Click magazine |September 2017

Page 1

Mistletoe Merchants


October 6-8

September 29-30

Agricenter Int.

Nashville Fairgrounds

Memphis, TN

Nashville, TN

Holiday Market October 27-29 Agricenter Int.

Memphis, TN


early this


Find the most unique gifts for family and friends at these holiday events! GIFTS...GOURMET...FASHION...JEWELRY... HANDMADE...HOME DECOR...SOUTHERN STYLE...



MidSouth Media Group, 6920 Oak Forest Dr., Olive Branch, MS 38654 | SEPTEMBER 2017 1 | SEPTEMBER 2017 3

4 SEPTEMBER 2017 | | SEPTEMBER 2017 5







NOW WITH 2 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU! 5218 Goodman Rd, Ste 111 Olive Branch, MS (662) 893-4005 6 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

2015 Exeter Rd Germantown, TN 38138 (901) 309-2191


New Boutique & Cafe NOW OPEN ON THE SQUARE

Largest selection of Mississippi made items and so much more!

Café hours Mon-Fri 10am-3pm • Sat 9am-3pm Store Hours Mon-Fri 10am-6pm • Sat 9am-5pm

295 Losher Street • Hernando • (662) 469-9279 Follow us on Instagram @sidealleygifts and on FBook at Side Alley

Specializing in 10+ Years Experience Tanning for: Weddings | Competitions | Events Tanning Parties | Photoshoots | Pageants Everyday Beauty & More! | SEPTEMBER 2017 7

8 SEPTEMBER 2017 |





31 | Journey at Snowden Grove


At the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery, researchers and conservationists aim to protect marine life and habitats



Tracing the origins of the Front Porch Jubilee, DeSoto County’s annual hill country bash



Picking the perfect motorcycle brand to saddle up for an end-of-summer adventure



Tracing the mysterious movements of cougars in the Mid-South

September 2017

34 | First Friday Art Walk 36 | Southern Thunder

Harley-DavidsonBike Night

38 | Sounds of Summer Music and

Family Festival

40 | DeSoto County Shelter Day 41 | Chuck Hutton 2018

Camry Reveal

42 | Paws for Celebration 44 | A Night to Create a Smile 46 | Live at The Garden: Boston Photo by Rory Doyle | SEPTEMBER 2017 9


CONTENTS September 2017 • Volume 11

No. 9

DEPARTMENTS 17 | INTERVIEW Roughing It Olive Branch native and Survival Instructor Joseph Hernandez shares the secrets to living wild

22 | CULTURE Straight Shooters National nonprofit Project Appleseed resurrects exceptional American marksmanship in Como, Mississippi 26 | CAUSES Faithful Friends Retrieving Freedom, Inc., pairs those with disabilities and veterans with canine friends for life


30 | RECIPE Green is Good A fresh take on a quintessential Southern favorite 62 | THE POUR Spicy Cherry Bourbon Lemonade This sweet and spicy bourbon-laced lemonade is made with just a handful of simple ingredients and is perfect for sipping


10 SEPTEMBER 2017 |


FIND US US ONLINE ONLINE FIND Click magazine is Click magazine is all all about your life. about your life. Read Read stories, purchase stories, purchase event event photos and photos, download digital download a digital copy of any issue online copy of any issue online at at

See See what’s what’s new new or or drop drop us us aa comment comment and and get get the the latest latest scoop. scoop.

Follow us on social Follow us on social media for exclusive media for exclusive fashioncontent, contests fashion content, contests and the latest on people, and the latest on people, places and parties places and parties across the Mid-South. across the Mid-South.

@myclickmagazine @myclickmagazine



Get a great academic foundation for a four-year degree or the technical skills you need for a rewarding career, without breaking the bank! With affordable tuition and campuses close to home and online, it’s easy to succeed! | SEPTEMBER 2017 11


editor’s letter

The Wild South Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you have survived another intense Mid-South summer. My favorite part of the month of September is that the outdoors suddenly become bearable again, and you probably know what that means: fishing trips, hunting season and generally loving life without an oppressive blanket of humidity. This month is all about the great Southern traditions of sportsmanship and conservation. From an appreciation of the natural beauty of nature to becoming a more competent camper, we covered a wide variety of topics in this one. First up is Olive Branch native and survivalist, Joseph Hernandez. This USAF technical sergeant sat down with us to talk about keeping your cool in the wild, as well as provide a few crucial tips regarding fire and shelter. See his interview on page 17. Writer Sarah Vaughan has provided us with a compelling exploration of the inner workings at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery in her fun and educational piece, “Just Keep Swimming.” Check it out on page 20. Another big feature this month is writer Russ Thompson’s “Phantom Cats” on page 55. We’ve contacted a bevy of wildlife experts about the recent rumors of big cats popping up in the Mid-South countryside and what we found out might surprise you. And if you’re one of those who prefer the open road to the woods, we’ve got you covered in “Ride & Shine,” our handy guide to choosing your next motorcycle (page 52). So from all of us to all of you: lace up your boots and nock your arrows, the best time of the year is here. Happy hunting,

Casey Hilder

Write To Us:

Email or send us a letter at Click Magazine P.O. Box 100, Hernando, MS 38632. 12 SEPTEMBER 2017 |



Co-Presidents Jonathan Pittman & Angie Pittman Publisher Dick Mathauer Editor Casey Hilder

COPY + FEATURES Contributing Writers Tess Catlett, Casey Hilder, Erica Horton, Sarah Vaughan, Serena Wolf

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Jennifer Leonard Corbin Ad Design Nick Howard Intern Morgan Robinson Contributing Photographers Frank Chin, Rory Doyle, Casey Hilder, Mike Lee

ADVERTISING Sales Director Lyla McAlexander 901.461.4861 Sheri Floyd 901.208.1828 Diana Vaughn-Linville 901.361.7661


2445 Hwy 51 South | Hernando, MS 38632 website: Customer Service/Subscriptions: P: 662.429.6397 | F: 662.429.5229


Call 662.429.6397 or subscribe online at Annual subscription rate: $32.95. Click Magazine is published 12 times a year. Postmaster: Send address changes to Click Magazine, 2445 Hwy. 51 South, Hernando, MS 38632. We make every effort to correct factual mistakes and omissions in a timely and candid manner. Information can be forwarded to Casey Hilder; Click Magazine, 2445 Hwy. 51 South, Hernando, MS 38632 or by email to


Interested in having your next party featured in Click Magazine? Submit your event by going to or email us at ©2016 P.H. Publishing. Click Magazine must give permission for any material contained herein to be reproduced in any manner. Any advertisements published in Click Magazine do not con­­ stitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s services or products. Click Magazine is published monthly by P.H. Publishing, LLC. | SEPTEMBER 2017 13


September 2017

Rory Doyle This month's cover was shot by Rory Doyle, a photographer in Cleveland, Mississippi. Doyle, originally from Maine, studied journalism at St. Michael's College in Vermont before settling in the South. Full-time, he works as Delta State University’s photographer. In addition, he shoots for a number of editorial and commercial clients. His client and publication list includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Getty Images, Reebok, CNN Parts Unknown, Forbes, The Bitter Southerner and Vox Media.

Tess Catlett A Southaven native and recent graduate of University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, Catlett is a former intern for Click. An avid and tenacious writer, Catlett has been featured in various publications including Vox Magazine, The Columbia Missourian and The DeSoto TimesTribune. When not writing, Catlett enjoys binge watching underrated TV dramas.

Mike Lee Event photos in this issue were captured by Click photographer Mike Lee. Mike started in news in 1971 as a TV writer, photographer, and art director. For 20 years, his work appeared on national and international television broadcasts, and was published in print media worldwide.

