a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1












Wedding Issue




4 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

April 3-5, 2020

March 27-29, 2020

Agricenter Int. Memphis, TN

MS Trade Mart Jackson, MS

Spring Market

S Shopt Shop Sho h theM t the h Mark Mar M Market Marke a food...gifts...art...home decor...fashion...jewelry...children’s items... Enjoy shopping more than 175 shops from across the South! (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)



Delta m








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 Consultant: Samir Husni, Ph.D. Graphic Designers: Sandra Goff, Maggi Mosco Contributing Writers: Liza Jones, Sherry Lucas, Susan Marquez, Susan Montgomery, Aimee Robinette, Angela Rogalski, Michael Hicks Thompson, Katie Tims, Jen Waller Photography: Austin Britt, Blake Crocker, Rory Doyle, Johnny Jennings, Bill Powell, Melanie Thortis, Renee Wofford Account Executives: Joy Bateman, Janice Fullen, Leathe Greenlee, Cristen Hemmins, Kristy Kitchings, Wendy Mize, Ann Nestler, Cadey True Circulation: Holly Tharp Accounting Manager: Emma Jean Thompson POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to Delta Magazine, PO Box 117, Cleveland, MS 38732

ADVERTISING: For advertising information, please call (662) 843-2700 or email 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 bimonthly 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, PO 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: PO Box 117, Cleveland, MS 38732 Shipping Address: 125 South Court Street, Cleveland, MS 38732 E-mail: publisher@deltamagazine.com editor@deltamagazine.com

deltamagazine.com Subscriptions: $28 per year 8 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

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. Walt Stephens | Commercial Banking 662.433.6685 | walt.stephens@regions.com

Commercial Banking | Treasury Management | Capital Markets | Wealth Management © 2020 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.

Made possible by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.

The presentation of this exhibition in Jackson, Mississippi is sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.





10 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, model executed ca. 1880 (cast in 1922). bronze, cloth skirt with tutu and satin hair ribbon, 38.5 x 14.5 x 14.25 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, State Operating Fund and the Art Lovers’ Society, 45.22.1. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

from the editor

The stately Cutrer Mansion in its heyday.

Shifting Seasons he stunning photo on our March/April cover heralds several things—primarily that love is in the air and it’s wedding season! But the lush greenery and bright sunshine also tells us that springtime in the Deep South has arrived and the long—and rainy—winter is coming to an end. This issue is overflowing with Delta-style wedding celebrations that we hope will inspire your own nuptial shindig. In another nod to spring, we bring you a colorful and flavor-packed Easter luncheon menu that underscores the much anticipated shift of seasons. For our latest step back into local history we take a look at the historic Cutrer Mansion in Clarksdale, page 188. Appropriately, the story of this iconic Delta landmark revolves around a wedding and subsequent blending of two elite southern families, the Clarks and the Cutrers. Now restored, it has become a popular event venue and is a landmark in the area. We thank history buff Jen Waller, a Clarksdale native, and director of the Coahoma County Higher Education Center which is housed in the Cutrer, for sharing this special place with us. In our food section we bring you a colorful menu for Easter, page 180. We’ve featured pickled shrimp and ham-stuffed chive biscuits, with vibrant sides and fabulous upright deviled At their ages, our sons are either in a wedding, or eggs—and honestly—these dishes are perfect for attending a wedding almost every weekend! Pictured here, Thomas, a groomsman, with just about any spring or summer meal. We Emma Bond, Karin Wildermuth and Austin absolutely love the precious hand-painted Wolfe Hagstrom at the Felty/Melton wedding in Tunica. Birds from the Wolfe Studio in Jackson scattered throughout our buffet spread. What better way to accent an Easter or spring tablescape? Let us know if you try any of our recipes—we love reader feedback and suggestions! As always, our Delta brides and grooms are glowing and we appreciate each and every one who has shared their special day with us. With destinations from the Tuscan hills of Italy to Sea Island, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina to El Paso, Texas to a yacht in Pensacola Bay—these couples are on the move. After pouring over hundreds of pictures for weeks, we hope you enjoy our selections of photos from their engagements, ceremonies, receptions and more! Look for our bi-weekly e-newsletter, The Edit, in your inbox and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay in touch with all Delta Magazine has to offer. And remember we always want to hear from you! Happy Spring! DM


Try our “upright” deviled eggs to elevate an Easter classic.

Cindy Coopwood A hidden Mississippi treasure, the Wolfe Studio in Jackson.

12 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Editor @cindycoopwood cindy@deltamagazine.com


contents MARCH/APRIL Volume 17 No. 5




32 Reviews BOOKS of new releases and

SHOPPING 36 Gifts for Him, Her & Them 38 Dot ART Courson: Art inspired by what Deltans are reading

Luckett-Salem, Patrick Remington Photography




visions of the rural South Mack Allen Smith: Country and rockabilly great from Greenwood

62 HOME Old house gets new energy

180 FOOD Celebrate Easter with a make-ahead from a young Greenville family

menu that can double-duty as brunch or lunch


50 58 80



Mapping the four corners of the Earth and capturing images along the way


It’s so far out of the way you’re not likely to find it


Nashville bachelorette tips, page 84 Under the Tuscan Sun, page 88 With this ring, page 96 Curated wedding photo showcase, page 100 Formal announcements, page 142

ON THE COVER: Newlyweds Mary Margaret Roark, of Cleveland and Paul Jacob Steinle III, of Greenville, plan their get away in high-style with a vintage Rolls-Royce. Photo by Lindsay Ott Photography. 14 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

188 One HISTORY of the Delta’s storied homes and architectural wonders

in every issue 16 Letters 20 On the Road Where we’ve been, where we’re going next

24 Off the Beaten Path Roaming the Real and Rustic Delta

28 Hot Topics 196 Events A listing of events including concerts, festivals, and book signings

202 Delta Seen Pages of snapshots from area fundraisers, art openings and social events

208 The Final Word by Marilyn Tinnin


Airshow SATURDAY, MAY 30 Greenwood-Leflore Airport • AEROSHELL Aerobatic Team • Frank Kimmel - F4U Corsair • Dan Fordice - P-51 Mustang • Greg Koontz - Super Decathlon • SHOCKWAVE TRIPLE JET TRUCK

2 0 2 0

• RC Model Aircraft • Great Concessionaires • Static Display Aircraft • Robby Grice - 450 h.p. Stearman • Gates open at 10, RC flying at 11 • AIRSHOW STARTS AT NOON $10 per vehicle to park FREE Admission Coolers Welcome!






From the vaulted ceiling and cypress walls to the Oriental rugs on brick floors, the Ely home in Shaw combines warm comfort and elegant ease.

Collected, Curated, and Comfortable Filled with antiques, art, and found treasures, the Ely family home in Shaw is well-loved and lived-in BY SHERRY LUCAS • PHOTOGRAPHY BY RORY DOYLE



Thank you to photographer Rory Doyle and Sherry Lucas who did a masterful job on the article featuring our home in the January/February issue of Delta Magazine. I also want to give a loud shout-out to Hill Brothers’ Construction who were responsible for all of the construction. They were incredibly kind and patient with us, supported our vision, did beautiful work and in the process, became dear friends. Cay Ely Shaw, Mississippi I wanted to let you know I very much enjoyed the September/October 2019 issue which had the article “Some Like it HOT.” I am a competition pitmaster and a wannabe chef, so I read articles about food as often as possible. I have made all four sliders (Italian, Chicken-Bacon Ranch, Roast Beef Hoagie and Cuban) and from the standpoint of recipe/directions, all four were easy to follow and all were very tasty. I particularly enjoyed the Italian slider. I have to admit I took liberties on this


Some Like it HOT Sandwiches 4 Baked to try RIGHT NOW It’s a shame some think of sandwiches as only a lunchtime option. If you start with good bread, load it with flavorful, cheesy ingredients and bake them to delicious, toasty perfection, the humble sandwich transitions very well into something quite dinner-worthy. Made with ingredients that are easily kept on hand— they just might become your go-to for everything from busy weeknight meals to last minute game-day fare, or paired with your favorite soup for a casual get-together.

I stayed in the new Cotton House hotel over the Thanksgiving holiday and came across a copy of Delta Magazine in the lobby. Having attended Delta State and made many trips to the Delta over the years, I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for the area and now I have found the perfect way to stay in touch with this special place. The living room and Christmas tree on the cover of the November/December issue were gorgeous. I also tried several of the pecan recipes over the holidays adding a little touch of the Delta to my Tennessee Christmas. Katherine Bradford Nashville, Tennessee



delightful bite; I added a small dollop of Olive Salad in the center of each slider. This flavor profile reminded me of the famous Central Grocery’s Muffaletta Sandwich (New Orleans French Quarter) and gave the bite just a bit of “tang.” The Italian was the “heaviest” of the four, but the runners-up were equally as enjoyable. Keep up the good work and the great food articles. Bert Duvic Covington, Louisiana

I enjoyed the Delta Magazine holiday issue (November/December 2019). It is always my favorite issue of the year! I was truly inspired by the fabulously decorated tree and mantel in the Vicksburg home, and have already started planning for a similar look next year! Suzanne Durfey Madison, Mississippi

Thanks for such a wonderful magazine! I love reading each story and can hardly wait for the next issue. I subscribe to several magazines, but Delta is my favorite of all. Aileen Walton Vancleave, Mississippi

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

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

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 16 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Y’all Said SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS @deltamagazine

We Asked... Spring Break is right around the corner. We want to know you favorite destinations— the mountains? Beach?

The Beach! – Jennifer Joyner Doesn’t matter as long as we travel. The past few years it has been a tour of the MS Delta; Cashiers, NC; and Charleston, SC. – Alison Patrolia The Grand Canyon! – Audrey Wichman

Social Commentary I loved the Black and White department store article. My dad worked there in 1958. My mom has a newspaper clipping of him modeling clothes there. For years we loved to stop in. @reed.cristy


The article on Mr. Joe Barnes was truly wonderful! He married my aunt almost thirty years ago, and has always been a hero to our families. He’s a remarkable man, whose adversities made him stronger! @debbiehlewis

Spicy Cornmeal Crusted Simmons Catfish By Chef Steven Goff at the Delta Supper Club at Hopson Plantation - Clarksdale, MS.

In the January/February issue of Delta Magazine— Read why I chose Clarksdale for my first brick and Mortar, inspirations and future plans! @brookeatwood


In the January/February issue we misidentified the photographer of the photos for the Wildlife Heritage Museum as Roy Meeks. The correct photographer is Rory Doyle.


| 17

Spring Disaster


The events in this photo took place in downtown Greenville shortly after April 21, 1927, when the Mississippi River Levee broke at Mound Landing. This was the most destructive flood in the history of the United States. For the past ninty-three years, books, songs, poetry, paintings, movies, and documentaries have featured this moment. Several hundred thousand people were displaced from their homes all over the Delta and throughout the Lower Mississippi River Valley. DM


where we’ve been, where to go next


y Delta Histor For many years, this general merchantile store was the center of activity in this small Delta town. – JIM HENDRIX This retired gin is a reminder of the glory days of King Cotton. – JIM HENDRIX



Easy Rider

Blue skies and sunshine over Shacksdale USA in Coahoma County. – AUSTIN BRITT


Under the Bridge High water on the Yazoo River. – CHARLIE WAITE

20 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

A lone motorcycle awaits its owner on a back road in the Delta. – DELTA MAGAZINE


Ballpark Time


Signs of spring at Campbell Chapel

With the arrival of baseball season, a visit to the Boo Ferriss Museum at Delta State is always in order. – STEPHEN OAKES



k A Look Bac

FUNKY STOPS Roaming the real and rustic Delta

Abandoned car in a vehicle graveyard in the South Delta. – MARTY KITTRELL



One of America’s Blues greats remembered in his hometown. – DELTA MAGAZINE Old fashion fun in Sharkey County. – MARTY KITTRELL Instagram users, follow @deltamagazine and see #DMphotoops


| 21

22 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 23

OFF THE BEATEN PATH roaming the real and rustic Delta

LJ’S CAFE & BAIT SHOP AND THE ENID DEPOT Food and Fishing in Lake Village and Candlelight Dinning Near Enid Lake BY ANGELA ROGALSKI



may be off the beaten path, so to speak, but its food is off the chart on any map. From their delicious breakfasts, which are served throughout the entire day, to their great plate lunches, the food is outstanding. If you find yourself in the Lake Village area, don’t miss this little food paradise. In fact, plan to make the trip just to enjoy. Lawanda Penick, along with her husband Jerry, are the owners and they have been in the location for about twelve years. One of their signature dishes are their hamburgers which are served with their own special touches. The bait store stays open after 2:00 p.m. and sells fishing tackle, bait and anything else you might need for a day on the lake. It’s your one-stop shop for breakfast, lunch and fishing supplies. 3373 North Lakeshore Drive Lake Village, Arkansas 870.265.2181




gift shop mentioned the idea numerous times, the couple decided to give it a try. The Enid Depot opened in November 2018 as a pottery, antiques and home décor store. While this went over extremely well, the Howards started serving lunch, and due to a tremendous response, they have now expanded their hours to include dinner. The dinner menu consists of mouthwatering steaks, prime rib, fried catfish and shrimp. And while the food is certainly worth the trip, the candlelit atmosphere takes the entire experience up a notch. The Enid Depot is an unexpected gem that is not to be missed. 1027 Jackson Avenue, Enid 662.623.9485 24 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

LJ’s Cafe and Bait Shop in Lake Village is an all-in-one destination for delicious food and supplies for the fishing connoisseur. Below, The Enid Depot is a hidden gem serving premier dishes, as well as antiques, pottery and more in a unique small town setting.

JAMISON DESIGNS Sophistocated Decor Meets Small Town BY CINDY COOPWOOD



The original Denton & Gore Law Office building.

Discerning shoppers from across the state are drawn to the town of Marks to take advantage of the offerings found at Jamison Designs.

home goods store that would rival those found in any bustling city. Jamison Designs opened in October of 2019 to many raised eyebrows, but owner, Clarksdale native Susann Jamison and her partner—and mother—JoAnn Gates were determined to bring a little life back to this small community. Working with home decor and accessories is second nature to Susann after years of operating booths in several Delta towns which showcased her handpainted and restored furniture as well as wall art, mirrors and decorative items. Operating booths in multiple towns eventually proved to be quite taxing, so upon JoAnn’s retirement the duo realized it was the perfect time to move forward with this endeavor. “I have always dreamed of opening a shop and working with my mother. This was the perfect opportunity for us to work together and establish our first brick and mortar shop.” When asked about running a business in Marks, Jamison says, “It has been really exciting because we never know who may walk through the door! They may be from Madison, Grenada, Southaven or any Delta town. It’s always fun to see old friends and make new ones.” The store is located in the old Denton and Gore law office which was built in 1910. With an inventory of sophisticated and up-to-date gifts and accessories, Jamison Designs is a must-stop and there is more to come. “Our plans are to have a Spring Fling in May. We’ll feature some of my artwork and the farm tables and Trumeau mirrors my husband Chad and I make,” says Jamison. To stay in the know about their events and new inventory customers can check their social media account, @susannjamison. 317 Locust Street, Marks 662.710.2114 DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 25


@Vicksburg.Mainstreet downtownvicksburg.org

26 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

@VisitVicksburg visitvicksburg.com

HOT TOPICS 9.15 FLORAL DESIGNS & GIFTS Offering Unique Items and Arrangements for Any Occasion BY AIMEE ROBINETTE

When Niki Henry embarked on a new business venture, her green thumb and training led the way to fantastic florals. In December of last year, Henry opened 9.15 Floral Designs & Gifts in Greenville, a full line florist, which utilizes fresh and silk flowers and greenery to create the perfect arrangement, bouquet or centerpiece. She specializes in everyday flowers for funerals, weddings and any occasion that requires a special touch. Henry has such perfect taste that a majority of her customers tell her they trust her and “just do something fabulous and unique.” She is always up for the challenge taking into account the event itself, the budget and what the customer doesn’t like as much. “We love they trust us, and already know they will be pleased,” she says. Henry also makes custom gift baskets, bows, corsages and boutonnieres for school events, weddings and more, along with selling fresh flowers by the stem so customers can keep gorgeous flowers in their home. Along with being a florist, Henry stocks shelves with unique gift items from soaps to jewelry, home décor, gourmet goods and art from local sources. 9.15 Floral Designs & Gifts is opened from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through


Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Those hours may change this spring, so stay in the know by visiting their Facebook page. 517 Washington Avenue, Greenville 662.931.6365, 915-floral-designs-gifts.business.site

ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE Showcase of Delta Landscapes from Painter Tommy Goodman Delta Artist is a remarkable collection of the art and architecture of artist and author Tommy Goodman. The vivid imagery and sweeping landscapes featured in the book are reflective of his passion for his craft, with this collection including page after page of appealing images and landscapes. Goodman is a Carrollton, Mississippi artist who retired in 2006 from a long and successful career as an award winning architect at architectural design firms in Jackson, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama. He is now a historic restoration consultant and spends most of his days painting Delta landscapes using acrylics on paper as well as on wooden door panels. “Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, I’ve always been intrigued by the haunting horizontal vastness in Delta panoramas, particularly the skies. As I paint from memory and past observations, the completed image is always an abstraction of the original experience,” says Goodman.


Available at various local book stores.

28 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

MORE THAN JUST A COOKBOOK Delightful Collaboration Between Martha Foose and Amy C. Evans A Good Meal is Hard to Find is more than just a cookbook: it’s a love letter to the women and food of the Deep South. With charming narratives, visual storytelling, and delectable recipes, A Good Meal is Hard to Find is everything you’ve ever wanted in a Southern cookbook. Inside are sixty go-to recipes organized into five chapters—Morning’s Glories, Lingering Lunches, Dinner Dates & Late-Night Takes, Afternoon Pick-Me-Ups, and Anytime Sweets. The recipes are written by award-winning cookbook author and Southern food expert Martha Hall Foose, as part of a collaboration with artist Amy C. Evans. Each of the sixty recipes opens with a short vignette about a story featuring a unique Southern character. The book offers recipes for everything from breakfast to dinner, with cocktails in between. These recipes are paired with gorgeous, vintage-inspired acrylic paintings by Amy C. Evans. Examples of some of the recipes included in the book are Francine’s strawberry-glazed doughnuts, Camille’s bridge club egg salad, the Suzy B’s spinach and mushroom Frito pie and Estelle’s butterscotch pound cake. Inspired by generations of storytelling and Southern comfort food, this genre-bending cookbook is a musthave for cookbook lovers, vintage collectors, and Southern cooking enthusiasts alike.


Available at various local book stores and amazon.com.

WATERMELON SLIM’S TRAVELING MAN A Stunning Collection of Original Blues Songs On March 27, Northern Blues Music will release Watermelon Slim’s new live double CD, Traveling Man. Slim’s compelling live performance features him on vocals, harmonica and electric slide guitar. The CD was produced by Slim & Chris Hardwick. Traveling Man is a stunning mix of original and classic blues tunes including Fred McDowell’s “61 Highway Blues,” Howlin’ Wolf ’s “Smokestack Lightning” and Muddy Waters’ “Two Trains Running. Covering topics both personal and political, Traveling Man features Watermelon Slim at his finest - along with his slide and powerful rough-hewn vocals. Slim of Clarksdale is mensa-smart and possesses the acute powers of observation that makes his songwriting so seductive. But, whether he’s using a mini-bar bottle, one-inch socket or a seashell as a slide, his bottleneck and singing style has set him apart in today’s roots and blues world.


405-659-6805, watermelonslim.com


| 29



30 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

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.

