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picture this my opinion grin ‘n’ bare it
Working for us, year after year
Welcome to 2022. I hope you and your family had a great holiday season and are ready for the new year. January at Today in Mississippi is the time we put together our legislative issue. We like the issue to coincide with the beginning of the new year’s legislative session, which begins in early January. Our legislators — the duly elected public servants that we send to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the state capitol in Jackson — are the folks who represent us at the highest levels of government. Because they represent you and me, and their jobs are so important to our communities, we want to make sure you know who they are. Turn to the local pages in the middle of the magazine to see the names and photos of your lawmakers. Never forget: our legislators are our friends and advocates. They work and ﬁght for us. Our government relations team stays in close contact with them while they monitor state and national legislation that affects the electric power industry. Not coincidentally, lawmakers, representation and democracy are at the heart of our January cover story. We interviewed Meridian author Richelle Putnam about her new book, “Images of America: Mississippi in the Great Depression.” In the early 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mississippi politicians such as U.S. Sen. Pat Harrison and U.S. Rep. John Rankin worked to bring power to rural Mississippi — an action that
transformed our way of life. That electric cooperative history is part of our Great Depression cover story and a reminder that legislators in Jackson and Washington, D.C. continue to play a crucial and vital role in our daily lives and the future of electric cooperatives and the power industry. On a different note, some of you should be on the lookout this month for a reader survey. We periodically seek ofﬁcial feedback on the magazine — what you like, what you don’t, and how we can do better. This year, the survey is going out to a set of readers — picked at random electronically — by mail and email. I hope you take a few minutes to respond to the survey, so we can make sure Today in Mississippi remains one of your favorite publications. Also, this issue will be the last for longtime Today in Mississippi and Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi graphic artist Rickey McMillian. Rickey has worked with us for 21 years. Rickey is leaving us for a well-deserved retirement. We will miss his professionalism, hard work, and good humor. Thanks again for reading, being part of our electric cooperative community, and we wish everyone a terriﬁc 2022.
by Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi
Riding off into the sunset Longtime Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Graphic Designer Rickey McMillan has moved on to the next phase of his life. Following 21 years of professional and exemplary service, Rickey has retired. A key player in the creativity and hard work that makes Today in Mississippi a special statewide publication, to say Rickey will be missed by the co-op community is an understatement. Ron Stewart, senior vice president of communications, has worked with Rickey for his entire time at ECM and known him ever longer. “He’s more of a friend than a co-worker. I’ve known Rickey since childhood as we were involved in the same church in the 1970s. We lost touch, so I was happy to get reconnected when he applied for a job in 2000,” Ron said. “He’s very talented and has been a dedicated and loyal employee. He totally understands the cooperative network and served as an outstanding member of our electric cooperative family. He played a vital role in the success of Today in Mississippi and his willingness to put in extra time and effort to help us meet deadlines has demonstrated his commitment to excellence. Thanks for being such a valuable member to our team.” Following stints as the marketing director of the Metro Center Mall in Jackson, advertising manager at Gayfers, and fashion illustrator at McRae’s, Rickey came to the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi to work as a graphic artist in 2000. A stellar graphic artist and editorial page and advertisement designer, Rickey’s skills stretched into the world of video. In 2014, Rickey won two separate awards for his work on a 75th anniversary video for Singing River Electric. One of those awards came from the Southern Public Relations Federation and the other from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi. Rickey said he’s going to miss working at ECM because of the people. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but it really is like a family here. I’m going to miss being with everybody. But I just think it’s time,” Rickey said. Rickey’s retirement will include time spent playing guitar (which he’s done since he was 13), ﬁshing and watercolor painting. Rickey is also looking forward to spending more time with his family. Rickey is married to Harriet McMillan. The couple has three children: Rachel, Daniel, and Rebecca as well as one 16-year-old grandson, Andrew. “This never felt like work. I always enjoyed the job and I will miss it,” Rickey said.
JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 3
in this issue
5 southern gardening It’s time for winter vegetables
7 scene around the ‘sip A look at special people and places in Mississippi
9 outdoors today Everyone has a beginning, and an ending
12 local news 16 feature
A look at the Great Depression in Mississippi and the origin of co-ops
picture this Readers sent us photos of Mississippi churches
24 on the menu
The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi
Vol. 75 No. 1
OFFICERS Eddie Howard - President Randy Carroll - First Vice President Ron Barnes - Second Vice President Tim Perkins - Secretary/Treasurer Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO EDITORIAL STAFF Ron Stewart - Senior Vice President Lydia Walters - VP, Communications Steven Ward - Editor Chad Calcote - Creative Director/ Manager Rickey McMillan - Graphic Designer Kevin Wood - Graphic Designer Alan Burnitt - Graphic Designer Courtney Warren - Graphic Designer Chris Alexander - Member Services Coordinator 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: American MainStreet Publications, 800-626-1181
Circulation of this issue: 491,080
Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year. Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 12 times a year by Electric Cooperatives 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 all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 507.1.5.2) NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to: Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300
A tale of two shrimp po’ boys
27 mississippi seen
Pearl Harbor history in Mississippi
On the cover 27
Ora Baptist Church in Collins. This submitted photo was part of this month’s Picture This feature, Places of Worship. The photo was taken by Southern Pine Electric member Rhonda Wade of Collins.
