November 16 - 22, 2011
November 16 - 22, 2011
1 0 N O . 10
contents COURTESY FARISH STREET GROUP
6 Pretty Please The Farish Street Group is the latest to ask the city to fund development with public money. COURTESY JOHNNY DUPREE CAMPAIGN
Cover design by Kristin Brenemen
With Republicans in charge of Mississippi’s executive and legislative branches, what’s next for the Dems? COURTESY MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF ART
thomas roots The UNCF Ball isn’t the only big-name event Roots has worked. Roots recently coordinated the 4th annual White Party, a benefit and fashion show for the National AIDS Association. He also organized events for celebrities such as Danny Glover, Morgan Freeman and Oprah Winfrey, whom he met when he planned a party for her in 1993 and has worked with several times since. Roots says he does everything from setting up and decorating to hiring the caterers and selecting the food. As an interior designer, Roots’ work includes the offices of the Federal Courthouse in Jackson, Judges James Graves and Carton Reeves, and Herbert and Sharon Lee of the Lee and Associates law firm. He’s preparing to host an upcoming holiday trunk show to promote his store’s fall collection. Roots’ commitment to quality and helping the community has earned him great word-of-mouth recognition. It is being able to give back that makes him enjoy his work. “It’s something I like to do, so it’s not like work all the time, but it is still hard work,” Roots says. “I enjoy getting to help people whether it’s through charity or fashion.” The Savoy is located at 4956 Old Canton Road. Contact Thomas Roots by cell at 601-5067545, in his store at 769-233-7776 or at his home office at 769-251-5919. —Dustin Cardon
29 Best in State The annual Mississippi Invitational exhibit features top artists selected from more than 200 applicants.
38 T-Day Assist Don’t face Thanksgiving and your hungry clan alone. Jackson-area restaurants have goodies you need.
From the time he was elected Mr. Best Dressed in both middle and high school,Thomas Wayne Roots knew he had a future in fashion and design. “I’ve always liked clothing, design and all-around beautiful things,” Roots says. “(In school) I gravitated to that kind of thing, and it eventually turned to the design aspect.” The 40-year-old Jackson native runs a clothing and interior-decorating business called Thomas by Design and owns an exclusive women’s boutique named The Savoy. He attended Lanier High School and later went on to Hinds Community College and Belhaven University. He graduated from Belhaven in 1994 with a degree in marketing and business. Roots worked at McRae’s department store, now Belk, while in school, where he was in charge of visual merchandising and men’s accessories, ties and suits. He says this experience made the transition into running his own clothing business much easier. Roots started his business in 1991 and opened The Savoy a year ago. He started out doing freelance work from his home office and by appointment, which is how he still conducts most of his business today. “I started by working parties as an event planner,” Roots says. He said he still plans events from weddings and graduations to receptions and charity events, such as the United Negro College Fund Ball at the Jackson Convention Center.
4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 .......................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 .......................... Day 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 29 ............... Diversions 30 ..................... 8 Days 31 .............. JFP Events 32 ........................ Music 33 .......... Music Listing 35 ................. Astrology 36 ...................... Sports 38 ........................ Food 41 . Best of Jackson Ballot 42 .... Girl About Town
LaShanda Phillips Editorial assistant LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. Her motto is: “Make-up is fantastic!” She coordinated and wrote for the Home section.
Gretchen Cook Gretchen Cook lives in Belhaven, which she believes is about as close to heaven as you can get short of the actual afterlife. She is the publisher and editor of Parents & Kids Magazine, a Kindle user and a sometimes runner. She wrote for the Home section.
Jeff Seabold Jeff Seabold is the principal architect at Seabold Architectural Studio in Jackson and the chairman of the Mississippi Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. He can be reached at Jeff@seabold-studio.com. He wrote for the Home section.
Adriane Louie Adriane Louie is a Jackson native and Millsaps College grad who volunteers for many local auxiliaries. She loves watching the Food Network. Her favorite time of the year is fall because of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She wrote for the Home section.
Kelly Bryan Smith Kelly Bryan Smith is a Virginia native and a Mississippian by marriage. Kelly spends her days chasing her sweet little boy, cooking eco-friendly vegetarian meals for her family, and pursuing her doctoral studies in English literature. She wrote for the Home section.
Casey Purvis Casey Purvis is a Fondrenite who loves flowers and watching birds. She is a sucker for a suspenseful movie or thought-provoking documentary. She is owned by Phoebe, a 9-year-old Lhasa apso. She works as a nurse at a local hospital. She wrote for the Home section.
Bryan Flynn Sports writer Bryan Flynn is a lifelong Mississippi native who resides in Richland. When not writing for the JFP, he writes a national blog, playtowinthegame. com. He lives with his wife and their four cats. He wrote the Sports page and about a man cave.
November 16 - 22, 2011
Advertising designer Andrea Thomas is a native of Ridgeland and is a recent Antonelli College graduate. She loves to sing, dance and write poetry in her free time.
by Ronni Mott, Managing Editor
Home at Last?
