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february CONTENTS 2018 • VOLUME 15 • NO. 2

features 46 Namaste Around the South The Best Yoga Retreats

60 Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Through Education and Inspiration

54 Go Natural! Alternative Cures for Good Health

departments 14 Living Well Sparkling Smiles

42 On the Road Again Chattanooga, Tennessee

18 Notables Dr. Dharmesh Patel

44 Greater Goods 66 Homegrown Brooke Ballard Jewelry

22 Exploring Art Power of Art Therapy

70 Southern Gentleman Tips for Valentine’s Day

26 Exploring Books We Can Be Kind

74 Southern Harmony Little Rock’s Salty Dogs

30 Into the Wild Land Between the Lakes

76 In Good Spirits Apothecary Bar “Prescriptions”

34 Table Talk The Lookout

78 Exploring Events

38 Exploring Destinations Daytona Family Fun


80 Reflections Remembering Mr. Lynn



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editor’s note } february Staying Healthy Southern snowfalls kicked off the new year and the cold weather hasn’t let up as we head into February – a good month to take stock of your health and wellness. If you’ve been feeling cooped up and agitated about the weather, read how some yoga retreats in the South can help you find your inner peace and learn to deal with life’s uncertainties. In this issue, we also take a look at alternative treatments and medicines that have reached the mainstream. You might be surprised to find many natural cures are right in your own pantry. If you need a reason to celebrate, DeSoto Magazine is 15 this year, and it’s not too late to register for our gift to a lucky reader: a 2-night, 3-day getaway at the luxurious Chancellor’s House Hotel in Oxford. Just return the entry form on page 69 or visit The winner will be announced on April 1. In every issue we strive not only to write the best stories, but we also like to recognize our writers and photographers. After all, without them we could not put together such an exceptional magazine. And when we fail to recognize someone’s outstanding work, it disappoints all of us. In January, we used several photos by Dustin Barkerin our story about best catfish places, but we did not credit him in print. Please check out last month’s digital version to see Dustin’s beautiful photography. Thank you again, Dustin!

FEBRUARY 2018 • Vol. 15 No.2


We hope this issue will provide you with ideas for a healthy and happy life. Your body will be around much longer than an expensive electronic gadget, so be sure to invest in yourself first. Discover how laughter, kindness, and wellness will help you get through these final days of winter. Namaste!

Mary Ann

CONTRIBUTORS Robin Gallaher Branch Cheré Coen Polly Dean Mary Ann DeSantis Jason Frye Jill Gleeson Karen Ott Mayer Julia Miller Charlene Oldham Andrea Brown Ross Karon Warren Pam Windsor PUBLISHED BY DeSoto Media 2375 Memphis St. Ste 205 Hernando, MS 38632 662.429.4617 ADVERTISING INFO: Paula Mitchell 901-262-9887

on the cover Seven Springs Holistic Retreat Center in Maryville, Tennessee, offers yoga, art, and instructor-training workshops in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Cover photo by Alex Markow Photography ( Get social with us!

©2018 DeSoto Media Co. DeSoto Magazine must give permission for any material contained herein t o b e re p ro d u c e d i n a n y m a n n e r. Any advertisements published in DeSoto Magazine do not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s services or products. DeSoto Magazine is published monthly by DeSoto Media Co. Parties interested in advertising should email or call 901-262-9887. Visit us online at

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living well } healthy teeth

Putting sparkle back in your smile Provided by Hernando Dental Group, Dr. Amy Wadsworth

Everyone wants whiter teeth, but certain fads and products to whiten teeth can leave your mouth in worse shape. Everyone wants to smile confidently. Age, smoking, coffee, tea and wine are just some of the things that can leave teeth looking yellow and stained, causing many of us to hold back when it comes to flashing a toothy grin. It’s no surprise that so many people are looking for ways to brighten their teeth cosmetically. However, certain fads for brighter and whiter teeth are actually “wreaking havoc on teeth,”according to a recent article published in the American Dental Association’s Morning Huddle. Among these trends that should be avoided are the following: Starting your morning with a glass of hot water and lemon. Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system and encourage the production of bile to aid digestion, but it has no real benefit for whiter teeth. The acid in the lemon 16 DeSoto

juice weakens the enamel and effectively dissolves it increasing sensitivity and possibly making teeth darker. Using fluoride-free toothpaste. Critics claim fluoride disrupts hormones which leads to health problems like bone disorders, dementia and diabetes. However, fluoride is the main protective ingredient in toothpaste. When it is deposited in the enamel, it makes your teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoridefree toothpaste may contain antimicrobial agents, freshen breath and, if abrasive, remove surface stains, but it will not protect your teeth from decay. Practicing the ancient Ayurvedic ritual of oilpulling. By swishing one tablespoon of “antibiotic and antiviral” sesame or coconut oil for up to 20 minutes a day, you can brighten and clean your teeth. Oil is a lubricant, and while it can temporarily dislodge food particles and surface

stains, it cannot penetrate teeth to make them whiter. Only whitening with peroxide is able to penetrate teeth and break down discoloring. Brushing your teeth with charcoal or apple cider vinegar. Charcoal’s porous structure gives it detoxifying properties. Numerous studies show that this may remove superficial stains, but it is no real benefit for teeth. Apple cider vinegar does aid in digestion, can help with weight loss and make hair shinier. It may also remove plaque and superficial stains on teeth caused by red wine, smoking and coffee, but its acidic and abrasive properties can cause permanent enamel damage. Whether dieting or whitening teeth, it is always best to investigate claims made and talk to your healthcare provider before making any decisions. Often, the tried and true simplest approach is the best and surest way to take care of yourself. If it sounds too easy or too good to be true, unfortunately it probably is.

Cut back on coffee, tea, cola, and red wine. Remember if it stains a white tablecloth, it will certainly stain your teeth. Practice good oral health. Brush your teeth twice daily and use a whitening toothpaste. Remember to floss. See your dentist regularly. Get teeth cleaned twice a year to help them stay white and healthy. Source:


For a healthier way to whiten teeth, the dentists at Hernando Dental Group suggest the following to put the sparkle back into your smile: Quit smoking. Tobacco stains on your teeth are bad, but what smoking does to your health is worse.

Amy Wadsworth, DDS

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notables } dr. dharmesh patel Dharmesh S. Patel, M.D

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Dr. Dharmesh S. Patel on top of Mount Kilimanjaro

Heart Healthy By Robin Gallaher Branch | Photography provided by Stern Cardiovascular Foundation

February is American Heart Month and a good time to get to know cardiologist Dharmesh S. Patel, M.D., who shares the latest developments in cardiology. What is your background? I was born and raised in London. My ancestry is from East Africa and India. I studied at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London and graduated in 1996. I moved to the United States in 1998 and did my internship at the Medical Center of Delaware. I did a medical residency at UVA in Charlottesville and a cardiology fellowship at Penn State. I came to Memphis in 2004 with the Memphis Heart Clinic, which became the Stern Cardiovascular Center. My wife, Dr. Purvisha Patel, is a dermatologist and skin cancer

surgeon in Germantown, Tennessee. We have two children, a son, 11, and a daughter, 8. Do you have a favorite saying? Yes, it’s by Helen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Her saying brings the human touch to science. It describes the emotions. In my eyes, the heart is the body’s most important organ. DeSoto 21

Why are you a cardiologist? I became fascinated with the heart. The heart is a pump that beats over 100,000 times a day. It pumps five liters of blood per minute around the body – even during sleep. Heart disease fascinated me initially because it is a predominantly fixable problem, a preventable disease.There have been so many advances in my field of cardiology in my 20 years. Here are examples: Stents with drugs in them, and breakthroughs in the treatment of cholesterol and irregular heartbeats and in the treatment of valve disorders with minimal invasive approaches. What are some new developments in cardiology? Lower blood pressure numbers. The new guidelines are good targets: 130/80 instead of 140/90. 120/80 is normal. I agree with the new guidelines. They raise the percentage of the American population with high blood pressure from 32 to 46 percent. Now 14 percent more are classified with high blood pressure. What do you do to keep fit? I exercise 30-40 minutes three times a week. I myself do what I tell my patients to do. My hobby is soccer. I’m 45 and will continue playing as long as I don’t get a major injury. I enjoy the team spirit. I’ve had minor injuries--torn ligaments in the neck, a torn hamstring. It took a year to fully recover. I tell my patients it’s important to warm up and cool down. The warm-ups reduce injuries. What else do you tell your patients? I ask them if they service their car. They do. They service it once a year. I ask them, “Is your car more important than your heart?” I tell them to take care of their heart. I tell them, “Know your numbers. Know your numbers—your blood pressure and cholesterol. Work up a sweat. You have to get your heart rate up. Walk as if you stole something. If it tastes too good, spit it out.” I tell my patients to get enough sleep and to stop smoking. I tell them that working is not exercising, that even small changes in diet make a big difference, like avoiding sweets and chocolates. What was a memorable experience? My wife and I climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It’s a 20,000-foot mountain. It was a physical and mental challenge. It was a very exhilarating but very humbling experience. I appreciate what my patients go through when they have shortness of breath.

