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MADISON MARCH / APRIL 2019

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THE PERFECT LAMB

Madison’s Master Painter ARTS & FESTIVAL GUIDE


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MADISON C

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MARCH / APRIL 2019 PUBLISHED BY The Madison County Journal

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CONTENTS

PUBLISHER James E. Prince III

MARCH / APRIL

ASSOCIATE EDITOR & PUBLISHER Michael Simmons

2019

LAYOUT & DESIGN Rachel Browning Truong CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Amile Wilson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Duncan Dent, Mark Stowers, Amile Wilson, Tyler Cleveland, CJ Allen ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Leigh Loecher leigh@onlinemadison.com 601.853.4222

601.853.4222 ADVERTISING DESIGN Godfrey Jones Madison County Magazine is a bi-monthly supplement to the Madison County Journal designed to promote Madison County in an informative and positive manner. We welcome contributions of articles and photos; however, they will be subject to editing and availability of space and subject matter. Photographs, comments, questions, subscription requests and ad placement inquiries are invited! Return envelopes and postage must accompany all labeled materials submitted if a return is requested. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Madison County Magazine are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. We reserve the right to refuse any and all advertising. Subscribe to the magazine by subscribing to the Journal, mymcj.com, or call the office at (601) 853-4222 © 2010 Madison County Publishing Company.

9.............DRINKS 11.............FEATURE Art & Festival Guide 19.............REALTY SHOWCASE 24.............PEOPLE

38.............COVER STORY Madison’s Master Painter 42.............ART Through the Looking Glass

Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade 48.............EVENTS 30.............HISTORY St. Ann’s Church Carries on Tradition

51.............CULTURE Let the Ladies Dance 54.............ENGAGEMENTS

33.............BUTCHER’S BLOCK The Perfect Lamb

Photo by Amile Wilson

Joy Stewart joy@onlinemadison.com

On the Cover: Bob Tompkins in his Madison studio.

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DRINKS

Spring Thyme Collins S

pring is famously about rebirth. In the cocktail world, this means a freshly blooming crop of ingredients and bright flavors. Chris Robertson, general manager at Koestler Prime in the Renaissance at Colony Park, said that as they prepare to release their spring menu they move from the warming and comforting cocktails of winter to something bright and refreshing. “Spring is a time of renewal. The first words that come to my mind when putting together the spring cocktails are fresh and floral,” Robertson said. Robertson said that when developing their seasonal drink he always likes to do a twist on a classic. “I really love a drink that I can just tell someone about and they can make. For the most part I

by Duncan Dent

think old cocktails are the best so we like to put our spin on something fairly simple while using fresh, local if possible, ingredients,” Robertson said. Robertson and his staff have developed this issue’s featured cocktail with all that in mind. The Spring Thyme Collins is a take on the classic Tom Collins cocktail. The Tom Collins is considered one of the oldest cocktails and represents the turn in popularity from big bowls of punch to well-measured and handcrafted drinks made one at a time in the mid-1800s. A lot has been disputed about the drink’s provenance, but cocktail historian David Wondrich maintains in his bar bible Imbibe that the drink started in London. It was a New York native theatrical manager who was known for

adding ice-cold soda water to his gin punch. As this ingredient caught on first documented in the early 1830s, John Collins, headwaiter at the Limmer’s Hotel, made his own version that, known as Collin’s Punch, that would be taken worldwide by the hotel’s elite clientele. As it was mixed throughout American taverns, the ingredient list was streamlined and by the time it was recorded in Jerry Thomas’ cocktail book in 1876, it became known as the “Tom Collins.” What?! No explanation is given for the name change but Wondrich theorizes that the widespread use of Old Tom gin in the drink may have been a contributing factor. Wondrich says that Thomas recorded the drink just as a related “bit of tomfoolery began crisscrossing the nation.” The bar prank involved sending an easily provoked bar patron to another bar on a wild goose chase looking for “Mr. Collins,” who had allegedly been spreading nasty rumors about the provoked man. Patrons in the know would tell the irate individual that he had “ just missed Collins, but he said he was going to another bar around the corner,” and so on and so forth. I’m sure it was very funny unless you were the easily provoked man. All that to say, Robertson acknowledges the playful energy of the drink. With warm weather and outdoor activities on the horizon, he expects patrons to make use of the Renaissance’s new “go cup” laws passed last February. “We embrace the go cup ordinance. I think with Local 463 we are kind of ‘brother and sister’ restaurants and we expect people to enjoy the many events renaissance has to offer and I hope we can contribute to that experience,” Robertson said. “This is absolutely an outdoor drinker.”

make

your

own 1 ½ oz. Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin ½ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice ½ oz. cane sugar simple syrup 1 sprig of thyme Soda water Give the ingredients a gentle stir with ice and pour into a collins glass. Garnish with thyme. top with soda which Robertson says make it “light and effervescent.”

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FEATURE

ARTS& FESTIVAL GUIDE 2019 A

short winter for 2018 means plenty of time to spend outdoors in 2019. This year’s Spring comes at the perfect time and with it another season of festivals full of fun. There are no excuses to sit indoors this year, so join us and thousands of others to celebrate some of the most ­beloved events our great state has to offer. There are many in the Metro area to choose from you don’t want to miss. This is Madison County Magazine’s 2019 Statewide Arts & Festival Guide.

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FEATURE

Columbus Spring Pilgrimmage March 28 - April 6

Columbus visitcolumbusms.org The 79th Annual Spring Pilgrimage is sure to be one of the best yet. This is an award-winning event that has been widely recognized as one of the best and most authentic home tours in the South. In addition to the more than 650 National Register properties and three National Register Historic Districts, the 2019 Pilgrimage embraces and celebrates all of Columbus’ history. 12 | MADISON COUNTY MAGAZINE

Ridgeland Fine Arts FESTIVAL April 6 - 7

Ridgeland ridgelandartsfest.com A host of activities encapsulates the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival held at Renaissance at Colony Park. This mustdo for Madison Countians includes everything from fine art to great music. Held in conjunction with the Sante South Wine Festival on April 6, this spring weekend is jam-packed with everything for families of all ages.

Township Jazz Festival April 20

Ridgeland townshipjazzfestival.com With the goal of increasing Jazz appreciation at heart, the Township Jazz Festival amps up for its 12th year at the Township and is one of the few Jazz-focused festivals in the state. Continually growing awareness for this genre of music, this festival seems to keep surprising by pulling out all the stops to create a family-friendly day in celebration of one of country’s most unpredictable, can’t help but move your feet, homegrown genre of music.


FEATURE

Arts on the Green KidFest!

April 13-14 & April 19-20

Ridgeland kidfestridgeland.com Recently named a “Top Twenty Event,” KidFest! at Freedom Ridge Park is overflowing with fun for both the young and the young at heart. A favorite family festival, a $10 ticket will pay for an entire day’s fun. Lasting two weekends in a row, the Ridgeland KidFest! will definitely make some memories for all.

