By Mark Stanley and Tracy Steely
Tim Haney is a true Walton County native. He was born in Ft. Walton Beach because there was no hospital in the Santa Rosa Beach area, which is where his family lived. The only elementary school in his time was Bay Elementary, which went through the 6th grade. He graduated from Freeport High School. Tim’s grandmother went to Bay Elementary as well.
Tim’s family tree has deep roots in Walton County. His grandmother was born and raised here. Her father was Chat Holley. Yes, the one that the street north of Highway 98 was named for. Unfortunately, Tim never had the chance to meet Chat Holley, but heard many stories about him while growing up. His grandmother was married to a Marler. The Marlers are well known throughout Destin. His mom’s father was Albert Butler, who was related to Van R. Butler, for whom the elementary school was named. The Butlers also owned the Butler General Store in Grayton Beach. Back in the day, this was the village’s only store and Saturday night dance hall. It later became the famous Red Bar.
Tim has always been creative and loves using his talents. Several years ago, he worked with friends who owned a screen-printing shop in Santa Rosa Beach. He learned the trade and business over the six years he was there. Later Tim went into business with a few other friends and ended up splitting the company and Tim took the screen-printing part of the business. He owns Fresh Prints of South Walton in Freeport.
We asked Tim a few questions to get to know him a little better…
What do you like to do in your free time? “I have started going to the gym lately. I am trying to get healthy and make a few positive changes in my life.”
If you could choose one place to travel, where would it be? “Greece! (said emphatically) I am not sure why I am infatuated with Greece, but I love it. I was in culinary school for a while. I had a class called Cuisines of the World. My friend Cody and I chose Greece as our country and put together an amazing menu. We did such a great job that our menu was used in the next semester’s course.”
What are a few things on your bucket list? “I don’t really have a long bucket list. I would love to go back to the mountains of Colorado. Marriage is on my list for the future.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “I don’t see things much different than how they are now. I thought I wanted to move away from the area when I was younger. I did leave for a while but was called back home. This is the place that people dream of coming to retire; their ending place. Since I am already here…I will be staying.”
What is so different now? “The area has grown so much! We only had one lane and a drawbridge from Freeport to SRB. The only grocery store was the Winn Dixie in Miramar Beach. South Walton didn’t have any grocery stores. Back then everything was just called Santa Rosa Beach, now we have Grayton Beach, Rosemary Beach, etc.”
What advice would you give to people? “I am a Gary Vaynerchuk fan right now. He really preaches gratitude. Be thankful for everything. Quality vs quantity. Be grateful that you woke up this morning. Everyone experiences bad things; it is how you come out of them. The way you respond is what determines your end result.”
Tracy Steely and Mark Stanley are the hosts of a community website called The Faces of Walton County. The project aims to showcase the diverse residents of our community, one Face at a time. To nominate someone for an interview visit www.thefacesofwaltoncounty.com or call Tracy at 850-803-9822.