Named One of


Top Small Towns to Visit in 2019

Small Town. Big Vibe. HIP LITTLE TOWN IN THE Mississippi DELTA 662.843.2712




| 31


Buzzworthy Comments

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup (Penguin Books) For those who love a thrilling crime mystery, The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup could be the one to leave you up all night, in one way or another. This is a debut novel from the scriptwriter of The Killing, which is a highly acclaimed Danish television show. One year after the disappearance of a twelve-year-old girl—who was the daughter of a prominent politician—a serial killer begins murdering mothers all over Copenhagen. There are a few common denominators among the women, but most interesting is that every victim is found with a chestnut doll, and every one of these chestnut dolls has the fingerprint of the missing girl. Sveistrup is clearly a scriptwriter because he makes every single scene so vivid and tense. Every movement and every word seems important as the reader surveys all the potential suspects in this terrifying novel. (Liza Jones) Little Weirds by Jenny Slate (Little, Brown and Company) Actress and comedian, Jenny Slate muses over love and life in her essay collection, Little Weirds. But essay is too strong of a word for the things Slate has written. Magical daydreams, surreal contemplations, touching memoir with a tinge of poetry seem to be the best ways to describe this uplifting collection. The title is perfect for this book because most of these essays are definitely strange. But as you wouldn’t expect from a comedian’s nonfiction book, they are piercing—direct to the heart. There are funny moments, but they come without a punchline. Sometimes they are funny in a standalone bizarre kind of way, and then sometimes in a quirky manner wherein we can hear Slate talking on a stage. In the end, it’s a book that was written with the fresh perspective of a broken heart and a childlike sense of wonder, and those two things always add up to surprising beauty. (Liza Jones)

We asked Facebook friends and Delta Magazine Fan Page Group members to share their favorite book that was turned into a movie. Søren Sveistrup

o Libby Jones, Retired Medical Receptionist Oxford, Mississippi

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Yul Brynner and JoAnne Woodward brought it to life. The Compsons were a very disfunctional family that I think many can relate to. o Jeremy Huber, Railroad Conductor Mountain Home, Arkansas

No Country for Old Men. While I am a huge Cormac McCarthy fan, the movie is actually better than the book which is rarely ever the case. o Margaret Shelton, Homemaker Jenny Slate

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (Flatiron Books) The novel everyone is talking about is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It’s a breathless, well-written story and a challenge to put down. It walks around with the reader between binge-reading sessions. After her journalist husband writes an article exposing a drug cartel, Lydia and her son must run from Acapulco. They manage to get away from the slaughter that took their family, but they have a dangerous journey ahead of them as they make for the U.S. border, joining the milieu of Latin American migrants grasping for hope. Though there have been protests about the author’s cultural appropriation, this novel proves to be a truly impactful read. Due to its timeliness, any story like this is at risk of being overly political, but somehow it isn’t. It simply makes us feel our shared humanity. (Liza Jones)

o Rhonda Still, Retired Teacher Senatobia, Mississippi

Prince of Tides The movie lived up to the book and even though a lot was left out the movie was still breathtaking. The dinner scene alone was Oscar worthy. Jeanine Cummins

For the Record Books Delta Magazine fans are currently reading

o Julianne Bailey

Love Lettering by Allison Monclair

o Peggy Fulton

Good Girls by J.T. Ellison

o Nancy Jones Lofton Five Presidents by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

o John Armstrong

The Gospel According to Abraham by Paul Abraham 32 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

My favey is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The only adaptation that’s lived up to my hopes is the 1995 six-part miniseries by the BBC and A&E.

o Sandra Shurden

Saage Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

o Stafford Shurden

The Absent Super Power by Mary Mann Hamilton

o Beth Henderson Stevens Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

o NancyKay Sullivan Wessman Manuscript: “What I Learned at the Zoo.” by Dale Beasley

o Tara Clark Laney A Praying Life by Paul Miller

o Judy Meeks

The Unwilling by John Hart

o Dawn Haley Benson Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

o Tricia Humphreys Garner Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start up by John Carreyrou

Rebels in Repose Confederate Commanders After the War by Allie Stuart Povall (Arcadia Publishing) The irascible Jubal A. Early, Robert E. Lee’s “bad old man,” went to Canada after the war and remained an unreconstructed Rebel until his death. Lee became president of Washington College and urged reconciliation with the North. Braxton Bragg never found solid economic footing and remained mournful of slavery’s demise until his own, when a heart attack took him in Galveston. The South’s high command traveled dramatically divergent paths after the dissolution of the Confederacy. Their professional reputations were often rewritten accordingly, as the rise of the Lost Cause ideology codified the deification of Lee and the vilification of James Longstreet. Allie Povall shares the stories of nineteen of these former generals, touching briefly on their antebellum and wartime experiences before richly detailing their attempts to salvage livelihoods from the wreckage of America’s defining cataclysm. (Special/DM Staff ) Twelve Days in Sunset by Jeff Upshaw (Evening Post Books) Twelve Days in Sunset, is a new work of fiction by first time author, Jeff Upshaw. A coming of age tale set in the Mississippi Delta of the 1960s, “Twelve Days in Sunset” begins with the news that Bull Santee, a thirteen-year-old black boy, is being held by the sheriff of tiny Sunset, Mississippi for sneaking into a white man’s back yard and brutally beating his pet dog to death. But Shy Brown knows Bull didn’t do it. How does Shy, a privileged white kid from Memphis and the grandson of one of the most important men in Sunset, get involved in something as ugly and disturbing as this? What does Shy know? This is an evocative tale of bullying, hatred, and racism. (Special/DM Staff )

Mississippi Bishop William Henry Elder and the Civil War by Ryan Starrett (The History Press) Conquest. War. Famine. Death. During the Civil War, all Four Horsemen circled the flock of William Henry Elder, the third bishop of Natchez. Elder was a hopeful unionist turned secessionist whose diocese encompassed the entirety of Mississippi. Consequently, he witnessed many of the pivotal moments of the Civil War – the capitulation of Natchez, the Siege of Vicksburg, the destruction of Jackson and the overall desolation of a state. And in the midst of the conflict, Bishop Elder went about his daily duties of baptizing, teaching, praying, preaching, performing marriages, confirming, comforting and burying the dead. Join author Ryan Starrett on this moving account of Elder and the heroics of this wartime bishop. (Special/DM Staff) DM DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 33

34 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

arts festival

oxford, ms

double decker




For updates on the 2020Double Decker Festival, visit



| 35

SHOPPING Fun huggies are the perfect little happy to tuck in a gift bag for the newlyweds. H Squared Boutique, Cleveland @hsquaredboutique

Elevate your desk accessories and snip in style with a pair of stunning scissors by Haute Papier. Menage Stationery, Memphis @menagestationery

Gifts for Him, Her & Them

When you want to branch out from the registry choose unique gifts for weddings, showers and the wedding party Great gift for a couple’s shower! Marble cheese board with forged bronze spreaders. Lina’s Interiors, Leland @linasinteriors A time-piece is always a lasting and meaningful gift. Masculine and sturdy, this two-tone stainless steel watch from Fossil is a great engagement or wedding day present for your groom! Abraham’s Men’s Clothing, Cleveland @abrahamsclothingcleveland

Jump on the board trend when entertaining. Beautiful Boards is filled with step-by-step tips for recreating boards for every occasion. This is a great gift for young couples or any food lover! Rosson Co., Cleveland @rossoncompany

This painted and distressed tray can be used for drinks, or as an ottoman tray to gather books and magazines. Jamison Designs, Marks @susanjamsion

36 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Complete his attire with high-quality leather goods. Martin Dingman belts and bags make a lasting addition to any man’s wardrobe, whether at home or abroad. Kinkade’s Fine Clothing, Ridgeland @kinkadesfc

This sapphire and diamond necklace is an exquisite gift for a groom to give to his love on their wedding day. It would also be a beautiful heirloom to pass down to future generations. Joe Tonos, Greenville @joetonosjewelersinc

Always a much appreciated gift, decorative boxes are beautiful and useful in any room in the house. Jamison Designs, Marks @susanjamsion

These exquisite twin glass bottles with ballin and cross toppers, by Jan Barboglio may be used for bath salts, bath splash or oil & vinegar—just about anywhere in the house! Babcock Gifts, Memphis @babcockgifts

A pewter Salisbury John Will tankard is a classic groomsmen’s keepsake and will be an excellent addition to their collections. Babcock Gifts, Memphis @babcockgifts

Compact in size, Secrid wallets are RFID protected and have a mechanism that allows you to slide your cards out with one simple motion. Available in a variety of colors, these make a perfect groomsmen’s gift! Great Scott, Jackson @greatscottgents

Everyone loves a matchstrike! A useful gift appreciated equally by bride and groom, this marble and brass one may be the prettiest we’ve seen yet. BellaChes, Ridgeland @bellaches

A great gift for bridesmaids or for the new couple’s home bar. WINE TWIRLS wine chillers chill your favorite white wine right in the glass! Bella Ches, Ridgeland @bellaches

A striped straw clutch is just the accent you need for your tropical honeymoon or a fun spring bachelorette trip. H Squared Boutique, Cleveland @hsquaredboutique DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 37





ot Courson’s unconventional childhood may just be the very reason she paints. At age ten she was placed in foster care, where she stayed until adulthood. Yet her memories of summers at her grandparents’ home near Sledge in the Mississippi Delta is etched on her brain. “They


were sharecroppers and lived in a shotgun-style house. They had cotton growing right up to the front door,” she recalls. “The fabric of my being is made up of life experiences in Mississippi, with its deeply rooted customs, unique environment, and special people.” Courson married young and moved to the Starkville area. “I spent a lot of time in the Mississippi State bookstore where I bought art books and supplies.” She recalls her father, who was deaf, was a talented artist. “He worked in a sawmill and was always drawing. I saw that people would pay him to draw things, and that inspired me.” Despite difficulties growing up, Courson went to nursing 38 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 39

Courson’s oil paintings depict scenes of the rural South, including landscapes, the Mississippi Delta, as well as portraiture.

school, eventually getting her master’s in nursing and nursing administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. But throughout her life, she always painted. “At first, I was self-taught, but as the years went on, I pursued art through the atelier system.” The atelier system is a structured and systematic teaching method with a tutor and student. It emerged around the seventeenth century and later became the method most used by master painters such as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Lawrence, and John Singer Sargent, among others. Courson took art history and other art courses as electives in college, and she studied with Billy Kirk in the 1990s. Over the years, Courson began painting more and nursing less until she finally became a full-time artist. She rented a building in Pontotoc which eventually became unsuitable for her studio. “My husband, Jackie, decided to put a metal building behind our house. He told me I needed to work out a plan, so I drew it out on a napkin. It turned out to be a huge blessing. I put in gallery lighting and began representing myself. It’s now both my studio and my gallery.” The 2400-square-foot building features walls with Courson’s paintings carefully hung and lit. A third use for the space is for holding classes. “My daughter, Susan, is a wonderful artist, and I represent her work in my gallery. She teaches regular classes there.” Courson teaches as well but not 40 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

as often as she once did. “I teach once a year now, and I bring in master artists. We have had people come from all over for the school, from Mexico, Canada, Australia, New York, and all up and down the East Coast. We have many of the same artists who teach in places like Scottsdale (Arizona) at our school.” Students who take classes in Courson’s studio stay in bed-and-breakfast inns around the area, or in hotels in Tupelo. “The teachers and the students all love the quiet country atmosphere we have here.” Courson paints full time, in the studio or on location. Her oil paintings depict scenes of the rural South, including landscapes, the Mississippi Delta, as well as portraiture. “As you look at all my work,” explains Courson, “you will notice that most of my cotton paintings are painted from the perspective of a small child looking through the field.” Her work of simple places where time seems to stand still has an ethereal quality. Courson captures the light as it shines through the Southern atmosphere. The setting sun shining through the bare branches at the end of a winter day is luminescent. Golden leaves on autumn trees seem to glow as they reflect the light of the sun. “Purple clouds over a meandering creek and tin-roofed farmhouses captured in a moment in time, old washing machine on the front porch, clothes hung on the line to dry in the breeze with chickens pecking away in the front yard—these are the things that inspire me, so I put my whole heart into it. Some people can



Courson paints full time, in the studio or on location.

walk outside in the winter and think everything looks so dull and lifeless. I just see ideas for beautiful paintings. I see things I want to paint everywhere I go.” Courson does a combination of commission paintings and paintings she sells in her gallery. Her gallery is open by appointment. Many collectors have found her on the Internet. “An attorney in Washington D.C. found me online. He needed something for his firm, and he’s commissioned me to do a five-by-four-foot painting as well as a four-by-three-foot painting, both of which are large paintings for me.” Another commission in the works is for a friend Courson grew up with. “She lives in Jackson now and wants a painting for her home.” Courson recently completed a commission for a couple in Hattiesburg as a gift to their son. “It was a painting of the land where their duck club is in the Delta.” Courson will be teaching a workshop in Laurel this spring. “The last time I was in Laurel with Susan we were on HGTV. My paintings have been featured on Home Town a few times. It’s exciting to watch the process of making the television show.” A show featuring Courson’s work will be hung at Grit in Taylor, Mississippi, in December. In addition to Susan, Courson has a son, Josh, and a stepdaughter, Emily. Her children have blessed her with seven grandchildren. Courson says that art runs through the family. “Susan’s daughter is a freshman in college. I watched her sketch for about an hour one day, and she nailed it. She’s got a gift.” Susan studied to be a physical therapist but no longer practices physical therapy. “She is a full-time artist, and she really has the heart for it. She’s also a wonderful teacher.” Courson’s art has become a family affair, with Susan teaching classes on portraiture and Jackie “doing everything but putting paint on canvas for me,” she laughs. “He is such a good administrator. He runs the school side of the business and takes care of all the details.” While she’s had some very hard times as well as some amazing opportunities in her life, Courson says nothing beats putting paint on canvas. “It’s something I love to do. I’m proud of my hard life. It’s given me my art. I can’t imagine doing anything else.” DM



| 41



WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! Anybody can just quote you a rate but no one else will roll up their sleeves and work as hard as we will. Visit our website to search for a mortgage lender and view our rates: communitybank.net/mortgages

42 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 43


Mack Allen Smith Country and Rockabilly Great BY SUSAN MONTGOMERY

The Greenwood band leader and singer Mack Allen Smith, 81, has always been guided by the beat of the song in his heart. And he still hears it. Smith and his band, later known as The Flames, first recorded in 1959 at Sun Records in Memphis and they were part of the music scene when Elvis Presley’s combination of country and blues was changing the sound of rock and roll for all time. Smith said he was influenced by Presley, Hank Williams and Ray Price. But his journey began long before Elvis and the others were in the spotlight.

44 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

“When I was about three years old, I was always walking around the house singing ‘God Bless America,’” Smith said with a smile. His family lived in the Hickory Grove community outside of Carrollton, and there was always music at home and in the company of his mother’s family, who played acoustic instruments by lamp light because there was no electricity. Smith’s immediate family eventually moved to Carrollton, where they had a grocery store and lived in the back. Music remained a big part of their family life, and his uncle was singing regularly on the radio out of Greenwood. “I remember Momma used to turn on the radio on Saturdays and we would listen to Uncle Jerry play,” Smith said. He graduated from J.z. George High School in North Carrollton in 1956, attended junior college briefly, played with a band in Carroll County and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, performing in USO clubs on bases in California between 1957 and 1959. When he was in high school, Smith and a group twice won top awards in a Future Farmers of America band. “They started a hillbilly band contest,” he explained. Throughout his career, Smith said he mostly has been a “stand-up singer” and not an instrumentalist. All the same, he played bass with a washtub, pole and string in the FFA band. And this pretty much launched his formal performing career, which in part led to the fifty-two songs he has written over the years, and decades of live performances, mostly within a fifty-mile radius of Greenwood. He recorded in Memphis, Jackson and Muscle Shoals. Smith and his late wife, Lois, were married in 1960, and began a family. He had various day jobs, including selling cars for Delta Chevrolet, working in a store called Attala Music and classing cotton at Staplcotn, all in Greenwood. He had his own nightclub in Greenwood, the Town and Country, from 1971-1976. Smith obtained an accounting degree and worked for the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and for the federal government as a savings and loan auditor. He took eighteen years off from performing, but returned in 2002 to

1959 - VFW in Greenwood. Left to right: David Lee Cox, Smith, Durwood Herbert, Keith Worrell and Laney O’Briant.

1960 - High School Auditorium in Greenwood. Left to right: Red McGregor (rhythm guitar), Billy Wayne Herbert (bass), Keith Worrell (lead guitar), Smith (lead singer), Allen Wood (drums), and David Lee Cox (piano).

1965 - Moose Lodge in Greenwood. Left to right: Terry Jenkins (trumpet), Hardin Browning (piano), Bill Bole (trumpet), Buddy Millett (drums), Smith (lead singer), Barry Smith (bass), and Murry Moorman (lead guitar). DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 45


Some of Smith’s CD’s.

1972 - Town & Country Nigh Club in Greenwood. Left to right: Jessie Yates, Lawrence Stacy, Smith, Murry Moorman, and Barry Smith.

play at the old Black Hawk school house. Before Smith’s hiatus from performing, he and Jerry Yates, who played keyboards for The Flames, toured England for a couple of weeks in 1979. At one of the venues outside of London, they drew a crowd of 10,000, Smith said. He had met someone while at Ace Records who had promoted his music in England, which led to the wide following. Over the decades, Mack Allen Smith and The Flames, has included his brother, guitarist Barry Smith, and they played at venues, clubs, and dance halls, plus locations such as the Community House in Carrollton. Smith recorded more than twenty singles over the years and eventually his first album, a double LP, according music researcher Scott Barretta of Greenwood. On the flip side of a 1962 single with a cover of Muddy Waters’ “I Got My Mojo Going,” Smith and the

46 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

1974 - Mack Allen Smith and The Flames. Left to right: Laney O’Briant, Steve McGregory, Smith, Gary Lee Worsham, and Sanford Horton.

band recorded one of his compositions, “I’m A Lover.” Recently in his Greenwood office, Smith said that was his favorite composition. The others include, “If I Could Get Only One Hit,” “Sick and Tired of Rednecks Hollerin’ at Me,” “I’m Not Broke But Badly Bent,” “That’s Why I Pray,” “I Hate Trains,” and “She Broke My Heart at Walgreens.” The latter was recorded on a CD issued in 2019, “Sitting in the Sunshine, Wishing It was Moonshine.” In 2016, he recorded “Rockabilly Addict,” the title track for another CD. He was 78 at the time. In it, Smith sings, Well, I’m growing old and it may sound silly, but I still love my rockabilly/I can’t explain it, so please don’t ask me why/I’ll be a rockabilly addict until I die. In December 2016, Smith and the band got together again for another performance at the old Black Hawk schoolhouse. People

came from everywhere to hear them, packing the place. Among those performing were Barry Smith, Terry Herbert, Jerry Yates Jr., Laney O’Bryant, Steve McGregory. McGregory, who lives in Batesville, and Tony Browning of Grenada, who has played bass guitar with The Flames, talked about Smith’s acute memory and solid organizational abilities. “He can remember all of the stuff we did years ago,” McGregory said. “His memory is so good. He remembers everything from way back where he started,” Browning said. Smith has also written and published a novel, Honky Tonk Addict and two memoirs, Rock-a-Billy Rebel and Looking Back One More Time. Smith’s ability to retain lyrics have served him well as a song writer. “He can recall if he’s got a good hook line in his mind, he can go back in a few days and sit down and write the song,” said Browning. Smith also has the ability to take the line and


Mack Allen in his Greenwood office.

immediately sit down and finish a song. “I wish I could do it, sit down and just write,” Browning said. Barretta, who wrote a column about Smith for the Clarion-Ledger and a biography of Smith for the Mississippi Arts Commission, said, “He knows every session he played on and the names of everybody who played. I think this is one of the most remarkable things about him because it is completely atypical of musicians.” Browning and McGregory described Smith as meticulous, a quality which they admire. “He is a real professonal and he pays attention to details, a lot. He wants everything just right.” McGregory said it was a step up for him when he and two others were invited to join The Flames. “It was quite and honor then to be playing with Mack Allen in those days and it still is an honor even today.” They also talked about his voice. “Mack

1975 - In front of Ace Recording Studio in Jackson, Mississippi. Left to right: Steve McGregory, Johnny Dickens, Smith, and Martin Hawkins.

has a very distinctive voice with a really wide range,” McGregory said. “He can sing Elvis songs to a T and yet turn around and sing a Conway Twitty song. It is quite something to be born with that ability.” For a long time, the three recordings that were never distributed Mack Allen Smith and The Flames made at Sun were

misplaced. But the master is now in Smith’s possession. Barretta considers their experience at Sun invaluable. He said there are “not many people left” who recorded at Sun in the late 1950s. “That’s pretty heavy stuff.” DM


| 47

Lamp Shade House 4870 Summer Ave at Mendenhall

318 Howard St • Greenwood, MS 662.453.2114 • thealluvian.com

48 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Walker Farms

3,400± Acre Premier High Fence Property

• • • • • • • • •

One of the Finest Properties in the Southeast Primary Lodge, Guest House, Bunk House 100+ Acres of Wildlife Plots with Stands Intensively Managed Whitetail Herd Outstanding Duck & Turkey Habitat Traversed by the Big Black River Multiple Storage Buildings Located in Montgomery County. MS Seller Will Divide Adam Hester, Land Realtor Tom Smith Land and Homes Adam@TomSmithLand.com 601.898.2772 office 601.506.5058 cell Andrew LoCicero, Land Realtor Heritage Properties, Inc. Andrew.LoCicero@me.com 601.605.1015 office 850.502.6683 cell


The Big

PICTURE Mapping the four corners of the Earth and capturing images along the way BY KATIE TIMS • PHOTOGRAPHY BY TALBOT BROOKS

50 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

GIS students and workers at Delta State University.


he launch of Sputnik and early American satellites in the late 1950s and early 1960s did far more than mark the start of the race to outer space, the moon, and the planets beyond. e world paused for a moment’s introspection (and to listen to the beeping) and realized that for the very first time we could quite literally look back on ourselves from space. e weather, geography, and the presence of humankind could be clearly observed from space. The observation of Earth from space marked the beginning of remote sensing. Remote sensing is not the use of psychics 52 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

penned up in a room at CIA headquarters in Washington, DC, trying to imagine the inner layout of the Kremlin; rather, it is the use of scientific instrumentation to measure the properties of objects without actually touching them. Most all of us have used the technology in one form or fashion, particularly with photography. Both digital and electronic photographs measure the wavelength and intensity of light reflected by the subject of the photograph. is information goes beyond simply showing us how something appears to allow us to make inferences about the underlying properties of the object of our attention. The concept of observing the Earth

from above was not necessarily something altogether new—the Union Army deployed the Balloon Corps during the Civil War to observe and photograph troop movements. Initial satellite photographs were taken using film cameras and sophisticated (and somewhat nutty) systems for retrieving the film mid-air after it was ejected by the space-based camera and fell back to Earth and mostly proved that such an approach was inefficient. It was only with the advent of digital camera systems that satellite imaging became truly efficient and effective. Remote sensing using satellites now permits the high-resolution imaging of the entire planet on a daily basis. Features as


The work of Talbot Brooks has taken him all over the world where he has helped many and also been introduced to a variety cultures.

small as six inches can be clearly identified from space (sorry, fans of 24, it is not possible to see inside buildings or read license plates from space—the military uses other remote sensing tools for that). e significance of this ability is that a series of images for a given geographic region may be compared over time to detect change. Of particular interest is the ability to note the conditions of a community and use the derived information to assess its vulnerability to disaster or to compare before and after images and use them to guide rescue and relief efforts. Remotely sensed images are all tied to a location on Earth. is makes the technology

Using geospatial technologies for disaster risk reduction and management is not without costs and often requires significant budgetary planning by national governments. Brooks is shown meeting with members of Mozambique’s Assembly of the Republic (Congress) responsible for appropriations and disaster response.

part of a newer and larger discipline called “Geospatial Technologies”—a field which uses computers and technology to capture geographic information about various populations and systems better understood through the “lens” of geography. e Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State was established in 2005 to provide education about this important technology to students and to share geospatial information with the local community in an effort to help solve problems. Talbot Brooks became the director of the center in 2005, arriving in Cleveland after a career working as a scientist using

remote sensing and allied spatial technologies to investigate the effects of climate change on agriculture. Brooks was also a fifth generation firefighter and signed on with the Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department shortly after his arrival. e Delta provided a new opportunity to feed another of his large appetites: photography. “I learned shortly after I started working with remote sensing technologies that if I could take a photograph of the planet from space, I might should learn how to do it here on terra firma using a regular camera,” said Brooks. “It became a deeply satisfying hobby—I have always enjoyed looking at beautiful images—especially ones that DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 53

Buda Castle in Budapest at what is referred to as the “Blue Hour.”

evoke strong emotions and share places and moments. e ability to introduce artistic elements not available to me as a scientist working with remote sensing—things like composition and lighting—gave me an expressive outlet.” All three of these things, the science of remote sensing, firefighting, and photography, came together shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi in 2005. Brooks and his team from DSU responded to Mississippi Emergency Management and used spatial technologies to help disaster managers and political leaders make decisions about how to respond to and recover from the devastation. “While I had used the technology to help communities reduce risk or respond to relatively small emergencies, this was the first large-scale application of geospatial technologies at a major disaster. It was a bit frightening being on the spot and trying to figure out life-or-death problem sets on the fly, but with the brilliance of friends and colleagues from across the state—even the nation—we were able to be somewhat effective. It was both a massive learning experience and one that changed my life.” After witnessing the effectiveness of 54 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

geospatial technologies to help save lives first-hand, Brooks began researching new ways of applying such methods to disaster risk reduction and response. Soon, others were keen to hear how they could develop and use similar methods in their communities to help prevent loss or recover from an event. He began accepting invitations to speak on the topic at various scientific meetings in the United States. “I provided a keynote address at a meeting on the topic at Harvard in 2006, and after I finished speaking, a couple of fellows came up and introduced themselves as being with the United Nations Platform for SpaceBased Disaster and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). ey were interested in taking the lessons I had learned during Katrina and spreading them to the greater international community.” That fateful moment launched the start of a new direction for funding support and inquiry for the center—international cooperation of space agencies in support of disaster. Brooks signed on as a technical advisor to the United Nations and was tasked with helping developing countries learn to use space-based and geospatial technologies, helping coordinate the activities of space-faring nations so that they

would be willing to freely give up their imagery to a developing nation during a disaster, and creating new means and methods for using spatial technologies to reduce the risk of disaster from changes in climate. His first trip abroad as a member of a United Nations advisory team was in late 2006. “I was assigned to a team of seven heading to Mozambique. I had never flown internationally, much less to Africa, and it was quite intimidating. I left the airport for my hotel late at night and saw firsthand what terrible poverty looks like and thought to myself, ‘is really isn’t much different than some of the neighborhoods I’ve responded to back home with the fire department.’” He found that realization a bit stunning and quickly learned that his missions would become just as much about learning how economically challenged areas could effectively use extremely limited resources for disaster and emergency response as it was about sharing his knowledge of geospatial technologies. He has since tried to bring those ideas back home and teach them to his students. “I also learned that I was being given an incredible opportunity by God to bear witness—to testify about the difficulties and


| 55

Crucifix at St. Peters Cathedral in Vatican City, the papal enclave which is within the city of Rome.