hen I was small, my parents seemed to think that moving to a new city to give my dad better job opportunities was a pretty cool thing to do. In retrospect, it was definitely the right thing to do; however, from a little-kid standpoint, entering a second-grade (or third-grade or fifth-grade) class in January or March was a lot like torture. I was forever the new kid. I didn’t know the in-crowd lingo; I didn’t even know who the in-crowd was. My funky glasses and homemade clothes didn’t help. And bringing friends home to my heavily accented parents and bizarre “un-American” food was just out of the question. I didn’t eat a PB&J at home until I was in high school, and my mom managed some pretty strange hamburgers loaded with things like capers and eggs and who-knowswhat spices, all thoroughly mixed by hand. The kids who didn’t pick on me tended to shun me. The ones who were friendly were among the others who were a little odd or too smart or too shy to fit in with the cool kids. My mother, who grew up in Hitler’s Austria, freaked out when I wanted to join a Brownie troop. No little brown uniform for her newly American daughter. She didn’t tell me why I couldn’t be a Brownie, and not understanding why, I tearfully watched from a distance while my classmates played in their little brown dresses and beanies. At some point, I stopped trying to fit in. I remember playing alone a lot and finding things to do—like reading or climbing trees or singing or dancing—that didn’t require an audience or playmates. Always shy, life was just easier on my own. Of course, the minute I stopped trying, people seemed more attracted to me. When, eventually, I did fit in, it was with the freaks. My answers to “Where are you from?” became elaborate over time. I was born in Germany to Austrian parents, moved to Manhattan as an infant, to Brooklyn as a toddler and spent summers in the Catskills. After my parents moved to the Washington, D.C., suburbs when I was about 7 or 8, we must have moved a half-dozen times until I graduated from high school, which added another half-dozen towns to my list. I kept up the pattern once I was on my own. I even bragged at one point that I moved once a year whether I needed to or not. “It keeps things light,” I’d say, because I never moved anything I hadn’t used since last year’s move. Truth is, not having a sense of what or where “home” was, the roofs over my head never had great importance to me, and in my younger, relatively stuff-free days, it was easy to just pack up the car and go. These days, I know my experience isn’t all that unusual. Plenty of Americans move over the course of their lives—37.5 million just last year, according the U.S. Census Bureau—and my experience pales to those of some Army brats I’ve met. People move for a variety of reasons, but most, one in four, do it for housing
upgrades—bigger, better homes. People also move for family-related reasons, whether that’s a change in status, such as marriage or divorce; additions to the family; and more and more, moving back home to care for aging parents. Only 16.4 percent of movers did so for employment needs. Nearly 70 percent of movers stayed in the same county, while 11.5 percent moved to a different state. If you were 16 or older, poor, black and unemployed, you were more likely to move. Also, if you lived in the west or south, you moved more often than folks in other regions. Chances are high that you moved from a city into a suburb; suburbs had a net gain of 2.5 million last year. So in an era where millions of us pack up our junk every year and find a new roof, what does “home” mean? In Mississippi, where it seems nine out of 10 people I meet were born and raised within the borders of the state, home seems to be either where your football team is or where your mama (or grandma) lives, or both, regardless of where your actual roof is located. I’ve met people who retained life-long friendships with their first-grade classmates, having moved up the academic ladder together from kindergarten through college. I never dreamed such relationships were possible. Going home is every bit as strong an American tradition as moving from home to attend school or find a job. Hollywood bets that people who travel home have lots of interesting stories to share. How else to explain the popularity of homecoming movies from “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “Christmas Vacation” and “Home Alone.” All you have to do is check out an airport the days before Thanksgiving to witness the many people keeping strong ties to the family homestead.
So is home where your family is? At 41, I came to Mississippi for a betterpaying job with greater career-advancement opportunities—sound familiar? Two years later, my dad retired (at 78, bless his heart), and my parents followed me to a warmer climate and a lower cost of living, and a year after that, I bought a house. It still didn’t feel like home. The older I get, the more I’m convinced that “home is where the heart is.” Like all clichés, truth lies in the well-worn words. My heart may just be in a city I barely know: Vienna, Austria. My mom and dad were born there, as were my grandparents, and now they’re all buried in the city. The one time I visited Vienna (that I can remember—I was there as an infant), it felt like home, from the historic castles and churches to the horsedrawn carriages to the trolleys and numerous parks and outdoor cafés. My sisters and I picked a particularly virile-looking statue on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace to name as our ancestor purely on the basis of family lore. His wife, so the story goes, was appalled that a royal sculptor used her husband’s nude figure as a model, forbidding him to ever reveal which sculpture was modeled on his athletic physique. Maybe it’s all just wishful thinking. Perhaps my faraway home just sounds a little more exotic than saying my home is in Mississippi, where my roof has been for going on 15 years now. Ultimately, I believe home is where we decide our hearts are, for whatever reason. With both feet and a roof in the Magnolia State, maybe it’s time for me to decide that I’ll give her my heart and stick around for a while longer. There’s a chance I’ve come home after all, even if I will never quite get football.
MEDITERRANEAN GRILL LSO 7E A R CATE
$INE IN OR 4AKE /UT 6XQ7KXUVDPSP )ULDQG6DWDPSP
,AKELAND $R *ACKSON -3 7HORU )D[
6ISIT OUR 'R OCE 3TORE N RY EXT DOOR
2IDGE 7AY 3TE % &LOWOOD -3 7HO )D[
#)*% ( '( #( &$$(')( %+! ( *''( #%)&%*!),"(&% ,
What can you give to the person who has everything?
Now until Christmas:
15% Off Gift Cards Trish Ammons, owner, works one on one with clients to meet all of your optical needs from proper fitting to your unique style. Come in for a free consultation today! 661 DULING AVE. â€¢ JACKSON, MS â€¢ 601.362.6675 TRISH HAMMONS, ABOC WWW.CUSTOMOPTICAL.NET
*gift cards for in stock merchandise only.
In 2009, the estimated median house or condo value in Jackson was $93,700, up from $64,200 in 2000.
State Sen. Gray Tollison abandoned his party two days after his re-election. p 11
news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, Nov. 10 The Nixon Presidential Library releases transcripts of former President Richard Nixon’s secret grand jury testimony from 1975. … State Sen. Gray Tollison of Oxford announces he is switching to the Republican Party. Friday, Nov. 11 Americans mark Veterans Day and the 93rd anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I on the Western Front. … The host and crew of The Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food” is in the Jackson area to tape an episode at Burgers & Blues. Saturday, Nov. 12 The Arab League votes to suspend Syria’s membership until the government implements a deal to end the violent crackdown on protesters. … Silvio Berlusconi resigns after 17 years as Italy’s prime minister. Though he survived numerous sex scandals and lapses in tact, Berlusconi was finally undone by the Eurozone debt crisis. Sunday, Nov. 13 Venezuelan police arrest suspects in the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos, a baseball player who was taken from outside his family’s house in Venezuela. Ramos was rescued two days after the kidnapping. … Rescue workers recover the body of a fisherman who fell out of his boat into the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
November 16 - 22, 2011
Monday, Nov. 14 The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments in challenges over President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. … Republicans select state Rep. Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, as their pick for speaker of the House. Republicans have a majority in the House for the first time since Reconstruction.
Tuesday, Nov. 15 New York City police clear Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park so that sanitation crews can clean the site. Protesters have been camped at the part for about two months. … An economist tells legislators that the state’s economic growth appears to be at a standstill. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com
Lots of Mouths to Feed
ast week, the Farish Street Group became the latest developers to ask for public funds to finance high-priced downtown Jackson developments. Jackson developer David Watkins is requesting $8 million in urban renewal bonds from the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, a quasi-governmental agency that assists the city with developments. The JRA board is also considering allocating $27 million in urban renewal bonds to Old Capitol Green developers for a parking garage with adjoining commercial space, and $96 million for a convention center hotel. The board has discussed issuing $3.5 million in urban renewal bonds for a Jackson Visitors and Convention Center welcome center at the corner of Pascagoula and Jefferson Streets. With so many project mouths to feed, all the requests for public financing present the question: How much risk would the city assume by approving funds for all the projects asking for them? Procedurally, to allocate bonds for any of the projects, both JRA and the Jackson City Council must vote on resolutions. In the event that a developer defaults on bond payments, the city—or the city’s taxpayers—would be responsible for making payments from its general fund. “Technically, there is no limit to our capacity (for allocating bonds),” JRA Executive Director Jason Brookins said. “… There is a limit as it relates to what the city can pay back if the projects didn’t pay for themselves.”