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Ridgeland artsonthegreen.info St. Andrew’s Episcopal School invites you to visit their world of discovery at Arts on the Green on their North Campus. Mississippi’s most creative craftspeople visit the campus to display and discuss their creations igniting the creativity in the minds of young and old. Come to absorb or come to collect, either way, come to enjoy a beautiful spring day at Arts on the Green.

Swing Into Summer Every Thursday in May

Madison madisonthecity.com Located in the heart of Madison, the city puts on this event every Thursday in the month of May. Complete with rock walls, train rides, music and animals spend your Thursday evenings with your neighbors on Main Street at the Big Red Caboose. MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 13


FEATURE

Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest TBA

Ridgeland & Canton ballooncanton.com With events held in two of Madison County’s finest cities, the Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest celebrates its 33rd year this year. Sunsets as colorful as an artist’s palette, blazing balloon glows, fun runs, fun flights and several balloon races keeps your holiday weekend in July packed full of family fun. If you haven’t attended this before, here’s your chance to do your part in this “fun’raiser” for The Good Samaritan Center. 14 | MADISON COUNTY MAGAZINE

Canton Flea Market May 9 and Oct. 10

Canton cantonmsfleamarket.com One of the area’s oldest and most nationally acclaimed events, the Canton Flea Market is one of the largest craft markets of the South. One of the most anticipated events in Madison County, don’t miss as artists and craftsmen line the lawn of the Historic Madison County Courthouse. Since its beginning in 1965, the Canton Flea Market is one we are proud to call Madison County’s own.

Pepsi Pops May 10

Ridgeland msorchestra.com What could be better than a night with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra on the Reservoir? Picnic in the park or attend by boat as the Maestro takes the stage. With a finale of fireworks everyone young and old has a warmth in their heart and a smile on their face.


FEATURE

Mississippi Book Festival August 17

Jackson msbookfestival.com Hundreds of contemporary authors — national, regional and local — connect directly with fans and new readers, as invited guests on Official Panels that explore indepth themes, or along Authors Alley, the festival’s hub for self-published authors. The Mississippi Book Festival continues to draw thousands to its annual “literary lawn party” and book lovers’ celebration.

Crosstie April 13

Cleveland crosstiefestival.com A Delta tradition continues under the oaks of the Bolivar County Courthouse on South Court Street in Cleveland. The Annual Crosstie Arts and Jazz Festival, a juried fine arts show, will feature hundreds of exhibitors displaying paintings, sculpture, pottery, fabric and paper designs, handmade furniture and jewelry. High quality handcrafts will be offered in a marketplace setting. Road races for young and old, an extensive area just for children, live entertainment, a delicious variety of regional foods, and friendly people combine to make a most enjoyable day.

Double Decker April 26 -27

Oxford doubledeckerfestival.com The 24th annual Double Decker Festival will be held on April 26-27. Originally inspired by the Double Decker bus that Oxford imported from England in 1994, the festival showcases Oxford as a town that supports the arts and has grown to be one of the champion events in the region. Double Decker started with the bed of an old pickup truck serving as the stage for music, and only hosted a handful art and food vendors. Today, the event is entered around the historic Courthouse Square, and boasts a crowd of more than 60,000 people. MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 15


FEATURE

HUBFEST March 30

Hattiesburg hubfestms.com HUBFEST is Hattiesburg’s premier arts and music festival. The annual event is held in beautiful Historic Downtown Hattiesburg and features four stages of live music, over 250 arts, crafts and food vendors, and a large children’s area. The one-day festival is free to the public, with the exception of the children’s area, which requires a $10 fee for unlimited all-day play. Over 30,000 people attended in 2018. 16 | MADISON COUNTY MAGAZINE

Cotton District Arts Festival April 13

Starkville cdadestival.com Held each April in the historic Cotton District in Starkville, the festival blends incredible art, music, and food into a showcase event. The festival is host to more than 125 artisans, as well as a Juried Art competition and show, Writer’s Village, Taste of Starkville restaurant competition, Pet Parade, Student Art competition, and much more.

HamJam April 12-13

Philadelphia hamjamartsfestival.com The Philadelphia Ham Jam Arts Festival is a project of the Philadelphia Main Street Association. Thousands of people will descend upon Philadelphia for a weekend of fun, arts, and BBQ. Don’t miss the talent show or Hog Wild Run. Walk.


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MADISON COUNTY

R E A LT Y

SHOWCASE MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 19


REALTY SHOWCASE

FIRST COLONY.............$395,000 214 FIRST COLONY BOULEVARD

NEW CONSTRUCTION

A new construction located in First Colony Subdivision, this home features ceramic tile and wood flooring, a gas cooktop, and a double wall oven. There is room to spare with a Mother-in-Law suite, Pantry, Formal Dining Room an Office and a three Car Garage. This 4 BR/3 Bath house also features two fireplaces

POLLESPROPERTIES.COM AMANDA POLLES | POLLES PROPERTIES 601-278-6871 AMANDA@POLLESPROPERTIES.COM

CALUMET......................................................................................................................... $899,900 133 CALUMET DR.

ESTATE LIVING

Built on 3.08 acres, this Mediterranean/Spanish style home is complete with everything that a homeowner wants and needs. This stately home boasts a circular drive as well as a three car garage. With 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, there is room enough for the entire family and guests will have their own space. The dining space has room for a banquet sized table and the family room is custom built with 14.5 foot ceilings and original craftsmanship that cannot be duplicated. From family cooks to famous chefs, this home has a true chef’s kitchen with a 6 burner VIKING gas stove complete with two griddles, two ovens, a warming shelf and a stainless vent hood. The pantry is the home of a freezer and plenty of storage and food prep space. A mud room leading out to the garage is the perfect entry for a busy family.

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POLLESPROPERTIES.COM AMANDA POLLES | POLLES PROPERTIES 601-278-6871 AMANDA@POLLESPROPERTIES.COM


LAKE CAROLINE................................................ $529,500

122 CAMDEN SHORES

ON THE WATER Words Cannot Describe this Beauty on the water in Lake Caroline’s Camden Crossing with the most beautiful lighting throughout! Paradise abounds in this desirable lake front property with resort style pool and hot tub. Custom 2016 build has breathtaking views of the Lake from every angel inside. This 5/3 features (three full beds down) a Formal Foyer, Generous Greatroom featuring beautiful tiled fireplace that takes the eye to the over 12ft ceilings. Executive Kitchen features large island, loads of counters and storage, cook-top, single oven and breakfast nook that can easily be a cozy Keeping Room. You’ll enjoy prepping meals and family gatherings with the backdrop of the beautiful lake. Floor plan is Significantly open for great entertaining. Large Master positioned on the water; Lavish Master Bath is grand with double vanities, solid granite counter-tops, open fully tiled shower and large master closet. Two additional guests bedrooms are located off of the garage hall. Upstairs you’ll find two guest bedrooms with good walk in closets. Spacious Laundry Room features a utility sink. You’ll fall completely in love with the Amazing gunite heated pool and Hot Tub that you can enjoy year around! Relax early mornings and afternoons under the covered back porch enjoying endless views of the Lake!