wonders that I was privileged to see while abroad.” Photography became the natural way for him to begin telling that story, and he would frequently work Monday through Friday as part of a UN mission and then extend his stay over a weekend to explore the country he was visiting. His hosts— senior members of government—would often accompany him, taking him to see natural wonders and visit their hometowns, and encourage him to experience their culture. “Much like the Delta, I was quick to see that despite the poverty—the many 56 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

challenges—there was an underlying vitality to many of these places. e beauty of the human spirit or a place is not just found in one place. If we look for it, it can be found in even the darkest of places I’ve visited.” He began making an extra effort to show that beauty by shifting his photography from solely landscapes to include people. “Portraits and photographs of people at work or play were something I used to avoid—I saw them as contamination of the natural setting at first. en I realized how integral people are to a place and felt foolish for having avoided incorporating them into

my photographs when I first started out.” He now spends extra effort not only to visit and to know his subjects but to find the right composition and setting to capture and share who they are through his imagery. He hopes that his images share not only the beauty and splendor of place but help put the viewer in the scene in a way that helps them feel and experience the location and people he is visiting. “If I can share through imagery our global commonalities and bring about an understanding that we’re all not too terribly different, to help people back home begin to care about and understand a place that is at just as much risk of loss due to disaster as they are, well, then that’s time well spent.” Brooks continues to offer classes about geospatial technologies at DSU at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. e degree programs offered require students to gain practical experience in the field, and they now frequently travel with him. “One of the coolest things I’ve been able to do as a professor is to take a student from an impoverished background here in the Delta and who had never left the state to Vietnam. He was completely overwhelmed at first by the sights and smells but then said, ‘Hey, isn’t that rice they’re growing there? at’s just like the field my daddy works.’” He took a photo of the family working that field and shared it with the student who now uses it to tell their story to others. “For me, that’s education, and it really makes me feel good to know that not only am I sharing a technology and means of reducing the loss of life and property to disaster but passing along my passion and way of seeing the world to the next generation.” Above all, Brooks says that he’s especially thankful to Delta State for allowing him to pursue international involvement. While he primarily uses grant funds and UN sponsorship to pay for his travels and continues his courses from abroad by teaching online, it’s not something that is common practice at DSU. “It’s taken a certain amount of vision and patience on behalf of leadership to support these activities, and I’ll be forever grateful, and I don’t take that for granted.” DM Look for upcoming photos on his Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/easystreets1 as he travels to Turkey, Laos, and China later this year.



Few have encountered this tree. It’s so far out in the woop woop of the Mississippi Delta you’re not likely to ever find it unless you live there, or you’re lost, or detoured. We were detoured. 58 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


VER THE YEARS, WHEN TRAVELING NORTH TO MEMPHIS ON HIGHWAY 61 FROM DEEP IN THE DELTA, I’D CUT OVER TO HIGHWAY 1. ere’s nothing wrong with 61. But with Van Morrison or the Doors on, the gravitational pull of the Mighty Mississippi was just too much. Not that I could see her, but I knew she was just beyond that earthen mound that snakes its way beside the mightiest river on the planet. e levee. Still a constant reminder that she once failed us. Now, twenty feet taller and as mighty as the river, she vows to never let it happen again.

On the way up Highway 1, I always took the short cut around Moon Lake instead of driving five miles farther north to Highway 49, not far from the Mississippi River bridge at Helena, Arkansas. It was the twisting, scenic route around the southern edge of the famous oxbow lake that drew me. Moon Lake has been a mysterious place of Southern Americana for a century, made famous by Tennessee Williams’s e Glass Menagerie and other books. Or made infamous if you consider its reputation during prohibition—a regionally large, popular gambling joint with alleged rumors that it doubled as a house of ill repute. But by the late ‘60s, entertainment around Moon Lake had whittled down to pretty much two establishments— Kathryn’s Restaurant and Conway Twitty’s place. Conway’s was all about country music, beer, and, sometimes, college boys and girls shakin’ it with the locals. Before Conway Twitty became famous, he changed his name. Actors and musicians are entitled to do that. Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch. John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison. Can you imagine “e Duke” with a name like Marty Morrison? He’ll always be John Wayne, the man with two first names. For some odd reason, Conway chose two last names. Conway and Twitty. Otherwise, he would’ve remained Harold Lloyd Jenkins.

IN THE SUMMER OF ‘69, I was a simple-minded college student who woke up one summer morning outside Conway’s place with my tail in the dirt and my back stuck to a creosote electric pole. It was already ninety degrees under the sun. e hot tar had cemented my shirt to the pole. I could not break loose. My mouth felt like cotton. I believe the term is ‘cottonmouth.’ My buddies were nowhere in sight. Later, I learned they were all asleep in my brother’s two-door ‘64 Chevy Super Sport, a beast with a 327 engine and four in the floor. A car I had ‘borrowed’ for the night. After several confused tugs, I broke loose from the pole. My white Oxford cloth shirt couldn’t possibly survive a backside of sticky creosote. Later, back in Oxford, it burst into flames. One match was all it took. I digress. Fast forward to this recent trip, the one about e Wicked Tree my new friend Justin Gullett and I discovered. We were eighteen miles north of Greenville on Highway 1 at Scott. We’d been in Greenville for a big meeting with potential investors in e Rector movie. Justin is going to direct it.

I pointed to the levee on our left. “Justin, that’s where the levee broke in ‘27. It had rained like in Noah’s day. Relentless tons of water hit the Mississippi River basin up North starting in the summer of ‘26. Flooding covered a dozen states, none worse than right here in the Mississippi Delta. It’s why the land is so good. e soil. All that ‘Northern’ silt. Or whatever you wanna call it. “But there’s one thing in history unique to the Delta. Two things, actually. Whiskey-drinkin’ tales. And the blues. e rich stories told by locals and writers who remember. Some folks would argue that the long tales unique to the Delta originally came from winter-time whiskey drinkin’ by the plantation owners. Along, of course, from the moonshine stills in the woods and the beginning of the blues. All these small-town blues, long past their prime, still provoke special feelings inside any Mississippi-born-andraised boy or girl. If an Aussie, or a Frenchman, or some Norwegian, can get off on our blues music and all the stories told at blues joints, imagine what a kid who grew up in the middle of it feels. (I was born in a farmhouse but grew up in Bentonia, my upstairs window a little more than a rock’s throw from the world famous Blue Front Café.) If a visitor would slow down, turn right or left, and visit these tucked away places, they’d learn some of those stories from the horse’s mouth. I can assure you that Jimmy Duck Holmes doesn’t bite. As Justin and I approached the short-cut around the lake, I told him about my big brother in the fraternity, Steve—how he and I practically flew around Moon Lake Road one night to escape a cadre of blue lights and sirens over the horizon, coming our way from both directions. One weekend—late fall of ‘69—we dropped off our dates in Helena, Arkansas, and headed back across the mile-long bridge into Mississippi to Steve’s home on Moon Lake Road. But as we approached the Mississippi River toll booth, three hundred yards ahead, I asked Steve, “How many times have you had to pay a dollar to cross this damn bridge?” A swig of beer mixed with some collegiate anger clung to Steve’s words, “Too many!” “Ever run the bridge?” “Hell no. But let’s do it.” Promise, those were our exact words, ones I’ll never forget. e toll booth lay ahead. e passage on each side would barely fit the width of a car, all designed to slow our vehicles down while the little man in the booth held out his hand to collect our dollar— a whole dollar just to pass over to the Mississippi side.


| 59

Ironically, we must’ve been listening to “Break on rough (to the Other Side).” Remember the Doors? I dropped her into second gear and hit fifty in a few yards. All windows were down. e swirling wind inside was intoxicating. We squeezed by the man in the booth so fast I thought his arm might be in my back seat. On the bridge, at seventy, I clutched and shoved her into third gear, then fourth at ninety. I peeked again at the speedometer. 110. We were a stupid college missile out for some non-existent revenge. We were invincible. It wasn’t about paying the dollar. It was about making a point. About being free to be young and careless, which equates to being stupid and not knowing it. Like the next obstacle we faced—the ‘bug man’ ahead. Back then, when you came across the bridge into Mississippi, you’d see a little shack on the roadside, no bigger than a backyard shed. Most times no humans were present. But if a man was standing on the road’s shoulder, waving at you or pointing a flashlight, you’d better pull over so he could check your vehicle for bugs. No foreign bugs were allowed to piggyback inside some vehicle and spoil our Mississippi crops. (I believe the world has changed a lot, don’t you?) I first spotted him on high beam a few hundred yards ahead. He must’ve been notified by walkietalkie from the one-armed booth man: “Some jerks just runned the bridge,” I imagined him saying. “I believe they’s in a blue two-doe sometin’ or other. Stop ‘em!” ‘Bug man’ was not standing on the shoulder. He was in the middle of the highway, waving two flashlights in big swooping X’s, trying to stop us like we were parking some jet on the tarmac at LaGuardia.’Cept we were traveling must faster than a tarmac jet. As we flew by at 110+, I felt like a Delta pilot begging for takeoff. ank goodness the poor man dove for the shoulder. e blue lights over the horizon were closing in. Steve gulped a short swig from a longneck. “Quick, take the next road to the right! Couple of miles. We gotta get off 49.” His voice was deep, guttural, and meant business. He knew we were in some deep . . . trouble. ree miles and ninety seconds later, we turned right, onto Highway 1 headed south. I could see in my mirror the flashing lights of police going up and down Highway 49. ank goodness Steve grew up on Moon Lake. If we’d stayed on 49, we would’ve surely been in some serious . . . trouble. We pulled up the long gravel drive to Steve’s homestead, parked in the back, marveled at the steam coming from the hood, then headed inside like nothing had happened, raided the fridge, and went to sleep. We had escaped. NO, WE DIDN’T PASS THE WICKED TREE that night back in ‘69. But just recently, when Justin and I returned from that big meeting in Greenville, we came across it, courtesy of Serendipity. On Moon Lake Road, we encountered a temporary sign:

60 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

DETOUR—BRIDGE OUT AHEAD ere was a road to the right. I’d never traveled on it. Ten minutes later, I yelled at Justin, “Turn around. ere’s something you should see.” His Hummer was as wide as the skinny county road. But didn’t matter. We never passed a car going in the other direction. When we made it back to the tree, he said, “Wow. How could I have missed this?” e Wicked Tree appeared even more sinister after we studied it and photographed it from all angles. It didn’t have a ‘one-sided look,’ like when you see kudzu smothering a tree from one side that looks like a poodle but from the other side it looks like a nothing. is tree looks the same from all sides. Wicked. Dark and eerie. Split open and hunched over a dozen gravestones. ‘A gargoyle in nature.’ You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to camp under this thing. We needed to leave and didn’t have time to inspect her like she deserved. Two months later, I went back by myself to take more photographs and study the gravestones. I chose a sunny day in early February. After an hour of photographing, I walked up to have a closer look at the tree’s trunk. It’s split open, splayed out from the ground to what looks like the head of a mystic evil being. But here’s the spooky part. e open base of the tree was still in the process of leisurely sucking three graves down in the earth of the hollowed-out tree. At first, I didn’t see them—three headstones lay mostly buried inside the opening of the trunk. I saw green grass, dirt, moss, and corners of three headstones poking out of the dirt. I kicked away some heavy, moist dirt to get a closer look at each headstone. It was no use. Too buried. I couldn’t determine names or complete dates on any of them. And I didn’t feel good at all about a trip to the hardware store for a shovel. It struck me that the roots of e Wicked Tree had long since reached the caskets six feet below. Horror writers would describe it like this: e tree had rooted its way through the casket walls and consumed the bodies inside, turning them into an ever-moving corpse, a sort of twisting, living mummy of tree roots. Yuck. Sick, right? Even for me, it’s too graphic. So I had to attribute it to somebody else. Anybody else but me. I can think of several writers who would have no qualms about writing this type of horror, page after page. (I’m not one of them. Steven King is. And he’s good at it. I’ll never write a description like that again. Gives me the willies.) Fact is, I’m surprised Hollywood hasn’t discovered e Wicked Tree. It would make for a creepy image in a good Hitchcock movie— a good versus evil thriller in the Delta. at’s all I have to say about Moon Lake and that Wicked Tree. If I go back, it won’t be with a shovel. It’ll be with a Bible and a cross. And Conway Twitty’s place? Well, it’s not there anymore. But Kathryn’s is. DM


| 61



62 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cozy neutrals, pops of color and the fun integration of new and old give the Ayres’ living room a fresh, inviting feel.

Natural light streams in through the original tinted windows, enhancing the elegant curving staircase—a central feature of the house.



the Ayres family’s fresh restoration updates a stylestandout and historical gem for their twenty-first century lifestyle. Custom details in rich, dark woods mark the style, but neutral tone-on-tone decor lightens the effect with near breezy ease. Pops of color and texture plus a kiss of contemporary art add fun touches to suit a young couple with kids. The 1928 two-story Washington Avenue house in Greenville is a head-turner and it did just that for Courtney Jones Ayres a couple of years back, its “for sale” sign doubling down on her wish to move to a bigger house. The Gamwyn-Wilzin Park home (their second in that neighborhood) was too small for her and Will’s growing family. Another house they’d long eyed wasn’t working out, timing-wise. Friends and family were concerned about their switch from the upscale gated community with quiet streets to a busier four-lane artery in an area that’d seen decline. Home ownership had transitioned to rental property over the years, losing polish and pride in the process. Perceptions of crime lingered. 64 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

But that house! The red brick high-style Tudor mansion with its original clay tile roof is one of only a few in Mississippi. Encircled around back by a high brick fence, it faces Washington Avenue with a sturdy presence, fit to weather any storm and look great doing it. “I’ve always loved this house,” says Courtney, a devotee of design, architecture, and old homes and a veteran of two home renovations at the time. “Greenville is going through a rebirth. I feel like we are the last Delta town to do so,” she says, citing citizenry investment, involvement, and improvement in Greenwood, Cleveland, and Indianola. Growing commercial investment downtown, lofts, restaurants, hotel renovations, and the new federal courthouse on the horizon are positive signs in Greenville. “Some people are seeing the writing on the wall and getting ready. We hope others will see it too.” She was eager to tackle her own next project, and her pregnancy with their second child fueled the urgency. “We had a lot of unknowns,” Will says, from the condition of a near century-old house to foot traffic and activity after dark. But, “I liked the house. It was just time for a change for us.”

Masculine touches, such as plaid wool drapes and a cowhide rug, make Will’s office an attractive retreat.

Light taupe hues brighten the family room, a popular hangout for the Ayres’ young daughters.

They brought careful, practiced eyes to the process, which ultimately involved less renovation than their previous two in town. Here, restoration was the aim. They knocked on doors and met neighbors. Contractors and construction equipment were onsite for months. The activity might’ve sparked a contagious spirit among neighbors, too, to up their game. “We do feel like, not only have we made a good choice,” Courtney says, “but they have been great neighbors, and they’ve also stepped up as well, which is what our community needs. “We are not going to better this community if everyone remains in their comfort zones. Stepping outside the box, setting roots in 66 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

different places, and getting involved in the community is what’s going to make Greenville better! We chose to take that leap of faith, and we have no regrets.” They settled in three years ago and revel in sharing its appeal in yearly themed Christmas parties and more, taking full advantage of its generous layout and expansive courtyard. The house was built in 1928 by Matthew Lowber Virden, whose Virden Lumber Company had successful locations across the Delta at the turn of the (previous) century. The home is a showcase for materials, indoors and out, floor to ceiling. Planks of varying widths add subtle intrigue to the dark oak floors. The patio’s patchwork of

Light neutrals counter the dark wood of the impressive beamed ceiling, a hallmark of Tudor style. Below, This little anteroom is the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet moment and refreshment from the wet bar.

colored slate is a witty foil to the courtyard’s more formal balustrades and brick. The Virden family crest remains above the front door and the living room fireplace. Inside, Old World meets new energy. Courtney grew up in the Memphis suburb of Germantown, and Will hails from Leland, where his family’s farm implement business is headquartered. He’s the fourth generation in Ayres-Delta Implement with multiple stores throughout the Mississippi Delta. Courtney is a hospitality design rep, focusing on hotels, country clubs, and restaurants in the Mississippi/Alabama/Tennessee territory. “I’m in the design field all the time, so I just have an eye for DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 67

An arrangement of roses complements the china, Royal Doulton Juliet.

The dining room is set to sparkle, from the rug’s weave to the table’s crystal, chargers and goblets, all the way up to light fixture’s aged brass.

68 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

The arched opening presents the formal dining room and living room with approachable style.

things. My mom was kind of a self-proclaimed interior designer, too,” says Courtney, who picked up the trait and developed a reputation for it. Girlfriends often peg her for advice. She describes her own decorating style as transitional, with a love for both traditional pieces and modern flair. At home that entails respect for the house’s historical bones while incorporating family pieces and new finds. She’s part of a generation that appreciates antiques but eschews the heavy colors, patterns, and fabrics that traditionally went with them. So the sideboard that’s held Christmas buffets since her childhood is right next to an acrylic and sheepskin stool, and the arrangement works. The foyer welcomes with a sight line to the elegant curving staircase beyond, but there’s plenty more to catch the eye. An open dining/living room stretches off to the right, brightened by gentle creams and taupes and accented with tasteful touches of color, texture, and shine. A pair of lips, gleaming in multi-colored glory, commands a spot of honor over the mantel in a painting by local artist Debbie Lewis. “This house is done, and we’re sealing it with a kiss,” Courtney says of the custom-made art. Rugs underfoot counter the dark hardwood floors with a soft An artful arrangement spotlights works that connect to special people and places. DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 69

A custom-designed, marbletopped island is one of several kitchen updates.

The Ayres, who love to entertain, closed in an outdoor corner feature for a wet bar. The formerly outside brick makes an atmospheric backdrop for Will’s blues festival posters.

whisper; the dining room’s shimmer jute with silver weave adds sparkle to the conversation, too. “I thought it kind of brought the twinkle in, like the crystal glasses and your silver when you have an occasion going on,” she says. “But again, I didn’t want it to scream ‘Formal!’ … I wanted it to be a livable space.” Light fixtures, in aged brass with a modern spin, also walk the line between old and new. An art deco Beautility sideboard came her way through her mother-in-law Mary Jo Ayres’s Uptown Girls shop in Leland. Here, it makes a fun statement of vintage cool. “She’s always keeping her eye out for stuff for me,” Courtney says. Mary Jo’s paintings of guitars and birds join an art grouping on the wall nearby that celebrates regional scenes by artists including Polly Cooper and photographer Kallie Dreher. Off the foyer to the left, Will’s office tucks behind enviable arched spindle-top doors. A cowhide rug and plaid wool drapes are right at home in this masculine sanctuary, and lighter cushions and chairs complement and balance the dark woods. In the den, Tudor touches rule from above. A taupe sectional, DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 71

Marble tile and countertops bring fresh appeal in the master bathroom renovation. The arched shower is a nod to the home’s architecture.

72 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Tone-on-tone neutrals and soft surfaces make the master bedroom a comfortable retreat.

chair, and patterned rug help bounce the natural light up, where the rich, dark beamed ceiling and corbels bring a kind of old English comfort to the space. There are mod touches, too, in the unexpected cow portrait, molded glass table, and shaggy pink ottomans that are a magnet for their young girls—Bea, seven, and Kathleen, three. With that old English charm and pub-like feel, naturally the wet bar is close at hand. More French doors open to a cozy nook that’s one of a couple of updates (along with a redone master bedroom and bath and screened-in porch) the Ayres brought to the house. Closing in a former outdoor planting feature, they now have an accessible, atmospheric alcove for refreshment. The house’s onceexterior brick makes a great backdrop for Will’s blues festival posters, and her collection of vintage cocktail shakers is on festive display. “Will and I love a martini!” Upstairs, the master bedroom is another study in tone-on-tone comfort, where the neutral shades don’t stray far from creams, grays, and a calm, steely blue. It’s a restful retreat—an invitation their cat Rosie just can’t resist. She hops onto the chaise and curls into a midday nap. In the master bath, red-orange tile and black trim made way for light, bright marble. Oval mosaic tile beautifully takes the huge

Courtney and Will Ayres, with daughters Kathleen and Bea, are right at home in this Tudor style standout. DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 73

The courtyard is a perfect spot for entertaining, from crawfish boils to Christmas parties.

74 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

shower’s curved arch, and a gleaming white ceramic garden stool is an ingenious stand-in for a bench. A rain head and a handheld catch the preferences of each parent, and the body sprayers delight their girls, who’ll squeal, “Turn the car wash on!” The girls have plenty of their own space, too, upstairs, with a playroom in the guest suite, their shared room with bunk beds, and another guest room connected by their Jack and Jill bathroom. “The outside definitely catches your eye, but the inside takes your breath away,” Courtney sums up the house. It continues to win her over daily—the layout, the big rooms, the distinctive trims around doors and windows, the curving staircase with decorative iron rail and tinted glass windows, the tiny powder room tucked into the turret, the slightest point atop its archways, the glass doorknobs to bedrooms, and halls so wide, “My girls literally do tumbling and gymnastics down this hallway. “There were more ‘Whoas!’ than cons, when it came down to it.” DM

WHEN THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON YOU... Create memories of a lifetime If you’ve visited GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, we don’t have to tell you what a spectacular place it is. And while its main purpose is celebrating the best of America’s music, it was also thoughtfully designed for events as special as yours. With its spacious lobby, covered porch, and expansive lawn, the possibilities are endless! Plus, your guests will enjoy the Museum’s exhibits in a one-of-a-kind music-infused setting. Contact us today to discuss the various event options available catered specifically to your needs.