Andrea LeTard

Sarah Vaughan

Andrea LeTard is a personal chef, cooking instructor, and creator of Andrea’s Cooktales, a recipe website and video series where there’s a story behind every recipe. Her recipes are what she calls “nextgeneration Southern” — fun and fresh with a modern twist using unexpected ingredients. Her recipes have been featured on The Today Show and she was chosen as a Top 100 contestant on MasterChef Season 6. She’s a regular cooking segment contributor on Local Memphis Live. Follow Andrea on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or read her blog and watch her video series at

Olive Branch native Sarah Vaughan has written for more than a dozen publications in and around Mississippi. Sarah is a graduate of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss and enjoys working as a freelance writer and graphic designer. When she’s not reading cozy English mysteries or trying out a new recipe, she’s probably repairing or rebuilding the most recent demolition of her two beagles, Amos and Annie, and tabby cat, Arlo.

Tonya Thompson With focus on the arts and history that have shaped the South's unique character, Thompson, a Middle Tennessee native, now lives and writes in Mississippi while running Delta Creatives (, a content editing, marketing and ghostwriting service. When not writing or editing for clients, she enjoys painting, traveling with her husband and children, and finding scenic mountain roads for motorcycling. 14 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

General Dermatology, Dermatologic Procedures & Mohs Skin Cancer Surgeries


Facials Fillers Kybella Chemical Peels

• • • •

Photodynamic Therapy Botox/Dysport/Xeomin Spray Tanning Laser Skin Rejuvenation

PURVISHA PATEL MD, FAAD, FASDS, FACMS Board Certified Dermatologist, Mohs and Cosmetic Surgeon, University of Tennessee Dermatology Faculty, and Creator of Visha Skin Care

901.759.2322 A DVA N C E D D E R M ATO LO GY M E M P H I S .CO M 7658 Poplar Pike Germantown, TN 38138


7203 Goodman Road Olive Branch, MS 38654



5349 Airline Road Arlington, TN 38002

SEPTEMBER SKIN SPECIAL Get a FREE Facial and Visha Skin Care Sugar Shrink Body Scrub Sample when You Book a CoolSculpting Appointment Book Today 901-759-2322 | SEPTEMBER 2017 15

Jason Clinton NMLS #419413 | Southaven | 662-893-9461 Starla Murphy NMLS #484935 | Hernando | 662-449-2110

At BancorpSouth, we’ve been helping people buy and renovate their dream homes for almost 140 years. We offer a variety of mortgage types, and our mortgage lenders will ensure the process is painless. Plus, we feature an easy-to-use website with an online mortgage Pictured L to R: Jason Clinton & Starla Murphy

calculator and online applications, so we know you’ll be comfortable. When you want to turn a house into a

Come Home.

home, you need someone you can trust.

Mortgages with BancorpSouth

Mortgages are subject to approval. This is not a commitment to lend or rate guarantee. Rates subject to change without notice. © 2014 BancorpSouth

16 SEPTEMBER 2017 |


UP FRONT Roughing It Olive Branch native and Survival Instructor Joseph Hernandez shares the secrets to living wild INTERVIEW BY CASEY HILDER

PLACES p.20 | CULTURE p.22 | CAUSES p.26 | RECIPE p.28 | SEPTEMBER 2017 17

up front


MODERN AMENITIES HAVE no place in the survival manual of Joseph Hernandez. This Olive Branch native, USAF technical sergeant and survival instructor makes a living teaching all-natural survival skills in the wild. Click Magazine: How did you get into the survivalist lifestyle? Joseph Hernandez: When I was growing up in Mississippi, I spent a lot of time getting lost in the woods and trying to find my way back, that sort of thing. In my teenage years, I started going out on my own. There was always a real call to the wild for me, and I always thought the military was that calling. So I joined the military, got a couple of deployments in, and did some really cool stuff. I loved it, but the call was still there. A few years ago, I got the chance to attend the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in Scotland. As soon as I touched the ground, I was ready and realized that this was my calling. CM: Did your own survivalist training help you overcome any personal fears or challenges? JH: After my deployments I came down with some pretty significant PTSD. All things considered, it was a fraction of what some of the other guys talk about and have gone through, but it was still pretty traumatic for me and led to a really bad time in my life. But once I went through the 5-day course in Scotland, I realized that I hadn’t thought of anything bad for those five days. I was living in the moment, focused on my own survival. It was really therapeutic for me, so I started studying more in different places around the world and eventually got my instructor’s certification. CM: What kind of things did survival academy put you through? JH: We were in a big glacier valley in Scotland right by the Alladale Wilderness Reserve, in the middle of nowhere. The instructors we had were old, retired British Royal Marines. Really killer guys. One of the dudes, Darren Swift, single-handedly rescued someone from Mount Everest in a place where they usually leave climbers to die. A lot of it was climbing and mountaineering-based in addition to your basic survival stuff: how to use knives, how to build a shelter, all that. Then we head out to the middle of even-more-nowhere and the instructors take their leave and we start building our own shelters. The first night was godawful-brutal, but so much fun. CM: What did you eat? JH: Bugs and a single MRE were all on-hand for five days. We also came across a rabbit and a few fish, but it was mostly mealworms — a kind of beetle larvae — that we ate. You 18 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

7 THINGS YOU MUST HAVE IN YOUR FIRE KIT I’m often asked, “What is the best tool in a survival situation?”. My answer is always fire. You might not think of it as a tool, but people have been using fire to get stuff done for a very long time. Fire is the original multi-tool. It can provide life-saving warmth, light the way, and kill all types of harmful animals — large or microscopic. This is my list of musthaves in your fire kit. 1. Ferro Rod — My number one item in my everyday carry kit. This little black magic wand throws off superheated metal sparks when scraped with a knife. Don’t call it flint! It works very differently. 2. Cigarette Lighter — Yeah, it’s cheating, but if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. It's cheap and effective; I always have one handy. The downside…they are unreliable in very cold environments or can explode if too hot. 3. Waterproof Matches — Another cheater item. Small and compact, they fit into any pouch or pocket. Use these as a last resort, though. You’ve only got so many. 4. Steel wool and a 9v Battery — Popular with doomsday preppers, this little MacGyver-style hack will get your fire going quickly. Keep them separate, because all it takes is one touch to turn up the heat. 5. Chapstick and Q-tips — Cotton has two jobs in life: make clothes and make fire. It burns very quickly and at a decent temperature. Add a little petroleum-based Chapstick to it and you’ve got a candle made from things at the bottom of your wife’s purse. 6. Tampons — Speaking of your wife’s purse, grab a tampon while you’re in there. Made of cotton, super compressed and wrapped in waterproof plastic, tampons can be fluffed to the size of a cantaloupe and take a spark very easily. 7. Charcloth — A bushcrafter’s favorite. Made from burnt cotton and almost entirely carbon, these have been used since Ancient Roman times. Roman soldiers were issued a piece of flint, a steel striker, and charcloth before going on a campaign.

know they’re not bad. They taste like popcorn when you’re that hungry. The longest I went without food was three days. CM: How does your body kick back against something like that? JH: The human body can actually go up to three weeks without eating, but you definitely feel it. You start getting dizzy upon movement, and some people experience blackouts. However, there are a few benefits. It’s hard to describe, but it kind of resets your taste buds. Eating ordinary food after something like that is almost overwhelming. CM: What are some things that come up in survival situations that many people don’t consider? JH: The attitude that everybody has. Once things start going bad and mistakes happen, people tend to get discouraged that things don’t go like they do on the Discovery Channel. In my courses, I teach how to do a bow drill fire, as well as a type of friction fire. No one gets these their first time. My first bow dril fire took about two years of practice to fire. If you try to get it in an afternoon, you’ll find yourself really unhappy with life. And once people reach that level of nature kicking you in the face for so long, they can completely shut down. A positive attitude is important. That’s not rain, that’s liquid sunshine and emergency water rations. CM: What’s the first thing you teach in your classes? JH: The rule of threes. Three seconds of being human — that is, being frustrated and emotional — can kill you. Three seconds of not being safe can kill you. Three minutes without air can kill you. It’s an easy rule of thumb.