by Lacey McLaughlin
So far the Farish Street Group has invested $9.2 million in cash and loans into the Farish Street Entertainment District, but in a Nov. 3 letter to JRA, Watkins said the process for using New Market Tax Credits and historic tax credits was going to be complex and lengthy. To stay on schedule and open venues by summer 2012, The Farish Street Group joined several other developers last the development needs an week in seeking public financing. additional $10.2 million, Watkins wrote. Zach Taylor, Jackson Redevelopment located $20 million in state bonds for the gaAuthority board attorney, said that on a 20- rage, but the city and county must first enter year amortization schedule, the Farish Street into an agreement to co-sponsor the bonds, Group would need to pay about $600,000 and the likelihood of that happening is unto $800,000 to JRA per year to cover debt certain. In May, Hinds County Supervisor service and interest on an $8 million bond, Doug Anderson said the county did not have though the exact amount will vary depending enough resources to commit to the project. on the interest rate. Board members requested TCI, developer of the proposed condetailed revenue projections, leases and de- vention center hotel, has requested $96 tailed financial reports from the Farish Street million in bonds from JRA. The developGroup before making a final decision. ers are working on details of a financial arJRA is considering establishing a special rangement with the city, including who will tax district to create a finance structure to pay own the land that the hotel will occupy. The back the bonds for Old Capitol Green’s park- hotel equates to the highest risk for the city ing garage. Full Spectrum South has said that because it is the most money. the garage would have revenue from tenants To date, the Farish Street Group has not and from leasing parking spaces in addition MOUTHS, see page 7 to visitor parking. In 2009, the Legislature al-
COURTESY FARISH STREET GROUP
Wednesday, Nov. 9 Rick Perry forgets which federal agencies he wants to abolish during a CNBC televised Republican presidential debate. … Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno resigns following a child sex-abuse scandal involving former coach Jerry Sandusky at the school.
Paper doll furniture Get to decoratin’! w
“A far-right government would be genocide for public policy.” —Mississippi Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, regarding the GOP’s control over the executive and legislative branches of state government come 2012.
news, culture & irreverence
MOUTHS, from page 6
obtained public money from the city for the project. The Jackson Redevelopment Authority, however, entered an agreement with the Farish Street Group several years ago, allowing for the developers to lease the Farish property from JRA but did not require the developers to pay rent until September. “We are extremely confident that the debt service and these bonds can be paid by these projected revenues, or we wouldn’t have asked for it,” Watkins Partners Vice President Jason Goree said. Jackson Redevelopment Authority board member John Reeves questioned Taylor and Goree about the financial details during the meeting Nov. 9. Reeves said needed more information about the development’s projected revenue to be confident. “I don’t have enough info to know if this is a good investment,” he said. “You have to get past the build out, past the lease, and ask
yourself: Is the public going to come down here and spend money? And I don’t know.” When it comes to deciding which projects get funded, Brookins said that is up to the JRA board and the Jackson City Council. “We have board members who have financial backgrounds and can offer their assistance and understanding. We’ve got other board members who are business leaders. But ultimately it comes down to what kind of economic impact can we expect from those projects, and typically, the folks who are doing those projects provide us with that information,” he said. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell said he needed more information before commenting, but he doubted that the city would be able to fund all three major projects. “It’s going to be very difficult for me to imagine that all of this debt is a good thing,” he said. Comment at www. jfp.ms.
State Wants NCLB Relief by Elizabeth Waibel
on the state’s standardized tests. The possible rankings are minimal, basic, proficient and advanced. Each state makes its own standardized tests, so there is no national definition of “proficiency.” FILE PHOTO
Mississippi—along with 38 other states, D.C. and Puerto Rico—is applying for a flexibility waiver from some No Child Left Behind requirements.
The waivers should also allow states to recognize schools that are making progress, even if they have not yet reached benchmark test scores. NCLB has been criticized in the past for identifying schools as “failing” if their scores are low, even if they are making progress year to year. Womack said the NCLB waivers might help some, but she doesn’t think they go far enough. Lawmakers need to overhaul the law and make more changes, she said. Politicians and government officials have debated how to fix NCLB for years, but have not yet come to an agreement to put through Congress. The Mississippi Department of Education plans to submit its waiver request in February 2012 for review in the spring. The department will hold a series of town hall meetings within the next month to seek input on its submission. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
he Mississippi Board of Education voted last month to apply for a waiver in hopes of getting relief from some of the requirements of No Child Left Behind. The Obama administration unveiled a plan in September to give states waivers from some of the more unrealistic and controversial aspects of the 2001 act, including the requirement that all students be proficient by 2014—the next school year. Susan Womack, executive director of Parents for Public Schools of Greater Jackson, told the Jackson Free Press last month that the law has led to schools emphasizing standardized testing and “skill-and-drill” learning in targeted subjects while other areas suffered. “When No Child Left Behind was adopted, and we began to place such strong emphasis in the early grades on reading and math scores—performance scores—we saw a lot of narrowing of the curriculum, so that a lot more emphasis was being placed on reading and math, a lot less emphasis was placed on science and social studies,” Womack said. “… We’ve seen schools eliminate music and recess to give teachers more classroom time to prep children for tests, and this is not good for children.” The buzzword for the waiver program is flexibility—states must still show their students are making progress in the spirit of NCLB, but they can get relief from some of the most unpopular requirements of the law. Whereas NCLB required all students to score as “proficient” by 2014, the waiver program should allow states to set more achievable goals for improvement, even if 100 percent of students are not proficient. This is good news for Mississippi, since only about 50 to 65 percent of students currently score proficient or higher
by Robbie S. Ward
Send political news to email@example.com
Measuring the Democratic Mess COURTESY JOHNNY DUPREE CAMPAIGN
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree’s campaign held out until his landslide loss in the governor’s race was clear.
