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SEPTEMBER 2018

SPORTING LIFE


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FE ATURES 24 Music Man

Award-winning bluegrass musician and Booneville resident Glen Harrell talks about playing the fiddle and touring with his band, Volume Five.

28 Guardian of the Gridiron

Student-athletes are thankful for medical professionals who help keep them safe on the field.

ON THE COVER It’s September, which means it’s officially football season in the South. On the cover, Saltillo High School Tigers quarterback Jamiek Murphy (#6) prepares to hand the ball off to running back Darrell Anderson (#3) during the Aug. 24 game against the Amory High School Panthers. PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

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DEPA RTMENT S 34 No Place Like Home

For more than a century, Palmer Home for Children, with locations in Hernando and Columbus, has offered help, healing and hope to children who need it most.

38 Playing Ball Old School

Northeast Mississippi kickball leagues bring adult players together for competition and camaraderie.

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Letter From the Publisher

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Calendar

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Shoutouts

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Community Corner: Itawamba Crossroads Ranch

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Restaurant Guide

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In Season: Shaping Up

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What’s In

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Out & About

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Recipe: Biscuits Made From Scratch


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EVENTS 42

Cowboy Mouth Concert

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Dance Like the Stars

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Beautillion Ball

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Rebel/Bulldog Tailgate Cook-off

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Counting Crows Concert

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THS Football Booster Club

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Warriors on Wick

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“The Marvelous Wonderettes”

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Thacker Mountain Radio

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Camp Shine

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L E T T E R from the P U B L I S H E R When we were choosing the cover for our “Sporting Life” issue, the options were many. After much thought, we decided that few things are more exciting this time of year than Friday night football. This month’s cover features a photo from Saltillo High School’s home opener against Amory High School, and we think it exemplifies all the intensity and excitement these young players experience on the field. What you don’t see on the cover are the people behind the scenes at these Friday night games — the fans and boosters, the band and cheerleaders, the school administration and the coaching staff. There is also a whole group of people working to

FOLLOW US

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keep student-athletes safe on the field. On page 28 you’ll meet Dr. Gabe Rulewicz, one of several doctors from area orthopaedic practices who volunteers time to help young players who get injured. Each of the physicians works through an outreach group headed by North Mississippi Medical Center to assist 15 local high schools and one community college with athlete care during practices and games. Being on the sidelines to observe how an injury occurs first hand gives Dr. Rulewicz and his colleagues prime advantage in getting players the expert care they need as quickly as possible. Fall sports are not just for football fans, or just for children. Tupelo kickball

@INVITATIONM AG A ZINE

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has already begun, and the men and women playing couldn’t be more excited about this season. The Tupelo league alone boasts more than a dozen teams, and Corinth also has a rapidly expanding program. While the sport still heralds the fun-filled game of yesteryear, the rules have evolved a little since most of us played it in grammar school. Read more on page 38. Thanks for reading Invitation, and we hope each of you has a fun-filled and safe “sporting life” this fall.

RACHEL M. WEST, PUBLISHER

@INVMAGA ZINE


PUBLISHERS Phil and Rachel West

EDITORIAL

EDITOR IN CHIEF Emily Welly EXECUTIVE MANAGING EDITOR Mary Moreton CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Allison Estes STAFF WRITER Melanie Crownover CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Caitlin Adams Sarah McCullen SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Sarah McCullen COPY EDITOR Kate Johnson

OFFICE

BUSINESS MANAGER Hollie Hilliard DISTRIBUTION Donald Courtney Brian Hilliard

ART

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Holly Vollor STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joe Worthem CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Amanda Cody Alise McCreary Sarah McCullen Elizabeth Roberts Whitney Worsham

ADVERTISING

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Alise M. Emerson Leigh Lowery Lynn McElreath Stacey Raper Moni Simpson Whitney Worsham ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Zach Fields Becca Pepper ADVERTISING INFORMATION invitationmag.com

MAIN OFFICE 662-234-4008

To subscribe to one year (10 issues) of Invitation or to buy an announcement, visit invitationmag.com. To request a photographer at your event, email Mary at mary.invitation@gmail.com. Invitation respects the many diverse individuals and organizations that make up north Mississippi and strives to be inclusive and representative of all members of our community.

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

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C O M M U N I T Y SEPTEMBER 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED BY GODSMACK

SOS Fest SEPTEMBER 22

Hoot Hoot Hooray SEPTEMBER 15

This new Natchez Trace Parkway Junior Ranger program invites children and families to join a park ranger to learn about owls’ expert predatory nature with handson activities. Ideal for children ages 7-12 but open to anyone. Free. 10 a.m., Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo.

The third annual Tippah County Sirens of Service Festival honoring local first responders includes a barbecue competition, a pageant, a skeet shoot, a firefighter rodeo, music and more. Admission $2 per person. Starts at 8 a.m., Tippah County Fairgrounds, Ripley. facebook.com/TippahSOSFest

Autumnal Equinox SEPTEMBER 22

When the sun crosses the celestial equator, summer is officially over, but baseball is still going and football has just begun.

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Gather in downtown New Albany on the banks of the Tallahatchie River for a street dance, a 5K and fun run, a petting zoo, food, arts and crafts vendors, live music and more. Starts at 4 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. Saturday, New Albany.

SEPTEMBER 21

Joined by Kane Brown and Morgan Evans, the award-winning country crooner makes a stop in Tupelo as part of his Losing Sleep World Tour. Tickets $39.50-$59.50. 7:30 p.m., BancorpSouth Arena, Tupelo.

tallahatchieriverfest.com

bcsarena.com

“Million Dollar Quartet”

Corinth Fairytale Ball

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SEPTEMBER 22

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After recently releasing new albums, these two American rock bands are performing in Tupelo as part of their co-headliner tour. Tickets $39.50-$59.50. 7 p.m., BancorpSouth Arena, Tupelo.

