Though he's lived in Alabama more than 20 years, this year's Kingdom of Callaway Supper Guest of Honor says Callaway County is still his home.
Dr. David L. Durst, born and raised in Fulton, was chosen to be the Guest of Honor at the 106th annual Callaway Supper. Durst is now a board certified plastic surgeon and co-owner of Cosmetic Surgery Center in Huntsville, Ala. Dr. Michael Basnett, president of the Callaway Supper committee, chose Durst to be recognized at the event on March 15 that will take place at William Woods University. The evening will begin with a reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Gladys Woods Kemper Art Center, the supper will follow at 7 p.m. in the Tucker Dining Hall and the program will continue after the supper at the McNutt Campus Center.
"I chose to honor David for not only his numerous accomplishments in the medical field, but for his humility and dedication to his church and family," Basnett stated.
"The guest of honor must be someone who was born and raised in the county," explained Debbie LaRue, secretary of the Callaway Supper committee. "... and who chose to leave the county to pursue his or her career and has done very well and accomplished much."
Durst said it was a "huge honor" to be chosen and he was surprised Basnett picked him.
"I know it's going to be fun to get to see people that I haven't seen for a long time," Durst said.
The surgeon moved to Hunstville in 1987 and opened up the Cosmetic Surgery Center in 2001. Durst operates at Huntsville-area hospitals on patients who are in need of reconstructive surgery because of such incidents as accidents or cancers. He said he also performs cosmetic surgeries at his center for lower rates than hospitals can offer. Dursts' career is both interesting and enjoyable, he says.
"I have fun every day and not everybody can say that," he said.
Durst is a 1973 graduate of Fulton High School, a magna cum laude graduate from University of Missouri-Columbia and did his postgraduate training and residency at the University of Kentucky. He is the son of the late Henry and Betty Durst of Fulton.
His wife, Cindy Atkinson Durst, is originally from Kingdom City.
The Dursts have two children. Their son Chris lives in Houston, Texas, and their daughter Jennifer lives in Birmingham, Ala.
Dale LaRue, Callaway Supper president in 1989, said the event's tradition reaches back to 1906 when the first one was held by Callaway businessmen.
"There's just a tremendous amount of tradition. We've gone through wars and a depression, and it's survived all of those," LaRue said.
Durst said he's looking forward to being a part of that tradition.
"I've been several places in the country, and I can tell you, Midwest people are the best people in the country," he said. "I will always be a Callawegian and always be a Missourian no matter how long I live somewhere else."
Tickets for the Kingdom of Callaway Supper are $15 and are available at Bank Star One, The Callaway Bank, United Security Bank, Crane's Store and Short Stop in Millersburg.