BUILDING YOUR OWN NEST Mom always said, “Get off that cold floor before you catch hypothermia.” Of course, Mom is always right. Through conduction, you can lose all your body heat and get hypothermic. Conduction happens when materials of different temperatures equalize temperature by touching. Mom knows the ground will suck out our body heat until the temperatures are the same. Unfortunately for us, we will never have enough body heat to warm the Earth. We will become popsicles way before the ground goes up even one degree. We can stop the heat transfer by using insulation. The quality of the insulation is defined by complicated math called “R-value.” Use this easy rule: the more dead air, the better the insulation. Dead air is the air that is trapped in the tiny holes that make up insulation. Dead air makes conduction difficult and, in turn, keeps you warm. Here are my seven favorite beds that fight conduction. a. Pile of pine needles – Super low tech, but very good. A pile of dry needles as long and as wide as your body, and two feet high, will keep you toasty all night and make you smell really good in the morning. The bad news: it’s probably filled with bugs. The good news: you’ve probably got breakfast. b. Wool blanket – It’s wool, it’s itchy, but it will get the job done. Also, some people have an allergy to wool. Test it out first. It would be tragic to have a reaction and ruin a weekend in the woods. c. Yoga Mat – If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. Make use of the mat your spouse promised they would use, but of course, never touched. They roll up well, are mostly waterproof, and have really cute, I mean, manly designs. d. Canvas Cot – I have a love/hate relationship with these. If the weather is warm, you will get the best sleep of your life. If it’s cold, you will shiver your dental fillings out. Heavy and unwieldy, it’s really not worth it. e. Hammock – Favorite for ultra-light campers, these little guys have the same downfalls as cots. They make up for it with their ultra-light weight and ultra comfort. Know your knots and bring a quality sleeping bag to put on top. f. Folding sleeping mat – A 21st-century solution to a million-year-old problem. Made of dense foam and Mylar heat reflectors, check your iron levels if you can’t get warm with this. There is a down side: the foam can get damaged and they only fold up into a long, rectangular shape. g. Blow-up sleeping mat – My favorite for anything “sleep.” Blow-up mats from Klymit are light weight, hyper-comfortable, very easy to pack, and retain heat very well. The only downside is that they can pop. Be sure to bring some engineer adhesion strips (duct tape). | SEPTEMBER 2017 19

up front


Just Keep Swimming At the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery, researchers and conservationists aim to protect marine life and habitats STORY BY SARAH VAUGHAN | PHOTOS COURTESY OF MDWFP


proverb, “Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime;” but there’s also something to be said for, “Teach a man to fish and he’ll endanger an entire species.” What was in the old days a source of sustenance is now a form of recreation, and with time, our natural food sources are being depleted. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species are possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century. With so many endangered fish species, what are we to do? The answer lies just west of Enid Lake on 58 acres of land leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery, where researchers and conservationists work side by side to protect endangered species and endangered habitats, learn more about fish diseases and how to prevent them, and restock state water sources of their depleted stock of marine life. The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery is comprised of a state-of-the-art facility, complete with a tank room, wet lab, office, staff rooms, maintenance shop, 16 1-acre production ponds, a settling pond, and a residence. The hatchery building houses 40 incubation jars and 36 holding/rearing tanks. Water used by the hatchery is supplied by two groundwater wells and a pipeline from Enid Lake. Water is produced through a system of filters, heaters, chillers, and degassing chambers. “We breed an average of 10 to 12 species a year at our state-of-the-art facility,” says Emily-Jo Wiggins, Director of the Education Center at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery. “While we breed mostly sport fish, our biologists also determine what species are needed and where, and we then stock the fish species that are needed in particular locations. We also work species of special concern that are in danger or those that have a great need. This year we bred Southern walleye 20 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

as well as white crappie, black crappie, Magnolia hybrid crappie, largemouth bass, and others.” Every single fish raised at the hatchery is transferred to a public water system in order to prevent state ponds, lakes, and rivers from being depleted of their natural wildlife. Providing a suitable spawning habitat is also crucial to rebuilding native stocks, as it would be pointless to transfer fish to an unlivable or unsuitable environment. Essentially, the goal of fish hatcheries is to work themselves out of a job. “Our fisheries bureau supplies fish to augment or enhance fish populations in Mississippi waters,” says Wiggins. “This provides several benefits, not only to the environment and ecosystem but also for anglers' recreation.” There are currently 288 species of freshwater fish found in Mississippi, including the state fish, the largemouth bass. In addition to protecting the livelihood and habitats of these 288 species, the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery is also concerned with protecting species unique to our state. “There are three fish species found only within the state of Mississippi and nowhere else in the world,” says Dennis Riecke, a biologist working with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. “These include bayou darter, found in the Bayou Pierre system south of Vicksburg, and Yazoo shiner and Yazoo darter, both found in the streams of the Yazoo River drainage in Northwest Mississippi.” One fish in particular, the Magnolia crappie, is particularly vulnerable to extinction, as it’s a sterile breed. “The Magnolia crappie is a triploid hybrid cross between a blackstriped black crappie and a white crappie,” says Riecke. “The eggs and milt are stripped and hand-mixed, and the eggs are placed in a pressure chamber causing triploidy, the

development of three sets of chromosomes. The resulting fish is sterile because it has three sets of chromosomes. Because they can’t reproduce, they have been stocked into some smaller water bodies like Lake Charlie Capps, where fertile crappie would overproduce and few would grow to a harvestable size due to a lack of enough food.” Visitors may view spawning activities from the observation area in the hatchery building, and educators have many opportunities at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and Visitor Education Center. Educational groups have taken advantage of the guided tours, programs, hands-on activities, and workshops provided by the VEC. For teachers planning a field trip, the facility offers activities and tours for all ages and abilities. At the Visitor Education Center, educators of all grade levels and subject areas have had the opportunity to participate in teacher workshops. The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center also hosts youth art contests through the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation (MWFPF). From clay sculptures to oil paintings, young artists in four different age categories create illustrations of native Mississippi species. The winners in each category receive a certificate, and their work is proudly displayed at the Education Center and in the Mississippi Outdoors magazine. “Many people who visit the education center are surprised to see just how much work goes into managing our waterways in Mississippi,” says Wiggins. “We manage over 250,000 acres of water in the state. Quite a lot of effort goes into making our waterways not only good habitat areas but also terrific fishing for anglers, both in state and out of state.” | SEPTEMBER 2017 21

up front


Straight Shooters National nonprofit Project Appleseed resurrects exceptional American marksmanship in Como, Mississippi STORY BY TONYA THOMPSON | PHOTOS BY EBBEN RAVES

22 SEPTEMBER 2017 |


morning was already turning up the heat across the flat fields and sporadic berms at the Desoto Rifle and Pistol Club range in Como, Mississippi. To one corner, seven students — all enrolled in the weekend’s Project Appleseed clinic — gathered around the speaker in a red shirt, listening intently. They had each brought rifles, scopes, and 500 rounds of ammo, as requested, and were ready to embark on a two-day, intensive course in the quest to become expert marksmen. After laying down the rules and reviewing safety protocol, Ebben Raves, a 56-year old Army veteran and the day’s designated shoot boss, assured everyone they’d do fine. Dry humor breaks the ice. “I consider any Appleseed clinic a success when attendees learn something, have a little fun and most importantly, don't leave with any more holes in their body than they came with.” Then, with the call of “shooters to the line,” the instruction began. Assisted by two designated shoot bosses-in-training, Raves walked up and down the line of prone shooters, correcting improper positioning of gun, sling and posture. Ranging in age from 16 to 60, each participant had varying levels of experience holding and shooting a rifle, but with successive rounds of instruction and practice, the holes in the targets 25 meters away began to cluster closer and more accurately on the shapes of Redcoats. American marksmanship, although rusty, was indeed alive and well, thanks to the efforts of Project Appleseed. | SEPTEMBER 2017 23

up front


Project Appleseed is a non-partisan, nonprofit group spearheaded by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association. At the core of their work, they are committed to civic responsibility through rifle marksmanship — a skill that, according to the group, is the foundation of American freedom today. “I shot expert in the Army and Appleseed taught me more in a weekend than Uncle Sam did the whole time I was there,” says Raves, who spent almost 10 years as a helicopter crew chief before moving to Memphis in 1998 and joining the organization. However, if attendees to Appleseed clinics are expecting a political slant to the organization, they will be disappointed. “We don't discuss any politics newer than 230 years old,” says Raves. The politics he’s referring to are those that predated the American Revolution against the British army, which was a world-class fighting machine — a topic discussed in depth throughout the two-day clinic and between rounds of gunfire. 24 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

“The mere sight of the British army taking the field was enough to make other professional armies retreat,” says Raves. “Now what would cause them to break and run at Concord bridge at the hands of some colonial farmers and shopkeepers? The answer is marksmanship. American marksmanship.” According to Raves and the curriculum taught during Appleseed clinics, marksmanship is the reason the Revolution was won, but is a skill that seems to be fading in the general American population. “Also slipping from the collective memory are the stories of the sacrifices those men and women made so we could enjoy our freedom,” he notes. “The true tales of Lexington, Concord and Paul Revere may get a few lines in current history books, but an Appleseed marksmanship clinic brings the real story of April 19th, 1775 to life in a way that’s much more exciting than what is taught in school. You'll come away even more proud to be an American.”