BLUECHIPREALESTATE@GMAIL.COM RASHIDA WALKER | W REAL ESTATE LLC (601) 573-1866

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REALTY SHOWCASE

SUMMERS BAY.............. $474,900 147 SUMMERS BAY DRIVE

RESERVOIR LIVING

Located on the Ross Barnett Reservoir next to the Yacht Club in Summers Bay, this home boasts 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and an office. The master bath has marble countertops with a walk-in shower. Each bedroom has walk-in closets. There is a wet-bar with a built-in ice maker and the kitchen has a gas stove top and gas built-in double ovens. There is an attached 3 car garage with the third car space set up to be a workshop.

601-278-6871 AMANDA@POLLESPROPERTIES.COM POLLESPROPERTIES.COM AMANDA POLLES | POLLES PROPERTIES

FLORA................................................................................................................................$3,390,000 400 CHAPEL HILL ROAD

ESTATE LIVING

Welcome to lovely 400 Chapel Hill Road, located in Flora, which is convenient to everything in Madison County. This gorgeous home sits on almost 50 acres of rolling timbers and land which includes a homesite of 5,200-plus square feet, a pavilion with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace, a wine and gun cellar, a barn with a nice apartment above and an in-ground swimming pool and spa with bluestone pool deck. The home was built in 1998 by one of the area’s most reputable builders.

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POLLESPROPERTIES.COM AMANDA POLLES | POLLES PROPERTIES 601-278-6871 AMANDA@POLLESPROPERTIES.COM WHITETAILPROPERTIES.COM BRAD FARRIS | WHITETAIL PROPERTIES 601-506-1304 BRAD.FARRIS@WHITETAILPROPERTIES.COM


FLORA.......................................................................... $1,050,000 234 CHAPEL HILL ROAD CUSTOM CONSTRUCTION Custom-built in the rolling hills of Madison County, this 4 BR/3.5 Bath home is nestled atop a pastoral setting amongst 10.69 +- Acres. This home has wide antique heart pine floors, and loads of natural light. Features a Banquet Formal Dining Room, Large Greatroom with Masonry Brick Fireplace, Wide Entry Foyer, Cypress Cabinets, Pantry, Gas Cooktop and Stainless Appliances, Sub Zero Refrigerator, Brick Floors, Granite Surfaces, Center Island, Keeping Room Space, Banks of Windows in the Breakfast Room, Home Office, Sunroom off Greatroom and more. Covered Backporch and Stone Patio, 3 Car Garage, Wood Fence, Irrigation System, Professionally Landscaped. KENNEDY-REALESTATE.COM JUANITA KENNEDY | KENNEDY & COMPANY REAL ESTATE, INC. 601-898-2999 JUANITA@KENNEDY-REALESTATE.COM

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PEOPLE

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PEOPLE

Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade

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alcolm White had quit his job and was looking for his next big event in January of 1983. He hadn’t been in Jackson five years, but already had his first couple of projects off the ground. Christmas by the River had gone well, and his first Wellsfest had proven a hit. He had quit his job as the manager of George Street Tavern and was sitting on the customer-side of the bar when an old friend took a seat on the stool next to him. His buddy Raad Cawthon, a columnist at the Clarion Ledger, ordered a beer and asked White what he intended to do for his next trick. “I told him I wanted to organize a St. Paddy’s Day parade,” White recalled. “I didn’t know how or where, but I wanted to do it. No details. The next morning, I wake up and Raad’s column says ‘Malcolm White will debut the Jackson St. Paddy’s Day Parade this March.’ “I thought ‘Hell, now I have to do this.’” Cawthon remembers the conversation well. “It’s not like he had the information embargoed,” he said, laughing. “He was one of my best friends, and he knew I was always looking for an easy column.” The not-so-gentle prod from his friend turned out to be a good thing. White immediately started making calls. His first idea was a pub crawl, but back then, downtown Jackson had just three bars. He talked CS’s owner Pat Bolden and George Street owner Joey Mitchell into letting him start and end his parade at their establishments. With the route set, he called a bunch of his friends, who immediately formed their own Mardi Gras-style marching krewes. Finally, he hired a brass band out of New Orleans and got his permit from the city to hold his parade in the middle of rush-hour at 4 p.m. on March 17, 1983. Around 250 revelers showed up that first year and marched through the streets of downtown dressed as characters from the works of Tennessee Williams. The original Sweet Potato Queens rode in the back of a pickup truck, throwing sweet potatoes to confused onlookers. The Krewe of Kazoo, identifiable by elaborate costumes and green and pink umbrellas, handed out beads and danced. The newly formed O’Tux Society handed out flowers for kisses.

by Tyler Cleveland Cawthon, without asking permission, slapped a Clarion Ledger sign on the side of his pickup truck, dressed up with a couple of friends in fish costumes and wrapped themselves in discarded editions of the newspaper. It was a wild scene. Marching down the street that day – with the band playing, the floats floating and the angry drivers honking, White said he didn’t know if he’d ever get to do it again. “I didn’t know what to expect, but after seeing all the interest in it and how much people enjoyed it, I knew pretty early on that this was an event that had legs,” White said. “By the third year that it had the potential to be what it is today. It was very obvious to me that if we kept doing it, kept growing it and kept getting more people involved, it was going to become huge.” And so it has. Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade, renamed after Malcolm’s late brother Hal White five years ago, has become the Jackson Metro Area’s biggest annual celebration. It draws more than 70,000 patrons annually and provides an estimated $10 million boost to the local economy. It’s a lot more organized these days out of necessity. The festivities start with a 5K race, then a children’s festival. That’s followed by a pet parade and a children’s parade – all be-

fore noon. The actual parade, which rolls at 1 p.m., includes a dozen marching krewes, scores of floats and high school, junior college and collegiate-level marching bands. Every bar in Jackson hosts an afterparty, and there’s an outdoor dance party with live music from bands like Moustache and the Blues Boys at Hal & Mal’s Restaurant that runs late into the evening. “It’s successful because it’s inclusive,” White said. “Anyone who wants to be in it, can be in it. You just have to make a small donation to the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, and you’re in. I think that’s what has made me the proudest – the crowd looks like Jackson. When you get out there and look at the crowd. It’s the most Jackson-looking public event in the city because everybody is invited.” Organizers have also been blessed with good weather over the years, thanks to the mild but often unpredictable weather in March. Jubilee Jam, a music festival started by White in the early 1980s, shuttered its doors more than a decade ago thanks to torrential downpours that bankrupted the weekend-long music festival. Only once has it rained on the parade, and that came in 2014. Several more groups have joined the parade over the years. The O’Tux Society has swol-

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PEOPLE

len to around 50 members. The Rude Boys are always a threat to win the contest for best float, and the Green Ladies have taken up the mantle of the Sweet Potato Queens and the Krewe of Kazoo, which are still around. This year’s event, themed after the Beatles’ ground-breaking 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour, promises to be the biggest celebration to date. The 2019 rendition features, for the first, time several high school and collegiate marching bands and the return of the Sweet Potato 26 | MADISON COUNTY MAGAZINE

Queens marching krewe. The Queens held their own parade in Fondren the following weekend the past five years, but the two groups have reconciled and combined this year. Jill Conner Browne, head Sweet Potato Queen and New York Times best-selling author of six books related to her reign, was in that original 1983 parade. She said rejoining Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day parade was an easy call after hearing the pitch from White and event organizer Arden Barnett.


