This article first appeared on Scenic98Coastal.
If you live in the Scenic 98 Coastal area, you are probably familiar with Rose Ann Haven, who anchors the WKRG Channel 5 News in the evenings. I recently sat down with Rose Ann at Provision in Fairhope to learn more about her “Off Air” personality. I found her delightful and very down-to-earth. She’d be a fun person to hang around with.
Rose Ann and her husband, Terry, were born and raised in Mississippi. They grew up in the Jackson area and worked together at Mazzios Pizza. “He was so good-looking,” she says, and they soon married. That was 35 years and two grown daughters ago.
She started her career in talk radio right after high school at age 19. She then transitioned to television in Jackson, Mississippi, before accepting a job at a North Carolina television station. They lived in Washington, NC., and she described the town as a lot like Fairhope back in the day. As Rose Ann’s “On Air” reputation grew, she was recruited to WKRG in Mobile seven and a half years later. With a 3-year-old daughter in tow, she and Terry moved to Fairhope, where they have lived since 2002.
Rose Ann’s parents met in San Antonio, Texas, and her father, Murphy Glenn Faulkner, was a blue-eyed country boy and U.S. Army veteran who served in Viet Nam. (Yes, he is related to the famous author William Faulkner.) Her mother was of Mexican and Japanese descent and a devout Jehovah’s Witness. “As a young teenager canvassing neighborhoods witnessing, being a journalist engaging people comes naturally to me,” she says laughingly.
Her father was a home builder and outdoorsman but died tragically and was buried on her 15th birthday. Her uncle, Jesse Faulkner, who they called “Uncle Bill,” took care of the family after her father passed away and gave her away at her wedding. “He was my rock,” says Rose Ann, and she named her second daughter Jesse Faulkner Haven after him. “I began writing poetry after Daddy died. It helped me get through that time in my life.”
Terry is a nurse at Thomas Hospital, which allows Rose Ann to work in Mobile, especially when their girls were young. “I love the commute across the Bayway and Causeway,” she says. “I love seeing the water, smelling the salt air. She tells a story about when her oldest daughter was a child, and they were passing the USS Alabama she asked, “Where is the Auburn ship, Mommy?”
“I like to listen to old YouTube interviews and such during the commute, anything that was relevant back in the day.” She recalled a Barbara Walters interview with Monica Lewinsky. “I loved Barbara Walters, but I felt she piled on unnecessarily at the end of that interview, and that bothered me.”
She and Terry keep a 25’ Catalina sailboat at the Mobile Yacht Club. They love to sail and occasionally sleep on their boat. “It’s a bit like living in a treehouse,” she says, “and I love hearing the sounds at the marina of the masts with the gentle swaying of the boat. It lullabies you to sleep. One night is enough, though.”
“Terry is a fabulous cook. We enjoy entertaining with friends, cooking on the grill, and firing up the karaoke machine.” She has a professional machine with four mics. She’s glad she doesn’t have to depend on her singing to make a living but considers herself a songbird. “Some of my fondest memories are singing with my dad and Uncle Bill. He and I would sing duets of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. I sure do miss him.”
Rose Ann loves the beach and being on the water. A self-described treasure hunter, she collects seashells. “Certain shells are like winning the lottery.” She loves the textures of the shells she finds, like the Scotch Bonnet and the lettered olive snail shell. “I collect sand dollars and the fighting Florida Conchs; of course, I put the live ones back.” She says she wants to learn to fish. Any takers?
On a recent regatta, they sailed to Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi. Rose Ann got so caught up with shelling that her sailing mates blamed her for losing the race. “We came in dead last, but it was so much fun.” She also has an extensive collection of Lady Head Vases. “Devon Walsh says they’re creepy, but I love them.”
Rose Ann hosted the Hound Dog Music Festival last year, benefitting the Baldwin Humane Society. It was a lot of fun, and she does a great job at these events. She says she measures her success by the relationships she has developed through many of these charity events. “There is a strong sense of community here.” There are certain causes she is drawn to. The American Cancer Society is one, especially Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “The Breast Cancer Walk is powerful to me,” she says. “You see how real it is in the eyes of those participating. It’s tangible.”
The American Heart Association is important to her as well. She tells of a 6-year-old boy who was born with only half a heart. His name is Fisher, and she asked his parents, “What is your hope for Fisher?” She tells of a woman who had a tragic life but pulled it back together and inspired her daughter to provide over 128,000 meals to people in need in Pensacola. “It’s the people who are making an impact whom I admire and enjoy getting to know.”
We talked about the changes she’s seen in her twenty-plus years living along the Eastern Shore. “We would vacation here and knew we wanted to live in Fairhope all along.” She says she loves that her daughters graduated from the K-1 Center in Fairhope and then graduated from Fairhope High School with the same group of kids. She recalls that her daughters considered having their loose teeth pulled by Principal Beasley as a badge of honor.
Rose Ann says that she was picked on as a young girl because of her multiracial background. “I love that Fairhope has always been accepting. We have a diverse population, and people seem to get along. I love the fact that my girls grew up in a community where the merchants love the children. I love the small-town parades, celebrating the holidays, and the community support of Fairhope.”
“The Eastern Shore is a treasure. Infrastructure is a concern with all the growth. I get why people want to move here. I just don’t want to lose the character and charm of a small-town feel. It’s been a great place to live and raise our family. My girls don’t want to leave, and that makes me happy. This is a special place.”
Thanks, Rose Ann. It was a pleasure to get to know you; we are lucky to have you.