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The Wedding Issue

Wedding Showcase

Expats in the Delta

The photography of Rory Doyle MARCH/APRIL 2019



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HELP W WR RIT TE THE NEXT T CHAPTER T RF FOR MISSISSIPP S PI’S CHILDREN D N. Every child’ c s life is a story waiting to be told. Att Children’’s of Mississsippi, we’re here to o give them m the best chance for a happily y ever afterr. r As we expand e and d modernize e the state’s state’ only ch hildren’s ho o ospital and our pediatric specialtty clinics, your y gift willl make you part of every e story y. y. The time to give is now. Pllease donate ate te generoussly to support a health hier future for Mississippi’ ippi’s children.


Give ttoday att growch hildrens.org

Architectural rendering of the new Children’’ss building A

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April 5-7, 2019

March 22-24, 2019

Agricenter Int. Memphis, TN

MS Trade Mart Jackson, MS

Spring Market

ShoptheMarket food...gifts...art...home decor’...fashion...jewelry...children’s items... Enjoy shopping more than 175 shops from across the South! (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)



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Let’s s fight co olon can ncer toge ether. Among cancers that affectt both men and women, colorectal can ncer is the second leading cause of can ncer deaths in the Unit U ed States. If you’re 50 years old or old derr,, getting a screen ning test for colorec ctal cancer could sa ave your life, either by finding gp precancerous o p polyps yp or detectting g cancer early en nough for treatmentt. So for your sake — and your family’s — contact your physician and schedule e a screening today.

Get Better B . northmiss.ba aptistonline.org


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Publisher: J. Scott Coopwood Editor: Cindy Coopwood Managing Editor: Pam Parker Contributing Editors: Hank Burdine, Maude Schuyler Clay, Noel Workman, Roger Stolle Digital Editor: Phil Schank Graphic Designers: Sandra K. Goff, Cailee Conrad, Holly Ray Consultant: Samir Husni, Ph.D. Special Projects Coordinator: Stacye Trout Contributing Writers: Rebekkah Arant, Amanda Flint, Madge Howell, Brenda Ware Jones, Liza Jones, Mike Lee, Sherry Lucas, Susan Marquez, Aimee Robinette, Angela Rogalski, Tony Silber, Boyce Upholt Photography: Austin Britt, Sandi Burt, Greg Campbell, Chris Campos, Rory Doyle, Doug Farris, Brian Flint, Johnny Jennings, Mike Lee, Staci Lewis, Will Jacks, Reynold Meyer Circulation: Holly Tharp Accounting Manager: Emma Jean Thompson Account Executives: Cristen Hemmins, Kristy Kitchings, Wendy Mize, Ann Nestler, Cadey True, Shelby Tuttle POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to Delta Magazine P.O. Box 117, Cleveland, MS 38732 ADVERTISING: For advertising information, please call (662) 843-2700 or email

Justin T. Baker, M.D. • Bobby L. Graham, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P. Manu S. Patel, M.D. • Natale T. Sheehan, M.D. Guangzhi Qu, M.D., Ph.D. • Nicole D. Cleveland, M.D. Bobby S. Wilkerson, M.D. • Tammy H. Young. M.D. Is please to announce the association of

Elizabeth L. Herrington, D.O. Effective February 11, 2019

1227 North State Street, Suite 101 • Jackson, MS 39202 • 601.355.2485 2969 Curran Drive North, Suite 200 • Jackson, MS 39216 • 601.974.5600 2368 Grove Street • Vicksburg, MS 39183 • 601.638.3447 6 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Delta Magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited materials or photos and in general does not return them to sender. Photography obtained for editorial usage is owned by Delta Magazine and may not be released for commercial use such as in advertisements and may not be purchased from the magazine for any reason. All editorial and advertising information is taken from sources considered to be authoritative, but the publication cannot guarantee their accuracy. Neither that information nor any opinion expressed on the pages of Delta Magazine in any way constitutes a solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities mentioned. No material in Delta Magazine may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publication. Delta Magazine is published bi-monthly by Coopwood Magazines, Inc., 125 South Court St., Cleveland, MS 38732-2626. Periodicals postage paid at Cleveland, MS and additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Delta Magazine, P.O. Box 117, Cleveland, MS 38732-0117. Delta Magazine (USPS#022-954)

Delta Magazine is published six times a year by Coopwood Magazines, Inc. EDITORIAL & BUSINESS OFFICE ADDRESSES:

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 117, Cleveland, MS 38732 Shipping Address: 125 South Court Street, Cleveland, MS 38732 Phone (662) 843-2700 • Fax (662) 843-0505 deltamagazine.com E-mail: publisher@deltamagazine.com editor@deltamagazine.com Subscriptions: $28 per year

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M I S S I S S I P P I ’ S F I R S T F O O D H A L L W I T H A C U R AT E D C O L L E C T I O N O F N I N E F O O D & B E V E R AG E C O N C E P T S

B O C C A P I Z Z E R I A • I L L U P O C O F F E E • PO K E S TO P • F E T E A U F E T E • L O C A L H O N E Y A R I E L L A ' S N Y D E L I C AT E S S E N • FAU N A F O O DWO R K S • G O L D C OA S T B A R • W H I S K C R E P E R I E

1 2 0 0 E A S TOV E R D R I V E | J AC K S O N , M S 3 9 2 1 1 | C U LT I VAT I O N F O O D H A L L . C O M

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from the editor

How special to see a stack of Delta Magazines, collected over the years, gracing the shelves of Mary Claire Cumbaa’s new home.

Delta love and distant lands t’s hard to believe spring is practically upon us, which means wedding season is here as

Scott and I had a blast at Florie and Harris Martin’s wedding in North Carolina last summer.

Best dates ever! My sons, Thomas and Jordan with me at Anna and Nick Bosworth’s wedding.

We’ve spent weeks scouring hundreds of photos from each wedding, and once again II amwell.amazed at the attention to detail poured into each of these special celebrations. I truly feel as if I was a part of each one, and fortunately for me, I actually did attend a couple of these fabulous events! We’ve also included some pretty handy tips and trends in our wedding section this year. Curating the perfect “Delta” welcome gift box (well...ours is a bucket) was lots of fun and is proof one needs not travel far to find unique scratch-made and handcrafted goods and goodies for out-of-town wedding guests. There is also a decidedly but totally unplanned international theme to this issue. You’ll read about designer Samantha Woo of Jackson who moved here from Vietnam as a young girl and now crafts custom wedding gowns. Lake Village artist Kellee Mayfield has honed her plein air skills while on several art trips to Italy and France, where she was the artist-inresidence at Chateau Orquevaux just last fall. You will also meet several expats from around the globe who ventured here, put down roots, and now call the Delta home. Their chosen careers, from yoga instructor to information technology manager to farmer, are as varied as the locales from which they hail. Then do the reverse and follow Cleveland-based photographer Rory Doyle on his photographic journey around the world as he captures images of people and places in his work that are truly stunning. To bring you back home, we can’t take you much deeper in the Mississippi Delta than Panther Burn near Hollandale. This is where our featured home is located. Newly built and uniquely appointed, this cottage shows the considerable talent of interior designer Mary Claire Cumbaa, who also happens to be the owner! As the earth continues its annual trek around the sun and the days are getting warmer, we wish you lots of love and a happy spring! DM

Cindy Coopwood Editor Spotted one of our Land of Cotton cups in these wedding pics!

@cindycoopwood cindy@deltamagazine.com

Surrounded by friends Dudley Morgan, Stella Lindsey, Mimi Dossett, Julia Ming and Katherine Crump at the wedding reception of Katherine’s daughter Florie! 10 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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contents Volume 16 No. 5

MARCH/APRIL O'Reilly-Dunavant, Lindsay Ott Photography


36 departments 30 BOOKS Reviews of new releases and 34














what Deltans are reading now


48 features

48 56 84



Expats make their home in the Delta


Delta photographer Rory Doyle captures the wide and vibrant world

Locally inspired wedding gift basket, page 86 Cake made with a mother’s love, page 90 Invitation Inspiration, page 94 Samantha Woo’s custom gowns, page 98 Curated wedding photo showcase, page 104 Formal announcements from 2018, page 136

ON THE COVER: Florie and Harris Martin on their wedding day, at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, North Carolina. Photo by Mintwood Photography Company. 12 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Groomsmen gift ideas Spring accessories in white and gold Kellee Mayfield: Lake Village artist making art with moxie Lucious Spiller: A talent that won’t be denied

15 Fragrant plants to add to your garden

Charmed-filled cottage in Panther Burn is designed with an eye toward the future and the past

Instant Pot Inspiration: Two new IP chicken recipes to try The Levee: The Delta’s Great protector

in every issue 14 Letters 18 On the Road Where we’ve been, where we’re going next

22 Off the Beaten Path Roaming the Real and Rustic Delta

26 Hot Topics 170 Events A listing of events including concerts, festivals, book signings

176 Delta Seen Snapshots from area fundraisers, art openings and social events

184 The Final Word by Tony Silber

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YOU WANT A BETTER COMMERCIAL BANKER. REGIONS IS WHERE YOU’LL FIND ONE. EXPECT BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE THAT GOES BEYOND THE BALANCE SHEET. There will come a moment when you realize your Regions Commercial Relationship Manager is someone who will bring you a lot more than just ways to raise capital. You’ll see we’re here to demonstrate our value to you as local, knowledgeable business consultants. You’ll find we ask smart questions, listen to your answers and deliver smart solutions for your business. You’ll know we’re true partners. In that moment, you’ll realize you made the right choice.

LET’S START THE CONVERSATION TODAY. Alan Sims | Commercial Banking 662.227.4044 | alan.sims@regions.com

Commercial Banking | Treasury Management | Capital Markets | Wealth Management © 2019 Regions Bank. All loans and lines subject to credit approval, terms and conditions. | Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.

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I just read Dust in the Road. I must admit that I bought it out of respect for my old friend, Hank Burdine, never thinking I would actually read it. I am not a Delta boy. Well, one nasty January day when I was housebound, I picked it up and read a few of the stories. I was hooked. I read all of it and enjoyed it immensely. Well done! Who knew that a boy who had to repeat sophomore lit and was tutored in English grammar by Smith Turnage would write so well? Thanks for the stories. Jim Overstreet Madison, Mississippi

Paxton and Chick, sharing a laugh with Larry Pryor and RAF pilot Dick Goodwin

Left to right, Delta Democrat-Times editor Hodding Carter, General Gabe Disosway, Col. John Chick, General A. G. Paxton



Lieutenant General Alexander Gallatin Paxton

A salute to

The Greenville general with the deepest Delta roots undoubtedly was Galla Paxton. His father and namesake, born near Arcola, served throughout the Civil War in the supply department of Lee’s Army. Beginning with the 1896 birth of Galla Paxton, Greenville has always been the home of at least one general (or future general). Often there were several at the same time. It was no surprise when Paxton attended Washington and Lee, graduating in 1917 as America prepared to enter Europe’s Great War. Accepted as an officer in the Field Artillery, First Lieutenant Paxton was soon on duty with an artillery unit near Vannes, France. “I was hardly dry behind the ears and

Soldiers of different eras represented the Delta and country with dignity, respect, and greatness BY NOEL WORKMAN • PHOTOS COURTESY OF GREENVILLE MUSEUM


commanding a battery of artillery in France,” he wrote in his biography Three Wars and a Flood. Following the armistice he shipped home, returning as Captain Paxton, and began classing cotton in Greenville with Hubert Crosby. Once confident he had mastered this important Delta skill, he founded A. G. Paxton Cotton Company, a domestic export cotton shipping business. In 1926 Paxton was commissioned in the Mississippi National Guard, commanding a Greenville-based howitzer battery housed in an unused section of the Delta Compress building. Within a year he was promoted to major. As a lieutenant colonel, he was ordered to active duty during the 1927 flood, the Delta’s worst disaster. “That first day he (LeRoy Percy), Will (Percy), Billy Wynn and DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

I just finished reading Noel Workman’s very interesting article about Greenville’s Generals (Janurary/February 2019) and found it fascinating. All those guys were larger than life, and definitely “in charge” in every aspect of their lives. I never knew James Lipscomb, but had an acquaintance type relationship with the others. As I was reading it, I realized I knew almost nothing about the background of any of them. It is funny that Albert Lake lost the Senior Warden’s election to Jack Baskin. It may have been a bitter pill for him. I remember how lovely Jennie was, and always deferred to him—no bridge playing when he was home. Patti Snipes Brandon, Mississippi My January/February issue came in today’s mail and as always, I’ve read it cover to cover. Now I will pass it along so others can see what the Delta has to offer. My daughter, Chrissy Lamastus showed me an early issue and has been a steady subscriber ever since. The current issue

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impressed me especially due to the distance away from Cleveland your ads for businesses, festivals, et cetera. Either you have some super ad sales staff or word has spread that Delta Magazine is widely read. I’ve enjoyed being a long term reader–– keep up the good work. Paul C. Keller St. Augustine, Florida

We love our Delta Magazine! We moved from the South about twenty-five years ago, but keep up with the Delta and Mississippi through your wonderful magazine. My husband and I are true blue, blues lovers. We are scheduling a tour of blues festivals this summer and your piece about Cool Digs, Unique Places to Stay in Clarksdale (January/February 2019) was just D

I wanted to let you know how much we recently enjoyed a recipe from the January/February issue of Delta Magazine. We have fourteen kids at Exodus Ranch children’s shelter right now, eleven boys and three girls plus our own daughter Madaline was here for dinner. We quadrupled the recipe. You should have seen it! They all absolutely loved it and even argued about who got to take the leftovers for lunch the next day. Thank you for including such a wonderful comfort food recipe! I miss my Cleveland days and love getting every issue of the magazine. Shelley Tufts Opelika, Alabama

We’re “buzzed” about our exclusive linen hand towels, $22 each


annual tourism ISSUE $5.95US


25274 24724


Live music HOT SPOTS CLARKSDALE cool digs Rediscover MEMPHIS Delta detours


Cocktail Chic

Find nostalgia in every item of the

Delta Magazine Gift Collection Call or come by our office to shop our gift collection at 125 South Court Street, Cleveland, 662.843.2700. Like our official Delta Magazine Page Twitter @Delta_Mag

Instagram @deltamagazine

To subscribe, call (662) 843-2700 or visit deltamagazine.com 14 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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perfect. We plan a tour across the South this summer and Clarksdale is on the itinerary. This article was wonderful and we are using this article as a guide. We’re so proud of our Southern roots and look forward to our tour this summer. This article couldn’t have been printed at a more opportune time for us. Mary Grace Humboldt Binghamton, NY I was thumbing through a neighbor’s Delta Magazine recently and a photo spread grabbed my attention. I read with interest the article on Paul Abraham. It took me back to one summer afternoon in the late seventies. I was conducting an audit in Cleveland and had gone to the Greenhouse, a favorite Cleveland restaurant that I usually drifted to after work. This day, the Budweiser delivery man came into the restaurant, jovial and smiling. He spoke briefly to the owner and how he and I got into a conversation, I don’t remember. But we spoke for twenty minutes or maybe longer. I remembered that conversation and the conviviality and just feel good attitude of this guy, Paul Abraham. I filed that name in my memory. I like to predict or project what someone in their early life might end up doing with their life. After I read that article, I just nodded my head, “Yep,” as I read about his adventures on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Billy Ray Cyrus. I left my job as an auditor the next year and have never returned to Cleveland. I saw the article and it triggered this memory. I had to write. My prediction was correct and if there was ever a peopleperson, it was Paul Abraham. Amazing what affect a twenty minute conversation can have. Thanks for the article. I’ll order his book this week. Jeff McCormick Pullman, Washington

SEND COMMENTS AND LETTERS TO editor@deltamagazine.com or Delta Magazine PO Box 117 Cleveland, MS 38732 DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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band of beauties


Horses and cattle are a common and beautiful sight along the Mississippi River levee as many Delta residents make use of the adjacent acreage that flanks the barrier for their livestock. These horses were caught galloping in all their glory on the levee just north of Greenville. DM

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where we’ve been, where to go next

Getcha Motor Running


For almost a century, people shopped at Antoon’s Department store in downtown Greenwood that was located on the corner of Carrolton Avenue and Main Street. The old Antoon’s sign has recently been restored and can be viewed at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta.



Motorcycles in the sun and ready for the road at Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson.

PHOTO OPS & T he Wanderer CLARKSDALE Early morning photo of Stanton Hall. – BEN HILLYER

Do You Write? OXFORD

Levon flagging a Northbound at the Issaquenna viaduct. – JOHNNY CASS

If these walls could talk, William Faulkner’s Cottage behind Rowan Oak. – JIM HENDRIX Instagram users, follow @deltamagazine and see #DMphotoops

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A lost cultural jewel in the South Delta. – MARTY KITTRELL


One of Booneville’s oldest buildings, home of The Prentiss County Progress newspaper – BRUCE BARTLEY

FUNKY STOPS Roaming the real and rustic Delta

Unique bloom


History was made in the Mississippi Delta ninety-two years ago on April 21, 1927 during the Mississippi River Flood. The event brought worldwide attention to the Delta and even helped sway the outcome of a presidential election. – BOLIVAR COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Out of the Park


A special species of tree that blooms after Mardi Gras. Harvey Stadium and Boo Ferriss Field at Delta State University. – MADISON DIXON


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Faculty in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University have established the Deer Ecology and Management Lab, a unit of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, as one of the premier deer management research units in the United States. Additionally, MSU and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks have developed the Deer Management Assistance Program, which helps landowners manage white-tailed deer populations while serving as the prototype for 20 other states. Join our Infinite Impact Campaign and help MSU researchers and graduate students impact wildlife in Mississippi.



MSU and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks have developed the Deer Management Assistance Program.

MSU is an AA/EEO university.

12:45 PM

Touching lives. Powering the future. At Entergy Mississippi, the communities we serve are the communities we call home. That’s why we stay active and involved – because we know our responsibility reaches beyond the power grid. So, we invest in education and industry, while developing new solutions to power tomorrow. As a community, our successes fuel each other. We’re all on a circuit. And together, we power life. entergybrightfuture.com

A message from Entergy Mississippi, LLC ©2018 Entergy Services, LLC All Rights Reserved.

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ZZZ E F E V PV  F R P %O X H  &U R V V   %O X H  6 K L H O G  R I  0L V V L V V L S S L   $ 0X W X D O  , Q V X U D Q F H  &R PS D Q \  L V  D Q  L Q G H S H Q G H Q W  O L F H Q V H H  R I  W K H  %O X H  &U R V V  D Q G  %O X H  6 K L H O G  $V V R F L D W L R Q  Š 5H J L V W H U H G  0D U N V  R I  W K H  %O X H  &U R V V  D Q G  %O X H  6 K L H O G  $V V R F L D W L R Q   D Q  $V V R F L D W L R Q  R I  , Q G H S H Q G H Q W  %O X H  &U R V V  D Q G  %O X H  6 K L H O G  3O D Q V 


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OFF THE BEATEN PATH roaming the real and rustic Delta

THE LUCKY RABBIT & HOOKS IN LEXINGTON A South Mississippi hot spot and a new nighttime offering on the edge of the Delta BY MADGE HOWELL


here is not another vintage mall quite like The Lucky Rabbit, located in downtown Hattiesburg. The sum of all the parts of this unique, seasonal store add up to a big happening and it is considered one of the most interesting places in Hattiesburg. Open only the first Thursday through Sunday of each month, this schedule sets them apart dubbing them as “the occasional store” by locals and it certainly is considered a big event in town. The atmosphere is festive and fun, featuring tunes from the 1950s playing in the background with vintage style sodas available plus functional vintage store props like pinball machines, gumball machines, telephone booths, refrigerators and much more. Each month The Lucky Rabbit brings in many new items and they feature new displays in booths, with the goal of creating a completely different atmosphere. The place is full of vintage items, collectibles and a myriad of merchandise spread out over two open floors. 217 Mobile Street, Hattiesburg theluckyrabbit.com



or fifty-eight years, Ed Wilburn “Hook” Hooker ran his insurance business out of a brick building right off the square in Lexington. Realizing it was time for a change, but not ready for retirement, Hook decided to open a sports bar, even though it was not originally his idea. Hooker’s ever supportive daughter, Louise, jumped on board and away they went! Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Hook’s is the place to go to meet old friends and make new ones. A regulation pool table sits in the room where offices were once located and a very nice bar is nestled in the old reception area. Serving wine and beer and light snacks, Hook’s Line and Sinker is a fun place to be on the weekend. 103 Wall Street, Lexington 22 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Central and south Mississippians are raving about the unique offerings at The Lucky Rabbit in Hattiesburg. Deltans and hill dwellers alike are sharing old time stories and taking in live music at Hook’s in Lexington.

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roaming the real and rustic Delta

THE COTTON GIN AT DOCKERY FARMS A walk through a part of the Delta’s past BY AIMEE ROBINETTE


Cotton gins once dotted the landscape of the Mississippi Delta, but in 2019 they are few and far between. The gin at Dockery Farms offers visitors a historic overview of this once thriving industry.

ockery Farms, located a few miles east of Cleveland on Highway 8, was established in 1895 to produce cotton, the biggest export in the country. However, besides producing cotton, the plantation workers were some of the pioneers who gave birth to the blues including Charley Patton, Howlin’ Wolf, Pop Staples, and several others. In the 1920s, the Dockery Farms Cotton Gin was built. However, until 2017 the gin had been out of commission for several decades. The doors were locked and time stood completely still. Two years ago the Dockery Farms Foundation received a matching grant from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area to restore the gin. The foundation had already restored several sites on the property by then, including the Cotton Seed House, Service Station and Cotton Platform. When the cotton gin was still in its prime, it ran 24-hours-a-day from mid-November until all the cotton was ginned. Dockery Plantation ginned its own cotton as well as cotton from neighboring farms. The seeds that were separated from the lint were saved and used to plant the following year’s crop. Some of the seed was sold to produce cotton seed oil. After being dormant for many years, Dockery Farms Foundation set about the task of cleaning the gin and its equipment. “Railings, automated lighting, and walkways were provided for the safety of the visitors,” says Bill Lester, executive director. In addition to this work, an on-demand film was produced for viewing inside the gin for the visitors. The film is narrated by people who were children at Dockery in the 1950s. They describe the gin, cotton production, and their lives at Dockery. The completed gin is one more step in the initial goal of the Dockery Farms Foundation to provide accurate information about the Delta, its culture, its people, and the blues music that was created at Dockery. 229 Highway 8, Cleveland, MS 662-719-1048 or email wclester48@gmail.com.


