was being finished, and from there, Christen said she was able to keep a close eye on construction. “After they poured the slab, something didn’t look right,” she said. “I called Jason, and he came right out. (The slab) wasn’t as large as it needed to be for the breakfast room, so they redid it right away.” FAVORITE THINGS “My favorite part of my house is my kitchen. It literally is the heart of my home,” Christen said. “I can see just about every other room from

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somewhere in the kitchen, not to mention out to the backyard. I feel like the kitchen is well laid out and that everything is easily accessible and organized for my family. “The farmhouse sink is one of my favorite items in the whole house,” she added. “With the dishwasher just to the right of it and the dish and silverware drawers just across from the

dishwasher, putting away the clean dishes is almost enjoyable. Having drawers instead of cabinets for heavier items like dishes and pots and pans is wonderful The tall cabinets and island allow for plenty of storage of all my kitchen items – items I use every day and the used-once-a-year items. I often even think to myself how much I love my appliances.

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“I spent so much time planning everything, I have to say, there’s not much I would change – just a few small things, maybe, but nothing major.” UNEXPECTED VISITORS Christen said one thing that has surprised her since moving into their new home is the number of people – complete strangers – who stop to talk with them about their house. “People stop and ring the doorbell or leave us notes about the house,” said Christen. “There have been people who recognize the plan from online and are curious to see it inside and to see what we’ve done with it. We don’t mind so much, but it’s just not something I expected to happen.”

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FEASTING FIESTA Hartselle’s Don Alejo welcome diners for Taco Tuesday and more STORY AND PHOTOS BY CONSTANCE SMITH Hartselle Living 15


It all started when the Flores-Mendoza family lived in Marshall County. Omar Sr. worked for a restaurant in the area, managing two locations. Later his son, Omar Jr., began working in one of the restaurants, starting out as a dishwasher and worked his way up to manager, just like his father. One day Omar Sr. shared his dream with his family: “I think we can do this ourselves.” From that point forward, they set a goal and worked hard to save money and prepare to one day open their own restaurant. Sept. 4, 2017, that dream came to fruition. Omar Sr., his wife Isabel and her brothers, Jesus and Jaime, along with Omar Jr., opened Don Alejo – named after Isabel’s father, Alejandro. Omar Jr. beams with pride when he talks about the work and devotion his parents put in to realize their dream. He said it took six months to prepare the location for opening and convert it into the restaurant it is today.

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When the family obtained the location and moved to Hartselle, they did so without realizing there were already a number of successful Mexican restaurants in town. Omar Jr. said he thought, “What can we do to be different and stand out?”– a question that led to Taco Tuesday. Every Tuesday evening, the restaurant offers 99-cent tacos and draft beers. The first time the restaurant held Taco Tuesday, Omar Jr. said they were overwhelmed with the response. It was an instant hit. Omar Jr. laughs as he remembers it, saying the restaurant was packed from open to close and even ran out of chicken. Taco Tuesday has been a regular occurrence ever since. Omar Jr. doesn’t hesitate when naming his favorite dish: The Flaming Cheese. It’s a screaming hot skillet of melted mozzarella and Monterrey cheeses topped with sizzling peppers, onions and meat, and served with fresh tortillas and rice. Another popular dish is the Burrito Texano – a 10- or 12-inch burrito stuffed with fajita vegetables and every meat the restaurant serves – even bacon. Omar Jr. said that the restaurant plans on experimenting with new dishes, to include adding more traditional Mexican items to the menu. Customers frequent Don Alejo all the way from Madison, but that’s not all – a few regular customers come in every time they travel to the area from Texas and even Brazil. Omar Jr. said he and his family want the community to know how much the family appreciates the support and welcoming they have felt since moving here – and that none of this could have happened without the great people of Hartselle. Omar Sr., Isabel and their four children show that gratitude not only through words but through actions as well. The

restaurant frequently hosts fundraising events, donating a portion of all the profits directly to local schools. Students will come and participate in the events, greeting patrons and helping out. It is one of the ways they can give back and

show appreciation for the community they call home. Don Alejo is located at 800 Highway 31 SW, Suite D, and fans can connect with the restaurant on Facebook to find out about upcoming fundraisers and specials.

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Wintertime is often associated with rich flavors of chocolate, caramel and cinnamon, and those are some of my favorite flavors. There’s really nothing like a rich brownie with a cup of coffee or a slice of spice cake with some ice cream. When spring starts rolling in, however, it all changes. I find myself craving something lighter in flavor. That’s when I start seeking out all things citrus. Lemon, orange and lime all start making frequent appearances in my kitchen, from beverages to breakfast. As the days get longer and you wait for the crocuses and tulips to start peeking out of the flower beds, you can get a jump on spring with these two recipes. They feature the springtime citrusy flavors of lemon, blueberry, lime and coconut. These are both simple recipes to make. The only hard part is deciding which to make first.