Tallahatchie Riverfest

Chris Young Concert

facebook.com/franklincourtyard

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bcsarena.com

nps.gov/natr

Have a magical morning with your little girl by letting her wear her favorite ball gown for a meet-and-greet, an hour of singing and dancing, and a photo op with her favorite princesses. Tickets $20-$85. 10 a.m.-noon, the Franklin Courtyard, Corinth.

Godsmack and Shinedown Concert

National Pancake Day S EP TE MB ER 26

Mix things up by eating breakfast for dinner to celebrate National Pancake Day. Share photos on social media using #nationalpancakeday.

This Tony-award nominated Broadway musical dramatizes the day that legendary musicians Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis famously collaborated in an impromptu recording session at Sun Studios in Memphis. Tickets $46.50-$66.50. 7:30 p.m., BancorpSouth Arena, Tupelo. bcsarena.com


Rotary 5K Run OC TOBER 6

Lace up your shoes for the 10th annual Austin’s Shoes Run to benefit Corinth’s Rotary Club. Registration $25. 8-11 a.m., downtown Corinth. corinthrotary5k.com

Okeelala Car Show OC TOBER 6

With more than 100 classic cars on display, this event that started nearly 30 years ago includes prizes, awards, cash drawings and free T-shirts. Admission $20. 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Latimer Park, Baldwyn. baldwynliving.com/events

Tupelo Chili Festival O C T O B E R 12

Sign up to enter your chili recipe, or buy a ticket to taste all the entries and vote on the “Crowd Favorite” award. Tickets $10. 5 p.m., between Main Street and Troy Street on South Broadway Street, Tupelo. tupelomainstreet.com

TCT Haunted Theatre O C T O B E R 12-2 7

Just in time for Halloween, the historic Lyric Theatre is transformed into a seasonally spooky space for Tupelo Community Theatre’s 13th annual Haunted Theatre. Experience it for yourself Oct. 12-13, Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27. 201 N. Broadway St., Tupelo. 662-844-1935 or tct.ms SEPTEMBER 2018 | INVITATION

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S H O U T O U T S H a r ve y ’s G e t s a n Up d at e

PHOTO BY BLAKE McCOLLUM PHOTOGRAPHY

Five weeks after closing for extensive renovations, the classic Tupelo restaurant Harvey’s reopened Aug. 6. The signature menu has a few new additions, and the restaurant’s redesigned interior creates a cool but still casual atmosphere. The restaurant, which has been in business for 29 years, has sleek new floors, modern lighting fixtures and a larger foyer for welcoming guests. Photographs by Pat Caldwell decorate the space, showcasing Tupelo’s unique history, and a display wall offers diners a peek at the extensive wine selection, which includes local mead from Queen’s Reward Meadery. The bar was moved to the south side of the building to accommodate more guests. Harvey’s is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week and serves brunch on the weekends. To book a reservation, call 662-842-6763 or visit eatwithharveys.com.

Bi g At t ra c t io n

PHOTO PROVIDED BY TUPELO 49ERS

Ba s e b a l l C h a m p s

The Tupelo 49ers represented the state of Mississippi in the American Legion Baseball league’s Mid-South regional tournament, held in New Orleans in August. The 49ers made it to the final day of the five-day tournament, eventually losing to the team representing Louisiana. That team (along with the champs from other regions around the country) went on to play in the American Legion World Series tournament. The 49ers finished their season with a 32-6-1 record and in the top 24 among 3,500 teams nationally.

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Earlier this year, the Tupelo Automobile Museum was named the most popular tourist attraction in Mississippi on a list compiled by Money magazine and TripAdvisor. The 120,000-square-foot museum holds more than 100 automobiles and regularly hosts special exhibits, including the Mustangs exhibit that will be on display Oct. 4-17. The museum is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday noon-4:30 p.m. Admission is $10 adults; $5 children ages 5-12. More at tupeloautomuseum.com


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PHOTOS PROVIDED BY AVON

M a k i n g H i s to r y

Congratulations to Pontotoc resident and Avon sales representative Crystal Spurlin, who is featured in the iconic beauty company’s most recent campaign catalog. The August catalog features 21 sales reps from around the country in an effort by Avon to promote role models rather than fashion models. To date, Spurlin is the only Mississippian who has been included in such a campaign by the company. “I think this is so exciting,” Spurlin said. “I am a waitress at my family’s restaurant, and ever since I decided to join Avon, life has been better for me. And now I’m making history by being the first representative from Mississippi to be printed in the catalog.” Spurlin has been working for Avon since 2012. Learn more about her at crystalsbeautyblog.com, or visit avon.com. SEPTEMBER 2018 | INVITATION

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C O M M U N I T Y corner It awa m ba C ro s s roa d s R a nc h WRITTEN BY MEL ANIE CROWNOVER

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

Left: Marcus Bennett works on pottery that is sold to benefit Crossroads Ranch. Below: the ranch's lodge, which will serve as the heart of the community, is nearly complete.

