THE DART: Natchezian plans to take over grandfather’s business one day

Published 6:00 am Saturday, November 27, 2021

NATCHEZ — Natchezian Desmond Miles was laying brick on the wall of a building at Adams County Christian School Wednesday morning close to where The Dart landed. He has been working with his grandfather Johnnie Lee Fitzgerald since he was 7 years old. 

A graduate of Natchez High School, Miles attended Co-Lin Natchez where he earned an associates degree in diesel tech. He returned to school and plans to get his business degree in May. Car breakdowns led him to learn how to fix vehicles and the complexities of diesel intrigues him, he said. 

“Diesels are more complicated than cars,” Miles said. “With a car if you have a problem you can almost always find it with your eyes. With a diesel you have to find the problem with a computer. Otherwise, it is like finding a needle in a haystack. Diesels have more technology than a car and one issue can cause the whole truck to malfunction.”

One day, his plan is to open up a detailing business where he can wash, shampoo and vacuum cars. Someday, he plans to take over the Fitzgerald and Sons Masonry, he said. 

Brick laying is rewarding when he can see the finished product like the backstop on the ACCS softball field, he said.

When he is not working, Miles enjoys spending time with his two red-nose pit bulls Kane and Lola. While he hunts squirrels and coons, he does not take the dogs hunting a whole lot, he said. He has been hunting and fishing since he was 5 years old. Miles said he will fish for catfish, perch, bream, gar and bass, although bass is his favorite. Going into the outdoors gives him time to be around nature and animals. 

“You never know what you will see,” Miles said. 

One time he was hunting close to Natchez State Park when he saw a black panther. It was knee height and was about four feet long, he said. Black panthers, or melanistic cougars, are a rare sight in Mississippi’s woods. 

“I didn’t shoot it or anything,” Miles said. “It wasn’t bothering me so I let it be. It was pretty cool though.”