Tim has lived in Montevallo for his entire life and grew up in the city's projects. He is now the lieutenant of the police force and has 3 daughters.
Growing up in Montevallo
"From daycare to graduating high school, even attending the university, everybody knew your family. When you did something wrong, it got back home before you did. That was always the bad thing. I was really a grandmother’s boy. My grandmother also worked and retired from the University of Montevallo in the speech and hearing building. After school, if I didn’t have practice or anything else, I would go hang out with my grandmother and visit the kids at the speech and hearing building. It was cool to always have somewhere you could go, something you could do. As a kid, from the time the sun came up, we were in the woods playing. I was always on bikes. I mean, I don’t remember coming home for lunch- it was whoever’s house you wound up at, whatever friend you'd find, or you’d find a plum tree or a fruit tree... I remember having a pocketful of plums. Montevallo is unique for me because kindergarten to graduate school was all within a 2-mile radius. It’s been a blessing."
On Family's influence
"I feel like we’re all kind of related here in Montevallo. Most of my family is still here. My mom works at the lunch room at the elementary school. She leaves there and she goes to Wal-Mart- she’s always worked at least two or three jobs as long as I can remember. We were taught that good things come to people who work their rear ends off to get it. It’s not given to us, it’s earned. We were always taught you can’t change where you come from, but you can change where you’re going. [My family] pushed education and taught not to complain. That’s something I’m most proud of.
I think the biggest power that anyone has is the power of influence. Not only that, but the way a person is influenced. Being here in a small town with everybody knowing who I was and knowing my family, accountability was a real charge. If I grew up in a bigger city, not having those challenges to excel and do right placed in my face, it could have been a lot different. Everybody is one choice from making their life successful or making it tragic. I’ve had teachers that were friends with my aunts, or I had teachers where my aunts raised their kids. I have an aunt that worked at one daycare for almost 30 years. They raised half the city. It’s funny when you have friends now that are working at the sheriff’s office, or they’re firemen, or they’re lawyers, because we all grew up together. The success story is written by you, and that’s the good thing we learned here."
lessons from football
"I met my dad when I was 15. Now we have a great relationship, but a mother really can’t understand a son. I will not say a mother can’t raise a man because that’s not true- I am a great example of that. But when you’re stubborn and you have a head on your shoulders and just a bit of an attitude, you kind of need that male reinforcement. I found that in my coaches, in the pastors around here, in older friends that truly cared about how I turned out. Once I got older and started lifting weights, I figured out I liked football. I liked being out here on Friday nights and having somebody on the other side of that white line. At the same time, we were still taught that you help people up. Even if you win a football game, you’re not to go out here and destroy somebody or belittle someone. It was one of those things where I was taught to be a man. Sometimes now I come out here [to the football field] by myself… it’s a reality check."
The town's Character
"Montevallo is a place where you can just be yourself- truly be yourself and be accepted. It’s the norm. You don’t have to compete with anybody else, you don’t have to conform to any standard. Just be who you are and be confident in your own ability. And we have to take care of each other. People will tell you a lot of stories, but a lot of them you’ll never hear about because we’re proud as well. We don’t publicize all the good things we do for each other. I remember as a kid, my family worked for the Browns- J.A. Brown [a city councilman, philanthropist, major employer, and owner of Brown Industrial Molding]. My grandparents worked for him and the Brown family sort of changed the way of life for our family. They accepted us and treated us like family, and it was an amazing thing. That’s the thing about Montevallo- a lot of great things that people do for others, you never know about it. Montevallo is at its best when people really lean upon each other and recognize that someone’s in need. When they see someone in need, the city will come together and do what it can."
A different side to the community
"The only difference I see in the city [as an adult and as a police officer] is that there are people that are hurting. There are people that are in need. Then there are people that need a reality check. I’ve learned that sometimes I need to enforce the spirit of the law and not always the letter of the law. Some people need help, some need an opportunity, and some need to know that somebody cares. The bad thing is when some of your friends choose a different path, you see that as well because it’s such a small town. Since we’re a small town, we’re impacted by the drugs that are everywhere. It’s no different being here than anywhere else, but with the small town, the impact that drugs can have on a city… it destroys a place like Montevallo. You see that some of those same people you grew up with are now really sick. I call it an illness, because they are sick. They’re addicted and impacts everyone around them- friends, family, and themselves. That’s when we’re at our worst."
"I have 3 girls. I charge them with being the absolute best. My oldest is president of SGA… it’s like a friendly rivalry when she comes in and she’s like, ‘hey dad, I did this or I won this or I was awarded this.’ She’s really a good athlete as well. She’s a three-sport athlete just like I was. She’ll come in and be like, ‘Dad! What happened to your six-pack? I still got mine!’ I tell her, ‘I’ve got a six-pack, it’s just in the cooler right now!’ I had her at a very young age, and it was a reality check for me to get things together. I told myself a long time ago, she is what really saved me at that point in my life. I can go by the school and everybody tells me she’s a wonderful student, a wonderful athlete, a wonderful kid. I’m going to be just as hard on [my younger daughters] as I was on her. I think the difference in the generation is that she wants to get out for a little while… that’s why she chose to go 3 hours away to school. She wants to get away a bit, and everybody should. But she’ll end up understanding what it is to have a hometown like Montevallo, and I think she’ll miss it."