READER SURVEY NOTICE Today in Mississippi is conducting a readership survey this month, so please be aware that you may receive the survey in the mail or by email. The survey gives you an opportunity to give us feedback on the job we’re doing. It’s always our goal to deliver a quality publication ﬁlled with content that is timely, informative and — most of all — of interest to you!
4 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
Plant cole crops now for This red cabbage is in the same family as broccoli, kale, and other cole crops. It grows in winter gardens after summer crops succumb to freezing weather.
I never have to worry about my plants having wet feet. Even though I still have tomatoes and peppers producing While we want good soil drainage, we can’t let the plants dry in my home garden, I know these summer vegetables are on out. These plants need consistent soil moisture to be productive. borrowed time. It’s the time of year to appreciate the great We’re likely to have droughty weather during the winter months cool-season vegetables we can grow. in Mississippi. In my Ocean Springs garden, we received less than From broccoli, cauliﬂower, kale, and collards to cabbage and 2 inches of rain in November. Brussels sprouts, these vegetables are commonly called crucifWinter cold can rapidly deplete soil moisture. Apply mulch erous or cole crops. I think they are delicious, especially after to help retain moisture, but be prepared to water as needed. a freeze takes out my tomatoes and peppers. And here’s a heads up: After The variety of shapes, sizes, and watering, don’t leave the hose colors within this group of attached to the spigot. Freezing vegetables is amazing. But what is temperatures can burst pipes even more amazing is that these pretty quickly. vegetables are all closely related For best growth of cruciferous genetically. In fact, they have a vegetables, do not neglect common ancestor. fertilizing the plants. Wild cabbage is a little plant These vegetables are heavy from the region around the feeders all through the winter Mediterranean. Because of its crop season. I like to add slownutritious foliage, farmers grew release fertilizer at transplanting and domesticated selected plants to get the plants off to a great based on their desired traits. Broccoli performs well in winter gardens. It is part of the Brassica oleracea family start. Then I use a water-soluble Over many, many thousands domesticated for what are actually ﬂowers. fertilizer on a monthly schedule of years, we have developed to keep the plants healthy and growing strong. leafy versions — kale and collards; buds — cabbage and Brussels Now is the time to pick up some transplants at your favorite sprouts; and ﬂowers — broccoli and cauliﬂower. independent garden center. Follow these tips to enjoy nutritious As a group, they’re known botanically as Brassica oleracea, and and tasty vegetables all through the winter gardening season. each has its own varietal designation: broccoli, B. oleracea var. italica; cauliﬂower, B. oleracea var. botrytis; kale, B. oleracea var. sabellica; collards, B. oleracea var. viridis; cabbage, B. oleracea var. capitata; and Brussels sprouts, B. oleracea var. gemmifera. Because these vegetables are so closely related, they have similar growing needs and conditions. by Dr. Gary The ﬁrst is they don’t like wet feet. Like so many of our landBachman scape and garden plants in Mississippi, good soil drainage is a must. Raised beds are a great choice for good drainage, and Gary Bachman, Ph.D., Extension/Research Professor of Horticulture at adding composted materials creates an optimum planting bed. the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in I really like growing these plants in containers because of the Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs. He lives in Ocean Springs and is a Singing River Electric member. superior growing media available that allows for good drainage. JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 5
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scene around the ‘sip
Crosby Arboretum: An ecological paradise in our backyard by Steven Ward There are so many places to visit and “see the sights” in Mississippi that, sometimes, both tourists and locals need a reminder of all the hidden gems just waiting for discovery or rediscovery. One of those gems sits on 64 acres in Picayune near Interstate 59. The Crosby Arboretum is a public garden owned by Mississippi State University and operated by the MSU Extension Service and is a unit of the Coastal Research and Extension Center. The site offers both recreational and educational opportunities and is dedicated to educating the public about their environment as well as serving as a scientiﬁc and educational organization that documents and shares information about nature to the public. The Arboretum manages acreage in seven associated natural areas and supports over 300 species of plants. The Crosby site functions as a celebration of local native ﬂora. The Arboretum’s mission is to preserve, protect, and display plants native to the Pearl River Drainage Basin ecosystem. The American Society of Landscape Architects awarded the site an ASLA award in 1991 calling it the “ﬁrst fully realized ecological garden in the U.S.” “Many times we’ve heard our visitors say, ‘I’ve always known you were here, but I never stopped in.’ Or, ‘I wish I had come 20 years ago, so I could have been enjoying it all this time.’ Visits to the Arboretum are much like peeling back the layers of an onion. No two days are alike. New creatures, blooms, and experiences are always waiting for you just around the
bend in the path,” Arboretum Director Pat Drackett said. One of the highlights of the site is the award-winning Pinecote Pavilion designed by architect E. Fay Jones of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The structure received an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1990 and was recognized by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as a Mississippi Landmark. Some of the more recent visitor draws at the Arboretum include, The Gum Pond Bridge, a bridge spanning the headwaters inlet of the site’s gum pond and The Rosen Memorial Pavilion, accessed by a crisscrossing boardwalk that extends from the bulkhead of a new pond overlook. A visit to the Arboretum means moving through exhibits on the pathways, or “landscape journeys.” Visitors to the public garden who walk the three-mile trail system will travel through three main exhibits: a woodland exhibit, an aquatic exhibit, and a Savanna exhibit. Along the pathways, interpretive signage focuses on various coastal ecosystems and their values, and native plant communities and the species within them. “My favorite area is the south pitcher plant bog, where changes are dynamic, plant populations, patterns, and textures are continually shifting due to ﬂuctuations in moisture and are never the same from year to year,” Drackett said. Drackett said the bog changes in color constantly. “The bog will change from the blackened landscape following a prescribed ﬁre, to the yellow pitcher plant blooms in early spring to the pinks and yellows of delicate spring ephemeral blossoms and orange and purple milkweeds,” Drackett said. “This constant change is the reason behind the stories we hear about the magic experienced in visitors’ journeys — each walk brings unexpected and delightful discoveries.”