These delicious muffins are the perfect way to start the day. Fresh, juicy blueberries shine in these moist muffins with flavors of poppyseed and lemon. Not only are these muffins great for pairing with your morning coffee, but they make a great after-school snack as well. Muffins are one of my favorite things to take to potlucks. They are easy to make and offer a sweet treat that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. There’s much less guilt associated with eating a muffin than there is having a cupcake covered with frosting. I recently made these for my Bible study group, and they vanished in a hurry! INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cup flour 1/4 tsp. salt 3/4 tsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tsp. poppyseeds 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup plain apple sauce 1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 cup milk Fresh zest of one lemon, about 1 Tb. 1 cup blueberries INSTRUCTIONS: 1. To begin, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 2. Line a standard muffin pan with papers or spray the cups with baking spray, whichever you prefer. Set aside for now. 3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and poppyseeds. Set aside. 4. In your mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Mix until smooth. 5. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the milk and stir until just combined. Add in the rest of the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. 6. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure that everything is combined, then gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest. 7. Scoop batter into your prepared muffin pan, distributing the batter evenly. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins test done with a toothpick. These muffins keep their bright, cheerful color as they bake, so do not wait for the muffins to get golden in color or they will be overbaked. 9. When your muffins are done, remove them to a cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature. Hartselle Living 19

COCONUT LIME CHEESECAKE Many people find cheesecake to be a challenging dessert to make. If the moisture in the oven isn’t just right, the cheesecake will crack. Sometimes the texture can be off. Well, with this easy recipe, there’s none of that to worry about. Why? Because this is a “no-bake cheesecake.” The only thing you will need your oven for is to toast the coconut. This cheesecake is airy and creamy but not overly sweet. You’ll love how quickly this comes together. It is the perfect dessert for any springtime dinner table. INGREDIENTS: 1 cup unsweetened coconut 1 cup graham cracker crumbs ¼ cup melted butter 8 oz. cream cheese 8 oz. mascarpone cheese (found in the deli section of the grocery store) 2-3 fresh limes (for juice and zest) 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk ½ tsp. vanilla extract ½ tsp. coconut extract/flavoring ¼ tsp. sea salt INSTRUCTIONS: 1. To begin, preheat your oven to 300 degrees. 2. Spread your shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Bake for five minutes. Pull out of the oven and give it a stir, spreading it back out when you are done. 3. Bake for two more minutes. Again, stir then spread out. Place it back in the oven but watch it carefully. As soon as you see the coconut beginning to get a little golden, pull it out. Coconut can burn very quickly if you leave it in too long. Set this aside for a moment. (Note: You can toast sweetened coconut the same way, but it takes a little longer to toast because it has a higher moisture level than unsweetened coconut.) 4. In a bowl, combine ½ cup of the toasted coconut with the graham crackers and melted butter. Stir those together. 5. Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan that is lined with parchment paper. Press

the crumbs down firmly, forming the crust. Place the pan in your freezer while you prepare the filling. 6. In your mixing bowl, beat the cheeses together until they are fluffy. 7. Zest two of the limes, placing the zest in the mixing bowl with the cheeses. 8. Juice the limes to give you ¼ lime juice. You might need two or three depending on the size of your limes. 9. Add the lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract/flavoring and sea salt to the mixing bowl. Blend together with the mixer until everything is combined and smooth. 10. Spread the mixture over the crust, using a spatula to get the top as smooth as possible. 11. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of toasted coconut all over the top, and use your hand to gently press it into the top of the cheesecake. 12. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours or until the cheesecake is set; overnight is better.

DISCOVERING HIDDEN TREASURES Antiquing in Hartselle unearths surprise gems, sweet nostalgia STORY AND PHOTOS BY CONSTANCE SMITH

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One of the things that made me fall madly in love with Hartselle is the many antique stores in our town. It’s not a figure of speech to say antiquing puts Hartselle on the map. It is appropriately listed on the official Alabama Antique Trail map, which points out all the places you should visit in our state if antiquing is in your blood. Shortly after moving to Alabama, a good friend and I began planning day trips all around the region. We would pick a town on the map and head out for a day of fun. It was a great way for me to learn my way around my new home of Alabama, and it was also a joy for her to discover places she had never been to. We would explore the town, walk the sidewalks, visit the businesses, often walking into every shop we saw. We’d have lunch in a locally-owned restaurant. It never failed: Before the day was over, we would find ourselves in an antique shop – every single time.