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Do you have some suggestions in addition to exercise and diet? Get a calcium score; it’s relevant for some patients with cardiac risk factors. A stress test shows if a part of the heart is getting enough blood or not. Although a stress test is accurate, it can miss something 10-to-15 percent of the time. That’s why a calcium test is helpful. It’s a 10-second test done under a CT scan, and costs about $100. It is not invasive. I’ve been able to save a number of patients because of that test. Some patients fear tests. What’s your attitude toward tests? Tests are all positive. If we find nothing, that’s good. If we find something, let’s work on it. If we find a disease, a test is a great way to start prevention and cure. Tests can identify someone who is likely to have a heart event. An event is the beginning of chest pain or a sudden heart attack. A sudden heart attack has a mortality rate of 40 percent. People think they will feel bad before something happens. But events are sudden and catastrophic. Strokes tend to be fatal or can cause disabilities. A person can feel fine one day and be dead the next. What’s it like to save a life? It’s a privilege to be in a position to make a difference in a person’s life and in a family’s life. It’s a humbling experience. I always think, “What if I had not been there?”

Live Better with Life’s Simple 7 The American Heart Association recommends these seven measures to improve health and live a long, productive life: •Manage blood pressure •Control cholesterol •Reduce blood sugar •Get active •Eat better •Lose weight •Stop smoking

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exploring art } art therapy

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Healing with Art By Julia Miller | Photography courtesy of the American Art Therapy Association

Using art therapy to address a variety of challenges – from anxiety and depression to traumatic brain injuries – has been effective in helping patients lead healthy and productive lives. From healing to better self-awareness, therapists across Mississippi and the country are using art to work with individuals, families, and communities to enhance clients’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. “When I came to Mississippi [in 1982] I was the only art therapist,” says Susan Anand, who works in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Mississippi Medical Center. “It started in psychiatry, and it’s expanded into rehabilitation, medical settings and treating educational delays.”

Anand’s educational journey actually began with a fine arts bachelor’s degree at Indiana University in Bloomington. After graduation, she read a book about art therapy and knew it was what she wanted to do. Anand went on to get her master’s degree at New York University, where she studied under art therapy pioneer Edith Kramer. “A lot of therapists use the art to lead to talking,” Anand says. “[Kramer] really focused on the art.” Like Anand and Kramer, art therapists tend to have an DeSoto 25

artistic background and work with patients to use art materials more effectively. They focus on the creation of the artwork, whether it’s a drawing, painting or sculpture, rather than just what the artwork may mean. “The creative process and the resulting art work increases self-awareness and helps manage behaviors,” she says. “It can be hard to say what art therapy is. I can say what it’s not. It’s not a coloring book.” Any art, even coloring, can be a release or can function like meditation. Although it can help people unwind, art therapy must also involve therapeutic skills. “You’re getting two for one,” Anand explains. “You have someone who has a good understanding of psychotherapy and someone who has a good understanding of art and how to use it.” Anand says art therapy has been particularly effective for veterans or those dealing with trauma. “Whether manmade or natural, they can’t verbalize what happened,” she says. “Partly because of what happens to the brain when it goes through trauma.” The U.S. military and the National Endowment for the Arts have even partnered together to invest in art therapies for veterans. These techniques have also been used in the aftermath of disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes or mass shootings. As the field expands, Anand works to expand her own applications. She works with the MIND Center at UMMC to help patients with memory loss, patients in the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and with victims of Hurricane Katrina. 26 DeSoto

“We don’t discriminate,” she says. “I’ve never really encountered anyone in my career who couldn’t do art therapy.” Anand says one girl she works with is paralyzed from the neck down. They have helped her to paint with her mouth. No matter what limitations patients may be fighting, Anand is able to accommodate each of them. Art therapy can also help restore someone’s sense of self. Those in the midst of a battle with cancer can find this to be incredibly important. During treatment, patients can sometimes forget all the aspects of who they are, and art can help remind them. “After diagnosis, they struggle so much with the label ‘I’m a cancer patient,’” she says. “It gives them a larger identity.” In Mississippi, art therapists must be licensed and are required to have an ATR-BC (art therapist register — board certified) certification and complete continuing education. The credentials are achieved after completing a master’s degree at one of the 35 AATA-Approved art therapy graduate programs and 1,000 supervised hours with patients. OTHER TYPES OF THERAPY Dr. Maggie Parker, a Jackson counselor, specializes in play therapy and uses expressive art as a tool. “In therapy, the relationship is the most important thing,” she says. “Sometimes words get in the way. When we draw, a lot more of our emotions come through.” Parker has found art to be useful to get to the underlying issues for all ages. In children, it can be useful because they

are not developmentally able to express themselves as well with words. Although adults may be able to use words better, they tend to censor themselves more. “A s I ’ m h a v i n g t h i s conversation, I’m choosing my words carefully,” Parker says. “Sometimes it may be fear, or you may not be aware of what you’re not saying. With art that part of your brain is pushed aside.” Parker emphasizes that she is not a certified art therapist. For her, art is simply a tool for more psychoanalytic treatment. Parker studied at the University of North Texas, one of the largest play therapy institutions in the world. “Expressive arts was infused in everything we did, from the classroom to our evaluations,” she explains. “It was in everything.” As art continues to be recognized for its healing and communicative properties, its uses will continue to spread. Both art therapists and counselors are working to make sure their number one priority is helping their clients lead healthy and fulfilling lives. DeSoto 27

exploring books} we can be kind

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David Frieman with book

“We Can Be Kind” by David Friedman By Karon Warren | Photography provided by David Friedman

National Random Acts of Kindness Day approaches on Feb. 17, and author David Friedman believes we should take a more deliberate—and daily—approach to showing kindness to others. Originated in New Zealand, National Random Acts of Kindness Day continues to grow in popularity each year, with individuals, groups and corporations joining in to celebrate and encourage kindness by others all over the world. While highlighting kindness on a national level for one day is a great thing, Friedman hopes to inspire others to take a conscious and deliberate approach to show kindness day in and day out. A songwriter, composer and producer of Broadway shows, Disney animated features, television scores, and more, the author wrote “We Can Be Kind: Healing Our World One

Kindness at a Time” by breaking down the lines in his hit song, “We Can Be Kind.” “When my editor, Brenda Knight, came to me and asked me for an idea for my next book, the idea popped into my mind to take the lyric of this song, use each line as a chapter title, and include anecdotes and essays on the topic, as well as suggestions as to how we can be kind, not only to others, but, perhaps more importantly, to ourselves,” Friedman said. The idea definitely seemed to click for Friedman, who wrote the book in just a couple of weeks. As the author said, DeSoto 29

David with Gabriel

each chapter features personal stories from Friedman’s own life as well as related tales and observations from day-to-day life. Throughout the book, he focuses on how we should start by being kind to ourselves, something many of us neglect to do. In fact, each chapter features a “We Can Be Kind to Ourselves” section that outlines ways for us to start showing kindness to ourselves. For example, he recommends that we stop fighting against those things we can’t control and instead accept it for what it is and see where it goes. Another recommendation is to experience things in the moment rather than worrying about what the future may bring. Friedman also offers suggestions on how we each can not only incorporate more kindness into our lives but also to change our mindset regarding kindness. For instance, in Chapter 8, “We Can Be Kind,” he shares a story of financial difficulty, expressing his frustration in trying to modify a second mortgage. A friend referred him to yet another bank employee to help him with his loan. In doing so, his friend told Friedman to “always be delightful, charming, upbeat and pleasant.” Or, as Friedman phrased it, “Always be kind.” He followed that advice, and, in due time, was able to achieve a desirable result. The lesson learned? “Kindness is a choice that we can make no matter what is happening, no matter how helpless we feel, no matter how hopeless the situation seems,” Friedman wrote. In Chapter 20, “If We Always Remember, We Can Be Kind,” the author acknowledges that showing kindness to others, especially when the circumstances are difficult, is not an easy choice to make. In fact, he goes on to provide three steps for practicing kindness in the world: “1) Choose kindness 2) Choose kindness 3) Choose kindness.” Simply put, choosing 30 DeSoto

kindness requires making a deliberate choice again and again. Giving the current climate of today’s world, making the choice to be kind is more important than ever, Friedman said. “We are living in divisive times where people are often being anything but kind to each other, and we’re seeing the negative results all over the place,” he said. “I choose to think that all this is going on now for a positive purpose: to teach us the lessons that we need to learn by revealing resentments and prejudices that have been festering under the surface for years. For this reason, it is more important than ever to have the needed remedies readily available, so I’m glad to have this book to offer at this time.” Friedman hopes readers will realize that showing kindness to others is not merely for the recipients’ benefit, but instead primarily for the benefit of those being kind. “When we are being kind, we are creating an internal world where the experience of kindness lives in our own lives,” Friedman said. “When we know this, practicing kindness is not a burden but rather a joy and a privilege. This is why in the book I concentrate so much on being kind to ourselves.”

“We Can Be Kind: Healing Our World One Kindness at a Time” David Friedman, composer and author Published by Mango (October 2017) For more information about Friedman, visit

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into the wild } land between the lakes national recreation area

Duncan Lake within the recreation area is popular for both fishing and bird watching.

The largest land animal in North America, the American Bison once inhabited the Land Between the Lakes region over a century ago.

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Bull elk shed their antlers every spring. Antlers can grow up to one inch a day and weigh up to 40 pounds.