Visit crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu or call 601-799-2311 for more information. JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 7
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AN END The old year just ended; the new year just began. All entities restricted to this temporal existence have a similar cycle — beginnings that eventually lead to endings. This realization prompts some measure of contemplation should we afford our thoughts the opportunity of mining the depths and looking into shadowed corners that may too often be neglected in favor of comfort. I recently found myself on such an expedition. The episode was my annual October woodcock hunt in Vermont. This is a challenging regimen and one closely monitored. Three birds Spur (left) sleeps on his master’s leg. Finn daily, not much bounclaimed his favorite chair! Photo courtesy of Bob Rose. ty for the effort some might say, but to go, do, and see ﬁrsthand changes the perspective. It really is about the totality of experience. My ﬁrst hunt, close to a decade past, found me in the presence of a new acquaintance, Bob Rose. He was at that time a pilot for American Airlines and chose his schedules to keep October open. That was woodcock-hunting month. He is now retired. Bob employs Old Hemlock Setters as his chosen canine companions. The history of this breed is far too expansive for a treatise of this length, so I shall refrain. But one important element is that on that ﬁrst hunt, Bob had a new dog, a dog that was just beginning his second season. Fionn Mac Cumhail, his registered name and the Old Irish pronounciation. Finn McCool in modern English. He answers to Finn.
Finn was a true marvel. A gentleman. A professional. A dog with perfect discipline and demeanor. I was mesmerized. And that remains the case even now. Finn is 11, not ﬁnished yet, but closer to the end than to the beginning. On this most recent trip, Bob had added another Old Hemlock. Hotspur. He answers to Spur. He is 11 months old. And the makings are there. Spur is destined to the same levels of greatness as Finn has already achieved. This ﬁrst season Spur still fumbled with the occasional puppy blunder, but not much. I watched and participated in three days of pure wonderment. And during that watching and participating, I found myself mining those depths. I concluded I was more like Finn than I was like Spur. I am not ﬁnished, but I am deﬁnitely closer to the end than the beginning. I considered my admiration for Finn and felt a peculiar bond with him, we two on the same path of winding down. I celebrated with Spur, young, ready, and excited as I once was — just beginning an exhilarating life. And, in all this thinking, I came to some point of resignation. Things would end, some more quickly than others. Regardless, life had been a spectacular experience. Finn knows that; Spur will know that. And I now give a nod of appreciation to both in the varying steps of their journeys.
by Tony Kinton Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. He lives in Carthage and is a Central Electric member. Visit www.tonykinton.com for more information.
Autumn in Vermont is spectacular. Colors, even in their brilliance, suggest an end. Spring will bring new life.
NOVEMBER 2021 | TODAY 9 JANUARY 2022
Next in Picture This:
We want to see your children! Send us photos of your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews. Make sure to let us know their names and how they are related to you. The photos must be high-resolution JPG ﬁles of at least 1 MB in size. Please attach the photo to your email and send it to email@example.com. Each entry must be accompanied by photographer’s name, address, and co-op.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Feb. 25. Select photos will appear in the April 2022 issue.
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The Mississippi Legislature convenes in January for the 2022 session. Magnolia Electric Power salutes Mississippi’s senators and representatives who represent our state in Washington, D.C. and at our state capitol in Jackson. We appreciate their dedication and willingness to serve in the spirit of public service to help shape the future of our state.
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION MARSHALL
T I P PA H
TAT E TUNICA
PA N O L A
L A FAY E T T E
YA L O B U S H A
I TAWA M B A
TA L L A H AT C H I E
C H I C K A S AW
B O L I VA R
C L AY WEBSTER
WA S H I N G T O N
C H O C TAW
AT TA L A
YA Z O O MADISON
United States Senator
United States Senator
U.S. Representative Third District
HINDS WA R R E N
COVINGTON LINCOLN ADAMS
A free, interactive legislative app for Mississippi
The Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi offers an easy-to-use mobile app of Mississippi’s state and federal elected offi ofﬁcials. Look for “Mississippi Legislative Roster” in the Apple App Store. An Android version is also available through Google Play.