Itawamba Crossroads Ranch in Fulton was born of necessity. Renae Bennett’s son, Marcus, was 17 years old when a car wreck left him with a traumatic brain injury. He spent five weeks in a coma and two years recovering in a rehabilitation center, relearning basic functions like eating, talking and walking. He was left with a memory that allowed lengthy glimpses into his past but finite short-term recollection for everyday reasoning. His long-term medical needs meant he would likely never live on his own. Renae soon found that options for families like hers were bleak, at best. Getting her son each expensive, specialized treatment doctors suggested after his hospital stay required months of negotiation with insurance providers. Their private plan dropped Marcus’ coverage on his 21st birthday; thereafter, he only qualified for short-term care in local facilities. Most parents she met who had adult children facing life with autism, Down syndrome or brain injuries had only nursing care facilities for the elderly or institutions to turn to when they were no longer able to provide care. After a bad experience with

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one such site, Renae brought her son home. She traveled the country visiting facilities, hoping to find Marcus the care he deserved. One center in Houston, Texas, inspired a novel possibility. “I knew this place was different after five minutes on campus,” Renae said. “They had their own spaces and activities and jobs, and friends their age, right there, and they were actually happy like everyone everywhere wants for our children. But I didn’t want to move to Texas. I asked, ‘Why can’t we just have a place like this back home?’” Renae decided to take on the cause. She deeded 42 acres of land in Fulton, enough space to house 30 high-functioning adult residents with special needs. But the milliondollar project needed financial backing before the complex could materialize. In 2012, she joined with the CREATE Foundation to help with that effort. CREATE would manage all funding for the ranch until Crossroads received its 501(c)(3) status, currently a work in progress. To raise funds, Renae reached out to potential donors while also making clay angel ornaments and pottery she would sell to benefit the ranch. As word of Renae’s plan spread through the

community, volunteers joined her. The group held its first major benefit event, Denim and Diamonds, in 2016. The now-annual fête has raised almost $300,000 in the past three years. With the help of a direct grant from Toyota Mississippi and ranch-made pottery sold at events like Tupelo’s Celebration Village and Jackson’s Mistletoe Marketplace, the build began. “People thought Renae was crazy when she started all this, but the support has become mind-boggling,” the ranch’s outreach and fundraising director Susan Sheffield said. “This is a faith thing where we’ve jumped off a cliff with no parachute and can’t see the ground yet. But we can see God at work here every single day.” Crews broke ground in March 2017, and volunteers from all over the country have provided labor. Organizations such as Eight Days of Hope and Carpenters for Christ committed weeks at a time to complete the first leg of construction. The 5,000-square-foot lodge at the heart of the property is 85 percent finished. The gathering space comprises two recreation rooms and a classroom, plus a community kitchen and dining room to host family-style


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meals every day. The foundation for the first three of 15 duplexes is expected to be poured by the end of the year. Each structure will be a pair of single-resident 600-squarefoot cottages joined by a storm shelter, along with a covered driveway. Residents will use a buddy system with neighbors to promote safety for independent living. They’ll have jobs in the garden or making pottery at the Skills Depot across the street; a staff to provide three meals a day and help manage the residents’ daily schedules; and regular outings, classes and campus activities to enjoy with their peers. Although it won’t be available at first, 24hour care is in the long-term plans. The ranch will open when five duplexes are completed, but applications are not yet being accepted. Renae is currently developing an advisory board of doctors, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists to make decisions on criteria for admission. “I’ve had people call and try to bribe me on the phone from other states just to get an application in early. There’s a notebook with three filled pages already of people to email when the application process opens,” Sheffield said. “We just want to do this right so it’s something they can count on longterm. We want it to be a place where they can really live and be taken care of.” For more, visit xroadsranch.com or Itawamba Crossroads Ranch on Facebook.

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SoCo Grind STEAK

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FISH

BAR-B-Q

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BAR

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY FE ARTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY L ARISSA

Chasi Jernigan understands what it’s like to struggle with weight. At her heaviest, she faced diabetes and fertility issues and realized she needed to start living healthier. Thanks to her positive attitude, adjustments to her diet and a lot of hard work, she lost 100 pounds. She became a certified fitness instructor and created a blog, Sweat in Mascara, to help plus-size women learn to embrace healthy lifestyles that start with thinking positively about their bodies. “I am one of the very few plus-size Zumba instructors here in the area,” Jernigan said. “When I started teaching over five years ago, plus-size fitness was not a trend. My Zumba classes are a place of self-love, no judgment and women’s empowerment. I remind women of all sizes and shapes every Tuesday and Thursday that they are beautiful beyond size.” Here are Jernigan’s suggestions for changing the way you view working out, no matter what size you wear.

“Getting motivated is hard when we start with the wrong attitude. I recommend starting your journey from a place of selflove, and work out because you love your body. The foundation of your journey must be solid. Start with working out for stress relief, peace of mind or more energy. The journey will be so much more rewarding, and staying committed will not be so challenging.”

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“Start with realistic goals, and celebrate beyond the scale. Not all progress can be seen on the scale. Non-scale victories are valuable. Are you running longer, getting stronger? Has your confidence increased? This matters! My mantra is ‘Endorphins over Weigh-Ins.’ When we exercise, our brains release endorphins. This good chemical relaxes our mood, calms anxiety and reduces stress. Exercising is a spa day for your body!”


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“This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it day by day, and most importantly, do not compare your journey to another. This is the quickest way to get distracted and lose sight of what’s important. Have a bad day? Clean it up the next day. Just keep going!”