Land Between the Lakes By Polly Dean Photography courtesy of Polly Dean and Jimmy Jacobs (elk photo)

Called the “Heartland’s Outdoor Playground,” the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area provides an idyllic setting for camping, hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing year-round. In the southwest corner of Kentucky and reaching down into Tennessee, the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is the largest inland peninsula and one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forest in the U.S. with 170,000 acres of open lands, forests, and wetlands. Bordered on the west by Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River and to the east by Lake Barkley on the Cumberland River, this family-friendly recreation area is less than a three-hour drive from Memphis. The land was designated a national recreation area by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Decades earlier, settlements such as the towns of Golden Pond, Kentucky, and Tharpe and Model, Tennessee, occupied the area. The damming of the Tennessee River to create Kentucky Lake in the 1940s flooded low-lying areas forcing out many farmers. Plans to create

Lake Barkley and to connect the two lakes by a canal to lessen shipping distances to the Gulf of Mexico from the Cumberland Valley followed. The project called for evacuation of the entire Land Between the Lakes area. Welcoming more than 2 million visitors from all over the world each year, Land Between the Lakes offers several opportunities for exploring and experiencing mid-19th century history. Highlights include driving through the Elk and Bison Prairie, visiting the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, spending time at the Woodlands Nature Station, and watching the skies at the Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory. Go beyond these key sites and you’ll find an endless array of activities to keep nature lovers happy for days. DeSoto 33

Restored historic structures at the 1850s Homeplace depict rural farm life in Tennessee during the mid-19th century.

Wildlife The area abounds with wildlife such as deer, fox, turkeys and countless more species. Many can be viewed from your vehicle while traveling the area’s 159 miles of paved roads. The almost 300 miles of additional gravel thoroughfares in the park have very little traffic and provide even more opportunities to view those animals that are a bit shyer. A highlight of the recreation area is the Elk and Bison Prairie. The 3.5-mile loop road that is traveled by car winds its way throughout a 700-acre native prairie habitat that was restored for the reintroduction of elk and American bison. Centuries ago vast populations of these animals blanketed the area. Native Americans used the area for hunting grounds. Europeans arrived and due to loss of habitat through farming and over-hunting, bison and elk eventually disappeared from the region. Today the prairie is home to a herd of about 50 bison and 40-50 elk. The cooler months are best for viewing the animals and early morning or evening when it’s warm. October offers a chance to hear elk bugling. Visitors are allowed to photograph the animals from outside their cars as long as they stay within a few feet of their vehicle. Another large herd of bison can be seen from the main road on the Tennessee side, on the South Bison Range. Bison can be very dangerous during mating season and when with young calves. Don’t underestimate their agility and ability 34 DeSoto

to move quickly. The Woodland Nature Station in the recreation area provides a place for visitors to get-up-close to rescued animals. Trails take you through multiple habitats for viewing wildlife. The 1850s Homeplace Travel back in time to experience mid-19th century farm life at the 1850s Homeplace, located inside the recreation area. Interpreters provided by Friends of Land Between the Lakes demonstrate daily activities such as sheep shearing, pig feeding, making wood shingles and tending to the chickens and the garden. Visitors can walk among the restored historic structures, see craftsmen performing their artistry or tasks, and meals being prepared. Seasonal activities take place throughout the year. Kentucky and Barkley Lakes are very popular with bass fishermen and several tournaments are held on the lakes. Catfish, sauger and bluegill are also plentiful in the main lakes and in the interior ponds within the recreation area. Hunting of deer, turkey and small game is also allowed by permit.

1850s Homeplace

Land Between the Lakes by the Numbers: 1,100 acres in Kentucky; 60,000 in Tennessee 31 boat ramps 1,400 campsites (21 camping facilities; 1 overnight group center) Over 500 miles of trails for hiking, biking, off-road riding and horseback riding 9 picnic areas 6 historic iron furnace ruins 352 land animal species (53 mammal species) 260 bird species (75 to 150 eagles) 1,310 plant species 5 interior lakes (in addition to 300 miles of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes shoreline) More than 250 family cemeteries (with more being discovered) DeSoto 35

table talk } the lookout at the pyramid

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Romance on High By Karen Ott Mayer | Photography courtesy of Karen Ott Mayer

Overlooking the Mississippi River, The Lookout at the Pyramid offers stunning panoramic views as well as authentic Southern cuisine. As the elevator ascends 300 feet above the Pyramid floor, stomach butterflies could be attributed to a new love, or in this case, a fear of heights. Once the doors open, however, all doubts about getting to The Lookout at the Pyramid vanish against the sweeping backdrop and a swanky full bar encircling a huge fish tank. When Bass Pro opened the massive retail store in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2015, the restaurant opened as well. The lofty dining area serves up more than average fare. With a signature cocktail like the Duck Blind or Sunrise in hand, the brave can step onto the glass-floored observation decks to view the Mississippi River or downtown Memphis at sunset before sitting down to choose from a menu reflective of the great outdoors--and the great South. The first thing to understand, however, is how to

actually reach the restaurant. Anyone stepping into the elevator pays a $10 fee to reach the top. Bass Pro credits dinner bills, but not lunch, so it’s a good idea to keep the receipt or ticket. Anyone just taking in the sights simply pays $10 for the ride. Tables circle the perimeter around the bar, and lucky couples can dine with 200 others. With an open layout and lots of glass, privacy is a rare commodity as is the “corner table”. Another delightfully rare gem is the head chef, Pinky Tuggers. A slight African-American woman whose real name is Leontyna, she nonetheless prefers to be called Pinky. A native Memphian who has worked at other restaurants in town, Tuggers joined The Lookout on opening day. Her clientele runs the gamut. “Most of our guests are from out of town so they’re DeSoto 37

Elk Chops with Smoked Gouda Grits and Red Wine Demi-Glace Sauce

not familiar with Southern cooking or dishes,” she said. And thus, the great barbecue debate began – to put ribs on the menu or not? “Most people don’t because there are a lot of rib places and they don’t want to compete. But, we added them because everyone’s ribs are different,” said Tuggers. Either she’s brainwashed the staff or they agree, as most everyone said, they love the ribs which are smoked inhouse.To properly educate the visitors, Tuggers also has fried chicken and plenty of sweet tea, even together. “We have sweet tea-brined chicken,” she explained. The great irony of the menu is that downhome cooking rates right alongside the exotic. In the mood for elk? The game meat pairs nicely with potato fennel hash with pan gravy. It’s hard to carry on a conversation with Tuggers without including her grandma. Long gone but ever present, Lilly Bell Young worked for a country club as a chef. “My grandma taught me the things I needed to know,” said Tuggers. Without giving away every delight, Tuggers dwells on her favorites but doesn’t reveal the exact recipe. As a starter, the homemade pimento cheese served on crusty French toast might be considered an ordinary appetizer if it weren’t for the homemade, charred red onion jam. 38 DeSoto

“That was Lilly Bell’s recipe. I use only sharp white Wisconsin cheese with a little cheddar cheese.” For special occasions like Valentine’s Day, The Lookout offers a four-course set dinner. Last year, guests dined on selections such as grilled quail with fennel and orange marmalade, roasted parsnip soup or Chilean sea bass. On regular evenings, the menu is still widely diverse. “We have a little bit of everything. You can get blackened redfish or rainbow trout. I try to create something for everyone,” said Tuggers. Recently, when two guests professed to be vegans, Tuggers created two vegan dishes. She’s also sensitive to glutenfree diets and those with allergies. Wrapping up the meal is just as fun as starting it. Tuggers recommends the gooey butter cake or bread pudding. “They are both my grandma’s recipes as well.” It doesn’t take long to forget that The Lookout is really part of the largest outdoor retail chain in the country when sitting atop the world. Far from being contrived or serving only expected or common fare, The Lookout promises an interesting, authentic experience born from Southern women dedicated to their culinary heritage. Open seven days a week, the restaurant takes drop-ins although reservations are highly recommended

The Lookout’s Pimento Cheese

on special occasions. “We rent the whole restaurant to parties and companies, too,” said Tuggers. The chef can be tight-lipped when it comes to her grandma’s recipes but there’s always hope. “She left me her recipes and said to publish them one day in a book. Maybe I will,” she said with a smile.

Did you know? The Lookout does more than look out for certain guests.Located near St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the restaurant offers free dining to St. Jude patients and their families.

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exploring destinations } daytona beach, florida

Daytona Sunrise

Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse

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Daytona International Speedway

No Need for Speed Mary Ann DeSantis | Photography courtesy of Mary Ann & Tony DeSantis

Mention Daytona Beach, Florida, in February and images of NASCAR’s most iconic event – the Daytona 500 – come to mind. Called the “Great American Race,” the 200-lap race has certainly put the beach town on the map, but there is much more to explore beyond race day. Move over racing fans and spring breakers. Daytona Beach has become a destination that offers thrills beyond the International Speedway and the famous sandy beach -although those are definitely worth a visit. If you are looking for nature, art, and family fun, you can find it all after the NASCAR dust settles on February 18 – the date of this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Daytona 500. To understand how Daytona Beach became such a race car magnet and why driving on beaches is still allowed, just head out to the Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse, a landmark built in 1887. Climb the 203 steps to the top for a breathtaking

panoramic view where you just can imagine the early stock car races that took place in the 1930s along the sandy stretch from Daytona Beach to the lighthouse, where drivers made the “north turn” back toward town. Within walking distance of Lighthouse Point Park is the Marine Science Center, where youngsters as well as the young-at-heart can explore the area’s diverse ecosystems, touch stingrays, and learn about the bird rehabilitation program in Volusia County. The Marine Science Center is just one example of how Daytona Beach is a family friendly destination – even when it’s too breezy to sunbathe on “America’s Original DeSoto 41

