Only in Brookhaven

Published 5:00 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

It has been about a year since I started a new chapter in my life. I moved to a new town, started a new job, met a lot of new people and joined a new church. Honestly the time has flown by, maybe the old sages are right when they warn the youngsters time only passes quicker as you age.

Thank you Brookhaven for welcoming me to town, especially those who have been willing participants of The Dart. I appreciate the businesses who have entrusted me with telling their stories and the coaches who grant me access to shine a spotlight on our local student athletes.

Brookhaven’s motto is “A Home Seekers Paradise,” but really I think it should be “Only in Brookhaven.”

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Only in Brookhaven, could you run into a man you interviewed for The Dart while taking in the Christmas Parade, and only in Brookhaven would a train delay the route. Meeting your dad’s step-dad in a quiet neighborhood or his former coach at a Food Pantry on New Site Road, both were subjects of The Dart, only in Brookhaven.

Lincoln County is special in its own way. Did you know Heucks Retreat is pronounced like “Hikes” retreat? I found out I had pronounced it wrong for about a year at a Wednesday night prayer meeting. No wonder people say “You ain’t from around here are you,” and well they are not entirely wrong. Each week I’ve had the ability to see a new community or go down a new country road in the County which is pretty neat. There is no such thing as a wrong turn out in the County, it’s just a new adventure.

According to US Census Data, about 38,000 people call Lincoln County home. While I have yet to meet all 38,000 people, I have run into several on multiple occasions.

I first ran across Bobby Knight, litter and solid waste coordinator for the county, as he loaded a trashed tire into the back of his trailer on Newell Road. We chatted for a bit before I headed on in to work. I saw him just last week as his son celebrated the opening of a new restaurant “Chief’s Grill,” next to The Funky Monkey.

Jameson Powell from the Old Coke Plant crosses paths with me once every couple of weeks it seems and he always has the bubbly personality he exhibits at the store. Tammy Stanford, the Mississippi School of the Arts Dance Instructor, once let me go in front of her at the Dollar General at Christmas time. It took her a minute to realize who I was. While I have not been able to make every dance event for MSA, I have made more than I ever would have had I not had the chance to share stories about her and her students.

Our community at Mt. Zion Baptist Church  is special to me. My wife will tell you she has to drag me away from my older friends at the church. We are usually talking about hunting, fishing and our habitat improvement projects. Stuart Sellars allowed me to borrow some Imazapyr and a backpack sprayer to attack sweet gum saplings, Jerry Freeman helped plant a food plot for me and Wayne Foster helped me change a tire one day on the way into work. My dad’s former boss at Walmart from when he worked there in high school is my Sunday school teacher.

A year into living, working and hunting in Lincoln County and I feel so blessed. This weekend is also a big anniversary for me. A year ago, I tied the knot with my bride, drove down to New Orleans for a few days and then returned to a tiny house still in the process of being finished. We are a lot closer to not living in a construction zone than we were a year ago.

When I told my wife I would love her for richer or poorer, sick or in health, good and bad I did not realize that most of our first year would be for poorer and sicker. You gotta start somewhere and as Alan Jackson once sang, “It’s alright to be little bitty.”

An oak tree starts off as a small acorn in the ground and shoots up into the surface. 20 years from now, it might just start to produce fruit, shade and a good hunting spot. Until then, just enjoy the growing seasons.

Hunter Cloud can be reached at