New Year’s wit and wisdom from 2018’s Tribune Tastemakers


2018 Tribune Tastemakers: top row, left to right: Jock Leonard, Christine Chamblee Nishimura, Jenna Nelson Culpepper and Will Justice Drake; middle row, left to right: Concetta Lovoy Kreps, Jarrod Smitherman, Maria Richter Schultz and Adrian Scott; bottom row, left to right: Cindy Phillips, Laci Schuman and Kathryn Callaway Jones  (contributed)


In his creative weekly series, “10 Things from a Tribune Tastemaker,” local author, artist and all-around entertaining and eccentric (not to mention classy!) Southern gentleman Ben Johnson South introduced Cullman Tribune readers to some creative thinkers and doers in the Cullman community.

This week, just in time for New Year’s, we hear from those Tastemakers again.

In 2018, it was my great pleasure to interview a dozen of the most interesting and influential people in our part of Alabama. These fun, fully engaged folks shared what inspired them in their work and life. My New Year’s gift to them and to you, dear Tribune reader, is a quote I associate with each TASTEMAKER:

JOCK LEONARD, starchitect with Jock Leonard Designs, “Whatever good things we build end up building us.” (Jim Rohn)

CHRISTINE CHAMBLEE NISHIMURA, head bartender 412 Public House, “Why limit happy to an hour?”

JENNA NELSON CULPEPPER, hair/beauty expert at Salon Luxe, “Life is an endless struggle of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.” (author unknown)

CONCETTA LOVOY KREPS, textile guru, “I’m cut from a different cloth and they don’t make the fabric anymore.”

JARROD SMITHERMAN, wood-turning artisan, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” (Robert Frost)

MARIA RICHTER SCHULTZ, “The Countess Of Cullman Colors,” “Colors are the smiles of nature.” Also, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” (Maya Angelou)

ADRIAN SCOTT, Wallace State graphic arts instructor and fine artist, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” (Pablo Picasso)

CINDY PHILLIPS, yotter, potter and certified yoga instructor, Gentle Rain Yoga, “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.”

LACI SCHUMAN, cook/owner Southern Eats, “Life is short—lick the bowl!”

KATHRYN CALLAWAY JONES, professional home organizer/owner Simplified Spaces, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” (Leonardo da Vinci)

PAT SHARPTON, 2019 president, Cullman County Master Gardeners, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” (Audrey Hepburn)

One of our most thought-provoking TASTEMAKERS of the last year was Alabama poet laureate-to-be and current instructor at St. Bernard Prep, WILL JUSTICE DRAKE. Encouraging us all to be more aware and thoughtful, Will Justice shared this quote from Julian of Norwich: “And he showed me more, a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, on the palm of my hand, round like a ball. I looked at it thoughtfully and wondered, ‘What is this?’ And the answer came, ‘It is all that is made.’ I marveled that it continued to exist and did not disintegrate; it was so small. And again, my mind supplied the answer, ‘It exists, both now and forever, because God loves it.’ In short, everything owes its existence to the love of God.”

Lots to ponder and ready us to thrive in 2019. Thank you to each of the wonderful TASTEMAKERS of 2018. And, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!

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