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Of course, many people see visiting antique shops as a great way to find interesting items and décor for their home, and it certainly is. You can find something unique and filled with character – something that isn’t going to be found in every box store in every town – but antiquing is about more than just the shopping. There’s something adventurous about walking through antique shops and exploring what they hold. What treasures might you find? What memories are sparked from your childhood? The toys we grew up playing with now sit on display as collectibles. The

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clothes our moms wore can now be found on hangers in a vintage or retro shop. I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have fallen upon an item that would cause me to stop in my tracks. I would reach out and pick up the gem, holding it in my hands and talk about how “my Grandma used to have one of these!” More than once over the years I have even found myself getting a little misty-eyed, flooded by memories long forgotten. Seeing an old, cast-iron kettle immediately takes me back to sitting in the back-porch sun room at my

Grandma Engels’ house. My grandfather had built a fireplace into one end of the room. Growing up, my house didn’t have a fireplace, so I always thought it was exciting when Grandma would let us have a fire in it. I remember sitting in front of it one afternoon and shelling the hickory nuts we had spent the morning collecting. I remember the sound of the squeal my grandmother let out as she popped a nut into her mouth and discovered a worm in it. Checking the shells for little holes is a lesson I’ll never forget because of it. After shelling all the nuts, we roasted marshmallows on sticks and simply enjoyed the time out there.

A cast-iron kettle takes me right back to that moment – in front of the hearth that was lined with bear traps, a fireplace poker and a cast-iron kettle. Of course, there are many more things I’ve seen that take me back to childhood moments with my grandparents. A case of glass soda bottles has me drinking a cola with peanuts in it. An old clothes ringer sparks memories of my grandma’s voice warning me of the dangers of the old-fashioned ringer washer she used and not to touch it. An old trumpet brings back memories of my Grandma Dahl. She was a woman of unmatchable patience. Not only would she let us kids play on the piano or organ all day long, but somehow, she tolerated us marching through the house and blasting “music” on a horn that belonged to one of my uncles. Her love of music and seeing us play with the instruments far outweighed the pain it must have caused her sharply-trained ears. Yes, the things we find in the antique shops here in Hartselle are so much more than décor. They are the beloved family memories and stories of times gone by and the hidden treasures that we all hold dear to our hearts.

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HOME SWEET HOME Coach Bob Godsey finds his happy place living, working in Hartselle STORY BY CLIF KNIGHT PHOTOS BY SAM ROBERTS 26 Hartselle Living


Bob Godsey feels at home after coaching Hartselle High School’s football team for the past 16 years. “Hartselle has provided a wonderful environment for me and my wife Wanda and our three children to live, work and grow,” said Hartselle’s most successful football coach. “There’s never been a time when we felt we needed to be somewhere else.” Hartselle’s Tigers have compiled a record of 141 wins to 51 losses since Godsey was named head coach in 2002. He surpassed former coach Don Woods’ record of 137-65 in 17 years. “My wife and I were looking for a community with good schools and strong family values during my tenure as an assistant coach,” Godsey said. “We saw that in Hartselle, and I didn’t hesitate when the head football coaching job was offered. “We feel like we’re blessed,” Godsey added. “All three of our children will have had the opportunity to attend and graduate form Hartselle schools when our son Luke graduates from Hartselle High in May.” Wife Amanda is a second-grade teacher at Barkley Bridge Elementary School with 30 years of experience. Their oldest daughter Sloane (Blair) Sittason is a University of Alabama graduate who teaches history at Vestavia High School; Olivia is a third-year elementary education major at the University of Alabama; and Luke is a senior at Hartselle High School with plans

to attend UA this fall to pursue a career in coaching at the collegiate level. Godsey was no stranger to football when he graduated from Wilson High School in 1984; his father was the head football coach. “I grew up in the field house and on the football field,” Godsey recalled. “I went to work with him every day. I was around it all. That’s where I learned how to drive a tractor, cut the grass and sit in on his review of the game films.” Later, Godsey performed as a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. He earned all-state recognition as a multi-position player on the football team and went on to receive a scholarship to play quarterback as a Troy University Trojan. Godsey said he was a freshman when he decided he wanted to coach football at the high school level. Godsey’s coaching career attracted statewide attention when he guided the Hartselle Tigers to a Class 6A state championship in 2011. “I was humbled and thrilled,” Godsey said, “when I realized there are many outstanding coaches who never get there in a lifetime of coaching.” He also had the opportunity to coach his son as a quarterback, just as his father coached him in high school. “It’s not a relationship that comes easy,” Godsey said. “The other guys had the opportunity to get away from me after practice or after the game, while Luke couldn’t. I tried to leave the game on the playing field, but that didn’t always

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happen. In our case, the positive always outweighed the negative.” Godsey linked the success of Hartselle’s football program to winning tradition, strong work ethic and team spirit. “We have competitive kids and parents who expect them to excel both in academics and athletics,” Godsey said. “Our students have the undivided support of family members, neighbors and friends who

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excelled before them … The young men who come into our program are expected to have a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. We want them to do the right thing and strive to be the best they can be.” Another part of the Tigers’ success story is teamwork. “We don’t often have an advantage over our opponents in terms of size and raw talent,” Godsey admitted. “However, we’re been able to overcome

the difference with good preparation and execution and selfless play. Our kids understand how teamwork can overcome individual heroics where the outcome of the game is concerned. “The most important thing us coaches can do,” Godsey added. “is to help our athletes understand that what we do for them is out of love and to help them become the best men they can be in the future.”