Historic Bandshell and Daytona Boardwalk

Beach,” as the folks in Daytona call it. Take advantage of winter’s less-than-ideal beach weather and head into downtown. Tourists often fail to discover the city’s world-class museums located across the Halifax River on Nova Road. The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum showcases paintings spanning nearly 200 years of history from the 1800s into the new millennium with works by well-known artists John James Audubon, Thomas Hart Benton, and N.C. Wyeth. Located in the same 90-acre nature preserve as the Brown Museum is Daytona Beach’s Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS), which houses several art collections as well as a prehistoric gallery where a giant ground sloth skeleton hovers over visitors. Visit MOAS late in the day so you can stay for the evening’s electrifying laser show in the museum’s planetarium. One of Daytona’s “sweetest attractions” is the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, where free 20-minute tours are offered Monday through Saturday on the hour. Located on South Beach Street, the factory is known for high quality, handmade chocolates made fresh daily. Just down the street is one of the newest attractions – the Daytona Arcade Museum, where for $19.95 visitors can play vintage pinball machines and video games all day – no quarters needed. Open since last April, the Arcade Museum is a family friendly time-machine trip to the 1980s, powered by Pac-Man games and music videos. The crème de la crème is an Atari Star Wars sit-down cockpit game made in 1983. 42 DeSoto

Stroll along the famous Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier, a combination of history and fun. The historic band shell is the site for seasonal weekend concerts and special events while the Joyland Amusement Center is the place for family Go-Kart races. If you visit between November and March, drive to nearby Blue Spring State Park where West Indian Manatees find refuge during the winter. From an overlook, view and photograph several hundred manatees as they huddle in the “warm” 73-degree water, which is the largest natural spring on the St. John’s River. Season swimming is available in the summer, but not when the manatees are in town. A trip to Daytona Beach isn’t complete without a tour of the International Speedway– especially since a $400 million renovation a few years ago turned it into more than a racing venue. It’s a small city within itself, complete with its own solar plant. Seeing the speedway up close is a treat, especially on the 30-minute shuttle tour ($18, adults; $12, ages 6-12) or the 90-minute all-access tour ($25, adults; $19, ages 6-12), which includes a behind-the-scenes view of the track. “The International Speedway is much more of a social experience now,” says Lori Campbell Baker, Daytona Beach’s director of public relations. “It’s also more than the World Center of Racing… it’s now the World Center of Entertainment.”

In addition to racing and other special events, the speedway hosts the “Country 500” music festival.Scheduled this year for May 25-27, the festival will feature some of the top names in country music, including Toby Keith, Chris Stapleton, and Dierks Bentley. Three huge performance stages– all specially designed and built for the festival – are located on the speedway’s infield. Seeing all that Daytona Beach has to offer in a long weekend is a race to the finish, but the good news is that it can be just a trial run until your next visit.

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on the road again } chattanooga, tn

, a g o o n Chatta e e s s e n n Te

9:00 Breakfast at Rembrandt’s Coffee House in the Arts District. This European style cafe serves delicious house roasted coffee and handmade pastries and breads. Other menu choices include challah French toast, Rembrandt’s Rancheros or a create-yourown-egg sandwich. 10:00 After breakfast, walk through the Arts District. Shop the art gallery and stroll through the sculpture garden overlooking the Tennessee River. Located on twoacres, the space includes formal and informal gardens as well as a meditation area. 11:00 Explore the Tennessee Aquarium located on downtown’s riverfront. Learn more about both freshwater and saltwater species like alligators, giant catfish, and the amazing reef system showcasing tiger sharks and colorful fish. 1:00 While downtown, enjoy lunch at Public House where fine food meets casual atmosphere. Enjoy the chef’s take on the traditional Southern meat and three. Pick fried chicken, trout or pot roast, and then choose delicious sides like creamy grits, collard greens or garlic green beans. The menu also offers sandwiches, small plates, soups, salads and daily specials. 2:00 Visit the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo, which opened in 1909 as Terminal Station during the height of railroad travel. The renovated complex now offers dining, shopping, a rose garden and the beautiful Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. 4:00 Tour the newly opened Songbirds Guitar Museum located on Station Street. Visitors get a rare look at over 500 vintage instruments. Whether you play guitar or not, the fascinating stories, music and artists behind the guitars are worth a visit. The museum houses a permanent collection as well as traveling shows, concerts and events. Walk around Station Street, one of the newest entertainment areas in the city. This pedestrian-friendly street is filled with micro brews, comedy and music and restaurants. 6:00 Head to the south end of Station Street for a delicious dinner at Alleia. Chef Daniel Lindley creates rustic Italian dishes with local and fresh ingredients. The menu offers hand-made pasta, pizzas, chicken, steaks and seafood. Pair with a craft cocktail or wine.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers a variety of

great attractions and tours for families as well as couples. This Valentine’s Day grab your significant other and try out these romantic spots.

Take a cruise aboard the Southern

Belle vintage steamboat. Choose between the Sweetheart Luncheon Cruise or Be Mine Dinner cruise. Celebrate with a delicious meal, live music and panoramic views of the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga. Visit for more information.

See Rock City! Located 6 miles outside

Chattanooga, Rock City features massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking views. Enjoy the Valentine’s at Lover’s Leap package for just $49, which includes a souvenir photo, fudge and sparkling wine or cider. Visit for more information.

Enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride through

downtown. The 15-minute ride leaves from the Tennessee Aquarium. Learn the history of the city or just enjoy each other’s company. Open Thursday - Sunday.

Stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.

Book one of the recently renovated rooms in the Macarthur Building or relive the past in one of the Pullman Train Cars. Handmade chocolates and champagne await. Visit to book your stay.

To plan your visit: DeSoto 45

greater goods } valentine’s gifts for her

Valentine’s Gifts for Her










1. Heart wallets, Cynthia’s Boutique, 2529 Caffey Street, Hernando, MS 2. Kendra Scott jewelry, The Pink Zinnia, 134 West Commerce Street, Hernando, MS 3. Body lotions, Commerce Street Market, 74 W Commerce St, Hernando, MS 4. Decorative hearts, The Pink Zinnia, 134 West Commerce Street, Hernando, MS


5. Artwork, The Pink Zinnia, 134 West Commerce Street, Hernando, MS 6. The Works hand, body and skin repair, Frank, 210 E Commerce Street #7, Hernando, MS 7. Dogeared necklaces, Bon Von, 214 W Center Street, Hernando, MS


8. Stemless wine glasses, Cynthia’s Boutique, 2529 Caffey Street, Hernando, MS 9. Brighton bracelets, Center Stage Fashions, 324 W Commerce Street, Hernando, MS 10. Necklaces, Paisley Pineapple, 6542 Goodman Road Olive Branch, MS

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greater goods } valentine’s gifts for him

Valentine’s Gifts for Him 3





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1. Burlebo T-shirts, The Bunker, 2631 McIngvale Road #106, Hernando, MS 2. Southern Tide cologne, SoCo Apparel, 300 W Commerce St, Hernando, MS 3. Gift certificates for AC’s Steakhouse, Hernando and Olive Branch, MS 4. Men’s boxers, SoCo Apparel, 300 W Commerce St, Hernando, MS 5. Cigar humidor, Bon Von, 214 W Center Street, Hernando, MS 6. Bootsie’s Delta Funk BBQ sauces, Merry Magnolia, 194 E Military Road, Marion, AR 7. Red Wine Stain Remover, Frank, 210 E Commerce Street #7, Hernando, MS 8. Cigar cutters and wine openers, Bon Von, 214 W Center Street, Hernando, MS 9. Turnrow caps, The Bunker, 2631 McIngvale Road #106, Hernando, MS DeSoto 47

Namaste Around the South By Jill Gleeson Photography courtesy of Seven Springs Yoga and Holistic Retreats, Wattle Hollow and Art of Living Retreat in Boone, NC.

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Yoga – a spiritual and ascetic discipline that originated in ancient India – has become widely recommended for health and relaxation. Its popularity in the U.S. has exploded, and many enthusiasts look to retreats for a complete immersion in the practice.

Seven Springs Holistic Retreat Center Maryville, Tennessee

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Art of Living Retreat, Boone, NC

Art of Living Retreat, Boone, NC

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Once the province of free-spirits, artists, and academics, yoga has now become more mainstream with a whopping 36.7 million Americans practicing the ancient Hindu discipline, according to a 2016 report by the Yoga Alliance. Devotees attest to a greater physical, mental and spiritual well-being through the stretching, body poses, breath control and meditation. Yoga is now a $16 billion industry in the U.S., with many practitioners drawn to it as a way of boosting their overall health. From increasing flexibility and muscle strength, to relieving stress and improving cardio and circulatory health, yoga seems to do it all. “Yoga gives me a way to exercise that is gentle enough for my Lupus flareups, but I also turned some mental corners I never believed possible,” says Amber Kleid, proprietor of Kleidoscope[sic] Studios Yoga & Art in Waynesville, North Carolina. “I worked through some childhood trauma and I really look at life differently now. Through teaching, I want to share these possibilities.” The wave of yoga fever spreading across the South means not only more studios and teachers but also more yoga retreats. Typically held in bucolic environs over a few days, retreats bring practitioners together in fellowship, giving them a chance to not only up their yoga game, but make new friends along the way. Here are a few of our favorites. Flowering Lotus Retreat and Meditation Center Magnolia, Mississippi Longtime New Orleans-based studio Wild Lotus Yoga holds annual retreats at Flowering Lotus, located in a Victorian mansion in the heart of Magnolia. This year’s retreat, November 2-4, includes lodging, vegetarian meals and plenty of yoga sessions. Prices are $425, or $375 each for friends signing up together. Wild Lotus members receive a 10 percent discount. (; 504-899-0047) Retreat in the Pines Mineola, Texas Tucked away in a wooded enclave with its own dedicated yoga studio, Retreat in the Pines boasts a women-only experience extended to all women, regardless of age, DeSoto 51