nce again, election night last week revealed a grim reality for Mississippi Democrats and the Mississippi Democratic Party. Just minutes after polls closed statewide, the Associated Press began delivering dismal news for Democrats, calling the races of state auditor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state for Republicans. In these races, the GOP didn’t even have token Democratic opposition. While incumbency often increases a candidate’s chances for reelection—the case for secretary of state and state auditor—the Mississippi Democratic Party failed to field a candidate for the open seat of lieutenant governor. In Hattiesburg, the atmosphere for the city’s mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Johnny DuPree made for an evening of defiance until the inevitable loomed. “We know for a fact that Jackson and Hinds County haven’t even reported,” John Brown, DuPree’s assistant, said from the stage at Hattiesburg’s Lake Terrace Convention Center. Then he led the crowd in chants of “Believe.” When the AP called the race early with results from about half the precincts statewide, DuPree’s supporters held out optimism until even the longest of long shot possibilities faded. The avalanche of GOP support proved too much for three-term Mayor DuPree, who lost 60 of the state’s
82 counties, amounting to a landslide loss by about 39 percent to Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant’s 61 percent. Most of DuPree’s support came from the Delta and the Jackson area. Bryant earned the title of governor-elect by receiving close to 200,000 more votes than DuPree. Other Democratic candidates, including Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran in the race for state treasurer, saw similar results as DuPree. Moran received even fewer votes in the race for state treasurer against Republican Lynn Fitch, director of the state’s personnel board. But the punch that knocked the wind out of state Democrats came later in the week, when a sprinkling of legislative races showed a likely Republican majority in the state House of Representatives for the first time since Reconstruction, albeit a likely slim majority of 64 to 58. This gives the GOP control of the House, the Senate and the Governor’s mansion. A Republican will even fill the seat held by northeast Mississippi Yellow Dog Democrat Billy McCoy, the current speaker of the House who chose not to seek reelection. For the third consecutive election cycle for statewide offices, only Attorney General Jim Hood managed to provide a singular bright spot for Democrats in Mississippi.
Dems Lick Wounds, Prep for Battle
November 16 - 22, 2011
ississippi Republicans are still painting the state red in celebration of the party’s recent electoral successes. The GOP is maintaining control of the governor’s mansion, the lieutenant governorship, the state Senate and every statewide constitutional office except one. To add insult to an injured—if not mortally wounded—state Democratic Party, Republicans not only wrested the Mississippi House majority from Democrats, who held power there since the dismantling of slavery in the late 19th century, but even enticed a couple of Dems to switch parties last week. Members of both parties credit the election of Gov. Haley Barbour eight years ago with spurring the Republican tsunami. What Democrats might do to stem the tide is mostly unknown. What is known is that rebuilding the party will not be easy. Speaking before a gathering of the civic organization Jackson 2000 last week, state Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said that Democratic members of the House and Senate would need to change their strategy in the event of a Republican-controlled Legislature by becoming more combative and using the rules to cause gridlock if necessary. “In a two-party system, the party that’s in the minority serves as a check for those that are in the majority. It’s their job to keep the other side honest,” said Rickey Cole, executive director of Mississippi Democratic Party. Tactics that minority parties employ to slow legislation include insisting on recorded roll-call votes instead of voice votes or asking the clerk to read a bill in its entirety.
State Rep. Kelvin Buck, a Democrat from Holly Springs, doesn’t believe that becoming more combative is necessarily in Democrats’ best interests. “I don’t see how much more contentious it could be,” Buck said of the party’s relationship with its Republican colleagues. Some evidence exists that the working relationship between the parties might not be as acrimonious as many people anticipate. Democratic State Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, sees opportunities for building coalitions around key issues, as long as Republicans don’t overstep their bounds, and will even support a moderate House Speaker. “I’m going to support the majority party, but I’m not going to support one of these far-right kooks. A far-right government would be genocide for public policy,” Holland said. Progressive-minded Mississippians fear that such a far-right agenda would include redrawing a more GOP-friendly electoral map when the Legislature takes up redistricting again next year, consolidation of school districts and expanding charter schools. Before Republicans captured the House, split majorities in the Legislature seemed to ensure that no redistricting deal could be struck, which would force a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., to decide the issue. Education is a theme around which collaboration seems possible. Gov.-elect Phil
Bryant recently spoke to business leaders about pursuing partnerships with Mississippi’s colleges and universities to create vocationaltechnical programs for high school dropouts, which could draw Democratic support. State Sen. Gray Tollison, one of two Democratic legislators to switch parties in the past week (Rep. Donnie Bell of Fulton was the other), named education as one of the
reasons for his defection. He said he was impressed by the work Senate Republicans were doing on the issue as well as by the ideas of incoming Republican senators Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula, Josh Harkins of Flowood and Chris Massey of Nesbit. And despite his departure from the Democratic Party, Tollison has championed progressive causes such as clean energy and could prove a valuable ally to his former party on some legislation.
MESS, see page 9
by R.L. Nave If the parties don’t learn to cooperate, it will be a long four years, and the uphill struggle against Republicans may not be the Democrats’ most vexing. The state party has little money and great difficulty raising it, nor is it likely that Democrat-friendly groups will pour much money into the state. “We have to get organized; our party is in shambles right now,” said Horhn, adding that the Democratic National Committee “wrote off” Mississippi in the recent election, declining to support Democratic office seekers. Just as important as raising money and getting help from outside groups is attracting young people to the party, said state Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson. “Republicans are good at attracting young people,” Brown said. “We don’t have a very good farm team.” Hope might lie in grooming young Democratic mayors in the mold of Johnny DuPree of Hattiesburg and Connie Moran of Ocean Springs, Hohrn said. Both mayors lost their bids for statewide offices to Republican foes last week, DuPree to Bryant in the race for the governor’s mansion and Moran to Lynn Fitch for the treasurer’s job. In the meantime, Democrats will have to focus on moving forward with an agenda regardless of the Legislature’s political makeup. “We know that when the Legislature convenes, there will be 80 or more members who are Democrats,” Cole said. “We will be speaking up loudly and clearly for the hundreds of thousands of citizens who voted for Democrats.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
He easily won a third term with about 61 percent of the vote against Republican candidate Steve Simpson. ‘Not a Big Surprise” For many observers of southern politics, election-night losses for Mississippi didn’t come as a surprise. Similar situations have happened throughout the South. Just last month, voters in Louisiana re-elected incumbent Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal to office by about two-thirds of the vote in a field of nine candidates. Steve Shaffer, a professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, has studied southern politics for more than 30 years, focusing on polling. Based on trends in recent elections, last week’s election results didn’t surprise him. “Democrats really have a problem,” he said, reviewing his data from elections in 11 southern states in recent decades. “It’s not a big surprise— it’s the whole region.” Shaffer said Mississippi’s election results add to the longtime switch of southern whites to the Republican Party. “They look at the national Democratic Party and say ‘they’re too liberal,’” Shaffer said. “This is part of the nationalization of politics on the state level.” Republicans in southern states—identified by Shaffer as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia—have held the majority of U.S. House of Representatives and Senate seats and governors offices in the region since 1994. This reaffirms the transition of the south to a national base for the GOP. While DuPree made history as the first African American to earn the gubernatorial nomination of a major party in the Magnolia State, Shaffer didn’t see that race as a
