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News for members of Singing River Electric Power Association

Mary Carol Miller A champion for historic preservation in Mississippi, page 4 8 Gift-giving for the outdoors types

14 Mississippi Cooks:

New cookbook from Ole Miss

15 Beauvoir invites visitors

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to Christmas past

2 I Today in Mississippi I November/December

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November/December 2013 I Today in Mississippi

It’s time I stood up for what I love/loathe about Christmas rom my past columns you might have picked up that I am a huge fan of Christmas and all things Christmas. That being said, while there are some parts of Christmas that I just love, there are other things that, well, I’m not so fond of. While not wanting to use the “H” word this time of year, let’s just say I loathe them. Such as: Love: Merry Christmas. Loathe: Merry Xmas or Happy Holidays. Jesus is the reason for the season! Love: “Miracle on 34th Street.” Loathe: All remakes of “Miracle on 34th Street” (though I can watch the colorized version of the original). Love: “Silent Night.” Loathe: “Hard Candy Christmas.” That is not a Christmas song. It’s about two people breaking up. DJs, please stop playing it during Christmas! Love: Multicolored flashing lights on a Christmas tree! Loathe: Plain white lights that just sit there on a Christmas tree. Love: A star on top of a Christmas tree. Loathe: Anything else on top of a Christmas tree. Love: Gaudy, lighted, property-owner’s-association-sends-you-a-nasty letter, outdoor Christmas decorations. Think of Clark Griswold from “Christmas Vacation” on steroids! Loathe: Green wreath, with red bows and spotlights. Yawn! Those are the people that have a tree with all white lights and a bow on top! Love: The traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberries and sweet tea. Loathe: The steaks I have to grill because my


On the cover History, architecture and historic preservation are passions of Greenwood writer Mary Carol Miller, pictured at her hometown’s historic Keesler Bridge. The author of several books with Mississippi themes, Miller’s work preserves memories of long-vanished places and celebrates historic homes and landmarks that have survived thanks to preservation efforts.

wife and kids don’t like the traditional Christmas dinner. Love: Spending time with the family (in-laws included). Loathe: Spending time with the family (in-laws included). Love: College bowl games during the month of December. Loathe: NBA basketball on Christmas Day! Love: Shopping for that special gift for that special someone, decorating the Christmas trees (four) and our home with the kids, My Opinion Christmas Eve candlelight Michael Callahan service, shopping for a Executive Vice President/CEO EPAs of Mississippi family we “adopt,” reading the Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20) on Christmas night in front of the fireplace, Christmas carolers, riding around looking at Christmas decorations, watching Santa fill the stockings and all the wonderful baked goods to eat. But most of all, I love that for the next several weeks everyone will be kinder, soft spoken, eager to lend a hand to help a fellow human being, slower to anger, quicker to forgive, smile more, laugh harder and love unconditionally. In short, we will be the person God calls us to be, and I loathe that we cannot keep that Christmas spirit the other 11 months of the year. I say for 2014, let’s try. From my family to yours, here’s wishing you a very merry Christmas. JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI


Today in Mississippi OFFICERS Brad Robison - President Randy Wallace - First Vice President Keith Hurt - Second Vice President Tim Smith - Secretary/Treasurer

EDITORIAL STAFF Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO Ron Stewart - Sr. Vice President, Communications Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Debbie H. Stringer - Editor Abby Berry - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Linda Hutcherson - Administrative Assistant

Vol. 66 No. 11

EDITORIAL OFFICE & ADVERTISING 601-605-8600 Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s Electric Power Associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. • National advertising representative: National Country Market, 800-626-1181 Circulation of this issue: 441,056 Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year

The Official Publication of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published eleven times a year (Jan.Nov.) by Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, Inc., P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300, or 665 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Phone 601-605-8600. Periodical postage paid at Ridgeland, MS, and additional office. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Today, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300

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Our Homeplace

The Navy and Marine Reserve Training Center was built in 1949 in downtown Jackson as part of the Navy’s post-war building program. With porthole-like windows and rounded contours, the structure was designed to resemble a ship. Monthly drills held here usually involved around 250 Navy reservists. The Navy officially closed the facility in June 2001 with a public flag-lowering ceremony. In 2010 it became a Naval Reserve Record Center and in 2012 it was renovated as a records center for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Mississippi is ... ... a mixture of overwhelming scents and sensations: cedar from our Christmas tree each year, the wave of the pines. Spring plucked daffodil blossoms, magnolias and gardenias too. Fresh mown grass. Church on Sunday morning. The taste of sweet watermelon, fresh tomatoes and juicy muscadines. The smell of dust and rain. Coast shrimp and oysters with a side of flounder and a snapper or two. Fresh venison tenderloin fried to perfection. Crisp pork rinds and cracklings. Let’s not forget a big pot o’ greens and corn bread with plenty of sweet tea. Newly harvested honey and that first batch of cane syrup. And there’s nothing like Mama’s homemade biscuit, yum yum! This is my home sweet home, my Mississippi! — Tammy Bufkin, Lena Four years ago, my wife and I went on a weekend outing to Meridian and to look at foreclosure property. Everyone was so nice to us that I bought a house in Quitman. We consider ourselves blessed to have such wonderful, godly people in our community. These people have opened their homes and their hearts to us and have become our very best friends. God bless Mississippi. — Duffy and Denise St. Pierre, Quitman My wife and I live and work in Louisiana during the week but come to our country home in Mississippi every weekend. We enjoy the beautiful and quiet woods around our home and can splash in the river just a quarter-mile away when we want. We can’t wait for our first spring there and the blooming azaleas all around our place. — Pat Bourg, Prairieville, La.

What’s Mississippi to you? What makes you proud to be a Mississippian? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Send your thoughts to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158, or email them: Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing.



Today in Mississippi


Penchant for Preservation Mary Carol Miller at Keesler Bridge in Greenwood. Opened in 1925, the bridge turned on a central pier to allow passage of boats on the Yazoo River.

Author Mary Carol Miller treasures the physical links to Mississippi’s past, from old mansions to family memoirs By Debbie Stringer Standing at the foot of Greenwood’s historic Keesler Bridge, Mary Carol Miller recalled the citizen uproar that saved the aging icon from demolition. “It was in terrible shape. The walkways had holes in them, and the whole thing was just a mess. The supervisors wanted to take it down,” said Miller, the author of several books on historic homes and landmarks in Mississippi. Completed in 1925 to replace an older bridge, the 290-foot truss bridge pivoted on a central pier to allow the passage of boats on the Yazoo River. Steamboat traffic on the river was already dwindling, yet the new bridge became the pride of the town. The newspaper announced upcoming bridge turning dates to warn motorists of long delays as eight men, straining with effort, operated the turning gear mechanism with a

giant key. Folks lined the river banks to watch the span swing open. The bridge turned for the last time in the 1950s, when it stuck in the open position. By the late 1990s, it was deteriorating badly, prompting the county supervisors’ call for demolition—to the horror of residents who viewed the bridge as a link to their town’s history. One day, Miller’s mother called her “in a state” about the issue and suggested they collect friends to stage a sit-in at the bridge. When the initial outrage turned to action in 1999, a group of volunteers and officials succeeded in obtaining grants totalling nearly $1.4 million for the repair and renovation of the bridge. It was rededicated in 2003. Once again a source of local pride, the gleaming Keesler Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Mississippi Landmark. “This bridge has a tremendous amount of emotional meaning for this town,” Miller said. She and other Greenwood residents are still smarting from the recent demolition of an early-1900s grocery warehouse with the potential, as they saw it, to become a venue for conventions. Miller said the brick building was significant for its “extraordinary structural details.” Robert Johnson is said to have played the blues on the streets there in the 1930s. “Nobody will ever build a building like that again in downtown Greenwood, or downtown anywhere else,” she said. Ditto for Mount Holly, a neglected antebellum mansion on the verge of crumbling into dust in Washington County. “Oh, don’t get me started on that,” Miller said with a roll of her eyes.

 Growing up in Greenwood,

Miller wanted to be anything but a writer like her mother, Sara Criss, who worked as the Commercial Appeal’s Greenwood bureau chief for 30 years. Watching her mother rush every day to get stories and photographs ready for the 5 p.m. bus to Memphis, young Mary Carol decided she wanted no part of deadline pressures. Criss had started out covering social events and football games but wound up reporting news from a front row seat in the civil rights movement. She wrote eye-witness accounts of the racial unrest and violence her hometown experienced, like many others in the South, during voter rights marches and desegregation efforts. Criss worked in a makeshift office set up in her kitchen. “We grew up with the wire service teletype and typewriters in the kitchen, and a darkroom under the stairs,” Miller recalled. “I practiced reading in the first grade by proofreading my mother’s stories.” Miller eventually chose a career in medicine. She was a practicing family doctor before becoming a full-time mom to her two children. Her husband, Jimmy, practices neurosugery in Greenwood. The Millers are members of Delta Electric Power Association.