FOR BOOKING INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 662.441.0100 800 Sunflower Rd., Cleveland, MS www.grammymuseumms.org

!"#"$%&"'%$(#)*$+"#,-,.)/%$01%&)#12$&)3,$ %45-#"$-,.$1,265.1,7$%18$.1%&1,2&$9166-7"%$ ("-&5#1,7$3-6:1,7$&#-16%;$<1:"$'-&0%$-,.$ '#"%"#9".$()#"%&%$'#)*)&1,7$-$0"-6&0=$61("%&=6">$ !56&1?7","#-&1),-6;$1,265.1,7$-$%17,-&5#"$ @@A$2)**5,1&=;$-,.$'5#')%"(566=$."%17,".$ 31&0$%5%&-1,-<161&=;$%&"3-#.%01'$-,.$ 1,,)9-&1),$1,$*1,.>

Join our VIP Registry at hernandowest.com/contact-us to receive updates

Delta.Mag.Hernando.West.Ad.2.10.2020.indd 1


A new destination. A multitude of choices.


2/13/20 6:11 PM

2438 Hwy 51 S, Hernando, MS 38632 (662) 469-9279

Now offering McCarty’s Pottery! DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 77

Hernando )&3/"/%0 '"3.&34."3,&5 16th Annual




OPENING DAY: SATURDAY, APRIL 25 IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DESOTO COUNTY EARTH DAY CELEBRATION Hernando Farmers Market | www.cityofhernando.org/farmersmarket

78 | MARCH/APRIL 2020



î&#x20AC;&#x201A;e North Mississippi Town on the Move


| 79


Weddings Delta Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual selection of favorite photos, traditions and trends

Beckham-Gulledge, b. flint photography

80 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Birthplace of the Blues to Music City FROM THE


ashville is the bachelorette weekend destination of choice for many Delta brides. And why not? It has great food, amazing music, fun bars and distilleries, and incredible hotels—AND it still manages to hold on to its southern charm. Best of all, getting there doesn’t require a plane ticket. We asked some brides in the know and a few Delta ex-pats who live in Music City for their tips for the best bachelorette weekend ever!

Where to Eat

The Mockingbird mockingbirdnashville.com Known for its globally-inspired comfort cuisine, the brunch menu features pastries, large plates and delicious cocktails. Try the Punching Bag, a boozy fruit punch, served in a plastic bag with a straw!

Where to Stay

21c Museum Hotel — 21cmuseumhotels.com Part contemporary art museum, part boutique hotel— 21c offers curated exhibitions, cultural events, and incredible culinary offerings from its chefdriven restaurant, Gray & Dudley. 21c is an art-filled escape located just a few blocks from Nissan Stadium, Bridgestone Arena, and the entertainment along Broadway. Kimpton Aertson Hotel — aertsonhotel.com Just a few blocks from Vanderbilt, escape the crowds without sacrificing location at the Kimpton Aertson Hotel in midtown. e girls will love the acclaimed bourbon bar and restaurant, Henley, gallery-worthy art installations and proximity to Nashville’s Music Row, Bluebird Cafe and other major attractions. Omni Nashville Hotel — OmniNashvilleHotel.guestreservations.com Walking distance from Broadway, the Omni is a bachelorette favorite in a prime location. It has an amazing spa, and the lobby is connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Thompson Hotel — thompsonhotels.com/hotels/tennessee/nashville A luxury boutique hotel in e Gulch, with the popular indoor-outdoor rooftop bar L.A. Jackson (lajacksonbar.com). Locals and visitors alike flock here for happy hour, special occasions and for weekend DJ sets. 84 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

5th and Taylor 5thandtaylor.com American fine dining with banquettestyle tables make it perfect for a bachelorette party or any group. A vast menu of Southern shared plates and entrees, along with a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails will please everyone in your group. The Hampton Social thehamptonsocial.com/nashville is three-story venue with a first-floor Rose’ lounge is a must stop. e brunch menu is fabulous and you must try the grilled cheese and avocado sandwich.

Fun Things to Do

✦ A fully functioning winery, City Winery (citywinery.com) also boasts intimate live ✦ Plan a pub-crawl down Broadway. A few not to miss are Acme, Jason Aldean’s

music events. Sample Nashville-inspired wines led by a world-class sommelier. Plus it’s a celeb hot spot attracting the likes of Brandi Carlisle to Jesse James Decker.

✦ Catch an up-and-coming songwriter at

Rooftop Bar, Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge, and Robert’s Western World.

✦ Experience a 360-degree view of the

e Bluebird Cafe (bluebirdcafe.com)— but book tickets early!

BarTaco bartaco.com/location/nashville-tn For lunch, brunch or a casual supper. is tacos and tequila venue is a fun place for upscale street food and up-to-date cocktails in a relaxed coastal vibe. Henrietta Red henriettared.com When happy hour beckons, this is the place to be for craft cocktails and daily happy hour specials. Also the best Oyster Bar and full raw bar selection in town!

✦ Catch a show or tour the historic Ryman

Nashville skyline at Bourbon Sky Lounge (nashvillebourbonsteak.com/bourbon-sky).

✦ Pamper yourself at the spa at the Omni

Auditorium (ryman.com) former home of the Grand Ole Opry.

(omnihotels.com/hotels/nashville/spa). Pro tip—even if you’re not a guest at the Omni and you get any service at the spa you have full access to their rooftop pool which offers a full service menu and bar.

✦ Shop, eat and explore the 12South neighborhood for funky shops, vintage

✦ Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame (countrymusichalloffame.org), conveniently clothing, hip restaurants and ethnic cuisine.

✦ Go bowling—yes bowling—at Pinewood Social (pinewoodsocial.com). If you get connected to the lobby of the Omni.

hungry, visit the patio and order a bite at the 30-foot Airstream.

Side Trips Geist Bar and Restaurant geistnashville.com Housed in an old horse-shoe factory, Geist boasts Nashville’s only Champagne Garden and it overflows with bubbles year-round! Great for brunch and mimosas, or dinner and drinks next to the wood-stove fireplace.

✦ Trek out to Leiper’s Fork, where in winter

they have fire pits with marshmallows in front of every business as you walk in between galleries and antique shops. Grab a beer, a meal, or a tank of gas and see the Duke’s of Hazard car at Puckett’s Grocery (puckettsofleipersfork.com), or take a tour of the Leiper’s Fork Distillery (leipersforkdistillery.com) a local small batch distillery.

✦ en head to Franklin (about 20 miles from Nashville) and walk the square of this adorable town. It’s worth the visit, with a blend of modern and trendy shopping and dining, and historic Civil War attractions.

✦ Book a wine tasting and experience Jazz in ✦ Tour the home and grounds of e the Vines at Arrington Vineyards (arringtonvineyards.com).

Hermitage (thehermitage.com), home of President Andrew Jackson. DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 85

86 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Under the

TUSCAN SUN DESTINATION WEDDINGS have become increasingly popular with young couples, and statistics show about a quarter of them choose to pledge their love in a beautiful, distant location somewhere in the continental United States. Our featured couple, Elizabeth Kimery and Andrew Marino, however, went a bit farther afield for their fall wedding last year—to the beautiful Tuscan hills of Italy. BY ANNE CUNNINGHAM O’NEILL • PHOTOGRAPHY BY PUREWHITE

88 | MARCH/APRIL 2020



ANDREW MARINO Siena, Italy September 28, 2019


HE GRAPES ARE HARVESTED IN SEPTEMBER, and it is considered the very

best time to visit the colorful, world-famous landscapes of Tuscany. What’s more, the wedding was held at a wine resort near the city of Siena, best known for its famous Palio horse race held twice a year and dating to medieval times. Elizabeth, the daughter of Sherri and Kevin Kimery, and Andrew, son of Jana and Tom Marino, both grew up in Memphis. She was at Hutchison, and he graduated from White Station High School, but they had a number of friends in common. They went their separate ways to Mississippi universities—Elizabeth to Ole Miss and Andrew to Mississippi State. After college where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in accounting, Elizabeth moved to Atlanta for several years. Once back home, she and Andrew began dating and after two years decided to get married. From the outset, the couple knew they wanted a small destination wedding with only their closest friends on the guest list. As Elizabeth likes to say, “she didn’t want anyone there that she didn’t know well enough to have a conversation with.” Consideration was given to Napa Valley as well as the mountains of Colorado, the latter being at the suggestion of Andrew’s two brothers who envisioned daredevil activities over the wedding weekend. Elizabeth immediately nixed that idea as she had visions of injured guests. Italy always loomed large in her mind for a couple of

90 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

reasons. She had loved studying in Florence before her junior year in college and fallen in love with the country. In addition, it made sense because Andrew’s family heritage was Italian. As we all know, it is one thing to have a dream, but it is another to have the stamp of parental approval. This meant that Elizabeth’s father Kevin Kimery had to be on board with the plan. While he was certainly open to considering it, he needed convincing. Luckily the deal was sealed when Elizabeth discovered the luxury Italian wedding planners, The Tuscan Wedding. Their Florence-based planner Daniela Tripodi was especially skilled in working with clients from abroad, and her vision and expertise led her to conclude that the Dievole Wine Resort would be the perfect setting for the Kimery/Marino wedding. The venue, situated in the Tuscan hills just twelve kilometers from Siena, Italy had all the romance, beauty and character the couple envisioned, not to mention the most amazing food and wine. The contract was duly signed and the family went to Italy in December of 2018 to plan the wedding in a remarkable two-day whirlwind—sun up to sundown—as Elizabeth’s mother, Sherri, characterizes the process. Makeup artists, florists, lighting specialists and other behind-the-scenes participants in the wedding were from Florence, though Memphis vendors played a large part as well. The Stovall Collection’s Jody Geary was responsible for all the paper products, including invitations, gift bags, napkins and cups. Sherri Kimery says the “level of detail

Mother of the bride, Sherri Kimery helping Elizabeth with her dress.

The bride with her bridal party, left to right: matron of honor, Elizabeth Pittard and sisters Kathryn, Rachel and Margaret. DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 91

The newly united Kimery and Marino families.

and artistry was extraordinary.” Rachel Fisher did the masterful calligraphy. Elizabeth’s beautiful satin wedding gown was courtesy of Maggie Louise bridal boutique in Collierville, Tennessee. It was finally time for the wedding this past September, and accordingly the magic began for sixty-six lucky guests. What’s more the rain that had been predicted held off and nary a drop fell. All the wedding events, including the welcome pizza party, the rehearsal dinner and the black-tie ceremony and reception were held on the resort’s fabulous property. Family and many of the guests were housed in the historic villa and other outbuildings, and there were opportunities for wine-tasting excursions and other activities. The wedding ceremony itself was held outside at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was set against the backdrop of the rolling hills and iconic cypress trees of Tuscany with distant views of vineyards and olive groves. Elizabeth’s sisters, Kathryn, Rachel and Margaret, were bridesmaids as was close friend Elizabeth Martin Pittard. All wore stylish black satin dresses. The groom’s father, Tom Marino, a former youth minister at Christ Church, Memphis, married the couple which made the wedding even more special. The newlyweds were showered with white rose petals, and guests moved on to the glorious garden reception. The tables were set with antique silver candelabras and vintage Versace plates and shaded by towering

trees. The flowers were by Flowers Living. The wonderful multi-course Italian cuisine was outstanding from the risotto with wild herbs right through to the four-tiered wedding cake by Sugarcups. Later on the music and dancing was courtesy of the talented DJ Matthew. Elizabeth Scott, a close Kimery family friend, was among the guests and beautifully summed up the wedding magic: “What an honor and an amazing treat to be among the fortunate guests for ‘a movie star wedding’ in spectacular Tuscany. The splendor was over the top—sheer perfection—and hard to imagine its magnificence being duplicated anywhere.” The happy couple honeymooned in beautiful Positano, Italy, the scenic cliffside village on the Amalfi coast and of course took a side cruise to the island of Capri with its famed blue grotto. Just over five months later, these busy young professionals are beginning to step off of cloud nine and are hard at work in their new life together. Andrew is a VicePresident with First Horizon Financial, and Elizabeth is a corporate financial analyst at FedEx. With Elizabeth Kimery Marino being the eldest of four sisters, surely there will be more weddings in her family’s future. We can’t help wondering how in the world any nuptials could possibly top this wedding, but we will definitely stay tuned! DM

Elizabeth and Andrew try their hand at cutting the four-tiered cake.

Mother and daughter sharing a happy moment. Don and Elizabeth Scott

Tom and Jana Marino capture a special moment with Andrew.

Proud father, Kevin Kimery sharing a dance with the bride.

430 Perkins Extended memphis, tennessee 901.683.6809 w w w. m e n a g e s t a t i o n e r y. c o m


see beyond GARDENS // COVERED BRIDGE // CHAPEL EXHIBIT HALLS // RENTALS STARTING AT $750 NEW HOTELS NEXT DOOR Union City, Tennesse e discover yparkofamerica.com/we ddings

94 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


2 1


Renaissance Rewrites the Rules of Engagement.





When preparing for your big day, you’ll uncover everything to help create your happily ever after. Aerie ▪︎ Allure Plastics ▪︎ Altar’d State ▪︎ Alterations by Tailor Kim ▪︎ American Eagle ▪︎ Ameritrade ▪︎ Angie’s ▪︎ Ann Taylor LOFT ▪︎ Another Broken Egg Café ▪︎ Anthony Vince’ Nail Salon Anthropologie ▪︎ The Apple Store ▪︎ Aqua the Day Spa BankPlus ▪︎ Barnes & Noble Booksellers ▪︎ Barnette’s Salon Basil’s ▪︎ BellaChes Specialty Gifts ▪︎ Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano ▪︎ Brooks Brothers ▪︎ C Spire Wireless ▪︎ CAET Seafood|Oysterette ▪︎ Chico’s ▪︎ Five Guys Burgers and Fries Francesca’s Collection ▪︎ Free People ▪︎ The Fresh Market Gifts by KPEP ▪︎ Gingersnaps ▪︎ GNC ▪︎ Amy’s Hallmark ▪︎ The Headache Center ▪︎ Highland Park ▪︎ The Hyatt Place Hotel Inside-Out ▪︎ J. Crew ▪︎ J. Jill ▪︎ Jolly Orthodontics ▪︎ Justice for Girls ▪︎ Kendall Poole Event Planning ▪︎ Koestler Prime L’Occitane En Provence ▪︎ Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Libby Story ▪︎ The Little Gym ▪︎ The Little Village Children’s Boutique ▪︎ Local 463 Urban Kitchen ▪︎ Lucky Brand Jeans Material Girls ▪︎ Mindful Therapy ▪︎ Monkee’s ▪︎ Olde Tyme Commissary ▪︎ The Orvis Co. ▪︎ Oswego Jewelers ▪︎ Pandora Panera Bread ▪︎ P.F. Chang’s China Bistro ▪︎ Red Square Clothing Co. ▪︎ Regus ▪︎ Renaissance Cinema Bar & Grill Results Physiotherapy ▪︎ Ridgeland Visitors Center ▪︎ Sand Dollar Lifestyles ▪︎ Sephora ▪︎ SleepStore by Miskelly ▪︎ Smoothie King ▪︎ Soft Surroundings ▪︎ Solstice Sunglass Boutique ▪︎ Soma Intimates ▪︎ Starbucks Coffee Shop ▪︎ Talbots ▪︎ Traditional Jewelers ▪︎ Vintage Wine Market ▪︎ Whimsy Cookie Co. ▪︎ White House|Black Market ▪︎ Williams-Sonoma ▪︎ Zea Rotisserie & Bar

FIND US ON FACEBOOK I-55 at Old Agency Road, Ridgeland, Mississippi | 601.519.0900

See all our retail stores and restaurants online at www.RenaissanceAtColonyPark.com For leasing information, contact The Mattiace Company at 601.352.1818. DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 95

Mixed Metals

Multi-metal stacks in rose gold, yellow gold and white gold. jewelerschoiceinc.com

Star Studded

Inset with diamonds and a beaded edge, these bands are available in a variety of metals, by Paragon. lynbarjewelers.com

Return of Retro

The marquise cut is making a serious comeback! Platinum marquise diamond ring with inset side stones. vanatkins.com

Verdant Envy

Custom made ring with a cushion shaped emerald center stone, and half moon diamond accent stones. diamondbrokersofmemphis.com

with this R


Something Blue

Custom made engagement ring set with a cushion shaped sapphire, medium royal blue in color, with a platinum diamond and sapphire band. rossonco.com

Nothing shows personal style like your wedding ring. Inspiration from todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popular trends will help you make your selection.

Mellow Yellow

Double halo mounting, modern in style, set with a fancy intense yellow cushion shaped diamond. rossonco.com

sing SA u terials U e a th e in led m Mad recyc % 100

Hammer Time

White gold carved wedding band, featuring a hammered finish center and high polish rounded edges. diamondbrokersofmemphis.com

Feeling Fancy

Ultra feminine and intricate yellow gold diamond wedding set. sissyslogcabin.com

Something New Timeless Style

This black titanium ring has a latticed link pattern framed by drop bevel edges, by Benchmark. diamondbrokersofmemphis.com

Classic menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diamond ring in yellow gold. sissyslogcabin.com

Stackable Statement

Make a statement with these white gold french pavĂŠ diamond stackable bands. jewelerschoiceinc.com

96 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Black metal bands for men are all the rage!


an invitation

to your new beginning.

• Premier Lodging

• East Cove Conference Center

• On-site Dining & Catering

• East Cove Park and Pavilion

• Turtle Cove Spa

• Micah’s Point Pavilion

• On-site Event Coordinator

• Other Lakeside Venues


F U L L - S E R V I C E




Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa on Lake Ouachita • MountainHarborResort.com • 870-867-2191 • 800-832-2276

98 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Wedding Planning | Event Design | Month of Coordination Oxford, MS | 662.307.4404 www.EllenThomasEventDesign.com | @EllenThomasEventDesign


 Â?Â?Â?Â? Â? ­Â&#x20AC; Â&#x201A;Â&#x192;Â&#x201E;


| 99

Angel-Lawrence, Austin Gros Photography

wedded bliss Morris-Collins, The Kenneys

Bass-Poe, b. flint photography 100 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Beckham-Gulledge, b. flint photography

Bailey-Bratton, Katelyn Anne Photography

Tollison-Redd, Brian Moats Photography DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 101

Bennett-Everett, Allison Pedigo Photography

Bruton-Roberson, b. flint photography

Felty-Melton, The Hatches Photography

Jones-Tweedle, Skelton Photographie

Derrington-Rushing, Dark Alley Productions 102 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Grisham-Strowd, Leigh Carter Photography

Cutts-Threet, Heritage Heart Company

Jamison-Williams, Christy G Creative Photography

Fontenont-Herro, April and Paul Photography

Felty-Melton, The Hatches Photography

Janous-Provenza, Beth Giachelli Photography

Dunavant Crawford, Followell Fotography 104 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Angel-Lawrence, Austin Gros Photography

Howe-Bates, Erin Wilson Photography

Knight-Ward, Delta Love Photography


| 105

Hogan-Culver, Ashley Upchurch Photography

Fontenont-Herro, April and Paul Photography

Janous-Provenza, Beth Giachelli Photography Rogers-Whalen, b. flint photography 106 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

103 Courthouse Square Oxford,Mississippi



Stephen Hawking


Where are You in Your Life?


Gary Gainspoletti

Russell Gainspoletti

Brandyn Skeen

Jennifer Pongetti

CFP®, CPA, Branch Manager gary@gainspolettifinancial.com

CFP®, CPA Investment Advisor Representative russell@gainspolettifinancial.com

Investment Advisor Representative brandyn.skeen@raymondjames.com

Administrative Assistant JPongetti@gainspolettifinancial.com

2042 McIngvale Road Hernando, MS 662-429-4436

805 West Sun ower Road Cleveland, MS 662-843-6090

Securities o ered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are o ered through Raymond James Financial Services, Advisors, Inc. Gainspoletti Financial Services is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.


| 107

Let Hotel Vue and The Pilot House host your special day.

From a spectacular wedding extravaganza to an intimate ceremony, we can make your event special, affordable and executed to the highest standard. Delight your senses with our extraordinary view, chef-driven menu and full-service bar. For more information about hosting events at Hotel Vue, please contact Sarah Lindsey Laukhuff, Director of Sales, at 601.442.9976 or slaukhuff@mmihg.com


108 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

EXPERIENCE THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA through prehistoric fossils, Native American pottery, Civil War history, cotton farming and regional art. • 12,000-year-old Mastodon • 14th Century Pottery

• Spanish Colonial Beads • World War II • Civil War

• Swamp Room • Art Gallery

• Children’s Discovery Room

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


| 109

Rogers-Whalen, b. flint photography

Long-Davis, Taylor Square Photography

Angel-Lawrence, Austin Gros Photography 110 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Long-Davis, Taylor Square Photography

Sanders-Mansour, Taylor Square Photography

Kroeger-Maxey, Romanza Photography


| 111

Felty-Melton, The Hatches Photography

Kroeger-Maxey, Romanza Photography Knight-Ward, Delta Love Photography

Bruton-Roberson, b. flint photography

112 | MARCH/APRIL 2020





| 113

114 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 115

Lowery-Bellipani, Emily Songer Photography

Salem-Houff, Aleea Burge Photography

Lowery-Bellipani, Emily Songer Photography

116 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Morris-Collins, The Kenneys

Luckett-Salem, Patrick Remington Photography

Bailey-Bratton, Katelyn Anne Photography Beckham-Gulledge, b. flint photography


| 117

118 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Where Love Stories Start Beautifully

shop online at sissyslogcabin.com DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 119

Wilkinson-Smith, Patrick Remington Photography

Morris-Collins, The Kenneys

Derrington-Rushing, Dark Alley Productions

Tollison-Redd, Brian Moats Photography 120 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Luckett-Salem, Patrick Remington Photography

Bruton-Roberson, b. flint photography

Beckham-Gulledge, b. flint photography


| 121

something blue Say “I Do” at Graduate Oxford

400 N Lamar Blvd • 662 234 3031 graduatehotels.com/oxford • info@graduateoxford.com

122 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 123

Jamison-Williams, Christy G Creative Photography Kroeger-Maxey, Romanza Photography

Howe-Bates, Erin Wilson Photography 124 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Felty-Melton, The Hatches Photography

Grisham-Strowd, Leigh Carter Photography

MacMillan-Hogan, Happy Bloom Photography


| 125


Mississippi Delta Hospitality At Its Best

Bed & Breakfast Event Center Check availability for overnight accommodations on our website: www.thompsonhousebb.com Call 662.820.STAY (7829) for event rental information. Leland, Mississippi 126 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Thousands of Gowns Sizes 2-32 | Special Plus Size Boutique Area Personal Consultant for Each Bride S E M I - A N NUA L 1 / 2 P R I C E S A L E July 7 - August 8 BRINKLEY, ARKANSAS Appointment required. Please call 870.734.3244 and visit lowsbridal.com


| 127

Wilkinson-Smith, Patrick Remington Photography

Cutts-Threet, Heritage Heart Company

Roark-Steinle, Lindsay Ott Photography 128 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Bass-Poe, b. flint photography

Luckett-Salem, Patrick Remington Photography

Wilkinson-Smith, Patrick Remington Photography

MacMillan-Hogan, Happy Bloom Photography

Hogan-Culver, Ashley Upchurch Photography

Morris-Collins, The Kenneys Wirtz-Salem, Christina Cannon Foto DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 129


Whatever your style...

