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franklin county times

Vina has become special home for McInnis

Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.

Some teenagers let others drag them down so low that it seems impossible to reach their dreams and some are fortunate enough to get pulled out of the fire by people who care.

Vina High School senior Ethan “Beavis” McInnis said he used to be a troublemaker at an early age, but since he made the move to Vina things have been looking up.

Ethan McInnis

“I’m originally from Biloxi, Miss., and I moved up here with my grandparents while my grandfather took a preaching job in Golden, Miss.,” he said.

“I transferred to Red Bay High School in seventh grade and once I hit grade nine, it just all went south from there. I began to get into lots of trouble and hanging out with the wrong crowd. Finally, the second semester of my tenth grade year I transferred to Vina and with some help, something just clicked inside my head and now I’m on the straight and narrow.”

McInnis said he would forever be in debt to Vina principal James Pharr, because if it weren’t for him he would be heading in a totally different direction.

“I owe everything I am now and everything I am going to be to that man,” he said. “And I will thank him everyday for the rest of my life for the things he taught me.”

Once McInnis hangs up his red devil cap and gown he will enjoy two or three weeks of summer vacation then pack up his things and move south to attend Gulf Coast Community College, which is only a hop, skip and jump away from his hometown of Biloxi, Miss.

There, McInnis will be involved in an eight week ROTC program, which if passed, will certify him as a licensed welder.

Once handling his business down south, he hopes to move back up to Franklin County and either work at G&G Steel or Tiffin Motorhomes to get some experience under his belt.

After a couple of years working, he believes the occupation may call for some more schooling and that is when he plans to go back, major in metal fabrications, come back to “good ole” Vina or Red Bay and open up his own shop.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to do a little bit of everything by then,” he said. “I’ll be working on things such as putting together metal framed garages, welding dam doors, pretty much working with anything metal that needs fixing, I’ll be able to do it.”

McInnis said hopefully it would only take three years to get done with the books and hit the job market.

“Mostly my whole family has played a hand in the metal business and that is one of the reasons why I like the idea of it so much,” he said. “I’ve been around it my whole life. I even remember continuously putting a welding helmet on my head when I was little. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”

McInnis said he has no clue what the future holds, but is adamant about ending up in this area.

“I love it here. There is so much here for me,” he said. “I’m a good ole country boy who likes to hunt and fish. This area has a lot of that and plus there are a lot of nice folks that I would like the chance to do work for once I get back and set up. I want to have a wife one day and raise my kids here. I’d also like a house in the country because I like my privacy and I definitely want a dog.”

Friends know McInnis better by his nickname “Beavis,” which was given to him by D.J. Elrod while he attended Red Bay, and describe him as “someone you could tell anything to and confide in.”

McInnis’s passion for basketball may carry over into his college years, but he said he would have to wait and see how things turn out.

McInnis said the one thing he truly wants out of life is to be remembered.

“I want to leave my mark so that people can remember who I was and what I stood for,” he said.

McInnis said he will miss some of the folks at VHS, but he is ready to hurry up and take the road to college so he can get back and settle down at the place he has grown to love.

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