The best part of Project Appleseed’s aim is its inclusionary vision. “I've had an 8-year-old girl, an 80-year-old man and everything in between on my firing line,” says Raves. “I've awarded Rifleman patches to men, women, boys and girls. Hipsters and survivalists… this is a family-friendly event.” In addition to being an Appleseed volunteer and running clinics, Raves has also served as a guest speaker for numerous organizations, has been on radio, and has contributed as a writer to Americanthinker. com. He takes great pride in his work with Project Appleseed, and considers the marksmanship taught and learned through it to be a matter of civic responsibility. “The colonists had the choice between submitting to the king or war,” he says. “Their blood gave us a third choice — a republic where we can determine our destiny.” For those interested in taking part in upcoming Project Appleseed clinics, the next clinic at DeSoto Rifle and Pistol Club will be April 2018. Meanwhile, there are clinics all over the country and can be located on the Project Appleseed website at appleseedinfo. org. Or, for groups with a place where participants can safely shoot at 25 meters, Project Appleseed can bring the clinic to you. Instructors are also available to tell the story of Paul Revere's ride to any group free of charge. For more information, visit | SEPTEMBER 2017 25

up front


Faithful Friends Retrieving Freedom, Inc., pairs those with disabilities and veterans with canine friends for life STORY BY CASEY HILDER

VIETNAM VETERAN DON NEAL was in his late 50s when he began to experience the symptoms of late-onset PTSD. “I came home with basically no issues, so I thought,” says Neal. “”The way it was explained to me by my psychiatrist was this: I had all of those monsters and bad thoughts locked away for years and now the locks have started to rust.” Neal found solace from his disturbing thoughts in an unlikely place: the furry embrace of a two-year-old a Labrador Retriever named Storm. That’s the idea behind Senatobia-based Retrieving Freedom, Inc., an organization that works to pair veterans and the disabled with service dogs. Charles Dwyer, co-president and founder of Retrieving Freedom, was inspired by the Tower of Hope, an organization founded in the aftermath of 9/11 that funds training for service dogs to be assigned to wounded veterans. “I was an amateur dog trainer that competed in hunt test competitions,” he says. “So I was already very passionate about dogs and seeing how much they help out with our returning veterans.” 26 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

The actions expected of a service dog are a bit different from that of a bird dog, but Dwyer found the training process remarkably similar. “It’s cool to train a dog to win a ribbon or retrieve a bird, but it’s even cooler to train a dog to help get someone through the day and possibly prevent them from committing suicide,” says Dwyer. “I train them the same way for the most part, but it’s a bit more up close and personal.” Dwyer is well aware of the grim statistics associated with veteran suicide, citing 22 self-inflicted deaths a day within the veteran community, or roughly one every 65 minutes. The dogs trained by Retrieving Freedom are more than simple house pets, serving as psychological anchors and social bridges for those suffering from a variety of ailments including PTSD and autism. “Especially for those with autism, the dogs can be a conversation starter for those

who often have trouble communicating,” says Dwyer. “In a way, the dog becomes the intermediary. And also, they become the cool kid with the dog.” These dogs are, for the most part, of the Labrador and Golden Retriever persuasion, for a few reasons. They’re naturally intelligent, as well as accepted in public ,and people don’t often shy away from or get nervous around those particular breeds. In addition to full public access, dogs from Retrieving Freedom are trained to perform three crucial functions to mitigate an individual’s disability: they can open and close doors, push and pull wheelchairs, and, of course, retrieve objects. “We don’t want the dog to be an enabler, but there are certain situations where the dog can be a big help for everyday problems,” Dwyer says. “Sometimes it’s as easy as covering personal space for an individual.” In addition to easing the day-to-day burdens of their human companion, many of the dogs trained by Retrieving Freedom are allowed to cut loose and participate in bird hunts alongside their owners, something that many of the disabled recipients haven’t had a chance to do since injury. “These dogs are training to provide a service for their owner,” says Dwyer. “For many of these guys, helping hunt is a service.” Retrieving Freedom dogs are specially bred and raised from eight weeks of age to perform their assigned duties. The raw cost of training a service dog for Retrieving Freedom is more than $21,000, though veteran recipients aren’t charged a dime. For Dwyer, much of this is cost offset through fundraising efforts, grants, private donations and corporate sponsorship. | SEPTEMBER 2017 27

up front

Green is Good recipe

A fresh take on a quintessential Southern favorite STORY BY ANDREA LETARD | PHOTOS BY NICOLE COLE

28 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoky Pimento Cheese 8 TO 10 SERVINGS PIMENTO CHEESE • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature • 8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese – grated • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese – grated • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – rinsed, patted dry, and minced • 7 to 8 ounces pimentos – drained • 4 teaspoons pickle relish • ½ teaspoon garlic powder • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika • Kosher salt • ¼ cup mayonnaise – plus extra if desired TOMATOES • Vegetable oil, for frying • 1 cup flour • 1 cup buttermilk • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal • 1 tablespoon garlic powder • 1 teaspoon paprika • ¼ teaspoon cayenne • 4 to 5 green tomatoes • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, smoked cheddar, pepper jack, chipotle peppers, pimentos, pickle relish, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and a dash of salt on low until the mixture is combined. Increase the speed to high, and slowly add the mayo until it’s the consistency you desire. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

Serving Desoto County for over 30 years

Pour about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet and place over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and buttermilk until smooth. In a shallow bowl, mix together the cornmeal, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne. Slice tomatoes ½ inch-thick. Salt and pepper on both sides, dip in buttermilk mixture, then coat in the cornmeal mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides — flipping halfway through if necessary. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt when they come out of the oil. Plate tomatoes and dollop with pimento cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

New Patients Welcome

ZOOM Whitening Special


Stephen Joe, DMD Rhett Simmons, DMD Stephen Joe, DMD

4824 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654 662.874.5917

Rhett Simmons, DMD | SEPTEMBER 2017 29

30 SEPTEMBER 2017 |


Rachel Anglin, Britney Holliman, Patty Bruse & Nicki Coker

Journey at Snowden Grove On July 5, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Journey brought its legendary show to Southaven. With hits like “Don’t Stop Believin” and “Any Way You Want It,” Journey has charted nearly 20 Top 40 singles and sold over 80 million albums worldwide. Photos by MIKE LEE | SEPTEMBER 2017 31

out & about

Logan & Debra Carter

Kodi Boatwright & Tracy Creet

Darlene & Richard Fortner

Paula & Bobby McGuire

Chuck, Tina, Amy & Mason Mitchell

Henrietta, Dakota & Timothy Rowland

Cindy & Mike Meredith

32 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Justin Null & Katie DeVistruto