ONLINE VERSION AVAILABLE AT WWW.ECM.COOP 12 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
L AW R E N C E
WAY N E
JEFFERSON D AV I S LAMAR
WA LT H A L L
PEARL RIVER STONE
for a job well done to all our representatives and senators who represent constituents residing in our service area.
SENATE Sen. Melanie Sojourner
Sen. Kelvin Butler
District 37: Adams, Amite, Franklin, and Pike counties
District 38: Adams, Amite, Pike, Walthall, and Wilkinson counties
Address: 438 Upper Kingston Rd., Natchez, MS 39120 Years in Legislature: 7
Address: 2018 Hawthorne Dr. McComb, MS 39648
Sen. Jason Barrett District 39: Copiah, Lawrence, Lincoln, and Walthall counties Address: 183 Oak Hill Drive Brookhaven, MS 39602 Years in Legislature: 2
Years in Legislature: 13
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Rep. Vince Mangold District 53: Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, and Pike counties Address: P.O. Box 1018 Jackson, MS 39215
Rep. Beckie Currie District 92: Copiah, Lawrence, and Lincoln counties Address: 407 Oliver Dr. Brookhaven, MS 39601 Years in Legislature: 15
Rep. Angela Cockerham District 96: Adams, Amite, Pike, and Wilkinson counties Address: P.O. Box 613 Magnolia, MS 39652 Years in Legislature: 17
Years in Legislature: 7
Rep. Bill Pigott
Rep. Sam C. Mims V
Rep. Daryl L. Porter Jr.
District 97: Adams, Amite, Franklin, and Pike counties
District 98: Pike and Walthall counties
District 99: Lamar, Marion, and Walthall counties
Address: P.O. Box 772 Summit, MS 39666
Address: 92 Pigott Easterling Rd. Tylertown, MS 39667
Years in Legislature: 3
Years in Legislature: 15
Address: P.O. Box 1018 Jackson, MS 39215 Years in Legislature: 19
JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 13
by Lydia Walters As soon as you step out of the car, the smell of sweetness hits you. After that, you notice the steam rolling out the doors of a small shed in rural Walthall County. Magnolia Electric Power member Milton Dunaway is cooking his homemade cane syrup in a metal building across from his home. Cooking syrup, as he calls it, has been a family tradition passed down for at least four generations from his grandfather to his father to him, and now his son. Some of the tools have improved through the years, like using a tractor connected to a large belt instead of a mule to press the juice from the cane, but most of the process has remained the same. “I remember being ﬁve or six years old and cooking with my grandfathers,” Dunaway said. “We’ve always cooked syrup together, and others have joined in.” Dunaway and his son, Brad Dunaway, have both won statewide awards through the Mississippi Association of Syrup Producers for cooking syrup. Milton Dunaway took top honors in 2016 for his cane syrup. Dunaway cooks about seven or eight times per year for family and close friends, keeping his family tradition alive. He doesn’t bottle and sell to the public. He says that neighbors who have sugar cane
14 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
just hear about him through word of mouth. The process for cooking cane and making syrup is quite simple and works best in cold weather. The cane is pressed to extract the juices. The juices are piped into a large vat and then heated to a boil, creating the sweet-smelling steam. As the water boils away, impurities are skimmed from the top and removed, leaving the thick goodness that Southerners love to pour on their cathead biscuits. The syrup is strained one last time before it is poured into containers.
Photos by Courtney Warren
The key to cooking syrup is to know when it is ready to be placed in containers, and Dunaway knows a couple of time-tested ways. To test his syrup, he pours a tablespoon on a paper plate and watches for the thickness to cause wrinkles in the syrup as it rolls around the paper plate. Another method is dropping syrup into a glass of water and watching it fall — the slower it falls, the thicker the syrup. Dunaway added that, “A lot (of the tools) are handed down stuff,” from past generations. Dunaway’s mill, used to press the juice from the cane, is powered by a 1958 McCormick Farmall 130 tractor. The cane knife, which
resembles a thin machete and is used by Dunaway and his son to cut the cane, has been in the family for many years. Dunaway uses a 50-year-old hydrometer, a device that will rise to the top of a thin cylinder, to ﬁgure out when the syrup has reached its desired thickness. The charm in cooking syrup comes from the multigenerational group who gather, laugh, and joke while they work. Cooking syrup brings people together to reminisce about the old times and imagine the handmade biscuits they will soon enjoy with some delicious homemade syrup.
Brad Dunaway, Jimmy Lee, and Odell McKenzie demonstrate how the outer layer is stripped from the sugar cane before it is processed for syrup.
We’ve always cooked syrup together, and others have joined in.
James Dillion skims impurities from the syrup as the water boils off of the sugar, leaving cane syrup.
Brad and Milton Dunaway carry on their family tradition of cooking syrup together.
JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 15
2022 Magnolia Electric Power Annual Meeting Preliminary Notice of Annual Meeting of Members For the purposes of electing directors, hearing and passing upon reports covering the previous ﬁscal year, and transacting such other business, the Annual Meeting of the members of Magnolia Electric Power shall be held in March each year, at such place in one of the counties of Mississippi within which the Association serves. At each Annual Meeting of the members, approximately one-third (1/3) of the total number of directors shall be elected by ballot, by and from the members, to serve for a term of three (3) years as provided by law. By-Laws Governing the Association: Article IV, Section 4.04. (a) Committee on Nominations. It shall be the duty of the Board to appoint, no less than sixty (60) calendar days nor more than one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days before the date of the meeting of the members at which directors are to be elected, a committee on nominations from each district from which a director is to be elected, consisting of not less than 3 nor more than 5 members who shall be selected from different sections of the district so as to insure equitable geographic representation. No existing Association employee, agents, ofﬁcers, directors or known candidates for director, and close relatives (as hereinafter deﬁned) or members of the same household of existing association employees, agents, ofﬁcers, directors or know candidates for director may serve on such committees. The committees shall receive and consider any written suggestion as to nominees submitted by members of the Association. The committee shall prepare and post at the principal ofﬁce of the Association at least ﬁfty (50) calendar days before the meeting a list of nominations for board members. (b) Nominations by Petition. Any ﬁfty (50) members acting together may make other nominations by petition and the Secretary shall post at least ﬁfty (50) calendar days before the meeting such nominations at the same place where the list of nominations by the committees are posted. Any petition for nomination shall be submitted on a form designated and provided by the Association. Each member signing such petition shall place thereon the date of signing, address, and account number of the member. The Secretary shall mail with the notice of the meeting or separately a statement of the number of board members to be elected and the names of candidates nominated by the committees and the names of candidates nominated by petition, if any. Article IV, Section 4.03. Director Qualiﬁcations (Summarized) 1. Active member in good standing of the Association. 2. Bona ﬁde resident of the district from which they are to be elected or must be a permanent and year-round
resident within or in close proximity to an area served by the Association that no more than one (1) such person may serve on the Board of Directors at the same time as set out in Section 4.03(e). 3. Must not be employed by or ﬁnancially interested in a competing enterprise. 4. Must not have been ﬁnally convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. 5. Must not be a relative to the third degree by blood or marriage as deﬁned in Section 4.08 of an employee, incumbent director, or the director being replaced. 6. No person shall take or hold ofﬁce as a director who is the incumbent of or a candidate for any elective public ofﬁce. 7. When a membership is held jointly by a married couple, either one, but not both, may be elected a director. 8. No person shall be eligible to become or remain a director of, or to hold any other position in trust in the Association who does not have the legal capacity to enter into a binding contract. Article III, Section 3.05. Voting. Each member who is not in a status of suspension as provided for in Section 2.01, shall be entitled to only one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at any meeting of the members at which a quorum is present. A member may vote in person or by proxy. At a meeting of the members where directors are to be elected, all members present in person or by proxy may cast one vote for each director to be elected; each member may vote their own vote plus those proxies executed in their favor, pursuant to Section 3.07 of these bylaws. Voting by members other than members who are natural persons shall be allowed upon the presentation to the Association, prior to or upon registration at each member, of satisfactory evidence entitling the person presenting same to vote. At all meetings of the members all questions shall be decided by a majority of the members voting thereon, except as otherwise provided by law or by the Association’s Certiﬁcate of Incorporation or these bylaws. Members may not cumulate their votes. Article III, Section 3.06. Proxies. At all meetings of the members, a member may vote by proxy executed in writing by the member, subject to the provisions hereinafter set forth, provided, however, any member holding and intending to vote a proxy must ﬁle the executed proxy at the Association’s headquarters, not less than ﬁve (5) business days prior to the meeting. The proxy must have entered thereon the account number of the member appointed to vote the proxy. If one person shall receive electric service through two
Dear Member, This is a preliminary notice of the Annual Meeting of Magnolia Electric Power to be held March 24, 2022, at the Auditorium at Magnolia Electric Power headquarters, which is located at 3027 Highway 98 West, Summit, in Pike County, Mississippi. At that meeting, directors from Districts Three, Six and Eight are to be elected to three-year terms. District three is “all that portion of the certiﬁcated area of the Cooperative which lies north of the south boundary line of Lincoln and Franklin Counties and west of the Illinois Central Railroad Company main line right-of-way and south and west of a line which begins at the intersections of the west line of said Illinois Central Company main line right-of-way and the north boundary of Section 13, Township 6 North, Range 7 East, Lincoln County, Mississippi, and runs thence west to the northwest corner of Section 18, said township and range, thence north to U.S. Highway 84 and south of said U.S.. Highway 84, being partly in Franklin County and partly in Lincoln County, Mississippi.