Art of Living Retreat, Boone, NC

Wattle Hollow Retreat Center Fayetteville, Arkansas

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fitness ability and background. “What sets us apart from other retreats is the opportunity for women to discover their tribe,” notes founder Theresa Polley. “Our guests share time together laughing, enjoying wine and supporting and encouraging each other.” Retreats are offered several times a month. The most popular, Yoga Nurture Retreat, is $399, all-inclusive. Scholarships are available. (; 469867-0766) Yogaville Buckingham, Virginia Founded by Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award-winner Sri Swami Satchidananda, Yogaville welcomes more than 2,000 guests annually to its 1,000 acres along the James River. Prices for an individual visit begin at $75 nightly for a shared room and include three vegetarian meals a day and yoga classes. Yogaville runs group retreats often; one of the most popular is the Silent Spring Retreat, which returns April 5-8, with all activities to be held in silence. Tuition is $265, with an additional charge for lodging. (; 800-858-9642) Wattle Hollow Retreat Center Fayetteville, Arkansas When looking for a yoga retreat,you should keep an eye out for a spirit of generosity and non-competitiveness, advises Joy Fox, creator of Wattle Hollow Retreat Center. “I’m in love with the synergistic marriage of silent meditation, yoga and a remote retreat center. It’s an amazing way to see ourselves,” she says. Wattle Hollow holds retreats monthly. “Being Where You Are,” from March 23-25, will feature yoga and meditation sessions, vegetarian meals and lodging for $150, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. All abilities are welcome. (; 479-225-2381) Art of Living Retreat Center Boone, North Carolina Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is the setting for the 380acre Art of Living Retreat Center, founded DeSoto 53

by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Hotel and retreat rooms are available for individual visits, and apartments for stays of eight days or more. There are daily yoga and meditation sessions, a pottery studio and spa. Non-inclusive prices begin at $118, or book a Sri Sri Yoga Retreat, with 10 hours of classes spread over a weekend. The next retreat is scheduled for February 16-18, with allinclusive prices starting at $350 per person. Every skill level is welcome. (; 800-392-6870) Seven Springs Holistic Retreat Center Maryville, Tennessee Seven Springs will host Women’s Sacred Stories Retreat for the first time October 4-9. The retreat will feature yoga, meditation, self-exploratory writing and storytelling sessions, along with accommodations and meals, for $1195 if booked before July.

“For me, gathering with a circle of women is always about reconnecting to our intuition,” says Storyteller Within founder Aimee Hansen. “Through yoga we not only move the many energies that we are asking to be released or expressed within us, but we also get reconnected to the home of our deepest intuition – our own body. We learn how to be guided by the knowing and wisdom we already hold within.” ( Summerwind Yoga Retreat Destin, Florida Combining a daily yoga class, meditation on the beach and culinary classes from a professional chef, Summerwind is hosting retreats February 15-18 and April 19-22, with dates in May and September still to be announced. Prices begin at $595 for a shared room. ( summerwind/4-days-culinary-and-yoga-retreat-florida-usa)

Art Body Soul Opens in Memphis Memphians wishing to explore self-improvement in the New Year have reason to cheer with the opening of Art Body Soul at 1024 South Yates the third week of February. The first studio of its kind in the Mid-South, Art Body Soul will offer yoga, meditation and art classes as well as massage and energy work, all in the service of self-healing. Founder Madeleine Newkirk employs the Dalian Method, an alternative wellness approach designed by best-selling author Mada Dalian that helps release blocks preventing people from living more wholehearted lives. “The Dalian Method is great for yoga practitioners because it will help them to go deeper,” says Newkirk. “The Dalian Method is a healing modality for mind, body and spirit that uses the breath along with other techniques to bring a person into the present moment, to access their inner knower and bring about transformation.” For more information about Art Body Soul, visit

Art of Living Retreat, Boone, NC

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Go Natural By Jason Frye | Photography courtesy of Maggie’s Pharm and

Next time you have a headache, or you ate too much and your stomach hurts, or you’re sore after a workout, look to a natural remedy rather than a chemical-based cure.

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“What most people don’t know is they have many ‘natural cures’ in their pantry,” says Bella Golightly of Memphis, Tennessee’s Maggie’s Pharm. She’s not referring to the medicine cabinet or some apothecary’s shelves full of glass jars brimming with herbs, branches and bark; rather, Golightly is talking about your spice cabinet, where you likely have bottles and jars of cinnamon, garlic, mustard seeds, turmeric, cayenne and other spices with medicinal qualities. Fresh herbs, too, like rosemary, ginger, garlic (yes, it’s good any way you take it), parsley, thyme and just about every other herb or flower your grandmother or her grandmother grew in the garden are all here for a purpose. “The way dried flowers and herbs can be used surprises people. Take something like cayenne. This spicy seasoning has been shown to help boost metabolism and topically—suspended in oil, lotion or cream—it helps with pain relief as it increases circulation to the areas where it’s applied,” she says. Maggie’s Pharm has been a Memphis staple since 1980, selling medicinal herbs, teas and coffee, spices, oils, soaps and sundries. In the back are apothecary shelves of barks and twigs, powders and dried flowers, seeds, leaves and exotic smelling granules in half a hundred colors. You’ll also find loyal customers who use herbs and spices for ailments as well as for general health. “In our whole herb section, we sell bulk herbs and spices to local herbalists, but also to walk-in customers,” says Golightly. “We’re a place people come for an herbal or natural 58 DeSoto

remedy rather than a chemical one.” Golightly points out that turmeric, the spice that lends Indian curries a bronze-gold hue, stimulates the appetite and aids in digestion but has an array of other benefits as well. It has also shown positive effects for treating arthritis. It contains a chemical, curacumin, which may help fight against certain types of cancer. Ongoing studies are examining the relationship between turmeric and curacumin with Alzheimer’s disease as well as asthma. Garlic, which in addition to repelling vampires and close talkers, can help the body resist colds. “Just eat a clove when you begin feeling sick, “says Golightly, “and you can slow or even stop a cold, just with garlic, no drowsy medicine required.” Garlic has also been linked to lower cholesterol (a 5-10 percent reduction in overall count, depending on the study you reference), and can reduce the risk of heart disease. If this sounds crazy to you, consider that many contemporary medications contain compounds built on and based off of natural cures. Take aspirin as an example. Early forms of the drug (and some current forms) were derived from white willow bark, which when boiled, delivers the same— albeit weaker—benefits as a pill. And this just scratches the surface “Herbs, like any medication, can be used ineffectively or incorrectly, so it’s important to work with an herbalist or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, someone who knows herbs, their effects and drawbacks, and usage. This will ensure

you’re on the right path with treatment,” Golightly says. “Do your research and trust the people around you—your herbalist, the folks at stores like ours, your physician or traditional medicine practitioner.”


Chinese Medicine

The most well-known of nonwestern medicine may be traditional Chinese medicine, which combines herbal and natural remedies with acupuncture, nutrition and medical massage. Memphis’ Acupuncture and Healing Arts Medical Group provides all aspects of traditional Chinese medicine to clients interested in these ancient treatments. Chuck Sullivan, owner of the medical group, says, “Traditional Chinese medicine is looked at as some new-agey thing, but the roots of it are quite deep and very complex. Part of the Chinese culture is recording for the next generation, so practitioners are drawing on more than 2,000 years of writings, practices and techniques. In China today, many hospitals DeSoto 59

Cannabis Oil

have two sides: Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.” Acupuncture is one of the techniques that’s at least colloquially known to Americans. In acupuncture, miniscule needles are inserted in specific points and left in for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. A qualified acupuncturist will interview patients to determine the best placement pattern for that individual, then insert needles along the meridian lines and points they deem to be most effective. While some new clients are nervous about being “poked” with needles, the treatment isn’t threatening or frightening at all. Using precise placement and gentle taps to set the needle, each one is inserted with little sensation. “At most, they feel like a mosquito bite, but without the itch,” says Sullivan, who added that the needles are singleuse, sterile-pack needles designed specifically for acupuncture. Clients report warming sensations, loosening of muscles, feelings of heaviness where the needles are placed, but very rarely pain. And due to the size of the needles, blood is seldom seen. “Acupuncture can be used to treat pain, depression, digestive issues, fertility, and much more, “Sullivan says. “But remember, acupuncture is only one element of traditional Chinese medicine, and is most effective when used in conjunction with the others.” That means herbal remedies, nutritional approaches and medical massage—less relaxing than a Swedish 60 DeSoto

massage and more focused on improving range of motion. Diet comes into play in traditional Chinese medicine and has become more of a focus for western medical practitioners as well. Diabetics, those with Celiac or gluten intolerance, and others have used nutrition and diet to moderate conditions for a long time, and athletes have been paying more attention to nutrition and the quality of their caloric intake over generations. Now this way of thinking has reached the average consumer. Organic and non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods have increased in popularity and availability, and while many tout the health benefits of these foods, some call them into question. One thing is not in question, however. With organic and non-GMO foods there are no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides present, meaning when you eat, you get the plant and only the plant, no chemical compounds.

Medical Cannabis

Across the U.S., the conversation on natural cures has turned with frequency to medical cannabis, commonly known as marijuana (though marijuana is actually a different plant from cannabis). To date, 29 states have legalized some form of medical cannabis, with eight states legalizing the plant’s recreational use. Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana, and the southern border states of Illinois and Ohio have legalized limited forms of

medical cannabis (check states for their respective laws regarding the legality of prescriptions, usage and obtaining cannabis, which is commonly limited to residents who are also registered medical patients). Most states—including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North and South Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee—have legalized the use of Cannabidiol, or CBD. This is one of the active compounds in cannabis (along with THC, the psychoactive element), and it shows a lot of promise in treating a range of conditions from pain to anxiety. Maggie’s Pharm carries CBD products—tinctures, oils, patches, and vaporizer-based products—that come from Veteran Grown, LLC, a company in Clarksville, Tenn, specializing in hemp strains that have high CBD percentages.