Lacey & Paxton Fitts

Michael & Angie Ward

Brad & Ali McAlan

Vicki & Baine Turnage

Kristina & Mark Scott

Nancy & Brian Yount | SEPTEMBER 2017 33

out & about

Cynthia Mitchell & Vicki Phillips

Anita & Alyssa Guyer

Bethany & Stephen Black

First Friday Art Walk Sponsored by DeSoto Arts Council, First Fridays are an opportunity for area artists to directly connect with the community. On the first Friday of every month, businesses around the Square play host to original works of art. Shoppers are invited to enjoy wine and cheese while perusing the wares, mingle with the artists, and check out live performances by local musicians. Photos by MIKE LEE Alex McClarty, Cameron Blount & Sheri Perrette

Craig & Teresa Vogelsang, Dave McCormick

Stephanie McGregor & Rebecca Farris

34 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Spring & Rhiannon Lamb

Susan Huff, Holly Renee & Shirley Seymour

Clif & Sheila Deese

Gwen Lutrell & Judy Beard

Nancy & Bob Kurtz

Shelby Samos & Paul McManaway | SEPTEMBER 2017 35

out & about

Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson

Bike Night

On the third Friday of the month, bikers from across the MidSouth drop their kickstands at Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson in Southaven for one hot summer event. Every month, the shop dishes up free food and showcases live music and entertainment under the water tower stage. Photos by MIKE LEE

Cindy & Dave Burks

Danny Byrd, Shannon Kellum & Phil Garcia William Lee Elliott

Cory Forester & Kelly Johnson

Rob Anerson & Diane McCullan

36 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Johnny & Jenifer Lancaster

Clinton Austin, Johnny Green & Chanell Cathey

Matt McCammon & Will Walker

Candie Duncan & Melissa Sleeper

Don Beck & Chris Bailey

The Hernando Farmers Market DOUBLES SNAP Fre$h Savings lets you buy more fruits and vegetables with your SNAP card. Swipe your SNAP card for $5 get $10... Swipe your SNAP card for $10 get $20…

Kathy Mayhew & Linda King

Swipe your SNAP card for $20 get $40 for more fruits and veggies. There is a large variety of products available from local beef, pork, gulf-shrimp, The Hernando Farmers Market DOUBLES milk, eggs, honey and lots of canned and bakedDOUBLES goods.SNAP SNAP The Hernando Farmers Market Check the “Hernando Farmers Market” Facebook page for updates!

The Hernando Farmers Market Doubles SNAP Swipe your SNAP card for $5 get $10... Swipe your SNAP card for $10 get $20… Fre$h Savings lets youSavings buy more and vegetables your SNAP card. Fre$h lets fruits you buy more fruits and with vegetables with your SNAP card.

Swipe your SNAP card for $5 get $10... Swipe your SNAP card for $10 get $20…

Fresh Savings lets buy more and your SNAP card $20 get fruits $40 forand more fruits and veggies. Swipe your SNAPSwipe card for you $20 get $40for for more fruits veggies. vegetable with your card. There a large SNAP variety of products available local beef, pork, gulf-shrimp, There is a large variety of is products available from local beef,from pork, gulf-shrimp, milk,lots eggs, honey andand lotsbaked of canned and baked goods. eggs, honey of$10...Swipe canned goods. Swipe yourmilk, SNAP care forand $5 get your SNAP Check the “Hernando Farmers Market” Facebook page for updates! card for $10the get $20 etc.Farmers for more fruits and veggies. Check “Hernando Market” Facebook page for updates!

Visit market manager table and swipe EBT/SNAP card.

Buy $1 SNAP tokens to purchase any SNAP eligible foods.

Get FREE $1 match tokens to purchase additional fruits and vegetables.

Visit market manager table and swipe EBT/SNAP card.

Buy $1 SNAP tokens to purchase any SNAP eligible foods.

Get FREE $1 match tokens to purchase additional fruits and vegetables.

Ed Roye & Steve Palmer

Visit market manager table and swipe EBT/SNAP card.

Buy $1 SNAP tokens to purchase any SNAP eligible foods.

Get FREE $1 match tokens to purchase additional fruits and vegetables.

Hernando Senior Hernando Senior Shuttle Shuttle

Transportation Senior Activities Activities forfor seniors agesages 50 and FREE Free Transportation totoSenior seniors 50older and older WEEKLY ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Exercise Classes, Line Dancing, Lee Summit Park, Farmers Market and more!

Hernando SeniorMONTHLY Shuttle ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: FREE Transportation to Senior Activities seniors ages 50Center and older Malcofor Theatre, Shephards and Young at Heart Luncheon

Hernando Senior Shuttle

FREE Transportation to Senior Activities forWEEKLY seniors&ages 50 and older MONTHLY SCHEDULES OR Dale Fountain & Wren Knight


Call 429-9092 to schedule a ride. The Senior Shuttle will pick-up and drop-off the senior at their home. Seniors can receive transportation in zip codes 38632 & 38651 | SEPTEMBER 2017 37

out & about

Brooklyn Bradley, Hannah Boyd & Natasha Tillett

Sounds of Summer Music and Family Festival

The Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its Sounds of Summer Festival, a celebration of all things “small town,� on August 20. The event included live music from the likes of Lonesome Highway, Hillbilly Mo Jo, and J.R. Moore, among others. Additional activities included a dunk tank, rides and 5K run/walk. Photos by MIKE LEE

Eli & Bryan Perrette

Cindy Dunning & Joe Dunning

38 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Jan Sisk & Jamie Tro

Cooper, Eli & Kevin Hughes

Jason Gregory

Delainer Richmond & Jackie Clark




presents CR OWN BENEFIT 2017


p e r t ic k e t


Benefiting Children of Desoto County




online @ OR from any active Junior Auxiliary member! | SEPTEMBER 2017 39

out & about

Joan & Allen Latimer and Monica Mock Mary Anne Byrne, Terry Easley, Sophia Vigiletti, Ava Gardner and Sharon Terry Clark

DeSoto County

Shelter Day More than 75 pet-loving supporters turned out at Eudora United Methodist Church recently for the annual DeSoto Shelter Day. This year's focus was on the need to adopt black dogs and cats and find homes for feral cats. Photos by MIKE LEE

Michelle Easley, Wayne McGreger and Lynne Marr

Allen Latimer, Joan Latimer and Holly Seymour

Sharon Terry Clark and Mary Anne Byrne

40 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Chuck Reinhorn and Vicki Blackwell

out & about

Jennifer buckner & Genie davis

Mary Kirk, Ann & Dave Nappier

Debbie Camp & Steve Raney

Chuck Hutton 2018

Camry Reveal Chuck Hutton Toyota unveiled the newest model of its Camry line to scores of Mid-South automobile enthusiasts on August 3. The 2018 model boasts a slew of new features including LED lighting, a sleek redesigned exterior and Toyota's Entune 3.0 multimedia system. Photos by MIKE LEE Rainey Barrett & Jenny Sikes

Cindy Long, Selena Hall, Todd Nichols & Kecia McClellan

Gina & Ron Townsend

Richard Speros, Henry Hutton & Chuck Palmore

Young Kim, Henry Hutton, Chuck Palmore, Cindy Long & Glenda Palmore | SEPTEMBER 2017 41

out & about

Paws for Celebration Since 2012, Southern Friends Animal Society (SFAS) has been working with area shelters that, due to overcrowding, are unable to care for all of the dogs and cats that come through their door. SFAS volunteers bridge the gap in care by fostering the animals until they’re able to be rehomed. All proceeds from Paws for Celebration will help SFAS in its mission to keep these animals off the streets and get them into loving homes. Photos by MIKE LEE

Danny McGreger

John Scallions & Terri Esther

Daphne Jarvis & Kathy Davidson

Mariana Guedes & Brandon Jones Angela Autery & Anna Hill

Betty Dunn & Wendy Jue

42 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Samantha Elliot & Kate Brent

Rhonda Vance & Scott Schoenfeld

Vicki Lowman & Melinda Morgan

Melissa Evans & Terri Esther

Bill & Vickie Davidson | SEPTEMBER 2017 43

out & about

Julie, Hanna & Holly Carrington

Cayden McCracken, Reese & Raegan Gilmore, Brianna McCracken

A Night to Create a Smile All proceeds from the fundraising gala will benefit the children and families of St. Jude Research Hospital. The research hospital provides life-saving treatment to children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Fundraisers like this help cover more than just the cost of care — they also cover travel, housing, and food for the affected families. Photos by MIKE LEE Hoyt Marshall & Loisy Wortham