 Miller was in her thirties

“when the compulsion to write just kind of bubbled up.” She submitted magazine articles on historical topics but “got a ton” of rejection letters, she said. Her first published article focused on the Star of the West, a captured steamship sunk by Confederates in the Tallahatchie River to block a Union flotilla. Then came her big break. After publishing an extensive magazine article on lost mansions in the state, the University Press of Mississippi asked Miller to expand the theme into a book. She spent three years researching sites, seeking photographs, scouring archives and interviewing families. The first printing of “Lost Mansions of Mississippi,” released in October 1996, sold out in three months. “Lost Mansions of Mississippi II” followed, then “Lost Landmarks of Mississippi.” Miller likened her research for the books to chasing the ghosts of long-gone hotels, resorts, schools, homes, churches, synagogues, public buildings and industrial sites. “It was frustrating because you would find a photograph of something extraordinary and you weren’t ever going to see it. It was gone.” That all changed when she teamed with Greenwood

November/December 2013

photographer Mary Rose Carter. Together Miller and Carter produced five books on historic homes and landmarks still standing throughout the state. Their first book, “Written in the Bricks: A Visual and Historical Tour of Fifteen Mississippi Hometowns,” (Quail Ridge Press, 1999), with its highquality photography and authoritative essays, set the standard for their future efforts, “Great Houses of Mississippi” and “Must See Mississippi: 50 Favorite Places.” Miller’s passion for Mississippi history, architecture and preservation pervades each book. She and Carter worked together more than 15 years, traveling the state to track down subjects and document their beauty and history. “We just had a blast. We were like Thelma and Louise—or Lucille and Ethel on some days,” Miller said. Miller’s literary focus eventually returned home to Greenwood and the surrounding area. She and Carter published a book of infrared photographs made in Greenwood, and Miller collaborated on a book of historical Greenwood postcards, published by Arcadia Press. Miller’s 10th book title, “Greenwood: Mississippi Memories,” grew out of conversations with Greenwood residents Allan Hammons, a local designer and collector of historic Greenwood photographs, and Donny Whitehead, a collector of old advertising trinkets, letters, postcards and other ephemera. “We kicked [the book] idea around for years,” Miller said. “Then, back in January, we had a meeting of the minds and said, none of us is getting any younger. And if anything happens to any of us, this is never going to happen. “Actually, we’re kind of doing it for my mother,” Miller said. Criss had urged her daughter to get with Allan and Donny and “do something” to preserve and share their historic collections.

 Miller’s most challenging project, however, may await her in the stored crates of her mother’s writings, including a memoir. “I just can’t figure out what to do with it. It’s committed to Ole Miss’ journalism archives at some point,” Miller said. Criss tapped out her memoir on a manual typewriter in 1991 for the benefit of her grandchildren. Her story details life in Greenwood as she knew it, starting in 1921. Miller suspects her mother’s papers may

inspire a book project or two, but for now she shares them with the world via the Internet. She spent a year posting the contents of the memoir, including Criss’ experiences during the civil rights era, to a blog Miller titled Daughter of the Delta. Reading her mother’s writings gave Miller new insight into local history, as well as her mother’s— and her contemporaries’—thoughts as the struggle for civil rights unfolded in their hometown. “She was walking a tightrope.... Their whole world was changing and they didn’t agree with the violence that was going on, but they weren’t ready for the change either,” Miller said. Delving into her mother’s writings was a rewarding experience for Miller. “It was very cathartic and helped me know her better,” she said. She regrets, however, that her family did not read the memoir until after Criss’ death in 2009. Any questions the family has will likely remain unanswered. “Every day I would go, ‘Why didn’t I ask her about ....’” Books by Mary Carol Miller are available in bookstores.“Greenwood: Mississippi Memories” is sold only at Turnrow Books, in Greenwood. Sara Criss’ memoir, with notes from Miller, can be viewed here: Miller’s newest book is “Greenwood: Mississippi Memories,” above, co-authored with Allan Hammons and Donny Whitehead. Below are three of the books she produced with Greenwood photographer Mary Rose Carter. In all her books, Miller presents meticulously researched information in an entertaining storytelling form.

Today in Mississippi

Historic preservation begins at home Family letters, records, journals and the like should be preserved for future generations, according to Mary Carol Miller. Bits of information gleaned from these items may seem insignificant today but may interest descendants tomorrow—and possibly fill in the blanks for future geneaologists. A postmarked, addressed envelope, for example, can place a family member in a particular place and time. A grocery list gives insight into a family’s daily life, as do old recipes. “People need to err on the side of everything being important and put it away for the next generation, because so much gets lost—just falls through the cracks,” Miller said. She offered advice for people in possession of a family member’s personal effects: “The first thing you do is make sure they’re safe, that they are preserved. Get them out of whatever foldedup, wadded-up, stuck-away condition they’re in and read them—first of all—so you can ask questions if the person is still alive.” Miller recommends storing papers in an archivally safe container, to help prevent deterioration. Scan old photographs before storing the prints and negatives. Most photo-editing software allows you to add explanatory notes to the photo file. And when possible, attach labels to valued personal items with the owner’s name, date and location the item was used.

Which properties should be preserved? Preserving a historic home, public building or other structure is costly, time-consuming and difficult work. There may be restrictions or regulations leading to expensive modifications. Then comes the maintenance expense. So what makes a property worthy of such a huge commitment? It all boils down to a few elements, said Mary Carol Miller: “Age, obviously. Even if it’s a sharecropper’s shack or a gas station, if it’s managed to survive 75, 100, 150 years, you’ve got to do your best to save it,” Miller said. Architectural style is another. An old building may be an extraordinary example of architecture. Take the Leflore County Courthouse, Miller said. “This is a work of art by anybody’s standards and is worthy of preservation as long as we can keep it standing.” Then there’s historical significance. A building can be a witness to history. “Something of extreme significance may have happened there—sometimes good, sometimes bad,” Miller said. Some old properties tug at a community’s heartstrings. Miller is involved in an effort to preserve Greenwood’s old public library building, a brick Jacobethan Revival structure where generations of residents have settled in with books beneath the high ceiling of the library’s spacious reading room. “It’s a building that still has a tremendous amount of emotional impact on people. We are remiss as a community if we don’t dig our heels in and save it,” Miller said.




Today in Mississippi I November/December


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November/December I Today in Mississippi I 7

heavenly show look up for a

on clear, cold nights

This photo is a 30-second exposure of the night sky in the Delta. The glow on the horizon is from the street lights of Rolling Fork. It isn't this bright, of course, when you’re standing there. But the Milky Way is bright enough on cold winter nights to take your breath away when you first see it spread out overhead, like you can see it in the Delta. Photo: Walt Grayson

e were in Greenfield Cemetery in Glen Allan in Washington County the other night shooting a story about that community’s “annual” cemetery tour. I put quotation marks around “annual” because Jim Barns (whose wife, Dr. Nancy Coleman, organized the tour) told me that after the tour’s two-night run is over and all the volunteers (everybody associated with it is a volunteer) have a chance to rest up, and maybe get past the Super Bowl, they’ll get together to see who’s interested in putting on the tour again. If enough of them want to, they will. If not, they may skip a year. The other night, after it got good and dark, the ticket holders started filing through the cemetery in groups of about 30 (350 attended—sold out again). The only light came from torches at each graveside venue, some dim LEDs to mark the walking path and a distant security light on a utility pole across Lake Washington Road. I took a shortcut from the ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church at the front of the cemetery to the Civil War camp set up at the rear. I walked along the dark middle ground away from the lighted pathway so I wouldn’t disturb the folks


taking the tour. While gingerly sidestepping headstones, I happened to glance up at the sky. It was one of those clear, chilly fall nights with no clouds and no haze. I may have gasped out loud when I saw about Mississippi a billion stars twinkling up Seen there. The Milky Way was by Walt Grayson very vivid. Looking back down, I was startled to bump into two Civil War soldiers hiding in the shadows, waiting for the tour group to reach their venue. (They were to drift up to the campfire as the roll of the Civil War dead was called.) They were pale blue in the soft glow from the security light 50 yards away. After assurances they were real and not ghosts, we talked about the night and the sky. I said that in Jackson we get to see only about four or five stars because of the city lights. They said I should go out to the Mississippi River some night where it’s so dark you’d think you could reach up and touch the stars.