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PAINTING BY M ARY K ATHERINE $17 5 K ATES & CO

FREE PEOPLE BLOUSE $98 PURPLE DAISY

BRIGHTON LE ATHER BAG $390 GINGER’S

MOUNTAIN KHAKI FL ANNEL SHIRT $80 SHIRLEY DAWG’S

S TOP BY | DIBA $12 9.95 AUSTIN'S SHOES

PE TER ’ S POT TERY $160 ANN’S OF CORINTH

S TURDY BROTHERS LE ATHER MUG $37 ROWAN HOUSE

OAK HILL CANDLES $10 JA SPER & COMPANY BOUTIQUE

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M AUI JIM SUNGL ASSES $245 GARRETT EYE CLINIC


MAGNOLIA LIGHTING

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MUSIC MAN AWARD-WINNING BLUEGRASS MUSICIAN AND BOONEVILLE RESIDENT GLEN HARRELL TA L K S A B O U T P L AY I N G T H E F I D D L E A N D T O U R I N G W I T H H I S B A N D, V O LU M E F I V E . WRITTEN BY MEL ANIE CROWNOVER

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM


During the workweek, Glen Harrell is one of Booneville’s friendly neighborhood insurance salesmen. But when he clocks out for the weekend, he heads out on the road to light up stages around the country with his fiddle and a microphone. Harrell has been known in the bluegrass music industry since 2002, when he joined Marty Raybon of ’90s country supergroup Shenandoah in a band called Full Circle. After several years as Full Circle’s fiddle player and backup vocalist, Harrell started his own band, Volume Five, in 2008. With Harrell as lead vocalist and fiddle player, the band has spent the past decade touring the world promoting its eight albums. Along the way, Volume Five has garnered a loyal fan base and received multiple nominations for Dove and International Bluegrass Music Association awards. In 2017, the band won IBMA awards for Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. Here, Harrell talks about making music and playing live with the band.

Q: Why is bluegrass your music of choice? It’s in me. I like all kinds of music and have played it all, but bluegrass has always drawn me back. Q: Where did that connection start? Home and church. My mom and dad would go to my aunt and uncle’s house almost every weekend night. They had a few guitars and mandolins, and we would all sit around and play music together. I’d been playing guitar since I was 9 and picked up the fiddle at 14. Between my older cousin and some other young boys I met there who were learning to play, they led me to dig into the genre. I started my first band right after I started fiddling, did some solo singing and played specials at Asphalt Rock Baptist, where I got saved and ended up getting married later on. By junior and senior year, we were playing bluegrass festivals and Sunday nights at church. Q: How did you choose the band members for Volume Five? These were guys I’d met from all around the circuit because the world of music really is a small one. We’re from all over, but they are the best of the best in our genre. There are no rehearsals for these guys, really. Even when we’re working on new material, we just gather the songs, go to the studio to hit it a couple of times, and it’s recorded and done. The best part of any band is taking the assortment of your talents and playing to your strength together. With these guys, that’s not a chore. SEPTEMBER 2018 | INVITATION

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Q: How do you manage time between jobs? Having my own business here makes it more flexible. I’m able to spend the week with insurance clients and then travel the six to 18 hours to wherever we’re playing that week on Thursday and come back on Sunday. That’s how it is while we’re traveling extensively from March to October. Q: What is it like to see the band play live? We want it to be basically what you hear on the records, but we get to cut up some on our instruments and have fun with the crowd. We want the people who come to feel better walking out than they did when they got there. Q: Do you have a favorite instrument that you prefer to play in shows? I have a few fiddles. The one I use most is a German Magini that’s about 200 years old. It belonged to contest player Randy Howard before he died. The head is carved

into the shape of John the Baptist’s head, and it has a Roman Catholic cathedral inscribed on the back of the body. That’s my go-to fiddle because it has a rich, thick tone that’s gotten better with age. It’s a beast! It’s got the original finish, even though it has some cracks now, and I’ve had to have the fingerboard planed before because I’ve worn it down so much.

submit for this one. Normally, we write a good bit of our material. We wanted every song to have a depth and a story that would mean as much to the people listening as they do to us. We also made sure to take more space than usual inside the CD to thank our fans for hanging on with us so long and to all the musicians who have ever contributed to the sound of this band.

Q: Do you play many shows around here? We don’t play this area much. Mostly, we hit Southern gospel or country outdoor festivals and shows all over the country, all over the world. Probably the gig we have in February in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is the closest I’ll get to playing at home.

Q: Are there plans for a new Volume Five album anytime soon? We’re actually planning to get back in the studio sometime between November and January when the gigs slow down.

Q: How does the album “Milestones” mark the band’s 10-year anniversary? We’re always pretty picky about the songs we put on our albums, but we reached out to the best songwriters we knew to

Q: After winning the IBMA awards, do you feel extra pressure to impress people with the new album? Not really. Awards are a wonderful thing; they are an honor. But you can’t let them define you. We are who we are, and we’re still going to make the same music.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY VOLUME FIVE

Learn more about Glen Harrell and Volume Five at volumefivebg.com.

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GUARDIAN the G R I D I R O N

STUDENT-ATHLETES ARE THANKFUL FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WHO HELP KEEP THEM SAFE ON THE FIELD. WRITTEN BY MEL ANIE CROWNOVER

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM


Staff members at the Orthopaedic Institute of North Mississippi know where to find their colleague Dr. Gabe Rulewicz on game nights for studentathletes. All they have to do to locate him is check the sidelines. More important, though, is that the players know he’s there. Rulewicz is not just an average spectator; he’s often the first responder when medical emergencies occur on the field. “Having him in the stands is a comfort for our players,” Saltillo High School principal Tim DeVaughn said. “It gives them the reassurance to go out, play hard and know that it will be OK even if something goes wrong. They know he’s watching over them out there.” Rulewicz is one of several doctors from area orthopaedic practices who work through an outreach group headed by North Mississippi Medical Center to assist 15 local high schools and one community college with athlete care during practices and games. Each doctor volunteers time on the sidelines to help with routine care of the breaks, fractures, sprains and concussions that often come with playing sports. Being at the game to observe firsthand how an injury occurs is a prime advantage in getting players the expert care they need as quickly as possible. Rulewicz, a Tupelo High School graduate, knows what it means to be part of a team. He played tennis and soccer throughout high school and at Birmingham-Southern College, and he earned a spot in the BSC Sports Hall of Fame for his time as a goalie on the school’s 1995 soccer team, which was ranked second in the nation.