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By Pam Windsor Photography courtesy of Pam Windsor

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis prepares special remembrances to educate and inspire on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.

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Lorraine Motel , view of Room 306

Scenes from some of the most turbulent times in America’s history wind throughout the National Civil Rights Museum in downtown Memphis. Built on the site of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the museum honors the slain civil rights leader, but also serves to educate and inspire. Film clips, photos, and exhibits of boycotts, sit-ins, and marches showcase the many non-violent protests that would lead to the end of segregation. In early April 1968, King traveled to Memphis to support striking sanitation workers. He’d been there earlier to lead a protest march to battle poor working conditions and low wages, but outside forces intervened and the march turned violent. King promised to return. On the night of April 3rd, King gave his famous, somewhat prophetic Mountaintop speech at Mason Temple, telling those gathered he’d been to the Mountaintop and seen the Promised Land, but noted, “I may not get there with you.” The speech would be his last. The next evening, as King prepared to depart the Lorraine Motel for dinner with his staff, he was shot on the balcony in front of Room 306. Andrew Young, King’s friend and executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, was in the parking lot below. He’d just advised King to grab a coat because it was chilly outside. King paused, as if to consider it, when the shot rang out. Young raced upstairs to find King with a gunshot wound to the chin and neck. “It was so sudden,” he says. “The 15 minutes before 64 DeSoto

he died were some of the happiest times I’d ever seen him. He was laughing, he was joking, we had a pillow fight, and he couldn’t have been more filled with joy and spirituality. And then he goes up to his room and comes out, then bang, he’s gone.” Authorities determined the fatal shot came from a boarding house across the street. Evidence would later lead to the arrest and conviction of James Earl Ray. The shock of King’s death reverberated around the country, sparking violence in many cities, and leaving those closest to King deeply saddened, as they tried to contemplate how to move forward without him. “I think he’d prepared us for trying to carry on,” Young says. “Now we couldn’t carry on together, but just before we went to Memphis, I had a meeting with him and Harry Belafonte and John Conyers and we were talking about how to take the energy and vitality and movement into politics. And that’s sort of what led me into running for Congress.” Young would go on to serve in Congress, become U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and serve two terms as mayor of Atlanta. Bernard Lafayette, Jr, who King had appointed as National Coordinator for the Poor People’s Campaign, had come to Memphis, but planned to head to Washington, D.C. the next day for a press conference. He was waiting for King the night of the Mountaintop speech to work on the press release. “When King came back he was so euphoric and so excited, he wasn’t ready to do the press statement, “Lafayette

Rosa Parks

remembers. “So we did it the next morning.” That morning, Lafayette prepared to leave for Washington. “The last words King said to me had nothing to do with the press statement. He said, ‘The next movement we’re going to have is to internationalize and institutionalize non-violence.’” Lafayette arrived in Washington that evening to discover King had been shot. He would later go back to college and continue doing what King had asked him to do. “If you’re going to institutionalize non-violence, the one place you’re going to do that is in the educational system. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 50 years.” The museum in Memphis documents much of the civil rights movement. One display features a full-size bus with a statue of Rosa Parks portraying her refusal to give up her seat to a white man. A driver’s voice can be heard warning Parks to move to the back of the bus or face arrest. Another exhibit recounts the role of Freedom Riders who took the desegregation fight to interstate buses. That DeSoto 65

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

first Greyhound bus left Atlanta for Birmingham on May 14, 1961, coming under attack by a Klan-led crowd that smashed windows and slashed tires. Later, forced off the road, it was set ablaze and Freedom Rider Hank Thomas was beaten with a baseball bat. Another display showcases the sanitation workers “I Am a Man” campaign. Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum, says the museum honors King, but also shows others were involved in creating change. “I think it’s important that this museum demonstrates that Dr. King was but one person who was part of this movement. He was the face most of us saw, but there were thousands of people in it in some way, shape, or form.” In marking the anniversary of King’s death, the museum has encouraged people – through its website – to take a pledge for peace and action. A series of events are planned, culminating in a Day of Remembrance on April 4. There will be panels, shared stories, and a commemorative ceremony involving the changing of the wreath in front of Room 306. “At 6:01 (the moment King was shot) we will do a ringing of the bells in bell towers in Memphis,” Freeman says, 66 DeSoto

“and we’re hoping to coordinate bell towers across the country, 6:01 Central Time, 4:01 Pacific Time, and 7:01 Eastern Time.” The goal is to reflect and also look to the future. Young says that while much was accomplished with civil rights laws and changing the legal framework of the country, there’s still work to be done regarding poverty. While mayor of Atlanta, Young worked to have the city become part of the global economy to create jobs and become less reliant on the federal government. He attributes everything he accomplished to King’s teachings. He says that though we honor King, there’s sometimes a lack of understanding regarding the importance of faith and spirituality in King’s life. “Dr. King said that’s all we have. We have the power of our faith and that’s a spiritual power. And we can overcome any physical violence or hatred. The only way you overcome hatred is with love. Not with greater hatred.” King’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, who heads the King Center in Atlanta, says the anniversary of her father’s death comes as a critical time in the nation and the world. “People are struggling internally and externally with mistrust, biases, prejudices, and hate.”

She says the global community still grapples with what her father called the Triple Evils of racism, war, and poverty. “The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the day he was assassinated should serve as a time for us to reassess who we want to be, reconnect with our divine mandate to do justice, reroute where we are going and re-imagine how we move forward. I remain hopeful, and, as the King Center’s theme for commemorating the anniversary reflects, I believe that ‘Together We Win, With Love for Humanity’.” www.mlk50.civilrightsmuseum org/ 50th-anniversary-commemoration mlk50-forward-schedule-of-events

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homegrown } janey bee jems

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A Gem of an Idea By Cheré Coen | Photography courtesy of Brooke Ballard

Southaven native Brooke Ballard never dreamed her talent for making jewelry would take her from nursing student to entrepreneur so quickly. Sometimes a personal creation can turn into a successful business. That’s what happened in 2015 to Brooke Ballard, a Southaven native who’s a student at the University of Memphis. “I made a necklace for myself to match an outfit and someone saw it on me and liked it,” she says. “They asked if I would make them one.” So she did. Then she created another… and another. The demand increased for her jewelry so Ballard began selling pieces on Instagram and Facebook social media sites, then opened a store on Etsy, an online shop for creative people. “It really took off,” she says of her online success.

“That did really well and I started wholesaling.” Pretty amazing for a nursing student. Well, a temporary one. “I always knew I wanted to get into fashion,” Ballard explains. “It was my passion. I changed my major from nursing and within a month started my company. It was a matter of shifting gears and doing what I was passionate about.” Now, Ballard’s creations under the company name of Janey Bee Jems— Janey for her grandmother and Bee for her childhood nickname — are sold in 45 stores in seven states across the country. Every piece is handmade, some that take 30 minutes to create and some up to eight hours. “Pretty much every piece is different,” Ballard says. “It’s a personal experience (for the owner) knowing that every DeSoto 69

piece is unique.” Ballard uses gun metal, silver and gemstones for her creations, among other materials. She produces earrings, bracelets and necklaces, many that flow well together and are meant to be layered on outfits in ways where each piece is presentable and appreciated. For instance, she may wear several bracelets together, each utilizing different items such as turquoise, metal or leather. “My biggest thing right now is mixed metal,” she says. “It ties into outfits more easily.” In a nutshell, Ballard insists, her creations are conversation starters. “Pretty much anything that makes a statement,” she adds. Ballard is still selling on Etsy, where she makes many international sales, but the most popular places to purchase her creations are her website and retail boutiques in north Mississippi, such as Janie Rose Boutique in Southaven, and several in the Memphis area. Prices range from $20 for a choker necklace to $100 for a set of necklaces. “Janey Bee Jems has been a staple brand in Janie Rose since Brooke first started selling jewelry,” says Jessica Russell, owner of Janie Rose Boutique. “From the very start, she has had an eye for trends and that drew us in. She knows how to put her unique spin on a trendy piece to make it unlike anything you’ve ever bought. “On top of her talents, Brooke has been a very good customer of ours for quite some time,” Russell adds. “Of course, the popularity of her jewelry in the store keeps us coming back for more, but the friendship that has developed during the process is our favorite part.” And if you think with all this success the young entrepreneur wouldn’t have time for anything else, Ballard works at American Threads in Germantown and will perform an internship before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in merchandising and marketing from the University of Memphis in May. The juggle between work, school and her business has been tough at times, Ballard says. “About a year ago I had an overflow of orders,” she explains. “I was up to 3 a.m. trying to get it all done.” To get through that intense workload, Ballard tried to strategize and mimic the biggest corporations and how they manage an uptake in sales. “For the most part, I’m a hard worker and that just comes with it,” Ballard explained of the ebb and flow of merchandising. Her plans post-graduation are to continue Janey Bee Jems and plan for its expansion and growth. The University of Memphis has assisted her with establishing her business and helped her make informed business decisions, she says. “My favorite part of this business is meeting new people,” Ballard says. “It’s really opened up new opportunities for me and I love the networking.” The Memphis native plans to stay in the Bluff City, unless an opportunity arises that takes her elsewhere. “I’m really rooted here,” she says. “I love Memphis a lot.”