After the tour, we took the back roads home through Holly Bluff and Satartia to Highway 49. Somewhere in the darkest part of the Delta we stopped and I snapped the picture that accompanies this column. In it you see the Milky Way dipping down into the glow of Rolling Fork on the horizon. Winter offers great sky-gazing nights after cold fronts clear the air. Some of the things you’ll want to see include Comet ISON that will round the sun and move into the evening sky Nov. 28. And the Geminids meteor shower peaks the night of Dec. 13 into the morning of the14th. There are a bunch of cemeteries that have nighttime tours over the course of the year. The students at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science school do a great job at Friendship Cemetery in Columbus during the city’s spring pilgrimage. Rose Hill Cemetery in Meridian lets us meet and talk to the King and Queen of the Gypsies buried there. And of course there’s Angels on the Bluff in Natchez. I suspect you’ll be able to tour Greenfield in Glen Allan again next year too. But we won’t know for sure until after the Super Bowl. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact Grayson at



Today in Mississippi I November/December

Gift-giving ideas for outdoors types hristmas is a time for giving gifts. The tradition goes back for hundreds of years and is commonly practiced in most if not all families who will read this column. And since this column is an outdoors column, it is only reasonable that the suggestions given focus on the outdoors and those who enjoy participating in outdoor activities. A warning here: I may repeat myself from former columns on this very subject. If so, my apologies. But the gift suggestions, at least in my thinking, are viable just the same. So here goes—a list of reasonably priced items that should fit well for outdoors use. Mississippians are no strangers to mosquitoes. These tiny pests can spoil the best-planned outing, and in recent years they have offered us additional diseases we definitely want to avoid. With that in mind, some type protection is required. And there are many advertised to rectify this situation of mosquito attack. However, some are only Mississippi marginally effecOutdoors tive. But there is by Tony Kinton one that is near 100 percent in warding off mosquitoes and similar biting insects. I hesitate here, for we at Today in Mississippi are careful about mentioning brand names. But to my knowledge, there is no other such instrument on the market at this time. The unit to which I refer is the ThermaCell®. This is a small device that uses a scent wafer heated by a thumb-sized butane cylinder, creating a near-invisible barrier cloud of approximately 15 square feet. This is somewhat dependent upon wind, of course, but it generally works wonders while the user is within that barrier put out by the ThermaCell®. Inexpensive and easy to


Useful gift items that won’t break the budget. These go with me on every hunting or camping trip. Photo: Tony Kinton

use, this rig is a must for anyone working or playing outside during mosquito season. I have used one since they were first introduced several years back and have never had it fail to significantly reduce, and most times eliminate, bites from gnats, mosquitoes and “no-seeems,” these latter common to areas such as the northern U. S. and southern Canada. Cutting devices are a must for those in the outdoors. Whether in the garden, the backyard or in a tree stand, cutting tools serve a multitude of uses. And these tools are varied. They can be knives, saws, chopping units or pruning rigs. One of each goes in my bag before I head to the woods. A highly useful tool is a pruning shear. These can be employed in removing small, unwanted branches from the yard or garden and are absolutely essential for a hunter. They can cut limbs to create a ground blind or remove limbs to clear a shooting path from a tree stand. The same goes for a small saw. Yard and garden supplies usually have a pruning saw that will fit nicely in a pack. They are also available from hardware,

Coming “Rambling Through Soon Pleasant Memories”

big box and outdoor stores. The recipient will be grateful for either or both these cutting instruments. And there are saws that are a bit more difficult to pack but not so big that they can’t be carried. There are the expandable rigs generally known as pole saws, and there are some on the market now that telescope into surprisingly small packages. Check one out; it could make the perfect gift. So too would some type chopping blade. Hatchets are probably the most common, but machetes also work well. And there is a reasonable combination of several cutting units packed into the various multi-tool selections. Chopping is not an option, but pruning, light sawing and some blade work are definitely a possibility, as are installing/removing screws, filing, wire cutting, and punching and pliers needs. But be careful when buying one. Some are inexpensive and not very rugged. If you do opt for a mulit-tool, get a good one, one with brand-name recognition and proven reliability. Be ready, though; they are expensive. Allow me to close this discourse with

a few more suggestions minus a great deal of discussion. All will fit easily into the most scaled-down budget. Flashlights: Get one with modern bulbs such as LED. Compass: This unit will work even if the GPS doesn’t. Wool mittens: These are not common in Mississippi, but they outperform gloves by a wide margin. Wool socks: They are toasty warm and comfortable. Magazine subscription: Gear this to the interest of the recipient and keep that individual informed and entertained for a year. Soft zippered gun case: Be sure this fits the firearm of the individual who receives it. Book: See magazine subscription above. Sharpening device: A diamond stone is highly functional. There you have it—my gift suggestion list for another year. I hope something here makes your shopping a bit easier. And I certainly wish you all the best. Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. “Uncertain Horizons,” book two in Kinton’s “Wagon Road Trilogy,” is now available. Order from your local bookstore, or Kinton’s website:

You’ve read Tony Kinton’s Mississippi Outdoors column for years. Now enjoy Kinton’s musings in an upcoming book, “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories.” Details at



Today in Mississippi



Channeling our dog’s energy proves challenging y faithful readers have followed my stories about the pets that have been such a vital part of my life for the past 20 years. First there was Pansy, our little mixed breed that was probably the smartest of them all. Then there was Shannon, our purebred collie who looked the part of the aristocrat he was. Next Dixie Belle, the cute little Bichon FrisĂŠ who loved nothing more than to play and travel with us in the motorhome. Mack, our blue heeler, arrived as a stray 2-year-old and acted like the gentleman he truly was. Sugar Baby, our miniature schnauzer, is our current love and our first “barker.â€? A year ago I told you Grin ‘n’ about losing Mack and Bare It accepting the gift of a blue by Kay Grafe heeler puppy from one of my readers. Now I will give you a first-year update on Little Mack. He has been our only experience with a puppy that is a large working dog and a high-energy dog. Mr. Roy took him for dog training at PetSmart when he was 8 weeks old. They recommended we leave him in a crate at night. Little Mack was never intended for a house dog. Too much energy and too much dog for our petite schnauzer, Sugar. She was scared and jealous of him at the same time. By the way, the early training was a waste of money. He outgrew the crate. We figured he needed a bed, so Little Mack’s master bought him a nice, rather expensive bed. Mack was so proud of it. The next morning Mr. Roy went out to his workshop to let him out and of course the bed was shredded. He hasn’t had a real bed since. Within weeks he had made hay out of the rubber mats on the back and front porches. He tore the entire screen off our back porch where we used to sit and enjoy the breeze in our swings. Mr. Roy covered



3 7 T H

the tattered screen with lattice. So he demolished the three other screens at lower windows in our elephant room. (That’s the den where we can drop food on the floor and turn over iced tea.) The rooms in our house are named. Oh, I do collect elephants—but not the ones that breathe. Little Mack herds my three cats to the point of exhaustion. All toys we acquired he appreciated and loved so much he ripped them apart and scattered them all over the yard. Mr. Roy was on the verge of giving him away several times until we found a giantsize, hard plastic pot that large plants grow in to be sold. Little Mack has two that he rolls from one end of the yard to another. He barks at them since he can’t control the direction they take. He’s addicted to extension cords and UPS deliveries. On one of his bad-boy days Mr. Roy drove to Lowe’s to get a special cord to fit the pump for our outdoor water fountain. Little Mack was so excited that when Roy looked the other way he literally destroyed the cord and pump. Mr. Roy was vacuuming the car and walked in the M.P. room (enclosed garage) to get a new bag. Guess what? Mack chewed the extension cord Little Mack sails through the backyard obstacle course. Photo: Kay Grafe to pieces along with the vacuum hose before he returned. Mack one day a week on obedience training. He has One afternoon recently when I returned from a learned to sit, stay, lie down and walk on a leash. She shopping trip to Mobile we saw paper scattered all over has also begun working with him on agility training. the front yard. I said, "What in the world is all of that Now he can jump and run an obstacle course of paper?" weave poles. We are keeping our fingers crossed, hopMr. Roy said, "I know exactly what that is. My new ing the worst part of Little Mack’s behavior is behind book the UPS man delivered. This is the last straw." us. He weighs over 50 pounds. The next day my patient husband put up a 6-foot My life is definitely not laid-back. I do love dogs. shelf in the carport with a sign: UPS deliveries. Between L’il Mack and the cats bringing us snakes and I know that you are thinking: “Why don’t you just mice, Sugar barking every breath and me forgetting cut your losses and get rid of the little monster?� But people’s names and doctor’s appointments—my poor behind all of that energy and mischief is the biggest husband must wonder why he married me. heart full of love for us. Why else would he crawl in It must be love. our laps and lay his head on our shoulders. Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.� There is a silver lining to this saga. A couple of To order, send name, address, phone months ago we found a wonderful lady named Linda number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, who lives only a mile away and is the best dog trainer 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452. we have ever seen. She has been working with Little