QUICK HITS WHAT: Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade & Festival WHEN: Saturday, March 23 WHERE: Downtown Jackson THEME: 2019 – A Magical Mystery Tour GRAND MARSHAL: Mississippi restauranteur Robert St. John

FULL SCHEDULE 8 A.M. - Credit Union for Kids St. Paddy’s Day 5K (at Pascagoula Street at the Jackson Convention Complex) 9 A.M. - Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Children’s Festival (at West Street in front of Thalia Mara Hall) 10 A.M. - Hollywood Feed Pet Parade – (at West Street beside Thalia Mara Hall) 11 A.M. - Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Children’s Parade (at West Street beside Thalia Mara Hall) “They called and said they wanted our date,” Browne said. “It’s the week after spring break, so by combining the events that week, we’ll have a bigger crowd and all the marching bands. It’s a win-win for everyone.” Cawthon has only missed a handful of parades since that fateful conversation with White at George Street 36 years ago. His work has taken him from Chicago to Philadelphia to Pensacola and now, to Oaxaca, Mexico.

Like so many Mississippians, he comes home for the parade to spend time with family and friends. Plus, he said, he doesn’t want to miss an excuse to party. “It’s amazing to see what it has become,” he said. “It’s a testament to Malcolm and the thought that has gone into the decisions he’s made over the years. It really is a fun event for the whole family.”

1 P.M. - Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade – (Begins at corner of State Street and Court Street) 3 P.M. - Hal’s St. Paddy’s Festival – (at Hal & Mal’s, sponsored by Coors Lite) MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 27


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HISTORY

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HISTORY

on tradition By Mark Stowers

Photos by Sam King

St. Ann’s Church carries MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 31


HISTORY

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t. Ann’s Church was a foundation for many Catholic families for generations. Its inception dates back to 1850 when it was constructed from logs by the Scotch Irish families of Leake County. By the turn of the century, 300 people were associated with St. Ann’s, according to current owner of the church, Greg Harkins. His family was part of the foundation of the church that was moved to his property outside of Canton in 1998 where he refurbished it. Two decades ago, the historic structure had run its church course and was about to be torn down. But Harkins couldn’t let his heart be crushed. “I went up there to tell it goodbye on my own,” Harkins said through tears. “I was Baptized there. My father was Baptized there. So was his father, and his father, and his father and his father were all Baptized in that spot. I didn’t want to see it go. I went and talked to the Bishop and he said

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if I would do something worthwhile with it, he’d give it to me.” Harkins couldn’t say yes quick enough and found movers to bring the church to his property 35 miles away (but the movers had to drive over 100 to actually get there.) The renowned chairmaker who has U.S. Presidents on his client list dug deep in his wallet and began renovating the sacred structure. “If I had to do it over again, I’d still do it,” Harkins said. “We did everything but take the top off of it. A thousand people have told me how I had rebuilt the church. Actually, the church rebuilt me.” He refurbished and restored it top to bottom and did replace the slate roof and opened it up as an occasional dining hall. There were a few weddings and other social occasions held there that would put a small dent in the upkeep costs and provide money for more renovations.


HISTORY

“But my goal is for this building to become a church again,” he said. “This thing rebuilt me. I was raised by a family that didn’t know what ‘no’ meant, didn’t know what ‘quit’ was. Hard, hard working people. About 5,000 people told me I couldn’t do this but I figured if anybody could do it, I could.” After borrowing $20,000 to get the building to his property and start renovations, Harkins quickly learned he would have to dig deeper into his heart and pocketbook for this special project. “I had spent $20,000 before they ever broke the building free from the foundation,” he said. “I started selling chairs for less than I was selling them to anyone who bought a chair in memory of St. Ann’s. I don’t know how I was able to do it but I did.” Today, Harkins continues to provide the property for special occasions and teaches some cooking and chairmaking classes. He is looking to increase the congregation from one to many. The beginnings of the church are planted deeply in the Harkins family. “In 1835, Peter and Ann Harkins (greatgreat-great-great-grandparents and founding members of the church) came from Ireland and landed in New Orleans for a few years to get traveling money,” Harkins said. “They’d get off and work to make money and get back on the train. Being Irish and Catholic were two strikes against them and they walked up the Natchez Trace to the Luckett Community, the only Catholic community in Central Mississippi. They built the first church out of logs in 1850 and then out of boards in 1873. They took the logs and built somebody a barn.” The church caught on fire in 1937 but mass was still held for another year. In the rebuilding it was stated that it was built by 22 Irishmen and one Jew. “I knew who the 22 Irishmen were but I have no idea who the Jewish gentleman was though,” he said. “They started construction on St. Patrick’s Day in tearing it down to a point which I think was to the bottom of the windows. In 1938 they started rebuilding.” A decade later when African Americans began leaving the state, the St. Ann Church family got together and built a school and church for them across the gravel road. Harkins remembered his great-aunt telling him, “’These people are friends of ours. They helped raised our children and we helped raised theirs but we had nothing to give them but a sack of potatoes when they left.’ They figured the best thing to do for them was to build a church and school.” The church was well-known in the political realm as they turned in their precinct

box of votes first for nearly 80 years even though their votes weren’t always an indication of who would win. “If somebody didn’t show up to vote, they’d vote for them because they knew who they were going to vote for,” Harkins said with a laugh. “As it went, whoever the Harkins Precinct voted for was the one that lost.” From humble beginnings, St. Ann’s affected generations of families. Harkins dream is to begin another humble beginning. “I want people to love this place like I do,” he said. “Someone texted me the other day asking what I meant by a congregation of one. I’m it. I don’t know why the Lord wanted it rebuilt here, but He did.” The church is located at 268 Mississippi Highway 16 W. in Canton. For more information to reserve St. Anne’s for a special event, call (601) 201-1480 or see www.harkinschairs.com.

St. Ann’s Church is a storied building located in Canton. It has been restored and is now used for events, though Greg Harkins hopes to have a congregation use it for church services.