FROM BACKSTAGE TO ONSTAGE Local woman grows through theatre involvement STORY BY LAUREN JACKSON PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED Hartselle Living 29


Being involved in a community theatre group was not something Allison Smith ever imagined herself doing. Somewhat shy, Smith said it was not until graduate school that she first began working backstage with a group. Now, with the encouragement of friends, Smith has performed in a number of productions and made some of her best friends through the process. Having been on stage since 2017, Smith said she has seen a positive impact on her personal life. “I have always considered myself to be a bit of an introvert. Really, that is part of the reason that I decided to do it these last couple of years – because I felt like I needed to challenge myself and get myself out of my comfort zone,” Smith said. “It has provided me with a great way of doing that, but it is definitely not something I considered years ago when I was still very shy and somewhat introverted.” Smith first began her involvement with community theatre backstage, out of the spotlight. Her employer approached her about helping out with a children’s group, and Smith said she found it was an easy transition into taking on a role on stage. “I got involved when I was in grad school actually,” she explained. “I strictly did backstage work for a couple of children’s theatres and then adults theatres. I was working with children at the time, and I kind of did that as a way to help them out and actually help their parents out a little bit. Then I kind of took a break from it after doing a couple of shows with them, and a couple of years went by. When I moved back to the Hartselle-Decatur area, a couple friends pushed

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me to get back involved in it – to kind of move from behind the curtain to the stage. I decided to audition and have loved it ever since.” Being involved with a community theatre group has given Smith more than just personal confidence; she said it has brought her a second family. “I think it has had a very positive, very great impact on me,” she said. “I feel more comfortable talking to people. I never had a lot of difficulty communicating with people, but it definitely comes more easily now. “Through the theatre itself I have gained a whole new circle of friends that are more like family than friends,” she added. “There are so many wonderful people that are participating in community theatre. Whether we are doing a show or not, they are always pressing me to be the best version of myself – always giving me confidence and encouraging me. I like to think I do the same for them.” Smith took her first role in 2017 in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Although she said she was nervous about the process at first, it was a memorable experience. “It was really great because from the moment that I walked in the doors to audition, I felt like everyone was really welcoming and excited to have a new face,” Smith said. “I know for a fact that Bank Street Players are always welcoming new faces. I remember being a bit nervous because I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but I also remember being filled with happiness and joy and excitement, and that ran from rehearsal No. 1 through the final performance of the show,” Smith said. Although she began participating in community theatre in college, Smith said she has always held an

“Having moved from appreciating community theatre to actually performing, I can say that when you are a part of something that is part of the cultural heart of your community, you have a sense of pride,” Smith added. “I feel like it is heartwarming and encouraging to be able to help other members of your community and show them essentially some living art in your community.”

appreciation for it. “I think when I was younger I attended shows, and I always thought of it as being a really wonderful thing – to allow the community to see these beautiful shows that teach and encourage. I think they bring out the best, even in audience members. “Having moved from appreciating community theatre to actually performing, I can say that when you are a part of something that is part of the cultural

heart of your community, you have a sense of pride,” Smith added. “I feel like it is heartwarming and encouraging to be able to help other members of your community and show them essentially some living art in your community.” Since she first stepped on the stage in 2017, Smith has been earning ensemble roles. She said in the future she might even look to branch out further from her comfort zone. “I have been an ensemble

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performer. I have thoroughly enjoyed it; I like the singing and the dancing, and it’s provided me with a smooth transition into community theatre without the demands of a big role. Of course, I would love to play a different role and expand out in the future, but like I said, it has been a great way for me to transition into the theatre and get used to everything and get my feet wet.” Smith said she has received overwhelming support from both her family and stage family. She said when she took

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on her first role she was nervous, but she knew she had a great support system behind her. “I remember being incredibly nervous, although I had a lot of people around me that were encouraging me and making me as comfortable as possible about it. I remember being very nervous especially when I heard the audience members getting settled out in the house and then getting the news that we had actually sold out for that night,” Smith said. “Once I got out there and started with it, it was a wonderful feeling – especially

with the wonderful reaction we got from our audiences throughout that show.” To anyone in the community who has considered taking part in theatre, Smith said they should reach out to the groups in the area. “Anybody who has ever considered or felt themselves drawn to the theatre at all – but has maybe shied away from it – they really need to try to embrace it and, if nothing else, go and audition for a show and at least try it,” she said. “It is absolutely amazing, and it can affect your life in multiple ways if you will let it.”