Sarah Beth Photography

Start your story here! VISITNATCHEZ.ORG 800.647.6724

located in greenville • rebekahcaraway.com • instagram: @rebekahcaraway.designandpaper

130 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

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 â&#x20AC;˘ 662.335.1941 DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 131

Sanders-Mansour, Taylor Square Photography Wirtz-Salem, Christina Cannon Foto

MacMillan-Hogan, Happy Bloom Photography

Roark-Steinle, Lindsay Ott Photography

Luckett-Salem, Patrick Remington Photography Sanders-Mansour, Taylor Square Photography 132 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Hogan-Culver, Ashley Upchurch Photography

Bass-Poe, b. flint photography

Cutts-Threet, Heritage Heart Company

Morris-Collins, The Kenneys DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 133

Dunavant Crawford, Followell Fotography Bass-Poe, b. flint photography

Roark-Steinle, Lindsay Ott Photography

Bruton-Roberson, b. flint photography

Jones-Tweedle, Skelton Photographie

Fontenont-Herro, April and Paul Photography 134 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Dunavant Crawford, Followell Fotography Janous-Provenza, Beth Giachelli Photography

Grisham-Strowd, Leigh Carter Photography

Roark-Steinle, Lindsay Ott Photography

Fontenont-Herro, April and Paul Photography

Morris-Collins, The Kenneys


| 135

Salem-Houff, Aleea Burge Photography

Long-Davis, Taylor Square Photography

Sanders-Mansour, Taylor Square Photography Luckett-Salem, Patrick Remington Photography

Long-Davis, Taylor Square Photography 136 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Bennett-Everett, Allison Pedigo Photography

Dunavant Crawford, Followell Fotography

Angel-Lawrence, Austin Gros Photography

let them eat Cake

Hogan-Culver, Ashley Upchurch Photography

Bailey-Bratton, Katelyn Anne Photography

Morris-Collins, The Kenneys

Jones-Tweedle, Skelton Photographie 138 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Celebrations in the Southern Tradition Bennett-Everett, Allison Pedigo Photography

Knox House Outdoor Weddings and Receptions 303 SOUTH DEPOT AVENUE | KILMICHAEL, MISSISSIPPI WWW.KNOXHOUSE.COM | TEL 662-508-0020

Fontenont-Herro, April and Paul Photography

Howe-Bates, Erin Wilson Photography DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 139

140 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 141



The White House


Wilson, Arkansas

March 16, 2019

The celebration and blessing of the marriage of Sarah Epstein Angel and

special nod to the groom. The cake featured the Lee Wilson and Company Gin,

Drew Gaylon Lawrence was held on March 16, 2019, at five o’clock in the

cotton fields, and the couple’s beloved dog, Shine. Positioned on a bed of fresh

afternoon at The White House in Wilson, Arkansas.

flowers and decorated with bas relief of floral detailing, the bridal cake featured

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Epstein Angel of Lake Village,

the bride and groom’s married initials on the fifth tier.

Arkansas. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Claudine Chrismond and the late

Sarah and Drew wanted a lively party, and it started with just that. Party on The

RN “Brother” Chrismond of Lake Village, Arkansas. She is also the granddaughter

Moon from Atlanta took to the LED dance floor with drums, horns, singers, and

of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ben Louis Angel of Lake Village, Arkansas.

dancers. Guests danced the night away to a wide array of music bringing all ages

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylon Maurice Lawrence of Wilson,

to the dance floor. After late-night sliders and beignets, the night came to a close

Arkansas. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. James Harold Lawrence of Elaine,

with a spectacular fireworks display overlooking the lake. The bride and groom left

Arkansas. He is also the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Spencer Burrows of Van

to a sea of sparklers in a vintage pale-blue Bentley amid a firework sendoff.

Buren, Missouri, and grandson of the late Mr. Gaylon Maurice Lawrence, senior, of Sikeston, Missouri.

On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a dinner at their home, Wildwood Cottage. Guests walked through an archway of blooming spring

Escorted by her father, the bride wore a white off-the-shoulder gown with

branches, olive, sweet peas, viburnum, and lavender. As they entered the clear-

silk-covered buttons down the back, along with a cathedral-length veil. She

top tent, they were greeted with the smell of gardenias that studded the handmade

carried a bouquet created by Lagniappe of elegant flowers including hyacinths,

garlands crisscrossing the ceiling. The tables were set with hundreds of clear glass

orchids, parrot tulips, and garden roses hand-tied with a keepsake satin ribbon

vases filled with lilac, hellebores, sweet peas, maidenhair fern, and many other

with her married initials and wedding date. Affixed to her bouquet were the bride’s

special blooms. At the end of the tent was a large arrangement of lavender

Kappa Kappa Gamma pin, Delta Debutante pin, an heirloom diamond broach of

delphiniums, hydrangeas, lilacs, and roses. Guests joined after the dinner for a

her grandmother, Sylvia Angel, and a Phi Gamma Delta drop necklace borrowed

post-toast celebration featuring The Mustache Band.

from the groom’s mother, Lisa Lawrence.

After a honeymoon in South Africa, the couple now resides in Wilson, Arkansas.  

Leah Angel Chrismond served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids included Westin Ann Lawrence, Mollie Claire Lawrence, and Anna Ryan Ragland. They

Catering: Chef Jose Gutierrez, River Oakes

wore varying shades of pale pink dresses and carried white bouquets filled with

Rehearsal Dinner Florals: Garden District

garden roses, hyacinth, parrot tulips, and ranunculus.

Decor Rentals: White Door

The groom’s father, Gaylon Lawrence, served as the best man. Groomsmen included Ben Hollis Angel, John Harbard Dodd, junior, James Kevin Johns, John Gray Palmer III, James Allen Sanders III, and Benjamin Taylor Ulmer. Julia Elizabeth Johns, Emily Claire Johns, Ella Elizabeth McElhannon, Ann Marie Sabbatini, Georgia Kathryn Sabbatini, and Ella Reece Wagner served as the flower girls and wore handmade lace gowns and halos of greenery and roses. The girls carried silver baskets filled with roses and hellebores and tied with silk ribbons. The bride and groom were wed beneath a clear-top tent lined with green garland. The altar was an arch of greens and garden roses with a floral backdrop. Surrounded by close friends and family, Methodist minister Gary Yarbrough blessed their marriage.  An intimate cocktail hour followed the nuptials, allowing the bride and groom to celebrate with their loved ones. The reception took place on the lawn of The White House in Wilson.  A series of tents created space for dining and dancing. The tents were decorated by Lagniappe of Greenville in colors of white and pale green. Special details included a scalloped tent awning, tulip chandelier, and an expanse of twinkling lights. The groom’s cake, by The Flour Garden, was a

142 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Photography: Austin Gros Photography and Madeline Beck Videography: Frameblenders


| 143


BAILEY First Presbyterian Church


Cleveland, Mississippi

August 10, 2019

Lauren Elizabeth Bailey and Marshall Tyler Bratton were united in marriage

The flower girl was Anna Hudson Brunetti, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chris

at half past six o’clock in the evening on August 10, 2019, at First Presbyterian

Brunetti of Senatobia, and the ring bearer was Jax Cameron Looney, son of Dr.

Church in Cleveland. The ceremony was officiated by Mr. Tyson Lee of

and Mrs. Ryan Looney of Starkville. Friends of the couple, Melanie Bray of

Germantown, Tennessee.

Cleveland and Mike Richey of Starkville, read Scripture during the ceremony. The

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben (Bubba) Townes Bailey III of Cleveland. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Townes Bailey, junior, of Cleveland, Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Keith Smith of Florence, and Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Gwen Otts of Fulton, Kentucky. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marion Monroe Bratton III of West Point. He is the grandson of Mrs. Bobbie Jo Rhea and the late Mr. James Irvin Rhea of West Point.

bride’s cousin, Elizabeth Vanderloo of Madison, and the groom’s niece, Tyler Carter of West Point, served as program attendants. Following the ceremony, the parents of the bride hosted a reception at Sea Level Oyster House. Upon entering the reception, guests signed pages of the coffee book of their choice: The Delta: Landscapes, Legends and Legacies of Mississippi’s Most

Wedding guests entered and were seated to musical selections provided by

storied Region or Mississippi: Photographs by Ken Murphy. Fresh Cut Catering

Victoria Beyea, harpist, Svetlana Kaltchenko, violinist, and Nan Lawrence, flutist.

& Floral of Jackson provided incredible floral design as well as delicious food

Given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father, the bride wore

such as bacon-pudding dip, fruit platters, carving station, charcuterie boards,

an ivory mermaid gown from the Bridal Path in Jackson. The gown featured a

and a raw bar with a variety of shrimp, oysters, and crab claws. Donut holes,

low scoop back with an illusion deep V-front finished with silk buttons and a

chicken and waffles, and sausage biscuits were served as a unique late-night

crystal adorned sash. The bride wore her great grandmother’s guardian angel

snack for guests. The five-tiered bridal cake consisted of alternating layers of red

pin on her veil. The bride’s hair and make-up were done by Anna Nicole

velvet, strawberry, and almond flavors. The groom’s cake was a three-tiered

Underwood of West Ten Salon in Starkville. Her bouquet was filled with white

chocolate ganache cake decorated in a golf theme. Cole Ellis created both of

French peonies, blush roses, ranunculus, and chrysanthemums. For the

the cakes. The bride and groom shared a first dance to the song “Always” by

reception, the bride replaced her veil with a beaded comb made from her

Frank Sinatra. Guests joined them for dancing and celebrating with music

mother’s veil.

provided by the Phunky Monkeys of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The groom wore a custom MaxDavoli Baroni midnight-blue tuxedo from George Sherman Clothiers with a single button, shawl satin collar, and satin black stripe along the outside seam of the trousers. The groom’s shirt was a Mizzen + Main formal shirt with an open collar. The groom donned formal shoes from Ted

On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner for the wedding party at the Cotton House Hotel. On Saturday morning a bridesmaids’ brunch was hosted at Cotton House Rooftop by Candy Davis, Burnice Eley, Margaret Loper, Paige Suares, and Beth Vanderloo.

Baker and a customized white linen pocket square with black trim and a

Ellen Thomas Event Design of Oxford was the wedding consultant. Katelyn

signature “B” sewn into the center—a gift also worn by each of the groomsmen.

Anne Photography of Clinton and videographer Dear Little Films of Oxford

Complementing the groom’s attire was a David Yurman sterling silver bracelet

captured memories of the evening. The bride and groom departed under a

with black diamonds worn on the left wrist—a wedding-day gift from the bride.

canopy of white and gold rose petals. After a European honeymoon highlighted

Attending the bride as maid of honor was her sister, Taylor Ann Bailey of

by stops in Florence and Rome, Italy, as well as relaxing along the French Riviera,

Cleveland. Bridesmaids were Sara Meagan Bray of Houston, Texas; Brittany

the couple returned to their home in Starkville.

Fratesi Brozovich of Leland; Allison Bratton Carter of West Point; Catherine Dilgren Diaz of Clinton; Peyton Alise Dixon of Cleveland; Nikiko Taylor Eisgruber

Catering: Fresh Cut Catering and Floral

of Nashville, Tennessee; Lauren Taylor Hackney of Cleveland; Christen Braswell

Cake: Cole Ellis

Jones of Houston, Texas; and Mary Margaret Newsome of Wellington, Florida.

Floral Design: Fresh Cut Catering and Floral

Each bridesmaid wore a full-length navy, off-the-shoulder dress by Dessy.

Entertainment: The Phunky Monkeys

The groom’s son, Maddux Beau Bratton, served as best man. Groomsmen

Hair and Makeup: West Ten Salon

were Marion Monroe Bratton III of West Point; Justin Kyle Brewer of Meridian;

Invitations and Stationery: Fresh Ink

Daniel Patrick Brown of Starkville; Justin Brent Davis of West Point; Robert Ryan

Photography: Katelyn Anne Photography

Looney of Starkville; Brandon Ellis McGarity of West Point; Christopher George

Videography: Dear Little Films

Nasuti of Starkville; Matthew James Roberts of Starkville; and Wheeler Timothy Timbs IV of Indianola.

144 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 145



First United Methodist Church


Clarksdale, Mississippi

October 26, 2019

Kate Hollis Bass and Dustin Caleb Poe Bride’s Parents: Brent and Bridgette Bass Groom’s Parents: Jennifer Williams and Wayne Poe Wedding Gown: Elle James Bridal Reception Venue: Clarksdale Country Club Floral Design: Elizabeth Spencer Designs Caterer: Elizabeth Heiskell Catering

146 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cake: The Turquoise Chandelier Entertainment: Stylish the Band Hair and Makeup: Forrester Faces Invitations and Stationery: Gifts by KPEP Photography: b. flint photography


BECKHAM First Presbyterian Church


Greenwood, Mississippi

Aubrey Field Beckham and William Morgan Gulledge III were united in marriage at half past six o’ clock on the evening of April 6, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood. The double-ring ceremony was officiated by the Reverend Doctor Fred Craven “Rusty” Douglas, junior. Nuptial music was presented by Reverend Doyne Ray Smithee. Soloists were Shannon Brininger Melton and Paul Vance Brown. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Field Beckham of Greenwood. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Oscar Elmer Slade, junior, and the late Mr. Slade of Meridian and the late Mr. and Mrs. Ray Field Beckham of Leland. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Morgan Gulledge, junior, of Greenwood. He is the grandson of Mrs. Grover Lee Kyle and the late Mr. Kyle of Minter City and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Morgan Gulledge of Leland. Escorted by her father, the bride wore the ivory silk faille de soie gown “Alina” by Amsale. The strapless, slim fit-to-flare gown featured soutache embroidered lace appliques on the bodice and chapel train. Her custom cathedral veil was edged with French alençon lace. She wore her maternal grandmother’s and maternal aunt’s pearl bracelets. Her cascading bouquet of white phalaenopsis orchids was wrapped in her paternal grandmother’s and maternal grandmother’s handkerchiefs. Serving as matron of honor was her sister, Allison Beckham Swanson. Bridesmaids were Danielle Johns Bristol, Catherine Layne Crader, Lauren Adams Dale, Margaret Ross Long, Marlee West Miller, Ashley Gragson Myers, Mary-Crosby Roberts, Hannah McGavock Thach, and Meghann Elise Gulledge Yee. They wore individually chosen styles of long navy chiffon gowns and carried bouquets of white orchids. Lillian Taylor Thach was the flower girl. William Morgan Gulledge, junior, served his son as best man. Groomsmen were Ryan Timothy Burt, Joshua Gerrard Crump, Bryce Steven Daves, James Andrew

April 6, 2019

Hull, Robert Allen McKnight, William Green Poindexter, Kyle McBride Thach, William Ross Weems, and Andrew Sturdivant Wilbourn. The bride’s proxy was Natalie Taylor Chase. Scripture readers were Haley Crosby Carpenter and Ann Clark Masterson. Program attendants were Anastasia Morgan Beckham and Sarah Emily Slade. Pryor Lott Hackleman was the wedding coordinator. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception on Front and Main Streets overlooking the Yazoo River in downtown Greenwood. Fresh Cut Catering and Floral catered and designed the street party venue incorporating lavish arrangements of cherry blossoms, orchids, and airy branches within contemporary structural grids towering above the food and beverage vignettes. Guests were entertained by Rhythm Nation of Atlanta, Georgia. The couple was honored by their parents’ friends with an engagement party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Noel Barrett in February. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Historic Elks Building in downtown Greenwood. Friends and family hosted a post-toast after-party, also at the Elks, following the rehearsal. Following a honeymoon in Costa Rica, the bride and groom are at home in Memphis, Tennessee. Catering and Floral Design: Fresh Cut Catering and Floral Cake: Becky Thompson of CAKE Hair: Kenneth Moore Makeup: Tiffany Bishop Invitations and Stationery: mak B & Co. Photography: b. flint photography DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 147


BENNETT Christ Church Frederica

Presley Scott Bennett of Oxford and Robert Ford Everett of St. Simons Island, Georgia, were married Saturday, March 2, 2019, at six o’clock in the evening at Christ Church Frederica in St. Simons Island with the Reverend Wright Culpepper and Father Thomas Purdy officiating. Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Russell Scott Bennett of Clarksdale and Mr. and Mrs. James David Everett of Alys Beach, Florida. Grandparents of the couple are Mr. Ronald Gwyn Scarbrough and the late Mrs. Lula Clifford Scarbrough of Jackson, Tennessee, and Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. Bennett of Clarksdale, the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bowers of Pembroke, Georgia, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Edwin Everett of Macon, Georgia. The bride was given in marriage by her father, Rusty Bennett. She wore a spaghetti strap gown in white. The gown featured a stunning embossed all over of a floral design, and the sweetheart bodice was fitted and accented on the seams. The A-line gown featured a chapel-length train. She wore a single layer chapel-length veil. She carried a loose European hand-tied bouquet of white peonies, ranunculus, stock, cream garden roses, and lisianthus finished with natural greenery and French wired ribbons. A photo locket of her maternal grandmother was pinned in the bouquet. Abbey Fratesi of Oxford served as her matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Taylor Armstrong, Ashley Freeman, and Kalynn Marley, all of Clarksdale; Allison Britt and Courtney Kroeger, both of Indianola; Kristen Strickland of Canton, Georgia; and Kaitlyn True and Taylor Walhood, both of Oxford. The bridesmaids wore spaghetti strap floor-length chiffon gowns in grey featuring simple sheath-style silhouettes. They carried French-tied bouquets of white ranunculus, cream garden roses, lisianthus, and stock finished with a touch of local greenery.

148 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


St. Simons Island, Georgia

March 2, 2019

James Everett, father of the groom, served as best man. Groomsmen were Samuel Armstrong II of Clarksdale; George Baird and Michael Giery of St. Simons Island, Georgia; Lanier Bonner of Memphis, Tennessee; Alvin Elrod, junior, Talmadge Everett, and Gordon Revels, all of Brunswick, Georgia; and Jonathan Walhood of Oxford. Flower girls were Amelia Lunceford of Clarksdale and Evelyn Stephenson of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Ring bearers were Seth Lunceford of Clarksdale and Reece Stephenson of St. Simons Island, Georgia. They wore matching custom white lace clothing from Pieces by Tamm. A reception was held at the Frederica Golf Club immediately following the ceremony. Guests were welcomed inside the clubhouse and outside around the lawn, which was covered by a large clear tent spanning the property and overlooking the prestigious golf course. Stunning flower arrangements were completed by Stratton Hall in Brunswick, and guests were entertained by City Heat of Atlanta, Georgia. All enjoyed glow-in-the-dark fun with sunglasses necklaces and more! On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia. After a honeymoon to Anguilla, the couple resides in McAllen, Texas, where the bride is a speech therapist and the groom is a United States Border Patrol agent. Wedding Gown: Lela Rose from Maggie Louise Bridal Cake: Mary Ann Daniels Hair and Makeup: Felicia Cammon Invitations and Stationery: Gifts by KPEP Photography: Allison Pedigo


CUTTS Palafox Marina Yacht


Pensacola Bay, Florida

Surrounded by the pristine blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, Meg Cutts and Blake Threet exchanged wedding vows. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, on the bow of a Riviera yacht from the Palafox Marina. A small, intimate circle of family and friends shared the memorable occasion with the couple on the yacht captained by Sean Garrison. Meg is the daughter of Jay and Meri Cutts of Coila. Her maternal grandparents are Ellis and Janie Harris of Tchula. Paternal grandparents are Buck and Linda Harris and the late L.T. Cutts, junior, all of Greenwood. Blake is the son of Billy Threet of Greenville and Candi Johnson of Leland. His maternal grandparents are Paul and Diane Johnson of Greenville. Paternal grandparents are Luther and Alline Threet, also of Greenville. Reverend Bryan Adams officiated the Christian ceremony. Meg looked exquisite in her short white lace wedding dress with a floor-length tulle overlay. The lace bodice had a beautiful beaded v-neck. Her bouquet was a lovely arrangement of pale pink Gerbera daisies, white roses, and peonies. The bride’s brother, Jacob Cutts, was her attendant, and the groom’s brother, Brandon Threet, served as best man. Following the late afternoon wedding, guests joined the happy couple for a reception at the Barkley House overlooking Pensacola Bay in historic Pensacola. Established in 1825, the Barkley House is the oldest surviving high-house in the city. The beautiful grounds and spectacular view from this aged Florida highhouse added to the aesthetic pleasure of the gathering as did the lovely arrangements of white hydrangeas, snapdragons, calla lilies, and spider lilies. Guests enjoyed an array of cool summer hors d’oeuvres, gulf shrimp, and beef

July 17, 2019

tenderloin. The triple-layer buttercream wedding cake was lovingly made by the bride’s mother. On August 3, 2019, Meg’s parents hosted a fun-filled event for the newlyweds at the Elks Lodge in Greenwood. Family and friends were welcomed by Jay and Meri Cutts into a rustic but beautiful setting with limelight hydrangeas, elaeagnus, and lighted candles. A large buffet table of Southern catfish prepared by Gary Bright greeted the palates of guests as they entered the dining room. Tom Buller and his band Just Plain Trouble from Nashville, Tennessee, entertained guests during the evening. The lively country music made the night of eating, dancing, and fellowshipping with Meg and Blake a very delightful experience for all those attending. The couple is now at home in Itta Bena. Blake is employed by Taylor Farms of Itta Bena, and the bride is employed by Mississippi State University at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Cake: Meri Cutts Photography: Heritage Heart Company


| 149



First Baptist Church


Greenville, Mississippi

March 23, 2019

Anne Barry Bruton and James Cooke Robertson III were united in marriage at

the Jackson String Quartet’s string trio and trumpeter. “Surely the Presence of the

six o’clock in the evening on March 23, 2019, at First Baptist Church in Greenville.

Lord” was performed by soloist Emily Carter. Dr. Hudson Michael Frey and James

The double-ring ceremony was performed by Reverend Matthew Daniel Alexander

Wade McCollum, junior, provided the Scripture readings.

before a floral arch that enrobed the church’s baptistry.