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10 I Today in Mississippi I November/December 2013

Lee Hedegaard, General Manager & CEO Lorri Freeman, Manager of Public Relations Amanda Parker, Public Relations Specialist For more information, call 601-947-4211/228-497-1313 x 2251 or visit our website at

Rates steady in 2013, 2.1% rate increase in January 2014

Singing River Electric’s wholesale power provider, South Mississippi Electric (SME), is experiencing price increases. As a result, Singing River Electric’s wholesale costs are slated to increase starting December 1, 2013. However, we are honoring the commitment made to our members earlier this year to keep rates steady in 2013, and we will not pass this increase through to our members until January 2014. The rate adjustment will apply to all

rate classes. The power cost adjustment will see a $0.0006/kWh increase and the customer/demand charge in each rate class will increase. The customer charge for residential members will change from $18.75 to $22. As a result, a typical residential member bill for 2,000 kilowatt hours will increase $4.45, or 2.1 percent. The upcoming rate changes are due to costs associated with Mississippi Power’s Plant Ratcliffe, the rising cost of natural gas and the cost of complying with environmental regulations. It is important to remember that power costs make up about 75 cents of every dollar members spend on their electricity bill, and wholesale power costs are a pass-through expense to the member. SME currently generates nearly half of the electricity required for their 11 member systems. Of the remaining power pur-

chased, only 27 percent is purchased from Mississippi Power and the rest is purchased from the most economical sources available. This small percentage purchased from Mississippi Power helped lessen the impact from their wholesale cost increases associated with the Kemper plant. SME is also considering the option to purchase a 15 percent portion of Plant Ratcliffe, which would decrease the impact on SRE member rates for the long term. SME works daily to generate and purchase a diversified generation mix of nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric power and coal to keep costs stable. It is important not to rely too heavily on any one fuel source. Should the cost of one source rise, the overall blended price keeps costs manageable. Singing River Electric and SME will continue to work on your behalf to keep rates as low as possible.

Singing River Electric and its members are reaching out to help the community through NHN Energy Assistance. In this program, SRE members check a box at the top right of their billing statement to allow their current and future power bills to round up to the nearest whole dollar to help a neighbor. (Donations range from 1¢ to 99¢ and average $6 per year, and donations can be stopped at any time.) Contributions will be given to our local United Way for a one-time annual distribution to eligible SRE members who cannot

pay their power bill. We ask our members to consider contributing to SRE’s NHN Energy Assistance fund. Your dollars, along with your pennies, nickels and dimes, can help SRE raise thousands of dollars to help others. You can make a difference in the lives of senior citizens, disabled individuals and those who are less fortunate in our area. Please consider checking the box to participate in NHN Energy Assistance. It just takes a little to make a big difference in our community.

STEP 1: Check the box on your billing statement to participate in the NHN Energy Assistance program. STEP 2: Your monthly bill will be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount. You can choose to end this service at any time.

Lee Hedegaard, General Manager and CEO, Singing River Electric

Choose LED holiday lights

Member Services Rep. Stan Mills

When decorating your home this holiday season, consider using LED (light emitting diode) lights. Energy Star qualified LED decorative light strings consume 65 percent less energy than traditional incandescent and can last up to 10 times longer. They are also cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire. LED lights come in a variety of shapes, colors and lengths, and some products are labeled for outside use. LED decorative light strands are exceptionally energy efficient. The amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs - enough to light two 24-foot strings.

November/December 2013

Today in Mississippi  10a

Stories of Mississippi Gulf Coast’s

Honor Flight Singing River Electric is proud to have partnered with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight and to have sponsored several flights. We’re happy to share the stories of a member and an employee who recently served as guardians for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight. They experienced the trip of a lifetime with Mississippi’s World War II veterans they accompanied on this journey.

r World with ou p i r most t s d thi out the y enjoye t stood l a h h g t u g o r n hi nt, I tho . The t this eve r, eterans part in spectato k o r o o t , War II V o n h a w i d e r l g p a u hin peo teran, G ere laug was the was a Ve te you w t ith i u w n r i d e m e h l t e l whe ere fi ns. On w o i s t e o y m e e e your ffect d was the minute er; it a t t t x a e m ess n o e t seem g God Bl and th all san did not e e t, g W l A e f . . t d s ear d ol tear was so h oung an y t i e d n o n y a r eve lane les e cried. on the p ed Char everyon America d n a man nam g d d n l e a o v s o r l e a n e 92 y pi. I everyo an is a ississip r M e t e , e l h V t a t y e m M ro from P tories f mbat Kroen, of his s was a Co l e a “Chuck” r H e v . e y s n o a t the m r s g e s cro in G listenin Buldge ridge to b e h t t s r f i o f n r i Battle uilt the est rive ad r and b the long e that h s f i i l Enginee h c i ’s h r e w i as, d e r l l e o e iv nd r d a s Rhine R ng in a lso save i a v i e e d H H y . . b n r row Germany old wate ld not d es in the c o he wou s reflex s i t h o o t fallen s f u j ’s r s e a i w d it sol a hero, ing the pecial e wasn’t “h e m d have a s s tol y a w l ill a is”. n and w to do th reat ma g a s i He t! my hear place in Freeman atthews M n e l l E loyee SRE emp

My experience going on Hono r Flight was changing expe a life rience and de finitely one will remember that I for a lifetime . Both of my gr grandfathers eat served in Worl d War II, but they passed aw when ay I was too yo ung to unders the things th tand ey endured fo r this countr never got to he y, so I ar their storie s. When we we the Air Force re at Memorial, I to ok my veteran one of the wa to go see lls with date s and differen tion of how th t informae Air Force be came what it and he told me is today, so much inform ation and had al stories. He severwas so excited when telling stories. me these When we went to see the Worl d War II Memorial, we stepped out of the bus to be by barricades held back . Seeing their faces broke my Some veterans heart. talked about how beautiful others just st it was, ared at it from behind the ba cades. When th rrie barricades were moved an began wheeling d we the veterans into the memo their faces li rial, t up. That was one of my favo parts of the tr rite ip. Thank you, Brandilyn M. Bates SRE member

Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight • MGCHF’s mission was to fly Mississippi's WWII veterans to Washington, D.C., free of charge, to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their comrades. • Seven Honor Flights, taken from May 2011 to November 2013, took a total of 592 WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. along with their assigned guardians.

• Veterans and guardians visited the WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean and Vietnam Memorials, the Iwo Jima and Marine Corps Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery where they visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and viewed the Changing of the Guard. • Visit for more information.

10b  Today in Mississippi  November/December 2013

Leadership, laughing and learning

SRE COOPER University

Kimberly Morris and George Torjusen try to pick up objects while wearing a lineman’s rubber gloves.

Singing River Electric hosted its 3rd annual Cooperative University in conjunction with its Youth Leadership Program interviews on Thursday, November 7, 2013, at its headquarters office in Lucedale. All high schools serving Singing River Electric’s service territory were invited to nominate one member of the junior class to represent the school at the Cooperative University and interview. Student nominees were required to have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, be involved in extra-curricular activities, be active in church, civic and community activities and receive electricity from Singing River Electric at their main residence. During the Cooperative University, students got to know each other and learned about electric cooperatives including how power is generated, transmitted to substations and then distributed to member homes, safety rules and guidelines, energy efficiency and careers in the electric industry. Speakers included Sen. Michael

Watson and South Mississippi Electric’s Jeanetta Bennett along with Caroline Bradley, one of SRE's 2013 Youth Leadership students and Mississippi's representative to the National Youth Leadership Council. Other speakers were Singing River Electric’s Jeff Gray, Stan Mills, Nick DeAngelo, Buck Williams, Annette Riley, Jason Havard, Tom Davis, Kevin Slay, Kennith Mallette, Lorri Freeman and Amanda Parker. Each student also participated in a 10minute interview during the day, moderated by a panel of out-of-town judges from electric cooperatives across the state. Following the Cooperative University and interviews, Hunter Cooper, Grace Munro and Jacob Rogers were selected to represent Singing River Electric at the Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson on February 26-28, 2014, as well as the Youth Tour of Washington, D.C. on June 14-20, 2014.