MIND, BODY AND SOUL Hartselle native overcomes childhood obesity



Nutrition stores might be intimidating to newcomers to the health and fitness world, but Hartselle native Will Eaton said he wants everyone to feel welcomed and included as they walk in the door of his business, Eaton Wise Nutrition.

Eaton said he wants people to leave feeling like they gained information about health and nutrition. “We push overall health and nutrition, being active and proactive and not in a sedentary lifestyle. We want people to get moving and prioritize their health,� Eaton Hartselle Living 33

said. “The main goal is to improve clients’ overall health, general nutrition and (knowledge) about getting your daily nutritional and dietary needs – and everyone is different when it comes to that.” Eaton has a person reason for his commitment to working out, eating right and opening a nutrition store. He dealt with childhood obesity and has fought tooth and nail to lead his family away from the battle he faced as a young person. “I was a picked-on obese child as a kid. I had a 38-inch waist in a child,” Eaton said. “I was living that lifestyle, and my parents played a vital role in my life then. I try to encourage my children now to be healthy and live healthy.” Parents, Eaton explained, make a huge impact on “how children grow and mature, and that covers health and wellness, too. Sometimes parents can be uneducated when it comes to diet and nutrition. I make sure my kids have sufficient amount of nutrients in their food, and I supplement them with OLLY vitamins, and it’s something my boys really like. They see me and my wide healthy eating, and my kids want to eat (healthy food) after they see us eat it.”

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Eaton said his store assists customers by helping them start a program that will work for them – and that starts with a client consultation. “In the consultation, we get a lot of information from them – the hours they sleep and work, their personal dietary needs they have from their doctor, if they’ve had recent blood work done, if they are allergic to foods and what kind of diet regimen they have,” Eaton said. “We will work with their personal calories and overall macros. That’s how we get our baseline started.” One common misconception is the time factor involved in integrating a healthy lifestyle. Many people want instant, overnight results, but Eaton said success comes from long-term commitment and making the journey a lifestyle. “Be patient. There’s no magic pill, and it’s about being consistent,” Eaton said. “It’s going to take time. Everybody has evolved to fast-paced lifestyles – fast food, quick workouts, short-term commitments. If you don’t take time to be healthy and prep your meals, then you’re forced to make quick decisions about what you’re going to put in your body. That becomes stressful in itself, and the body represents that lifestyle. If you want to make huge changes, you have to be the change.” The time commitment, however, should not be overwhelming. “You have 24 hours in a day; how much time do you spend talking about doing things instead of actually doing them to make you healthy?” Eaton pointed out. “It’s only 1/24th of your day to actually move toward your goals.” Eaton also said people have to be open-minded to trying new foods that aren’t for taste or comfort but for a source of energy. Nutritional value of food, vitamins and minerals in someone’s diet and being aware of the activity of your digestive system all go hand in hand, Eaton said. “A lot of the problems are due to additives in foods that they don’t need – that’s one of the biggest things that people struggle with is having unhealthy fillers in their food that they don’t even know they

are eating,” Eaton said. Instead, he recommends “things like sprouted brown rice, whole-grain oat bread – anything that is a simple organic carb. If you’re going to eat proteins, choose clean, grass-fed beef, organic grained chicken or the healthiest chicken you can find. Stay away from processed food; most of the time those foods are full of sodium. Also, stay away from simple sugars. If you’re going to use a sugar substitute, try stevia. “Pre-cooked or pre-made foods that are not organic are probably not good for you,” he added. “Pretty much anything from the frozen food section or a box – most of the time it’s not very good. The same goes for canned foods.” When it comes to micronutrients and general minerals, Eaton said there are several baseline vitamins he recommends. “The general multivitamin is the baseline for everyone’s health; omegas and good fats are very good to be added in your diet, especially for women,” Eaton said. “Also, when pertaining to overall health and jumping to cardiovascular health, I recommend seven days of some type of heart-healthy exercise. It doesn’t have to be intense; it can be simply walking down the road.” Eaton said he’s always enjoyed exercising, but a switch flipped to bring on the passion for fitness. “Everyone remembers me as a fat kid, even though I played all-star baseball and then played for Coach Booth before I got a job,” Eaton said. “It wasn’t until I was ready to lose the weight that the switch flipped. Something I had to change was staying away from fast food completely. You can’t indulge in food to try and fix your problems. Food can completely be an addiction. In the past, alcohol was also a part of my life before I found how detrimental it was on my health. “Exercise releases endorphins, and you can get the same feelings as you get with food or going to the bar on Saturday night,” he added. “There’s something everybody is passionate about, and we’re all here to encourage each other and push each other to do our very best,” Eaton said. “At the end of the day, you have to look yourself in the mirror. If you’re not happy with the person you’re looking at, you have the ability to change it. God only gave us one body to take care of, and he called it a temple.” Eaton Wise Nutrition is located at 907 U.S. Highway 31 in Hartselle. For more information, find Eaton Wise Nutrition on Facebook. Hartselle Living 35



