When Kyle Justice of Piedmont was 12, he picked up the guitar and never put it down. Shortly after that, he began taking lessons at Baker Music in Gadsden. After two years, the  lessons ended when his instructor told him that he couldn’t teach him anything else.

From there, Justice began teaching himself how to accompany and improvise.

After he graduated from Spring Garden High School in 2012, he auditioned and was accepted into the Gadsden State Showband. He played there three years under the direction of the late Rip Reagan and then Reagan’s successor Dr. Matt Leder. He graduated with his associate degree in music in December 2015.

He’d known for years that music is his calling, so it was an easy decision for him to apply to Jacksonville State University in pursuit of a career in music.

“I met with my advisor, auditioned and was accepted into the wonderful jazz program,” he said.

Justice is a junior at JSU majoring in general music. He also plays in a big band under the direction of Dr. Andy Nevala and in a small combo. He plans to graduate in the fall of 2017. He is the guitar instructor at The Music Box in Jacksonville.

Justice, who was born and grew up in Piedmont, said once he figured out how to play the guitar, it was like nothing else he’d ever done. He can play the piano, but not as well, nor does he like it as well, as guitar.

He’d like to be a professional musician and teach guitar and eventually get his master’s and teach at a community college or part time at a university.

He’s the only child of David Justice and Kim Justice of Piedmont. His grandmother, Joyce Carter, introduced him to cooking.

“I’d help her cook breakfast and things like that,” Justice said.

He learned the rest by watching the cooking network.

When he was younger, his mother wouldn’t get home from work until 5:30 or 6 p.m. When he came home from school, he’d do his homework, then began preparing dinner. He still has dinner ready for his mother when she gets home from work.

He’s a line cook at Cooter Brown’s in Jacksonville.

“I love it,” he said. “I get to grill stuff all day. It smells good. I cook ribs, chicken, hamburgers … all that good stuff.”

(Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com)