Sen. Michael Watson talks about the qualities of a leader at SRE’s Cooperative University.


SRE system enginee Tom Davis (seated) took students to th dispatch center to show how power is restored and crews are assigned in the outage manageme system.

November/December 2013  Today in Mississippi  10c


SRE Youth Leadership Students

Hunter Cooper St. Patrick High School

Grace Munro Ocean Springs High School

Jacob Rogers George County High School

Cooperative University Participants Robinson writes down information about herself during an ice breaker.

Students represented their high school based on leadership and community service.

er ) e

s s e ent

Brooklyn Brewer Wayne County High School

Macey Forehand St. Martin High School

Kelsey Hofheinz Resurrection High School

Madison Hudson Pascagoula High School

Kalyah Kennedy Moss Point High School

Kimberly Morris East Central High School

April Pierce Greene County High School

Victoria Robinson Richton High School

George Torjusen Gautier High School

10d  Today in Mississippi  November/December 2013

NHN grant program April 2013 NHN Grant funds at work

Sand Hill Attendance Center eighth graders Madison Williams (left) and Jenna Hillman show off two of the 120 new dictionaries purchased with NHN Grant funds received in the April 2013 application period. (Photo submitted by Sand Hill Attendance Center.)

Resurrection Catholic School eighth grade students are pictured reading Freak the Mighty, one of three classroom sets of books purchased with money received in the April 2013 NHN Grant application period. (Photo submitted by RCS.)

July 2013 NHN Grant recipients Jackson-George Regional Library System director Lori Ward Smith accepts a $2,500 grant check from Singing River Electric public relations specialist Amanda Parker. Funds were used to purchase an Early Literacy Station for the Pascagoula branch to help develop the reading, math, art and science skills of children ages 2-8.

Singing River Electric public relations specialist Amanda Parker presents a $2,500 grant check to City of Pascagoula community development director Jen Dearman and Pascagoula councilman David Tadlock. Funds were awarded for an “Ordinal Point of Compass” sponsorship for the Round Island Lighthouse restoration project.

Holiday Schedule We will be closed November 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving, December 24 and 25 for Christmas, and January 1 for New Year’s Day. Dispatchers will be on duty.

Happy Holidays from Singing River Electric Power Association!

November/December 2013  Today in Mississippi  11

Watts Happening NOVEMBER 8-JANUARY 5 CHRISTMAS AT BEAUVOIR Enjoy lighted paths, tours of the home with period decorations, Father Klaus, crafts, holiday entertainment, train rides across the grounds, refreshments and more than 100 lighted oak trees throughout the property. Admission charged. Time: Thursday-Sunday, 4:30-8:30 p.m. Location: Beauvoir, 2244 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi Contact: 228-388-4400 or

DECEMBER 7 16TH ANNUAL GAUTIER CHRISTMAS PARADE Enjoy this family event with floats, candy and beads sponsored by Gautier Rotary Club. Time: 11 a.m. Location: Route starts at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, goes around Singing River Mall and ends at the college. Contact: 228-249-1003 or

DECEMBER 5 OCEAN SPRINGS CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING Kick off the holiday season with holiday music, the lighting of the Christmas tree, parade, charity toy drive and Santa. Time: 6-8 p.m. Location: Marshall Park in downtown Ocean Springs Contact: 228-875-4424 or

DECEMBER 7 17TH ANNUAL VANCLEAVE ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR & BOOK SALE This Vancleave Friends of the Library event features live music and dance groups for entertainment, arts and crafts that make great holiday gifts and a book sale with many nearly new items available at very low prices. Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Location: Vancleave Public Library, 12604 Highway 57 in Vancleave Contact: 228-826-5857 or

DECEMBER 6 PASCAGOULA’S DOWNTOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING Enjoy carriage rides, classic cars, children’s games, food, entertainment, arts and crafts and more. Also see the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. Time: 5-9 p.m. Location: Downtown Pascagoula Contact: 228-938-6604 or DECEMBER 6 MOSS POINT CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING Start the holidays off right with the lighting of the downtown trees, pictures with Santa, holiday music and refreshments. Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Location: Downtown Moss Point Contact: 228-235-4700 or DECEMBER 6-7 OCEAN SPRINGS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Enjoy this two-day local shopping event with local businesses offering refreshments, specials and holiday decorations. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Location: Downtown Ocean Springs Contact: 228-875-4424 or DECEMBER 7 15TH ANNUAL MOSS POINT CHRISTMAS BY THE RIVER Watch the nighttime boat parade and fireworks show and enjoy other activities. Time: 3-7 p.m. Location: Riverfront Park in downtown Moss Point Contact: 228-547-0899 or

DECEMBER 7 GEORGE COUNTY COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CONCERT AND LUCEDALE CHRISTMAS PARADE Listen to the music of Cold Water Jane, Ronnie Davis, Double-D and Drew Goff. Then watch the holiday floats in the Lucedale Christmas Parade. Time: Concert from 4-6 p.m. - Parade begins at 6 p.m. Location: Concert will take place at the corner of Main Street and Mill Street Parade begins behind the courthouse on Ratliff Street, turns onto Virginia Street, then Main Street, Winter Street and ends on Church Street. Contact: 601-947-2082 DECEMBER 7 9TH ANNUAL BILOXI CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY See the work of artisans and antique dealers offering gift ideas, as well as food, entertainment and more. Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Location: Downtown Biloxi Arts District on Rue Magnolia and Water Street Contact: 228-435-6339 or DECEMBER 14 3RD ANNUAL D’IBERVILLE TOWN GREEN CHRISTMAS PARADE AND TREE LIGHTING Get in the holiday spirit with the Christmas parade, tree lighting, photos with Santa, musical performances and more. Time: Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Location: Downtown D’Iberville on Town Green and Central Avenue Contact: 228-392-7966

Electric bills rise in the winter for lots of reasons: holiday parties, house guests, and shorter days and longer nights. Take little measures to help control costs, like turning down the thermostat, washing clothes in cold water, swapping out lightbulbs for high-efficiency versions and using a microwave or toaster oven to cook. Find more ways to save at



Today in Mississippi I November/December



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November/December I Today in Mississippi



Citrus trees yield sweet fruit in winter gardens statement. They set huge amounts of ast year, I wrote about fruit. There were so many flowers on the wonderful citrus we my young tree that I went can grow in ahead and removed about Mississippi half of them. If they all had and how I was inspired by produced fruit, the tree my friend Terry, who actualwould have collapsed. ly picked 1,800 Satsuma As it is, my small, year-old oranges from his two trees. tree is bent over with so You have to realize his trees many oranges that it is are huge, and since they almost touching the ground. haven’t been pruned at all, he My wife and I have sampled has to prop up the heavily Southern laden branches with boards Gardening a couple of early-ripening fruit, and I must say they are to keep them from snapping by Dr. Gary Bachman pretty good. off. My two Meyer lemon What you are about to read is my experience as a first-time cit- trees are completely different from each other. One is a small tree I got at a “citrus grower. rus center” and brought back from a I decided to go big, so I bought a veritable grove of citrus trees, or at least trip to Florida. The other I purchased it seemed that way in my mind. I ended from a local garden center. The Florida up with one Satsuma orange, two Meyer tree has two green fruit. The local tree is lemons, one kumquat and one key lime. loaded with sweet, yellow fruit. The Meyer lemon is not like the Since I was feeling inspired, I also added thick-skinned lemons in the grocery a couple other tropical fruits: a papaya store. These are probably a cross made and two guavas. long ago between a lemon and an I won’t dwell on these last two. The orange. Meyer lemons are thin-skinned papaya flowered but didn’t set fruit. and really sweet. My first-year crop is The guava set fruit, but they were as destined for a batch of homemade hard as baseballs. limoncello, which is a holiday family Satsuma oranges are related to mantreat at my house. darins and are very easy to peel. To say I’m also excited about my kumquat these trees set a lot of fruit is an under-