Where to find Janey Bee Jems Southern Collection (SoCo) Apparel, Olive Branch and Hernando, Miss. Janie Rose Boutique, Southaven, Miss. Beautiful Soul, Germantown, Tenn. Threads Boutique, Memphis, Tenn. Shopping: Brooke’s Facebook page:  Instagram: @janeybeejems

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southern gentleman } valentine’s day do’s and don’ts

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Valentine’s Day

for the Dating, Seriously Dating, and Married By Jason Frye Photography courtesy of, and Adobestock

It’s Valentine’s Day, when the idea of individualized romance is thrown out the window in favor of the formulaic dozen roses, overly sentimental card, and dinner at a fancy but not too pricey restaurant. To that end, we have suggestions, tips, and don’t-be-that-guy stories to help you have a happy and successful Valentine’s Day. Everything’s broken down by your significant-other status: dating, seriously dating, and married.


Your relationship is new and things are running hot and heavy. You haven’t had a real argument yet because wherever she wants to go for dinner is fine by you as long as you can be near her. Is Valentine’s Day the time to take things to the next level? Well, that’s a personal question, but generally the answer is “no” because there’s a lot of pressure built into the holiday, which means a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong. But maybe our advice will help make things go right.


Avoid the weekend away. Seems romantic, but a weekend away is a crucible and not all relationships can stand the pressure. While this is not the time to head to Nashville for a long weekend together, and an evening at someplace fun like Nudie’s Honky Tonk or Robert’s Western World sounds, well, good, instead think concert or comedy show, something easy and interactive that you’ll both enjoy.

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Try to avoid the “so expensive I won’t be able to make rent if we have appetizers and dessert” restaurant and go for a place you know to have a reputation for great food and great service. Oysters? Always. They’re tasty (especially those Murder Point oysters out of Alabama) any time you have them, plus you can put their rumored aphrodisiac effects to the test.


Don’t go overboard, especially if it’s your first Valentine’s Day together. A bouquet is fine; two-dozen roses in an arrangement that would look more at home in a funeral parlor is not.


Somewhere between “she keeps a toothbrush at my place” and thinking “what does this relationship look like in 10 years,” this is not your first Valentine’s Day together. You’ve been through the stomach flu, political talk at a family dinner, and you’ve got a bagful of inside jokes. By now you’ve got a V-Day or two under your belt as a couple and have given some gifts that were not so well-received (remember that “personal massager” debacle?)but surprised them throughout the year with your humor, sense of adventure, and all around Southern Gentleman-ness. This may be the Valentine’s Day you give popping the question – the “Marry Me” question or the “Move In With Me” question – serious consideration. 74 DeSoto


Give popping the question all the consideration you want, but pick another day, one when the question is less expected and your romantic nature can really shine, to drop to one knee and see if you’ve found your forever person. When you’re making those dinner reservations, skip the four-course prix fixe Valentine’s Dinner and go for some place where the wine service or cocktail menu is on point and the menu is loaded with delicious – but not too filling – dishes to share.


A long weekend in a town like Asheville, North Carolina – where you can sneak away for a romantic dinner at Cucina 24 or Cúrate, then hit a spa like Shoji or the one at The Grove Park Inn – might be right on the money. Something warm and beachy – Gulf Shores, Alabama, or Clearwater, Florida – might fit you better. And if things are really serious, you might even consider a jet-setting retreat to Martinique or another Caribbean isle.


When you head to your B&B for a romantic getaway, remember that most B&Bs have thin walls. That means any romantic activities could, if one were diligent and practiced, interrupt the peaceful and quiet moments your fellow guests are trying to enjoy.


Remember the year you bought a hot water heater for Valentine’s Day? Or the time you forgot to get a card and had to settle for saying you “left it at work”? You find romance in the little, everyday moments. Today, restaurants and babysitters collude on new ways to empty your bank account. Romance? Who needs sappy cards and heart balloons to tell you about romance? You’ve found more romance in falling asleep to The Great British Baking Show than your 22-year-old self could imagine.


Rewind back to your early days: visit your first-date restaurant; approach your spouse with that endearing nervousness you had when things were new. Go over the top. Arrange for the kids to be elsewhere for the night and hire a personal chef to come in, cook a meal for the two of you, clean up, and leave. You get a romantic dinner and don’t need a designated driver.


Impromptu is good, heading into a restaurant with no reservation is madness, so do make the proper arrangements. Gift giving can get complicated at this stage in the romance. Jewelry? It could be a winner, but it could cost a few car payments. A new car? What, do you live in a commercial and expect to deliver one topped with a giant bow in the driveway without anyone noticing? No gift? You’re walking on thin ice.


You will forget some part of Valentine’s Day at some point in your life, but if you haven’t yet, don’t start now. And if you have, you’d better make up for it with a car in the driveway.

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southern harmony } the salty dogs

The Salty Dogs By Charlene Oldham | Photography courtesy of The Salty Dogs

From classic country to modern music makeovers, The Salty Dogs have been rockin’ Little Rock audiences for more than a decade. When a group of Little Rock-based musicians were brainstorming for a band name, one of its two singers suggested The Salty Dogs, a moniker inspired by a folk/bluegrass tune that dates back to the early 1900s. The name turned out to be his longest-lasting contribution to the band, which has now been together for more than 14 years. “He kind of named the band and never showed up for a gig, so that was the end of that,” said Salty Dogs singer, songwriter and guitarist Brad Williams. “But we were too lazy to try to rename it.” 76 DeSoto

Similarly, guitarist Nick Devlin was a late addition to the band’s original roster in 2003. The loose lineup and nonchalant naming has a lot to do with how and why the band began. The Salty Dogs launched on a lark to win the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase with an over-the-top take on classic country, complete with countryfied clothes and straightforward musical missives focused on common themes from the genre. “The band kind of started off as an exaggeration of a traditional country band to the nth degree, and I think the songwriting and the music was part of that exaggeration,”

Williams said. “It was very to the point.” After taking the top prize in the annual contest, The Salty Dogs decided to continue performing and recording music, expanding their repertoire and range. The band’s mostrecent release, a six-track EP titled “Goodnight,” features Williams, Devlin and Salty Dogs drummer Bart Angel and bassist Brent LaBeau. It also showcases work by Brian Whelan, Rodney Block, Tim Crouch and Stephen Winter. Between them, the guest musicians boast country credentials including time playing with Dwight Yoakam and at the Grand Ole Opry. The Salty Dogs have also shared the stage with artists including Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Billy Joe Shaver and Robert Earl Keen, among others. So, the group has evolved from an exercise in overstatement into a band that plays on the same bill as some of the musical icons that inspired the band’s beginnings. Over the years, The Salty Dogs have expanded beyond their roots as a retro country act, and Williams said the newest EP blends all the long-time band members’ musical tastes into a sound that’s now all their own. “It’s a four-way contribution that reflects our influences,” he said. “So,there will be some aspects of country and there will be some that are rock ‘n’ roll and there will be a guitar solo that makes you think, ‘That shouldn’t be in a country song.’” The EP starts with a scratchy, stripped-down version of the title track “Goodnight” that was produced in The Third Man Record Booth at Jack White’s Third Man Records location in Nashville. The record booth is a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph that dispenses a 6-inch phonograph at the end of a recording session. The “Goodnight ‘47” prelude helps set the tone for the rest of the album, which also includes a rocking version of The Louvin Brothers’ 1959 song “The Christian Life” and

closes with the full-length studio recording of “Goodnight.” With their newest release, The Salty Dogs are paying tribute to classic country, gospel and bluegrass while giving some traditions a decidedly modern musical makeover. In fact, drummer Bart Angel said the band’s sound takes listeners far beyond hayrides and honky tonks. “Now it’s everything: Bakersfield, bluegrass, overproduced Nashville stuff, ‘70s California stuff, British music…whatever,” Angel said. “We all listen to anything and everything so it shouldn’t be a surprise, I guess. It’d be only natural to incorporate it, intentionally or not.”     The band’s continuing musical metamorphosis has kept members and fans engaged for nearly a decade and a half. In that time, the group’s members have held down day jobs, which they once balanced with shows that began in the wee hours, Williams said. “There was a time when we would play a gig from one to four in the morning,” he said. “There’s no way I would do that anymore.” Since its first show in 2003, The Salty Dog members have added kids and grandkids to their broods. And, after so many years of practicing and playing together, the band members seem like family, too, Angel said. “Probably jinxing things here, but my favorite thing about the band is that we genuinely like and respect one another personally and musically. Everything else pretty much works itself out,” he said. “For me, gaining three quasi-brothers has been the biggest reward. And getting paid money to play good music with guys that know each other so well personally and musically.  It’s crazy.” The Salty Dogs are on the web at The new EP “Goodnight” is also available through Spotify, Amazon and iTunes. DeSoto 77

in good spirits} mississippi martinez

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The Apothecary Bar Offers


By Cheré Coen | Photography courtesy of Robert Raymond, The Apothecary

Wander through the landmark Brent’s Drugs after hours, and you’ll find the Apothecary Bar where remedies include signature cocktails. While many people know Brent’s Drugs in Jackson for its famous retro décor or its use in the popular film “The Help,” they might not realize there’s another more spirited side to the Fondren neighborhood landmark. When the circa-1946 drugstore, now restaurant, closes at 5 p.m., the Apothecary Bar opens. The bar is located in what used to be the drugstore’s medicine storage room, said mixologist Robert Raymond. Patrons access the lounge via the closed drugstore-eatery, but make their way to the back where signature and classic cocktails are served. “Brent’s closes at five most days, but we leave the front door unlocked and trust people to walk through the drug store,” Raymond said. The Apothecary opens early for the after-work crowd and stays open until 1 a.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The extensive hours provide for an interesting evening, Raymond said. “You get to see the whole night pass by you,” he explained. “It’s a wide range of people and life experiences who come in here. It’s a really interesting place.” The bar shares the kitchen with Brent’s, serving small plates with their spirits with more extensive dishes on the weekend. Once a month on a Tuesday, The Apothecary invites Jackson chefs to cook up something special, dishes they might not serve elsewhere. “These have been really fun nights and it’s given chefs an opportunity to show what they have,” Raymond said. “It’s been really fun for the people of Jackson.” Other special events include spirit tastings and Derby parties, where the annual Kentucky Derby is projected on a large screen.