major factor to the dismal Democratic outcome. Lack of financial resources factored into the election and contributed to the outcome with Bryant outspending DuPree by $5 million. “It’s hard to win if you’ve got no money,” he said. “It’s even harder if you’re not an incumbent, because you have to build up name recognition.” Sam Hall, DuPree’s campaign manager and executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party from April 2009 to
Bryant earned the title of governor-elect by receiving close to 200,000 more votes than DuPree. July 2010, disagreed. He said Republican support in tight legislative races hurt DuPree. Hall also said strong Republican turnout for the three initiatives on the ballot also hurt DuPree. Hall said larger forces worked against DuPree and other Democrats in the state, saying voters seem to significantly favor Republicans. He said the state’s trend toward Republican candidates has hurt Democrats. “We have seen right now that Mississippi right now is a 60/40 state,” Hall said. “I don’t think there’s any one thing to indicate why this race didn’t go the way it did. While the campaign manager of the losing side may be reluctant to criticize his team’s game plan, others did. Jere Nash, a Democratic political consultant, declined to comment for this story, saying he needed more time to digest the
results. However, he posted Nov. 10 on Red/Blue, his former Clarion-Ledger blog, that two factors influenced election—the three voter initiatives on the ballot and Johnny DuPree. The initiatives—proposed amendments to the state constitution on voter ID, eminent domain and “personhood”—drove GOP supporters to the polls, Nash blogged. Compared to the voters who cast ballots for initiatives with those who voted for governor, totals are almost identical. Nash said DuPree’s campaign failed to generate excitement among the Democratic base, hurting key legislative races in the process. “The folks coming out to vote on Tuesday were not coming out to vote for Johnny DuPree,” Nash wrote. “The voter tail wind created by the 61-39 Bryant/DuPree spread brought plenty of other Republican candidates across the finish line on election night and no doubt made the difference in many close elections that were down the ballot.” Whatever the cause for Democratic Election Day woes, systemic problems remain in fundraising, fielding strong candidates and improving the state party’s image. Rickey Cole, who accepted the position of state Democratic Party executive director a few months ago, said he and others are up for the task. Cole said he isn’t shocked by the result of the recent statewide elections, however. “Frankly, we Democrats didn’t prepare sufficiently for Nov. 8 and the results reflect that,” he said. “Organization matters. Money matters.” One thing remains certain—as Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree resumes his focus to the citizens of his city, state Democratic leaders will try to figure out how large a broom they’ll need to clean up their mess. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
voted best coffeeshop in jackson
Historic Fondren Art District www.cupsespressocafe.com
MESS, from page 8
Send political news to firstname.lastname@example.org
by R.L. Nave
The Ole Switcheroo
1st Place $40
Best Salon & Best Hair Stylist - 2010 & 2011 Best of Jackson -
2nd Place $25
3rd Place $10 November 16 - 22, 2011
Mike Bishop Introducing new stylist: Nicki Nichols!
WEEK 11 STARTS NOW!
Tollison also gave $200 to the cam- as the party’s chairperson, said she mistrusts paign of New Hampshire Democratic U.S. Tollison and believes he should resign. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2002. In 2008, Bell “We all feel cheated. We feel hurt. We contributed to the congressional campaign feel betrayed,” Nordstrom said. of Democratic state Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville, records indicate. Political leaders at the county level can have tremendous sway in elections. A strong county chairperson can motivate loyal precinct captains to get the party faithful to the polls on election day, which is as much about numbers and turnout as Gov. Haley Barbour (left) and Lt. Gov.-elect Tate Reeves welcome it is about character state Sen. Gray Tollison (center), who switched parties last week. and ideas. That might help to explain why the Neither lawmaker could be reached people who have held those position in for comment as of press time Tuesday. Lafayette County, where Oxford is located, Pete Perry, chairman of the Hinds are so miffed with Tollison. County Republican Party, doesn’t anticiMax Hill, who chaired the Democrat- pate that the men, both longtime legislaic executive committee in Lafayette County tors, will run into difficulty working with until the Nov. 8 election, sent a seething a members of either caucus. letter to the Oxford Eagle. “Working with them is not going to be “Gray, you are not a man of charac- anything hard or unusual,” Perry said. “Both ter,” Hill wrote. “At best your party switch are good legislators and good people.” is political opportunism. It shows that you Even though he says he talked to Gov. are nothing more than a pawn in the po- Haley Barbour about joining the Republilitical game that is played every day in the cans in February 2011 and Lt. Gov.-elect political arenas across our nation.” Reeves and Gov.-elect Phil Bryant in the Hill, who said he was a high-school weeks leading up to the recent election, classmate of Tollison’s and supported him Tollison said he didn’t make an announcein past elections, said the move surprised ment before Election Day because he was him, given Tollison’s voting record. unopposed in his re-election bid. “He expressed having many of the He added that earlier in the week, he same Democratic ideas as myself and other returned a $1,000 campaign contribution local Democrats and progressives,” Hill to the Lafayette County Democratic Party said. In addition to facing a Democrat in because “it wouldn’t have been right” to the next election, Hill added, “If he con- keep the money. tinues to vote as he did as a Democrat, I Hill and Nordstrom said they received would image he would face a Republican the check Friday, Nov. 11, a day after Tolliprimary challenger.” son’s press conference. Merrill Nordstrom, who replaced Hill Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Week 10 Winners!
lanked by Gov. Haley Barbour and incoming Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, state Sen. Gray Tollison announced that his becoming a member of the Republican Party was the best thing for his constituents. The next day, and with far less fanfare, the Mississippi Republican Party welcomed state Rep. Donnie Bell of Fulton as the latest legislator to jettison the Democratic caucus for the Republican side of the aisle. By most accounts, neither man’s defection greatly stirred the balance of power. Republicans hold a majority in the state Senate and appear to be heading toward one in the House as well. Reeves and Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Arnie Hederman have said they look forward to the Legislature passing conservative legislation when lawmakers reconvene in January. Between the two newest Republicans, Bell will have the easier time falling in line. As a Democrat, he campaigned as a pro-life, conservative Christian who earned a National Rifle Association endorsement. But judging by some of the stances Tollison has taken in the past, it’s hard to see much evidence of good, strong, conservative values. In January 2011, Tollison sought to create the state’s first electricity net-metering buy-back program through which residents with solar arrays or home wind turbines could sell their excess electricity back to the utility. Then, when the Mississippi Senate passed a bill allowing law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of people they suspect of being in the country without documentation, Tollison expressed misgivings, telling the Associated Press that innocent people could be jailed and that police officers could subject themselves to legal action. Tollison and Bell have given money to Democratic candidates. At the federal level, each has contributed to former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, a Democrat who lost a re-election bid in 2010 to Republican Alan Nunnelee. According to information from the Center for Responsive Politics, Tollison donated $500 to the Childers campaign in 2008; Bell gave $300 the same year.
L ACE Y ’S S
Hair & Ac
Be sure to fill out the Best of Jackson on pg. 41. You also can vote at www.bestofjackson.com until Dec. 15
ce ss orie
601.397.6398 | 1935 Lakeland Dr.
