City girl now loves small town
By Bob Arnold
At age 3, when Angela Hester came to Wesson from Tuscaloosa with her mother after her parents' divorce in 1986, she didn't think she would ever like the town.
"It was quite a change from the city," Hester recalls. "I was in the eighth grade at Wesson Attendance Center in class with sixty other students, leaving behind a class of 1,200 at Tuscaloosa. So I returned to Tuscaloosa to live with my father for my freshman and sophomore years in high school."
Two years later, she came back to Wesson, and has never left, although she has never stopped rooting for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide either. Now, fittingly, Hester is the Town Clerk for the small town she learned to love.
"I came to appreciate and enjoy the close relationships the people of Wesson have with their neighbors, the town's special quiet, and, most of all, the way people here help each other when they are in need," Hester summarizes.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Hester married her first husband Carl Roberts, with whom she had three children over nine years: Trace, 29, a truck driver; Nickoles, who died in a traffic accident when he was 21; and Taylor, 25, a natural gas production supervisor.
"It was with two babies and trying to be a student at Co-Lin while working that I really came to appreciate and love small town Wesson, and the help people here will provide when you need it," she says.
Hester started her working career at the Sunflower grocery store in Wesson in the 1990s and studied a year at Co-Lin in 1992. "I was at the Sunflower, when it closed," she recalls. "It was a sad occasion."
She worked at the truck stop on Sylvarena Road as a waitress and then did bookkeeping there -- her first office job -- before moving to Precoat Metals in Jackson in 1994, where she was a line operator for four years, and then going across the street to Consolidated Metal Products, where she went back into the office as an administrative assistance and bookkeeper in a career she has never left.
Her next career stop was the Crystal Springs Police Department, where she acquired municipal court experience. While there in 2007, she also learned again about the generous help the people of Wesson offer when you're in need. It came after a major boating accident at Roosevelt State Park. It was eight months before she could work again. One week of hospitalization and six surgeries later, she became a Rural Carrier Assistant at Hazlehurst and assisted part time with Wesson municipal court needs, gaining the experience that would bring her to Wesson city hall full time.
Until 2016, when she became full time Court Assistant for Wesson, she was on the road for four years with her husband Chad Hester, a natural gas production consultant, whose work was in Pennsylvania during that period. In 2017, Hester became Wesson Town Clerk.
Hester and her husband of 17 years live on 200 acres on Rocky Hill Road where they graze cattle. They have one son, J.C. Hester, 26, who works in oil and natural gas production for his brother Taylor.
What are your hobbies? I grew up on the water. I learned to water ski when I was five years old on Miller Dollar Lake in Bessimer, Alabama, and the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa. But my current focus when I am not working are my grandchildren -- Laney, 10, Rhylee, 7, Addisyn, 6, and Ainslee, 10 months. I also have twin grandbabies coming this summer. While my husband works in Ohio, I spend my time spoiling them on Rocky Hill Road. When I can get them to water, I teach them to ski and swim, and learn not to be afraid of the water as I was as a kid.
What do you read? I am a fan of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Do you enjoy movies or theater? Again, the Fifty Shades movies. I also like Titanic and Pearl Harbor. My favorite actors are Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DeCaprio. On television, I follow Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med. I particularly like police series, having acquired that interest when I worked for the Crystal Springs Police Department.
How about music? Country. Tim McGraw is my favorite singer/songwriter. I enjoyed going to the Swampstock concerts with Gerri Lynn Porter, who works at Copiah Bank. We try to go to a concert each year.
How would you spend your lottery winnings if you were so lucky.
I have already won the lottery. God gave me a wonderful family with a loving husband along with kids and grandchildren. There is not enough money in the world that could give me the happiness that they do.
How would you change the world?
I really don't know if you can. Pray a lot, I guess.