The Apothecary serves signature cocktails called “prescriptions,” in keeping with the establishment’s medical history. Concoctions include the Doc Noble, named for a 1960s Brent’s pharmacist, and Coffee Boulevardier, a coffee-infused vermouth combined with bourbon and Campari. Apothecary bartenders create their own syrups and infusions, Raymond added. “But really, our grounding is in classic recipes and classic cocktails,” he explained, mostly cocktails developed in the 19th century. “We’re trying to present something really fresh and really exciting.” A good example is the Mississippi Martinez, a cocktail that was created after the Manhattan but before the martini in the evolution of classic cocktails, Raymond explained. “The fresh herbaceousness of gin plays with the classic bitter qualities of sweet vermouth,” he said. “We love the depth that Cathead’s Barrel Aged Bristow Gin brings to this drink.” The following is a recipe for the Mississippi Martinez. For more information on The Apothecary and its varied menu, visit

Mississippi Martinez 11/2ounce Cathead Barrel Aged Bristow Gin 1 ounce Cocchi Torino Sweet Vermouth 1/2 teaspoon Luxardo Maraschino liqueur 2 dashes orange bitters Directions: Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Express the oils of a lemon peel on the surface of the drink, rub peel on rim of glass and discard. DeSoto 79

exploring events } february Beneath the Surface: Life, Death & Gold in Ancient Panama February 3 - May 6 Pink Palace Museum Memphis, TN For more than a thousand years, a cemetery on the banks of the Rio Grande de Coclé in Panama lay undisturbed, escaping the attention of gold seekers and looters. In 1927, the river flooded, setting the scene for one of the richest discoveries in the history of American archaeology. Visitors will be immersed in the history of the original excavation, and introduce them to the Coclé people, a complex and mysterious society that disappeared approximately 1,000 years ago and left no written language. For ticket information call 901-636-2362 or visit Bluff City Fire and Ice Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-Off February 3 Mud Island River Park Memphis, TN Check-in for the plunge is from 10:30am to 2:00pm. Everyone must receive a wristband to be able to plunge and be wearing shoes. You may sign up the day of the event to plunge. Come dressed in your wackiest costume to have a chance to win the Golden Plunger Award! The Bluff City Fire & Ice Polar Bear & Chili Cook-off starts at 10:30am. Bring your family and friends! There will be tons of fun for everyone. Fore more information visit or call 901-683-1271. Smash Mouth February 3 Gold Strike Casino Tunica Resorts, MS 8:00pm For tickets visit or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Kudzu Playhouse presents: George Orwell’s 1984 February 9 - 18 Hernando Performing Arts Center Hernando, MS Directed by Daniel Mullins. This multi-award winning adaptation of George Orwell’s ultimate dystopian novel continues to resonate throughout the world. For tickets visit or call 888-429-7871. 80 DeSoto

Home Show of the Mid-South February 9 - 11 Agricenter Memphis, TN Home Decor, landscaping, pools, patios, furniture, lighting, bath, flooring, windows, paint, siding, awnings, plumbing, general contractors, architects, electrical services, pest control, seminars and much more! Featuring DIY Network’s Matt Blashaw. For more information visit Brantley Gilbert February 10 BancorpSouth Arena Tupelo, MS 7:00pm The Ones That Know Me Tour with Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips. For tickets visit, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit Blackberry Smoke February 10 Horseshoe Casino Tunica Resorts, MS 8:00pm For tickets visit, or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. The Color Purple February 13 - 18 Orpheum Theatre Memphis, TN Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic has conquered Broadway in an all-new “ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold” (The New York Times) directed by Tony winner John Doyle. With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues, The Color Purple gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story. For more information and tickets visit or call 901-525-3000. Katt Williams February 14 Landers Center Southaven, MS 7:30pm Purchase tickets at Landers Center box office 662470-2131, or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

Shen Yun February 14 Cannon Center for the Performing Arts Memphis, TN 7:30pm Shen Yun pushes the boundaries of the performing arts, melding timeless artistry with cutting-edge innovation—transporting you to a world where legends come to life. Discover the breathtaking beauty of classical Chinese dance, and treat yourself to Shen Yun’s unique blend of costuming, hightech backdrops, and live orchestra. Be prepared for a theater experience like no other. For more information visit or call 888-974-3698. Blues Traveler and Jonny Lang February 17 Horseshoe Casino Tunica Resorts, MS 8:00pm For tickets visit, or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. 29th Annual Natchez Literary & Cinema Celebration presents “Southern Gothic” February 22 - 24 Natchez, MS The upcoming celebration will offer presentations on subjects ranging from William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams to the cold case investigations of Klan murders in the American South to voodoo, this conference celebrates writers that put Mississippi on the literary map. For more information call 601-4429111 or visit Michael McDonald February 22 Bologna Performing Arts Center Cleveland, MS 7:30pm For more information call 662-846-4625 or visit Robert Earl Keen with Jason D. Williams February 22 Germantown Performing Arts Center Germantown, TN 7:30pm Keen strikes an unusual balance between sensitive story-portrait and raucous barroom style. His music

is characterized by a sarcastic and ironic sense of humor that strongly influenced other early practitioners of alternative country music. Setting the stage for Keen is perennial GPAC crowd pleaser Jason D. Williams, the piano great and rockabilly sensation who has been dazzling crowds live for three decades. For tickets visit or call 901-751-7500. Credence Clearwater Revisited February 23 Horseshoe Casino Tunica Resorts, MS 8:00pm Fans of roots rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival can enjoy the band’s hits performed live by original Revival bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, along with Kurt Griffey, Steve Gunner and Dan McGuinness. The band formed in 1995 after Revival disbanded in 1972. For tickets visit, or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Author event with Ann Fisher-Wirth and Maude Schuyler Clay: MISSISSIPPI February 23 Turnrow Books Greenwood, MS 5:30pm Poet Ann Fisher-Wirth and photographer Maude Schuyler Clay have collaborated on MISSISSIPPI, a gorgeous new book that offers a new spirit of place for their home state. The book features 47 poems by Ann Fisher-Wirth and 47 color photographs by Maude Schuyler Clay that explore the history, culture, and ecology of the state of Mississippi. For more information call 662-453-5995 or visit The Robert Cray Band February 24 Gold Strike Casino Tunica Resorts, MS 8:00pm For tickets visit or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

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reflections} remembering mr. lynn

Remembering Mr. Lynn By Andrea Brown Ross

Love and respect transcend age and race to create a lasting memory. It’s been almost two years now since you’ve been gone. And we still miss you. Sometimes when I’m headed back to the farm from town, my eyes fill with tears. I think I see you driving one of the tractors, and then I realize it’s not you, but one of the other men. We’re told we’ll be reunited one day with our loved ones, and I hope you’re not far behind them. We’ll have a lot of catching up to do. Brett and I struggled with your passing. We may have been decades younger than you, but we weren’t naïve. You were part of another generation. As a black man from Mississippi with little formal education and limited literacy, you’d have to work ‘til the day you died on this farm. We just never thought that day would come so soon. And we questioned God. Why did He let you die with all the men watching as Brett tried to resuscitate you again? He couldn’t bring you back a second time. We finally decided that God in His wisdom placed the burden on Brett, so your wife and kids would be spared the agony of watching you slip away. It was just as hard on our boys, Evan in particular. At eight years old, he had already spent three years riding tractors, combines, and cotton pickers with you. Some might have considered you an unlikely pair. A tall, older, black man and a little white boy. But Evan has always been an old soul, and every chance he got he was with you… learning how to run the equipment or find the best fishing holes. 82 DeSoto

Yours was the first funeral we allowed him to attend. We were part of only a handful of white folks in a crowded church, but no matter. We all loved you the same. Of course, I helped Evan polish what he was going to say at your funeral. In fact, we’ve had a few people ask if they could read it, but we politely declined. Those tender words spoken from a broken-hearted little boy were only for you and those who mourned with us. After the first year of your death had gone by, we waited a few days before going to your grave. Out of respect for your family, we wanted to allow them the first opportunity to place a memorial there. Our boys thought sticking roses up from out of the ground from top to bottom was appropriate. And while I said you were certainly worth of a bed of roses, the living may not have appreciated that much adornment in their cemetery. So, we comprised with a few roses near your tombstone. I drive by your final resting place a few times a day on my way to and from town. I’m happy to report those roses lasted over a week, but your legacy has lasted much longer. As Evan learns about the leaders in the black community who have helped shape our country’s history and as he becomes a man, I hope he continues to remember you. From you, a jovial, gentle giant, he has learned that influence can transcend race, age, and even time.

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DeSoto Magazine February 2018  

Healthy Mind, Heart and Body - Kick off the new year with our health and fitness issue. Also featured romantic getaways and valentine’s gift...

DeSoto Magazine February 2018  

Healthy Mind, Heart and Body - Kick off the new year with our health and fitness issue. Also featured romantic getaways and valentine’s gift...