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His first experience as a team doctor was during his four years as an orthopaedic surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, caring for fellow soldiers both on the battlefield in Iraq and during sports competitions played in their downtime. Following his military service, Rulewicz completed a fellowship in sports medicine at Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas in 2012 and then returned to Tupelo. He began working with teams at Saltillo High School and his alma mater, offering his medical services for every sport at SHS and all but football at THS (which the Orthopaedic Institute handles). After volunteering with the Itawamba Community College Indians, Rulewicz became team’s physician in 2017. “Being a team player is something that has been reinforced as an athlete and a soldier until it just became a part of me,” he said. “There were so many people here growing up who took care of me on the field and off that made an impact on my life more than they know, and it’s nice to be able to go out and pay it forward by helping keep their kids and grandkids safe.” Rulewicz juggles his schedule among the three schools, covering several sports, including volleyball, softball, basketball and baseball. He may not be at every game for every sport, but he’s there for at least one game a week after football season. Trainers stay in touch with him during the other games, ensuring they can get expert advice quickly if a player needs it. Rulewicz even gets to serve as a volunteer medical advisor for his two athletic teenage daughters, one of whom plays on the THS varsity soccer team and the other on a Saltillo club team. His wife, Diane, who also played soccer at BirminghamSouthern, coaches both teams. “Having him there is as much of a reassurance for the rest of my players and their families as it is for ours,” Diane said. “We trust him completely for his medical knowledge, but he also understands injury from the point of view of a player. He knows that competitive need to get back out there as soon as possible, so he knows how to reach them about not going out too soon. He’s like Dr. Dad for our whole team.” Dr. Dad or not, Rulewicz says his goal is to be able to cheer local teams on from the stands with no incidents. To help make that possible, Rulewicz and the other volunteer doctors put on periodic educational events for coaches and players to relay the latest methods for early identification of common complaints. The volunteers also work with the hospital and team trainers to provide occasional camps where doctors pass along information on warm-ups and workouts that can help prevent injuries. “To say we appreciate him and the extra care he puts in for our players is an understatement,” DeVaughn said. “We’ve kind of adopted him, and he’s adopted us. I would gladly recommend him to anyone for his service, but we don’t want him to go anywhere. Dr. Rulewicz is a part of the team now.”

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no place like home F O R M O R E T H A N A C E N T U R Y, PA L M E R H O M E H A S O F F E R E D H E L P, HEALING AND HOPE TO CHILDREN WHO NEED IT MOST. WRITTEN BY CAITLIN ADAMS

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM


For the past 120 years, families across the Midsouth have been given a second chance thanks to Palmer Home for Children. Palmer Home is a nonprofit residential-care program that provides a stable home for children who for various reasons can no longer live with their families. Palmer Home, which originally opened as an orphanage in 1898, offers shelter, food, clothing, education and emotional support to children of all ages, and financial support all the way through college. Today the home has two locations, Hernando and Columbus, housing more than 100 children at any given time. “Our goal is to give children a sense of normalcy, a place where they belong,” said Sarah Hollis, vice president of engagement at Palmer Home. That sense of normalcy starts inside a home’s four walls. The children live in individual residences run by caregiver couples who are responsible for everything from bedtimes to soccer practice hauls. “It’s like a little community,” Hollis said. “We are the answer a lot of children need.” The privately funded home differs from the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, which can intervene without familial consent if the situation warrants. Palmer Home works with families of children affected by abuse, neglect or other trauma, with strict policies that keep siblings together and offer visitation opportunities to parents, with the ultimate goal of reunification. The program includes SEPTEMBER 2018 | INVITATION

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home-cooked meals and shelter at no cost to the families and provides an individual experience for every child. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, we meet and formally discuss each child’s physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs,” said Drake Bassett, president and CEO of Palmer Home. Each child is tested to gauge their education levels, and a curriculum is tailored to fit their specific needs. “They may be on a sixth-grade reading level but second-grade in math,” Hollis said. “We meet them where they are so they can succeed.” Educational opportunities vary. The Columbus campus has its own accredited

school that is led by retired schoolteachers, while children at the Hernando campus have the option of public or private school. For residents at Palmer Home, the day doesn’t end in the classroom. Licensed counselors provide on-site emotional support, and children participate in plenty of afterhours extracurricular activities. The options run the gamut, from summer camp and church events to dance lessons, horseback riding and other sports. “Everything I would do for my child is done for these children,” Hollis said. Children at Palmer Home live in residences with caregiver couples and attend services at Hope Chapel (pictured on previous page).

To support Palmer Home’s mission, mark your calendar for the third annual “Tailgate for Palmer,” a “watch party” experience that includes the best of Ole Miss tailgating: food, football and friends. All proceeds go directly to the operation of Palmer Home. Palmer Home does not receive state or federal funding. Each year, private donors raise $6.5 million to fund daily operations, mainly through individual, corporate and foundational donations. “It might be a $25 check or a $25,000 check — every dollar counts,” Hollis said.

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The Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center Oxford October 27 | 7-11 p.m. Silent auction featuring sports experience packages Tailgating with food from local vendors and caterers View the weekend’s SEC football games on the Manning Center Jumbotron For more information, visit palmerhome.org/tailgate.