For advertising information call 601-362-6121 (ext.11)
by Lacey McLaughlin
The Lone Democrat LACEY MCLAUGHLIN
fice, even though the Mississippi Department lican House and Senate, lieutenant governor, of Finance and Administration had already and governor to try and limit the office of the spent $28 million to design office space spe- attorney general’s influence,” he said. cifically for the AG’s cyber-crime unit. After Wisemann pointed out that the framers local media outlets reported on the cost of the building, Barbour backed off his plans. The two officials disagreed on whether the state should have joined a lawsuit challenging the federal Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare” to its detractors. Barbour urged Hood to file suit, but in April 2010, Hood wrote a letter to Barbour stating that because only the U.S. Supreme Court can decide the issues in the multistate suit, “there is no hurry to join the suit,” and it would be cheaper Attorney General Jim Hood won reelection to his for Mississippi to wait. Barbour then third term by 60 percent of the state’s votes last hired attorney Michael B. Wallace of week. He may experience new challenges in next year’s legislative session. Wise, Carter, Child and Caraway in Jackson to represent him in the lawsuit at no cost to the state. Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution wanted Institute of Government, said Barbour and the governor to have limited power and deHood may not have always agreed on poli- cided to make statewide offices independently cies, but they were, for the most part, polite elected from the governor. But the trend has to each other. Wiseman predicted that Hood been to reverse that, he said. may face changes next year, however. “I would “Hood is kind of out on an island by anticipate some effort of the part of a Repub- himself, but he is a fairly conservative guy
himself,” Wiseman said. “… He certainly is not a flaming liberal, so there will be positions when he gets along with Republicans just fine. But there will be others where that is not the case. But now, he doesn’t have the luxury of having any legislative backing, unless he can develop a relationship with Republicans who can cross the line, and that’s not likely.” Over the past several legislative sessions, the state Senate passed a “Sunshine” bill that would have required Hood to conduct bidding for outside counsel receiving cases from the state. The bill died in the House, but this session could be different. Hood has said that if more entities were involved in the process, it would become politicized. He also said that disclosing potential lawsuits against corporations could threaten their outcomes, and that lawyers would fail to bring suits to the AG’s attention if they thought they could not benefit. Jackson attorney Philip Thomas, author of the blog Mississippi Litigation Review, said bidding out contracts for attorneys is not the same as bidding out other types of contracts. “Your lawyer is not something you want to pick by the lowest bidder. It’s not a construction contract,” Thomas said. “It shouldn’t be the cheapest lawyer, because that’s not going to be best lawyer.”
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
his ancient African country of Ethiopia is called the land of 13 months of sunshine. The Ethiopian calendar has 12 months of 30 days and an extra month of five days called Pagume. In the African nation where the Queen of Sheba once ruled, both primitive and modern cultures exist side by side. In Addis Ababa, the open-air market of Addis is the largest in Africa, stretching out for miles. The food of this far-off land is known worldwide for the intricately spiced stews or “Wat” as they are called. You can now Robin DeVos Owen experience firsthand the most exotic dishes fit for a queen right here in the City with Soul at Jackson’s newest restaurant, Abeba. Owner and chef, Molley Woldtnsea, came to the United States from Addis Ababa with a dream to open his own Ethiopian restaurant. Beginning with his formal training at a culinary school in Dallas, Woldtnsea had an opportunity to open a restaurant in Jackson and jumped at the chance. Dining at Abeba is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Ethiopian dishes are served with “injera,” a spongy flatbread made from the flour of teff, an ancient grass grain similar to millet or quinoa. Essentially the table bread, injera serves as your silverware and part of the meal. Yes, you eat with your hands. Prepared dishes are served atop the injera and it is customary to use torn pieces of injera to pick up the food and soak up the rich, spicy sauces. Silverware is available, and would be useful to try one of 40 soups that Woldtnsea simmers up in his kitchen. For the novice palate, give the vegetarian combination a try. A deluxe sampling of vegetarian dishes including Ataklet Wat, a spicy preparation of cabbage, carrot, and potatoes simmered with onions, garlic ginger, and turmeric. The Ethiopian take on collard greens is also available. Gomen Wat, served hot or cold, is mild collard greens simmered in a delicate sauce of onions and herbs. Woldtnsea’s favorite dishes are the Doro and Beg Wat. The Doro Wat is a slow-cooked chicken simmered in a buttery, spicy berbee sauce. The Beg Wat is prepared using slow-cooked lamb. Both dishes are traditionally served with a hardboiled egg and of course with plenty of injera. If spicy isn’t your thing, you can give the Beg Alicha or Doro Alicha a try—both dishes are milder versions of Woldtnsea’s favorites and just as flavorful. With full-service catering and party space available, transform your next get-together into a party fit for the Queen of Sheba herself. Abeba is located off the Lakeland Drive exit off I55 on the north frontage road. The next time you are looking to escape your mundane food blues, step into an exotic culinary paradise right here in Jackson at Abeba.
ississippi Attorney General Jim Hood celebrated a large victory last Tuesday when he won his third reelection term against Republican challenger Steve Simpson, winning 60 percent of the vote. But Hood’s real uphill battle may lie in next year’s legislative session with Gov.elect Phil Bryant and a Republican-controlled House and Senate. The attorney general serves as the chief legal officer and adviser for the state on civil and criminal matters. His office issues legal opinions and interprets state laws, advising state leaders and government agencies. The AG has the power to bring suit on the state’s behalf against corporations or individuals and is one of three members of the state bond commission, along with the governor and state treasurer, which decides what projects receive state bonds. The governor, on the other hand, is the chief executive officer of the state. He presents a budget to the state Legislature, has the ability to call special sessions and has full veto power over bills passed by state lawmakers. Gov. Haley Barbour and Hood had their share of differences. In 2006, Barbour announced plans to move state agencies into the Sillers Building in downtown Jackson. His plans did not include the attorney general’s of-
opining, grousing & pontificating
Vote ‘Yes’ on the Tollison-Bell Amendment
he worst dirty trick we saw this last election wasn’t a campaign ad, a robocall or an “astroturf” campaign from a shadowy coalition of instigators and carpetbaggers. (Of course, all three happened.) In fact, this dirty trick didn’t happen in the lead-up to the election at all. It happened afterward—when Sen. Gray Tollison switched from being a Democrat to being a Republican, after he ran unopposed—and even after accepting money from the Democratic Party. Soon after, Rep. Donnie Bell of Fulton, who defeated another Republican candidate while campaigning with a D after his name, undertook the same cowardly act, and arguably tipped the House with his political philandering. Some readers might ask—why the bellyaching? Candidates switch parties frequently, particularly in the south and particularly, these days, from Democratic to Republican, as the great 40-year shift of the southern strategy is finalizing itself in the land of magnolias and palmettos. But switching parties within 48 hours of being re-elected—and acting like you’re joining a new country club instead of tossing your supporters under a bus—makes you more than a selfish politician, a scheming opportunist or a conniving tactician. It makes you a con artist. Tollison himself says he’s been mulling the change for “more than a year,” but, apparently, he only got around to finally making this heart-wrenching decision after people had gone to the ballot box and put a check next to “Gray Tollison (D).” More than a year ago was exactly the right time to make this decision. How many of his constituents and supporters assumed that Tollison was the person he said he was? How many voted for Bell because they wanted the Democrats to retain control of the House or because they thought a Democratic candidate would be better for Mississippi? We disagree with the excuse that the only thing constituents want is for their representative to be a member of the majority. Some voters appreciate a candidate with actual principles. If these men were slowly having this epiphany about themselves or their constituencies, why not have the intestinal fortitude to reveal that before the election and run on the merits of their beliefs and those of their new party? Why not allow Democrats to field a candidate in opposition to these newly minted Republicans, instead of running as a faux Democrat all the way to the end? Some people vote straight-party ticket; some people vote in certain races for certain parties (like the House); some people vote because they know and respect who they think you are. To these people, these men lied. Even worse is the righteous posture that suggests they did it for their constituents. Gentlemen, at least show enough character to admit that you acted out the charade in your own interests, not those of your voters. Voters who saw the potential of initiatives to alter the landscape in this last election should consider another one: Let’s add the ability to recall elected officials to Mississippi’s constitution. We can call it the Tollison-Bell amendment.
