Hailing from the small town of Jackson, Ala., Horne, who goes by Jackie, has called Auburn home since 1988, when she was hired as an assistant professor.
With 15 years of educating under her belt, Horne was offered early retirement in 2003. She jumped at the chance.
In 2005, Horne and her husband, Rick, opened The Brass Brassiere, which was her “dream business.”
“The store was a lifestyle store that catered to the upper echelon of people,” Jackie said. “It was gifts, home decor and an extensive selection of artisan wine.”
Selling wine opened more doors for Jackie. She began hosting wine tastings, which led to preparing appetizers for the events.
“She was doing grilled shrimp and casserole-type entrees,” Rick said. “Those were the types of appetizers people got at our wine tastings, so they were absolutely thrilled.”
The demand for her appetizer recipes led to her to author a cookbook, “From My Kitchen: Appetizers with Wine.”
Five years in business, The Brass Brassiere was succeeding, and the Horne’s were imagining the things they were going to do “someday.”
But when Rick had a near-death experience July 17, 2010, the couple thought they were out of “somedays.”
“Rick suddenly developed bradycardia, which is a drastic slowing down of the heart, when he had two nodes to short out,” Jackie said. “In the five to seven minutes it took rushing him to the hospital, his heart rate dropped from around 37 beats per minutes to 25.”
After doctors stabilized Rick, the couple decided to close The Brass Brassiere and spend their time ‘someday.’
Doctors determined that Rick had sensitivity to wheat products. Thus, his diet must be gluten-free.
“You have to understand her personality,” Rick said. “It would have been very easy for her to say, ‘Well, Rick’s gluten-free, so that means steamed vegetables and grilled (meats).’ But she was determined to make it as normal a diet of the things I had liked, but do it gluten-free. So, she’s been experimenting with that.”
Experimenting indeed. It took Jackie a year and a half to develop the perfect flour blend that works for her.
Jackie has also made it a priority to help those with the same condition as Rick. Through her blog, 4 U Gluten Free, and Facebook, Jackie corresponds with people in Israel and the United Kingdom, helping them understand how to eat gluten-free with a normal diet.
“My passion is to simplify eating gluten-free,” Jackie said. “If I can help one person or help one person cope with their new lifestyle, I feel like my work is done.”
In addition to her blog, Jackie also pens a weekly column titled “From My Kitchen” for “The Auburn Villager.” The column is about cooking, but also about life.
“I call it ‘From My Kitchen,’ because the kitchen is the hub of the house,” Jackie said. “The kitchen table was where we sat to talk about what we were going to do that day or what our plans were for vacation.”
The hat Jackie said she prefers is the one labeled “wife.”
After all, her smile is not brightest when she speaks of her list of accolades, but when she looks at her husband; it is brightest when Rick tells the story of how they met in 1991.
“The graduate program officer that I came to talk with forgot I was coming and wasn’t here,” Rick said. “When I was wondering through the halls, she said, ‘Can I help you?’ And she didn’t realize how much help she was going to be.”
Jackie said when the couple retired they decided that Auburn was where they wanted to stay.
“Where else can you have a major University, be right on the interstate, be an hour and a half from a major airport that will take you anywhere in the world?” Jackie said. “This is just super.”
As Jackie continued to express her love for Auburn, her eyes began to swell with tears.
“And there is nothing in the world like an Auburn football game,” she said. “When you smell the air and you hear the roar, the adrenaline starts pumping.”
She paused and smiled. Then Jackie summed up what living in Auburn means to those who call it home, even if only for a short time.
“There is something that binds you to Auburn once you get here,” she said. “And coming from the University of Alabama (where she received her doctorate), it was hard at first. But now, I wouldn’t trade this place for anything in the world.
“I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I love Auburn because this is home.”