This small, year-old tree, left, is bent nearly to the ground with its load of sweet Satsuma oranges. Kumquat trees, right, produce fruit in astonishing numbers and are perhaps the most cold-tolerant of the citrus trees. Photos: MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman

crop. These fruit are produced in astonishing numbers, but due to their small size, they do not threaten the tree. You don’t need to peel kumquats, as the rind is sweet and completely edible. Kumquats are perhaps the most coldtolerant of the citrus trees, extending the northern range for home gardeners. But citrus trees need to be protected from cold temperatures. I planted all mine in containers so I could move them to the garage for winter protection. This precaution is important as

citrus trees are grafted, and the graft union is susceptible to freeze damage. However, I planted my citrus trees in 25-gallon containers since I tend to go overboard when it comes to the garden. I quickly realized there would be no way I could move these really heavy containers to the garage. I’ll have to resort to covering my citrus trees when the temperatures dip. Knee replacement surgery kept me out of the garden for a time this summer, and when I got back out there, I found that many of the citrus leaves had curled. The trees had been invaded by leaf miners, those pesky pests that bother tomatoes, peppers and many landscape plants. I will take care of these problems at the appropriate times next year, but watch your citrus trees for similar pests. While growing citrus is fairly easy in the coastal counties, gardeners in northern parts of Mississippi don’t need to be left out of the fun. The Extension publication “Growing Citrus in Containers in Mississippi” is an excellent guide for successfully growing citrus in your garden and landscape. Among other things, you’ll find container recommendations so you don’t run into the problem I did with my plus-sized containers. Download “Growing Citrus in Containers in Mississippi” at Dr. Gary Bachman is MSU horticulturist at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.



Today in Mississippi





Are You Ready? 100 Years of Family, Friends and Food The Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management at The University of Mississippi marks its centennial with the publication of “Are You Ready? 100 Years of Family, Friends and Food.” Included are traditional Southern dishes plus more contemporary cookery featuring fresh, healthy ingredients and ethnic flavors, including the recipes reprinted here. The book offers a useful chart with tips for using herbs and spices, and a chart detailing ways to use the all-purpose Master Mix baking mix recipe used in the university’s Home Economics classes for many years. Photos and profiles of notable alumni from the department include a group of its first African American graduates from 1968, Memphis chef Kelly English and faculty member Dr. Jeanette Phillips, whose leadership was crucial to the department’s enduring success. To order, send check or money order for $35 per book, plus $8 S&H per book, payable to The University of Mississippi Foundation. Mail to Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677. For more information, contact the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management at 662-915-7371 or email

Spiced Cranberry (Raspberry) Tea 2 tsp. nutmeg 2 tsp. cinnamon 2 tsp. allspice 1 1/2 cups loose tea leaves (not green tea)

6 cups sugar 4 cups orange juice 2 cups lemon juice 1 gal. cranberry or raspberry juice cocktail

Combine spices and tea leaves. Place spice-tea mixture in the center of a square of double layers of cheesecloth, gathering edges to form a bag to encase contents. Secure with kitchen string. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add cheesecloth bag to boiling water. Turn off heat and steep spices and tea, covered, for 20 minutes or longer if stronger tea is desired. Remove bag. In a large stockpot, combine spiced tea mixture, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cranberry or raspberry juice cocktail, and 12 cups hot water. Simmer tea until hot. Yield: about 2 gallons

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 2 Tbsp. vanilla 3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 2 cups dried cranberries 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, blending well. Slowly add flour, baking soda and salt to creamed mixture, mixing to combine. Stir in cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Drop balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden brown around the edges and just set on top, about 12 minutes for small cookies. Remove to rack to cool. Yield: 3 dozen

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apples and Brussels Sprouts 1 lb. Brussels sprouts 1 apple, chopped 1 medium butternut squash 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. curry powder 1 Tbsp. brown sugar Kosher salt Fresh cracked pepper 1/2 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 400 F. Trim and cut Brussels sprouts in half. Peel and cube apple. Peel and cut squash into chunks. Spread the Brussels sprouts, apple, butternut squash and onion onto a large baking pan. Combine oil, vinegar and curry powder. Drizzle over the vegetable mixture, stirring to coat each piece. Sprinkle brown sugar, salt and pepper over the vegetable mixture. Roast for 20 minutes, gently stir and continue roasting vegetables for 20-25 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender and nicely browned. Add pecans during the last 10-15 minutes to toast. Yield: 8 servings

Mediterranean Chicken 8 boneless chicken breast halves 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup canola oil 4 cups cooked whole-wheat penne pasta 2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup whole green olives 1 (32-oz.) can diced tomatoes 1 cup mozzarella cheese 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly coat chicken breasts with flour. Sauté chicken in canola oil until golden brown and cooked through. Toss cooked pasta with olive oil and pour into a greased 13-by-9-inch casserole dish. Arrange cooked chicken breasts on top of pasta. Sprinkle olives over chicken (do not stir). Top with tomatoes. Bake until hot, about 20 minutes. Top with cheeses. Continue baking an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Yield: 8 servings

Elegant Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches 1 (8-oz.) can skinless, boneless smoked salmon with juice 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese 1/2 cup light sour cream 1/2 cup minced green onion or chopped fresh chives

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill weed 64 slices white bread Fresh dill weed or fresh parsley to garnish

Combine smoked salmon (with liquid), cream cheese, sour cream, onion, lemon juice and dill weed in a food processor. Process mixture until smooth enough to spread. Remove crusts from bread and cut out desired shapes. Spread a thin layer of salmon mixture on one slice of bread cut-out and top with another. Garnish each sandwich top with dill weed or fresh parsley. Yield: 32 servings Variations: Try smoked albacore tuna or smoked trout in the place of smoked salmon. Sandwiches may be served without a top layer of bread and garnished with a cherry tomato half and parsley leaf and/or fresh dill weed. Sandwich filling can be shaped into a ball and rolled in fresh herbs or chopped toasted pecans. Serve as a spread for crackers.


Today in Mississippi



celebrates the experience of an 1889 Christmas

By Nancy Jo Maples Stepping across oyster shell pathways on the grounds of Beauvoir transforms time to the year 1889. This is the world that Jefferson Davis knew. Christmas season guests can mingle with the Confederate States of America President and his wife, Varina, via impersonators who dress and talk in character mode each evening of Beauvoir’s 35-day Christmas celebration. The Biloxi antebellum mansion hosts this year’s festivities now through Jan. 5, from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays excluding the Thursday that falls as Thanksgiving Day. Mississippi’s First Lady, Deborah Bryant, launched the season Nov. 7 by lighting the 150 live oak trees on the first night. Known as the Festival of Trees, the first night not only kicks off the holiday season but also serves as a fund-raiser for the home. It is a ticketed event and includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and the auctioning of 100 3-foot tabletop trees. Beauvoir operates as a nonprofit organization by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Built in the 1850s as a summer home by James Brown, a Madison County planter, Beauvoir received its name from its second owner, Sarah Dorsey. The title means “beautiful view” and refers to the home’s scenic outlook of the Mississippi Sound. Jefferson Davis bought the mansion in 1879. Bertram Hayes-Davis, Beauvoir’s executive director, is a Jefferson Davis descendant who moved from Dallas to the Mississippi Gulf Coast about a year and a half ago to oversee the home. He is the great-great-grandson of Davis. His grandfather, Jefferson Hayes, was the son of Davis’ daughter, Margaret. When Davis died, family members realized that no

male descendant existed to carry on the surname Davis. Although Jefferson Davis fathered four sons and two daughters, Margaret is his only child who married and had children. The family procured a Mississippi legislative act changing the name of Jefferson Addison Hayes to Jefferson Hayes-Davis immediately after the Confederate president’s death. Bertram Hayes-Davis is the first descendant to live in Mississippi since the president’s widow and second daughter, Winnie, left to live in New York City to pursue writing careers. He hopes that Christmas at Beauvoir will give visitors the experience of an 1889 Christmas, which was Jefferson Davis’ last Christmas. Visitors can experience the costumes, decor and crafts of that time period. Children can make church pew dolls or orange pomander balls. There are activities like live music with a children’s choir, games such as horse shoes and bean bag toss, and conversation time and photo opportunities with Father Klaus. A model train will also be exhibited. “This experience is more than what someone would get from looking at artifacts. This experience really tells you stories in an interactive manner,” Hayes-Davis said. Jefferson Davis is known primarily as the Confederate president. He served, however, in other government capacities including U.S. Secretary of War and was instrumental in the expansion of the U.S. Capitol and development of the transcontinental railroad. An estimated 13,000 guests attended throughout the holiday season last year, the first year of the home’s Christmas festival. Touring the eight-room mansion and

The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library at Beauvoir, above left, opened in 1998 but was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The reconstructed library opened earlier this year. A statue of Davis, above, appears to welcome visitors to the library. Holiday lights sparkled in the live oaks under a full moon, left, during Beauvoir’s Christmas festivities last year (photo courtesy of Beauvoir).