Hartselle Fitness Center has been taken over by a party of four – including Hartselle natives Mandi and Justin Youngblood – and the new owners practice what they preach when it comes to health and nutrition. Mother, wife and business owner Mandi said she tries to be an example to the community and in her household when it comes to heart health. “Exercising and proper nutrition have helped me live a healthy lifestyle and have kept me from having to take any medications or experiencing any other health conditions,” Youngblood said. “I’ve been an athlete my entire life – I played softball and ran track and cross country. As I’ve gotten older I continue these hobbies, and working out has always seemed to be the logical thing to do to help keep me in shape and happy with myself. “I was 15 years old when I started my first gym membership,” Youngblood added. “With that being said, I have been stronger and prevented myself from injuries, including arthritis and joint pain, while increasing my energy and also aiding in living a longer and healthier lifestyle.” Her first role models for a healthy lifestyle were here parents. “They were coaches for me and my siblings, and they made sure we were the best we could be and were always supportive,” Youngblood said. “I’ve always cared about my appearance and the way I felt in my own skin and clothes. My husband continues to help me grow in my fitness career, as he was also an incredible athlete. I have been a personal trainer and motivator for 20 years, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood, too – but my parents were the first to influence me as a child into this lifestyle.” Youngblood said living a healthy life is a daily effort and made with each choice. Bad moments or bad choices, she added, don’t have to hold anyone back from being better.

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“As a family we decided the next step would be to own our own facility and be able to benefit our community. Our main focus is service,” Youngblood said. “Health and fitness is a lifestyle, and we live it out daily. As gym owners, we enjoy helping people and have been blessed to share our health and fitness experiences with others. My husband and I are grounded in our beliefs in being healthy and living a long life. As parents, we feel it’s necessary to teach our children to take care of their bodies at a young age.” Yongblood said the old saying rings true: If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. “Becoming gym owners has been one of the best decisions we’ve made,” she said. “Though it requires extra time and dedication, it is a very rewarding feeling seeing our members reach certain goals and change their lives for the better once they walk out the gym door. They have 24/7 access here, and I believe this is a major asset to our growth in memberships … There is no limit on working on your health and fitness. You can always grow, setting new, higher goals and being the best “you” you can be. “I highly recommend starting an exercise program, even if it’s at your own home,” Youngblood added. “You will only benefit from this, and you’ll want to eat healthier once you start seeing results. The two of them, exercising and nutrition, definitely go hand in hand. Exercise also helps with the wear and tear of stress. A lot of people use cardio and weight training as their person stress reliever.” Hartselle Fitness Center is located at 800 US-31 in Hartselle. The gym offers a variety of classes, cardio equipment, free weights and machines. For more information, check out Hartselle Fitness Center on Facebook or contact the gym directly for membership pricing, personal training and other offers.

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Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce


NEW MEMBERS The Chamber would like to welcome the following new members: • Keramos Ceramics • RAW Images • Turf Doctor Inc. • Behind the Canvas • Wings of Alexia New members from January 22-February 8. 38 Hartselle Living

Jan. 16 the Chamber kicked off the 2019 Ambassador Program. We welcomed many new faces, and several returned for another term. Grant McKelvey, incoming chairman of the Board, talked to the group about his excitement about being involved with the Chamber and shared why he believes the ambassadors are such an integral part of the success of the organization. The Chamber has a lot of exciting things planned, and the ambassadors are looking forward to an exciting year. The Chamber would like to introduce the 2019 Chamber Ambassadors: Cindy Davidson Journey’s By Design Travel & Tours, LLC Landis Griffin Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County Kelly McIntyre Columbia Cottage ‘Carrow McClendon Prayers for Kayleigh Foundation Pam Hanners Redstone Federal Credit Union

Jennifer Williams Junior League of Morgan County

Kerry Richardson Main St. Mortgage

Andrea Hatfield

Bettye English

Sandy Johnson

Larry Murphree

Vanessa Johnson Realtor, RE/MAX Platinum Decatur Rebecca Horner Keramos Ceramics Page Holifield Michael Holifield State Farm Amber Turner NAWDA

Kimberly Lewis Angel Keepers Tashia Nail Peoples Bank Josh Moore Hartselle Enquirer Nancy Solburg


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman of the Board: Dr. Chuck Gill, Morgan Animal Hospital Chair-Elect: Grant McKelvey, McKelvey Technologies

Jan. 22 the Chamber launched Networking at Nine, a new social event for our members! Each N@N is hosted by a different Chamber member at their business location. They will start at 9 a.m. and last approximately one hour. The event will begin with networking with other attendees, followed by a brief meeting that includes new member/guest introductions, Chamber announcements and updates from Chamber members. Save the date for upcoming N@N events: March 26, Behind the Canvas April 30, Hartselle Enquirer

Secretary/Treasurer: Tammy Lott, Redstone Federal Credit Union

DIRECTORS Scott Stadthagen, Hagen Homes

If your business would like to host a Networking at Nine event, contact the Chamber.