A reception, hosted by the parents of the bride, was held at the home of the

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Greg Alan Bruton of Hollandale. She

groom in Indianola. The five-tiered cream-and-white wedding cake was embellished

is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edwin Bruton of Hollandale,

with cascading florals. The bride’s cake was displayed on a silver plateau in the

as well as the late Mr. and Mrs. John Barry Brasfield of Lake Village, Arkansas.

entrance of a French garden inspired tent within the pecan grove. The groom’s cake

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Cooke Robertson, junior, of

was a three-tiered chocolate cake adorned with an assortment of sugared fruit

Indianola. He is the grandson of late Mr. and Mrs. James Cooke Robertson of

garnishes. Ashley Frazier created both of the cakes. Lavish buffets, guest tables,

Indianola and Mr. and Mrs. Richmond Lewis Scott Poindexter, junior, of Inverness.

bars, and lounges created an ethereal evening for guests. Obelisk boxwood topiary

Escorted by her father, the bride was attired in a custom Augusta Jones gown,

trees, cascades of flora, and garlands of lemon leaf were strewn throughout the

exclusive to Carriage House Weddings in Birmingham, Alabama. The ivory gown

space. Compozitionz provided the evening’s musical entertainment. A dance floor

consisted of bateau French Alençon lace, a scalloped-edge neckline with lace cap

with a French-inspired monogram of the couple’s last initial is where they shared

sleeves, and a deep v-back that transitioned down to a soft A-train adorned with

their first dance to the song “Crazy Love.”

lace-covered buttons. Her cathedral-length veil, a family heirloom, was delicately

Amanda and Carl Cottingham of The Pantry Inc. served as wedding consultants

trimmed with lace echoing the lace work in the gown. A silk-satin belt and her

and provided catering and floral design. Brian Flint of b. flint photography and Jeff

grandmother’s art deco earrings completed the look. Complementing the bride’s

Bradt of Jeff Bradt Films captured memories of the evening. Tent and dance floor

ensemble was a bouquet of delicate ivory, white, and blush garden roses, sweet

rentals were provided by Mississippi Tent and Party Rental. The bride and groom

peas, and peonies bound with a pearl wrap.

departed in an antique Chevrolet Impala convertible under a canopy of sparklers.

Attending as matron of honor was Meredith Schilling Morris of Memphis,

On the eve of the wedding, Mr. and Mrs. James Cooke Robertson, junior, hosted a

Tennessee. Bridesmaids included Maddison Bierbaum Bruton, sister-in-law of the

cocktail reception and rehearsal dinner at the Indianola Country Club. Following a

bride, of Leland; Melissa Myers Craig and Mary Margaret Donahoo of Madison;

honeymoon to Moorea and Bora Bora, the couple is at home in Indianola.

Currie Fletcher Rainey of Jackson; Jordan Zachary Goolsby of Birmingham, Alabama; Magan Bruton King of Leland; Marlee West Miller of Jackson; Chaille

Hair: Leslie Box, Kut Works Salon

Clements Munn of Gulfport; Emily Fordice Payne of Jackson; Laura Polk Phillips of

Makeup: April Epps, A. Renee Makeup Artistry

Madison; Allie Gamble Roach of Vicksburg; Mary Nelson Robertson, sister of the

Invitations and Stationery: Rebekah Caraway

groom, of Starkville; and Shelby Waters Sartain of Madison. Ms. Mary Kimble

Calligraphy: Ellen Frye

Bridgers served as the bride’s proxy. Mary Critz Long and Mary Elizabeth Miers

Photography: b. flint photography

served as flower girls wearing floral crowns with ivory sweetheart roses and carrying boxwood and rose pomanders. The bridesmaids wore full-length sateen twill dresses. Their bouquets complemented the bridal bouquet with embellishments of pale pink roses, maidenhair fern, and showers of velvet and satin ribbons to match their gowns. James Cooke Robertson, junior, father of the groom, served as best man. Groomsmen included Don Robinson Baker II of Greenville; Owen Mayo Bruton, brother of the bride, of Leland; William Ervin Cox, junior, of Houston, Texas; Jacob Peter Fisher IV of Corinth; John Walker Gardner of Memphis, Tennessee; Lawrence Wilburn Long of Indianola; John William McPherson III of Madison; Robert Vanlandingham Poindexter, junior, of Athens, Georgia; Mark Christopher Polk of Jackson, Wyoming; John Thomas Robertson, brother of the groom, of Indianola; and Neal Carter Wise of Jackson. Edwin Hays Pepper served as ring bearer and carried a custom-designed velvet pillow with antique embroidery. A selection of ceremonial music was presented by pianist Kyle Beckham and

150 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 151


DERRINGTON Belmont Mansion

Nashville, Tennessee


May 19, 2019

Cecilia Boyd Derrington and Sidney Russell Rushing Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Boyd (father deceased) Groom’s Parents: Mr. And Mrs. Thomas L. Rushing (both deceased) Wedding Gown: Madeline Gardner Reception Dinner: Amerigo

152 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Floral Design: Pugh’s Flowers Catering: Carolyn’s Homestyle Kitchen Cake: Publix Photography: Dark Alley Productions


DUNAVANT First Baptist Church


Indianola, Mississippi

February 16, 2019

Ann Kathryn Dunavant and Marshall Holloway Crawford III Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paul Dunavant Groom’s Parents: Ms. Marjorie Wandel Crawford and Mr. Marshall Holloway Crawford, II Wedding Gown: Nardos Design; Dallas, Texas Reception Venue: Catfish Point on the Mississippi River Floral Design: Amanda Cottingham, The Pantry Inc. Catering: The Pantry Inc.

Cake: Lou Toole Entertainment: Right On Band Hair and Makeup: Tracy Branch Agency Invitations and Stationery: Caraway Designs Artist and Calligrapher: Vicki Pentecost Photography: Followell Foto


| 153



Tunica United Methodist Church


Tunica, Mississippi

November 9, 2019

Hannah Marie Felty and Joseph Raymond Melton Bride’s Parents: Mrs. Mary Beth Felty Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Richard Melton Wedding Gown: Oleg Cassini Reception Venue: Tunica River Park Floral Design: Angela’s Flowers Gifts and Events Catering: Me and My Tea Room

154 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cake: Alice Chow Entertainment: The Soul Shockers Hair and Makeup: Katie Raburn and Janna Travis Invitations and Stationery: Minted Photography: The Hatches


GRISHAM First Baptist Church


Indianola, Mississippi

February 16, 2019

Lauren Lynn Grisham and William Wesley Strowd Bride’s Parents: Ms. Julie Grisham and Mr. Steve Grisham Groom’s Parents: Ms. Stephanie Strowd and Mr. Bill Strowd Wedding Gown: Low’s Bridal and Formal Reception Venue: B.B. King Museum Floral Design: Flowers and Décor by Emily Black, Debra Weems, and Carol Linker Catering: Gary Lott, Sookie’s Catering; and Corey Ellis Smith

Cake: Cakes by Shelaine Fulton Entertainment: John Sutton Band Hair: K’Lee Shipp and Jennifer Shipp Makeup: April Epps Invitations and Stationery: Customized by Zazzle Photography: Leigh Carter Photography


| 155


FONTENOT Belmont Plantation

156 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Greenville, Mississippi


November 17, 2018

Kristin Nicole Fontenot and Anthony Joseph Herro Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stephen Fontenot, Jr. Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Antoine Herro Wedding Gown: Maternal grandmother’s gown also worn by mother Reception Venue: Belmont Plantation Floral Design: Lavish Fleur Cake: Carol Hunter

Catering: Downtown Grille Entertainment: Style Entertainment Hair and Makeup: Whitney Brewer Invitations and Stationery: Rebekah Caraway Photography: April and Paul Photography


| 157


HOGAN Home of the Bride


Greenwood, Mississippi

October 26, 2019

Allie Ingram Hogan and Walker Hill Culver Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tackett and Mr. Ben Miles Hogan, II Groom’s Parents: Ms. Marion Buchanan and Mr. and Mrs. David Marl Culver Wedding Gown: Sachin & Babi Reception Venue: Home of the Bride Catering and Floral Design: The Pantry Inc Cake: The Pantry Inc

158 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Entertainment: The DMP Band Hair: Madeleine Barnett and Kayla Walker, Barnette’s Salon Makeup: Rivers Countiss and Caroline Barnette Invitations and Stationery: Fresh Ink Photography: Ashley Upchurch



Fondren Church


Jackson, Mississippi

Elizabeth Howe of Helena, Arkansas, originally of Minter City, and Matthew Bates of Greenville were united in marriage at five o’clock in the afternoon on February 16, 2019, at Fondren Church in Jackson. Reverend Nicholas Crawford officiated the ceremony. Elizabeth is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Howe of Helena. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Sam Howe of Helena and the late Dr. and Mrs. Robert Bledsoe of Greenville. Matthew is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Bates of Greenville. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Niles Bates of Florence, Alabama, Mrs. Burneil Goolsby and the late Mr. Burneil Goolsby of New Albany. Traditional hymns were played by pianist Mary Catherine Fehrenbacher. Vocalists Katie Porterfield, Caroline Stephens, and Elizabeth Stephens performed “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” after Scriptures were read by Cambrey Bates and Courtney Parrish. Candles were lit on the altar in memory of the couple’s grandparents, Jodie Bledsoe and Matt McGregor, junior. The bride wore a traditional modest wedding gown by Essence of Australia complemented with a belt and birdcage hairpiece. The bride was given in marriage by her father. Attending the bride were her bridesmaids Katie Morgan, Alanna Britton, Megan DeLockery, Mabry Hawkins, Hannah Nichols, Martha Mims Rodgers, Elizabeth Stephens, and Holly Whaley. Lauren Ghahremani served as the bridal proxy. Program attendants were Kingsley Kate Whaley and Bay Brooks Christine. Madelyn Howe and Alyssa Grabowski served as flower girls. The groom was accompanied by his father, Terry Bates, alongside groomsmen Kyle Bass, Preston Bates, Travis Donald, Sam Howe, Chris Harkins, Donald Manning, and Will Parrish. Serving as ushers were Griffin Christine, Loyd

February 16, 2019

Cooper, Tripp Halbert, Richard Morgan, and Brandon Williams. Carter Grabowski and Andy Morgan were ring bearers. Following the ceremony, a reception was held a short walk away at Duling Hall in the Fondren district. The event was catered by Pretty Presentations Catering & Event Rentals of Meridian and featured five food stations: Delta, dips, early bird, grill, and, in true Bates fashion, a fishing station for children in attendance. Close family friends at Grapevine Catering and Floral of Greenwood designed flowers and cakes. Both Grapevine and Pretty Presentations assisted the bride in planning the event. Erin Wilson Photography of Clarksville, Arkansas, photographed the event. Ben Johnson of Alpha Tents handled tents and lighting while 1-900 of Memphis played Motown throughout the night. Stephanie Cummins of Brandon served as the wedding coordinator. Special foods such as Carolyn Bledsoe’s biscuits and molasses, Doe’s hot tamales, and Shipley’s donut Holes helped bring the couple’s love for the Delta to Jackson. Aunts of the bride held a bridal luncheon Friday in Brandon. Afterward, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Iron Horse Grill in downtown Jackson. Following the dinner, a toast with the bride and groom took place at the King Edward Hotel. The bridal party prepared for the day at the bride’s home in Madison, while the gentlemen were at the King Edward. The couple resides in Madison. Wedding Gown: Low’s Bridal Hair and Makeup: Christina Crowley, Tami Hawkins and Rebecca Brewer Invitations and Stationery: Bride designed; printed via Mingo Press Photography: Erin Wilson Photography


| 159



El Paso County Courthouse


El Paso, Texas

March 14, 2019

Emily Ann Jamison and Chandler Gurley Williams Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Jamison Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Mark Anthony Williams Reception Venue: Anson11 Floral Design: JoAnn Gates, grandmother of the bride

160 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Catering: Anson11 Entertainment: Anson11 pianist Invitations and Stationery: Cucumber Castle Photography: Christy G Creative Photography



The Baby Doll House


Benoit, Mississippi

October 26, 2019

Lindsey Blanton Janous and Stephen Michael Provenza Bride’s Parents: Mr. Harold Janous and Mrs. Mary Janous Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. John Howard Provenza and Mrs. Ruth Ann Brent Wedding Gown: Low’s Bridal Reception Venue: The Baby Doll House Floral Design: Sarah and Sherry Smythe

Cake: Ashley Mahalitc Frazier Entertainment: Style Entertainment Hair: Morgan Lang Makeup: Charlie McGaugh and Katie Beth Maddox Photography: Beth Giachelli Photography


| 161


JONES The Grammy Museum


Cleveland, Mississippi

October 26, 2019

Macye-McCall Raven Jones and Johnny Marlin Tweedle, II Bride’s Parents: Mr. Ken Jones and Mrs. Jo Ann Green Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Marlin Tweedle, II Wedding Gown: Nena from Matthew Christopher Reception Venue: The Grammy Museum Floral Design: Jennifer Armstrong, Stephanie Jordan, and Kimberly Walker Neighbors; Delta Party Rental Catering: Mississippi Grounds & Yo Eddie BBQ

162 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cake: Cakes by Anne Henry Entertainment: The Black Jacket Band Hair: Brandy Grant, Kut Works Salon Makeup: Holly Harrell Beauty Invitations and Stationery: Midnight Vines by Grace Kreinbrink with Minted Photography: Skelton Photographie


KNIGHT The Baby Doll House


Benoit, Mississippi

October 5, 2019

Taylor Carraway Knight and Dusty Jabo Ward Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Nolan Knight Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Ward Wedding Gown: Madison James from Low’s Bridal Reception Venue: The Baby Doll House Floral Design: Delta Party Rental Catering: Joey Lamb

Cake: Carol Hunter Entertainment: The Players Hair and Makeup: Lasa Bennett, Legends Salon Invitations and Stationery: Image Specialist Photography: Delta Love Photography


| 163


KROEGER Beach Front Dreams Resort

Los Cabos, Mexico

Courtney Aleece Kroeger and Cody Wade Maxey were united in marriage at five o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, December 14, 2019, at Dreams Resorts in Los Cabos, Mexico. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lawson Hobart of Clarksdale and Mr. Toby Joseph Kroeger of Houston, Texas. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James William Mason of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, and the late Ms. Connie Lee Kroeger of Houston, Texas. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Wade Maxey. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Leonard Visconti of Indianola, the late Mr. James Burdette Sykes, junior, of Indianola, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Maxey of Inverness. The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father to “I Get to Love You” by Ruelle. The bride wore a fit-and-flare Paloma Blanca gown with a French lace V-neckline and a Paloma satin skirt from Maggie Louise Bridal in Collierville, Tennessee. The cathedral-length veil was accented by a delicate lace trim. Attending the bride as matron of honor was Allison Antici Britt of Indianola. Bridesmaids included Anna Brittain Antici of Ridgeland; Taylor Shaffett Armstrong of Clarksdale; Presley Bennett Everett of McAllen, Texas; Averie Clare Kroeger of Houston, Texas; Erin Nikole Kroeger of Houston, Texas; Lindsay Maxey Massey of Inverness; and Katherine Christine Maxey of Indianola. Serving as the flower girls were Anna Sterling Massey and Sykes Aleece Maxey. The groom’s father, Bobby Wade Maxey, served as his best man. Groomsmen included Austin Rowland Bearden of Inverness; Cody Parker Britt of Indianola; Payton Kornegay Pearson of Belzoni; Matthew Cameron Richardson

164 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


December 14, 2019

of Indianola; Edward Allen Slater of Indianola; and Dalton Rex Sykes of Indianola. Serving as ring bearer was Michael Cameron Massey. Following the ceremony, the parents of the bride hosted a cocktail hour and reception on the Cascade Terrence at Dreams Resort. Guests were greeted with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a mariachi band to start the night off. To begin the reception, the couple danced their first dance to “Marry Me” by Train played by the band KiloMetro. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner on the Oceana Terrence at Dreams Resort. Following a honeymoon to Napa Valley, California, the couple resides in Inverness. Floral Design: Main Event Catering: Dreams Resort Cake: Dreams Resort Entertainment: KiloMetro Photography: Romanza



First United Methodist Church

Margaret Ross Long and Jonathan William Davis were united in holy matrimony at half past six in the evening on May 25, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church in Indianola. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Childress Long of Indianola. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Cooke Robertson of Indianola and Mrs. Lawrence Wilburn Long III and the late Mr. Long of Jackson. The bridegroom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Hollis Davis of Hernando. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a Gabrielle fluted gown from Anna Maier. The off-the-shoulder Alençon lace gown was lined with silk charmeuse that flowed into a dramatic full train. The veil, also worn by her sister, was a cathedral-length Alençon lace mantilla style with scalloped edging that framed the dress. As part of her ensemble, the bride used the same six pence and garter used by her sister, mother, and maternal grandmother in their weddings. Attending the bride as matron of honor was Elizabeth Long Friary of Memphis, Tennessee, sister of the bride. Bridesmaids were Mary-Crosby Roberts of Jackson; Ann Clark Masterson of Tupelo; Haley Crosby Carpenter of Jackson; Jane Critz Long of Indianola; Mary Chandler Neal of Indianola; Anne Barrett Hazard of Jackson, Wyoming; Catherine Layne Crader of Nashville, Tennessee; and Aubrey Beckham Gulledge of Memphis. Attending the bridegroom as best man was Jerry Hollis Davis of Hernando, father of the groom. Groomsmen included Cooper James Sells of Hernando; Lawrence Wilburn Long of Indianola, brother of the bride; Donald Richard Friary, junior, of Memphis; John Thomas Robertson of Indianola; Chase  Hampton


Indianola, Mississippi

May 25, 2019

Williams of Knoxville, Tennessee; Robert William Johnson of Raleigh, North Carolina; Adam Bailey Peters of Batesville; John Wilder Steinert of Memphis; and Brett Hamilton Meeks of Nashville, Tennessee. Henry Richard Friary served as ring bearer, and Anne Childress Friary, Julia Bowes Irene Friary, and Mary Critz Long served as flower girls. Reverend Trey Skaggs officiated the double-ring ceremony. Scripture readers were Jacqueline Taylor Retzer and Thomas George Gresham, junior. Music was presented by Tabor Andrews McDowell, Ric Grant, and members of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. The reception was held following the ceremony at the home of the bride’s parents. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Heathman Plantation Commissary. After a wedding trip to Belize, the couple resides in Memphis where the bride is the business development manager at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the groom practices law. Floral Design: The Pantry Inc. Catering and Cake: The Pantry Inc. Entertainment: The Jimmy Church Band Hair: Whitney Brewer Makeup: Tracy Branch Agency Invitations and Stationery: Stovall Collection Photography: Taylor Square Photography 


| 165



First United Methodist Church of Brookhaven


Brookhaven, Mississippi

December 7, 2019

Emily Katharine Lowery and James Phillip Bellipanni Bride’s Parents: Patrick and Celeste Lowery Groom’s Parents: Joy Bellipanni and the late Jake Bellipanni Wedding Gown: Hayley Paige from Town and Country Bridal Reception Venue: Butterfield Mansion Floral Design and Catering: Elements Catering and Floral Design, Shipp’s Flowers

166 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cake: Teegie’s Sweeteez Entertainment: NOLA Dukes Hair and Makeup: Blush Salon Invitations and Stationery: Minted Photography: Emily Songer Photography


LUCKETT Clarksdale Baptist Church


Clarksdale, Mississippi

March 9, 2019

Malorie Nell Luckett and Jacob Nameh Salem Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Steve Luckett Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Nameh Salem Wedding Gown: Theia Reception Venue: Norman Brown Commons Building at The Cutrer Mansion Floral Design: Sue Griffin Catering: Alexander Pretti & Co.

Cake: Alice Chow Entertainment: Casey Lipe Band Hair and Makeup: Saige Matthews Invitations and Stationery: Embossed Graphics of Texas, Inc. Photography: Patrick Remington Photography


| 167


MACMILLAN St. Luke’s Chapel


Charleston, South Carolina

June 1, 2019

Ellen Grace MacMillan and Miles Leyden Hogan Bride’s Parents: Dr. and Mrs. Patrick MacMillan Groom’s Parents: Mr. Miles Hogan and Mrs. Susie Tackett Wedding Gown: Laine Berry Reception Venue: The Mills House Floral Design: Pretty Petals of Charleston Catering: The Mills House

168 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cake: Ashley Bakery Entertainment: Emerald Empire Band Hair and Makeup: Anna Grace Medford Invitations and Stationery: Alexa Nelson Prints Photography: Happy Bloom


ROGERS The Jefferson


Oxford, Mississippi

February 2, 2019

Sara Beth Rogers and Daniel Adam Whalen Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Seth Rogers Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Whalen Wedding Gown: Elle James Bridal Reception Venue: The Jefferson Floral Design: Oxford Floral Catering: My Michelle’s

Cake: The Turquoise Chandelier Entertainment: Almost Famous Hair and Makeup: Style by Sarah Kate and Blo Dry Bar Invitations and Stationery: Service Printers Photography: b. flint photography


| 169



St. Elizabeth Catholic Church


Clarksdale, Mississippi

September 21, 2019

Mallory Nicole Morris and Brennan Keith Collins were united in marriage on

was a humidor with the groom’s favorite cigars sitting atop a poker table.

Saturday, September 21, 2019, at half past seven o’clock in the evening at St.

Complimentary cigars and monogrammed matches surrounded the cake for

Elizabeth Catholic Church of Clarksdale.

guests. Guests dined on classic Southern fare on buffet-style food tables, and quick

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Joseph Morris of Clarksdale.

bites were provided on twin sideboards. Completing the menu were pasta and

She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Allen Yount of Friars Point and the

crepe stations, along with a table of Italian meats and imported cheeses.

late Mr. and Mrs. Rocco Glynn Morris of Friars Point.

Entertainment was provided by the Creativity Band of Atlanta. At the end of the

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Alan Alderson of Clarksdale and

night, homemade chocolate-filled, cream-filled, and glazed donuts were provided

Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Keith Collins of Yazoo City. He is the grandson of the late Mr.

by Pat Burgos, previous owner of Delta Donut, which is no longer in business but

and Mrs. Arthur Quinn Williams of Clarksdale and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Levern

was a favorite of the bride and groom. As a parting gesture, the bride and groom

Collins of Yazoo City.

provided can coolers personalized with images of their dogs, Lucky and Pixel, and

Escorted by her father, the bride wore an Allure Couture gown that was the

miniature tabasco bottles personalized with their monogram. The couple made their

perfect combination of texture and dimensional detailing. Covered in beaded lace

departure in a vintage white Rolls-Royce amid a firework display, a special gesture

on an English net overlay, the gown featured a sweetheart neckline with off-shoulder

made by the bride’s father.

cap sleeves that wrapped around into a v-cut back. The chapel-style train and

The day before the wedding a bridesmaid’s luncheon was given by the bride’s

cathedral-length veil completed the look. On her right hand, the bride wore her late

grandmother and friends of the bride’s mother at the historic Clark House in

grandmother’s platinum diamond solitaire engagement ring. The bride carried a

Clarksdale. The bride’s mother’s wedding china and crystal were used at the high

bouquet of hand-tied white O’Hara garden roses, blush garden spray roses, David

tea luncheon. That evening the groom’s parents entertained guests at the Clarksdale

Austin Kiera garden roses, white lisianthus, white freesia, Hanoi blush ranunculus,

Country Club with a classic steak dinner and wine bar.

astrantia, astilbe, and fresh jasmine vine. Ava Analyn McKinney and Elizabeth Lucille Laney served as program attendants. Prior to the processional, vocalist Joyce McAlexander sang “Ave Maria.”