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BUTCHER’S BLOCK

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BUTCHER’S BLOCK

THE PERFECT LAMB

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his time of year is when we see more and more people purchasing lamb at The Flora Butcher. We are fortunate to be able to carry an amazing local lamb raised in Como Mississippi. Home Place Pastures raises a California Red lamb on their pasture land. It is arguably some of the best lamb that I’ve ever had and I’ve eaten it all over the world. One of the big questions is how to cook lamb. Lamb racks are the most straightforward but the roasts for the leg and shoulder can intimidate some

customers who don’t cook them very often. This method can be used on any lamb roast but we’ve chosen a shoulder roast this time. The roast has had the bone removed and it tied to hold it’s shape. Using a salt dough is something that I first tried while still in culinary school. Many moons ago… The preparation is more time consuming but the end result is worth the extra effort. The dough locks in the moisture and gives the outside of the roast a briny saltiness that also reflects the herbs and spices in the dough itself.

THE BUTCHER’S BLOCK By Chef David Raines

[ The Flora Butcher & Dave’s Triple B Restaurant ]

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BUTCHER’S BLOCK

INGREDIENTS 3 cups All Purpose Flour 3 cups Kosher Salt 3 Egg Whites 3 tablespoons Lavender 3 tablespoons Rubbed Sage 3 tablespoon dried thyme 3 tablespoons chopped Rosemary 3 tablespoons Crushed Red Pepper Lukewarm water

STEP-BY-STEP

1 2 3

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and start with a 1-2 cups of water. As you mix, you can add additional water until you can get it to stay together. You don’t want the dough to be too wet so go slowly. Once it comes together, turn it out on a flour surface and work the dough until it is smooth. The dough is better made the day before and allowed to rest in the refrigerator. Wrap it in plastic though or it will dry out. Pull it out of the fridge at least an hour before you want to roll it out. For the lamb shoulder, you don’t need to season it at all but it comes out better if you sear the outside well. We use lamb tallow to reinforce the flavor but any cooking oil will suffice. Allow the lamb to rest 20-30 minutes after searing. Working rather quickly, roll out the salt dough and place the shoulder, presentation side down, on the dough. Place 4-6 sprigs of rosemary on top of the roast and fold the dough around the roast until it is sealed. Place it seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Insert a digital thermometer from one end so that you have the temperature of the middle of the roast. Brush it with a whipped egg before baking and it will have an attractive golden brown when it’s done.

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BUTCHER’S BLOCK

I cook roasts like this at 325 degrees for 3 hours, but every oven is different so watch the lamb’s internal temperature as it cooks. I take the lamb out at 135 degrees which allows it to cook up to about medium after it rests, still sealed in the dough for at least half an hour. I usually wait an hour and then crack the shell. Discard the shell after you break the lamb roast out in front of your guests.

4 5

LAMB ROASTED POTATOES This is one of my favorite side dishes for lamb and it’s extremely simple. Lamb Tallow makes all of the difference so try not to substitute another oil. Toss quartered new potatoes in the tallow. Lay them out on a baking sheet and season them with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle dried thyme over the potatoes and add rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves. Bake at 375 until they are cooked through and fork tender.

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COVER STORY

Madison’s

Master Painter Story and photos by Amile Wilson

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

Over 60 people gather each week to paint with Bob Tompkins.

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C

hiaroscuro. You’ll hear that word a lot if you talk to Bob Tompkins about his artwork. The word refers to bold contrast between light and shadow in painting but could just as easily refer to the contrast between the dark 5000 square foot studio and the pools of laughter that radiate from his students. The art of Bob Tompkins is more than just the paint on canvas. The art of Bob Tompkins is the dedicated community of 60-plus who weekly gather to learn from the master painter, enjoy some of his cooking, and spend plenty of energy laughing and cutting-up. For 19 years, Tompkins has called Lone Wolf Drive in Madison home to his studio, his gallery, his home, and his community. His students not only call him their teacher, they call him their friend. “This is cheaper than a psychiatrist,” joked Terre Harris after a string of laugh lines passed back and forth between her and Tompkins. Harris has spent 14 years as a student of Tompkins and is part of the regular Tuesday night class. “Teaching is part of my Christian testimony,” Tompkins said. Each of Tompkins students participates in a once-weekly class but has access to their

studio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A combination code on the outside door gives students access to the custom-built warehouse in which row after row of easels give them an individualized work space. “Everybody gets their own five feet of space,” Tompkins said. That space includes an area to set up a still life, a dedicated light source, easel and palate. Since 1993 Tompkins has built this adult community in Madison, but before that, he spent his entire career teaching children, mostly in public schools. Born in 1943 in the Mississippi Delta, Tompkins attended Greenville Public School before attending Delta State University and earning both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Art Education. He graduated in December 1965 at the height of the Vietnam war. There were few jobs available for teachers mid-year so, like many men at the time, Tompkins was prepared to ship off to serve. He even traveled to Millington, TN, to qualify as a navigator through the Navy’s OTS. Destiny would send him a different route. Tompkins stopped by his alma mater for a visit that January. The lights were out and most of campus was still on a break, but his faculty fraternity advisor was still


COVER STORY

in the administration building. He offered Tompkins a job teaching school in Jacksonville, FL, starting mid-year. Instead of shipping out to Vietnam, Tompkins received a teaching deferment and shipped out to teach junior high school. “It was no coincidence, God was leading me to right where I needed to be,” Tompkins said. While at Delta State, Tompkins had learned a great deal about how to teach art but had not developed much as an artist himself. That was about to change. “Delta State was good for teaching, but it wasn’t very strong in the arts,” Tompkins said. “We only had one teacher in the department when I started. Then we got a second one, but they were a potter. When I graduated I’d never really painted.” Providence placed him in Florida teaching at the same school as social studies teacher Courtenay Hunte, himself a practicing oil painter who was training under the renowned artist Cleve Miller. Both became artistic mentors to Tompkins and proceeded to teach the teacher. While working alongside Hunte and Miller, Tompkins painted his first real painting – a portrait of a woman which still hangs in his studio today. “I had a fiancé still at Delta State but wasn’t married at the time so I spent all my time painting,” Tompkins said. Miller’s Baroque style of painting quickly influenced Tompkins and led him to imitate painters like Rembrandt and Vermeer as he searched for his own style. “Nothing excites me more than to contrast a light area against that of a dark area,” he said. “This contrast causes the drama that we see in everyday life.” There’s that word Chiaroscuro again. Tompkins loves that word. While Miller and Hunte served as mentors, he attended workshops in New York and other places under great American painters such as Robert Brackman and learned the dynamics of shape and value to help craft compelling images. Brackman was part of the renowned Ashcan School Movement and painted official portraits of such notable Americans as John D. Rockefeller and Charles Lindbergh. The bright lights and dark shadows in his work moved Tompkins in a visceral way, but the gritty urban style normally associated with the Aschan School was not as moving to him. Instead he applied those techniques to his own sense of place. Soon, themes started to emerge from Tompkins work that showed a certain taste – one that was definable by the phrase “Mississippi Delta Boy.”