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HOT TOPICS END OF THE ROAD Tupelo Automobile Museum ends its 16-year run The Tupelo Automobile Museum opened on December 7, 2002. But it began when the creator and owner, Frank K. Spain—a Tupelo native—bought his first antique car back in 1974. Spain, a broadcast pioneer, started WTVA—Tupelo’s first TV station—and along with Filo Farnsworth, helped in the development of color television. But Spain’s real interest was automobiles, for which he and business partner, Max Berryhill searched far and wide to add to his ever-increasing collection. Frank Spain passed away in 2006, but before his death he told his wife Jane, who was very involved in his hobby, to “move on with life,” to dissolve the collection, and to find other avenues of adventure in life. She has now decided to do just that, and on March 31, the Tupelo Automobile Museum will close its doors to the public for the last time to prepare for the auctioning of all 178 automobiles the weekend of April 25-27. “It’s been quite an adventure,” Jane recalled, “but it was time to accomplish our vision, that the museum would fund a charitable educational foundation that my husband envisioned. The collection, valued in excess of $10 million will go to the foundation...every penny,” she said. Each of the Tupelo Automobile Museum’s 178 vehicles will go on the block at no reserve under the hammer of the renowned auction house, Bonhams. Consultant Wayne Carini of Velocity Channel’s “Chasing Classic Cars” is partnering with Bohams and will broadcast


the auction from Tupelo over national television. Many of the cars will certainly stand out, including a 1976 Lincoln Mark IV that Elvis Presley purhcased. Also, some near-flawless automotive signage will be up for auction along with other related memorabilia. The event in April will draw crowds from all over the country, and even outside the U.S. Many of the cars, some one-of-akind and some of extreme rarity, are treasures that will be well-worth the prices that will claim them. (Mike Lee) 1 Otis Dr, Tupelo tupeloautomuseum.com

DELTA VINTAGE CLOTHING A unique way of celebrating the Delta Summers in the Mississippi Delta can leave a lasting impression on people. Lazy, hazy days filled with small-town charm and small-town fun. It certainly did for Nashville native, Claire Brandon, who grew up spending her summers with her grandparents in Clarksdale. Today, Brandon is an entrepreneur who used her degree in international business to help her start Delta Vintage, a dream she’d had since the days of riding her bike down those dusty Delta streets. Brandon says that Delta Vintage is “an apparel company built to explore, honor and support a region that is both unique and somewhat misunderstood—the Mississippi Delta.” Since her days of working in New York for brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, Brandon has had her finger on the pulse of fashion. A family illness and a desire to do her own thing prompted Brandon to step away from the fashion world of New York and move home to Nashville. Starting out on social media, she sold her vintage clothing on Instagram only, but today her company offers a wide range of regionallyinspired shoppable goods, along with some great storytelling on her website as well. She sources, styles, photographs, and sells one-of-a-kind vintage pieces to women, providing a menswear edge. But perhaps the


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most unique aspect of Delta Vintage is the artful storytelling and vibrant visuals Brandon uses to tell not only her own story, but also the culturally rich heritage of the Mississippi Delta. And, Delta Vintage supports its local partners. All of the proceeds from Delta Vintage’s “Bury It In The Mud” screen print collection help fund after-school programming via C2k Ministries, Delta Arts Alliance, and GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi. Customers select from a variety of items and designate which organization they choose to benefit. (Angela Rogalski)


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HOT TOPICS CULTIVATION FOOD HALL Creating a personal dining experience The new cuisine hotspot in Jackson is Cultivation Food Hall. Located in The District at Eastover, the dining establishment allows guests to create their ideal dining experience through a variety of dining choices ranging from authentic Neopolitan pizza and fresh poké bowls to New York deli classics and savory French crêpes. Vegan and gluten-friendly options are also available. Between its common dining areas and a dedicated event space called The Living Room, Cultivation Food Hall has already become super popular. “It’s a place to work, play, meet, relax and celebrate. In turn, Cultivation Food Hall gives back to our community through select events and charitable organizations,” according to their website. This unique eatery also provides “culinary entrepreneurs” the opportunity to test and grow a food concept without considerable investment. For vendor partners, the food hall represents the ultimate platform to grow a food brand and build consumer exposure. (DM Staff)



1200 Eastover Drive, Suite 125, Jackson 601-487-5196, cultivationfoodhall.com

KEEPING IT COUNTRY Paying it forward Country music sensation and Grenada native, Charlie Worsham is giving back to the community that supported his career through the Follow Your Heart Arts Scholarship and Program. The scholarship and program provide musical aid to students in Grenada who want to pursue a career in the arts. “I had grown up in Mississippi believing that I could pursue my wildest dream of making music for a living, and I wanted to make sure that young people growing up in Grenada today could feel the same way about their dreams,” says Worsham. The country music star wrangled several partners to make his dream a reality. The program is funded in large part by grants from the Country Music Association. The Academy of Country Music has helped present a songwriting workshop in addition to guitar lessons. Fender Musical Instruments has also been a crucial friend to the program, providing acoustic guitars. The Grenada School District has provided transportation and a space to hold classes. The Delta Music Institute at Delta State University and the GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi in Cleveland have both partnered to provide teachers for the program as well as experiences on the DMI campus and at the museum.


Worsham says that working with the students has been pure magic, “I see myself in them and remember the pure joy of my first guitar. Our students beam with pride as they learn how to play their instrument, and for many of our students, they find a confidence and a sense of belonging that they might not have found in other after school activities,” he says. “All three of our first year scholarship winners are alumni of the guitar classes. I am on the sidelines rooting for those kids as they prepare to make their mark on the world.” (Aimee Robinette) www.cfmt.org www.facebook.com/pg/FollowYourHeartArts/posts DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Buzzworthy Comments

Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press) Alyson Hagy transports us to Appalachia during uncertain times in Scribe. Times are so uncertain in this novel that our unnamed main character must barter her mystical writing skills for other necessities in a place that has been devastated by civil war and sickness. This character maintains a peace with her hungry neighbors and with a group of migrants that camp on her land while living in the shadow of her revered, deceased sister in the farmhouse where she grew up. But this delicate peace and her own survival are put at major risk when a stranger shows up at her door, wanting a trade. It seems that Hagy chose every single word for this short novel carefully, and Alyson Hagy even though it is brief, you will want to take your time with its mystery, danger, and magic. “A story is a strong bridge across the night. And night is right in front of us.” (Liza Jones)

Great With Child by Beth Ann Fennelly. It is a collection of letters from the author to a friend who is pregnant. It is full of anecdotal essay letters that are relevant to anyone, especially mothers. I have probably read it three times a year since my child was born seven years ago. o Charlotte Buchanan, Freelance writer Leland, Mississippi

Mesha Maren

Educated by Tara Westover

o Harry McCall

Dust in the Road by Hank Burdine

o Rick Woods

Face to Face with Katrina Survivors—A First Responders Tribute by Lemuel A. More

30 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Trials of the Earth by Mary Hamilton. It has everything—mystery, romance, intrigue and sadness. It is a true story about a pioneer woman in Sunflower County and holds the reader’s attention and fascination until the very last word. o Leslie Nichols, Dyslexia Therapist Greenville, Mississippi

The Bible. It gives me true life stories about people just like all of us including their trials, temptations and victories. It gives us the story of Jesus and the reason for my faith. o Julianne Bailey, Attorney Cleveland, Mississippi

Therese Anne Fowler

For the Record Books Delta Magazine fans are currently reading

o Rachel Jett Ware

o Anne Marie Pate, Business Owner Cleveland, Mississippi

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren (Workman Publishing) It’s easy to get emotionally enmeshed with the characters of Sugar Run, Mesha Maren’s novel, and it’s hard to believe this richly descriptive, wild book is a debut. Jodi has been in prison for eighteen years, since she was arrested for manslaughter at the age of seventeen. When she is released from prison, she has a two-part plan: to rescue her deceased partner’s brother from his abusive father and to return to her grandmother’s land in the Appalachian Mountains. While doing this, she becomes involved with a young, desperate mother and her three sons. All six of them head to West Virginia, where plenty of trouble waits for them. The literary world anticipates what else Maren has to offer because this riveting story is a prediction of good things to come from a new, talented voice. (Liza Jones) A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press) New York Times bestselling author of Z, Therese Anne Fowler magnetically draws us into intimate knowledge of Alva Smith Vanderbilt, the heroine of her historical novel, A Well-Behaved Woman. Alva Smith, a well-received Southern woman living during the Gilded Age in New York after the Civil War, needs to marry well. Her whole family, in fact, depends on her marrying well because her family’s money is quickly dwindling, and her father is sick. A convenient marriage would be to William Vanderbilt, whose family has plenty of money but could use her help in heightening the Vanderbilts’ status within the more established social circles of Old New York, which considers the family crude, “new money.” A real-life character of the robber barons, Alva stands out in an extremely limited, patriarchal society as a person who is fierce in determining her own fate and as a woman who stands up for women’s rights both in personal and in public ways. (Liza Jones)

We asked Facebook friends and Delta Magazine Fan Page Group members to list the the best nonfiction book they have read.

o Andy Ellis

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

o Wendy Kelly

The Reckoning by John Grisham

o Margaret Shelton Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It’s everything narrative nonfiction should be, and makes an emotionally compelling story out of a subject that most would find fairly boring: the emergence of a college rowing team.

o Beth Tono Hanos Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

o Susu Ratliff Therrell Winter in Paradise by Elon Hilderbrand

o Neely Young

Rush by Lisa Patton

o Kevin Cox

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

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Burst Believers IV by Vic DaPra and David Plues (Centerstream) The term “Burst” is often used to describe a specific Gibson Les Paul electric guitar that was manufactured from 1958 to 1960 and the significance and impact of this guitar has and continues to shake the music world. Extremely rare and hard to find, some of these guitars sell for upwards of $500,000. In fact, many refer to this brand of guitar as the “Holly Grail” of all electric guitars and as Jimmy Page, guitarist and founder of the rock band, Led Zeppelin has often said, “They are the modern day Stradivarius.” Burst Believers IV is the final in a series of books written and produced by DaPra and Plues. In this last edition, rockstars and other noted musicians are featured such as Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, Carlos Santana, Joe Perry, Ace Frehley, Joe Bonamassa, Ed King, Gary Moore, Mike Bloomfield and others. These noted guitar players show and talk about their prized Les Pauls. The forward is written by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Jimmy Page. Burst Believers IV is essential to any and all Gibson Les Paul enthusiasts. (Special/DM Staff) Paper Son by S. J. Rozan (Pegasus Books) The Most Southern Place on Earth: that’s what they call the Mississippi Delta. It’s not a place Lydia Chin, an American-born Chinese private detective from Chinatown, NYC, ever thought she’d have reason to go. But when her mother tells her a cousin she didn’t know had been jailed in Clarksdale, Mississippi—and that Lydia must rush down South and get him out— Lydia finds herself traveling down Highway 61 with her partner, Bill Smith behind the wheel. From the river levees to the refinement of Oxford, and from old cotton gins to new computer scams, Lydia soon finds that nothing in Mississippi is as she expected it to be. Including her cousin’s legal troubles—or possibly even his innocence. Can she uncover the truth in a place more foreign to her than anywhere she’s ever visited? (Special/DM Staff)

The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Diane C. McPhail (Penguin Random House) On a Mississippi morning in 1859, Emily Matthews begs her father to save a slave, Nathan, about to be auctioned away from his family. Judge Matthews is an abolitionist who runs an illegal school for his slaves, hoping to eventually set them free. A slave named Ginny, has become Emily’s companion and often her conscience—and understands all too well the hazards an educated slave must face. Yet even Ginny could not predict the tangled, tragic string of events set in motion as Nathan’s family arrives at the Matthews farm. A young doctor, Charles Slate, tends to injured Nathan and begins to court Emily, finally persuading her to become his wife. But their union is disrupted by a fatal clash and a lie that will tear two families apart. As Civil War erupts, Emily, Ginny, and Emily’s stoic mother-inlaw, Adeline, each face devastating losses. Emily—sheltered all her life—is especially unprepared for the hardships to come. Struggling to survive in this raw, shifting new world, Emily will discover an untapped inner strength and an unlikely love. And, she will find the courage to confront deep, painful truths. (Special/DM Staff) DM

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SHOPPING ► Monogrammed

whiskey decanter, by Carson, homewetbar.com

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feather lapel pins by Bob Wilbanks, Cleveland Fresh, Cleveland

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groomsmen gift ideas ▲ Whiskey Freeze Cooling Cups by Host

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Magpie Gift and Art, Clarksdale

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Mississippi-made and in it’s second release

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▼ Marble cheese board with gold accents, Rosson Co., Cleveland

◀ Brushed Gold circular vase, Rosson Co., Cleveland

▲ Jepson Bar Cart by Bungalow 5,

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Kendra Scott earrings, H-Squared., Cleveland

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spring accessories in white and gold ◀

Gold leaf antler candlesticks, Mod and Proper, Cleveland

White enamel and gold containers, Rosson Co., Cleveland

▲ Gold foil metal tray with acrylic handles, Howard and Marsh, Greenwood


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Kellee Mayfield Lake Village artist making art with moxie BY SUSAN MARQUEZ • PHOTOGRAPHY BY RORY DOYLE

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rowing up in her home in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Kellee Mayfield was fortunate to have been surrounded by plenty of great artwork. “There was one painting in particular, a portrait of my grandmother that was painted by an artist in New York in the 1930s, that I was always drawn to.” Yet in school, Mayfield was pushed towards science. She graduated college and went on to become a successful sales rep for a medical device company. “I sold pacemakers for the heart, and I was often in the operating room when they were implanted.” Mayfield worked the Delta region, almost always on 24-hour call.


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Mayfield working on a new piece in her home studio.

While she had a passion for science, Mayfield also developed a growing passion for art. “After college, I attended an oilpainting workshop and I really liked it. I began dabbling in oils in 1991, and started painting seriously in 1993. My grandmother, who could be a bit picky, said she liked my work. That was encouragement enough for me to keep going forward.” Mayfield married Brad Mayfield, an Arkansas native. “We met on a blind date twenty years ago,” she says. When the couple moved to Mountain View, Arkansas, in the middle of the Ozark Mountains, she was delighted to learn that it had a strong art community. “I took classes and one of my teachers took me aside and said ‘Kellee, you need to keep painting.’” That was further encouragement for the budding artist, who continued to paint with oils until after the birth of her daughter. “Oil painting can be very messy, and it takes a long time to dry. That didn’t fit in very well with my lifestyle as a new mother.” But Mayfield continued feeling the urge to paint. A friend came up with a solution. She suggested that Mayfield use pastels. “It was like painting with oil, in that I could mix the colors. I did it for a while, but I didn’t 38 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

like having to put the finished products under glass to preserve them.” In looking for an alternative, a local art shop merchant suggested that Mayfield try fast-drying oil paint. That seemed to be exactly what the artist was looking for.

Mayfield and her husband moved to Lake Village, Arkansas in 2007. “We came here because of his job and my friends thought we had lost our minds. But it wasn’t long before I fell in love with Lake Village.” Learning the ways of the Delta, and falling in love with the friendly people made it easy for Mayfield to feel right at home. “I had to get used to the fact that finding things like quinoa would be difficult. But what I learned here is that folks can take the most

ordinary thing and put it on a pretty platter and dress it up and make every occasion feel like the grandest celebration. They know how to make it fancy.” She began writing a blog titled “Delta Moxie.” “I told my friends back home that you have to have a lot of moxie to live in a place like this, which I had plenty of.” Blooming where you’re planted became a way of life for Mayfield, who likes to point out to bigger city folks that there is no Starbucks within a ninety mile radius of her home. “You may be able to find some served in the casinos, but who goes to a casino for Starbucks?” Mayfield’s husband is a general surgeon at Chicot Memorial Medical Center in Lake Village. “His office was my first gallery as we needed art for his walls.” Around 2013 to 2014, a unique thing happened that altered the course of Mayfield’s art career. “I learned about a woman in California who did one painting a day for a month.” She heard about it on a podcast and thought it would be a great way to hone her craft. “They weren’t large paintings. Most were small in size. I posted each day’s painting on Instagram. My goal was not to be selfjudgmental, but to put my work out there and let those who viewed it be the judge

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as to whether or not they liked it.” People took notice of her paintings and began contacting her to do commission work. Lee Margaret Hamilton, owner of Midtown Grill in Greenville, and founder of SoDelta Candles, became a big cheerleader of Mayfield’s work. “Lee Margaret has always been enthusiastic about my work and she’s had great confidence in me.” Mayfield’s work can be found at Midtown Grill which is housed in the old McCormick Bookstore building in Greenville. It is also exhibited in the Midtown Grill in Greenville. Rural. Resourceful. Sparkle. That’s the tagline that Mayfield has on her artwork, which features Delta scenes, and everyday objects that are glorified in her work, from onions and egg cartons to cows, rice fields and cotton. Mayfield has taken several art trips to Italy and France, where she does plein air painting. She was the artist-inresidence at Chateau Orquevaux in France last fall. “Everyone talks about the light in Europe, and it is magnificent, don’t get me wrong. But when I come home to the Delta, the light here is simply wonderful. Art is about conveying light and shadow, and I love it. I love the way the light hits on the fields and the trees here. I used to have to drive to Tupelo a lot for work, and I really love how the light comes through the trees on the Natchez Trace. It’s so beautiful.” It’s not unusual to see soybean fields depicted in Mayfield’s work, and for good reason. For three years now she has served as an ambassador for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. She shares unique and creative ideas on using soy-based products for lip balm, lotion and candles. “I have soybeans growing in my front yard and in my back yard!” She includes DIY recipes on how to make products for the body and home using soybeans on her blog and on Pinterest. Mayfield is also painting canvases for Paul Michael and Co. exclusively for the Round Top market. “They are large format abstracts—five feet by seven feet, used in large spaces. That has been a real gamechanger for me. That, and the internet, which has changed the way art is marketed, discovered and sold.” Mayfield’s work can be seen on her Delta Moxie Instagram page @deltamoxie. DM DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Lamp Shade Ho ouse 4870 Summer A Avve., Memphis, TN 38122 901.767.3220 | lshmemphis.com |

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A Talent That Won’t Be Denied BY ANGELA ROGALSKI


od-given talent cannot be denied and shouldn’t. People born with their own special gift should embrace it and, depending upon what it is, share it with the world. In Lucious Spiller’s case, the gift is music. eighteen and forged his way through the ranks with an energy and abandon that remains today. He attended Philander Smith College in Little Rock and graduated with a degree in elementary art, penning an original children’s blues song, “Pat Your Foot,” that had kids and adults of all ages patting their feet. Spiller’s musical ability and showmanship have catapulted him to the top of the music scene. He has performed with and/or opened for countless wellknown musicians and legendary artists including Bo Diddly, James Brown, e Temptations, e Black Crowes, Larry “Totsy” Davis, Gregg Allman, and many others.


Spiller discovered at an early age that God had blessed him with an ability to make a guitar soar to heights that not many had ever achieved. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, his father gave him his first guitar when he was four years old and taught him his first chords. Spiller was a natural, and no one could deny it. He hasn’t looked back since. Spiller’s own family members were founders of the Black Prairie Blues and have their own permanent marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail in Macon, Mississippi. His early memories include watching his father, Lucious Spiller Sr., his uncles, cousins, and many other blues greats perform during family reunions. He moved to Arkansas at the age of

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Lucious Spiller hails from one of the state’s well-known blues families. His grandfather and great uncles, are founders of “Black Prairie Blues.”

44 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Spiller lives in Clarksdale today, and he is a favorite on the Clarksdale music scene, playing clubs all over town. No one has their finger on the pulse of blues music in Clarksdale more than Roger Stolle. Stolle owns Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in the heart of the downtown area and is also co-founder of the Juke Joint Festival held

own music with a lot of originality but also to make the cover songs he does his own. And he can cover just about any song you can think of, frankly, of any genre, with the voice that he has.” Stolle adds another interesting fact about Spiller is his connection with the audience, whether they’re lifelong blues fans or not. “He will pull in audiences who maybe aren’t going to automatically jump into blues music. In other words, he can play the music that came after blues but was influenced by blues to sort of pull people in, and then he hits them with the real deal, the Mississippi/Arkansas blues numbers. He’s truly an artist; he’s not just someone who practiced a lot and likes to play music and entertain people. He really is artistic in the way he approaches everything.” And of the CD Lucious Spiller Live! Volume 2, the man himself has this to say about the music contained on this live performance CD: “Lucious Spiller Live! Volume 2 is one of the best live albums recorded at Ground Zero Blues Club, if not THE best. Close your eyes, and the only thing missing is me standing there.” DM LAURA CARBONE

Cathy Jones is Spiller’s agent and says that his latest CD is a live recording that is filled with fan favorites. “Lucious has just released the second set of a three-set show called Lucious Spiller Live! Volume 2 that was recorded live in Clarksdale at Ground Zero,” Jones adds. “is is his second live CD. Born to Sing the Blues was his acoustic CD and the first one he put out in 2011. But he really wanted to do some live CDs, and this is his latest release, which is Volume 2. Volume 1 came out about a year ago, and Volume 3 will be out later this year.” Jones said Volume 2, his latest release, is filled with favorite blues standards that he plays often and that people frequently request. “People just clamor for him to play. is CD has a little tribute to Clarksdale, with Muddy Waters, and it has songs such as “Catfish Blues” by Muddy Waters, “Smokestack Lightning” by Howlin’ Wolf, and “Proud Mary” from Ike and Tina Turner, of course, and many others.” Jones adds that Howlin’ Wolf is one of Spiller’s all-time favorite artists. “He does tributes in his shows to Delta blues artists on the Mississippi and Arkansas side.”

each spring in Clarksdale. Stolle says no one epitomizes professionalism and the passion of blues in the same way as Spiller. “In my eyes, Lucious Spiller is one of the premier relatively younger blues-based performers in Mississippi right now,” Stolle says. “He is not only an amazing guitar player, but he also has this really gifted voice that allows him to not only do his

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t’s been about a decade and a half since Murat Gur moved from his native Turkey to Cleveland, Mississippi. His daily commute remains a marvel. “I’m at my house and I might even finish one song in my car and I’m at work. “This is insane to me.” He laughs, comparing it to his Turkish home city of Izmir, where he’d jump on a ferry, even if it made him twenty minutes late, to avoid dealing with the traffic. Like most Mississippi Delta transplants, Gur finds plenty to relish in the roots he’s put down here. Whether the initial draw was education, vocation, or vacation, those who’ve left their countries of origin to settle in the Delta find a warm welcome in the land and its people. Occasionally too warm in the summer, some say. But its landscapes are as wide open as a pair of outstretched arms. And its rhythms—from the pace of life to the authentic blues—work a certain charm in the place they call home.

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Originally from Izmir, Turkey, Murat Gur is the network manager at Delta State University’s office of information technology.


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Yoga instructor Irina Isayeva of Greenville, is a native of Moscow, Russia.


Landed, gently

Hollandale farmers, Marjan and Jan de Regt, moved to the Delta from the Netherlands, where farmland is not readily available. 50 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Gur, now the network manager at Delta State University’s office of information technology, arrived here in 2004 as a student. He and his wife, Ashley, a Cleveland native, wed in 2012 and have started their family. Gur embraces the open spaces of the town and the small backyard playground where their little boy, Sawyer Aydin Gur, three, can scamper. “When I was three years old, I was in a condo somewhere, probably the tenth floor—it wasn’t as easy, like over here.” Mississippi’s lush green landscape, on first sight from the air, reminded Yolandé van Heerden of the dense growth back in her Durban, South Africa, hometown. Kismet is what brought her to Mississippi, she says, forged in her friendship with cookbook author Martha Foose that reaches back to their twenties in Los Angeles and visits to Foose’s family farm near Yazoo City. Van Heerden, now living in Greenwood, is a fiber artist obsessed with folk and modern art quilts and teaching sewing and art classes. Of her first step on Mississippi ground, she says, “I remember having that same feeling you get when you land your feet on African soil—you can feel the heartbeat underneath your soles.” “In Africa, we describe it as a drumbeat.” She moved here in 2011, enticed by close friends, the meandering pace, low inflation, and witty,


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Cetin Oguz moved to Cleveland from Istanbul, Turkey, and is a professor of art, painting, and drawing at Delta State University.

storytelling folk. She and the Delta, “we just clicked together.” The land and its fertile potential proved a powerful pull for Marjan and Jan de Regt, who moved from the Netherlands to Hollandale to farm in March 1987. They grow soybeans and rice on their 3,200-acre Forrest City Farms. “In the Netherlands, there’s not a lot of land for sale anymore because it’s so highly populated,” Marjan explains. “That’s why we came here.” Another bonus: fewer farm regulations. “In the Netherlands, there is a lot of paperwork that you have to fill out and attend to, because it’s smaller scale, and you have more regulations. Here, you are more on your own.”