participating in the activities take about one-and-ahalf hours. Guests enter the grounds through the gift shop in the newly reconstructed Presidential Library. Ample parking is located in the rear and side areas of the library. The Presidential Library first opened in 1998 but was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Historical relics of Jefferson Davis, all on the bottom floor of that building, were ruined or lost. The new 24,500-square-foot structure opened earlier this year thanks to an $11.5 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. The mansion and outbuildings, also severely damaged by the hurricane, were refurbished with a $5 million FEMA grant. A National Historic Landmark, the 51-acre campus also has a cemetery with 771 graves of Confederate veterans and their wives. A new addition to the grounds, Varina’s Garden, opened in July in honor of Jefferson Davis’ wife. It sits behind the house and is filled with perennial flowers, roses, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. Holiday evening admission costs $20 for adults and is free for children ages 5 and younger. Senior citizens, military personnel and students are admitted for $12. Regular year-long operating hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission costs $9 for adults with discounts for senior citizens, military members, AAA cardholders, students and children. The home is located at 2244 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi. Writer Nancy Jo Maples can be reached at 188 Ernest Pipkins Road, Lucedale, MS 39452 or



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Mississippi Marketplace Type or print your ad clearly. Be sure to include your telephone number. Deadline is the 10th of each month for the next month’s issue. Rate is $2.50 per word, ten word minimum. Mail payment with your ad to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Have any questions? Phone 601-605-8600 or email

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Today in Mississippi




Want more than 400,000 readers to know about your event? Send it to us at least two months prior to the event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Mail to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; fax to 601-6058601; or email to Events of statewide interest will be published free of charge as space allows. Event details are subject to change, so we strongly recommend calling to confirm dates and times before traveling. For more events, go to

Fiber Art Exhibition by Martha Ginn, through Dec. 11, Hattiesburg. Works by Mississippi artist and quiltmaker Martha Ginn. Open Tuesdays through Thursdays; 1-4 p.m. Lucile Parker Gallery, William Carey University. “Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly,” through Jan. 19, 2014, Jackson. Live reptile and interactive exhibit. Admission. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Details: 601-576-6000; 32nd Annual Handworks Holiday Market, Nov. 22-23, Jackson. Admission. Mississippi Trade Mart. Details: Miss Magnolia State Pageant, Nov. 22-24, Vicksburg. Vicksburg Auditorium. Details: 601-892-3982; Anderson Pottery Studio Show and Sale, Nov. 23, Hernando. Functional pottery. Anderson Pottery. Details: 662-429-7922;

30th Annual Arts and Crafts Show, Nov. 23, Kosciusko. Arts, crafts, food. Attala County Coliseum. Details: 662-289-4809, 662-2894607. Pre-Thanksgiving Music Festival, Nov. 23, Southaven. Maze with Frankie Beverly, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Womack; 6:30 p.m. Landers Center. Details: 662-393-8770; Stringer Alpaca Festival, Nov. 23, Stringer. Alpacas, crafts, music, food. A Stroka Gene-Us Alpacas farm. Free. Details: 716-863-4366; Yazoo Farmers Market Antique Days, Nov. 23, Yazoo City. Syrup making, blacksmithing, antique engines, corn meal grinding, arts, crafts, more; 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. North Main Street. Details: 662-590-5415. The Country Store, Nov. 23, Jayess. Arts, crafts, baked goods, homemade soup/corn bread, fresh produce. Tilton United Methodist Church. Details: 601-587-2713; The Down East Boys, Michael Combs and

2nd Mile in Concert, Nov. 23, Meridian. Temple Theatre; 6 p.m. Details: 601-416-1630. Laurel Gun Show, Nov. 23-24, Laurel. Magnolia Center, fairgrounds. Admission. Details: 601-498-4235. Mommy’s Secret Toy/Holiday Consignment Sale, Nov. 23-24, Olive Branch. Toys, baby items, clothing, furniture, more. Pleasant Hill Elementary School. Details: Christmas in the Park, Nov. 28 - Dec. 31, Tylertown. Drive-through display of millions of lights; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Trailer rides Nov. 2223; walk-through Nov. 27. Admission. Holmes Water Park. Details: 601-876-4911; Ka Pottery Annual Holiday Open House, Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, Dec. 6-7, Seminary. Works by studio potter Claudia Cartee and photographer Don Norris; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ka Pottery Studio and Gallery. Details: 601-722-4948; 30th Annual Christmas at Landrum’s Homestead, Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, Laurel.

Picture This: Share your fondest Summer Memories What about summertime do you miss the most? What memories of summer can brighten a bleak winter day for you? Tell us in pictures! Summer Memories is the theme of our next “Picture This” reader photo feature. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by Nov. 25. Selected photos will appear in the January 2014 issue of Today in Mississippi. “Picture This” is a reader photo feature appearing in the January, April, July and October issues of Today in Mississippi. We publish a few of the most eye-catching photos that best illustrate the given theme. Photographers whose photos are selected for publication are eligible for a $200 cash prize, to be awarded in a random drawing each December. Photos are selected for publication based on their overall quality, relevance to the given theme, visual impact and suitability for printing on newsprint paper. (Dark photos usually do not print well. We look for bright photos with good contrast and sharp focus.)

Submission requirements • Submit as many photos as you like, but select only your best work. • Photos must relate to the given theme. • Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer (of any age). • Photos eligible for publication may be either color or black and white, print or digital. • Photos must be in sharp focus.

• Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files. Please do not use photo-editing software to correct colors or tones. (We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our printer’s standards.) • Please do not send a photo with the date appearing on the image. • Photos must be accompanied by identifying information: photographer’s name, address, phone and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people, places and pets in the picture. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

How to submit Mail prints to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Attach digital photos to email and send to If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one e-mail message, if possible. Or, mail a photo CD to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Question? Call Debbie Stringer, editor, at 601-6058610 or e-mail:

Working homestead with over 70 buildings, Civil War reenactment, wagon rides, blacksmith, shooting gallery, more. Admission. Details: 601-649-2546; 56th Annual Hernando Christmas Parade, Dec. 2, Hernando. More than 100 entries; 6:30 p.m. Details: 662-429-9055; Aberdeen Christmas Parade, Dec. 2, Aberdeen. Starts 7 p.m. Details: 662-3696488. Christmas in Old Towne and Tree Lighting, Dec. 5, Olive Branch. Pictures with Santa, carolers, more; 6-9 p.m. Olive Branch Old Towne. Details: 662-893-0888; Town of Ackerman Christmas Parade, Dec. 5, Ackerman. Downtown; 6 p.m. Also, silent auction beginning 9 a.m. Dec. 4, Town Hall. Details: 662-285-6251. Live Nativity, Dec. 5-7, Summit. Drivethrough 12 scenes with live actors and animals; 6-8 p.m. Free. Johnston Chapel United Methodist Church. Details: 601-276-7971. Shop by Candlelight / Christmas on the Rails, Dec. 6, Picayune. Shopping, carriage rides, ice skating rink, stage coach rides, more. Historic downtown. Details: 601-799-3070; “A Christmas Cabaret,” Dec. 6, Natchez. Favorite traditional songs; 7 p.m. Natchez Convention Center. Details: 601-446-6631; Christmas in the Pass, Dec. 6-7, Pass Christian. Vendors, tree lighting, Santa Claus, activities for kids, music, 5K run, more. Details: 228-604-0014, 228-452-3315; Chimneyville Crafts Festival, Dec. 6-8, Jackson. Handcrafted works by more than 150 juried craftsmen. Preview Party 7-10 p.m. Dec. 6. Festival days Dec. 7-8. Admission. Mississippi Trade Mart. Details: 601-856-7546; “The Nutcracker in Wonderland,” Dec. 6-8, Hernando. Admission. Hernando Performing Arts Center. Details: 662-349-6422; Christmas Tour of Homes, Dec. 7, Magee. Featuring four homes, a live nativity, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa; 5-7:30 p.m. Admission. Benefits Goodwater Baptist Church youth. Details: 601-849-2245. Crosby Arboretum Open House, Dec. 7, Picayune. Gift shop, arts, crafts; 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Free. Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601799-2311. Christmas in the City, Dec. 7, Biloxi. Vendors, choirs, bands, dancers; pictures with Santa; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Downtown Art District. Details: 228-435-6339;