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NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI KICKBALL LEAGUES BRING ADULT P L AY E R S T O G E T H E R F O R C O M P E T I T I O N A N D C A M A R A D E R I E . WRITTEN BY MEL ANIE CROWNOVER PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

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All eyes are on the pitcher. The catcher sinks into his ready stance as the kicker awaiting the ball at home plate prepares to sprint. The red rubber ball accelerates toward the plate, and the kicker’s sneakered foot makes solid impact. The kick is good, and as the ball races past the shortstop, the first adult-league kickball game of the Tupelo Parks and Recreation department season is officially underway. An eruption of cheers from fans in the bleachers at the Veterans Park fields proves that kickball is no longer just a game for children. “Are we excited? Are you kidding? We’ve been waiting for this all year,” said McKinley Holland, captain of Vicious Kitty, the 2017 undefeated Director’s Cup champs. “When I found out about this league starting eight years ago, all I could think about is how much fun we used to have playing this in school at recess and P.E. It hasn’t disappointed me yet.”

There were only five co-ed teams the first year of play. Last season, there were 13 teams of 10 players each. The rules of the nostalgic game that fuses baseball, soccer and dodgeball into one sport haven’t changed much since most of the participants last played, back in grammar school. However, it has evolved into more of a low-scoring defensive game over the years, thanks to the introduction of a ball that makes it more difficult to kick home runs. Games are sometimes won by a single run, and blowout games are rare. “This game is a no-brainer for cities to back in the adult realm because it’s low cost to run and requires a minimal amount of athleticism to play,” Sports Director Sheila Runnels said. “It’s one of the only sports we have that’s low-key enough for me to get to participate, and I love getting to be out there to see how it’s bringing people together.” Despite the teams’ competitive spirit, they foster unity by encouraging players

not to take things too seriously. The prize for winning first place is limited to team T-shirts, along with bragging rights. Team names like All My Pitches Love Me, The Other Team, and Balls and Dolls speak to the relaxed atmosphere. The league is also a hub for socializing. Most teams meet up before or after playing to eat at local dives with their cheering sections. Players get to the park early to talk good-natured smack with the opposing team before the game. Some people stick around after they play to cheer for friends or check out the competition for next week’s match. Most players in the league are in their 30s and 40s; however, a new generation of players is discovering the game because of endorsements from the former coaches and teachers, current neighbors and lifelong church-family members that populate the teams. Word of the exciting, fast-paced sport and the camaraderie within the league has SEPTEMBER 2018 | INVITATION

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brought one or two new teams to the field each year. Interest from independent players was so strong the department added a free agent registration period for individuals not already affiliated with a business- or groupsponsored team. Interest in the game is also spreading to nearby areas. In addition to the Tupelo league, the Corinth-Alcorn County Park and Recreation department now has a kickball league that plays in both spring and fall. Their spring league’s heated playoff battle, held in July, was reminiscent of the Tupelo league’s start not so long ago. The addition of kickball to the Corinth schedule was part of an effort to bring a wider variety of activities to the area, including potential offerings in tennis and disc golf in the near future. C-ACPR plans to widen the reach of their kickball teams, just as they do with their youth-league sports, by extending invitations to players in surrounding areas

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like Iuka, Belmont, Walnut and Booneville, as well as across the state line into Guys, Michie and Ramer, Tennessee. “This was our first year out, so we’re hustling to recruit teams from some of our local businesses and our fire and police departments to add more play,” Athletic Director Robin Baker said. “It’s a really good release for our adults to come out after work and chasing the kids [around the house] to do something fun for themselves that is also good for them. We would love to build it up to be able to have some tournaments with the Tupelo teams eventually.” Registration for the fall leagues is closed, but the weekly match-ups and game times are available for fans on either organizer’s Facebook page. Sign-up for spring leagues begins in March. For more information, contact Tupelo Parks and Recreation at 662-841-6440 or Corinth-Alcorn County Park and Recreation at 662-286-3067.

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COWBOY MOUTH CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHED BY A M ANDA CODY

The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association hosted the final show of its free, family-friendly summer concert series Aug. 16 at Fairpark. The concert featured alternative rock band Cowboy Mouth. 1

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1. Jeff and Diane Spencer with Justin Washington, Forrest Burton and Sarah Anderson 2. Austin James, Amanda Wilkerson, Ladanza Quinn and Montana Harper 3. Greg and Scott Cryder with Bo Kay 4. Brooke Jackson, Addie Lackey and Savannah Gist 5. Dennis Staffor, Kelli Graham and Cindy Staffor 6. Field Thoms, Dotson Clark, Wells Thoms, Julie and Lillie Sloan, and William and Henry Mize 7. Averi, Allen, Lincoln and Rina Coleman 8. Alonia Hill and Shannon Wax 9. Michael and Teresa Moore with Robert Whaley, Madison Moore and Gracie Roberts 10. Jeff Hester and Nakita Moore

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MITCHELL DISTRIBUTING

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DANCE LIKE THE STARS PHOTOGRAPHED BY A M ANDA CODY

The 13th annual Dance Like the Stars event was held Aug. 11 at BancorpSouth Arena. The competition raised more than $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi. 1

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1. Leah, Yolanda and Chyolanda Carodine 2. Hattie and Kristen Busby with Kennedy Crain 3. Alvin Ivy, Victor Harris and Chip Ashford 4. Wayne Hereford and Chuck Garrett 5. Logan Floyd and Michelle Flores 6. Andrew Davis and Amber Moyer 7. Andromeda Patton and Betty M. Walker 8. Mike and Jennifer Beam 9. Park and Mer Dodge

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25th Annual Bodock Festival

Downtown Pontotoc October 12th & 13th

Bodock Weekend Kickoff on Thursday, Oct 11th, at 6:00 pm

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BEAUTILLION BALL PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALISE McCREARY