Adjusting was hard at the outset, with no family around. “And a lot less to do over here,” Jan de Regt says, “if you don’t hunt.” Restaurants and movies were about the only leisure-time options. Trips back to the Netherlands once or twice yearly to catch up with family and friends helped. That’s a familiar tug for many expats. “It was so hard at the beginning,” Gur says, remembering the small calling cards he


Traded spaces

Australian Naomi Gapes, is owner of Levon’s Bar & Grill in downtown Clarksdale. DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Yolandé van Heerden, a native of Durban, South Africa, is a fiber artist who teaches sewing and art classes in Greenwood.

relied on to stay in touch with his mom, dad, and sister. “Now, everything is so easy—we can just FaceTime whenever we want. I can see them almost every day.” But Gur yearned, too, for the water he’d grown up with on the Aegean coast. It was always in sight. “Every road, every street, everything is just going to the water in Izmir,” he says. “When I first came as a student, it was just putting tears in my eyes. I missed it that much.” The sea was also touchstone, too, for Cetin Oguz of Cleveland, who came to the United States from Istanbul, Turkey, and has been a professor of art, painting, and drawing at Delta State since 2003. The Aegean Sea was part of his everyday life in a small, historic fishing village in Istanbul. “Growing up around there, you don’t think 52 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

for a second how beautiful it is,” he says. When Oguz came to the Delta, “I was always looking for the clear, pristine waters that I was used to—that you don’t see. You see, of course, the muddy waters—literally.” He’s come to appreciate Delta views— the sunrise, the sunset, how open it is with the surrounding fields. “And I started thinking of that openness I was viewing as the ocean. It’s a different kind of openness, in a way. The horizon is there, where the sky and earth meet.” Married since 2001 to his wife, Carmen, with two boys Cruz, 13, and Cooper, 15, Oguz reminisces, “Everything worked out in a neat way.” That wide-open landscape makes an impression when family visits from overseas. “What they all think is the big difference here is that everything is so big,” Marjan de

Regt says. “The farms are larger in size. Fields are larger. Equipment is bigger. So they do like the space. You can travel here and not come across a city very quickly. Over there, you go from small towns right into the city, into the next small town.” The Netherlands has seventeen million people in an area about the size of the Mississippi Delta, Jan de Regt points out. The Delta population? Not even a half million. For yoga instructor Irina Isayeva of Greenville, a native of Moscow, Russia, cultural attractions such as opera and the symphony, Russian foods, and snow all go on the miss list. Now, twice yearly visits to Russia, including in winter—”because I really miss snow”—fulfill that need. She came to Mississippi eighteen years ago when she married her husband, James Dunn. “I thought it would be too hot here. It is, but I’ve adjusted,” she says. On the Southern front, she’s found favorites in grits and beans and cornbread with onions. There are cool moments, too. “When I first moved to Mississippi, it was December 1, and on December 31 at 3 p.m.—when it was midnight in Moscow and just as the new year started—it started snowing here. It was a lot of snow at that time, that stayed for a couple of days, and my husband said, ‘That’s for you,’” she recalls with a sweet chuckle. “I knew it was for me.”

Say what? Southern accents and idioms can trip up the ears of even fellow Americans and downright confuse international listeners. Oguz had to learn what “fixing to” meant and get accustomed to the way Southerners roll their words. “The South is not like anywhere else,” says Australian Naomi Gapes, owner of Levon’s Bar & Grill in downtown Clarksdale. “There’s all sorts of sayings that you don’t understand.” And that works both ways. “Being Australian, people couldn’t understand what I was saying,” not even her staff, at the start; now, they’ve even picked up some of her lingo. Gapes moved to the Delta town with her then-husband John Casaceli in late 2015 and soon learned the finer points of “bless it.” “You don’t know whether someone is making fun of you...they are,” she says, laughing.


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Theo Dasbach, founded the Rock & Blues Museum first in his home country of the Netherlands, then he brought his artifacts with him when he moved to Clarksdale in 2006.

“Of course, I say things like ‘Crikey,’ and then I sound like the Crocodile Hunter.”

Blues music beckons Gapes first came to Clarksdale on vacation. “In Sydney and Melbourne, people think of Clarksdale as, like, a mecca. It’s part of that road trip—the blues highway.” They’d had two restaurants and a live music venue in Australia. The vacation from Nashville to New Orleans stopped in Clarksdale. “We were so blown away by the town and the people that we decided to come back a couple of times and then decided, very quickly, to move here. You feel a sense of community really quickly. Especially for me, coming from a big city, you don’t get that.” The restaurant back in Australia had a Cajun/Creole kick to it, she says. “I guess it’s just more authentic here because we have access to all the products that really do come from Louisiana.” Pineapple on the menu’s burgers and pizzas is an Australian touch. People will say, “We’ll give it a go,” she says, “and most people like it.” Mississippi’s status as the birthplace of America’s music is a magnet for many to visit, and some to stay. Theo Dasbach, a native of the Netherlands, founded the

Rock & Blues Museum first in his home country. When he moved to the United States, the collection came with him. The museum’s doors opened in Clarksdale in 2006, tying into the town’s historical role in the music and enhancing its tourism draw. “It’s a good spot to be,” he says. “I think any museum should tell a story, and the story is about how the blues influenced rock ‘n’ roll and all the other music in the world,” Dasbach says. The collection of about three thousand artifacts tells that story—through a guitar autographed by Chuck Berry, surf board props from the Beach Boys, the Muddy Waters hit that inspired the Rolling Stones’ name, the story of the Mississippi band Rolling Stones (predating the famous British one), a Charley Patton 78 rpm acetate, “Rocket 88” records by Ike Turner’s band and by Bill Haley and the Saddlemen, and so much more. “We’ve got something from almost any artist in there,” he says, from about 1920 to 1970, when blues and its influences manifested in rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, British invasion, psychedelic rock, and rock music. Dasbach lives in Memphis, but with the museum, “All my roots are totally more there” in Clarksdale, he says. The nonprofit

museum plans to close at the end of March, with Dasbach’s impending seventieth birthday and retirement, but he hopes a buyer of the memorabilia will continue to share the Rock & Blues story. The blues history and festivals continue to pull in tourists from all over. “Heaps of friends” and countrymen visit, Gapes says. “I honestly wouldn’t go a single day in Clarksdale without seeing an Australian here. I love it. It proves that coming to Clarksdale was the right decision.” “You could sit at my bar and you could meet people from all over the world in this tiny little town in the Delta.” Such cosmopolitan pockets are cool, but the real warmth comes closer to home as expats adjust to new surroundings, new friends, new ways. Holding onto native traditions is a way to keep the homeland and its customs close. Marjan de Regt still makes winter stews and Dutch pancakes — bigger and thinner, like crepes, that are rolled with syrup, sugar, bacon or cheese inside. She recalls their St. Nicholas traditions at Christmas when the children were little. Their kids are grown now. And, they’re American. As Jan de Regt says, “We feel part of the Delta now.” DM DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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moss mountain farm Tour P. Allen Smith’s private home, abundant gardens, & enjoy a garden-to-table lunch.


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FIND YOUR R H Y T H M When the sun goes down, the fun heats up in the Birthplace of America’s Music. Find your rhythm at festivals celebrating Mississippi’s one-of-a-kind culture and cuisine.

V I S I T M I S S I S S I P P I .O R G / D O N T M I S S O U T

B R I G H T L I G H T S B E L H AV E N N I G H T S - J A C K S O N , M I S S I S S I P P I

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Wandering EYES

From distant lands to the nearby Delta, photographer Rory Doyle captures the wide and vibrant world


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Dusk in Manarola in the Italian Riveria. The beautiful village is part of Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Mississippi Sound, I watched Rory climb into the rigging of a shrimp trawler—a precarious position, but in his estimation the best way to capture a fisherman hauling in his net. We got back to our hotel past midnight, yet before sunrise he was slipping out to catch the water under the soft morning light. There, in the harbor, I watched as he sweet-talked a set of immigrant Vietnamese shrimpers—who spoke limited English and were clearly wary—into posing for a photograph.


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Jeremy Melvin, a Mississippi Delta cowboy, rides his horse at sunset in Bolivar County, Mississippi.

For me, it was an instructive trip. Here was someone who refused to settle, who never turned off: who believed that in the coming moment, or around the next corner, a deeper image might appear. Here was someone who would never stop looking, never stop thinking of where to go next. On our drive back north to the Delta, we frequently pulled to the side of the road so that Rory could capture some eye-catching detail. I mentioned this to his wife, Marisol, and she just rolled her eyes. Sometimes travel with Rory can be slow. That’s a small price, though, for the result: a cascade of images that remind you that the world is full of brightness and beauty and joy. His typical photograph pulls you close into a small moment of human drama—often the eyes of the subject, crackling with life, are the focal point—before releasing you back into the world around the subject, whether a wide-open landscape or a crumbling neighborhood or a dimly lit bar. It makes you want to go there, where the photo was taken—or go somewhere because the world, it’s clear, is large and filled with life. Rory, who grew up in the woods of West Newfield, Maine, was always curious about the world beyond the small town. But his parents were not travelers. “We never left the Northeast,” he says; even friends’ trips to Disney World seemed exotic. As a senior at St. Michael’s, a small liberal-arts college in Vermont, Rory had the 58 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

chance to study in New Zealand. Once he landed in Auckland, he realized he was already halfway across the globe—a place he might never get to again—so he set school aside for six months, planehopping from Thailand to Egypt to Sweden and beyond. Rory was majoring in journalism. A lifelong athlete, he figured he’d become a sportswriter—but did not actually love the writing part. In 2008, after he returned to St. Michael’s, a photojournalism elective changed that path. As Rory transitioned from simple pointand-shoot techniques to the complex decision-making of fully manual photography, he found himself fascinated by the possibilities: the way a slow shutter speed could bring blur and motion to an image or how adjusting the lens’s aperture could sharpen or dampen the background details. “It opened a whole new world for me in terms of telling stories,” Rory says. He became immediately ambitious; while fellow students focused their sports-photography projects on campus teams, he went out and found a local women’s roller derby team. For his final assignment, he collected images of undocumented workers on a nearby dairy farm. The same curiosity that had sent him spiraling around the globe had found its perfect outlet. Photography was travel: a means of exploring the world. In 2009, a year after graduating, Rory landed in the Mississippi Delta—not as a photographer but as an education student at Delta

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A woman with vibrant red hair smokes her cigarette before catching a performance at the Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theater in Perm, Russia.


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Young friends pose for a portrait at the Kuthodaw Pagoda Buddhist temples in Mandalay, Myanmar. Below: A hip hop dancer performs a music video overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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Gondolas navigate the busy Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy.


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My sister, Katherine Doyle, overlooks the stunning turquoise glacial water of Peyto Lake during our hike in the Canadian Rockies.

State University. He was contemplating a career in outdoor recreation. But when he took a job with The Bolivar Commercial, he began to shoot more and more photos. He found the landscape and culture—so different from his hometown in Maine—to be as fascinating as any foreign locale. Rory says he was raw as a photographer—even now, that one elective remains his only formal training—but as he kept shooting, the sharpness of his vision was apparent. In 2013, he caught the attention of DSU’s marketing department, who hired him full time. By the end of the year, he began to break into local magazines and then, before long, into freelance work for regional Southern publications and then national outlets like The Atlantic. In the meantime, Rory kept traveling. Each year, he and Marisol save money and spend a few weeks abroad; they’ve now wandered ten different countries together, from Peru to France. 62 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

There is an inherent shortcoming to this constant wandering: it makes it difficult to dig deeply into any single subject. Even within the Delta, Rory found himself running from scene to scene, paycheck to paycheck. “Everything I was doing was for somebody else,” he explains. “Very quick, in-and-out assignments. I was neglecting my personal work, which was also neglecting my growth as a photographer.” Then, in 2016, during Cleveland’s annual Christmas parade, Rory noticed an interesting scene: a half dozen African American men, wrapped up in long field coats, cowboy hats atop their heads, riding on horseback. Earlier in his career, he might have simply snapped a photo and moved on. This time, though, Rory did something different: he approached the men and chatted with them. They invited him to a “Black Heritage” rodeo a few weeks later in Greenville, and that rodeo opened an unexpected door: Rory began

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A fisherman empties his net at sunrise after an early morning fish in the rural village of La Manga in Sonora, Mexico.

to befriend the Delta’s tight-knit community of black cowboys and cowgirls, joining them on trail rides, at horse shows, even after-hours at local nightclubs. “I’ve found a side of the Delta that I’d never known, and maybe never would have known if not for this project,” Rory says, which, he notes, helps fulfill his desire to explore, even when he’s near home. It’s also given a new focus to his international wandering; he now finds himself connecting with various horse-riding cultures. His photographs of Cuban cowboys, for example, caught the attention of the late Anthony Bourdain, which led to a photo essay published by CNN. In early 2018, best-selling journalist Sebastian Junger came across the Delta cowboys project on Instagram. Junger, who owns the Half King, a bar and photography gallery in New York City, invited Rory to exhibit his photos. Soon other exhibitions followed, in New York

and in Mississippi. Six months later, Doyle won the prestigious Eye Em photojournalism award, which launched an explosion of coverage. Write-ups about the project have now appeared in the Washington Post, the British Journal of Photography, and ABC News, among countless other publications. As new freelance commissions poured in, Rory left his job with DSU to become a full-time independent photographer. The cowboys project will almost certainly become, eventually, a book—though just when that will happen is hard to say. As the cowboys have shifted from subjects to friends, he has realized there will not be a moment when his interest in their lives will end. In the meantime, of course, his eyes will be wandering still—across the Delta and all around the world. “My eyes are always on the lookout for something,” he says. “That’s hard for me to stop.” DM


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To add to your garden BY P. ALLEN SMITH


looms are great for adding visual interest to a landscape and attracting those all-important pollinators. Part of the allure of a flower garden is also its wonderful fragrance! Here are fifteen of our favorite fragrant plants for adding beauty and lovely scents to your outdoor spaces.

P. Allen Smith of Moss Mountain Farm in Roland, Arkansas is a garden design expert, horticulturalist and author.

English lavender This aromatic herb looks beautiful when planted in a large swath in the garden. It also grows well in containers. The dark, lavenderblue flower spikes are very attractive to butterflies as well. Lavender thrives in growing conditions similar to its native habitat along the Mediterranean coast. They prefer moist, cool winters and hot, dry summers. Well-drained soil and a full day’s sun are also essential for robust plants and plentiful blooms. Peonies Prized for their form, stunning range of colors, and exceptional hardiness, few other plants once established bloom so reliably year after year with such little care. Their large, glorious flowers add bright splashes of color to beds and borders and their intoxicating fragrance make them a wonderful cut flower. And, as if there wasn’t enough to love already about peonies, they’re also deer resistant.


Lemon Balm Part of the mint family, this herb has a lemon flavor and smells of lemon with a hint of mint. Lemon balm is great in teas, salads and even cut to use in bouquets. It can quickly take over in your garden if you’re not careful, but unlike mint, the roots are not the problem here. It’s the seeds. The best course of action to prevent lemon balm from taking over the garden is to remove its flowers as soon as you notice them.

Catmint Memories from my childhood come to mind with this beautiful flower.

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At the peak of spring, the thirty-inch tall plants are lush with gray-green, scented

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Wisteria Oh, sweet wisteria! Those gorgeous violet-blue blooms and their sweet smell that takes over the garden just scream “spring!” Wisteria is really easy to grow but has to be controlled with regular pruning. Plant wisteria in rich, moist soil in a sunny spot if you want it to bloom. Once established, wisteria is drought tolerant and requires very little care aside from pruning.

Champneys’ Pink Cluster You will find these throughout the rose garden at Moss Mountain Farm. Champneys’ Pink Cluster is a Noisette rose, the first class of American roses. The clusters of pale pink blossoms have an intoxicating fragrance. Champneys’ Pink Cluster can be trained to climb with the right support. Pruning will allow you to grow it as a shrub as well.

Watching butterflies in the garden is such a joy!


Lilac This plant produces fragrant lavender blooms. Lilacs bloom best when planted in well-drained, alkaline soil, and in full sun. Plants should be fertilized with a general fertilizer in early spring and then again after the bloom cycle. To encourage blooms, substitute the general fertilizer with super phosphate, or a fertilizer high in phosphorus, for your early spring feeding.


foliage and literally covered in spires of soft purple blooms. If you struggle with growing the herb lavender, I suggest you try nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ as an alternative. Catmint does best in full sun, planted in soil that is moist, but well-drained.

One way to help increase honey bee populations is to choose flowering plants that honey bees like.

Mock orange Adding mock orange to your garden is one of my favorite ways to get that wonderful citrus fragrance without having to care for fruit trees, which can be a real hassle. While the name suggests something deceiving— especially with the absence of color on the petals—the scent is all real and really lovely. For best results, plant mock orange in full sun or partial shade and make sure the soil is moist and place in a well-drained area of your garden or yard. Hyacinths With a little love and patience, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous fragrant hyacinth blooms in the spring. Many people grow them indoors by forcing the bulbs. You can learn more here.To grow outdoors, plant the bulbs in early fall in rich, moist, well-drained


Oriental lilies These fragrant flowers are late summer bloomers. They need to be planted in welldrained soil in full sun. Water moderately once they start to bloom.These lilies are so easy to care for, but a word of warning: deer will love your lilies as much as you do!

One critter I love hanging around my garden is the hummingbird.

soil. Growing hyacinths in containers is another option, and it gives you more control over the soil conditions. Gardenia Very few plants can top the sweet smell of gardenias! And those gorgeous white blooms pop against the glossy, deep green foliage. Grow gardenias in a protected area that gets full sun to part shade. The plant thrives in consistently moist, well-drained soil. Feed the plant in the spring before new growth starts using an all-purpose fertilizer.

Tuberose With good drainage and ample mulching, these Mexican exotics are quite rewarding. They are prized for their tall sprays of pearly white, tubular, very fragrant flowers. Plant them near a patio, walk, deck or other living space to enjoy the spicy-sweet fragrance.Grow tuberoses in organically rich, well-draining soil. Plant the rhizomes two inches deep and six inches apart in spring after the threat of frost is past. Provide consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Pineapple Sage A magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, pineapple sage is named for the pineapple scent of its foliage. The bold red blooms make an appearance in late summer/early fall.Grow pineapple sage in a sunny spot that has a bit of afternoon shade. Soil should be well drained, but the plant needs moisture to support it as it grows quickly. Once established, pineapple sage is drought tolerant. Honeysuckle You can’t go wrong with honeysuckle! It will thrive in most conditions and is a perfect choice for attracting wildlife to the garden. Honeysuckle grows best in full sun but can take a bit of shade. Plant in well-drained soil amended with organic matter for best results. Trumpet vine/Angel’s trumpet Another plant that attracts hummingbirds, trumpet vine grows well in sun or partial shade and can handle most soil conditions.Trumpet vine is a rapid grower and, like wisteria, can quickly become out of control without regular pruning. You should consider a support structure when choosing where to plant trumpet vine. A fence or trellis works well. Avoid using trees as support. DM DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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A ONCE and FUTURE HOUSE Designed with an eye toward the past, and toward generations to come, this charm-filled cottage is already packed with memories, and ready for plenty more.


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A mix of sleek and rustic, calm neutrals with pops of blue, and texture everywhere define this charm-packed cottage.

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The clean-lined open shelving in the farmhouse kitchen holds a profusion of McCarty pottery.


t is certainly unusual for a couple to build their weekend getaway cottage before their “forever” main house even exists, but that’s exactly what Mary Clair and Noel Cumbaa decided to do. They

were still relative newlyweds in 2018, when they decided to build a small home on “New Panther Farm,” that could be enjoyed for years to come. Situated on 2,100 acres, land that Noel is the fifth generation of his family to farm, it is a pristine jewel that blends deep architectural tradition with thoroughly modern sensibility. Clad in pale moss-green board-and-batten siding and topped with a tin roof, it sits easily among the vast fields, as if it has been there for generations. 72 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

“We don’t have children yet, but when that happens, we know we’ll need to base in a larger town, for schools and such,” says Mary Clair, a Clinton native and 2014 MSU graduate, with a degree in interior design. “This cottage is perfect for us right now, and is a great place to host the guys in Noel’s hunting club.” The Panther Burn Hunt Club members generally bunk across the road at the camp, which is formed of two tenant houses joined together, but they show up eagerly for her breakfasts of egg casseroles and sausage balls. And in the evenings, after days spent out in the open, the fellows enjoy watching sports or playing cards in front of the fireplace, while Mary Clair looks on, busy in the adjoining kitchen. Wanting an open footpath, with all the main rooms flowing into

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The marble-topped work island/serving bar in the kitchen is fabricated of pecky cypress, given a distressed wash in Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter.”


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Annieglass chargers gleam on the rustic oak table. Below: Mary Clair and Noel with their beagle, Pepper.

A handmade Greek-influenced stool displays Mary Clair’s love of mixedmetal finishes.

one another, the Cumbaas selected a Southern Living house plan created by Georgia designer James Farmer. “Farmdale Cottage,” was originally drawn as a two thousand square-foot structure, with an optional addition of an eight hundred square-foot master wing. The latter provides a quiet, private retreat, down an enclosed gallery hallway, removed from the main living area and the two other guest rooms. Builders Devon and Craig Yoste of Leland brought the project to completion. Perhaps the biggest surprise for first-time visitors is the banquetsized dining room, open to the living area, on the front of the house where an entry would normally be found. With dimensions of almost 18’ x 15’, it easily accommodates a long dining table for more formal meals. Mary Clair was committed to a country vernacular, and was meticulous in her specifications. The kitchen has shiplap siding walls, open shelving, and a deep ceramic farmhouse sink, set into a marble countertop. She chose a neutral palette, with emphasis on textures and 74 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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The dining table, surrounded by button-back side chairs and end chairs clad in a bold buffalo-check linen, rests on a mellow-hued Oushak carpet from India.

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Country comfort meets urban luxe in the master bath.

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The geometric lines of the iron four-poster bed is softened by the cowhide throw rug beneath.

textiles, artwork and accessories, to bring life to the interior. In each of the bedrooms, comfort was the guiding principle. She designed the headboards for the beds, and called on talented seamstress Charlotte Nichols of Leland to craft the curtains. “The main thing I love about our home is that it’s comfortable and quiet, and we were able to totally custom design/select every feature that we wanted from the door knobs to the light fixtures,” she says. For Mary Clair, this project was a labor of love, clearly, and she approached the decking out of her own home exactly the way she approaches that of her clients. She runs Cumbaa Design Company out of a delightful “bird’s nest” loft space above the main living area, where a cornucopia of fabric, carpet, and textile samples surround her desk, waiting to be specified for the next innovative interior installation. From every window in the cottage, there is a view of the vast land. A particularly special one is from the rear of the house, where a back porch is under construction. “We got engaged just down the road there, at sunset,” she says, “And this porch will look out onto that very spot.”


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A luxurious guest room blends style and comfort, with rich textiles and glowing metallic details like the sunburst mirror and sculptural lamps.

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Big drama in small spaces abounds in both the sophisticated guest baths.

The backstory of Panther Burn Just off Highway 61 south of Hollandale, Panther Burn is quite tiny; it’s not a town at all, but officially designated an “unincorporated community.” For all that, it has quite a presence: it has been the subject of a novel, The Children of Panther Burn, by Roosevelt Wright; the title of a song by Jimmy Phillips; and mentioned in a movie, “Blues Brothers 2000.” The name “Panther Burn” goes back to May 22, 1816, when Martha Patience Vick married Colonel William Willis. As wedding gifts, the couple received a house on Cherry Street in Vicksburg, and Panther Burn Plantation. The name was derived from the clearing of the land for farm and settlement. “They weren’t setting the panthers on fire,” says Noel Cumbaa, the latest in a long line of Panther Burn planters, “But their shelters in the brush of the swamp land were being cleared for cotton crops. Legend tells of panthers running from burn pile to burn pile seeking shelter.” Martha and William Willis’s son John married Annie Ricks. They raised their daughter and only child, Frances Vick (“Fanny”) between Panther Burn and Vicksburg. Fanny inherited the fifteen thousandacre plantation and married Junius Ward Johnson. They did not have any children. Junius Johnson was killed in a tornado that hit the plantation house in the spring of 1919. Fanny Johnson, unable to run the plantation by herself, sold the property for 1.2 million dollars to four gentlemen of Leland, Mississippi: C. C. Dean, B.O.