An avid hunter since childhood, Tompkins paintings hearkened back to the Delta with images of hound dogs and water fowl and looked like a window into the outdoors life. “I can, but I don’t like to paint flowers,” he said. He has said that phrase a lot. Enough that it has made it onto a wall of humorous “Bob Tompkins Truisms” posted and updated by his students. Another fitting truism: “Before you try to paint ducks, go shoot one and study it’s anatomy.” Hunting and painting have gone handin-hand throughout Tompkins career and

Bob Tompkins has been painting in his Madison studio for 19 years, though his passion for art has existed his entire life.

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COVER STORY

duck painting would eventually become a hallmark for Tompkins, but first he would have to move back to Mississippi. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” Tompkins said. We can hunt from September to May and the rest of the time we can fish.” After his brief time in Florida and marrying his Delta State fiancé, Tompkins and his wife would move back to Greenville to teach in the same public schools he had once attended. Tompkins own art began to gain acclaim just as his teaching did. In 1980 and 1988 he won the prestigious Mississippi Duck Stamp Award and his career began to fly. “It was a huge deal back then,” he said. Not only did the award mean that his artwork would be featured on the acclaimed Duck Stamp, he was given 500 original prints which sold out immediately. “I made $45,000 off those prints,” he said. “That was a lot of money to some ‘Poor White Trash’ teacher from the Delta. My first year teaching I only made $4,100.” Awards and opportunities to publish his work came quickly and in 1993, changes in his personal life felt him lead to relocate to Jackson, MS where he began teaching in Jackson Public Schools and growing his own art studio in the Millsaps Art District. In 2000 he would retire from Jackson Public Schools and transition his renown as both an artist and a teacher into a private studio setting. “I searched for a year and a half for the land,” he said. The building came when a friend in Greenville who dealt in metal buildings had to foreclose on one and offered it to Tompkins at a

greatly reduced rate. With the help of friends, Tompkins custom built the studio space for students and has remained booked ever since. “I advertised classes and studio space and had 72 people wanting to take lessons and 80 on a waiting list,” he said. Since 2000, Tompkins’ Studio has never had less than 50 students and has launched the professional careers of 100s of professional and semi-professional artist in the Jackson metro area. “I’m more proud of that than I am of my painting,” he said. Through the combination of Old Master painting techniques and community development, Tompkins has given many people new careers and new purposes in life. In addition to his own style, Tompkins brings in regular guest artist to teach master classes and cooks for everyone who attends. “I’m a big cook,” he said. “I made a peach cobbler for everyone last night and brought it to class to share. And I make the best cornbread in the world.” As Tompkins described his event menus he showed as much excitement as he does when he talks about his paintings. What drives the excitement about the food is the relationships that it fosters and the chance to serve people. The same things that drive his love for teaching. In addition to studio space, Tompkins has built himself an additional 1800 square feet of gallery and a living area all within the same plot of land on Lone Wolf Drive. As the area around him has built up, Tompkins has been excited to see the city grow and his studio’s reach increase. But he still keeps a plot of hunting land North of Canton, never losing his Delta boy roots.

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ARTS

Through

the Looking

Glass:

Taking a closer look at Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet’s new production of “Alice in Wonderland” by CJ Allen

“When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!” says the title character of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, under the artistic direction of Jennifer Beasley, can certainly identify with Alice’s sentiment as it prepares to present a brand new production of the fulllength ballet “Alice in Wonderland” at the end of March. From seeking out a choreographer, to casting and setting the ballet, to designing and creating all new sets, props, and costumes, to hours of rehearsals, the endeavor has been an all-hands-on-deck team effort from MMB’s directors, dancers, and a virtual army of parents and volunteers to create a stunning new Wonderland that will take the stage March 30 and 31 at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center.

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ARTS

M

ississippi Metropolitan Ballet has created a tradition of presenting beloved fairytale ballets each spring throughout its 25 year history. Past productions have included “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Frozen Heart”, “Cinderella”,” The Princess and the Pea”, and “Alice in Wonderland”. “We have presented Alice in Wonderland a couple of times since the company’s inception more than 25 years ago, and that version was choreographed by me--more than 25 years ago,” says Beasley. “25 years is a long time! So much has changed within the company since I created that version of ‘Alice’, and I felt like it was time bring a fresh, more elaborate production into our repertoire that would better suit our bigger, more resource-rich company.” “I love Jennifer’s version of Alice,” says MMB Executive Director Crystal Skelton. “It’s very charming and well done. But in considering presenting ‘Alice’ in our 2018-2019 season, we knew that after 25 years it was time to freshen things up. Those 25 year old costumes would probably not make it through another go-round!” Together Beasley and Skelton began to research possible choreographers for a new production of “Alice”, and as members of the 44 | MADISON COUNTY MAGAZINE

Southeastern Regional Ballet Association/ Regional Dance America, they were connected to a network rich with talented options. After considering several possibilities, Beasley and Skelton contacted Charles Maple, a former dancer with New York’s American Ballet Theatre who had recently created a criticallyacclaimed production of “Alice” on his own company, the Maple Youth Ballet in Irvine, California. “We were able to watch some video of his production and we knew right away this was the way to go. The choreography was brilliant, the sets and costumes bright and inventive, and the special effects totally stunning. We began a conversation with Mr. Maple about how to bring his production to MMB way back in August. That is the moment when we fell down the rabbit hole and started this adventure!” laughs Skelton. After taking that first step down the rabbit hole, the task of bringing Mr. Maple’s Wonderland to Mississippi began. Casting the roles in the ballet was the first order of business. MMB is comprised of approximately 100 dancers who are selected from the company’s official school, the Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy. The dancers, who range in age from 8-18, all hail from the tri-county area and study classical ballet from 3-6 days a week. To cast the ballet, Beasley and Skelton

held an audition for the MMB dancers in midOctober. “In selecting ‘Alice’ for our 2019 spring production, we had a dancer in mind for the lead role from the very beginning,” says Beasley. Indeed, MMB soloist dancer Taylor Binkley, a senior at Northwest Rankin High School and a dancer with MMDA/MMB since the age of 3, was a perfect fit for the role. With long blonde hair, Binkley is a both an accomplished technical dancer and a talented actress. In bringing the role of Alice to life, directors Beasley and Skelton knew that Binkley would excel. “Obviously Alice has to carry the ballet,” says Beasley. “These are Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, and there are many of them! Alice is a tough role because she is in virtually every scene. It requires a lot of stamina and technical prowess, as well as a wide range of emotions.” Alice encounters many interesting characters as she travels through Wonderland: the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Duchess, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Caterpillar, the Queen of Hearts—they all appear in Mr. Maple’s version, and MMB dancers fill nearly all the roles, except for the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. These roles will be danced by two professionals from Ballet Memphis, Oscar Fernandez and George Sanders. Fer-