Katie Hudson, Liz Aguilera & Helen Jimenez

Carmen & Tina Wilbank with 'Chevy'

44 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Brody Miller, Gabe Wright & Zach Denton

Tyler Long & Ian Denton

Lily & Cheri Reel, Molly Bass | SEPTEMBER 2017 45

out & about

Live at The Garden:


Best known for “More Than a Feeling,” classic rock band Boston also graced the Garden stage during this summer’s concert series. Over 40 years have passed since the band’s self-titled debut, but generations of new fans have helped push the group to new heights. Photos by MIKE LEE Scott & Mollie Newman

Donna & Lee Moffet , Donna & Pat Hoffman

Regan & Eric Martin

Bob Farris & Friends

46 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Melissa Jefferson & Daniel Jackson

Jeff Kaleta & Friends

Janelle Lott, Brian Harrison & Kim Harrison, Rhonda Bagwell

John Sutherland & Friends

Marcia Bolton, Jean Sanders & Christa Witmore


Bridget Rawls & Nadolyn Patton

september 8

Little Big town

Jennifer Biggs & Rodney Stewart


Landon Fratesi & Livie Johnson


To purchase TruGreen® lawn tickets, visit For more information, call 901-636-4107.

liveatthegarden.COM Kati Hodges & Scott Rees | SEPTEMBER 2017 47

Front Porch Kickin’ Tracing the origins of the Front Porch Jubilee, DeSoto County’s annual hill country bash





f you were to travel back to Hernando in the 1950s, you’d probably hear a thing or two about Von Theater. Citizens would flock to the movie and music venue, passing under its grand, glowing marquee that illuminated the Mississippi night sky. Inside popcorn was purchased, and people piled into the seats to watch the most celebrated films of the day. “It used to be a very popular place back in the forties and fifties when you didn’t have a lot of other entertainment going on,” says Steven Pittman, president of Friends of the Von Theatre. “So that was where people would go.” On Saturday nights, country music jamborees were held, and on rare occasions young up-and-comers like Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley would grace the stage, giving the quaint little Mississippi town a taste of what the entire world would soon see. But pay a visit to the Von Theater today, and chances are you won’t even recognize the place. The marquee is gone, and where the voice of Elvis Presley once filled the room, The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” now purrs through the radio speakers. Where popcorn, candy and other concessions were once served, flip flops now rest on a swiveling

sales stand. The seats and stage, remnants of another era, lay tucked away beneath a floor of plywood, and on that floor are scented candles, frames, hammers, wine glasses, fake pumpkins with the heads of cats, and insulated coffee containers that read “I can’t adult today.” For after all it has been, the Von Theater now functions as a retail area that plays host to several gift shops and apartments. “People pass by all the time and don’t even know what it was,” Pittman says. But with a music festival that brings the town back to its roots, he and several others are looking to change that. Sept. 30 will mark Hernando’s fourth annual Front Porch Jubilee, which raises funds for the restoration of the Von Theater, and features primarily hill country blues music. Set at the town’s historic Clifton Gin, this year’s musical lineup will include Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Kenny Brown, Duwayne Burnside, and R.L. Boyce. “This year really just has a feel good line-up,” says Rob Long, co-founder of Friends of the Von Theatre. “You’ve got a lot of balladeers, and you’ve got some great blues music. Kenny Brown is kind of the torch bearer for Hill Country Blues, and Earl Peyton’s band is just get up and shout kind of music.” | SEPTEMBER 2017 49

“Every old thing becomes

new again and people hear it for the first time.” This year’s festival will also see changes tothose in the past, as the former two-day format has been done away with, and the ticket price has been lowered to $5. And, according to Pittman, this year will bring in other types of music in addition to hill country blues. “We’re getting back to making gospel a big part of the day,” he says. “So in the morning, beginning at 10, it’ll be different gospel acts. You may have a 15-person, all-male choir, or you may have a solo performer. So that’ll be a lot of fun.” After the gospel music, an open mic session will be held from noon to 2 p.m., giving those not on the list an opportunity to perform. The featured acts will then begin at 2 p.m., and will close around 11 p.m. The Front Porch Jubilee has grown more successful each year, and has been made a part of Bridging the Blues, a series of concerts that is spread throughout the South. In 2015, Jerry Lee Lewis was honored, and the iconic singer came to accept the award. With people like Lewis attending and the festival’s continuously increasing success, Pittman hopes to have the funds to restore Von Theater raised within the next five years. But for him and Long, the festival is about more than just money. It’s about reintroducing a musical genre that conveys a powerful sense of emotion. “It’s a spiritual feeling,” Long says. “The blues and gospel are spiritual genres. And the blues is very cathartic. It helps you feel better when you listen to the blues. You can kind of commensurate, it’s telling a story.” Which, according to Long, is part of the point. “That’s what we’re doing with the blues tradition,” he says. “We’re telling stories, but it’s real and authentic, and I think people are searching for authenticity. And when you have that raw, up-tempo hill country blues from the cotton fields of Mississippi, then you really know you struck on something that’s authentic.” It’s an authenticity that Long thinks will shine through in the festival, and one that he knows lays hidden in the seats of Von Theater, tucked away beneath the candles, frames and flip flops. “When you preserve something old and you introduce it,” he says. “Every old thing becomes new again and people hear it for the first time.” 50 SEPTEMBER 2017 | | SEPTEMBER 2017 51

Ri de


h S & in

Picking the perfect motorcycle brand to saddle up for an end-of-summer adventure Story by Tonya Thompson

You might ride a Harley-Davidson if….

The iconic lure of American muscle and bold engineering is your ideal transportation. To you, motorcycling is a lifestyle – it’s who you are and what you’re made of. You like to live life to the fullest, and you like to live it loud. Harley-Davidson is as much a part of America’s story as is baseball and apple pie. As one of two motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression, it’s the American spirit on two wheels, and is immersed in everything from American literature to primetime television dramas. Beyond the brand’s favored status with presentday celebrities like Lenny Kravitz, Adam Levine, and George Clooney, you also enjoy sharing your love of Harley-Davidson with timeless personalities like Elvis Presley, Ann-Margaret, and Steve McQueen. 52 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

You might ride an Indian if…

Words like vintage, timeless, and classy describe your tastes. You enjoy learning about the past and the stories that shaped it, just like you enjoy riding a bike made by America’s first motorcycle company. To you, motorcycling is more than rallies, group rides, and clubs — it’s a state of mind, and one that is as unique as it is timeless. You appreciate the simple beauty of the open road and being on a bike that reflects that beauty in its design. Although you know how to be responsible, you like speed and you like the history of the pursuit of it. From the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy to land speed records, the Indian was there to create the legend. You believe your life should be no less legendary.

You might ride a Kawasaki if…

You’re a risk taker, adventure seeker, and find few things as thrilling as leaning into the tank and twisting the throttle on a wide-open road just to feel the wind at 150. With its supercharged, street-legal copy of the motorcycle raced on the famous MotoGP tracks, Kawasaki’s Ninja H2 is one of the fastest bikes on the road, and the obvious choice if going fast is what you need. Beyond riding for the thrill of speed, you enjoy the sleek curvature of aerodynamics on a vehicle, and like for your mode of transportation to “look fast,” too. With color selection ranging from candy plasma blue and pearl blizzard white to the famous Kawasaki lime green, Kawasaki has a seemingly endless inventory of sport bikes to suit any taste.


It’s all about


We are just a

CLICK AWAY Check out additional content and behind the scenes on these outlets.