A giclee’ abstract canvas above a chest in the second guest room, an affordable alternative to original artwork.


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design details


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At one end of the dining room, a 120year-old pew from the recently-closed Hollandale Presbyterian Church adds depth and gravitas to the scheme.

McGee, E.W. Wood and Leroy Percy. With the money from the sale, she built a white YMCA and black YMCA in Vicksburg in honor of her lost husband. The four men purchased the land with a cotton crop already planted, and two of the largest cypress brakes in the Delta. They cleared these breaks and paid off their debts within a year, and then turned a profit with some of the best cotton prices the Delta had seen since the Civil War. Tenant farming provided the labor force. Part of the cypress wood from the breaks was kept on the plantation to be used as building material for the hundreds of tenant houses that once dotted the landscape of Panther Burn. Most of these houses are now gone, along with the community. Modern farming does not require a large number of workers as in days past, and the

land where houses once stood proved more valuable as field. Today, Panther Burn is made up of a small cluster of houses (most empty now), a defunct cotton gin, tractor lots, farm shops, grain bins, and vast fields of mostly grain these days. Cotton is a rare sight now on Panther Burn, a result of increasingly lower prices. Only one cypress tree remains, as a reminder of the two large cypress brakes from a century ago. “‘Panther Burn’ by Jimmy Phillips sums up life on a farm down in the Mississippi Delta, though times have changed since that song was written,” Cumbaa notes. “And Leon’s Juke is no more.” The history of Panther Burn was provided by Ann Vandevender, current secretary of New Panther Farms. DM


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ANYBODY CAN JUST QUOTE YOU A RATE, BUT NO ONE ELSE WILL ROLL UP THEIR SLEEVES AND WORK AS HARD AS WE WILL As one of the South’s leading residential lenders, we have the experience and knowledge to help you make accurate, informed decisions and the products guaranteed to meet all your mortgage needs. Visit our website to search for a mortgage lender and view our rates: communitybank.net/mortgages

147 HWY 82 East | Indianola | 662-887-4513

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Delta Magazine’s

Weddings O

n the following pages we present some of our favorite ideas and trends to inspire you for your own big day. And our edited selection of fabulous photography along with formal announcements from the weddings of the season will make you feel as if you were there! Welcome to our Delta Weddings.

● ● ● ● ● ●

Locally inspired wedding gift basket Cake made with a mother’s love Invitation inspiration Samantha Woo’s custom gowns Curated wedding photo showcase Formal announcements from 2018

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Spragins-Prewitt, Taylor Square Photography

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Tips for the Best

Delta Wedding Welcome Gifts


welcome gift bag (or bucket!)

is a great way to help your guests feel right at home and to introduce them to the unique offerings of the area. If you’re having a Delta wedding we’ve got you covered with loads of locally made gifts and goody ideas.

◆ We chose a small galvanized bucket to hold our

goodies. It’s affordable, sturdy, functional and evokes a certain Delta vibe. Adorn with your favorite satin ribbon and a personalized tag.

◆ Include an itinerary of the weekend’s events and be sure to tuck in some info on local highlights, hot spots and must-sees and dos. We think the Delta Magazine tourism issue fits the bill nicely!

◆ Water bottles are a must. But don’t forget something celebratory such as a mini bottle of champagne or locally brewed beer.

◆ Sweet and salty snacks will be greatly appreciated by travel weary guests. Our bucket is loaded with delicious locally made goodies from across the region.

◆ Don’t forget to stash a small memento so guests will

have a keepsake from their trip!

Be sure to add a personalized tag!

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Shop these ideas! 1. Turtle Brownie, The Caramel Factory, Batesville caramelfactory.com

2. Quench their thirst with a craft brew,


Mighty Mississippi Beer, Greenville mightymissbeer.com

3. Cotton Boll soap, Delta Soaps & Scents @deltasoapsandscents



4. Chocolate covered, salted or candied pecans, Heaton Pecans, Lyon heatonpecans.com

5. Small Mississippi candle, SoDelta Candle Co., Greenville sodelta.com

6. Small McCarty bird, Merigold mccartyspottery.com

7. Home fried Pork Skins, Downtown Butcher and Mercantile, Greenville downtownbutcher.com

8. A small bedside bouquet is a lovely



touch, McCarty vase, Merigold mccartyspottery.com


Something blue!

9. Box of toffee, Yazoo Toffee Company, Yazoo City yazootoffee.com

10. Cheese Straws, Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory, Yazoo City mscheesestraws.com

⤴ 8.


We packaged ours in small mason jars.




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Something A


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simple cake recipe clipped from a magazine has stood the test of time— and served as one of Georgie Barbour’s best ways to show a little love. Georgie always liked to bake and when her brother was getting married in a small ceremony in 1992, she stepped in to sweeten the deal. “My mom found a recipe in a magazine and she suggested I use it to make them a wedding cake,” says Georgie. “Everyone loved it.”

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The smooth counter top surface is the perfect place to spread the warm chocolate to make her curls.

Barbour spreading classic buttercream icing on the first layers of the cake.

Georgie would go on to make wedding cakes for two of her cousins. “After that, someone paid me for the first time to make their wedding cake,” she recalls. “I decided then that the effort that went into making and decorating the cake was worth no amount of money. So now, I only bake as a gift for people I really, really love a lot.” Her signature cake is a white chocolate pound cake topped with a white chocolate buttercream frosting. “It’s the best recipe,” she says. “It’s moist, fresh tasting and not super heavy.” Originally, Georgie frosted her cake by piping on the buttercream, but she took a cue from a caterer friend in Washington D.C. and started covering her cakes in white chocolate curls. “With the chocolate curls, I didn’t have to worry so much about everything being perfect on the cake, and it just looked really great.” Georgie, mom to three daughters, hadn’t baked a wedding cake in years when her daughter Lucie got engaged. “She told me she didn’t want me to make the cake because she didn’t want me to be stressed,” says Georgie. “The more I thought about it, I didn’t want to pay a whole lot of money and not be happy with the cake. The worst thing is to have a beautiful cake that doesn’t taste very good. I told Lucie that it was her wedding, she had one shot, and I was going to make sure that cake was a home run.” Lucie married Josh Peaster on October 6, 2018. The wedding was held in Yazoo City, with the reception at the Barbours’ home. Not only was Georgie hosting a wedding reception at her house and attending to all of her mother-of-the-bride duties, she was also taking on the task of creating the centerpiece of the reception. While that is seemingly enough to drive anyone over the edge, Georgie took it all in stride. “Baking the cake was hands-down the least nervewracking thing I had on my plate,” she laughs. Georgie’s two sister-in-laws swooped in to help her apply the curls to the cake and bake satellite cakes for the celebration.

Barbour’s sisters-in-law provide the extra hands needed to place the hundreds of curls on the cake.

The Pantry in Greenville provided catering and floral. “Amanda from the Pantry does everything so well,” says Georgie. She staged the cake on the family’s dining room table atop a silver plateau. Hydrangea swags swathed the table and the cake was topped with delicate pastel flowers, creating a simple and elegant tablescape. “There was hardly any cake left, so I was very pleased,” says Georgie. Now, Georgie has agreed to bake the cake for her new sonin-law’s sister’s wedding. “It looks like I let my light out from under the bushel!” DM DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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C re a tii ng n g t h e ffii na n l ve rses t o y o u r l o v e s o ngg . . .

80 0 We s t S u nflower Road Clevela n d , MS 38732 662 .4 41 .010 0 events @grammymuseumms .org

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2 1






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Be Our Guest From save-the-dates to programs to invitations, paper suites with unique details such as custom calligraphy, illustrated envelope liners, ribbon and wax seals set the tone for your celebration. 1 | “Fontenot” letterpressed invitation with

5 | “Rogers” letterpressed invitation printed on

mixed black and foil custom calligraphy, accented with watercolor envelope liner. Rebekah Caraway Design & Paper, Greenville, rebekahcaraway.com

cotton paper with custom calligraphy accents, hand-wrapped with twine, vellum and a wax seal. Placed in custom navy box for hand delivery. fresh-ink.com

2 | “Cassada” wedding program featuring an

6 | “Hood” suite features custom watercolor

original watercolor by Kea Cassada. rebekahcaraway.com

artwork, layered with gold bevel edges, velvet ribbon and sparkling envelope liners. fresh-ink.com

3 | Classic invitation with custom monogram

7 | Save-the-date card with mixed font design

and coordinating navy envelope accented with a custom patterned envelope liner. P. Press Papers, Oxford, ppresspapers.com

and graphic art accent. ppresspapers.com

4 | “Oates” suite featuring double thick charcoal paper, foil printed and embossed with modern typography. Fresh Ink, Jackson, fresh-ink.com

8 | “Bruton” rehearsal dinner suite, double layered with an original water color by Mallory Hopkins and finished with a custom wax seal. rebekahcaraway.com

9 | “Cassella” letterpressed invitation with a custom envelope liner featuring a vintage

1920s photograph of the Historic Mt. Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. rebekahcaraway.com

10 | “Pentecost” wedding program and guest bag tag with original calligraphy and watercolor by Vicki Pentecost. rebekahcaraway.com

11 | “Haynes” rehearsal dinner invitation printed on layered brown and kraft paper accented with a brown tree. rebekahcaraway.com

12 | “Gould” invitation in deep navy, featuring a deckled edge and gold foil print with coordinating RSVP and itinerary cards. rebekahcaraway.com

13 | “Hotard” suite features the most beautiful evergreen accents paired with sparkling gold engraving. fresh-ink.com







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2 1


Ren enaiss s ance Rewrites ite the he Rul ules e of Engag n a ement.





W When p eparing pr p g for or yyour o bigg day, y, yoou’ll uncover e ever e ything to help create your o happily eveer after. A e ri e ■ A ll u re P l a s t i c s ■ A l ta r ’d S ta t e ■ A l te r a t io n s b y Ta il o r K im ■ A me ri c a n E ag l e ■ A me ri t r ad e ■ A n g i e ’s ■ A nn Ta y lo r LO F T ■ A no t he r B r oke n Eg g C a f é ■ A n t hon y V i nc e ’ Na i l Sal o n ■ A n t hr o p o lo gi e ■ T h e A p p l e S t o r e ■ A q u a t h e D a y S pa ■ B a n k Pl u s ■ B a r n e s & N o b le B o o k s e l ler s ■ Ba r n et t e ’s Sal o n ■ B a s i l ’s ■ Be l l a C h e s S p e c i a lt y G i f t s ■ B i ag g i’s r o k s B rot h e r s ■ C S p i r e W i r e l e s s R i s to r a n t e I t a li a n o ■ B ro C h a r m i n g C h a r l ie ■ C h ic i o ’s ■ F i v e G u y s B u r g e r s a n d F r i e s F ra n c esc a’s C o l l e c t i o n ■ F r e e Pe o p le ■ T h e F r e s h M a r ke t G i f t s b y K PE P ■ G i ng e r s n a ps ■ G N C ■ A m y ’s H al lm a r k T he H e ad ac he C e n t e r ■ Hi g h l a n d P a r k ■ T h e H y a t t P l a c e H ot e l ■ I ns i d e - O u t ■ J . C r e w ■ J . Jil l ■ Jo l l y O r t h o d o n ti c s J u s t i c e f o r G i r l s ■ K e n d al l Po o l e E v e n t P l a n n in g Ko e s t l e r P ri me ■ L’O c c i t a ne E n P r o v e nc e ■ L e e Mi c h a e l s F in e J e w elr y ■ L i b b y S t o r y ■ T h e L i t t l e G y m ■ T h e L i t tle V il l a g e C hil d r e n’s B o u t iq u e ■ L o c a l 4 6 3 U r b a n K i t c h e n Lu c k y Br a n d J e a ns ■ Ma M t e ri a l G i rl s ■ M i nd f u l T he r a p y O l d e Ty m e C o m m i s s a r y ■ T h e O r v i s C o. ■ O s w e g o J e w e le r s ■ P a nd or a ■ P a ne r a B r e ad ■ P. F. C h a n g ’s C h i n a B i s t ro ■ R e d S q u a r e C l o t h i n g C o. ■ R egu s ■ R e s u l t s Ph y s i o t h e r a py ■ R i d g e l a nd V i s i t or s C e n t e r ■ Sa n d D o l l a r L i f es t y l es ■ S e a fo o d R ’e v o l u t io n ■ S e p hor a ■ S l e e p S to re b y Mi s ke l l y ■ S mo o t h i e K i ng ■ S o f t S u r r o u nd i ng s ■ S o l s t i c e S u n gl a s s B ou t i q u e ■ S o ma I n t i ma t e s ■ S t ar b u c k s C o f f ee d ti o n a l J e w e ler s ■ V in t a g e W in e Sh op ■ Ta l b o t s ■ Tr a di M a r ke t ■ W h i t e H o u s e| e B l ac k Ma r ke t ■ W i l l i a m s - S onom a

FI N D US U ON FACEBOOK I-55 at Old A gency Road, R idgeland, Mississippi | 601.519.0900 See a ll our retail stores and restaurants online at w w w.Renaissance AtColonyPark.com For lea easing information, contact The Matti tiace Company at 6001.3552.1818 DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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ot many people can say that they work to make the dreams of others come true on a daily basis, but that is exactly what Jackson designer Samantha Woo does as she crafts custom-made wedding gowns. Finding the perfect gown is an exciting part of the wedding planning process. But this process can quickly become frustrating for the bride who has tried on dress after dress and still hasn’t quite found just the right one. Woo works with brides to alleviate these frustrations by translating their wedding dress dreams into reality.


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As a child growing up in Vietnam, Samantha Woo loved weddings. She often drew her ideas for wedding dresses and began honing her sewing skills at an early age. Learning how to embroider and knit from her mother, a professional seamstress, Woo spent many hours perfecting the art of handwork. Woo shares that her mother not only taught her the craftsmanship but also taught her to “take pride in my own creation and carefully examine my work.” After moving to America, she continued sketching and drawing, but she did not initially decide on fashion design as a profession. It wasn’t until she graduated with a degree in pre-law that she realized her desire to pursue a career in fashion design. In order to reach this goal, she completed her master’s work in fashion design. Woo realized the need for custom wedding dress design while searching for her own wedding gown. The perfect dress “felt like it was something that was hard to find,” she explains. With her attention to detail and skill in handcraft, Woo found a good fit in the bridal business. Crafting such a special garment is something she loves to do, and she enjoys that this type of design allows her to take her time and focus on the intricacies of her work. Meeting a bride and helping her start her journey is one of Woo’s favorite aspects of working in bridal design. The bride guides the process by providing the inspiration for the design and works with Woo to choose all of the details. Then Woo begins the very meticulous process of “articulating the elements that the bride wants.” From start to finish, creating a custom wedding gown takes at least four months and includes at least ten visits. After her initial talk with the bride, Woo creates a sketch of the proposed dress. Once the bride approves the drawing, Woo orders fabric samples, consults with the bride, and then creates a final sketch. From this plan, she makes a pattern followed by a prototype of the dress. The prototype is made out of a fabric such as muslin to make sure that the shape is just right before cutting the chosen fabric. Woo adds embellishments according to the design and the bride’s specifications, and then she finishes the construction of the

Woo meticulously works to make sure each bride’s gown fits perfectly.


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One of Woo’s classic custom designs.

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gown. All the while, the bride comes in for multiple fittings to ensure the dress is perfectly tailored to her body. A bespoke gown is “for the bride who wants something different that nobody would have...and who loves the experience and wants to be involved.” Woo acknowledges that it is “not for the bride who is nervous about the details” because it can be overwhelming. Her boutique carries over two hundred designer gowns ranging in price from $800-$4,000 for those brides who feel that the process of custom is too exhaustive. In fact, Woo also designs her own boutique collection of bridal gowns each year. The collection, named Hello Sweetheart, features timeless pieces that Woo describes as “very clean and modern.” Brides can make an appointment to view these gowns at Woo Couture in Northeast Jackson. The bride who chooses to collaborate with Woo on a couture dress has the opportunity to bring components together that she is not able to find in one dress. To make the process work most effectively, a bride should know her style before setting up an appointment. Woo suggests that a bride browse images on Pinterest and in magazines to find her style and determine what type of dress she prefers. The theme and venue of the wedding will influence the mood of the dress, so those details should be worked out as well. According to Woo, a clear and realistic budget is one of the most important pieces of information to know from the beginning. Woo listens to the bride’s ideas and uses her years of experience to make those ideas functional and to “allow the bride’s personality to shine through.” Because of Woo’s extensive knowledge in crafting gowns of all types, it is equally important for the bride to consider her advice. Focusing on the bride’s opinion is a top priority for Woo, but when too many opinions come into play, it can be a challenge. Woo advises the bride to bring only the people

A gown from Woo’s in-house collection.

who matter most to her—two or three at the most. To successfully create the look the bride imagines, Woo must make sure the bride’s vision is the one communicated most clearly. Getting to see the gown come to life at the end of the process is one of the most satisfying parts of her job. Months of hard work culminate in an event marked by great joy, and she loves knowing that she got to play a unique role in making years’ worth of dreaming become a reality. Woo hopes to continue growing her business, but she is committed to making sure the process remains unique and special for each bride. DM DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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ocial Occcasions asions ersrs of th t he Wedd edddiinngg

0 - 5, and Sat. 10 - 4

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Favorite Things Posed pics, outtakes and special details chosen from our 2018 weddings

Sparks fly after the ceremony of Mr. and Mrs. Owen Mayo Bruton, John Cain Photography

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Barbour-Peaster, B. Flint Photography

Causey-Hensley, Patrick Remington Photography

Battle-Powell, Taylor Square Photography DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Spragins-Prewitt,Taylor Square Photography

Morris-Bosworth, Taylor Square Photography

Hammett-Harris, Jamie Hardin Photography

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Daniels-Moody, Patrick Remington Photography

Dorrough-Crittenden, Austin Britt Photography

Battle-Powell, Taylor Square Photography


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Hunter-Gober, April and Paul Photography

Greco-Peyton, Katelyn Anne Photography Barbour-Peaster, B. Flint Photography

Brunetti-McCain, Austin Britt Photography 108 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Causey-Hensley, Patrick Remington Photography

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Rankin-Soldevila, Eliza Kennard Photography

Bierbaum-Bruton, John Cain Photography

Crump-Martin, Mintwood Photography Company Brunetti-McCain, Austin Britt Photography DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Count on uss to deliver. Over the last century, we’ve seen many printing companies come and go. We’ve seen technology change, and we’ve w changed with it to provide highly professional, competitively-priced prinnting and support. Join the many who rely on us for total printing and print management services including:

4-Colorr P Prrinti ting • Invi vitati tionss • Evvent Pr Programss • Sta tatiion onery ry • Diirectt Ma Maill • Brochurrees • Bannners Foorm rms – MIIC CR encod e ded/ d / Laser/ r/ MultiMulti-Pa Part Statementt P Prroc ocessi ssiing • Binndingg and FFin inis ishingg O Op pti tion ons

www.laprico.com / 800-844-0338

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Located inside of Cypress Design Studio • 853 South Main Street in Greenville Follow on Instagram @rebekahcaraway_designandpaper

Proudly serving the Delta and beyond for over 50 years with the largest wine selection in the state of Mississippi

2002 US-82, Greenville, Mississippi 38703 • 662.335.1941


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Crump-Martin, Mintwood Photography Company Farrar-Roark, Rob and Wynter Photography

Webster-Bennett, Caroline Stuckey Photography Spragins-Prewitt,Taylor Square Photography 112 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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Donahoe-Marti, Averie Claire Photography

Bierbaum-Bruton, John Cain Photography Farrar-Roark, Rob and Wynter Photography

Camp-Davis, Captured by Coriss Causey-Hensley, Patrick Remington Photography DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Bierbaum-Bruton, John Cain Photography

Hammett-Harris, Jamie Hardin Photography Daniels-Moody, Patrick Remington Photography

Battle-Powell, Taylor Square Photography 114 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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Donahoe-Marti, Averie Claire Photography DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Eubanks-Thaggard, Elena Marchak Photography

O’Reilly-Dunavant, Lindsay Ott Photography Williams-Bauer, Lee Carter Photography 116 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

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Daniels-Moody, Patrick Remington Photography

Farrar-Roark, Rob and Wynter Photography

Hunter-Gober, April and Paul Photography

Webster-Bennett, Caroline Stuckey Photography DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Morris-Bosworth, Taylor Square Photography

Mitchell-Hunter, Rachel Red Photography

Barbour-Peaster, B. Flint Photography 118 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

O’Reilly-Dunavant, Lindsay Ott Photography

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Donahoe-Marti, Elizabeth Skelton Photography

=ǮřŶƂƺřdžż‫ږ‬ǵdžƂȡƺȧŵȈƣƺǿŶƞřǫƂƺƣdžǿƞƂȡǐǐżǵǵƣǿǵǐdžǿƞƂǵƂǮƂdžƂřdžżƞƣǵǿǐǮƣŶƖǮǐȈdžżǵǵȈǮǮǐȈdžżƣdžƖ *ƺȠƣǵǮƂǵƺƂȧ‫ږ‬ǵ=ǮřŶƂƺřdžżƂǵǿřǿƂ٥iƂǵǿƺƂżżƂƂǫƣdžǿƞƂȡǐǐżǵ٠ǵƂŶƺȈżƂżƕǮǐǃǿƞƂżƣǵǿǮřŶǿƣǐdžǵǐƕ ƂȠƂǮȧżřȧƺƣƕƂ٠ǿƞƂŶƞřǫƂƺƕƂřǿȈǮƂǵƞƣƖƞŵƂřǃȡǐǐżŶƂƣƺƣdžƖǵ٠ǵǫřŶƣǐȈǵŵǮƣżřƺřdžżƖǮǐǐǃ‫ږ‬ǵǮǐǐǃǵ٠ řdžżˀǐǐǮǿǐŶƂƣƺƣdžƖȡƣdžżǐȡǵǿƞřǿǃřƵƂǿƞƂǵȈǮǮǐȈdžżƣdžƖƕǐǮƂǵǿřǵǿȈdždžƣdžƖdžřǿȈǮřƺŵřŶƵżǮǐǫ ǿǐȧǐȈǮŶƂǮƂǃǐdžȧ٥ ǐȈǫƺƂǵȡƞǐŶƞǐǐǵƂǿǐƞǐǵǿǿƞƂƣǮŶƂǮƂǃǐdžȧřǿ=ǮřŶƂƺřdžż‫ږ‬ǵƞřǫƂƺƣdžǿƞƂÁǐǐżǵȡƣƺƺŵƂƣǃǫǮƂǵǵƂż ȡƣǿƞǐȈǮŶǐǃǃƣǿǃƂdžǿǿǐƂȠƂǮȧżƂǿřƣƺǐƕȧǐȈǮŶƂǮƂǃǐdžȧ٥<ǮǐǃˀǐȡƂǮǵǿǐǿƞƂŶřƵƂǿǐ ǫƞǐǿǐƖǮřǫƞȧ٠ȡƂŶřdžǐǮŶƞƂǵǿǮřǿƂƂȠƂǮȧǿƞƣdžƖȧǐȈdžƂƂżǿǐŶǮƂřǿƂřdžȈdžƕǐǮƖƂǿǿřŵƺƂȡƂżżƣdžƖƂȦǫƂǮƣƂdžŶƂ٥

Morris-Bosworth, Taylor Square Photography


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Farrar-Roark, Rob and Wynter Photography

Dorrough-Crittenden, Austin Britt Photography

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Mitchell-Hunter, Michelle Thompson Photography

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Eubanks-Thaggard, Elena Marchak Photography

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Camp-Davis, Captured by Coriss

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Hammett-Harris, Jamie Hardin Photography

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Hunter-Gober, April and Paul Photography