Following a twelve-day trip to Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Venice, the couple is home in Clarksdale where the groom is a pipeline technician for Texas Gas and the bride is an optometrist at Cooper-Pang Eye Clinic.

The hymn, “Surely the Presence,” was played by organist Reine Overton as the mothers and grandmothers were escorted down the aisle. Sarah Margaret Chicorelli

Floral Design: Deedra Stone Designs

read Scripture from Tobit and 1 Corinthians during the ceremony. The ends of the

Catering: My Michelle’s

pews were decorated with bouquets of flowers that complemented the bride’s

Cake: Cakes by Mom and Me


Hair: Allen Tubbs, ISH

Attending the bride as maid of honor was Francie Logan Caudell. Olivia Grace

Makeup: Natalie Graham Moore, Makeup by N.G.M.

Alderson, sister of the groom, Allyn Gaston Bailey, Reagan Mitchell Boswell, Jane

Invitations and Stationery: Stovall Collection and RSVP Stationers

Aden Burton, Myles Fava Greenlee, Lydia Kate Luther, and Hannah Shelton Peay

Photography: The Kenneys

served as bridesmaids. Flower girls Sophie Grace Antici and Avery Madeline Murry, cousin of the bride, wore white Strasburg lace dresses and floral crown wreaths created by the floral designer. The groom’s best man was the bride’s brother, Joseph Rock Morris. Groomsmen were Phillip Claude Clegg, James Austin Gaston IV, Charles Dylan Knight, Christopher Dalton Moore, Zachary James Noe, Charles Fredrick Vincent III, and Benjamin Tanner Whatley. Ring bearers were Alexander Rhett Gordon, cousin of the bride, and Charlie Quinn Gullick, cousin of the groom. Following the ceremony, a reception hosted by the bride’s parents began at the Clarksdale Country Club. Guests entered the foyer where the bride’s cake was displayed on a table covered with garden roses that cascaded down the floor-length blush table linen. The couple’s monogram was hand-painted on the gold leaf mirror by artist Meghan Maike. The ballroom’s floor-length center window was outlined with garden spray roses, blush ranunculus, and white freesia. The groom’s cake

170 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 171



St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

172 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Oxford, Mississippi

October 12, 2019

Mary Margaret Roark and Paul Jacob Steinle III Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Fred Elwin Roark Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Jacob Steinle, Jr. Wedding Gown: Romona Keveza from Warren Baron Reception Venue: The Country Club of Oxford Floral Design: The Pantry Inc. Catering: The Country Club of Oxford

Cake: Alice Chow Entertainment: Big City Rhythm Hair and Makeup: Becky Minger and Dallas Nutt Invitations and Stationery: Golden Moments Photography: Lindsay Ott Photography


| 173



Saint Richard Catholic Church

January 12, 2019, at Saint Richard Catholic Church in Jackson. Reverend Nick Adam and Reverend Mike O’Brien officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Nameh and Dawin Salem of Jackson. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. George Victor Abide and the late Mr. Abide of Rogers, Arkansas, and the late Dr. and Mrs. Yacoub Salem of Amioun, Lebanon. The groom is the son of Tony and Nancy Houff of Blacksburg, Virginia. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Smith and the late Mr. and Mrs. Le Roy Houff of Blacksburg.  Escorted by her father, the bride wore an A-line gown of silk shantung with seed pearl embellished straps with a cathedral-length train. She carried a fresh bouquet of white, blush, and ivory colored roses.  Anagrace Sharron Salem served her sister as maid of honor. Serving the groom as best men were his father, Tony Houff, and brother, Eric Michael Houff.  Program attendants were cousins of the bride, Mary Ella Abide and Maramarie Abide. Flower girls were cousins of the bride, Jacqueline Abide and Veronica Abide, and niece of the groom, Sophia Hurt. Scripture readers were Mrs. Lindsey Zepponi Mandara and the groom’s sister, Mrs. Sarah Houff Hurt of Roanoke, Virginia.  Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the church’s Foley Hall. The guests were entertained by the Even Odds Band from Memphis.  On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a dinner at the Capital Club. Entertainment was provided by the Lucky Hand Blues Band. Afterwards, a post-toast was hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Bob Harris and Dr. and Mrs. Kalil Abide.  On the morning of the wedding, a brunch for out-of-town guests was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Collins Wohner. Hosts were Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wofford,

174 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Jackson, Mississippi

January 12, 2019

Mrs. Nancy Lepri, Mr. and Mrs. David Griffith, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Abide, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Abide, and Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Abide. After a honeymoon to the Bahamas, the couple is at home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the bride is a nurse practitioner and the groom is a cardiologist.  Cake: That Special Touch Cakes and Flowers Invitations: Fresh Ink Photography: Aleea Burge Photography


SANDERS Saint Joseph Catholic Church


Greenville, Mississippi

The celebration and blessing of the marriage of Jane Howell Sanders and George Thomas Mansour was held on October 12, 2019, at seven o’clock in the evening at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Greenville. Reverend Bill Henry officiated the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Allen Sanders, junior, of Memphis, Tennessee. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. William Prentiss Howell and the late Mr. William Prentiss Howell of Clarksdale. She is also the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Allen Sanders, senior, of Pontotoc, along with the late Mrs. Patsy Ruth Vanlandingham Sanders of Clarksdale. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Mansour, junior, of Greenville. He is the grandson of Mrs. Thomas Nesbit Spight and the late Mr. Thomas Nesbit Spight of Madison, and the late Mr. and Mrs. George Mansour, senior, of Greenville. Escorted by her father, the bride wore a white Mikado fit-to-flare gown with added buttons down the back designed by Amsale along with a cathedral-length veil. The bride wore teardrop diamond and pearl earrings made my Sara Gabriel. Created by Lagniappe of Greenville, her bouquet of elegant flowers featured amaryllis, parrot tulips, and garden roses tied together with a beautiful monogram satin ribbon sash. Also tied on to her bouquet were the wedding bands of her beloved late maternal grandfather and her paternal grandmother along with her mother-in-law’s first wedding band. Caroline Dale Hillyer, Samantha Edwards Gilbert, and Taylor Shaffett Armstrong served as matrons of honor. Bridesmaids included Abbie Jackson Cox, Alison Gwin Van Brocklin, Cooper Hunter Cunningham, Emily McCree Webb, Haley Elizabeth Gregory, Hannah Lynne Moore, Katherine Walton Axton, Lanie Cumbaa Bridewell, Logan Barnes Barlow, Sarah Horton Virden, Sarah Burnham Kimbrough, and Sydney

October 12, 2019

Dehmer Fields. Erin Elizabeth Pierce and Maggie Turner Black served as program attendants, and Callye Elizabeth Stonebrook and Melissa Kay Barnett read Scripture. The groom’s father, George Mansour, junior, served as the best man. Groomsmen and ushers included Andrew Owen Bridewell, Billy Ernest Elliott III, Frederick Gerard Black, junior, Jacob Anthony Michael, William Jeffrey Mansour, James Allen Sanders III, David Lewis Billingsley III, Luke Walter Quinn IV, Samuel Ryan Elliott, and William Fields Livingston. Ushers were Jesse Quinn Elliott, Michael Horton Mauceli, and Robert Louis Elliott. Emry Eloise Bridewell and Ila Katherine Elliott served as the flower girls wearing halos of greenery and spray roses and carrying pomander balls made of spray roses. William Hendrik Howell and Robert Prentiss Howell served as the ring bearers carrying embroidered Bibles, a gift from the bride and groom. An outdoor tented reception followed the nuptials at the home of the bride’s aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Day Howell in Tribbett, Mississippi. It was beautifully decorated by Lagniappe of Greenville, making the bride’s vision of her perfect wedding come true. Guests were entertained by The Compozitionz band from Jackson. The bride and groom left in a sparkler sendoff. The couple now resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. Catering: Ryan Moore Cake: Ashley Frazier and Dempsey Bakery (Bride had a gluten-free cake) Hair and Makeup: Tracy Branch Agency and Alicia Lee Invitations and Stationery: Lagniappe Photography: Taylor Square Photography


| 175



Westminster Presbyterian Church

Marianna LaNelle Tollison of Greenwood and Frank Howard Redd III of Brandon were united in marriage at half past five in the afternoon on October 12, 2019, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenwood. The Reverend Richard Owens officiated at the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Lee Tollison, senior, of Greenwood. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Guy Brown and the late Reverend and Mrs. Oscar Tollison. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Howard Redd, junior, of Brandon. Trey is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Larry May, senior, of Carthage and Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Hedgepath of Bath Springs, Tennessee. Given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father, the bride wore a strapless mermaid-bodice ivory designer gown. The floor-length gown featured a sweetheart neckline and an illusion back. Lace appliques and Alençon lace completed the fabric. With the gown, she wore an ivory designer veil with a lace edge. She carried a bouquet of blush garden roses accented with flowing foliage of seeded eucalyptus with brunia berries designed by Danny’s Floral Studio. Attending the bride as matron of honor was Abigail Burrow of Jackson. Maid of honor was Ali Evans of Birmingham, Alabama. Bridesmaids were Bethany Alexander, Chloe Bush, Christian Fortenberry, Jenni Hand, Hayden Huguley, Chrissy Miller, Abigail Redd, Madeline Redd, Lyncyn Reliquias, Anna Scholes, Diana Tollison, Faith Tomlinson, and Emily Wheat. Junior bridesmaid was Mari Parker Makamson, cousin of the bride. The bridesmaids wore long silver chiffon gowns and carried an array of blush and white flora intertwined with silver dollar eucalyptus and tucked with brunia berries. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were designed by Anna Scholes of Borrow + Bloom. The bride’s proxy was Mary Dudley Pillow, and the program

176 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Greenwood, Mississippi

October 12, 2019

attendants were Carrie Bennett, Madeline Hogue, Anna May, and Brittany Wojohn. The best man was Frank Howard Redd, junior, father of the groom. Groomsmen were Josh Campbell, Brad Clifton, Alex Huff, Kelton Kingsley, Jonathan Lancaster, Ben Matthews, Ben May, Chandler Pride, and Lee Tollison, brother of the bride. Brock Makamson, cousin of the bride, was the usher. Each wore a boutonniere of white spray roses and silver dollar eucalyptus designed by Anna Scholes. Scripture was read by Mallory Schmidt of Birmingham, Alabama. Nuptial music was provided by Amy Coleman, Allison Meek, Stephen Pillow, and Cyndi Savage, the pianist. Meredith Fletcher directed the wedding. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at the Historic Elks Building in downtown Greenwood. Entertainment was provided by Brother 2 Brother. The flowers for the wedding and the reception were provided by Kim Kellum, and the wedding cake was made by Karyn Burrus, both of The Grapevine Cakes, Catering, and Floral in Greenwood. The photographer was Brian Moats of Birmingham, Alabama, and the videographer was Johnny Jennings of Greenwood. After an evening of celebration, the couple departed under a canopy of sparklers and drove off in an antique convertible Oldsmobile 98. On the eve of the wedding, the parents of the groom hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Crystal Grill in downtown Greenwood. Following a honeymoon in Charleston, South Carolina, the couple is at home in Jackson. Entertainment: Brother2Brother of Tuscaloosa, Alabama Hair and Makeup: Kenneth Moore, The Parlor Invitations and Stationery: Ashwood Press of Atlanta, Georgia Photography: Brian Moats Photography of Birmingham, Alabama


WILKINSON St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Clarksdale, Mississippi


September 28, 2019

Anna Catherine Wilkinson and Zachary Gene Smith Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Roland Wilkinson Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Randy Smith and Ms. Gail Smith Wedding Gown: Novia Collection from Low’s Bridal Reception Venue: New Roxy Floral Design: Flower Bouquet and Interiors Catering: Alexander Pretti & Co.

Cakes: Confections by Detra and Debbie Anderson Entertainment: The Band U.S. Hair and Makeup: Hayley and Hannah Brown Invitations and Stationery: Copytime Photography: Patrick Remington Photography


| 177


WIRTZ Bellwether Church


Jackson, Mississippi

March 3, 2019

Rachel Irene Wirtz and George Patrick Salem Bride’s Parents: Dr. and Mrs. Roger Wirtz Groom’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Nameh Salem Wedding Gown: Sarah Seven Reception Venue: The Railroad District Floral Design and Catering: Fresh Cut

178 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Cake: For Heavens Cakes Entertainment: MikeRob and 601 band Hair and Makeup: April Epps and Tracy Branch Agency Invitations and Stationery: Crane Photography: Christina Foto


Birds, Blooms and BRUNCH Celebrate Easter with a make-ahead menu that can double-duty as brunch or lunch BY CINDY COOPWOOD AND CORDELIA CAPPS • PHOTOGRAPHY BY MELANIE THORTIS

Between hunting for eggs, getting the kids dressed, and going to church—feeding family and friends on Easter can be a challenge. Whether your family gets together for Easter brunch, lunch, or if you end up eating all day on Easter Sunday—this collection of recipes for vibrant salads and make ahead dishes will hit the spot. Best of all, these can all be served chilled or at room temperature. The beautiful tablescape is accented with yellow blooms, Wolfe birds, and colorful eggs and is a perfect backdrop for our spring menu—plus we’ll share several tips along the way if you are really crunched for time. Happy Easter!

Menu Pomegranate-Thyme Champagne Cocktail Cucumber and Chive Sandwiches Lemony Pickled Shrimp Upright Artichoke Deviled Eggs Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits with Ham Herbed Orzo Salad Sauteéd Sugar Snap Peas Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

180 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Tip: Buy already cooked and peeled shrimp from your grocer.


POMEGRANATE-CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL WITH THYME Nothing could be more simple—or beautiful! Grenadine chilled Champagne fresh thyme sprigs

Place 1 sprig of thyme and ⅔ ounce Grenadine in each champagne glass. Top with champagne.

1 1 ¾ ½ ¼ ¾ ½ ½

Vidalia or sweet onion, thinly sliced lemon, thinly sliced cup wine vinegar cup olive oil cup capers with the juice teaspoon celery seeds teaspoon sugar teaspoon salt Several shakes of Tabasco sauce, to taste 1½ pounds peeled and cooked shrimp

In a large bowl combine the onions, lemon, vinegar, oil, capers, celery seeds, sugar, salt, and Tabasco. Add the shrimp and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve chilled. Keeps for at least a week.

CUCUMBER AND CHIVE SANDWICHES 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 3 tablespoons Duke’s mayonnaise 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives salt & pepper to taste 2 to 3 petite English cucumbers, thinly sliced 1 loaf thin-sliced white bread, cut into rounds

Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise with a hand mixer in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in chives and salt and pepper to taste. Spread bread rounds with cream cheese mixture and top with a cucumber slice. Garnish with extra snips of fresh chives.

182 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

For upright eggs, slice off the rounded bottom of the egg, so it will sit vertically. Cut off the upper third of the egg and discard top. It may be necessary to boil a few more eggs for the extra yolks needed to make enough mixture to fill the eggs generously.

ns are a Jelly bea fun nd happy a any to n io addit ble! a t r e East


¼ teaspoon garlic powder hard boiled eggs ¼ teaspoon onion powder tablespoons Duke’s mayonnaise Salt and pepper, to taste cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts teaspoons of mustard

Place eggs into a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Run cold water over the eggs for several seconds until they feel cool, then peel. Slice eggs in half and remove yolks putting them in a medium bowl. To make filling, smash yolks with a fork, and mix with remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Put mixture in a piping bag or ziploc and then fill the the egg whites with the yolk mixture. Garnish with fresh herbs, capers or roasted red peppers.


cups baking mix, such as Bisquick cup sour cream tablespoons softened butter teaspoon garlic salt, optional tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives tablespoons milk or melted butter Extra melted butter Ham slices

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In medium bowl, stir baking mix, sour cream, butter, garlic salt, and chives until soft dough forms. Place dough on surface sprinkled with baking mix. Shape into a ball; knead 10 times. Roll dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with biscuit cutter dipped in baking mix. Place rounds 2 inches apart on an undressed cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with butter. While still warm, split biscuits then layer ham on bottom halves of biscuits and close with top halves. DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 183

HERBED ORZO SALAD 12 2 1 1 ½ 2 1 to 2 ¼

ounces uncooked orzo cups fresh baby spinach, chopped 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained English cucumber, sliced small red onion, thinly sliced cups chopped fresh herbs to taste (basil, mint, parsley or oregano) lemons, zested and juiced cup olive oil sea salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta and rinse thoroughly in a strainer with cold water. When well-drained, pour pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl. Toss well to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, herbs and lemon to taste.


pounds fresh sugar snap peas tablespoon olive oil teaspoons salt teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over mediumhigh heat. Add the sugar snap peas, salt and pepper and saute, tossing occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are crisp tender. Adjust seasonings. Place peas in a serving bowl, garnish with lemon peel and serve.


tablespoon Dijon mustard cup freshly squeezed lemon juice teaspoons salt teaspoon course ground black pepper cup olive oil heads of butter lettuce, washed and torn medium red onion, thinly sliced Hass avocados large red grapefruits

In a small bowl slowly whisk olive oil into the mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh from the skin. Cut each half into thick slices. Peel grapefruits and slice off stem and bottom ends, then cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments. Gently toss lettuce, onion, avocado and grapefruit together in a salad bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with dressing and toss again to distribute evenly.

184 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

COCONUT CAKE WITH LEMON CURD Pick up a ready-made coconut cake at your local grocer or bake-shop and top with lemon curd and fresh lemon slices for garnish. Serve each piece with an extra dollop of lemon curd for a perfect springtime dessert!

pastel Wolfe Birds scattered about oďŹ&#x20AC;er the perfect colorful accent for our Easter tablescape.

Tip: Toss the avocado slices in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown.


| 185

HEATON PECANS is a family business that began as a fruit stand selling peaches and pecans from our family orchard. We are still family owned today! With the holidays fast approaching, our customized gift packs make the perfect treat for your clients, friends and families. Drop by today to see our expanded selection of gifts for the whole family. “Your holiday shopping in a nutshell!”

Hwy 161 N • Clarksdale, MS www.heatonpecans.com 1.800.451.6081 186 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


| 187



Beautiful VIEW

One of the Delta’s Storied Homes and Architectural Wonders


188 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

DEEP IN THE HEART of the Mississippi Delta, in a place once known as the “Golden Buckle on the Cotton Belt,” there stands a beautiful structure known as the Cutrer Mansion. e building is considered by many to be quite grand, but her story really begins with two very elite Southern families—the Clarks and the Cutrers.

Above, an early photo of the Drawing Room as it was when the Cutrer family lived in the house during the 1920s.

John Clark, founder of Clarksdale

e Clark family saga begins in Mississippi with John Clark—planter, banker, merchant, and founder of the city of Clarksdale. Clark first came to the region with his father in November 1837 on a trip to New Orleans. While there, his father died of yellow fever, and Clark stayed in New Orleans for two years taken in by a man named omas Flint Porter, who was a logger and lumberman. At the age of sixteen, John Clark came up the Mississippi River to Port Royal (near Stovall, Mississippi), which was the county seat of Coahoma County, to go into the timber business with omas Porter. In time, Clark moved farther inland, worked hard, and saved his money. By 1848, he had saved enough to purchase over 101 acres from the government at $1.25 per acre. at land lies on the banks of the Sunflower River in the heart of the present-day business district of Clarksdale. In 1854, John Clark married Eliza Alcorn, whose brother, James Lusk Alcorn, became a senator and governor of the state of Mississippi. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, John Clark owned about 360 acres of land with 150 of it under cultivation. Once the war was over, he kept 190 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

John Clark

Blanche Clark Cutrer

planting, opened a mercantile store, continued to buy and sell land, and started the town of Clarksdale in 1869, but the city of Clarksdale was not fully incorporated until 1882. By 1891, John Clark owned over five thousand acres of land, mostly in the vicinity of Clarksdale with about two thousand acres under cultivation. Over their thirty-nine-year marriage, John Clark and Eliza Alcorn Clark had eight sons and one daughter named Blanche Clark. Blanche was born on September 27, 1864, and she grew up in Clarksdale as one of the most popular belles in the Mississippi Delta.

John Wesley Cutrer

Isaac Wesley Cutrer, father of John Wesley Cutrer

e Cutrer family story really begins with Isaac Wesley Cutrer, whose father had migrated to this country from France. Isaac Cutrer was born in Louisiana in 1816. He became a salesman in a large store, married America Vespucia Dunnica in March of 1842, and established the Cutrer brickyard. As his businesses expanded, he set up his own mercantile store in Osyka, Mississippi, and his own commission house in New Orleans. Isaac moved his family from Covington, Louisiana, to Osyka in the early

In March of 2017, Rev. John Cutrer Smith of New York, grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Cutrer, gifted the historic mansion with items that belonged to the Cutrer family. This included six family portraits and one painting that hung in the house when it was a residence. Below you can see that Rev. Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portrait hangs above the mantel in the library.


| 191

The wedding of Blanche Clark and John Wesley Cutrer

1860s. ey had eleven children before his first wife, America, died in 1864. eir ninth child, John Wesley Cutrer, was born on July 5, 1857. He is the man who ultimately won the heart and hand of the only daughter of the founder of Clarksdale. John Wesley Cutrer entered the University of Mississippi in the winter of 192 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

1874. He worked his way through college by tutoring other college students in the French language. He graduated from law school in 1878 and established a law office in Clarksdale. His younger brother, William Dunnica Cutrer, joined the law practice in 1885. ey had offices in Friars Point and Clarksdale for several years.