Spinning Your Favorites
November 16 - 22, 2011
.J. Larry “Loose Booty” McBride: “Are you tired of hearing the news about the politician who allegedly violated four women? Are you disgusted with the other politician who forgot the name of the third government agency during the recent presidential candidate debate? I know the news about the football coach and child sex scandal at that university in Pennsylvania just makes you sick. “Don’t let the bad, sad and terrible news mess with your mood. Come on down to Clubb Chicken Wing’s ‘Mid-Week After Hours Job Fair, Networking Session and Disco’ and do the ‘loose booty’ with me and the Unemployed Dee Jays. We’ll spin your favorite old school tunes to help you get rid of the blues. “Big Roscoe’s momma will have plenty of free hot wings ready for the happy hour. Brother Hustle will keep the libations flowing at the new ‘Grown Folks Juicy Juice Bar.’ Network with potential employers and consult with resume-writing specialists from Hair Did University School of Cosmetology and Cootie Creek County Community College. “Back by popular demand is the Battle of the Unemployed Old School Dee Jays, featuring D.J. Itch Gotta Scratch versus Old School Pete. The Sausage Sandwich Sisters will conduct the Ghetto Science Community electric-slide line dance to the music of Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Loose Booty.’ Spend some time away from commercial, corporate-sponsored media constantly feeding you with nonsense at your mind’s expense. Come shake that loose booty. Let it go.”
Noise from the blogs @jacksonfreepress.com
Tollison: Being a Republican Best for My District I guess the obvious question is, how do you reconcile doing this the day after the election? What kind of horses’ ass does that and then has the gall to tell people he did it for his constituents’ own good? That’s why there was an election—for the constituents to decide what is in their own interests. I know people who live on his block who voted for him because they thought he was a Democrat, not because they thought he was lying to them for their own good. This dude deserves to get booed in church. If you want to change parties, change before the election and then run on you and your new party’s merits. Otherwise you’re a con artist. If he’s really that conflicted and spineless, I think Tollison should step down and allow his district to have a fair election. —Todd Stauffer
could the liberal darling defect at a time like this? Oh, because the GOP basically said, “either join us or we’ll beat you in the next election.” Wonder why Todd Wade got ditched? Contact Delbert and ask what he knew and when he knew it. —jbreland
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOW! How in the world can he face himself every day?! It’s trickery at it’s best. LOW DOWN! —Queen601
I mean, is anyone really shocked behind this? C’mon, let’s be honest. People vote blind in this state, and it is what it is. I can see if his constituents were up in arms over this, but they are not. The governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor, agriculture commissioner, insurance commissioner, Senate and the House are Republican-run now. I just hope the JFP uses its podium to point this out and hold them accountable for any shortcomings that happen during their tenure. Because it’s obvious—the majority in this state don’t see it. —Duan C.
I have written Eric Holder (federal attorney general) and Jim Hood requesting prosecution for voter fraud. If misleading voters to get elected is criminal—this is the definition of it. —BobbyKearan One word: survival. Plus, dude parties hard in Jackson. Gotta love him—a true Kennedy. But how
I dislike office-holding party jumpers on either side, but this case is especially egregious given that he pulled the switch days after being re-elected. Doesn’t matter that he was unopposed, if he wanted to be in the GOP he should have switched earlier in the year to run in the GOP primary. I’ve said for years there should be an automatic recall for elected officials who switch parties within 18 months after an election. This would make people like Tollison think twice before betraying the people who voted for him based on party affiliation. —Jeff Lucas
Email letters to email@example.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.
Home on the Ranch Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott News Editor Lacey McLaughlin Assistant Editor Valerie Wells Reporters R.L. Nave, Elizabeth Waibel Events Editor Latasha Willis Editorial Assistant LaShanda Phillips Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editor Dustin Cardon Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Gretchen Cook, Scott Dennis, Bryan Flynn, Brandi Herrera, Diandra Hosey, Pamela Hosey, Robyn Jackson, Bret Kenyon, Garrad Lee, Natalie Long, Adriane Louie, Jessica Mizell, Larry Morrisey, Robin Oâ€™Bryant, Casey Purvis,Tom Ramsey, Jeff Seabold, Kelly Bryan Smith, Julie Skipper, Ken Stiggers, Sherry-Lois Wallace Editorial Interns Brittany Kilgore, Sadaaf Mamoon, Hannah Vick, Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris
ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas Production Designer Latasha Willis Graphic Designer Holly Harlan Graphic Design Intern Erica Sutton Editorial Cartoonist Mike Day Photographers Christina Cannon, Jert-rutha Crawford, Tate K. Nations, Jerrick Smith, Amile Wilson, William Patrick Butler
SALES AND OPERATIONS Sales Director Kimberly Griffin Account Executives Mandy Beach, Adam Perry Sales Assistant Marissa Lucas Distribution Manager Matt Heindl Events Coordinator Shannon Barbour Accounting Montroe Headd Distribution Avery Cahee, Raymond Carmeans, Jeff Cooper, Mik Davis, Clint Dear, Marcus Devine, Richard Laswell Sales Intern Morgan Bares
ONLINE Web Developer Megan Stewart Web Producer Korey Harrion
CONTACT US: Letters firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial email@example.com Releases firstname.lastname@example.org Queries email@example.com Listings firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising email@example.com Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org News tips email@example.com Internships firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion email@example.com
Jackson Free Press P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com The Jackson Free Press is the cityâ€™s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. Firstclass subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc.