Webster-Bennett, Caroline Stuckey Photography

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Lucile LeFlore Barbour and Joshua Dixon Peaster, both of Yazoo City, were united in marriage at six o’clock in the evening on October 6, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The ceremony was officiated by Reverend David Irving and Reverend Charles Wingard. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry LeFlore Barbour of Yazoo City. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Chichester Carroll of Yazoo City and the late Nettie Livingston Carroll and Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Barbour III of Jackson. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rhorer Peaster IV of Yazoo City. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frañcisco Angel Soldevila of Clarksdale and Mr. and Mrs. James Rhorer Peaster III of Yazoo City. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a sheath silhouette Anne Barge gown with a sheer tulle bateau neckline and a delicate lace embellishment. Topping off the gown was a chapel-length veil of Chantilly and French Alençon laces. The bride carried a beautiful bouquet of white, cream, and pale peach roses accented with Cymbidium orchid sprays, lisianthus, and dusty miller. Her flowers were bound with lace from her late maternal grandmother’s wedding gown. The bride’s sisters, Georgie Carroll Barbour and Nettie Taylor Barbour, attended the bride as maids of honor. The bridesmaids were Caroline Riddell Brantley, Ann Frances Carroll, Abigail Livingston Carroll, Maggie Caraline Cresswell, Robin Elizabeth Douglas, Ashleigh Taylor Harrison, Anna Kathryn Terry Hartman, Mary Stewart Hurst, Sarah Grafton Peaster Irving, Emily Marie Liddon, Anne Elisabeth Peaster, Taylor Byrd Peaster, Sims Belle Peters, Leslie Allen Spencer, and Elizabeth Grace Augustin Woodliff. The groom’s father and brother, Matthew Hamilton Peaster, served as best men. Groomsmen were John Westbrook Abraham, Richard James Baird, Vann Robert

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Berry, Brooks Ryan Buchanan, junior, Andrew Steele Coker, Robert Gary Dye, junior, Charles Brice McEuen, junior, Michael Austin McPhail, Wade Albert Meena, William Burns Morrison, Robert Gore Mounger, junior, Matthew Fritz Oellerich, William Grafton Peaster, Daniel Toler Presley, Hayes Gregory Riser, Carter Lee Thigpen, Robert Wilson Tramel, and Michael Calhoun Wilkerson. Ushers were Jack Anthony Berry, Robert Blanton Crisler, Christopher Lane Diethelm, Seth Johnson Hutton, Robert Jackson Luckie, Robert Pickering Montgomery, Steven Meadows Geary, and Carl Austin Stovall. The bride’s proxy was Rachel Elizabeth Wilkinson, and the flower girls were Grace LeFlore Barbour and Ella Rose Denson Sartelle. Program attendants were Elizabeth Brooks Barbour, Mary Preston Bruce, James Alvin Bruce IV, and Nathanael Owen Sartelle II. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents in Yazoo City, where the couple enjoyed French 75s and wedding cake prepared by the bride’s mother. Flavor Big Band provided music at the reception. After a honeymoon at Lake Tahoe, the couple is at home in Washington D.C. Photography: B. Flint Photography Florist and Caterer: The Pantry Coordinator: Crisler Boone Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church, Yazoo City Reception Venue: Home of the bride’s parents Entertainment: Flavor Big Band Bakery: Georgie Barbour, mother of the bride

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Elizabeth Herron Battle and Christopher Clayton Powell were united in holy matrimony at half past five o’clock in the afternoon on November 10, 2018, at Tunica United Methodist Church. Reverend Keith Keeton and Reverend Clay Moore performed the double-ring ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Houston Battle of Tunica. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Sowell and the late Mr. and Mrs. Paul Battle, junior, of Tunica. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Bryan Powell of Senatobia. He is the grandson of Dr. and Mrs. Sanford Leroy Powell of Senatobia and Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Wayne James of Walls. Escorted by her father, the bride was attired in a white vintage inspired corded lace and tulle over Dolces satin trumpet wedding gown. It had a scalloped hem and sweetheart neckline with crystal beading and a lace bolero. She wore a beautiful chapellength wedding veil trimmed in lace. Finishing off her look, she wore her grandmother’s double-strand pearl bracelet, as well as, a blue topaz and diamond ring, which was a gift from her father. Complementing the bride’s ensemble was a loose bouquet of garden stock and hydrangea mixed with white roses, freesia, and hellebores. Her bouquet was hand tied and accented with eucalyptus parvifolia and dusty miller. Attending as maid of honor was Kristen Louise Fields. Bridesmaids included Morgan Elizabeth Archer, Ashlyn Haskins Battle, Ellen Linville Graves, Emily Riley Herrington, Sidney Mitchell Moore, Hannah Marie O’Donnell, Emily Claire Powell, sister of the groom, Emily Anne Stallings, and Lynzie Caroline Tingle. The bridesmaids wore floor-length sateen dresses with an off-the-shoulder neckline. Their bouquets complemented the bridal bouquet. Lilly Whitten Atwood, Mattie Kathryn Ivy, and Addyson Elizabeth Powell served as flower girls. They wore


beautiful white French hand-sewn dresses with ecru lace. Christopher Bryan Powell, father of the groom, served as best man. Groomsmen included Thomas Cooper Battle and William Houston Battle, brothers of the bride, Jacob Scott Billingsley, John Dexter Herrington, Evan Reed Hickman, and Timothy Briar Parrott, Brandon Scott Powell, and Sanford Leroy Powell III, cousins of the groom, and Adam Blake Shackleford. A selection of ceremonial music was presented by pianists Sabrina Morris and Hollie Roberson. Vocalist for the wedding ceremony was Victoria Ryals. Ashley Cook provided the scripture reading. A reception was hosted by the parents of the bride at the Tunica Riverpark and Museum. The Riverpark was beautifully decorated with floral arrangements by Wanda Carol Robison, owner of Blossoms. The guests enjoyed dancing to the music of The SoulSations band. The bride and groom departed under a canopy of dried rose petals and drove away in a 1931 Model A Ford vintage automobile. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents honored the couple with a rehearsal dinner at One Memphis Street in Hernando. After a honeymoon trip to St. Lucia, the couple is at home in Senatobia. Photography: Taylor Square Photography Florist: Blossoms Caterer: Fascinating Catering Coordinator: Angie Crawford and Tammye Durham Ceremony Venue: Tunica United Methodist Church Reception Venue: Tunica Riverpark & Museum Entertainment: The SoulSations Bakery: Alice Chow


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An English garden was the setting for the wedding of Maddison Rhea Bierbaum and Owen Mayo Bruton on October 20, 2018, at the Lakeside United Methodist Church in Lake Village, Arkansas, with the reception at the home of the bride’s parents. Escorted by her father, Carl Jon Bierbaum, the bride wore a Monique Lhuillier Emerson strapless, silk-draped ball gown with a one-of-a-kind silk capelet with pearl button closures. Her Marchesa veil extended past the train and was lined with lace appliques. Manolo Blahnik shoes and a pair of diamond and pearl earrings, a gift from the bride’s parents, completed her ensemble. Mary Ashleigh Harper, the bride’s sister, served as matron of honor. Bridesmaids included Anne Barry Bruton, Bethany Cook, Aubrey Fitts, Hope Jones, Sydnee King, Grace Ann Lile, Lillian Norcross, Samantha Patterson, Madison Riley, and Anna St. Pierre. Greg Bruton served as best man. Groomsmen and ushers included John Thomas Bruton, Michael Bruton, Daniel Dunavant, Miller Greenlee, Zachary Harper, James House, Jeffrey Mansour, Ernest Pilgrim, Seve Signa, Bailey West, Drew Foote, Alexander Harrod, and Derek Reginelli. Flower girls were Anders Bruton, Rosalyn Dowden, Olivia Kirk Henderson, Mary Elizabeth Miers, and Catherine Rowe. Ring bearers were Jack Bruton, John William McCord, and Harrison Pepper. The house party included Madyson Harmon and Lillie Watson. Evan Erwin and Ansley Norris served as program attendants. Dr. Bobby Pennington officiated the ceremony with traditional vows exchanged by Maddison and Owen as The Little Rock String Quartet set the occasion. The entrance was flanked with a garland of ranunculus and greenery. The sanctuary was decorated with taper candles, arrangements of ranunculus, and a gold altar cross.

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After the ceremony, the couple left the church as guests lined the walkway with sparklers. They were chauffeured to the reception in a 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe by Ryan Johnson. The reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents where guests were welcomed with music by the quartet and a cocktail hour. Guests awaited the bridal party surrounded by the glow of hanging lanterns in the trees and lights and candles adorning the lake bank and patio area. When the bride and groom arrived, guests were led into the tented English garden, decorated by The Pantry. Crystal chandeliers, Greek statues, trees, water fountains, and floral arrangements made the setting pure magical. Inside the tent, there was a lavish array of foods on either side with the bride’s and groom’s cakes highlighting the area. The Atlanta Allstars entertained, and the celebration was enjoyed by all. A fireworks show over the lake was the surprise of the evening to honor the couple. The rehearsal dinner was hosted by the groom’s parents and held at the Greenville Country Club. Following a honeymoon to Greece and Rome, the couple is at home in Leland. Photography: John Cain Photography Florist and Caterer: The Pantry Coordinator: Joy Barnes, Ceremony Director; Amanda Cottingham, Wedding Planner Ceremony Venue: Lakeside United Methodist Church, Lake Village, Arkansas Reception Venue: Home of the bride’s parents Entertainment: Atlanta Allstars Bakery: Art Is In Cakes, Little Rock, Arkansas

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Charlotte Faye Brunetti and Matthew Myers McCain were united in marriage March 10, 2018, at five o’clock in the afternoon at Studio 230 Art Gallery in Cleveland with Anne Martin Vetrano officiating. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Park Hiter of Merigold and Mr. and Mrs. Ike Brunetti of Cleveland. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Finley Brunetti of Rosedale and the late Mr. William Elkin Adams of Shelby and the late Kayte Faye “Cookie” Adams of Shelby. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George C. McCain of Boyle and the grandson of Mrs. George W. McCain of Cleveland and the late Mr. George W. McCain and the late Mildred M. Myers of Cleveland. The bride wore a strapless, A-line Heidi Enora gown of chiffon and lace. The gown featured a ruched wrapped bodice with a chapel-length train and was complemented by a chapel-length Sara Gabriel veil of ballet tulle. The bride carried a hand-gathered cluster of fresh French lavender tied with ivory satin ribbons pinned with a special St. Christopher medal, a gift from her parents. The wedding party advanced to music provided by violinist Alice Hasen. The bride and groom married before a massive circlet of mixed spring greenery and flowering cherry branches. The bride’s sister, Elisa Brunetti Oswalt, served as her matron of honor, and Casey Jay Ware attended the groom as his best man. Honorary bridesmaids were Emma Alford, Jessica Jarvis, Tara Satterfield, Natolie Herold, and Andrea Drummond-Lewis, who each wore a pearl wristlet of baby’s breath. Honorary groomsmen were Chris Ware, Caleb Boyles, Joseph Lofton, David Lewis, Madison Longale, Geoff Roberts, and Cameron Chapman. Brandon McCain, Edgar Meyer, John Meyer, and Jason Meyer served as ushers. The groom’s niece, Ella Greenway, served as the bride’s proxy and program attendant.


Immediately following the wedding ceremony, guests toasted the newlyweds with champagne before attending a festive reception at The Warehouse, where the band, Blackwater Trio, entertained guests for dancing and dining under canopies of string lights. Spring garlands of lemon leaves and seeded eucalyptus were strewn throughout The Warehouse among a myriad of hanging zinc lanterns, foliage encrusted chandeliers, and arrangements of flowering cherry branches, white hydrangeas, and fresh lavender. The wedding cake was placed on a reclaimed cypress stump and decorated with succulents, branches, and eucalyptus berries. The groom’s favorite desserts were displayed on the flatbed of an antique truck for all to enjoy. Guests danced throughout the evening and dined on a lavish buffet of Delta delicacies before being treated to late-night pizza. The evening culminated with a STAR WARS exit for the bride and groom: guests held light sabers to bid them farewell to the STAR WARS theme song. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at Crawdad’s in Merigold. The couple now resides at home in Cleveland. Photography: Austin Britt Photography Florist and Caterer: The Pantry Coordinator: Catherine Dunn Ceremony Venue: Studio 230 Art Gallery Reception Venue: The Warehouse Entertainment: Black Water Trio Bakery: The Pantry


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CAUSEY With the campus of the University of Mississippi as a backdrop, the Paris-Yates Chapel was the setting for the marriage of Pauline Elizabeth Causey and William

HENSLEY Honorary bridesmaids were Robyn Lindsey Croft, Laura Isabel Hein, Stephanie Nicole Weis, and Carmen Elizabeth Woods.

Hunt Hensley. The couple was united in a service of worship at half past six o’clock

Serving the groom as best man was his father. Groomsmen included his

in the evening on August 25, 2018. Reverend Isaac Estelle Jenkins III of Oxford

brother, Russell Johnston Hensley, junior, Carl Coers Adams, and Edwin Stevenson

officiated the double-ring ceremony.

Gully, cousins of the groom, and Michael Monte Causey, brother of the bride. Also

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kendall Causey, junior, of

serving as groomsmen were Benjamin Humphreys Arnold, Buckner Anderson

Jackson. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kendall Causey, senior,

Corso, Andrew Huffman Cunningham, Joseph Carlisle Hurt, Andrew Olin Karban,

of Cleveland and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Paris of Oxford, formerly of Indianola.

Richard Popwell Mallory, Thomas Gray Manhein, Lawrence Lee Martin, and Patrick

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Johnston Hensley, senior, of Memphis, Tennessee. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Duane Hensley and the late Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wilson Hunt, junior, all of Memphis, Tennessee. Taylor Elizabeth Patterson and Cassidy Marie Turnage served as program

Covington Valentine. Ring bearers were brothers Bernard Bryan Jones V and Bowen Lee Jones.          At the ceremony conclusion, Miss Gray sang the Lord’s Prayer and Henry Paris, grandfather of the bride, gave a Hebrew blessing.        

attendants. As guests arrived, organist Jason Derrick and trumpeter John

Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at the Country

Schuesslin performed a prelude of classical and sacred music. Prior to the

Club of Oxford. Guests dined at numerous food stations and danced. Guests were

processional, vocalists Anne Elizabeth Gray and Robert Tyrone Higginbotham sang

also treated to the groom’s snow cone machine and cake bites and also the five-

the duet of Foster and Sager’s “The Prayer.” Rachel Paris Pritchett, cousin of the

tiered bride’s cake. Later in the evening, the couple made their departure amid a

bride, read from Psalm 116 and I John 4.

flurry of white sparklers and shouts of Hotty Toddy.

Escorted by her father and given in marriage by her parents, the bride wore an

The day before the wedding, the bride’s grandmothers and aunts hosted a

ivory designer Mikado gown by Monique Lhuillier. Flowing from the deep V-back

bridesmaids’ luncheon at the Ravine while groomsmen enjoyed a skeet shoot and

was an ethereal detachable train, completed with a tulle bustle and framed by

lunch at the farm of the Hensley family in Holly Springs. That evening, the groom’s

cascading Mikado panels. Completing her ensemble, the bride wore her mother’s

parents entertained attendants and family at a rehearsal dinner catered by Mesquite

sheer illusion chapel-length veil highlighted by medallions of Brussels lace. Around

Chophouse at the elegantly decorated Powerhouse in Oxford. A post-wedding

her neck was the groom’s gift of a diamond solitaire drop, made from the stone of

brunch was held the morning after the wedding at the Oxford home of Irma

a ring from the groom’s grandmother. The bride carried an elegant bouquet of white

Buchanan, aunt of the bride.

stephanotis, roses, and hydrangeas, wrapped in an embroidered handkerchief given as a wedding present. The bridesmaids carried similar white bouquets.   Attending the bride as maids of honor were her sisters, Mary Carlisle and

Following a wedding trip to St. Lucia, the couple is now at home in Dallas, Texas, where the groom is an associate with the Retail Connection and the bride is a speech-language pathologist with the Richardson School District.

Kendall Glenda Causey. Camille McKinley Hensley, sister-in-law of the bride and groom, and Sarah Rose Lomenick and Vivian Bardin Paris, cousins of the bride, were also attendants. Other attendants serving as bridesmaids were Kate Rivers Allen, Sydney Brittain Dickson, Madeline Byrd Holiman, Sarah Michele Klutts, Julia Saunders Markow, Ashley Anne Peeples, Sadie Elyse Wilkinson, and Victoria Alexandra Wilson. Dressed in identical white tulle dresses, the flower girls were Rose Francesca Paris and Paris Olivia Pritchett, cousins of the bride.   Serving as the bride’s proxy at the rehearsal was Lauren Catherine Holmes.

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Photography: Patrick Remington Photography Florist: Oxford Floral Caterer: Country Club of Oxford Coordinator: Ellen Thomas Event Design Ceremony Venue: Paris-Yates Chapel Reception Venue: Country Club of Oxford Entertainment: Memphis Soul Revue Bakery: Lou Toole, Grenada

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Anna Christina Camp and William Bryant Davis, junior, were united in marriage at half past six o’clock in the evening on October 27, 2018, at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Greenwood. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Bierly Camp III of Greenwood. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard Harris Pridgen of Monticello and the late Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Bruce Camp of Spring Lake. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Bryant Davis of Lexington. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Davis and the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard Leroy Plunkett, all of Lexington. The ceremony was officiated by Dr. Billy Ray Stonestreet. Nuptial music was provided by Vicki Morgan, organist, and Kathy Barnes, violinist. Liturgists for the ceremony were Alisha Parker-Cummins and Michele McGee. The bride was given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father. She wore a one-of-a-kind Pronovias gown from Lace Bridal Experience made of crepe and lace handmade in Barcelona, Spain. Featuring a sweetheart neckline with offthe-shoulder sleeves, the bodice was constructed of hand-tied lace and accented with clear sequins and diamantes. The cathedral train was highlighted with buttons and a lace insert also embellished with sequins and diamantes. To complement the ensemble, the bride wore a custom couture Malis Henderson cathedral-length veil with ornate beading beginning around the face and continuing to the bottom of the train. The bride wore her late maternal grandmother’s diamond stud earrings to which pearl and rhinestone jackets were added and a pearl necklace with a centered teardrop pearl. Attending as matron of honor was Robbin Chamblee. Bridesmaids included

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Renay Camp, sister-in-law of the bride, Megan Hutcherson, cousin of the bride, Renee Beckham, Laura Phillips, Jackie Wise, Heather Moorhead, and Amberlyn Liles. Junior bridesmaids were Ella Wesley Davis and Lucy Davis, daughters of the groom. Bierly Camp, niece of the bride, served as the flower girl. Hallie Hutcherson, cousin of the bride, Summer Day, and Olivia Chamblee served as program attendants. Bill Davis, father of the groom, served as best man. Groomsmen were Brady Davis, brother of the groom, Trey Camp, brother of the bride, Palmer Brock, Mark Chamblee, Max Brock, Wilson Eatherly, Ryan Gnemi, and Jon Hammett. Michael Chamblee served as the ring bearer. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents. Grapevine Catering provided the floral arrangements, catering, and cakes. The guests were entertained by Unfazed. Coriss Watson of Captured by Coriss photographed the special day. One the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents honored the couple with a rehearsal dinner at the Greenwood Country Club. After a honeymoon to Playa Mujeres, Cancun, the couple is at home in Madison. Photography: Captured by Coriss Florist and Caterer: Grapevine Catering Ceremony Venue: St. John’s United Methodist Church, Greenwood Reception Venue: The home of the bride’s parents Entertainment: Unfazed Bakery: Grapvine Catering

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Florence Sillers Crump and George Harris Martin II were united in marriage at six o’clock in the evening on July 14, 2018, at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina. The ceremony was officiated by the Reverend Edward Crump, the bride’s uncle. The bride is the daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Robert Shields Crump III of Rosedale. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Lafayette Pearson of Rosedale and the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shields Crump II. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Rowland Martin of Vicksburg. He is the grandson of Dr. And Mrs. George Harris Martin of Vicksburg. The prelude and nuptial music was a string trio performance by Allegro Music from Winston Salem, North Carolina. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a custom Vera Wang silk crepe gown from BHughes Bridal in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the nineteenth bride to wear a family heirloom cathedral-length veil. Attending the bride as maid of honor was Georgia Jordan of Carter and matron


Phillips, Bryant Chase Smith, Robert Miller Rials, Wes White, John Marshall Willis, and Ryan Morris. The flower girls were Mary Sillers Farrell and Merritt Weems, and ring bearers were Declan Gates and Connor Jordan. Train bearers were Thomas Farrell, Wills Gates, and Alexander Weems. Following the ceremony, the bride’s family hosted a black-tie reception at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina, in the mountains with their closest family and friends. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at Wolfgang’s Wine Bistro and Restaurant. Immediately following, there was a welcome party for everyone to celebrate the bride and groom hosted by the groom’s family, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Crump, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Weems, and the bride’s grandparents. After honeymooning in Paris, France, and the French Riviera, the couple is at home in Nashville, Tennessee.

of honor Rachael Gibson Wilson of Rosedale. Bridesmaids were Caitlin Rose

Photography: Mintwood Photography Company

Adams, Bailey Brown Dorsett, Mollie Louise Estes, Laurie Morgan McManus, Ryan

Florist: Blossoms at Biltmore Park

Kathryn Martin, Meredith Botsford Masingill, Natalie Waring Muirhead, Taylor Henry

Caterer: Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Phillips, Mary Margaret Roark, and Carolyn Wellborn.

Coordinator: Asheville Events Company

The father of the groom, Taylor Martin, served as the best man. Groomsmen included Daniel Barryhill, Robert Shields Crump, junior, Tyler Austin Davis, Alex Halinski, James Matthew Jordan, Chris Johnson, Benjamin Jordan Muirhead, Jesse

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Farm at Old Edwards Inn and Spa Entertainment: The Right to Party Bakery: Sugar Cloud Bakery


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Elizabeth Hope Daniels and Cade Pittman Moody were united in marriage on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at six o’clock in the evening at First Baptist Church of Indianola. Rev. Dr. Jonathan McCord Daniels and Rev. Dr. Gerald Scott Burke III officiated the double-ring ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Anthony Daniels of Indianola. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Clifton Lavern Daniels of Cleveland and the late Mr. Daniels and Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Maxwell Virden, junior, of Woodstock, Georgia. The groom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. George Terrance Moody of Grenada. He is the grandson of Mrs. George Washington Moody of Grenada and the late Mr. Moody and Mrs. Herbert Milton Hargett of Cleveland, and the late Mr. Hargett. The bride wore a veil designed with material from the groom’s mother’s wedding dress. The bride’s garter was designed using material from her mother’s wedding dress. The bride’s sister, Sarah Anna Daniels, served as her maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Mary Garraway Anderson, Laura Brantley Childress, Terra Moody Cravens, Caroline Blake Gordon, Rachel Daniels King, Haley Butler Magee, Emily Caroline McDaniel, Meagan Moody Paczesny, Darbi Grace Smith, Hannah Jo Stimson, and Emma Warren Waters. The groom’s father served as best man. Groomsmen were William Timothy Brewer, junior, John Allen Cravens, junior, James Pate Demuth, Garrett Steven Hall, Luke Madden Hargett, Whitaker Roberts Kendall, Paul Gaston Lyon, junior, Jonathan Mark Moore, Gary Jon Paczesny, Gage Wright Ray, and Michael Edward Temple.