In the spring of 1887, Isaac Cutrer and his new wife, Mary, received a letter in the mail from John Wesley describing his professional and political activities in Clarksdale as well as his courtship of John Clark’s daughter. He told them he had proposed marriage and she had accepted. ey set the date for December 15, 1887, in Clarksdale, and he wanted his parents to attend. He also shared there would be many social events before and after the wedding, so they should be prepared for all of the activities. e plan was for them to arrive in Batesville by train from New Orleans on December 10 and for John Wesley to take them by carriage back to Clarksdale. ey would stay with Mr. and Mrs. John Clark in the guest quarters of their home. Mary Cutrer shared in her diary that she had to have six elaborate dresses made in New Orleans for the parties she would be attending in the Delta as well as several sets of travel clothes. She also wrote that when they finally pulled into the train station on December 10 that John Wesley had grown into a handsome, self-assured young man who was immaculately dressed. On December 11, John Wesley’s parents met Blanche for the first time at a dinner in the Clark home. Mary Cutrer described Blanche as a stunning young lady with silky blonde hair, intelligent blue eyes, and an angelic face. Having recently completed her education at Mount Holyoke, where she studied music and literary subjects, Blanche was ready for this new chapter in her life. While in Clarksdale, Isaac and Mary Cutrer attended parties, teas, and receptions almost around the clock until the day of the wedding. Mary said it was a continuous whirlwind of activities that included people from state government as well as local politics. When December 15 finally arrived, the wedding was held in the Clark home. Blanche had twelve attendants, and the entire lower floor was decorated with flowers. When the ceremony was over, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Cutrer departed by carriage for their honeymoon. It was all a glorious affair. The early days of J.W. Cutrer and Blanche Clark Cutrer

By the time J.W. Cutrer and Blanche Clark married in 1887, he had been a

The oil painting of Blanche Clark Cutrer, the only daughter of the founder of Clarksdale, is prominently displayed above the mantel in the room that was formally the dining room and now used as office and display space for Cutrer family archives. The two guilt mirrors shown were also donated by Rev. John Cutrer Smith.

successful criminal attorney in Coahoma County for almost ten years and had been elected as a state representative in 1884. For the majority of their marriage, the Cutrer family lived in a large red house on 2nd Street in Clarksdale, which was located at the present site of the Clarksdale Civic Auditorium. ey had four children. eir first child, named Elise, arrived on December 22, 1888. at same year, Mr. Cutrer was elected as a state senator in Mississippi. He served two terms and served on the Constitutional Convention of 1890. In August of 1893, their second child was born, John Clark Cutrer. He drowned in Moon Lake in June of 1923. In August of 1895, a second son was born named Reginald, and their last child came in October of 1897. ey named her Blanche. All during this time, J.W. Cutrer continued to develop his career. He became involved with the Yazoo-MS Delta Levee Board in 1896 as president and served on that board until 1904. He served on the school board from 1905 to 1911 and then went back on the levee board from 1910 to 1916 and also 1924 to 1932. During his lifetime, J.W. Cutrer was a plantation

owner, a founder of the Clarksdale Savings and Loan Bank, and a successful lawyer and politician. His wife, Blanche, became one of Clarksdale’s best known and most deeply loved women. She was cultured, refined, and gifted with unusual intellect. She was well traveled and enjoyed socializing. She had a charming personality that showcased the social graces of a true Southern belle. The building of Belvoir

In 1916, J.W. Cutrer had the massive John Clark home rolled eastward on logs pulled by mules so he and Mrs. Cutrer could build a new house on top of the hill overlooking the Sunflower River. Once completed, it was called Belvoir, which means “beautiful view” in French. eir new home was built as an Italian Renaissance style villa designed in a rectangle symmetrical shape with four builtin columns across the front. e roof was covered in terra cotta clay in a Mediterranean style that complements the white house perfectly. e designer was the acclaimed Memphis architect Bayard Cairns, who was educated at Columbia and

had studied four years at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Pascal. e Cutrer home became known as one of the most beautiful homes in the region. No expense was spared when building, furnishing, and landscaping the house. It had, and still has today, so many unique architectural details. For example, the first floor has high groined ceilings with ten intricate plaster sconces in the hallway and several detailed plaster cornices throughout the house. e floors of the entrance and the hallway are covered in black and white tile while the other rooms in the house have oak hardwood floors. e walls of the east wing drawing room have an attractive wainscoting that stands over five feet tall, and the floors have been laid in a herringbone pattern. At the time, the room also showcased a hand-carved Italian marble mantel that was gorgeous. e dining room and the library also had beautiful mantels. But perhaps the most breathtaking feature in Belvoir is the collection of windows. ere are eight large arched windows, and when built, there were fourteen French doors that opened from room to room or out to various points of DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 193

Belvoir as it was around 1926 with Blanche Cutrer Smith standing on the right in the white dress holding her son’s hand.

the property. e sunroom on the east wing also had an indoor fountain and a beautiful red tile floor. e architectural details are truly superb and reveal the work of skilled craftsmen. e beautiful imperial staircase led to the private residence on the second floor, which included six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and three sleeping porches. It had unique features such as a central vacuum cleaner system that collected dirt and debris within the house and then sent it through tubing installed inside the walls to a collection container in the attic. It was an amazing house.

Her son, the Rev. John Cutrer Smith of New York, is the last person alive today who lived in the house while it was still a private residence, and he is the one who has so generously shared his wonderful memories about his time there. Rev. Smith remembers it as a place of splendor. It was

ere were large gilt Italian mirrors, an eighteenth century French verdure tapestry, and family portraits and paintings throughout the house. Rev. Smith also tells stories about his extended family from Osyka coming to visit for weeks at a time and the fun parties that took place while they were there. He says most included small orchestras or jazz bands with well-known musicians like W.C. Handy performing such tunes as St. Louis Blues. It literally became a cultural hub in the Delta and the backdrop for a privileged life. Looking back, he said he felt that he had seen so much of this “great End of an Era world in miniature” by living in that e house and the family that house, and he missed it bitterly lived there flourished, but financial when they moved out in late 1935. strain and the Great Depression took Today, the Cutrer Mansion in a toll. One Sunday evening in 1932, Clarksdale has become a precious Mr. Cutrer fell in the house. He died time capsule for all to enjoy. e a week or two later. en, almost treasured memories and gifts have three years later, Mrs. Cutrer passed in Eliza Jane Alcorn Clark with a Clark grandchild on the left and secured the legacy of an the spring of 1935. Soon after that the four Cutrer grandchildren on the right. Circa 1900. They extraordinary Mississippi Delta are seated on the steps of the Clark House. death, the house closed its doors as a family and helped an old building private residence. e youngest transform. And when paired with daughter, Blanche Cutrer Smith, was the the stories of one of America’s greatest and decorated by Charles Duveen of New York last family member to own Belvoir. After most celebrated playwrights, Mississippi’s and was furnished in the European and almost ten years of trying to figure out what own Tennessee Williams, perhaps we can British tradition. All of the downstairs rugs to do with the house and how to make it be transformed too. were antique Persian. e curtain fabrics in useful to the community, she sold it to the the living room, dining room, and library Catholic Church. She and her immediate Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in were English blocked linen, and the library family signed the deed in September of the soul and sings the tune without the words was filled with classic books like his 1946 and, thus, an end of an era occurred. personal favorite Jane Eyre. and never stops at all…Emily Dickinson DM

194 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


World Catfish Festival



An Acoustic Evening with Mark Chestnutt & Joe Diffie Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

March 8, 7 pm Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

Gold Strike Casino

Tunica Resorts


Mississippi Coliseum

Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

March 15

March 12, 7:30 pm March 6


Winter Jam Tour Spectacular Landers Center landerscenter.com

The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

March 16, 7:30 pm

Post Malone FedEx Forum fedexforum.com

FedEx Forum fedexforum.com

Landers Center landerscenter.com

March 17, 7:30 pm

Winterville Mounds Native American Arts & Crafts


Maude Schuyler Clay and Ann Fisher Wirth Exhibit Opening Reception

Carousel Room at Greenville Arts Council

Roger Malkin Gallery, 323 S. Main Street On display March 6-April 24

March 7, 8 pm

March 13


Fabulously Funny Comedy Festival

Tracy Morgan

Landers Center landerscenter.com

Horseshoe Casino

Tunica Resorts


Bruce Hornsby Ford Center fordcenter.org

March 18-22


Oxford Film Festival Various locations oxfordfilmfest.com

March 20

Cake in Concert Soundstage at Graceland graceland.com

196 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Cher: Here We Go Again Tour

Disney on Ice presents Dream Big

March 13, 5:30-7:30 pm Greenville



America in Concert

Harry Connick, Jr.

March 12-15 Memphis



Joel Osteen: A Night of Hope

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Horseshoe Casino

March 7

Tunica Resorts

March 13, 7:30 pm

Rob Lowe: Stories I Only Tell My Friends Live

March 6, 8 pm

March 13

George Thorogood & The Destroyers

March 11, 7:30 pm March 6


The Temptations


March 29, 7:30 pm


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Ford Center fordcenter.org

LeAnn Rimes

April 1-3


Oxford Conference for the Book University of Mississippi oxfordconferenceforthebook.com

April 3


Mississippi River Discussion Greenville Arts Council MS Levee Board presents Peter Nimrod and Hank Burdine discussing the Mississippi River and the importance of its effects on the Delta

April 3-5


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

April 4


World Catfish Festival Downtown Belzoni belzonims.com/catfishfest.htm

April 4, 6-11 pm


Mudbug Bash benefitting Palmer Home for Children

Tracy Morgan

Panola Street next to Community Foundation palmerhome.org

March 22, 7:30 pm


Sturgill Simpson: A Good Look’n Tour

April 7, 6 pm

Landers Center Special guest Tyler Childers landerscenter.com

An Evening with Dionne Warwick


Nick Cannon presents MTV Wild ‘N Out Live

April 11, 7 pm


Only God Can Judge Me! Stage Play Landers Center landerscenter.com

FedEx Forum fedexforum.com

April 11 Tunica Resorts

LeAnn Rimes March 27, 7 pm



April 12, 7 pm


Martin Lawrence

4th Annual Soundstage Showdown

FedEx Forum fedexforum.com

Grammy Museum Mississippi grammymuseumms.org

March 28, 7:30 pm


April 13, 7:30 pm

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

An American in Paris

Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

Ford Center fordcenter.org

March 28


April 14, 7:30 pm

Viking Half Marathon/5K Rae

An American in Paris


Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

March 28, 7:30 pm

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents Ode To Joy Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

Friday Evening, April 3 PRE-EVENT KICK OFF PARTY Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster Band Run Now Wine Later 5K Saturday Evening, April 4 SANTÉ SOUTH WINE FESTIVAL All Weekend, April 3-5 CHEERS & GEARS BIKE RIDE

Otis Redding III The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

Gold Strike Casino

Featuring approximately 100 artists from across America, live music and children’s art activities


Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

March 26, 8:30 pm

March 27




Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events Champion

Southern Travel Treasure by AAA’s Southern Traveler


Jackson April 15, 7:30 pm


Wilco in Concert Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net


| 197

April 16-19


16th Annual Juke Joint Festival Various locations jukejointfestival.com

April 16


Lewis Black Soundstage at Graceland graceland.com

April 17, 7 pm


Surabhi Ensemble: Unity in Diversity Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

April 17-19

Holly Springs

Pilgrimage Tour of Historic Homes hollyspringsmsgardenclub.com

April 18


Crosstie Arts Festival Bolivar Co. Courthouse Lawn crosstiefestival.com

April 18


Cotton District Arts Festival Historic Cotton District cdafestival.com

April 20


Willie Nelson & Family The Orpheum orpheum-memphis.com

April 21, 7:30 pm


Stomp Ford Center fordcenter.org

April 21-30


40th Annual Springfest Snowden Grove Park southaven.org

April 23, 7:30 pm


Allman Betts Band Bologna Performing Arts Center bolognapac.com

April 23-24, 9 am-3 pm


Garden Club of Jackson Spring Garden Tour 2020 Eastover and Massena Heights neighborhoods gardenclubofjackson.com

April 24-25


Double Decker Arts Fest Historic Courthouse Square doubledeckerfestival.com

April 25


Greenwood Gravel Grind Off-road cycling tour and a mega party at Tallahatchie Flats afterward greenwoodgravelgrind.com 198 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

April 25

Tunica Resorts

Sinbad Gold Strike Casino

April 25, 7:30 pm


Mississippi Opera presents Gounod’s Romeo Et Juliette Thalia Mara Hall thaliamarahall.net

April 30-May 3


Delta Center Stage A Time to Kill 323 S. Main Street deltastage.com

BOOK SIGNINGS Michael Farris Smith

Blackwood March 3, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford March 5, 4:30 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson March 17, 5:30 pm: Turnrow Books, Greenwood William Boyle

City of Margins March 3, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Lee Durkee

The Last Tax Driver March 3, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Andy Davidson

The Boatman’s Daughter March 4, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Sean Dietrich

Will the Circle Be Unbroken March 5, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Diane Williams

The Life and Legacy of B.B. King March 6, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Sidney Thompson

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves March 10, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Jerry Mitchell

Race Against Time March 18, 4:30 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Donna Rifkind

The Sun and Her Stars March 19, 6 pm: Gertrude Ford Center, Oxford LeeAnna Keith

When We Were Grand March 23, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Taylor Brown

Pride of Eden March 23, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 199

29 29t 29th a n ual an u ua

Leland festival Saturday, May 2, 2020 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 Entertainment: Delta

String Band • Zach Day John Horton Band • Ferd’s Unbroken String Band • Jimbo Mathus & Durrty Crooks Admission: (2) staple food items for Leland Food Pantry Bring a chair! But please, no pets or coolers. For information, call Billy Johnson at 662.347.4223

200 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Phillip Gordon

Gay Faulkner March 26, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Katy Simpson Smith

The Everlasting March 31, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson April 7, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Lily King

Writers and Lovers April 2, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Erin Austen Abbot

Family Field Trip: Explore Art, Food, Music, and Nature with Kids April 4, 1 pm: Square Books, Oxford Johnnie Bernhard

Sisters of the Undertow April 4, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Don Winslow

Broken April 9, 6 pm: Square Books, Oxford Robert Kolker

Hidden Valley Road April 14, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford April 15, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Paulette Jiles

Simon the Fiddler April 16, 6 pm: The Lyric, Oxford April 17, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Ariel Lawhon

Code Name Helene April 20, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford April 21, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Sylvia A. Harvey

The Shadow System April 22, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Kristen Arnett

Mostly Dead Things April 23, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford John M. Floyd

Lighten Up A Little April 23, 5 pm: Lemuria Books, Jackson Alia Volz

Home Baked April 30, 5:30 pm: Square Books, Oxford Melissa M. Martin

Mosquito Supper Club April 30, 5 pm: Cathead Distillery, Jackson D M DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 201


Trey and Erin Baxter

202 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Kristie and David Nutt with City of Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler

Bobby Montgomery and Miriam Ethridge

Wendy and Ernie Coward with David and Kristie Nutt

Larry Johnson, Herman Dungan with Wendy and Ernie Coward

Mary Hawkins Butler and Susan Hogue

Photos by Joe Dera

Susan Hogue and Kelli Stubbs

Matt Jones, Susan and Larry Marquez with Casey Smith

Kathy Sue Wells and Justin Suber

City of Madison banquet honoring Reunion with the Diamond Award

Martha House, Lisa Browning and Shari Jones

Elizabeth Tyler, Teresa Fortney and Carolyn Monfils Guy and Nancy Bowering with Keith Kent

William Dunlap Art Exhibit Opening at E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center in Greenville on January 10. Photos by Johnny Jennings


Bill and Margaret Baird with Beverly and Ike Trotter Shaun McDonough, Andrea Fisher and Alexandra Billy and Nan Fountain, Bill Walker and Searcy Melnick Cunningham

Hank Burdine and Betty Coleman

Craig and Melanie Tucker

Hank Burdine, Robert Jenkins, Gayden Metcalfe and Everett Bexley

Austin Frye and Melissa Moyse

Jeffrey Tonos and David A. Morgan

Shawn McDonough and Kathryn B. Thompson Kathy and McClain Bowman with Julie Mosow

Ted and Lou Anne Lamar

Michael Lindsay, Jack Jackson and Guy Hall Jr.

Bill Walker and Searcy Cunningham

Clair Quittmeyer and Mike Williams

Vance and Jean Nimrod with Robin Kelly

Sherrilyn Taylor and Andrea Fisher

Ken Fisher and Joe Paul DeAngelo DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 203


Brew for a Cure at St. James Parish Hall in Greenville on January 18

Jessica Milam, Laura Howell and Suzette Matthews Anna Rives Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly, Clare Moore, Caitlin Adams and Ky Johnston

Kelli and Clayton Davis

Ken Hobart, Al Brock and Heath Serio

Heather Harden and Ashley Murphy

Carly Kaye, Shelly Mietzler, Heather Harden and Laurisa Ballew

Marlee Cain, Allison Avis, Terri Murrell and April Robertson

Kathy Bullard and Kelli Davis

Kevin and Charlene Cunningham

Paden Dawkins, Ann Marie Smythe and Barry Schuster

Doug and Holly Wade, Jeffery and CC Doolittle with Heather and Jonathan Harden

Andy and Carly Kaye, Mandi Skinner and Ashley Murphy

Dan Ballew and Andy Kaye

John Milam, Eric Schuster, Peyton and Rebecca Potter and Jeffery Doolittle

LaNelle Palmer, Sheree Hobart, Laura Arnold and Courtney Serio

204 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


Fundraiser for Blair Batson Children’s Hospital in honor of the late Andrew Westerfield at Crawdad’s in Merigold on February 1 Photos by Abe Draper

Jimmy and Carol Caston

Angie Bullock and Tom Nichols

Edward Kossman, Stephanie and Ken McGarrh

Brennen Saulter and Will Bradham

Matthew and Albert Junkin

Kyle Borden and Junior Cobb

Eric and Lee Anne Fioranelli, Valerie Thomas, Mary Susan Cobb, Leigh-Ann Gant, Presley Lee, Hope and Rance Richard

Shelby Denton and Dennis Cheshier

Jon Westerfield and Joey Brown

Jade Melton, Naomi Jennings and Blair Ladner

Waiters, busboys and cooks throughout the years, gathered at Crawdad’s restaurant in Merigold to support Blair Batson Children’s Hospital to honor the late Andrew Westerfield DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 205


Carla and Randy Wall

Mary Preston and John Dubberly 206 | MARCH/APRIL 2020

Photos by Johnny Jennings

Sarah McCullough and Katherine Williams

Mary Preston Dubberly, Kenny Downs and Julia Banks

Janet Clark, Mary Hartwell Howarth and Suzette Shelmire

Elizabeth Spenser Memorial at the Cotesworth Culture and Heritage Center in Carrollton on February 15

Kay Barksdale and Susan Montgomery

Tracy Proctor, Carla Wall and George Booth

Sarah Frances Hardy reading from Spenser’s “The Day Before”

Bill McCain, Louie Spenser and Rebecca McCain Small

Hunter Cole with Bill McCain and Rebecca McCain

George Booth, Sarah Frances Hardy and Tracy Proctor

Margaret D. Ross and Linda Ross Aldy


Leland Deer Creek Garden Club Lunch and Learn at the Capps Center in Stoneville on February 5 Photos by Johnny Jennings

Jane Elliott, Freda Inmon and Gloria Thomas

Anita Bologna, Lelia Abraham and Judy Marchesini

Lois and Van Chaplin, Mary Boteler and Stephanie Patton

Janice â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honeyâ&#x20AC;? Dean

Anne Dickens, Donna Manning, Beverly Durastanti, Judy Ross, Patricia Maugh and Margaret Dubois

Mary Anne Brocato, Beverly Trotter and Terryll Nordan

Amy Taylor

Gwin Cumbaa, Marion Dean, Leah Turner and Ellen Ann Johnson

Leah Ballard, Jodie Huddlestone, Midge Jeffcoat and Kenner Patton

Leah Turner, Rhonda Looney, Patti Livingston, Gwin Cumbaa, Gloria Petro and Judy Ross

Beverly Durastanti, Sharon Ashmore, Lisa Smith, Peggy Alexander and Dianne Burchfield

Jody and Kicky Stovall, Van and Lois Chaplin and Dot Meeks DELTA MAGAzINE 2020

| 207

Thefinalword Decades of Delta Weddings here is one certain thing that can be said about Delta people, who are, by the way, my people. Nobody throws a better wedding or a better funeral, and I do mean that quite literally—nobody! Maybe part of it is because we are all born with strong social genes, and we develop and cultivate them from the sandbox to the Garden Club and everywhere in between so that they are binding like nothing else. We simply know about such things. I have been studying the subject of weddings the better part of sixty plus years. Weddings, like most traditions, have changed a great deal over that time, but that fact in no way implies that they have become less grand. e opposite is true. My mother was on the short-list of volunteer wedding directors at Indianola’s First Methodist Church in the early 1950s. It was standard operating procedure for my mother, who had been startled by my birth shortly after her forty-second birthday, simply to take me along everywhere she went with strict instructions to just sit still and be quiet. Although pretty girls in matching evening dresses and a bride in a long white gown captivated me completely, I did not fare so well at weddings otherwise. You see, there was a local coloratura soprano named Marianne Hancock who must have sung at every hometown wedding. Her standard solo was “I Love You Truly,” a melodramatic old song even then. One could always count on her hitting notes in the stratosphere with a vibrato that only a Metropolitan opera star could match. Without fail, she hit the high notes, and my uncontrollable giggles began. I just fail to understand why my mother continued to take me to weddings because the high notes “triggered” me so. In fairness to Miss Hancock, she did go on to have quite a career at the University of Michigan where I am sure no unappreciative preschoolers ever interrupted her concerts. Mama was a string reporter for numerous newspapers, and thus had the dubious honor of submitting engagement announcements and wedding write-ups on all the local brides. In those days, the Delta Democrat Times and e Commercial Appeal both had weekly society sections filled with all things bridal. Announcements contained detailed records of the couple’s lineage just because we Delta people like to know who everyone’s “people” really


Marilyn Tinnin is an Indianola native, the founder of Mississippi Christian Living magazine, and the author of MaeMae’s Grandmother Book. She lives in Ridgeland with her husband Charles and spends lots of time with her grandchildren.

208 | MARCH/APRIL 2020


are. e announcement also chronicled resume-like histories on the bride and groom including every award and organization they had ever been part of dating back to elementary school. No one except the bride was ever pictured, and usually the poor groom was left out of the newspaper wedding photos as well. Many an unhappy mother-of-the-bride would take my mother to task if even one word of her daughter’s write-up was cut by a merciless editor. Mama was delighted when times changed, and the write-ups got a little shorter and less complicated. It became newspaper policy not to describe the blush pink reception mints that perfectly matched the bridesmaids’ dresses or the intricate lace monogrammed handkerchief that had been carried by every bride from ten previous generations of cousins twice removed. However, my mama did not give herself enough credit for her creative descriptions. When I got married—the first but not the last time—the year was 1971. e custom of the day was lots and lots of bridal teas and luncheons with wordy descriptions of receiving lines, corsages, and the bride-to-be’s clothing. My wardrobe may have been limited, but Mama’s ability to describe the same polyester dress sixteen different ways would make anyone believe we had likely spent every dime my daddy ever made. Most little girls dream about their wedding from the moment they get to see their first live event. I suppose it is the closest most of us ever come to feeling like a real princess, if only for a few hours. I still love looking at vintage photos and seeing how fashion, food, and venues have changed. I have often laughed with other friends who married in the 1970s as we compare wedding gowns. We could so easily have all shared the same $200 dress from Tenenbaum’s in Greenville because regardless of the season we wore the empire waist, puffy long sleeves, and a very (did I say very) high neckline. No bride, even in merry old Victorian England, was more well covered than we were. It is certainly no surprise that not a one of our daughters ever asked to wear her mama’s dress on her big day! I doubt the best seamstress around could have refashioned them! Sometimes good taste trumps sentimentality—even in the Delta. After all, we just know about such things. DM

Profile for Delta Magazine

Delta Magazine March/April 2020  

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 2020  

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