eel free to judge, but Iâ€™ve lived in eight different places since 2004. Yes, Iâ€™m aware that makes me sound like a Gypsy, but I can defend myself. Justin and I talked about home ownership the way some heterosexual couples talk about having kidsâ€”one day, just not today. I never had to worry about fallen trees on my roof, exploding water heaters, termite contracts or Jehovahâ€™s Witnesses, and that was fine with me. But then, for the first time in a long time, I drove by a house that felt like home. Justin and I met nine years ago in Memphis, Tenn. Both fresh out of four-year relationships, we were itching to start the next phase of our lives. This, for me, is a recurring theme: the â€œwhatâ€™s next?â€? Having spent a good deal of time, energy and money chasing the â€œAmerican Dream,â€? I had a good income, a German car and owned a cute little â€™40s house with my former partner. I wanted a new dishwasher; he wanted to move up the corporate ladder. Thatâ€™s pretty much how we grew apart. Justin abandoned his coupling after a string of indiscretions on his partnerâ€™s end. He had quit his job to become a â€œstay-home gay,â€? and busied himself by nesting. His partner, who was in the restaurant business, was also consumed with moving up. Eventually, Justin had enough and moved on. I had just finished moving the last of my possessions into a tiny studio across the street from AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds in downtown Memphis. The apartment was just a couple of blocks from bars and eateries where I would step out of my shell and meet new people. I imagined myself to be something like a gay, male Carrie Bradshawâ€”full of optimism, with a love for shoes and cute boys. I vowed to be bold in my quest for the next phase of my life. It was almost lunchtime, so I popped into the Peabody Hotel to see if my gal-pal Kirsten was at work. She was off Mondays, a cute boy behind the front desk informed me, but he would tell her I stopped by. Halfway home, it occurred to me that I shouldâ€™ve asked him out. â€œSo much for the â€˜bold newâ€™ Eddie,â€? I thought. Later, Kirsten rang me to see if I wanted to meet for a drink or two. I caught up with her and her man-friend, Gene, at Hueyâ€™s. We chatted about my new life and what I hoped for my future. â€œIâ€™m giving Memphis a year to make me stay,â€? I said defiantly, and then asked, â€œTell me about that boy behind the front desk.â€? On our walk back to my apartment, Kirsten shared with me what little she knew about Justin and his previous relationship. He
was full of passion for life, kind as anyone sheâ€™d ever met and funny. â€œEqually as inappropriate as we can be,â€? she said. It was then I announced, â€œIâ€™m going to ask that boy out.â€? â€œI think you should,â€? Kirsten said assuredly. So, I did. Turns out, J had called her immediately after I left the Peabody earlier that day, demanding to know who â€œthat manâ€? was who had come calling. One year in Memphis turned into two, and he and I were sharing a loft on the top floor of the old YMCA building on Madison Street. We loved that loft and loved entertaining there. In fact, we hosted a couple of birthday parties for people we didnâ€™t even know. Crazy I know, but when you know how to throw a wingding, and you donâ€™t use that talent, somewhere in the world a child is born cross-eyed. Eventually, we made the decision to come to Jackson and gave up the loft. We lived in the King Edward for two years. It was a 20-year dream realized for me, but lugging groceries from the elevator to the other end of the building a few hundred times will slowly make a mortgage-phobic person consider the convenience of whipping into a carport. One evening, while celebrating our ninth anniversary at Parlor Market, I confessed that I couldnâ€™t wait to buy a house. J, looking as if he had been keeping a terrible family secret from me, immediately confessed the same. Three weeks later, I found myself standing in the middle of a â€˜50s ranch in need of a couple of gays. â€œI do believe this is our home,â€? I said to Justin. Lately, Iâ€™ve listened as he gushes about the refinished wood floors, the enormous closets and the deck thatâ€™s bigger than a Broadway stage. I informed everyone that Halloween was to be spent with me, and I filled the front yard with my jack-oâ€™-lanternsâ€”all carved free hand. (Iâ€™m going on record to say that Halloween is the only day of the year when I openly welcome children into my world.) Iâ€™ve also laid claim to Thanksgiving, as weâ€™ll finally have plenty of room to feed the misfits in my life. Three beds, three baths and a two-car garage are about as close as we can get to marriage, for now. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s next, after all. Eddie Outlaw is co-owner of the William Wallace Salon in Fondren and spends most of his time trying not to embarrass his sweet Delta mother on eddieoutlaw.com.
Lugging groceries from the elevator will slowly make a mortgage-phobic person consider whipping into a carport.
Revealing Heaven On Earth 8:30 a.m. A Service of Word and Table 9:30 a.m. Sunday School for all ages 11:00 a.m. Worship Service Live Streaming at www.gallowayumc.org Televised on WAPT Childrenâ€™s Church Ages 4-Kindegarten Nursery Available Ages 6 weeks-3 years
305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS 601-353-9691 English 601-362-3464 Spanish www.gallowayumc.org
#LEAN #ITY 7ASTE #OLLECTION
$WWHQWLRQFKXUFKHV VPDOOEXVLQHVVHV:HZLOO SURYLGHJDOWUDVKFDQHPSWLHGWZLFHZHHNIRU MXVWPRQWK
/RGANIC (EALTHY "EVERAGES
+HDOWK\&RIIHH7HDDQG+RW&KRFRODWHZLWK*DQR GHUPD6XSSOHPHQWV1DWXUDOKHUEEULQJVDPD]LQJ KHDOWKUHVXOWVEROVWHUVLPPXQHV\VWHPDUWQGRULV RUJDQRJROGFRPDQGRJFRIIHHSD\VFRP
'H 1LFH'HVLJQVKDVDJUHDW+ROLGD\3DFNDJHGHDO JRLQJRQRQO\IRUWKH+ROLGD\VVRERRN\RXUIDPLO\ VHVVLRQWRGD\GHQLFHGHVLJQV#\DKRRFRP<RX UHFHLYHSRUWUDLWVWKDWÂśV[[[ [DQGZDOOHWV7RWDOSULFH3/86D)5(( PLQLSKRWRERRN6SHFLDOHQGV'HF
$O 9OU .EED ! 3ITTER#AREGIVER
&RQWDFW0DUFXV&ROHPDQ,DPDQH[SHULHQFHGFHUWL ÂżHG&1$H[SHULHQFHGZLWKHOGHUO\DQGPHQWDOO\LOO &RQWDFWPHDW
+LUH'H 1LFH'HVLJQV//&DV\RXUZHGGLQJSKRWRJ UDSKHU&RQWDFW'HQLFHGHQLFHGHVLJQV#JPDLO FRP:HKDYHDHQJDJHPHQWSDFNDJHIRU