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The bride’s proxy was Faith Nicole Thompson. Maxwell Earl Thompson and John Allen Cravens III served as program attendants. Leanne Silverblatt and Adelaide Fletcher directed the wedding. Following the ceremony, friends and family attended a reception at the B.B. King Museum. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Indianola Country Club. The couple enjoyed a honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica, and are now at home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Photography: Patrick Remington Photography Florist, Coordinator and Caterer: The Pantry Reception Venue: B.B. King Museum Entertainment: El Fonzoe and Funkytown Bakery: The Pantry

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The Lodge at Donahoe Farms provided the setting for the wedding of Megan Kaye Donahoe and Cameron Michael Marti on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at six o’clock in the evening. The bride is the daughter of Dr. Edgar Donahoe, junior, and Dr. Jana Newton Donahoe. The bride’s paternal grandmother is Mrs. Nell Donahoe and her maternal grandmother is Mrs. Pat Newton. The groom is the son is Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Norman Marti. The groom’s maternal grandmother is Mrs. Sondra Wedo. Megan Kaye had always planned a wedding that would include family and friends at a place that was the source of her best memories. Unfortunately, life had other plans for the couple. Four months before the wedding, the bride’s grandfather, Edgar Donahoe (Pawpaw), was diagnosed with cancer. He had always dreamed of his “Princess of Donahoe Road” getting married on the land his parents had homesteaded in 1914. Miraculously, the bride’s wedding dress arrived a month ahead of schedule, and she made a quick trip home from Dallas, Texas, to let her pawpaw have the real “first look.” Pictures were made with his granddaughter, compliments of Elizabeth Skelton Photography. The festivities went right on with the help of Amanda Cottingham and her team from The Pantry, highlighting the beautiful lakeside setting with cathedral arches and ceremony stage built by the bride’s father. Ceremony music was provided by pianist Jackie Burkhalter and vocalist JoAnna Pope. Abby Jo Melancon served as matron of honor and Lauren Kozar served as


matron of honor. Bridesmaids included Sarah Nan Donahoe, Alexis Marti, Courtney Davis, Elyssa Lambert, Becky Glass, Anna Katelyn Mangold, Sacha Cornelissen, and Addy McDaniel. Ryan Marti served as best man. Groomsmen included Roman Diaz, Trent Oswalt, Chris Boucher, Peter McKinney, Austin Gage, Nathan Bass, Bryan Salcedo, Trey Donahoe, and Drew Donahoe. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception. Big Night Dynamite entertained guests through the night, and fireworks over the lake made the night even more special. Since the groom’s family was mostly from Ohio and Texas, every effort was made to welcome them to the Delta! And even though Pawpaw couldn’t be there in person, his legacy of love and generosity was ever present. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, catered by The Pantry. Guests enjoyed an Italian-themed dinner to honor the groom’s Italian roots. Following a ten-day honeymoon to Italy, the couple is at home in Dallas, Texas. Photography: Elizabeth Skelton Photography and Averie Claire Photography Florist, Coordinator and Caterer: The Pantry Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Lodge at Donahoe Farms Entertainment: Big Night Dynamite Bakery: The Pantry


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Debra Blair Dorrough and Christopher Trey Crittenden were united in marriage during a candlelit ceremony at six o’clock in the evening on December 8, 2018, at Webb Baptist Church.   The bride is the daughter of Mr. John Robert Dorrough of Ruleville and Mrs. Kay Waldrup of Drew. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Joe Waldrup of Drew and the late Dr. and Mrs. C. M. Dorrough of Ruleville.  The groom is the son of Mr. Charles Crittenden and the late Mrs. Cynthia Crittenden. He is the grandson of the late Mr. John Lester Jones, junior, Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard Crittenden, all of Clarksdale.   Escorted by her father, the bride was attired in a delicate ivory lace and tulle ball gown with a deep curved V-neckline, cashmere lining, and lace appliqué. Her gown was designed by Hayley Paige and chosen at Maggie Louise Bridal. The gown featured a lace back with strap accents and a cascading tiered skirt. Finishing off the look, she wore crystal embellished satin Badgley Mishka heels. The bride wore a beautiful mink stole for her “something old” that belonged to her late grandmother, “Sister” Dorrough. Complementing the bride’s ensemble was a bouquet of white, pale green, and pink roses, stephanotis, hydrangeas, seeded eucalyptus, wax flower and white berries. Bridesmaids included Audra Dorrough, Lena Kent Koenig, and Rayanne Kent Hollis, cousins of the bride. The bridesmaids wore full-length forest green chiffon gowns by Sorella Vita. Their bouquets complemented the bridal bouquet. Groomsmen included David Crittenden junior, Cody Aaron Murphy, and Jonathan Tyler Nail.

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A selection of ceremonial music was presented by Doyle Tubbs on the church’s organ. Libby Perkins and Gib Ellis provided the scripture readings. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at the Sumner Grille. Guests were entertained by the music of Loose Bruce and the Deep Water Baptists. The focal point was a three-tiered wedding cake with buttercream icing adorned in gorgeous fresh cut flowers. The guests were also treated to cookies and hot chocolate before sending the couple off through a tunnel of cascading sparklers. On the eve of the wedding, the couple was honored with a chic rehearsal dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Denny Lewis. The dinner, which featured sangria and many other Mexican touches, encapsulated the couple’s honeymoon destination. After a fabulous honeymoon at Unico Resort and Spa on the Rivera Maya, the couple is at home in Batesville, Mississippi. Photography: Austin Britt Photography   Florist: Cindy Ellis and Linda Waldrup Coordinator: Ashley Ely  Ceremony Venue: Webb Baptist Church Reception Venue: Sumner Grille  Bakery: Katie Crenshaw, Charleston

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Sandra Adelle Eubank and William Daniel Thaggard were united in marriage

Baptist Church courtyard. The focal point of the outdoor reception was a beautiful

at two o’clock in the afternoon on November 10, 2018, at First Baptist Church

winter floral arrangement and tables laden with delectable edibles all prepared

in Greenville. Dr. James Nichols officiated the service. The matrimony of the high

by The Pantry.

school sweethearts was long awaited by friends and family. The bride is the daughter of Drs. Thomas and Elizabeth Eubank of Greenville. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Thaggard of Greenville. Kendall Robinson served as maid of honor and Melissa Adams served as matron of honor. Bridesmaids included Ashley Brown, Ali Santucci, Adele Lee, Anne Langdon Ray, Carson Taylor, and Catie Gillison. Chase Palasini served as best man. Groomsman included Carson Smyly, Chris Adams, Hunter Palasini, Nelson Corban, Victor Pinion, Skyler DeRegt, and Will Eubank.

The newlyweds were sent off with cheers and well wishes by family and friends. After a winter wonderland honeymoon in Vail, Colorado, the newlyweds are at home in Madison. Photography: Elena Marchak Photography Florist, Coordinator and Caterer: The Pantry Ceremony and Reception Venue: First Baptist Church Entertainment: Style Entertainment Bakery: Chassylane Bakes

Escorted by her father, the bride wore a Sachin & Babi gown from Willow Bride in Tupelo. She wore her grandmother’s silver fox fur that complemented the dress for the chilly November day. For a pop of color, Adelle donned Lauren Lorraine rose gold, studded heels. The bride’s bouquet was a cascading bouquet of burgundy antique hydrangeas, calla lilies, cremons, and dusty pink roses, all nestled with lacy eucalyptus and bound with double-faced satin ribbon. At the ceremony, vocalist Graci Pickel sang “Get to Love You” with other traditional wedding pieces provided by Kyle Beckham on the piano. The reception, hosted by the parents of the bride, was held at the First


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Mary Catherine Farrar and Winfred Joseph Roark were united in marriage at six o’clock in the evening on June 2, 2018, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Reverend Charles Daniel Giffen officiated the ceremony.


walked down the aisle for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Winfred Joseph Roark. The reception followed at Vestavia Country Club. The guests entered into the grand ballroom where candelabras and floral arrangements complemented the

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Richard Farrar, junior, of

white hydrangea and rose wreath with a satin bow that hung in the east window of

Birmingham, Alabama. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Richard

the ballroom. The guests enjoyed the elegance of dinner and cocktails provided by

Farrar of Fayetteville, Tennessee, Mrs. James Thomas Fail and the late Mr. Fail of

the country club and entertainment by the fabulous Ca$hmere Band. The reception

Jackson, Mississippi.

ended with the band playing Mississippi State University’s fight song. All the guests

The groom is the son of Mr. and Dr. Fred Elwin Roark of Cleveland. He is the

joined in as the couple made their way to the entrance of the club for their departure.

grandson of Mr. Joseph Elio Aguzzi and the late Mrs. Aguzzi of Cleveland, Mrs.

The couple made their getaway through an archway of sparklers as they got into a

Winfred Elwin Roark and the late Mr. Roark of Cleveland.

1960 Lincoln and left for the Grand Bohemian Hotel.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father, James Richard Farrar, junior, to “Trumpet Voluntary.” The bride’s sister, Virginia Farrar, was maid of honor. Bridesmaids included Shelby Barham, Molly Dallas, Claire Hays, Claire Holmes, Jessica Lamas, Denton Morgan, Carly Naugher, Abbie Rea, Mary Margaret Roark, and Anna Wynn Rodgers. The groom’s father, Fred Roark, served as the best man. Groomsmen and ushers included Chase Aguzzi, Andrew Belvedresi, Gage Davis, Josh Duhon, Tyler Holmes, Jake Howarth, John Keeler, Will Keeler, Hunter Kovac, Austin McKnight, Ryan Redditt, Daniel Shannon, and Bradley Willis. Flower girl, Edie Barclay, and ring bearer, Harry Barclay, are family friends of the bride and groom. Reverend Charles Daniel Giffen officiated as Mary Catherine and Winn exchanged vows. Organist Jamie McLemore performed “Toccata” as the couple

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On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at The Club, Inc. The couple honeymooned in Antigua and is at home in Cleveland. Photography: Rob and Wynter Photography Florist: Sarah Pinehart Caterer: Vestavia Country Club Coordinator: Jane Dickens Ceremony Venue: Covenant Presbyterian Church, Birmingham Reception Venue: Vestavia Country Club Entertainment: Ca$hmere Band Bakery: Dream Cakes

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The celebration and blessing of the marriage of Ashley Marie Greco and John

Serving the groom as best man was his father, Bland Shelton Peyton.

Harrison Peyton was held on the April 21, 2018, at seven oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock in the evening at

Groomsmen included Eric Michael Brozovich, William Reid Carter, Robert Daniel

Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Greenville. Reverend Bill Henry officiated the

Evans, junior, John Michael Greco, junior, Paul Turner Holland, Franklin Read Kelly,


Stewart Parker Salley, Edward Allen Slater, Brandon Craig Stoker, Franklin Chance

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Michael Greco, senior, of Scott. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Edward Robertson, senior, of Greenville, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Philip Charles Greco. The groom is the son of Mr. Bland Peyton of Arcola and Ms. Johna Peyton of Greenwood. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Wayne Lack and the late Mr. and Mrs. Harris Bailey Peyton. Nuptial music was provided by Suzanne Peyton Potter and Daniel Tackett, vocalist. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a Martina Liana lace and tulle over royal organza gown from Elle James Bridal. The cathedral-length veil was accented with cut lace trim. She carried a cluster of all white and cream flora with Tibet roses, cream spray roses, and lisianthus spilling with seeded and willow eucalyptus and hand tied with double-faced satin ribbon and a vintage handkerchief. Taylor Williams Ormon and Molly Tonos Pace served as matrons of honor. Bridesmaids included Lanie Cumbaa Bridewell, Holly Dill Greco, Chandler McCarley Llana, Maggie Artman Matthews, Christina Holy McRae, Peyton Bridge Palasini, Anne Bailey Peyton, Olivia Katherine Peyton, and Emily McRee Webb.

Turner, and Bailey Etheridge West. Kathryn Louise Peyton served as flower girl, and program attendants were Kate Elizabeth Greco and Jillian Elizabeth Greco. The ring bearers were Weston Michael Greco and Bailey Gilbert Peyton. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the Greenville Golf and Country Club. The Pantry, Inc. served as coordinator, and entertainment was provided by Second Coming. On the eve of the wedding, the groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at Downtown Grille in Greenville. Following a wedding trip to Grenada, the couple is at home in Cleveland. Photography: Katelyn Anne Photography and Frameblender Films Florist and Coordinator: The Pantry Caterer: Greenville Golf and Country Club Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Greenville Reception Venue: Greenville Golf and Country Club Entertainment: Second Coming Bakery: Ashley Frazier


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Catharine Aldridge Hammett and Garrett Reeves Harris were united in marriage on May 12, 2018, at half past five o’clock in the afternoon. Reverend Sylvia R. Czarnetzky officiated the outdoor sunset ceremony on the banks of Lake Washington at The Highland Club in Glen Allan. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Anthony McMillon of Collierville, Tennessee, and Mr. Warren Irving Hammett, junior, of Greenville. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Franklin McNamara of Ridgeland and the late Mr. and Mrs. Warren Irving Hammett of Greenville. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jay Harris of Columbus. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Reeves of Columbus and the late Judge Samuel Harris and the late Betty Jean Blair of Columbus. Given in marriage by her parents and presented by her father, the bride wore an antique ivory tulle and charmeuse gown embellished with beaded lace. She wore an heirloom pearl and diamond heart shaped pin belonging to her maternal great-grandmother. The bridal bouquet, comprised of white hydrangeas, parrot tulips, garden roses, peonies, and stock, was wrapped in satin ribbon. Lauren Nicole Sandidge served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids included the bride’s sister, Ellen Kent Hammett, Lyndsay Shea Adams, Melyssa Hitchcock, and May Vaughan McCarty. Henry Jay Harris, father of the groom, served as best man. Groomsman included Justin Harris, brother of the groom, Lance Baxter, Daniel Burns, Brent Hallmark, Jason Hudson, and Zac Turner.

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On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at The Highland Club. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at The Highland Club. Following a honeymoon trip to St. Lucia, the couple is at home in Starkville. Photography: Jamie Hardin Photography Florist and Coordinator: Lagniappe Caterer: Paula Davis Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Highland Club Entertainment: Style the Band Bakery: Becky Thompson

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Ashley Elizabeth Hunter and Adam Parker Gober were united in marriage at six o’clock in the evening on June 2, 2018, at Linden Planation on the banks of Lake Washington in Glen Allan. The ceremony was officiated by Luke Lezon. Nuptial music was provided by Dr. Nancy Coleman, pianist, and Mr. Jared Collins, soloist. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Hunter of Glen Allan. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Woodruff of Grace, the late Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Gary Ware of Greenville, and the late Mr. Jerry Hunter of Lake Village, Arkansas. The groom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Gregg Alan Gober of Lake Village, Arkansas. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Alan Carnes of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and Mrs. Olen Kenneth Gober and the late Mr.


parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the B.B. King Museum followed by music at Club Ebony in Indianola. After a honeymoon at Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas, the couple is at home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photography: April and Paul Photography Florist: Green Apple Caterer: Paula Davis Coordinator: Emily Carter Ceremony and Reception Venue: Linden Plantation Entertainment: Dr. Zarr and the Amazing Funk Monsters Bakery: Carol Hunter, mother of the bride

Gober of Lake Village, Arkansas. The bride was given in marriage by her father. Attending the bride as maid of honor was Haley Leanor Hobart. Bridesmaids were Bethany Nichole Holcomb, Emma Taylor Gober, Eva Kathleen Grabbe, Britni Nicole Binam, Elizabeth Joy Verges, and Krista Lynn Scott. The groom’s brother, Ryan Cole Gober, served as best man. Groomsmen and ushers included Sterling Kert Acree, Zachary Joseph Tripp, Christian Allen Repsher, Christopher Blake Woolridge, Jason Lloyd Hunter, Jeremy Layton Hunter, and Brandon Scott Hunter. The flower girl was Charley Rose Mahalitc. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at Linden Plantation in Glen Allan hosted by the bride’s parents. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s


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The River Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, was the setting for the

While all the ladies enjoyed a scenic boat ride from Kiawah to Wadmalaw

evening wedding of Dr. Stephanie Mitchell to Charles Morris “Budge” Hunter V.

Island for lunch at the Charleston Tea Plantation, hosted by Mildred Barrett and

The ceremony was officiated by Reverend James Seabrook Sosnowski.

Melonie Mitchell, the bride and her bridesmaids were honored with a champagne

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Charles Mitchell of Laurel, Maryland. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mitchell Hunter of Pounding, Virginia. Not even a Lowcountry summer shower, which forced the ceremony from under a canopy of moss-laden live oaks to inside a flower-filled ballroom, could dampen the spirit of love and happiness for the couple.

lunch, given by the Finly girls. A reception followed the ceremony at the River Course Clubhouse. The bride and groom enjoyed one last hurrah with guests at a farewell brunch given by the Lori Sand Harrison family at her beautiful home on Bohicket Creek, South Carolina. The bride is a graduate of Virginia Tech University where she also received her doctorate in veterinary medicine. She practices small animal medicine at East

Dr. Ashley Assemat attended the bride as her maid of honor. John David

Lincoln Animal Hospital in Denver, North Carolina. The groom is a graduate of

Hunter, brother of the groom, served as his best man. The couple’s dog, Delta,

the Virginia Military Institute and received his MBA from West Virginia University.

was the Best Dog.

He is the former vice president of Pounding Mill Quarry and is managing principal

The week preceding the wedding was a whirlwind of beautiful parties honoring the bride and groom. The Beach Club at Kiawah was the setting for a meet-and-greet cocktail party, hosted by Billy and Lee Hunter along with Mike and Sloane Hunter, with a special appearance from Virginia Military Institute’s bag pipe player. A party, hosted by Kim and Ron Bongiovanni and Mary Love and Andy Dearman, for out-of-town guests at The Watson House was the setting in the Lowcountry for music and cocktails, while the rehearsal dinner was being held next door at The Cassique Club. Guests were entertained by an impromptu guitar and spoon performance by Delta Magazine’s own Hank Burdine.

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with Gordon Long Capital. The couple resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has planned a honeymoon to Hawaii this fall. Photography: Rachel Red Photography and Michelle Thompson Photography Florist: Sarah York Grimshaw Caterer: The Club at Kiawah Island River Course Coordinator: Sweetgrass Social Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Club at Kiawah Island River Course Entertainment: Atlanta Groove Factory

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Anna Francesca Morris and Nicholas Alan Bosworth were united in the holy sacrament of marriage on Saturday, June 30, 2019, at half past seven o’clock in the evening at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Greenville. Deacon Mark Schoffner officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alton Don Morris of Greenville. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Anthony Terracina of Greenville, and the late Mr. Alton Dewey Morris and the late Mrs. Freida Kennan Robinson of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The groom is the son of Dr. Brian Gene Bosworth of Leland and Mrs. Mari Dykstra Rutledge of Cleveland. He is the grandson of Mrs. Theodore Xavier Cox of Bella Vista, Arkansas, and the late Dr. Harry Thomas Bosworth of White Lake, South Dakota. Escorted by her father, Don Morris, the bride wore a Martina Liana gown with a cathedral-length veil and Sophia Webster pink velvet shoes. She also wore her grandmother’s heirloom earrings. The bride and groom married before an altar embellished with a floral altar box cascading with a magnificent arrangement of ice pink summer flora that included garden roses, peonies, snapdragons, lisianthus, stock, and phalaenopsis orchid sprays, all laced with ferns and greenery. Rachel Madisen Phillips served the bride as her maid of honor. The bridesmaids included Mary Margaret Gannaway, Miranda Wilmer Howle, Mary Parker Janoush, Adele Rittman Lee, Emily Katherine McKee, Kylie Fichter Murphy, Alexander Claire Schubert, and Frances Elizabeth Varner. The flower girl was Frankie Grey Terracina. Wesley Martin Windham served the groom as his best man. Groomsmen included Jonathan Michael Davey, Christopher John Enger, Michael Joseph Enger, William Christopher Hardman, John Patrick Phillips, Matthew Tyler Ray, and Anthony


Joseph Morris. John Oliver Davey served as the ring bearer. Immediately following the wedding ceremony, guests joined the newlyweds at the Greenville Country Club, where the bride’s parents hosted a festive wedding reception. The club was transformed into an ethereal setting, completely sheered floral throughout with white organza floor-to-ceiling draperies, modern pendant lights, floral hoops, and exquisite arrangements created in clear glass vessels. Guests danced to the music of The Fountain City Players of Montgomery, Alabama, beneath a canopy of cascading rain lights and suspended acrylic tubes of varying lengths that emulated rain. Gold confetti streamers showered the guests as they danced throughout the evening. The wedding cake, a pink almond confection, was enrobed with miniature phalaenopsis orchid sprays. The groom’s array of Italian desserts was displayed on the club’s piano top. The bride and groom departed from the reception in a flurry of confetti in a 1971 Mustang convertible for a honeymoon trip to Antigua. The couple currently resides in Jackson where the groom is studying medicine and the bride is a participant recruiter for The University Medical Center. Photography: Taylor Square Photography Florist: The Pantry Caterer: Greenville Golf and Country Club Coordinator: Lisa Johnson Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Greenville Reception Venue: Greenville Golf and Country Club Entertainment: The Fountain City Player, Montgomery, Alabama Bakery: The Pantry __________________________________________________________________


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Mary Ashley O’Reilly and Robert Paul Dunavant, junior, were united in marriage by Reverend Earl Jack Wooten III at half past six o’clock in the evening on April 28, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Canton. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Glen O’Reilly of Ebenezer. She is the granddaughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. John Russel Durfey, junior, of Canton and the late Mr. and Mrs. Nolan Hayes O’Reilly, junior, of Ebenezer. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paul Dunavant of Greenville. He is the grandson of Mr. Kenneth Paul Oberle and the late Mrs. Oberle of Leland and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Earl Dunavant of Greenville. Attending the bride as maid of honor was Ann Kathryn Dunavant of Houston, Texas. Bridesmaids included Karel Noha Abboud of Madison, Romy Elias Abboud of Madison, Cassie Carol Cothran of Brandon, Anna Katherine Edwards of Hattiesburg, Brittany Lloyd Engle of Lexington, Haylie Ford Hammett of Madison, Meggan Freeny Henderson of Brandon, Jordan Courts Ingram of Madison, Ashley Meeks Ledbetter of Benton, Olivia Scott Morris of Carthage, and Anna Katherine Woodward of Hattiesburg. The bride’s proxy was Ashley Brooke Bryan of Indianola. The groom’s father, Robert Paul Dunavant, served as his best man. Groomsmen were Terry Brooks Ables of Madison, Michael Davis Ables of Indianola, Daniel Grimsley Dunavant of Greenville, Robert Brockbank Eskrigge of Lake Village, Arkansas, John Michael Greco of Greenville, Patrick Timothy Nolan of Rolling Fork, Marvin Glen O’Reilly, junior, of Atlanta, Georgia, Justin Portwood Theunnissen of Leland, Michael Jeremy Theunnisen of Hollandale, Jacob Prentiss Williamson of Lexington, John Davis Woodward of Hattiesburg, Chase Alexander Wyle of Hollandale, and Kevin Rhett Young of Madison. Serving as flower girl and ring bearer were Emma Kate McGee of Oxford and William Cort Ingram of Madison.