Janan Downs, Zoey’s Downtown RaJane Hampton, United Country Four Oaks Realty and Auction Dr. Chris Widner, Widner Family Dentistry Dr. Franklin Penn, Individual Pastor Brad Sheats,

The Olive Co. held a ribbon cutting Jan. 31.

Life Church Chad Hughey, State Farm Insurance Sherry Floyd, Sonoco

STAFF Andrea Owensby, Keramos Ceramics held a ribbon cutting Feb. 5. Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 817, Hartselle, AL 35640

256. 773.4370

President Kassi Hill, Administration and Events Coordinator Hartselle Living 39




PHOTOS BY HOPE THOMPSON Hartselle Junior High School students performed for a large group of family and peers Jan. 11. Students performed by singing, dancing and performing magic tricks on stage. 1. Braelyn Harvel and Teagan Ashby 2. Ivie and Elliot Ashby 3. Katie Lin Hodge, Jinger Heath and Adeline Burney 4. Aysa Foster, Saniyah Orr and Rosie Foster 5. April Priola, John Priola and Donna Priola 6. Aron Benson, Elizabeth Williams and Nevaeh Abstance 7. Tiffany Watson, Kathleen Robertson and Anna Sherman 8. Destiny Thompson, Addison Mills, Kinley Patterson and Cynthia Parker 9. Maya Patton and Jalessa Patton 10. Mckenzie Tillman, Brooklyn Sherrill, Jayda Foster, Susanna Nave and Katee Anna Acer 10. Mary Speed, Angie Maples and Kevin Cagle 12. Lynn, Judy, Corey and Jacob Doshier 13. Terry Kay, Jenny Faulk and Andy Faulk 14. Connie King and Charlotte Doshier


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More than 300 women enjoyed an all-day conference at the Hartselle Civic Center Jan. 19, listening to several speakers while also enjoying refreshments and door prizes.

PHOTOS BY HOPE THOMPSON 1. Kristen Shuamke, Nacole Wimberly and Micah Camper 2. Heather Hemming and Ezra Earwood 3. Sharon Goe and Mary Ann Slaten 4. April Clark, Connie Phillips and Amanda Lawson 5. Jennifer Roden and Constance Smith 6. Ashton Davis, Ashley Tankersley and Laura Keel 7. Alice Warren, April Hitt and Lisa Pope 8. Reagan Stele and Sophie Jackson 9. Laurel Cornell and Brooke Nelson 10. Sarah Ellis and Lisa Taylor 11. Brittany Boggs and Tammy McCoy 12. Beth Tyler and Lisa Lawrence 13. Gretchen Devries, Sharon Puckett and Jessica Simmons 14. Gretchen Devries and Debra Watson 15. Erin Sheats and Ali Satterfield





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The Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Networking @ Nine event at The Olive Co. Jan. 22. Photos by Lauren Jackson 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Kimberly Lewis. Lindsay and Adam Kubica. Rachel Howard and Nicole Kelsoe. Sarah Parker and Kerry Richardson. Ray Glaze and Kim Whitworth. Ashley Thompson and Darwan Kerr. Andy Chudy and Tonya Wakefield.





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Photos by Rebekah Martin The Hartselle Historical Society held its Lunch & Learn event Jan. 7 at the Burleson Fine Arts Center. 1. Beverly Waldrop, Sandra Smith and Martha Bowling 2. Jimmy and Daisy Little 3. June Barnes, Sherry Echols and Pam Berry 4. Mary Yarbrough, Jo Ann Slocumb and Marie Speegle 5. Jimmy Yarbrough and Chris Stallings 6. Margaret Puckett and Joe A. Puckett 7. Lenora Yarbrough and Sheila Miller 8. Phillip Hines and Robert Peck 9. Dianne Thompson and Karen Owens 10. Laura Tapscott and Britt Murphy 11. David Burleson 12. John Ninke





7 8

9 12 10 11

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Daxton Maze has lived the majority of his life in Hartselle, and he now works for the city as the engineering services manager of Hartselle Utilities. He and his wife, Olivia, have one child, Collins, who is 17 months old.