(2) or more meters at different premises, he or she shall be entitled to not more than one (1) vote at any meeting of the members. No proxy shall be voted at any meeting of the members unless it shall designate the particular meeting at which it is to be voted, and no proxy shall be voted at any meeting other than the one so designated or any adjournment of such meeting. No proxy shall be voted by anyone except a member. No more than ten (10) proxies may be assigned to other members. No restriction shall apply to the number of proxies assigned to the Board of Directors who shall vote the proxies assigned to them according to the will of the majority of the members of the Board of Directors. The presence of a member at a meeting of the members shall revoke a proxy theretofore executed by that member, and such member shall be entitled to vote at such meeting in the same manner and with the same effect as if the proxy had not been executed. In case of a joint membership, a proxy may be executed by either spouse. The timely presence of either spouse at a meeting of the members shall revoke a proxy theretofore executed by (either of) them and such joint member or members shall be entitled to vote at such meeting in the same manner and with the same effect as if a proxy had not been executed. A standard proxy form shall be used which identiﬁes the member by name and account number, in order to assure authenticity and facilitate the tabulation of votes. If the proxy form of a member is lost, stolen, or destroyed, the Association shall furnish the member with a replacement proxy form upon request, provided that the member executes a revocation of the lost, stolen or destroyed form, to be witnessed by an employee of the Association. Blank proxy forms will not be distributed in bulk to any member. Only the proxy form issued by the Association shall be valid. Article III, Section 3.07. Representative Voting. Legal entity organizations and nonlegal entity organizations which are members of the Association may be represented at any meeting of the members and may vote only as follows: (a) any director, ofﬁcer or general manager may represent and cast the one vote of a corporation; (b) a trustee, steward, deacon, clerk, or pastor may represent and cast the one vote of a church; (c) a school trustee, principal or superintendent may represent and cast the one vote of a school; (d) or any other association or organization not a legal entity may be represented by and have its one vote cast by any person who is a trustee, or manager or part owner, or any ofﬁcer of such association or organization. Respectfully, John McCabe, Secretary A complete set of bylaws is available at the association’s headquarters upon request. You will receive ofﬁcial notice of the 2022 Annual Meeting in the mail at a later date.
District six includes “all that portion of the certiﬁcated area of the Cooperative which lies within Pike County and is located north of the boundary line dividing Township 2 North and Township 3 North, all being in Pike County, Mississippi.” District eight is described as “all that portion of the certiﬁcated area of the Cooperative which lies within Walthall and Marion Counties, Mississippi, and is located north of the U.S. Highway 98, all being in Walthall and Marion Counties, Mississippi. In connection with the election of directors scheduled for the meeting, the following members were appointed by the Association’s board, pursuant to Association bylaws, as members of the Nominating Committee: District Three Jack Case W.I. Westbrook Troy K. Lofton Lamar Edwards
District Six Larry Hughes Victor Fairburn Wendell Johnston Sandra Knighton
District Eight Milton Dunaway Janette Bossier Charles Lee Dunaway Larry Holland Jocile Martin
MEP aids in awarding two Cooperative Energy Competes grants Cooperative Energy Competes, through Magnolia Electric Power and Cooperative Energy, has issued two grants to local agencies. The ﬁrst one is to the Pike County Economic Development District, who received a grant for $50,000. The grant will go towards infrastructure improvement at the Gateway Industrial Park in Pike County. The second is a grant issued to Scenic Rivers Development Alliance (SRDA) for $25,000. The grant will go towards infrastructure plans at Lake Okhissa in Franklin County. Cooperative Energy Competes is a grant application process through Cooperative Energy, of which Magnolia Electric is a member of the generation and transmission cooperative based in Hattiesburg. Cooperative Energy Competes allows economic development organizations to apply for grant funds to offset industrial property development costs. These funds are provided jointly by Cooperative Energy's 11-member distribution cooperatives. Grant funds can be used to offset site and building development costs and/or reduce upfront costs for eligible economic development activities. By doing this, Cooperative Energy Competes, as a multi-faceted Economic Development initiative, shows companies that Mississippi is a competitive region to do business. Eligible projects typically require new job creation, increased capital investment, electric load growth, and require a local funding match.
MEP General Manager Darrell Smith (far right) presented a check to (from left) Pat Brumﬁeld, chairman of the PCEDD, and Jill Busby, executive director of PCEDD.
Magnolia Electric reports almost $2 mil Magnolia Electric reports over $2.5 million Capital inCredit returns to members Capital Credits to members MEP Manager of Member Services and Communications Lucy Shell (far right) presented the check to (from left) Angela Harvey and Joseph Parker, both with Scenic Rivers Development Alliance.