ARTS nandez and Sanders have worked with MMB previously as guest artists in MMB’s 2017 production of “The Nutcracker” and last year’s spring ballet “Fairytale Favorites”. “We love working with Oscar and George,” says Skelton. “They bring a great level of professionalism to the production, and it is so great for our dancers to work alongside them and to learn from them.” Additionally, the role of the Executioner will be played by native Jacksonian Amile Wilson, who will don rollerblades onstage as the Queen’s assassin. The rollerblading Executioner is one of the many quirky, whimsical elements of this “Alice in Wonderland” that is sure to leave audiences smiling like the Cheshire Cat. With so many quirky characters and whimsical moments in this Wonderland came the need for a lot of quirky costumes and whimsical set pieces, all of which needed to be created from scratch. This is where the army of volunteers and parents set to work—from creating both Alice’s iconic dress and a miniature matching version for “Little Alice”, to constructing 18 petal costumes from foam, to creating unicorn horns and tails, hedgehog costumes, Tweedledee and Tweedledum’s suspenders and beanie hats, the Queen’s elaborate red dress and red wig, and the Cheshire Cat’s handpainted pink and purple catsuit, producing costumes for each of the

ballet’s more than 100 roles was a huge task. MMB recruited current and past dancer parents who possessed sewing skills, and they tackled the challenge over several weeks. Additionally, MMB brought in Mr. Steven Inskeep, the designer of Mr. Maple’s original “Alice in Wonderland” at the Maple Youth Ballet, who worked with MMB’s volunteer costume crew to instruct and assist in creating costumes, headpieces, and props while he was in residence with MMB for more than a week in February. “We set up what was basically a costume sweat-shop in one of our volunteer’s garage for that week, churning out petal costumes, bumblebee headpieces, mushroom, spider, and ladybug costumes… you name it,” says Beasley. “Mr. Inskeep and our volunteers worked 13-14 hour days and accomplished in one week what Mr. Inskeep said took him more than 2 months when he did the original production. As Skelton remarked, one of the main selling points for MMB in acquiring Mr. Maple’s “Alice in Wonderland” was his use of special effects. “When we watched the video clips of his DVD, the camera followed the White Rabbit as he jumped off the front of the stage, presumably down the rabbit hole, and then Alice followed him. Next the camera panned up and there was Alice, suspended in mid-air as she tumbled and tumbled. Our jaws dropped

open, it was such a cool effect,” says Skelton. To achieve this, the ballet casts a double for Alice (“Tumbling Alice”) who hangs from rigging above the stage that will be provided and supervised by the professional theatrical flying service, Flying by Foy, which is based in Las Vegas, NV. Flying by Foy is considered the most prolific and widely-respected theatrical flying service in the world, and will send a Flying Director to Mississippi mid-March to conduct all aspects of this special effect in MMB’s show. There are several other fantastic special touches and effects employed in the production, but directors Beasley and Skelton hesitated to disclose too much, in order not to ruin too many of the surprise elements of the show. “We hope to keep our potential audience curious enough to come and see for themselves!” smiles Skelton. Surely one of the most recognizable aspects of “Alice in Wonderland” is the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, attended by Alice, the March Hare, the Doormouse and of course the Mad Hatter himself. “This is a hilarious scene in the ballet, filled with comic charm and lots of silliness,” remarks Beasley. “It seemed only right that we offer our audience the chance to attend a whimsical tea party of their own.” MMB will host The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party immediately following the Sunday, March 31 performance where patrons can take tea

MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 45


ARTS with the Mad Hatter, as well as enjoy delectable treats and eats courtesy of The Feathered Cow, The Strawberry Café, and Olivia’s Food Emporium. Photo opportunities with the characters from Wonderland will abound, as well as a costume consignment booth and the chance to win a handwired Queen of Hearts jeweled crown. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party will allow attendees to experience the magic of Wonderland first hand. Through the course of several months of hard work and preparation, it seems clear that MMB’s brand new production of “Alice in Wonderland” will delight all visitors to Wonderland, and that those visitors will not be seeing “your average ballet”. With stunning special effects, a fleet of fantastic new costumes, sets that will transport audience members down the rabbit hole to a place never before seen, and exceptional dancing from MMB’s talented company and professional guest artists, attendees of the performances on March 30 and 31 will feel they have truly been whisked away on an adventure, while never having left their seats at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center. Imagine a trip to a completely new wonderful world, all for the cost of a $20 ticket. Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet’s “Alice in Wonderland” with choreography by Charles Maple Saturday, March 30 at 6 pm Sunday, March 31 at 2 pm Tickets:$20-22 www.msmetroballet.com or 601-853-4508 The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party follows the Sunday performance ($25; tickets sold separately) Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet is generously sponsored in its 20182019 season by the Mississippi Arts Commission, Ergon, the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MS, BankPlus, Merrill Lynch, and Harper, Rains, Knight and Company.

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EVENTS The Avett Brothers

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MUSIC

TO-DO

MARCH 8 Ardenland presents Billy Strings at Duling Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $12-$15.

MARCH 9 Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, LES MISÉRABLES, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. The touring production will be held at Thalia Mara Hall at 8 p.m.

MARCH 19 Ardenland presents Mountain Man and Jake Xerxes Fussell at Duling Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15-$20. MARCH 22 Ardenland presents Brent Cobb and Them — Sucker for a Good Time Tour at Duling Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $12-$15. MARCH 29 Ardenland presents Young Valley/The Underhill Family Orchestra at Duling Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$15. APRIL 4 Ardenland presents Future Thieves at Duling Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$15. APRIL 6 Ardenland presents Mandolin Orange and Charlie Parr at Duling Hall. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $20-$25. APRIL 10 Ardenland presents Jenny Lewis — On the Line Tour 2019 at Duling Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $25-$30.

MARCH 13-15 Based on the wildly-successful books by Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queens is a high-powered musical that tells the story of Jill and her closest friends and how they learn to grab life by the horns and live it on their terms. Performances will be held at New Stage Theatre at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. March 13-15. MARCH 20 “The Price Is Right Live” is an interactive stage show that gives folks the chance to play classic games from television’s longest running game show. Contestants can win a multitude of prizes by playing games like Plinko, Cliffhangers, The Big Wheel and the fabulous Showcase. The fun will be had at Thalia Mara Hall at 7:30 p.m. MARCH 23 The Hills Are Alive! A brand new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is coming to Jackson at Thalia Mara Hall. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its award-winning scores, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. Performances will be held at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

APRIL 27 The Mississippi Opera’s largest production of the year is Puccini’s, LA BOHÈME. Set in Paris during the 1840s, the opera follows a group of young bohemians struggling to make ends meet. Performances by Betsy Uschkrat, Michael Boley, Michelle Lange, Travis Sherwood, André Chiang, Eric Lindsey, Alex Adams-Leytes, and Alex Meishehan, with members of the MS Opera Chorus. Stage Direction by JJ Hudson, Set design by Wes Hanson, and Music Direction by Jay Dean. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. Tickets cost $35-$65. MARCH 30 The Magnolia Meltdown is back for 2019. This half-marathon, 10K/5K is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2019 and will begin at 7 a.m. To register, visit https://magnoliameltdown. racesonline.com/. The Magnolia Meltdown continues to be a high-quality, safe community event offering the 5K, 10K and half marathon distances, for people of all ages, levels and abilities. The race is held at Renaissance at Colony Park. Proceeds from the event go to the St. Dominic Community Health Clinic in downtown Jackson which is run by Sister Trinita, providing care to the homeless, uninsured and working poor of the Jackson Metro Area.

