Folks came from Painter, Oak Hill, Skirum, Dawson, Lathamville, Kilpatrick, Rodentown, Aroney and other communities to attend the Stars and Stripes Celebration on July 4 at Crossville City Park.

My family drove from Sardis City to my hometown, because my sons, James and Brady, wanted to see fireworks on the holiday.

Before the fireworks, the boys enjoyed some treats from Hunter Norwood and his crew with A Little Something Extra Ice Cream.

It was great to see Hunter and his father, Anthony, along with Hunter’s maternal grandparents, Dwight and Jeanine Gary.

Folks outside Crossville remember Brad Hood from his days spent working with WHNT News 19 in Huntsville. Brad first gained fame as a member of the Crossville High School class of 1986.

Brad now serves as a council member for his hometown. I’m glad I received a chance to visit with him briefly before my sons went in search of ice cream.

While my beautiful bride, Malarie, browsed the children’s clothing at the vendor booth operated by Bear and Abby Davis, Bear and I took the opportunity to catch up and reminisce a little.

The Davis and Allen families have been friends for many, many years. When I was growing up, my father, Edwin, and Bear’s dad, Jerry, helped each other in the hay field, cotton field or wherever assistance was needed around their farms.

Some of my favorite early childhood memories involve getting to ride and play on Jerry’s big tractor.

I also had a chance to chat with Jeff Upton, Kevin Leeth, Tony Willoughby, Tawnya Bobo and Ali Bobo Dutton prior to the fireworks.

I visited with a couple more friends while watching the fireworks from the lawn of the Crossville Post Office.

April Hulgan Hart graduated a year ahead of me at CHS. She’s been teaching elementary students at Crossville for 33 years.

April, along with her mother, Equilla Hulgan, and her brother, Tracy Hulgan, have combined for more than 75 years of teaching in Crossville schools. I’m thankful to be one of Mrs. Equilla’s former second-grade students.

I took photos of the terrific fireworks show while catching up with Harold Hunt.

Harold’s daughter, Haley, is married to April’s son, Hank Harbour. Haley teaches at Crossville Elementary School.

Harold’s younger daughter, Caitlyn, recently received a teaching job at Crossville Middle School. She’s also engaged to Jake Dickie.

Harold’s son, Will, is finishing up pharmacy school and is engaged to Mayson Chadwick, whose father, Pete, pastors Crossville First Baptist Church.

Malarie and I hope to bring our family back to the Stars and Stripes Celebration next year. I tip my hat to Crossville Mayor Tera Fortenberry, the council and all the town employees for delivering a wonderful family friendly event.

Shannon J. Allen is sports editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at

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