Phantom Cats TRACING THE MYSTERIOUS MOVEMENTS OF THE MID-SOUTH COUGAR Story by Russ Thompson | Illustrations by Ashley Dos

On August 3, 2016, a large feline was photographed by a trail camera in the forested countryside of Humphreys County in middle Tennessee. There was no mistaking the large paws, tawny coat and long tail of the big cat known by many names: mountain lion, shadow cat, puma, painter, but most commonly, the cougar. The trail camera held evidence that was impossible to deny or ignore. “We've had a lot of people report they've seen cougars through the years, but we've never been able to verify. We finally have verified it through pictures,” Doug

Markham, communications director for the TWRA, says. In recent years, cougars have been spotted in western and middle Tennessee, far outside of their eastern U.S. stomping grounds. Since 2015, there have been 10 confirmed sightings in these areas, which brings many questions to mind: Are these cougars establishing a population or merely transients? Is there enough prey and habitat for them to remain a viable presence in these areas? How will the animal fare amongst a human population that hasn’t had to coexist with these big cats for more than a hundred years? | SEPTEMBER 2017 55

“We've had a lot of people report they've seen cougars through the years, but we've never been able to verify. We finally have verified it through pictures,”


he cougar is a native to the Mid-South area, but until recently, its presence hadn’t been confirmed since the early 1900s. Mainly due to habitat loss and overhunting, the animal was extirpated or brought to extinction in the area. In fact, the subspecies known as the eastern cougar is now widely thought to be extinct. The animals that are coming into Tennessee are thought to be western cougars that are traveling eastward from established Midwest populations. DNA from a hair sample that came from one of the sites in middle Tennessee traced the animal back to the black hills of South Dakota. TWRA officials say that cougar territories can span over 150 miles, and the big cats

56 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

can travel up to 600 miles in order to establish home ranges. They certainly won’t let an enormous river such as the Mississippi stand in their way. According to Joy Sweaney, a wildlife Biologist who works with the turkey and cougar programs of the TWRA, the ten confirmed cougar sightings are more than likely one or two individuals that traveled from the Midwest into western Tennessee and then on into middle Tennessee, possibly following rivers and streams. Sweaney says the first cougar sighting in 2015 was in Obion County in the northwest part of the state. The next sighting was in Carroll County, southeast of that

location. After that, there were six sightings in Humphreys County east of Carroll County from November 2015 through August of 2016 and two sightings in Wayne County, southeast of there. There have been no sightings since 2016. So, it seems a likely scenario that a single cougar found its way into western Tennessee, made its way east and south through the state, and more than likely has moved on to parts unknown. “There are currently no breeding populations in Tennessee, but there is enough habitat and prey such as deer to sustain them in the future. If the hills near Los Angeles and the areas in Florida are able to sustain them, we should be able to as

well,” says Sweaney. Sweaney also says that although the individual that was captured by the trail camera is likely a male, there are more female cougars turning up in areas east of their western habitats. This is a sign that western populations are on the rise and some cougars are seeking out areas to the east. Richard Rummel, the black bear program leader of the Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife says that he has investigated countless sightings in Mississippi over the years, but he has been unable to confirm any of them. “We never have been able to capture a cougar on trail cam. Usually the animals spotted are large dogs or even bobcats,” says Rummel. However, Mississippi residents shouldn’t be too confident that their state will remain cougar-free. According to Rummel, if cougars are moving into Tennessee, than it is only a matter of time before they start turning up in surrounding states. Attitudes about cougars moving into the area are unsurprisingly mixed. According to Sweaney, conservationists and naturalists are excited about the possibility of the cougar’s return but many landowners, especially those who own cattle, are apprehensive. Sweaney says that if you see a cougar, you need to avoid contact, and keep kids and pets from running away and activating the cougar’s predator response. If the cougar appears curious, do not be submissive; wave your arms, make lots of noise, and try to make your way to safety. In the unlikely event that you see a cougar or evidence of their presence such as tracks, Sweaney says that you can report photographs and videos to If you take a photo of a track, place a small object near it such as a key or a coin so that the officials can gauge the size of the prints. TWRA has launched educational outreach programs and a social media campaign to educate people about cougars. They have also started a You Tube show called Wildcasts. Although cougars have not established a breeding population, it has become clear that the animals are moving slowly but surely into our area. For some, this is news to be excited about, while others may find it a bit harder to swallow. Either way, a once common denizen of the Mid South may one day reclaim its rightful place as a natural predator, presiding over the forests and mountains of the South; not just a phantom cat of our dreams. | SEPTEMBER 2017 57


receives many photos and “eye witness” reports every year. The reason this one is different is because the location is verifiable, there is no doubt the animal is, in fact, a cougar, and there is no evidence of tampering with the photo. In past photos received, there have been issues with the photos. Either there is evidence that someone “photoshopped” a cougar image, taken from the Internet, into a Tennessee background; or a photo copied from the Internet is claimed to have been taken in Tennessee; or the image is so indefinite that it could be a photo of a dog, housecat, bobcat, fox, or some other animal. In this recent incident, the elements required for TWRA to verify the authenticity are met.

58 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

First… The photo is date stamped and the individual who got the picture on his trail camera provided the original SD card to the TWRA for analysis. The photo is stamped September 19, but he informed the TWRA that he set the date wrong by a day and the photo was actually taken on September 20. Although the head of the animal is not visible, enough of the animal is clearly seen to definitively identify it as a cougar. However, it is difficult to be certain of the size of the animal. Since the original SD card was provided, expert analysts looked at other photos taken around the same time. Both photos are of deer. Then, to get an estimate of size, a deer photo was superimposed onto the cougar photo. Obviously, the animal in the photo is too big to be a housecat. It is almost as long as a deer, even though not as tall. In order to show, definitively, that the photo was, in fact, taken in Tennessee, an agent of the TWRA went to the location of the trail camera a couple of days later and took a photo from the same vantage point as the trail camera. The soybeans in the cougar photo had been harvested, but in all other respects, the trial camera photo matched the photo taken by the TWRA agent almost exactly. The tree trunk on the left, and the lower leaves in the center of the photo, matched in both photos, confirming that the cougar photo was taken in Obion County at the location of the trail camera. There was also no evidence that a cougar photo had been cut and pasted into a background photo. When the cougar image is zoomed up close, there is no evidence of irregularities around the edges. Unfortunately, there were no tracks, hair, or other physical evidence of a cougar found at the site, and without physical evidence with DNA to be tested, the TWRA cannot verify whether the cougar in the photo is an escaped pet, a western cougar, or a Florida panther (cougar). So, the TWRA can confirm there was, on September 20, 2015, a cougar in Obion County Tennessee. Currently, however, the TWRA does not know for certain the origin of the cougar, whether it is a truly wild cougar or a pet, or where it is now. Small numbers of cougars are known to exist in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, and there have been many confirmed sightings. However, the research conducted by the Missouri Department of Conservation has found only young male cougars, probably expanding their ranges from western states. They have not found any female cougars in Missouri, so they do not, at this time, believe they have a self-sustaining, reproducing population yet. If cougars continue to expand their ranges from western states, as they have been doing for the past several decades, there will be cougars in Tennessee. West Tennessee will probably be the first affected by any range expansion. It is important to note, any natural range expansion of cougars into Tennessee will be animals that are protected by law. The TWRA has never opened a hunting season on them. Therefore, it would be illegal to kill a cougar in Tennessee .

ALWAYS IN YOUR CORNER Dean Agency 662-985-7556 © 2016 Allstate Insurance Co.

215560 | SEPTEMBER 2017 59

live well

Special Advertising Section

Testosterone: Uncovering the Myth Manopause. Mid-life crisis. Grumpy Old Man syndrome. All of these are terms tossed around these days, but what do these words really mean? One possible explanation is “low T.”