Where did you go to school? I graduated from Hartselle High School in 2006 and then graduated from The University of Alabama in 2010 with a degree in civil engineering. I earned a Master of Science degree in systems engineering from The University of Alabama at Huntsville in 2014.

How long have you lived in Hartselle?

What does your work as engineering services manager entail? I oversee the administrative and technical operations for water, sewer and natural gas and also provide management for our location services, GIS services, meter services, utility inspections and safety. I act as the utility liaison for residential, commercial and industrial development projects within the city. I also work with the local, state and federal regulatory agencies for compliance.

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Except for my years in Tuscaloosa at college, I have lived in Hartselle since I was born.

What made you choose your job, and what do you enjoy about it? I grew up around construction, and I have always enjoyed that type of work. This role lets me be involved in engineering and construction for various types of projects from beginning to end. Working within the city allows me to have a positive impact on the community and its residents.

What is your favorite place to visit in Hartselle? I really enjoy attending Hartselle High School sporting events, so the basketball gym, football stadium and baseball fields are some of my favorite places to visit in Hartselle.

What is your favorite Hartselle restaurant, and what do you like about it? My favorite restaurant in Hartselle is Holy Smoke. Some close family friends own it, and I love enjoying the smoked wings in such a friendly atmosphere.

Why do you love Hartselle? I love Hartselle because it has done so much for me – as student, a resident and a professional – and I am confident it will do the same for my children. I love Hartselle because it embodies what a hometown should be. 1. Favorite hobby: Real estate/home renovations and golfing 2. Favorite food: Pizza 3. Ambition: To make a lasting, positive impact on the areas over which I have influence – my family, my workplace and my city 4. Church: Church of the Highlands in Huntsville 5. Something people might not know about me: I broke my elbow while throwing a pitch in a city league baseball game when I was 12.

Marketplace Hartselle Living • 256.332.1881

Need appliance or air conditioner parts? How about a water filter for your refrigerator?We have it all at A-1 Appliance Parts! Call 1-800-841-0312 Caregivers & Nurses ALWAYS THERE IN-HOME CARE Immediate need, Flexible hours, Benefits available. Call for more information 256-539-1400 Carroll Fulmer Now Hiring Class-A CDL Drivers. Over-the-road positions Available. Dry vans. No hazmat. Must have one year over-theroad experience and a clean MVR. Competitive pay and bonus package. Good home time. Call 800-633-9710 ext. 2

Church Transportation and Logistics, Inc Now Hiring Birmingham, AL based Transportation Company looking for Class-A CDL-Drivers •Average 22,500/mileswk•Must be at least 23yrs-old•Starting pay at .43/mile increase to .45 in 6-months•18-months driving exp. Call:205-9251977 Ext:2309 or Email: recruiting@church Lenders’ New 1st Time Homebuyer’s Plan at Clayton Homes, Cullman. You can be APPROVED! 256-734-1930 Now Hiring Heavy Equipment Operators and CDL Drivers Competitive pay and benefits. Pre-employment drug test required Equal Employment Opportunity Employer Call: 205-298-

6799 or email us at: G&G STEEL, Inc. is currently seeking qualified Welders & Machinists Apply in person or at www. Competitive pay and benefits. EOE-Minorities/Females/ Vets/Disabled DRIVERS Hanna Truck Lines is seeking Professional Flatbed Drivers. 53 cpm No surprises: Starting pay (all miles): 51 cpm, 52 cpm at 6 months, 53 cpm at 1 year. 100% Outbounds loads Pre-loaded & Tarped. 75% Inbound No Tarp. Late Model Peterbilt Trucks. Air Ride Trailers. Home weekends. Low cost BCBS Health & Dental Ins. Matching 401K. Qualifications: 18 months Class A CDL

Call to today to connect with a


driving experience with 6 months flatbed; Applicants must meet all D.O.T. requirements. Contact recruiting at 1-800-634-7315 or come by HTL office at 1700 Boone Blvd, Northport. EOE Come work with us as a Caregiver or CNA! Competitive wages, Shift premium for weekends, Flexible Schedules, Friendly Staff, Endless Opportunities, Apply today at www. or call 256-883-3080 Now Booking! Spring, Summer, and Fall. Estate, Antique, Farm Equipment and Real Estate Auctions. Call Auctioneer Chris McNatt • ASL#1474 • TSL#5074 • Firm 2652 • 256-874-3786

Smith Motors Two locations on Hwy 31, Decatur Lot #1 256-3509938 Lot #2 256-350-9937 smithmotorsauto Town Hill Mini Storage 160 Units Vacancies All Sizes 256-332-9928 Become a Dental Assistant in ONLY 8 WEEKS! Please visit our website capstonedental or call (205) 561-8118 & get your career started! White Oak Transportation is hiring CDL-A drivers in your area. Great Pay! Excellent Benefits! Visit our website www. for more information EOEM/F/D/V

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