The Magnolia Electric PowerPower Board of Directors Credits are one of the things that separate a not-forThe Magnolia Electric Board of has announced Credits that MEP has been un physical plantCapital including poles, substations, that the cooperative has recently retired in Capital proﬁt electric cooperative, like Magnolia Electric frommember add Directors has announced that the $2,564,299 coopcoop and other equipment. due to Power, incorrect Credits to its members. investor-owned electric utilities, explained Smith. erative has recently retired $1,950,994 in mem be sure to check the list to se “Capital Credits are allocated to memPatronage refund checks were put in the mail in early There is an updated list on the MEP website at MEPCoop.com. Capital Credits to its members. bers each year based on power use and family member’s name is on t December; therefore, MEP’s eligible members should have of older Capital Credits that MEP has been unable to return due Patronage refund checks werechecks put inby the ofincorrect your capital credit checkPlease is be sure If you have the notlist received yo received their patronage capital refund now. the amount to member addresses. to check to mail in early December; a all percentage ofifthese he name is on refund or should find your our na “Capital Credits represents therefore, the amount MEP’s remaining after see you or allocations,” a family member’s the list. operating, maintenance, and general expenses are deducted from If you have not received your patronage refund or should ﬁ nd eligible members should have received said. “We are proud to be able to return name on the website list, plea the totalpatronage amount members on their electric bill during the capitalyour name/a name on the websitethe list, offi please the their capitalpaid refund checks these credits to family our members,” e contact at 601-684-4011. ﬁscal year,” said General Manager Darrell Smith. “It is the member’s ofﬁce at 601-684-4011. by now. Smith added. Since 1960, MEP has refund investment in the association’s physical plant including poles, subSince 1960, MEP has refunded a total of $54,479,681 in capital “Capital Credits represents the amount Capital Credits one of the things of $50,004,782 in capital cred stations, and other equipment. creditsare to its members. remaining afterare allallocated operating, maintenance that separate a non-profit electri itsinmembers. “Capital Credits to members each year based on Magnolia Electric Power was established 1938. The cooperaand general expenses deducted fromcheck iscooperative, likeemploys Magnolia Electricemployees, maintains Magnolia Electric wa power use and the amount are of your capital credit a pertive 92 full-time over 4,900 miles Power of centage of these allocations,” he said. proud to Power, be able to lines and serves more than the total amount members paid“We on are their frompower investor-owned electric utili-32,700inmeters. 1938. The cooperative emp return these credits our members,” electric billcapital during the to fiscal ear,” saidSmith added. ties, explained Smith. time employees, maintains ov
General Manager Darrell Smith. “It is the member’s investment in the association’s
There is an updated list on the MEP JANUARY miles2022 of power lines 17 and serv | TODAY website at MEPCoop.com of older Capital 31,900 meters.
The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a progressive and controversial agency advocating government planning and economic intervention to improve living conditions in rural America. The FSA sponsored this “Know your Farmer” tour. Shown here are participants stopping at the home of a tenant purchase borrower in Lowndes County.
Until the Great Depression, soil erosion was not a national concern. However, the connection between the eroded land and impoverished people came into focus and New Deal programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration created jobs that included natural resource projects like the National Industrial Recovery Act of June 16, 1933, which permitted work on erosion control. The red clay hills of Alabama and Mississippi had the worst erosion.
Looking back: The Great by Steven Ward Electric power in rural Mississippi is the direct result of reading about the Greatest Generation and flourished while federal and state politicians working to stop suffering and writing my biography, “The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty” and hunger during the Great Depression. my regional non-fiction book, “Lauderdale County, Mississippi: President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order A Brief History,” both of which featured the Great Depression on May 11, 1935, that created The era,” Putnam said recently. Rural Electrification Administration “So many New Deal projects still as part of the Emergency Relief exist in and around my Meridian Without electricity, perishable food Appropriation Act. community, such as the Meridian spoiled, and sanitation suffered. Urban Federal Building, the Meridian High The Great Depression tested the areas enjoyed electric lights, washing resolve of Mississippi’s population School Stadium, and Ross Collins machines, and refrigerators, but rural and people who lived all over the U.S. Vocational School (Ross Collins Career The nation’s reaction and fortitude to Mississippians struggled through grueling and Technical Center). persevere during the mass disaster “Entering the Depression, Mississippi days with only sunlight and kerosene was the catalyst for what is known had already suffered greatly from in their primitive environment. today as, “The Greatest Generation.” the 1927 flood. Extreme soil erosion How the people of Mississippi and the nation responded to resulted from soil depletion due to massive cotton cultivation the Great Depression was something that fascinated Meridiand the cutting of the state’s once-grand forests for financial an author Richelle Putnam and led to her new book, “Images gain. The 1930 Mississippi Valley drought added to an already of America: Mississippi in the Great Depression” (Arcadia), a tragic situation. Through research, I realized the many and more than 200-page history with 70 photos from that era. much-needed contributions of Roosevelt’s New Deal “In America, it brought forth the Greatest Generation to Programs that provided jobs and targeted solutions to which we often refer when reminiscing perseverance, strength, the consequences of financial greed and the neglect of and triumph over adversity. My initial interest built from natural resource conservation,” Putnam said. 18 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
Here, the owner scoops pine resin from a settling vat and then pours it into barrels for shipment to various locations. However, for many lumber companies selling stumps from cutover lands, like Crosby Lumber and Manufacturing Company, the Naval Stores Conservation Program drastically reduced the buyers to few or none. In 1937, Crosby built a plant in Picayune, and Crosby Naval Stores grew to 600 tons of stumps a day, the third-largest in the United States.
The sharecropping system in Mississippi was the subject of many Farm Security Administration images. Photographs detailed city street scenes, extravagant brick, and rustic wooden churches, cotton picking in the Delta fields, payday at plantation commissaries, and the lives of poor whites and black sharecroppers and their families.