November/December 2013

Jingle Jamboree, Dec. 7, Brookhaven. Cooking demonstration, fashion show, Christmas pictures, vendors. Admission. Lincoln County Civic Center. Details: 601-7579935, 601-757-2407. Olive Branch Christmas Parade and Bazaar, Dec. 7, Olive Branch. Food and crafts vendors 10 a.m. - 4 p.m; parade 2 p.m. Old Towne. Details: 662-895-2600; Town of Walls Christmas Parade, Dec. 7, Walls. Marching band, Santa, more; 2 p.m. Details: 662-781-1282; Carl Purdon Book Signing, Dec. 7, Tupelo. Pontotoc author to sign “The Night Train� and “Norton Road�; 2-4 p.m. Barnes & Noble. Details: 662-297-6911; Christmas Village Arts and Handmade Crafts Market, Dec. 7, McComb. Southwest Mississippi Art Guild event; National Guard Armory. Details: 601-222-0087. Open Studio, Dec. 7-8, Taylor. Works by local artists Obie Clark and Alice Hammell; 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Tin Pan Alley Art & Antiques. Details: 662-234-1073, 662-622-281-1970. Starkville Civic League Annual Christmas Tour of Homes, Dec. 8, Starkville. Holiday decorated homes; 1:30 - 4:30 p.m Refreshments at Starkville Public Library; 1-4 p.m. Admission. Details: 662-418-6718. Mississippi Coast Jazz Society Jam Session, Dec. 8 and Jan. 12, Gulfport. Admission; 2-5 p.m. Gulfport Elks Lodge 978. Details: 228-392-4177. Christmas Antebellum Home Tour, Dec. 8, Enterprise. Three historic homes, a church and Civil War cemetery; 1-4 p.m. Admission. Sponsored by GFWC/MFWC Enterprise Woman’s Club. Details: 601-880-6256; Holiday Open House, Dec. 12, Ackerman. Santa, Festival of Trees, live music, workshops, more; 2:30 - 6 p.m. Choctaw County Library. Details: 662-285-6337; Importance of Residential Soil Testing / Holiday Ornaments for Backyard Wildlife, Dec. 14, Picayune. Extension agent Eddie Smith to discuss soil testing; 10-11 a.m. Also, children to make ornaments for attracting birds, wildlife; 1-2 p.m. Admission. Register for either event by Dec. 13. Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311. Horn Lake Annual Christmas Parade, Dec. 14, Horn Lake. Parade, tree lighting and fireworks; 7 p.m. Details: 662-393-9897; Christmas on the Avenue, Dec. 14, Long Beach. Harper McCaughan Town Green, 9 a.m.- 5p.m. Also, Santa Breakfast 8-11 a.m., First United Methodist Church. Details: 228265-0163; Carl Jackson’s “Home for Christmas,� Dec. 14, Louisville. Featuring Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, Valeries Storey and more; 4 and 7 p.m. Strand Theater. Details: 662-773-3921. Holiday Homes Tour, Dec. 15, Aberdeen. Reception at historic Elkin Theater following homes tour. Details: 662-369-6488. David Phelps in Concert, Dec. 16, Hattiesburg. Christian vocalist; 7 p.m. Admission. Hardy Street Baptist Church. Details: 601-544-1794; Jingle Jam, Dec. 21, Southaven. Hip-hop, rock, R&B concert with Meek Mill, August Alsina and special guests; 6:30 p.m. Landers Center. Details: 662-393-8770. “The Nutcracker,� Dec. 21-22, Olive Branch. Performances at noon and 6 p.m. Dec. 21; noon Dec. 22. Dress warm. Mid-South Ice House Ice Arena. Details: 901-881-8544; Philadelphia Gun Show, Dec. 21-22, Philadelphia. Admission. Neshoba County

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Coliseum. Details: 601-498-4235. Roc Day Celebration, Jan. 4, Ridgeland. Gathering of handspinners, knitters, weavers and anyone interested in fiber arts. Fiber, yarn, equipment vendors. Registration fee includes lunch, door prizes. Registration deadline Dec. 1. Mississippi Craft Center. Details: Mississippi Opry, Jan. 11, Pearl. Featuring Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers and Harmony & Grits; 6-9 p.m. Admission. Pearl Community Room. Details: 601-331-6672.

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601-982-2580 or 877-913-2762 -,"7Q&301"7As@+@2-oBnk.@+@F 0'"7As@+@2-l.@+@

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Insured by Humana Insurance Company, Humana Health Plan, Inc., Humana Health Insurance Company of

*-0'"A ,!@A-0 3+, #*2&#,#n2*,-$-3'1',A ,!@0-$$#0#" 7 3+,#"'!**, ,!@A 3+, Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc., Humana Health Plan, Inc., Humana #"'!**,-$'!&'%,A ,!@A 3+, #*2&*,-$&'-A ,!@A-0 3+,#"'!**,-$2&A ,!@ 30&#*2& #,#n2.*,1&4##6!*31'-,1,"*'+'22'-,1,"2#0+13,"#05&'!&2&#!-4#0%#+7 #!-,2',3#" ',$-0!#-0"'1!-,2',3#"@ -0!-121,"!-+.*#2#"#2'*1-$2&#!-4#0%#A!**-050'2#7-30 3+,',130,!# agent or broker. 





Promotional prices start at Only from DISH



Get an iPad 2 Free when you sign up for DISH and the Hopper. ®



Cannot be combined with promotional pricing. Everyday prices start at $49.99/mo. Requires 24-month commitment, credit qualification and qualifying programming.

a month

for 12 mo. (Reg. price $29.99 | mo.) (Not eligible for Hopper or iPad 2 offer)



D H For Life



WHOLE-HOME HD DVR UPGRADE Available with qualifying packages.

Watch 4 HD programs on different TVs simultaneously

lifying packages.

Available with qua

for 3 mo. Offer subject to cha nge based channel availabilityon premium .

Monthly DVR and receiver fees apply. All offers require 24-month commitment and credit qualification.






CAL L TODAY TO REC EIVE gift card with $ ® activation

25 Visa

(courtesy of InfinityDISH, certain conditi

ons apply)

14 95




(subject to availability)


All calls with InfinityDISH are monitored and recorded for quality assurance and training purposes. Important Terms and Conditions: Promotional Offers: Require activation of new qualifying DISH service. All prices, fees, charges, packages, programming, features, functionality and offers subject to change without notice. After 12-month promotional period, then-current everyday monthly price applies and is subject to change. ETF: If you cancel service during first 24 months, early cancellation fee of $20 for each month remaining applies. For iPad 2 offer, if you cancel service during first 24 months, early cancellation fee of $30 for each month remaining applies. Activation fee may apply. Additional Requirements: For iPad 2 Offer: Customer must select Hopper system and minimum of America’s Top 120 package; allow 4-6 weeks for delivery; offer not available in Puerto Rico or USVI. ETF based in part on everyday price (i.e. non-promotional price) for programming. Available while supplies last. Model subject to change without notice. HD Free for Life: Additional $10/mo HD fee waived for life of current account; requires continuous enrollment in AutoPay with Paperless Billing. Premium Channels: 3-month premium offer value is $165; after promotional period, then-current everyday monthly prices apply and are subject to change. Blockbuster @Home requires Internet to stream content. HD-only channels not available with select packages. Installation/Equipment Requirements: Free Standard Professional Installation only. Certain equipment is leased and must be returned to DISH upon cancellation or unreturned equipment fees apply. Upfront and additional monthly fees may apply. Recording hours vary; 2000 hours based on SD programming. Equipment comparison based on equipment available from major TV providers as of 9/19/13. Watching live and recorded TV anywhere requires an Internet-connected, Sling-enabled DVR and compatible mobile device. Miscellaneous: Offers available for new and qualified former customers, and subject to terms of applicable Promotional and Residential Customer agreements. State reimbursement charges may apply. Additional restrictions and taxes may apply. Offers end 1/16/14. HBO®, Cinemax® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc., a CBS Company. STARZ and related channels and service marks are property of Starz Entertainment, LLC. iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion. Visa® gift card must be requested through your DISH Representative at time of purchase. $25 Visa® gift card requires activation and $2.95 shipping and handling fee. You will receive a claim voucher within 3-4 weeks and the voucher must be returned within 30 days. Your Visa® gift card will arrive in approximately 6-8 weeks. InfinityDISH charges a one-time $49.95 non-refundable processing fee. Indiana C.P.D. Reg. No. T.S. R1903. *Certain restrictions apply. Based on the availability in your area.

Today in Mississippi Singing River Nov/Dec 2013  

Today in Mississippi Singing River Nov/Dec 2013