LOW TESTOSTERONE (LOW T) CAN BE A NORMAL process of aging or may be caused by hypogonadism, a condition in which the body is unable to produce optimal amounts of testosterone. Testosterone levels gradually decline as men age, but prematurely low testosterone levels can have an effect on the body even prior to midlife. Increasingly, more and more men are experiencing symptoms and have lab values to support an earlier onset of andropause. Unfortunately, low testosterone levels affect men in many more ways than just their moods. Men with hormonal imbalances often notice that body fat is increasing while their lean muscle mass is decreasing. The more pounds of fat gained, the higher the likelihood that a patient’s testosterone will decline and their estrogen (predominant female hormone) will increase. This can cause further changes in a man’s body composition. This increase in body fat percentage can create the perfect environment for developing metabolic syndrome, which dramatically increases a man’s risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Common complaints of men suffering from low testosterone can be any of the following: • Weight gain, frequently in hips, thighs, and breast tissue • Abdominal fat (known as central adiposity) • Decreased muscle strength and stamina • Sore muscles and poor recovery from strenuous exercise • Prostate problems • Increased appetite/sugar cravings • Low thyroid function • High stress, feeling of burnout • Lack of mental clarity • Fatigue • Difficulty sleeping • Low sexual desire • Irritability • Depression

60 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Testosterone replacement therapy can improve many of the symptoms men commonly experience. However, it is important to seek out a qualified medical professional with experience and training in proper treatment of low testosterone. He or she will perform a physical exam and order appropriate laboratory tests to determine if you are a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy. Appropriate treatment of low T includes regular, periodic lab work to maintain optimal hormone levels during treatment. After much debate, there is clear scientific proof that appropriate testosterone replacement therapy is not only safe, but appears to protect men from many of the chronic diseases of our generation. This body of scientific evidence should compel men suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms to see a qualified provider to determine if they are in optimal hormonal health.

JOHN W. WHITE, JR. MD is a practicing physician dual board-certified in Family Medicine as well as Obesity Medicine. In addition, Dr. White completed fellowship training in Age Management Medicine. Dr. White serves as the medical director of The Transformation Doctor in Collierville.

Billy Frazier, DVM Jeremy Keen, DVM Ryan Kennedy, DVM Medicine • Dentistry Laser Surgery Digital Radiography Boarding • Grooming


8330 Highway 51 North • Southaven, MS 38671 Mon. - Fri. 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. | SEPTEMBER 2017 61



This sweet and spicy bourbon-laced lemonade is made with just a handful of simple ingredients and is perfect for sipping Yield: 1 Cocktail


5-6 sweet cherries, pitted 2 ounces Tropicana Premium Lemonade 1.5 ounces bourbon ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

DIRECTIONS: 1. Gently muddle the cherries in a cocktail glass (I like a rocks glass for this), just until they’re slightly broken down and have released some of their juices. Fill the glass with crushed ice. 2. Add the remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry or a lemon twist if you’re feeling festive.

62 SEPTEMBER 2017 |


The Wedding Issue

Angi Owens & Rob Rams

Baker & Jonathon Hollis Victoria

Showcase your big day in the pages of Click Magazine. Now accepting wedding submissions for the February 2018 issue.

Visit for complete details.


r & Adam M y Gayle Barke Jena LeiicghhaePl aSkrkinenrer& Reyno lds W Lyndse 8, 2016 Jena Leigh Parker

October Memphis, Tennessee

July 9, 2016 Memphis, Tenne


ssee and Reynolds Willis were united on July 9, 2016. in the couple’s front yard. Immediately A reception followed in in marriage united bride were is the Michael SkinnerThe a large white tent. daughter of Don under gathered featured guestsdress Lyndsey Gayle Barker and Adam Parker of Southaven, Mississi the ceremony, a sweetheart and Leigh Ann Lee following neckline, scallope bride is the daughter of ppi. of Atlanta, and gourds, cotton, groom is the length train. gold pumpkin Georgia, and Donna ofTheFall white and chapeld lace hem, marriage on October 8, 2016. The son of Bo A cathedral lace décor included and Willis is the sonWillis of Pittsbor The groom veil completed For something The happy o, North Carolina her look. and Tonya Barker of Brighton, Tennessee. couple met old, she added wheat. . while out and lace from her dress Tennessee. Tenness on Collierville, to of and cupcake stands, the cakebouque her ee, Skinner as mother’s weddin used town Janice and and were Hugh began seeing stumpsis, in Memph t. Her aunt’s Freshly cut tree g happy each other a whirlwinto Lyndsey. The on February 27, a lit Crapesometh in the back of the topaz ring served blue. tree Myrtleing On January 16, 2016, Adam proposed d of adventure and romanc which surrounded 2013. In as downtown A on e, receptio overlooking Decemb Reynold lift er 12, 2015, ski built by the custom and pallet bars,nallfollowe d at Hughes couple had just gotten off of a d to Jena during a surpriseWoodens propose flower boxes Gardens. The Pavilion at Dixon were trip to New York knee. walking on one newlyweds and along Bow Bridge space. the Gallery out City. filled Gatlinburg when Adam got downon bride, They prepare & their guests enjoyed of the brother one knee at their homeininCentral d by Chef Park when he 8, 2016, exit through a delicious meal theirAdams and asked made Andrew newlyweds got for her hand in At the end The ceremony took place on October down the evening, of the of Acre Restaur Frost Ongroom under marriage. Bakery. vows July 9, exchanged ant and cake from 2015, they had red truck. danced vintage away in a They the night way a beautifu Brighton, Tennessee. The bride and of bubbles and drove Justin the trees at the a tunnelceremo of Deep Blue of the l outdoor the brother by Dixon couple is at to music provided by DJ thenment. Entertai ny beneath Jamaica, Gallery Bay, Montego in a custom built wooden arbor handcrafted & Garden The honeymooning A string trio perform pair went on in Memph hay bales and s After is, Tennessee. to honeymoon pews made from ed, and Reverend bride. Guests were seated onChurch on the Virgin Islands Brighton, Tennessee. Braxton home inBrady officiated. before Women island of St. John in the returningfor of Harvest University home the Mississippi to Memphis, Tenness wood, and Larry Woodruff officiated. The bride graduating from The bride graduated from After rhinestone dressa with fitted,avintage ee. the Univers Theitygroom ivory lace wore e Pathologist. as a nurse practitio of Tennessee, The bride wore a sleevelessLousie as a Speech-Languag working lace isgown Bridal Collierv old — -inspire the bride serves ivory dand ner from payroll Method ille, Tenness asistaLe she woreinsomething andatworks The groom of Memphis Bonheur Healthc ee. Her “someth from Maggie and satin belt. Following tradition, The University graduated are Hospital. earrings. She used one of her graduateding new,” the manager. teacher and football from East Carolina University suede boots — and borrowed pearl accounts receivable and works as coach at Christia a which she had sewn into one and n Brothers High father’s old shirts to craft a blue heart, School. new. as something Artist: Katy Learned; Bakery of her boot socks. Her dress served DETAILS Florist: L and

J Product

: Frost Bake Shop;


g: Acre Restaur ions; Photography: DETAILS Dress: Elsy Photography;Enterprises;ant; Becksfort; Allison Maggie Hair: Venue: Dixon Louise Bridal; John Mark Stylist: Annie Gallery Florist: Shacke & Gardens; Weddin Bakery; Catering: Fascinating Catering; lford Rentals: Looney; of Juve Salon Elizabeth Photography: Cake/Cupcakes: Sweet Scentsations g Coordin Spa; ator: Laura| Reed Mia Atkinson; Music: DeepBlu Entertainment; 2017 69 FEBRUARY myclickm Social Butterflies | FEBRUAR Linens: Elegant Chair Solutions; Makeup: Downing Productions; Wedding Planner: Y 2017 Mahaffey Tent & Event Rentals; Videography:

67 | SEPTEMBER 2017 63



Front Porch Jubilee Friday, September 30, 2017, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Clifton Gin in Hernando, Mississippi

Bobby Rush

64 SEPTEMBER 2017 |

Every year, Front Porch Jubilee brings the best in local blues and this year is no different. The fourth annual fest will feature performances by Woodstomp, Jack Rowell, Jr., Duwayne Burnside, R. L. Boyce, Grits & Soul, Cary Hudson, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and Kenny Burnside. Entry before noon is free, but consider springing for that $5 ticket - proceeds from the event will go toward renovating Hernando’s historic Von Theatre.