APRIL 18 Ardenland presents Robert Earl Keen and Esther Rose at Duling Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35-$40. APRIL 19 Ardenland presents Magnolia Bayou and Royal Horses at Duling Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$15. APRIL 20 An evening with the Avett Brothers will be held at the Brandon Amphitheater. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Visit ardenland.net for ticket info. MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 49


BOOK SIGNINGS & READINGS MARCH 8 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Peter Heller’s book “The River.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

MARCH 13 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Ken Wells’ book, “Gumbo Life.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

MARCH 26 Lemuria Books is hosting a poetry reading of “Dead Man’s Float” in honor of Jim Harrison. The reading begins at 5 p.m.

MARCH 26 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and story time for Greg Pizzoli’s book, “The Book Hog.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with story time at 5:30 p.m.

MARCH 27 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Tom Clavin’s book, “Wild Bill.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

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MARCH 28 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Lovejoy Boteler’s book, “Crooked Snake.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

APRIL 1 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Philip Shirley’s book, “The Graceland Conspiracy.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

APRIL 4 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Janet Brown’s book, “Deadly Visits.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

APRIL 12 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Nell Freudenberger’s book, “Lost and Wanted.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.

APRIL 12 Lemuria Books is hosting a signing and reading for Helen Ellis’ book, “Southern Lady Code.” The signing begins at 5 p.m. with a reading at 5:30 p.m.


CULTURE

Let the Ladies Dance

B

allet Mississippi’s spring performance, “Let the Ladies Dance,” will showcase the work of three wonderful female choreographers and selections from the classical ballet, “Paquita,” on Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. The concept of the performance is to honor and showcase very talented women choreographers through the artistry of talented young female dancers. Choreographers are Maria Konrad, artistic director of Reach Dance Company in Tampa, Florida; Ronda Nychka, formerly of the National Ballet of Canada, and Ballet Mississippi’s Associate Artistic Director Cherri Barnett. Each work is one of contrast, classicism and artistry. To close the program, Artistic Director, David Keary staged Paquita Grand Pas Classique, which features the many different famous variations of the iconic classicalballerinas of the 19th century. Guest Artists are Tia Wenkman, 2018 USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) bronze medalist, and her partner Michal Wozniack of Ballet Arizona. Families are encouraged to make Ballet Mississippi’s spring performance a must-see event just like “The Nutcracker” is a family holiday tradition each December. This is a wonderful performance to honor the impact that women have had in the world of ballet. Additionally, in partnership with The Westin Jackson, a ladies’ luncheon is scheduled prior to the performance on April 6 at noon with a set menu, musical entertainment, and guest speaker Ronda Nychka. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets for the luncheon are $30, and tickets for the performance range from $19-$29. Both may be purchased by visiting http:// balletms.com/.

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Join Us For The 79th Annual

COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI SPRING PILGRIMAGE MARCH 28 - APRIL 6, 2019

VisitColumbusMS.org for a complete list of events. Tennessee Williams Home & Welcome Center | 300 Main Street 800.920.3533 | VisitColumbusMS.org

MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 53


ENGAGEMENTS

ENGAGEMENTS M

r. and Mrs. Ralph Lawrence Peeples, Jr. announce the engagement of their daughter, Ashley Anne Peeples, to Matthew Campbell McDonald, son of Bryan Campbell McDonald of Ridgeland and Michele Negrotto Hall of Madison. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Dr. Billy Bass Thames and the late Mrs. Thames of Madison and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Lawrence Peeples of Brookhaven. The prospective bridegroom is the grandson of Mrs. Robert James Negrotto and the late Mr. Negrotto of Gulfport, and Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Carl McDonald of Ridgeland. Miss Peeples is a 2012 graduate of Jackson Preparatory School. In 2013, she was presented by the Debutante Club of Mississippi, Inc. She was graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi in 2016, where she obtained her bachelor of science degree in communication sciences and disorders. At Ole Miss, she was a member of Chi Omega sorority and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Miss Peeples is currently pursuing her Doctor of Audiology degree at the University of Memphis. She will graduate in May of 2020, upon completion of an externship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Mr. McDonald was graduated in 2010 from Madison Central High School. He attended the University of Mississippi and graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in public policy/leadership. During his time at Ole Miss, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. He currently attends the University of Mississippi School of Law and will earn his juris doctor in 2019. He will begin working as an associate for David Nutt and Associates, upon graduating in May. The couple will exchange vows May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Madison United Methodist Church, with a reception to follow at the Country Club of Jackson.

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ASHLEY ANNE PEEPLES & MATTHEW CAMPBELL MCDONALD


ENGAGEMENTS

PEYTON LINDSEY REVES & HUNTER BRIAN TREUTEL

M

r. and Mrs. Dennis Ray Reves of Madison, Mississippi announce the engagement of their daughter, Peyton Lindsey Reves, to Hunter Brian Treutel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Brian Treutel of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Peggy Childs Mitchell and the late Mr. Henry Cooper Mitchell of Louisville, Mississippi, and Mrs. Louise Reves and the late Mr. Max N. Reves of Jackson, Mississippi. The prospective bridegroom is the grandson of Mrs. Loislyn Scardino and the late Mr. AJ Scardino of Pass Christian,

Mississippi, and Mr. David Treutel Sr. and the late Mrs. Penelope Treutel of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. Miss Reves is a 2011 graduate of Jackson Preparatory School. She graduated summa cum laude from the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi in 2015 with a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry. At the University of Mississippi, she was an active member of Phi Mu fraternity and held several leadership positions. She will receive a doctor of medicine in May 2019 from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and will be

pursuing a residency in internal medicine beginning in July. Mr. Treutel is a 2008 graduate of Saint Stanislaus College. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2014 with a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering. At the University of Mississippi, he was an active member of the fraternity of Delta Psi. He currently works as a Mechanical Engineer for Taylor Power Systems in Clinton, Mississippi. The couple will be married April 27th at the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle in Jackson, Mississippi, with a reception to follow.

WEDDING POLICY Send your engagement or wedding announcement to weddings@onlinemadison.com by the 15th of the month prior to the next edition. Please include high-resolution photos. Call (601) 853-4222 for more information. MARCH / APRIL 2019 | 55


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Profile for Madison County Magazine

March/April Issue  

The March/April issue of Madison County Magazine.

March/April Issue  

The March/April issue of Madison County Magazine.