The Golden Circle Civic/Social Club Beautillion Ball was held Aug. 5 at the St. Paul Christian Life Center. The program is designed to prepare young men for college and life, with emphasis on health, finance, career preparation and service. 1

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1. Chloe Walker with Rayne, Renita and Hilary Ware 2. Carmen Gary, Lesha Agnew and Alva Gasaway 3. Judy Watson and Annie Richardson 4. Derrick, Dallas and Carmen Sharp 5. Keith and Norma Searcy 6. Brianna Edwards and Ronda Banks 7. Semaj Sam and Jakobe Roger 8. Jessie and Arthur Walker 9. Jasmyne Searcy and Andrea Anderson 10. Michael Stephens and Keisha Anderson

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REBEL /BULLDOG TAILGATE COOK-OFF PHOTOGRAPHED BY SARAH McCULLEN

The annual Rebel/Bulldog Tailgate Cook-off and Spirit Display Competition was held Aug. 18 on the Pontotoc County Courthouse lawn. The event was hosted by the Pontotoc County Chamber of Commerce. 1

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1. John Richard Stephens, Justin Moorman and Luke Peeples 2. Lauren Fauver, Jules Rae Crane, Lizza Cate Dyson and Brianna McMillen 3. Sarah, Jennifer, Sean and Rebekah Milner 4. Cecil, Hook and Jacob Crane 5. Carey Hoover, Kevin Parks and Johnathan Cissom 6. Micah Grubbs and Mike Crane 7. Kevin Morrow with Wanda, Luke and Marlee Hatcher 8. Jayne and Phil Aycock 9. Jay and Lyles Dyson 10. Ava Drewery and Brad White 11. Stephanie and Richard Kinkennon 12. Brad Cornelison and Matt Coon 13. Jacque and Tom Milner

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COUNTING CROWS CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHED BY ELIZABETH ROBERTS

Live Nation presented the American rock band Counting Crows’ “25 Years and Counting” North American summer tour July 26 at BancorpSouth Arena. The band was joined by special guest and multiplatinum band +LIVE+. 1

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1. Jason and Tracy Taylor with Lindsay and Scottie Thompson 2. Megan Murphy, Gale Boop and Stephanie Murphy 3. Brittany and Ben Sapp 4. Theresa and Taryn Krietz 5. Michael and Chasity Montgomery 6. Justin Estes and Kristyn Burroughs 7. Kelly and Joe Wallace 8. Jerry and Nikki Gore

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NORTH MS ORTHODONTIC

SMITHS NURSERY

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THS FOOTBALL BOOSTER CLUB PHOTOGRAPHED BY A M ANDA CODY

The Tupelo High School Football Booster Club hosted a fall kickoff dinner Aug. 9 at the Summit Center. The event featured a special tribute to honor the life and career of coach Mickey Linder. 1

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1. Baykin and Julie Brister with Stephanie and Willie Allen 2. Latoya Bramlett, Jordan Jernigan and Tamiko Douglas 3. Caleb Sauthward, Reed Hill, Jalon Boyd, Joshua Nabors, Jack Brister and L.B. Baker 4. Lilee Rose, Brianna Edwards and Quinniya Young 5. Macie, Will and Amber Graves with Vicky and Mickey Linder and Payne, Todd and Sam Graves 6. Fred Pitts and Sammy Henderson 7. Keaton Cager and Bryant Morgan 8. Brent and Abby Heavener 9. Holly, Genie and Bill Linder

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FIRST AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK

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WARRIORS ON WICK PHOTOGRAPHED BY WHITNEY WORSHAM

Warriors on Wick was held Aug. 16 in downtown Corinth to celebrate the first home football game. The event included a pep rally, a meet-and-greet, and photos with the Corinth High School football team, band, cheerleaders and dancers. 1

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1. Jakely, Jacey and Jaden Meeks 2. Mimi Williams, Mary Grace Porter, Tinley Wharton and Millie Joe Rosenberg 3. Ziona Cummings, Shaun Heavens and Katera Bridges 4. Caleb Sauls, Esreal Williams, Mikala Smith and Nick Redwine 5. Hudson, Matt and Jessica Quinn 6. Anna Grace Schnabl and Finn Crozier 7. Cooper Frazier and Carter Bonds 8. Aubrey Davis and Callie Bur

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SANCTUARY

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“THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES” PHOTOGRAPHED BY A M ANDA CODY

Tupelo Community Theatre presented its season-opening production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” Aug. 23-25 at the Lyric Theatre. The hit musical comedy continues to entertain audiences offBroadway in New York City. View more photos at invitationmag.com.

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1. Lisa and Art Gentry with Jo Anne Arant 2. Mike and Julie Clayborne with Dot and Larry Fears 3. Allison Pannell, Alexis Willardson, Mandy Dowdy, Mary Ann Watkins, Lisa Gilmore and Susan Pannell 4. Emily Burleson, Lisa Martin, Lisa Ross and Vickie Cochran 5. Tina Holland, Dana Foster and Jennifer Shepherd 6. Susan May and Eric Svenson 7. Christi and Jeff Houin 8. Charles and Jessica Pigott 9. Teresa Grammer, Sharon Minga and Connie Greer

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THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO PHOTOGRAPHED BY A M ANDA CODY

The fourth annual Tupelo taping of Thacker Mountain Radio Hour took place Aug. 4 at the Link Centre. The featured literary guest was Oxford poet Derrick Harriell, winner of the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Book Award. 1