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Following the ceremony, the parents of the bride hosted a reception at Bridlewood of Madison. Guests were greeted with cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres and mingled through buffet stations of the couple’s favorite food as the band Freedom performed Motown hits. The floral tablescapes echoed the elegant ivory, champagne, and gold color scheme. As the evening concluded, the bride and groom were surprised with a display of fireworks as they made their departure. On the eve of the wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paul Dunavant honored the couple by hosting a cocktail reception and rehearsal dinner at The Opera House in Canton. The Pantry, Inc. of Greenville transformed the venue into an ethereal spring wonderland that took inspiration from invitations created by Vicki Pentecost of Cleveland. Elizabeth Heiskell Catering of Oxford provided the delectable seated dinner. Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by Dueling Pianos led by Hunter Gibson. Following a honeymoon to Antigua, the couple resides in Greenville with their rescue lab, Timber. Mary Ashley is digital content manager at Primos Hunting in Flora, and Rob is a partner in Dunavant Farms in Lake Village, Arkansas. Photography: Lindsay Ott Photography Florist: Green Oak Florist Caterer: Saint Francis of Assisi Knights of Columbus Coordinator: Diane O’Reilly Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church, Canton Reception Venue: Bridlewood Madison Entertainment: Freedom Bakery: Cakes by Iris __________________________________________________________________

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Meridith Claire Rankin and Derek Dyre Soldevila were united in marriage at seven o’clock in the evening on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Clarksdale. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Earl Rankin. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Frances Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Ellard, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Doug Marvin Rankin. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Val Joseph Soldevila. He is the grandson of the late Mr. And Mrs. Lowrey Dyre and the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Soldevila. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Neville Vanderburg and Father Scott Thomas. Hayley Anna Canoy sang “Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here,” setting the tone for the Christ-centered ceremony. Hayley Anna Canoy and Mike Edwards sang “The Prayer” as family of the bride and groom prayed over the couple. “How Great Thou Art” was sung as the couple lit candles from the Christ candle and passed the light of Christ through the congregation. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a fit-and-flare Martina Liana gown of ivory lace that featured a sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves with intricately beaded lace. The back of the gown was finished with pearl buttons and a chapellength train. To accent her look, the bride wore a cathedral veil of beaded lace. Attending the bride as maids of honor were Abbey Elizabeth Rankin, sister of the bride, and Megan Renae Ware, cousin of the bride. Bridesmaids were Abby Maureen Abolt, Mary Kimble Bridgers, Catelin Peay Britt, Devin Vanlandingham Byrd, Anne Hollis Dulaney, Jordan Zachary Goolsby, Sarah Jordan Lear, Corrie Rebekah Samples, Meredith Camille Schilling, and Kalyn Elizabeth Watts. Junior bridesmaids were Emily Allen Chandler, Carson Rebecca Chandler, and Peyton Nicole Ellard. The bride’s proxy at the rehearsal was Katherine Veazey Soldevila.


Attending the groom as the best man was the groom’s father, Val Joseph Soldevila. Groomsmen were Christopher Adam Britt, Edgar Paris Buchanan, Corbin Peterson Cox, Mark Bolling Crumpton, junior, Edward Hunter Longstreth, Mark Alan Noland, William Joshua Peal, Gregory Wells Sandifer, Douglas Leroy Smith III, Michael Brandon Soldevila, Brett Antone Soldevila, and Carl Stewart Thach. Serving as ushers were Gray Aaron Emery, Jeremy Hunter Fondren, Frank Ryan Geary, James Randall Jefferson, junior, Henry Allen Olivi, and Edwin Taylor Vickery. Junior groomsmen were Joel Douglas Chandler II and Campbell Lowrey Soldevila. Lily Grace Chandler served as the flower girl, and Veazey Dyre Soldevila served as the ring bearer. Program attendants were Anna Brettlee Soldevila, Tate Elizabeth Allen and Griffin Grace Allen. Acolytes for the ceremony were Temple Wayne Dulaney, Parker Wiltshire Dulaney, Jackson David Ellard, and Michael Donovan Soldevila. Following the ceremony, the parents of the bride hosted a reception at Deen Norman Brown Commons Building in Clarksdale. Big Bling and the Funk Machine provided musical entertainment for guests. Following a honeymoon in Placenia, Belize, the couple is at home in Ridgeland. Photography: Eliza Kennard Photography Florist: Oxford Floral Caterer: My Michelle’s Coordinator: Kendall Poole Event Planning Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church Reception Venue: The Norman Brown Commons Building Entertainment: Big Bling and the Funk Machine Bakery: The Turquoise Chandelier, bride’s cake; The Dutch Oven, groom’s cookies and milk __________________________________________________________________ DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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SPRAGINS Mary Gunn Spragins and Jason Reed Prewitt were united in holy matrimony at six o’clock in the evening on December 9, 2017. The double-ring ceremony was officiated by Mark G. Baber. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Franklin Spragins of Marion, Arkansas. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Woodley Gunn of Lena and the late Mr. and Mrs. Homer Franklin Spragins of Minter City. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Eugene Prewitt of Clinton. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. William Wade Melton of Clinton and the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wilburn Prewitt of Clinton. Escorted by her father, the bride wore a Casablanca gown of beaded lace on an appliqué overlay that featured a scalloped-edge sweetheart neckline with cap sleeves and a full illusion back adorned with covered buttons and tulle flows over a champagne lining that created an inset sweep with a semi-cathedral-length train. The bride carried a bouquet of hand-tied white anemones, Tibet roses, white hypericum berries, silver brunia, dusty miller, and seasonal wintery greens. In keeping with Southern tradition, representing the bride’s “something old,” she wore the wedding bands of her late grandmothers, Mrs. Dorothy Thomas Gunn and Mrs. Imogene Henley Spragins on her right hand. For her “something new” the bride chose her wedding gown. For her “something blue,” the bride had a blue shirt from her late brother, Woodley Franklin Spragins, which was embroidered with his name and birth date that was sewn in her dress. For her “something borrowed,” she wore the earrings that her friend, Gillian Patrick Robinson, wore on her wedding day. The bride was gifted a sapphire and diamond ring by her groom, which she wore during the reception. Attending the bride as maid of honor was Betsy Long of Marion, Arkansas, and matron of honor was Lindsay Weaver Thompson of Marion, Arkansas. Bridesmaids were Chelsey Elizabeth Lewandowski, of Grove, Oklahoma; Haley Heath Hankins of Duck Hill; Kaylan Elizabeth Prewitt of Madison; Shanon Maria Cupples of Marion, Arkansas; Meghan Huett Halbert of Wynne, Arkansas; and Kyndal Elise Prewitt of Clinton. The bridesmaids wore floor-length gowns of soft tulle that were emerald green and featured a deep V-neckline. They each carried bouquets of Tibet roses, lacy dusty miller, and cedar, hand tied with white satin ribbon. Cara Brockwell Ellis of Nashville, Tennessee and Miranda McLaughlin Schoggen of Brandon served as scripture readers. The groom’s father, Stanley Eugene Prewitt, served as best man. Groomsmen were Chase Howard Williams of Madison; Christopher Michael Glaze of Oxford; Corey Wade Stevens of Evans, Colorado; Jaron Javhon Waller of Madison; Jeffrey Wayne Ferrell of Nashville, Tennessee; Jonathon Conner Douglas of Vicksburg; Joseph Anderson Watts III of Madison; and Thomas Matthew Jordan of Brandon. Ushers were Jacob Kyle Dorsey of Madison; Reed Simmons Robinson of Madison; and Phillip George Schoggen of Brandon. The chapel doors featured seasonal wreaths of fresh cedar. The aisles were adorned with greenery and Tibet roses. The altar showcased a grand display of white hydrangeas, Tibet roses, Sahara roses, lacy dusty miller, cedar, white Majolica roses, ruscus, seeded eucalyptus, and magnolia leaves. The couple left the ceremony with a sparkler exit where they entered into a 1950s Rolls Royce that whisked them away to the reception. As guests entered The Powerhouse for the reception, they were served butler-

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PREWITT passed hors d’oeuvres and were greeted by Wyatt Waters who captured a live scene painting of the bride and groom’s first dance. The design for the reception was comprised of a soft selection of florals in gold metal compote-style vessels that included hydrangeas, white Dendrobium orchids, lacy dusty miller, magnolia leaves, Tibet and Sahara roses with accents of cedar and seeded eucalyptus for a wintery touch. The reception décor also included taupe linens accented with champagne sequin linens with florals in gold mercury glass vases that lined the classic black and white dance floor. Guests were invited to enjoy Southern cuisine food stations that were prepared by My Michelle’s of Oxford. The bride’s table highlighted a four-tiered almond cake with almond buttercream icing from Sweet T’s Bakery in Oxford that was decorated with a cascade of florals. The table was accented with McCarty wine goblets that were purchased by the bride’s late grandmother, Mrs. Imogene Henley Spragins. The cake was cut using the same server that the bride’s late grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Homer Franklin Spragins used to cut their wedding cake in 1944. The groom’s table showcased a two-tiered chocolate cake that was decorated with chocolate buttercream and covered with a layer of chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberries. The cake was topped with a fondant baseball, a sport dear to the groom as he played college baseball at Mississippi College in Clinton. The DMB Band of Memphis, Tennessee, entertained guests for the evening. The couple shared their first dance to “This Kind of Love” by Sister Hazel. Midevening guests were surprised with light-up tambourines to help light up the dance floor. The reception ended with the band playing the bride’s favorite song “The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at The University Club. Other weekend events included a Friday luncheon for the bridal party at Boure that was hosted by the groom’s aunt and a farewell brunch on Sunday hosted by friends of the bride’s parents at The Inn at Ole Miss. Kelly Freeland of Shop Southern Bloom in Memphis, Tennessee, served as the florist and day-of coordinator. Twenty-Two Magnolias of Memphis, Tennessee, served as videographer for the weekend. Makeup artist for the bridal party was Haley Moffitt of Corinth. The Wedding Festival Trio of Oxford provided the nuptial music. Following a honeymoon to Great Exuma, Bahamas, the couple is at home in Madison where the bride is an assistant professor/pediatric audiologist within the Department of Otolaryngology at UMMC and the groom works for his family owned business, Prewitt Contract Services in Clinton. Photography: Taylor Square Photography Florist: Southern Bloom Caterer: My Michelle’s Coordinator: Kelly Freeland Ceremony Venue: Paris-Yates Chapel Reception Venue: The Powerhouse Entertainment: The DMB Band Bakery: Sweet T’s Bakery

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Rebecca Taylor and Ryan Lasiter were engaged on December 28, 2018, on

salad, followed by a main course of redfish with crab lemon beurre blanc, sided

the beaches of Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on their holiday travels that took them

with wild rice and seasonal vegetables. The next course was special to the couple,

through the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, including the sea islands,

as the pheasant that was prepared in an apple brine with blueberry sauce was from

as well as the cities of Charleston and Savannah. The second part of their travels,

Ryan and Becca’s oldest son Mason’s recent holiday hunt. The dinner concluded

after they were engaged, took them to Highlands, North Carolina, Sewanee,

with the club’s head chef, Ana Gonzalez, preparing the perfect crème brûlée with

Tennessee, and one of Becca’s alma maters, the University of the South.

Chateau d’Yquem, Becca’s favorite dessert, and bananas foster, Ryan’s favorite

The bride-elect is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Taylor, senior, of Dundee. The groom-elect is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lasiter of Little Rock, Arkansas.

dessert. The table was decorated with cedar greenery and magnolia leaves by the

Ryan received the permission of Becca’s father to propose to her at her parents’

Garden District florist in Memphis, Tennessee. The party favors, wrapped in white

home on Moon Lake in Dundee near her family’s Delta farm, Long Lake Plantation,

paper and alternating purple, green and gold ribbons as a nod to Carnival, were silver

during the Christmas holidays. He was determined to find a meaningful church in

mint julep cups with the couple’s names on one side and 2019 on the other side.

which to propose to his girlfriend. Becca, a Methodist, had other plans than to visit the historic Charleston Methodist churches, and as an Episcopalian, Ryan wanted this special moment to be on the grounds of Becca’s traditions, rather than the countless colonial Episcopal and Anglican churches the two did in fact visit. He chose to go the neutrality route and proposed to Becca on the beaches of Kiawah Island during their stay in the Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. What was even more strategic was planning a “casual family dinner and

The couple and Ryan’s parents stayed at the Memphis Country Club for the weekend. Becca and Ryan chose Memphis for the dinner primarily so that their families, who are very familiar with the city, would be traveling about the same distances from the Mississippi Delta and central Arkansas. Ryan is a partner and leader in his family’s investment and development holding company, The Lasiter Group. He received his bachelor of arts in political science

gathering” for their families to meet; in reality it was a formal engagement

from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He holds a master of business

announcement dinner for their family members to attend. Becca, not only a

administration from the University of Memphis after starting at the University of

Sewanee alumna but also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, began noticing the dinner

Mississippi. He also attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Southern

and its courses becoming longer and more formal. The dinner was held on the

Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Saint John’s College in Oxford, United

evening of Saturday, January 5, 2019, the Twelfth Night of Christmas, in the Library

Kingdom. Ryan holds board positions on several nonprofits around Little Rock and

Room at the University Club of Memphis. The cocktail hour started at seven o’clock

Memphis and is very involved with Carnival Memphis.

in the evening and included hors d’oeuvres of jumbo lump crab cakes with whiskey remoulade and tartar sauce and chicken brie vol-au-vent. As the cocktail time and introductions ended, Ryan made a toast to his fiancé with their favorite champagne, Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec, and blessed the evening just before their party was seated for dinner. Ryan, having family from the Delta as well as from the Natchez and nearby Louisiana areas that celebrated the Twelve Days of Christmas and his exposure to Carnival season, appreciated the fact that the evening of their engagement dinner fell on the Twelfth Night. The dinner included five courses: seafood gumbo, an arugula and spinach

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Becca is a registered nurse in fertility and reproductive endocrinology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She holds a bachelor of science in geology from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. She holds a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. The couple will be planning a wedding in the late summer or early fall of 2019. Photography: Stephanie Norwood Photography Venue: The University Club of Memphis

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Carrie Grace Webster and Charles Franklin Bennett III were united in marriage at half past six o’clock in the evening on May 19, 2018, at North Greenwood Baptist Church. Reverend Ricky Wheat officiated at the double-ring ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Roland and Teresa Webster of Sidon. She is the granddaughter of Tommye Jean Webster and the late Roland Webster and the late Joseph and Gracie Gaines. She is the adopted granddaughter of the late Louis and Mildred Holliman. The groom is the son of Franklin and Jan Bennett of Helotes, Texas. He is the grandson of Charles and Dianne Bennett and Alma Louise Campbell and the late Herbert Campbell. Given in marriage by her father during the double-ring service, the bride wore a Kenneth Winston ivory ball gown from the Ella Rosa Collection, which featured a sweetheart neckline with an embroidered lace sequined, fitted bodice with an English net and satin skirt. The backless gown was highlighted with a jeweled embellishment across the back. The bride carried a bouquet of pink roses, peonies, and white baby’s breath. Attending the bride as matron of honor was Susan Webster, sister-in-law of the bride. Avery Alderman and Lauren Bagwell served as maids of honor. Bridesmaids were Kathryn Bennett, Mary Hooper Mason, Marianna Tollison, Maggie Lloyd, Eleanor Pittman, Sara Grace Hemphill, and Meredith Delina Jones. The groom’s father served as best man. Groomsmen were Trey Taylor, Roland Webster IV, Alden Thornhill, Adam Leflore, Nick Mumme, Austin Brewer, Clay Perry, Thomas Younger, and Dustin Harris. Serving as flower girl was Chloe Chandler. Ring bearers were Campbell and Pendleton Raper. Program attendants were Havee Johnson, Mia and Millie Claire O’Neal, and Abby Grace Rogers. 160 | MARCH/APRIL 2019


Wedding music was provided by Patricia Ethridge, Keith Stevens, and Ray Mattox. During the ceremony, the couple lit a unity candle in memory of the late Herbert Campbell, Gracie Gaines, Louis and Mildred Holliman, James Raper, Roland Webster, junior, and Joseph Tillman. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at the Historic Elks Building in downtown Greenwood. The floral arrangements were created by Linda Waldrup of Ruleville. Sally and Alice Chow of Clarksdale prepared the bride’s and the groom’s cakes, while the evening’s musical entertainment was provided by Scott Steele Entertainment of Ridgeland. As the night concluded, the couple departed in a 1966 Chevrolet II Super Sport after being sent off with maroon and white pom-poms by family and friends. The day and night were captured by Caroline Stuckey Photography. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner in honor of the couple at the Elk’s Lodge in North Greenwood. After honeymooning in St. Lucia, the couple is at home in Greenwood where the bride is a history teacher at Greenwood Middle School and the groom is an export logistics specialist at Staplcotn. Photography: Caroline Stuckey Photography Florist: Linda Waldrup Caterer: Gaylon Grantham Coordinator: Donna Bagwell Ceremony Venue: North Greenwood Baptist Church Reception Venue: Historic Elks Building Greenwood Entertainment: Scott Steele Entertainment Bakery: Alice and Sally Chow

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Florence Bell Williams became the wife of Evan Scott Bauer in a double-ring

After the ceremony, a reception was held at The Bank, formerly the Bank of

ceremony at First United Methodist Church in Clarksdale on May 19, 2018, at half

Clarksdale, where the bride’s great-great-grandfather served as president. Plan B

past six o’clock in the evening.

provided the entertainment and music for dancing. Following traditional customs,

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Williams III. The groom is the

the bride and groom cut the bride’s and groom’s cakes made by Alice Chow. The

son of Dr. and Mrs. Scott Bauer. Mr. Peter D. Williams, brother of the bride, escorted

bridal bouquet was tossed and the garter thrown. The maid of honor’s boyfriend,

his mother down the aisle. Miss Mary Helen K. Williams, sister of the bride, was

Reid Haygood, caught the garter. Hannah Olivier caught the bridal bouquet.

maid of honor.

The wedding party and guests enjoyed smoked salmon, beef tenderloin,

The bride wore an elegant lace dress by Eddie Kay. Her veil was borrowed from

shrimp cocktail, hot spinach dip, and a variety of vegetables and cheeses catered

her maternal aunt, Nancy Vick of Conway, Arkansas. Instead of wearing a six pence

by Mrs. Chris Green, owner of the Ranchero. Mr. and Mrs. Keithan Dear set up a

in her shoe, the bride carried it in her bouquet of white roses, Stephanotis orchids

photo booth which had many different props the guests could use as their pictures

and Stargazer lilies. She was adorned with a watch, a wedding gift from the groom,

were taken. The bride and groom were happy to have a copy of their friends’ and

and a vintage garnet bracelet from her mother. The groom wore monogrammed

loved ones’ pictures as well as many encouraging wishes the guests entered into

cufflinks, a wedding gift from the bride, and a tuxedo with lilies of the valley in his

the photo book. The evening ended with guests tossing lavender to send off the

lapel, the flower of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The bridesmaids, Lee Allyn Hughes-

new couple on their honeymoon, another traditional custom.

McShann, Leslie Merritt, Hannah Olivier, Catherine Simmons, and Mary Helen Williams, maid of honor, wore steel blue, full-length dresses by David’s Bridal. The groomsmen, best man, father of the bride and the bride’s brother wore tuxedoes. Reverend Neville Vanderburg, pastor of First United Methodist Church, and Ann Fraser, Episcopal priest, performed the marriage ceremony. Musicians were Denise Boswell and Belinda Simpson with vocalists Mr. Ken N. Lancaster, senior, singing “The Lord’s Prayer,” and his daughter, Liz L. McIntyre, singing “The Gift of Love.” The Scripture reading was by Ben Woodhouse. The front cover of the program had a watercolor of the First United Methodist Church drawn by the late Dot Hector. Dot

Photography: Lee Carter Photography Florist: Craig Gaddy Caterer: Ranchero Coordinator: Angie Crawford and Tammy Durham Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church Reception Venue: The Bank of Clarksdale Entertainment: Plan B Bakery: Alice Chow

Hector was the godmother of the bride’s late grandmother, Elizabeth S. Hand. DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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For more Insta inspo check @instantpotofficial on instagram!

Instant Pot



saying that it has become one of the most popular kitchen shower gifts for many brides and grooms in recent months. And if you do a little research, you will find that almost anything can be cooked in this miracle contraption from ribs to soups to boiled eggs. So we decided to give it a go and have jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon with two fab chicken recipes.


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INSTANT POT CHICKEN WITH CREAMY WHITE WINE SAUCE These gorgeous flavors are a perfect complement for the tender chicken breast. This dish is wonderful on its own or served with mashed potatoes or angel-hair pasta. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts salt and pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 slices bacon 4 cloves garlic, chopped ½ cup onions, chopped ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

3 ⅓ 1 1 ½ 2 1

tablespoons sour cream cup Dijon mustard tablespoon grainy mustard cup sliced fresh mushrooms cup sun dried tomatoes cups fresh spinach leaves cup white wine

Set Instant Pot to Saute mode. Once Instant Pot gets hot, pour in olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sauté till browned. Remove from pot and set aside. Chop bacon and saute’ along with onions and garlic. Season mixture with paprika. In a separate bowl combine mustards and sour cream. Baste both sides of chicken breasts with this sauce. Add mushrooms, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes to mixture in pot. Pour in wine and place coated chicken on top of mixture. Lock the lid and seal, closing the steam valve. Set Instant Pot to poultry setting and set timer to cook for 8 minutes. While cooking, some steam will escape during the process, which is normal. When the time runs out, move the valve to release the pressure and all steam. When completely depressurized turn off the Insta Pot and the dish is ready to be served. Enjoy!

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We sautéed extra fresh spinach leaves for a healthy side.

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Serve with roasted asparagus or a fresh salad and crusty bread for an elegant meal.


pounds chicken, boneless skinless breasts teaspoons salt cup onion diced tablespoons olive oil garlic cloves minced cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon dried parsley ¼ cup white wine juice of 1 large lemon 3 tablespoons cornstarch capers and lemon slices

Turn Instant Pot on to the sauté feature and add olive oil and diced onion. Cook the onions for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle salt, paprika, parsley and garlic on both sides of chicken. Add chicken to Instant Pot with onions two pieces at a time, browning on each side. Remove chicken to a plate. Add all remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch, to the Instant Pot and stir. Place browned chicken back into the Instant Pot and turn to locked position. Select the “Poultry” setting. Set timer to 15 minutes and make sure the valve is in the closed position. When cook time has finished, release steam valve to vent and carefully remove lid. If sauce needs thickening, briefly remove chicken and set aside. Transfer about 1 to 1½ cups drippings from the pot to a small bowl, add the cornstarch and stir until well combined. Stir mixture back into remaining drippings allowing to cook and thicken a few minutes. Return chicken to pot and serve. May be served as is or over rice or pasta. Sprinkle generously with capers and garnish with lemon slices. DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Save v Ro o m Fo r D ess e rt For 50 years, The Crystal Grill G has been serving Delta classics to generations of families for lunch and dinner. The Crystal Grill is known fo or its generous portions and legendary desserts. Locals kno ow to save room for dessert. What will you try? OPEN TUESDAY - THURSDAY, SSUNDAY Š 11 11:00 00 AM - 99:00 00 PM SATURDAY - SUNDAY Š 11:00 AM - 9:30 PM 662.453.6530 Š 423 CARROLLTON AVENUE Š GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI facebook.com m/TheCry stalGrill

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The Deltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great protector

In the mid-1800s, landowners were responsible for building their own levee systems. These early levees were no more than three to four feet high. The small levee in the photo above is a perfect example of one of these early structures.


or eons, what is now called the Mississippi River split right down the middle of the North American continent draining 41 percent of what is now the United States and also two provinces of Canada. It is the third largest river system in the world and is critical in the commerce and security of our country. The river is somewhat contained today and controlled by the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project which provides flood protection by coordinating efforts of levee construction, bank stabilization, and tributary basin improvements. All of this was designed to encompass what has been called the Project Design Flood, the biggest flood thought to be able to occur. The system was tested thoroughly during the flood of 2011 which carried 26 percent more water than the monumental 1927 flood. The system worked in 2011, and not one life was lost to the flood nor was one acre of ground flooded that was not designed to; however, it has not always been that way.

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Early flood control efforts in the Mississippi Delta were taken care of by individual landowners in an effort to keep the rising floodwaters off their land and out of their crops which at the time were mainly cotton and corn. Originally, the plantations were located on the high banks of rivers and streams. Annual overflows during the years had built natural levees along these banks that were higher than surrounding bottomlands. In most years a three to four foot levee could contain the rising waters because there was so much backwater and plenty of overflow areas where the flood waters could go. As land was cleared and more cotton put into production, one neighborâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s levee could often push the water onto the farm next door causing problems. From 1840 through the 1860s, various levee districts and different county commissions tried to develop taxing avenues and build levees, but there was no coordination between any of the districts and taxing authorities. In 1865, the Mississippi Legislature authorized the Mississippi Levee Board with its mission to design, build, and have taxing authority for levees within its district, which goes from the north Bolivar County line to

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A tower machine was a huge dragline that had a revolving cable anchored several thousand feet across the levee that allowed a large bucket to be carried across the levee to a pit on the riverside where dirt was excavated, lifted up then placed on the levee during construction.