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1. Neil and Dot Prestwich with Sarah and Aaron Busby 2. Sonya and Ronnie Keith with Paul and Catherine Mize and Jon and Emily Hill 3. George and Wanda Dent 4. Robbie and Peggy Howell 5. Zack, Cole, Mitch and Peggy Turner with Cash, Gibson, Suzy and Harper Russel 6. William Dexter, Michael Ross, Leslie Geoghegan, Greg Pirkle, Meredith Tollison and Melanie Deas 7. Eric Svenson, Susan May, Jane Riley, Susan Hyatt and Jeff Tomlinson 8. Marie and Mya Mott 9. Kim Long and Barbara Ann Cady 10. Brett Duncan and Joanie Pettigrew 11. Pat and Jennifer Caldwell 12. April, Drake and Derrick Harriell 13. Mark and Kristen McDaniel

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CAMP SHINE PHOTOGRAPHED BY ELIZABETH ROBERTS

Tupelo Junior Auxiliary hosted a girls camp to promote self-esteem and empowerment July 24-28 at various locations. Rising seventh-graders participated in health and fitness, self-defense and art activities. 1

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1. Kenya Terry and Mia Lofton 2. Charlea Crayton and Jamya Shelton 3. Shelly Roper, Annabeth Wyatt, Christy Flynn, Carley Johnston, Amy Littleton, Sandy Waters and Carrie Hurst 4. Caleya Patterson, Amaiya Meadows and Hailey Wamper 5. Kennya Rocha and Flor Vasquez 6. Molly Flynn and Afton Gable 7. Jada White and Jordyn Akins 8. Cora Sheffield and Maggie Gibens

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OUT & ABOUT CONTINUED ON PAGE 62

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D ow ntow n S u m me r P ic n ic

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C at c h K id s C l i n ic / Ju n io r Au x i l i a r y Bi ke Ro d e o

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B o b by Brat to n Bu l l R id e B e ne f it

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1. Doug Adair and Angel Harris 2. Kevin Ann Weatherly and Hannah Kimbrough 3. Kevin Ann Weatherly and Hannah Kimbrough 4. Michaela Georges and Conner Barrow 5. Laney Hill, Logan Grey and Keylen Peggen 6. Valerie Long and Zyonna McDonald 7. Sophie and John Mulrooney 8. Cade Knight and Harley Smith 9. Casey Knight and Kelli Koehn 10. Dr. Edward Ivancic with Junior Auxiliary Provisional Class members

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C o r i nt h 6 0 S i g ht s i n 6 0 M i nut e s

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G o o dw i l l S to re G ra nd O p e n i n g

Er ic Matthews Footba ll Ca mp

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Nat c he z Tra c e Pa rk way V i s ito r C e nt e r P io ne e r D ay

7 1. Linde and Bryson Avent with John and Virginia Boyd James 2. Bobby Burns, Sandy Williams and Christy Burns 3. Cynthia Harrell and Susan Adams 4. Eric Matthews Football Camp players and coaches 5. Ray Couch, Tammy Ferguson, Tony Martini and Brandi Norwood 6. Tetekah Betts and Wanda Taylor 7. Braedyn Smith, Jean Posey and Bryleigh Smith 8. Brody Honeycutt and Gene Ingram

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MISSISSIPPI’S BEST

Lava Stone Fireplace Shop

Fireplaces • Stone • Stoves Gas Logs • Screens Outdoor Kitchens 4115 West Main, Tupelo, MS 662.844.5178

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B I S C U I T S made from scratch WRITTEN BY MEL ANIE CROWNOVER

CALHOUN COUNTY BISCUITS ¼ cup shortening 2 cups self-rising flour ½ to 2/3 cup buttermilk Heat oven to 475°F. Cut shortening into flour with a fork, or mix by hand until shortening is well distributed throughout the flour. Mixing lightly and quickly, add enough milk to make a soft dough. Mix until the dough forms a soft ball. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 10 to 12 times. Roll out dough to about ½-inch (or desired) thickness. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter, and place biscuits on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

S AUS AG E G R AV Y For 15 years, the women of Calhoun County’s Happy Homemakers Club have worked to preserve an ancient Southern art: biscuit making. The nine longtime members share their baking wisdom on two evenings each summer at the Calhoun County Fair. Each year, their cooking demonstrations tempt a very willing crowd away from the thrill of the neon rides and the more traditional fair foods. “We do give them away when we’re done, so they really line up,” club secretary Millie Goforth said. “Most of the people stand around and say, ‘That’s the way my grandma made them, but I can’t’ or ‘I haven’t done that in years’ because it’s so much easier just to buy frozen or canned biscuits from the store. Homemade just tastes better.” The club works from a simple recipe they agreed on years ago. Their biscuits call

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for three traditional pantry staples and a hands-on approach to baking. “You have to have Crisco and good buttermilk to make a good biscuit, and just know you’re going to get messy,” Goforth said. “You have to get your hands in the dough to mix it all up and put plenty of flour all over the counter to keep it from sticking when you’re rolling it out and cutting.” The Happy Homemakers use metal biscuit cutters, but a drinking glass or Mason jar lid works just as well. How thick the rolled dough should be is a matter of taste. For a crispier texture, roll the dough thin. Lovers of thick and fluffy biscuits can try folding over rolled dough to double it before cutting. Goforth suggests serving the warm biscuits with a selection of toppings, such as butter, jelly, jam, and sausage gravy or chocolate gravy (recipes at right).

1 pound ground sausage ½ cup flour 2½ cups milk Salt and pepper to taste In a large skillet, brown sausage. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, and cook until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot with biscuits.

CH O CO L ATE G R AV Y 1½ cups sugar 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons cocoa 1½ cups water ½ stick butter In a medium-sized pot, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, and simmer until slightly thick. Serve hot over buttered biscuits.


Invitation Magazine - September 2018  
Invitation Magazine - September 2018  
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