These photos, provided by the Mississippi Levee Board in Greenville, show levees being built by the government before 1927.

After the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 the government and the Corps of Engineers re-evaluated the levee systems. The current levee system in place was based on that decision and since 1927 there have been no breaks.

Vicksburg. Today, this includes 212 miles of levee and 350 miles of interior streams. Later, in 1884, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board was authorized to complete the levee from Memphis to the south Coahoma County line and it comprises all other counties within the confines of the Delta. Efforts to coordinate existing levee systems and tie them all together into one system began, yet higher levees on one side of the river would cause levees to be breached on the other side. And then came the 1927 Flood which surpassed all other floods and stood as the greatest natural disaster to hit the United States until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The 1927 Flood covered 26,000 square miles in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana and displaced 700,000 people. Upwards of 250 lives were lost and hundreds of thousands of cattle and livestock killed. Realizing that flood control in the Lower Mississippi River Valley was not just a local problem but a national problem, Congress enacted the Flood Control Act of 1928 which authorized the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project. This act tied all the levee districts into one coordinated effort to build and

maintain an integrated system that could work as a whole. Designed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and overseen by the Mississippi River Commission, the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project is a comprehensive effort to build and maintain reservoirs, spillways, levees, and tributary improvements to contain what is considered the Project Design Flood. The MR&T is only eightyfive percent complete and has cost over $15 billion, yet has prevented over $1.27 trillion in damages, creating an 80:1 benefit to cost ratio. This is unheard of in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s times. Our livelihoods, businesses and farms, schools, hospitals, and homes are protected by what some consider the eighth Wonder of the World, the Mississippi River Levee System. There is an ongoing effort to build and maintain the greatest flood control project in the world. Realizing the importance to our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s productivity and safety, the U.S. Congress has continued to fund the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project. Our levee takes care of and protects us; we must protect it. DM


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The Beach Boys

Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream Santana


Jackson Browne

spring festival & event guide MARK YOUR CALENDARS

★ Gadabout Film Festival March 7, 5:30 pm


★ Indicates Festivals

March 17, 8 pm

An internationally touring Film festival that offers a vast array of films DSU campus gadaboutfilmfest.com

March 7, 7 pm


March 21, 7:30 pm

Grammy Museum grammymuseumms.org

March 22, 7 pm Tunica Resorts

Scotty McCreery

6th Annual Whispers in the Cedars Cemetery Tour City Hall, 1005 College Street

March 16

March 24, 2-5 pm

Amos Lee The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com 170 | MARCH/APRIL 2019


Bubbles & Bon Bons Memphis

Belmont Plantation

March 24, 7:30 pm

Fedex Forum fedexforum.com

Steve Miller Band Jackson


BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove bankplusamphitheater.com

Mavis Staples in Concert

March 26, 8 pm

Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net


March 22-24 Memphis

Ocean Springs


Weezer and The Pixies

March 22, 8 pm Port Gibson

★ Spring Arts Festival March 23-24


Horseshoe Casino

March 8-9, 6 pm



Ronald K. Brown/Evidence

An Evening with Jim Weatherly

March 23

Viking Half Marathon/5K Race

The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

March 8, 8 pm


John Mellencamp


The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com


Spring Market

March 27-29

Mississippi Trade Mart themarketshows.com

26th Oxford Conference for the Book University of Mississippi oxfordconferenceforthebook.com


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March 28


Jackson Browne The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

March 30, 7 pm


Zac Brown Band Fedex Forum Fedexforum.com

March 28-31


A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller Delta Center Stage deltastage.com

March 28-31


Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream Mississippi Coliseum Coliseumjackson.com

April 1


Bon Iver The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

April 4, 7:30 pm


Trace Adkins Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

April 5-7


44th Southern Heritage Pilgrimage Tour Antebellum and Victorian homes. Also, enjoy cemetery tours, carriage rides and more! aberdeenpilgrimage.org

April 6, 8 pm

Tunica Resorts

The Beach Boys Gold Strike Casino

★ Memphis Comedy Festival April 4-7





April 5-7


Spring Market Agricenter Int. themarketshows.com

April 5-7

Holly Springs

81st Annual Tour of Historic Homes

★ World Catfish Festival


April 6


Downtown Belzoni belzonims.com/catfishfest.htm

★ Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival April 6-7


“Let the world see what I’ve seen...” - Mamie Till Bradley, 1955


EXHIBITION Opening April 4 thru May 25, 2019

Renaissance at Colony Parkway

April 7, 8 pm


1608 Highway 82 West • Greenwood, Mississippi Mon - Sat 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. • Phone: 662-453-0925 museumofthemississippidelta.com

Death Cab for Cutie The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com Center for Art Design and Visual Culture


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Ronald K. Brown/Evidence

Viking Half Marathon/5K Race

John Mellencamp

44th Southern Heritage Pilgrimage in Aberdeen Crosstie Arts & Jazz Festival

★ 16 Annual Juke Joint Festival April 11-14

Double Decker Arts Fest


★ 40th Annual Springfest April 23-27

April 11-13


Tunica Resorts

April 24

Sebastian Maniscalco Comedy Tour

Leon Bridges

Gold Strike Casino Resort

The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

★ 50th Annual Crosstie Arts Festival

★ 15th Annual Mudbug Bash




★ Cotton District Arts Festival April 19, 8 pm

★ Double Decker Arts Fest April 26-27

Tunica Resorts

Million Dollar Quartet Horseshoe Casino Featuring the music of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash 172 | MARCH/APRIL 2019


Bluegrass & BBQ Belmont Plantation

Historic Cotton District cdfestival.com

Historic Courthouse Square doubledeckerfestival.com

Every Saturday April through October Historic Hernando Square

★ 50th Natchez Trace Festival April 27

Malkin Gallery at EE Bass Cultural Arts Center greenville-arts-council.com

April 26-27


Hernando Farmers Market

8th Biennial Mississippi Invitational Art Show


BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove bankplusamphitheater.com

April 27

Panola Street

April 13



38 Special

April 26


Off-road cycling tour and a mega party at Tallahatchie Flats afterward Greenwoodgravelgrind.com

April 27, 8 pm

Tunica Resorts

Horseshoe Casino


Greenwood Gravel Grind

Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

Foreigner: The Hits Tour April 13, 6-11 pm

April 25, 7:30 pm


Thalia Mara Hall

April 27


Bolivar Co. Courthouse Lawn crosstiefestival.com

April 13, 8 pm


Snowden Grove Park southaven.org

Downtown Tunica

April 27, 7:30 pm

Mississippi Opera Presents Puccini's LaBohe'me

Gold Strike Casino Resort

★ Tunica Rivergate Festival

April 13

Tunica Resorts

Kool and the Gang

Various locations jukejointfestival.com

April 12

April 20


Downtown Kosciusko

★ Leland Crawfish Blues & Brews Festival May 4


Downtown Leland


May 4, 9 am-5 pm; May 5, Noon-5 pm


MRA Gardens of Madison County Tour BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove MRAgardens.com

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Eric Gales Tha cker Mounttain ain Radio Hour Lillyy Hiatt S ATURD AY, APRIL 2 7


Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Shovels and Rope For updates on the 2019 Double Decker Festival, viisit

Doub bleDeckerFestival.com

Lucero Duraand Jones and the Indications Emillyy King Cedric Burnside Kaate te Teague Muy Caliente

OXFORD FESTIVAL ALS & EVENTS Oxford Conference for the B Book | March 27-29 MISS-I-SIPPIN | March 29-30 Ole Miss Grove Bowl | Aprill 6 Square Alliance Spring Open House | April 13 Double Decker Arts Festivall | April 26-27 Oxford Pride Weekend | May 2-4 Destination Oxford Car Show | May 18 World Championship Old-T Time Piano Playing Contest & Festi e val | May 23-26 University of Mississippi Landscaping Camp | May 24-25 Summer Sunset Series in th he Grove | Sundayys in June Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha a Conference | July 21-25 Square Alliance Summer Fest e | July 27 Art-er Limits Fringe Festivall | August 8-12

1 0 1 3 J a c k s o n Av e . E a s t | O x f o r d , M S | 8 0 0 . 7 5 8 . 9 1 7 7 | v i s i t o x f o r d m s . c o m DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Lovejoy Boteler

Greg Iles

Crooked Snake

Cemetery Road

March 28, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson

March 5, 3:30 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson March 6, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford March 7, 5:30 pm: Turnrow Books, Greenwood

Ken Wells

Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou March 13, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson March 28, 6 pm: The Lyric, Oxford Salvatore Scibona

William Boyle

The Volunteer

A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself

March 29, 3:45 pm: Off Square Books, Oxford

March 5, 6 pm: Square Books, Oxford

Dan Santat

Peter Heller

March 29, 4 pm: Square Books Jr., Oxford

The River March 7, 6 pm: Square Books, Oxford March 8, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson

After the Fall Sharon Draper

Out of My Mind March 29, 4 pm: Square Books Jr., Oxford Wright Thompson

Erin McGraw


Joy: And 52 Other Very Short Stories March 7, 6 pm: Square Books, Oxford

The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business March 30, 5 pm: Square Books, Oxford Philip Shirley

The Graceland Conspiracy Tom Clavin

Wild Bill

April 1, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson April 4, 5:30 pm: Turnrow Books, Greenwood

March 27, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson River Jordan


Leanne Shapton

Confessions of a Christian Mystic

Guestbook: Ghost Stories

April 2, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson

March 28, 6 pm: The Lyric, Oxford Janet Brown

Deadly Visits April 4, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Nell Freudenberger

Lost & Wanted April 11, 6 pm: Square Books, Oxford April 12, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson William Alsup

Won Over April 16, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Miriam Toews

Women Talking April 23, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Robert Hunter

Relapse & Revival April 23, 5:30 pm: Turnrow Books, Greenwood Matt & Ted Lee

Hotbox April 25, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Helen Ellis

Southern Lady Code April 24, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson April 26, 6 pm: Square Books, Oxford Diana McPhail

RidgelandArtsFest.com 174 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

The Abolitionist’s Daughter April 30, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford

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Lela and blues & Brews festiva al Saturday, May 4, 2019 Downtown Leland, Mississippi Corner of 3rd and Main Streets 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Crawfish & BBQ Plates by Ryan Moore of Cicero’s Headliners: Crooked

Creek • That’ll Do John Horton • Super Chikan Li ht i ’ M Lightnin’ Malcolm l l

Admission: (2) staple food ittems for Leland Food Pantry Bring a chair! But please, no pets or coolers. This year’s festival is deedicated to Ryan Moore. For information, call Billy Johnson at 662.347.4223


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Marilyn Miers Sutterfield, Dianna McLain, Lynn Batson Hightower, Judy Berry Ross, Diane Holloway Mills and Deborah Johnson Carter

Dave Parkerson and Herbert Wong

Ronnie and Peggy Criswell

Greenville High School and St. Joe 50th Class Reunion on October 20 at Greenville Country Club

Fred Barnes, Roy Campbell and Bill Long

Rai Watkins and Mike Barnett

Jerry and Janis Ferguson

Buster Lewis, Andy Ezell and Jerry Bowen

Cathy Reynolds and Dianna McLain

Kathy Few and Gene Gstohl

Alex Pelezo and Greer Whitacre

Cleve Barham and Judy Berry Ross

Karen Cleveland Thompson, Janet Farrish Jordan, Susan Eustis Darby, Pi Percy Lewis, Gloria Cox Montgomery, Anne Kossman, Ann Suares Marshall and Kathleen Neblett Shapley

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Linda Coleman Williamson and Charlotte Harmon Murrell

Gloria Cox Montgomery with Charles and Lee Parrott

Brenda Hillhouse Hays with daughter, Debbie Johnson

Patricia Miller Street and Kathy Carr

Charlotte Harmon Murrell Greer Whitacre and Bill Beckman and Jerry Bowen

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Southern Debutante Assembly and Ball on December 27 and 28 in Greenwood

Debutantes honored at the Greenwood Country Club: front row, Mary Quinn Dulaney, Mary Evelyn McLean, Mary-Brister Thomas and Anne Carrie Swoope; back row, Leah Margaret Thompson, Darden Majure Pilkinton, Virginia Malone Owen and Katherine Elizabeth Johnson


Debutantes honored at Fan and Johnny’s in Greenwood, from left, Allyn Denley Flaut, Mamie Carlisle Clark, Bentley McClain Blair and Swayze Lynn Harris

Ashley and Preston Frazer, Maggie and Mike Tyner, Jennie, Jack Katie and John Sherard Anna Tyner, Penny Frazer and Rob Tyner

Ashley Frazer and Elizabeth Veazey

Catherine and Trey Lewis

Katie Frazer and Penny Frazer

John Andrew Agostinelli with Lucy, Chris and Cliff Heaton

John Andrew Agostinelli, Patrick Marinelli, David Carr, Adam Byrd and Beau Riles

Frances and Julia Knight

Debutantes honored at Serio’s in Greenwood, from the left, Lillian Margaret Spell, Shelby Elizabeth Walcott, Catherine Campbell Melton and Evelyn Claire McIntyre

Grace Parry, Lucy and Chris Heaton with Grace Cartwright

Fun times at the Southern Debutante Assembly and Ball

Anna Christian Bass, Vincent Sergio, Anna Clayton O’Keefe and Daniel Walker DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Delta Debutante Ball at the Greenville Golf and Country Club on December 29

Miss Louisa Love Tatum, Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Farmer, Miss Mary Susan Shivers, Miss Elizabeth James Sanders, Miss Anne Hartmann Lewis, John Brennan Capocaccia, James Rogers Smith V, James Davis Warrington, Homer Lester Sledge IV

Julia Trettin, Adam Elizabeth Shackelford



Alex Janoush, Lucy, John Brennan and Ferris Love Capocaccia

Hayes Dent, John Montfort and Jessica Jones, Carolyn, Margaret, Kinkaid and Hayes Dent, Jr.

Elizabeth with her father, John Shackelford

Caty Armishaw, Maggie Helene Sledge and Leigh Tucker

Lucy Shackelford Joseph Spires

Jim and Steven Smith


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Geoffrey and Julie Yoste

Sheila Gourlay with Stott and Elizabeth Heiskell

Peyton, Davis and Todd Warrington

Ashley Farmer Culbertson, Brinkley Henry Farmer, Michele Williams Farmer and Claire Armishaw

Andrew Farmer, Chip Armishaw and Nolan Farmer

Scott and Cindy Coopwood

Michael and Kellee Mayfield, Jenny and Jamie Smith

Adam Rose, Lucy Parks Shackelford, Noah Lerman, Elizabeth Shackelford, Scott Ryder, and Susu Shackelford

Carolyn Dent, Mimi Dossett and Lucy Shackelford

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The Beach Boys at the Bologna Performing Arts Center in Cleveland on January 24 Photos by Sandi Burt

Michael and Bib Belenchia, Louise Meyer, Ashley Williams and Megan Walton

Cathryn Beck and Veronica Alva

Doug and Clair Dale, Hamilton and Lindsey Brown with Craig and Kim Brown

Bobby Kirk, Nancy Parker, Hilda and Bob Hill

Margaret Gilmer, Gwen and Dale Morgan, Kathy Coleman

Joe Anne Fava, Charlene Steed and Nena Murrell

Wallace Weatherly, Hall Warlick, Rivers and Guy Phillips

Kirby Harvey, Mary Anne Alford, Kim Pongetti and Jennifer Pongetti

Ashley and Harrison Peyton

Cheryl and Kyle Thornhill

Sue Grey and Susie Thomas DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Kelly McCorkle, Jennie Henderson and Ann Marie Smythe

Carter and Jamie Murrell

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Photos by Reynold Meyer

Laura Howell, Jessica Milam and Lynn Hooker

Rachel and Chalmers Hobart

Heather Harden, Paige Suares, Hillary Horn and Aletha Poole

Clayton and Kelli Davis

Brewing a Cure, a homebrew pairing dinner benefitting the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance at Leyser Gallery in Greenville on January 12

John and Jessica Milam

Carol Cashion Doolittle and Holly Wade

Charlie and Elizabeth Weissinger and Ellen Frye

Holly and Doug Wade

John Montfort and Jessica Jones

Debbie and Bill Powell

Rebecca and Peyton Potter

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Chad and Sharon Freeman

Kate Patterson, Paden Dawkins and Jessica Jones

Neal and Paige Suares

Nolan and April Andrews

Kathy Bullard and Elizabeth Weissinger

Courtney and Heath Serio, Heather and Jonathan Harden and Travis Stringer and Ashley Murphy

Laurisa and Dan Ballew, Christopher and Heather Lens, Andy and Carly Kaye

Missy and Walt Stephens

Carol, Jill and Reynold Meyer

Craig and Katherine Adams with Love and Chuck Hobart DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Billy Howell, Maie Smith and Madge Howell

Jim and Melinda Herring with Jimmy Walker, Sr.

Taylor Cargile and Jullian Gallo 182 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

40th Anniversary Celebration of the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale on January 30 Photos by Staci Lewis

Chad Robinson, Erin Lee, Irma Hicks, Jack Bobo and Robin Chuck Rutledge, Ann Williams and Leonette Colonas Henderson

Demetria Jackson, Aallyah Wright and Charles Coleman

Dan Taylor, Bobby Reynolds and Del Montey

Clarksdale Film Festival at Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sports Bar in Clarksdale on January 27 Photos by Chris Campos

Missie Craig and Bill Luckett

Joey Young and Hannah Peay

Ramon Shaw, Jahrey Robinson, Adunus Brooks and Kelvin Towers

Josephine Rhymes and Tarra Slack Janet Coursin and Shelley Ritter

Haley Hayes and Roxanne Brown

Hannah Timmons and Paige Harris

Janie and Ken Voss

Glynda Duncan and Joanna Alekos

Pat and Patty Buttaccio

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19th Annual Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi Crystal Ball Gala at the Arena in Southaven on January 19 Photos by Mike Lee and and Doug Farris And a selection of photos from Delta Magazine readers

Dinesh Chawla, Pastor Bartholomew Orr Diane and Randy Cannon and Suresh Chawla

Becky and Billy Nowell

Ken and Ginger Purvis with Stephanie Dale Bonnie Krait and Judy Bland

Theresa Erikson and Jesse Holland

Ritchie and Devra Hampton with Ashleigh and Senator David Parker


Becky Beard, Richard Goldwater and Leigh Pegram

Bill Luckett, Scott Coopwood, Jerry Tankersley, Derek Miles, Elenita Dabney, Sykes Sturdivant, Cindy Coopwood, Linda Keena, Morgan Freeman, Cindy Sturdivant

Roger Stolle and Bubba Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keefe

Cheryl and Tommy Harmon

Rivers, Russel, Gary and Jamey Gainspoletti with Brandyn and Shea Skeen

Tripp Folk, Billy Mounger, Peyton Self, Marge Self, Marion Folk, Lucia Crenshaw, Hal Crenshaw

Carty and Jamie Smith walk the red carpet attending the Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rock the Grammy event at the Grammy Museum in Cleveland.

Kris and Tonya Blakely in Lahaina, HI The executive board of the Mississippi Tourism Association: Kelli Carr, Dede Mogollon, Annette Rand, Nancy Carpenter, Marlo Dorsey and Rochelle Hicks

Dining Dames Cooking Club members: Beth Ferguson, Susan Kellum, Elizabeth Heiskell, Debbie Westbrook, Rebecca Long, Melissa Neyland, Lisa Paris and Lisa Rotolo DELTA MAGAZINE 2019

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Thefinalword From Connecticut to Clarksdale: A Mississippi Delta Journey


Tony Silber is a journalist, business executive, and event organizer. He’s currently president of Long Hill Media, a content-services media company based in Connecticut, and a contributor to Forbes.com. He’s served as content director and general manager at numerous media brands, including Folio:, Expo, PR News, Min, Audience Development, and Internet World. He started his career as a reporter at the Bridgeport Post.

he Mississippi Delta was once something of an abstraction for me. Even its identity eluded me. Was the Delta where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico? Or was it what I now know: two hundred miles of flat, fertile lowland stretching along the Mississippi between Memphis and Vicksburg, the mythic home of the blues and the wellspring of some of the best literature America has to offer. I live in Connecticut. I grew up in the shadow of New York City and went to college in upstate New York. But even from miles away, the Delta touched me. I loved the atmospheric 1967 hit “Ode to Billie Joe.” As a student of Civil War history, I read books on the Vicksburg Campaign. I learned about the


184 | MARCH/APRIL 2019

Civil Rights Movement. I read William Faulkner and Shelby Foote. Like others who grew up in the rock-and-roll era, I loved the songs of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and their peers—reinterpreted, it’s true, by the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin. “Love in Vain.” “Crossroads.” “When the Levee Breaks”—they’re about the Delta, and they’re indelible. I first got to see the Delta in 2010. I’d come for a magazine-industry conference at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Oxford is charming, as is the campus. But the highlight has always been the annual visit to the Delta. We all pile onto motor coaches for an hour long ride west. As we roll along, the land becomes flatter, the people more scarce and the businesses skew to agriculture. Once in the Delta, there are a variety of stops. In Indianola, B.B. King’s museum is riveting. It’s about music, for sure, but it’s also a searing look at African-American life in the Jim Crow and early Civil Rights eras. Just east of Cleveland, the preserved plantation Dockery Farms is always memorable. It’s a time-capsule of early twentieth-century farming. Itinerant musicians would make it a stop on their tours. Dockery, arguably, is where the blues began. We stopped for dinner and live music in Clarksdale, the once-bustling small city that was the cotton hub of the Delta. Around 1990, a revival of interest in the blues put the city back on the map. Ike Turner, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Sam Cooke were all born in Clarksdale. It’s where Robert Johnson, according to legend, sold his soul to the devil so he could play guitar. Now the city is the home of the Delta Blues Museum, tucked among old cotton warehouses alongside the railroad tracks. Across the parking lot, on the other side of the street, is

the famous Ground Zero Blues Club, founded by the actor Morgan Freeman and former mayor Bill Luckett. Each year, a magazine conference band, led by Scott Coopwood (the publisher of this magazine)—with me on drums—plays a set at the Ground Zero Club. To my eye, Clarksdale still has charm, even decades past its prime. Art Deco details adorn the old theaters, the bus station and the storefronts. Many are now vacant—rusting and fading, boarded up, with broken windows and peeling paint. Some have been adapted for modern use into restaurants and shops. I hear Robert Plant comes to Clarksdale to jam at Red’s Juke Joint with the locals. Last year, I walked through Clarksdale alone. I found Red’s. It wasn’t open. I walked through the New World section, where you see a church no matter which way you turn your head. Across town was the rambling Riverside Hotel—where the first rock song ever, “Rocket 88,” was written by Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston. Like so much of the Delta, with its fascinating museums, authentic greasy spoons, shotgun shacks, juke joints, down-home food and local ambiance, the hotel reveals itself slowly. What seems like a small house at street level becomes a long multistory structure sloping down to the Sunflower River. And maybe that’s the whole mystique of the Mississippi Delta. Zeppelin and the Stones are polished, but the Delta is the real deal. There’s an authenticity that grows on you slowly, just like the people who live here and the legacy the musicians created. I’m heading back to the Delta in April, ready to reassemble the magazine-conference band, renew friendships, and learn more about this region. Years ago, through the music, the history and the literature, the Delta came to me. It’s only right to return the call. DM

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Profile for Delta Magazine

Delta Magazine March/April 2019  

Our mission is to bring our readers the uniqueness of the Mississippi Delta and to celebrate the lifestyle enjoyed here. With each issue we...

Delta Magazine March/April 2019  

Our mission is to bring our readers the uniqueness of the Mississippi Delta and to celebrate the lifestyle enjoyed here. With each issue we...