Depression in Mississippi America’s rural population was at its most disadvantaged Electrification Administration, which offered loans to during the Great Depression. Only 10% of rural Americans had rural farmers and community leaders to provide power electricity, and the number was 1% in Mississippi. in rural areas. “Without electricity, perishable food spoiled, and sanitation Today, the TVA and, in south Mississippi, Cooperative suffered. Urban areas enjoyed electric lights, washing maEnergy generate and deliver power to the state’s 25 elecchines, and refrigerators, but tric cooperatives. Cooperative rural Mississippians struggled Energy, formally known as the through grueling days with only South Mississippi Electric Power sunlight and kerosene in their Association, formed in 1941. primitive environment. They lit Two key Mississippi movers their lanterns before sunrise, and and shakers behind bringing when darkness fell to begin and power to rural Mississippi were finish their labor,” Putnam said. U.S. Sen. Pat Harrison from the Although the need for rural Gulf Coast and U.S. Rep. John electrification was evident, Rankin of Tupelo. private investors and compa“Sen. Harrison and Rep. Known by his colleagues as “The Old Fox,” referring to backroom nies didn’t want the task and Rankin advocated heartily for persuasive power and strategic maneuverings, U.S. Sen. Pat Harrison of expense of running lines into electric power distribution in Mississippi helped shape much of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s rural Mississippi without reaping New Deal legislation. Mississippi. They would also a profit. And rural residents didn’t make enough money to welcome President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor to do it themselves, even with pooling their money. Mississippi to tour New Deal projects, like the new homesteads The Roosevelt administration created the Tennessee Valley and the TVA, which began rural electrification in Mississippi. Authority (TVA), a federal electric company and the Rural JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 19
Due to Mississippi U.S. Rep. John Rankin’s position in Congress, Tupelo became the ﬁrst municipality to purchase TVA power and ofﬁcially became the “First TVA City” in 1934. Pictured here left to right: U.S. Sen. George W. Norris and Rankin photographed at the White House in 1935.
20 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
In 1936, the state of Mississippi established the Rural Electriﬁcation Authority of Mississippi and passed the Electric Power Association Act, a law that created electric cooperatives. That law was updated in 2016. Mississippi was among the ﬁrst states in the nation to pass adequate laws for forming electric cooperatives, according to the deﬁnitive state electric cooperative history, “Rural Electriﬁcation in Mississippi 1934-1970” by Winnie Ellis Phillips. Alcorn County Electric Power Association in Corinth was the nation’s ﬁrst rural electric cooperative. Rural power wasn’t the only cooperative effort from Roosevelt’s New Deal. Credit unions came about as the result of The Federal Credit Union Act of 1934. Putnam said each Great Depression photo in the book tells a different story. “The images are so diverse. Each tells its personal story. However, the historical narrative expands when the combined photos and captions encompass the more extraordinary story of the Great Depression in Mississippi,” Putnam said. The research, writing, and acquiring the photos took Putnam over a year. “Thanks to other New Deal Programs, photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration and the Works Progress Administration, which included Mississippi’s Eudora Welty, took around 80,000 photos of life during the Great Depression. The Library of Congress, where these photos are archived, provided most of the images in the book,” Putnam said.
Two months after the approval of the TVA Act by President Roosevelt in May of 1933, U.S. Rep John Rankin of Mississippi, TVA Chairman David Lilienthal, and the Tupelo Journal reported that implementation of public power in northeast Mississippi was a distinct possibility as early as the fall of 1933. TVA, the prime investor in nuclear power and the principal user of coal, was the leading producer of electric power in the country. On February 7, 1934, Tupelo became the ﬁrst municipality in the U.S. to receive TVA power.
Other Great Depression-era improvements to Mississippi included action by Gov. Mike Connor, who initiated measures to improve the treatment of inmates at Parchman Prison in the Delta. Women also played an active role. The Natchez Garden Club successfully spurred tourism by starting the state’s ﬁrst pilgrimage in 1932. Mississippians found employment through the Public Works Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which stimulated economic development through new and add-on construction in urban and rural areas and the construction of nine state parks. When asked if there were any lessons learned or to be learned by Mississippi from the Great Depression, Putnam said the power and inﬂuence of Roosevelt and the New Deal was immense. “There was political, social, economic, and cultural cooperation for the common good of all Americans and, of course, Mississippians. President Franklin D. Roosevelt served four terms in ofﬁce and is still considered one of America’s most inﬂuential and beloved presidents. We can argue all day about the pros and cons of his administration’s New Deal. However, the fact remains that the American people, including over 90% of Mississippians, voted him into ofﬁce more than any other president in American history,” she said.
Visit arcadiapublishing.com for more information about the book. Author Richelle Putnam JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 21
tdoors today picture this my opinion grin ‘n’ bare it
1. Brooklyn Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Greenwood by Angela Jones of Laurel; Dixie Electric member.
5. Old Advance Church in Lamar County by Sandy Lindsey of Sumrall; Pearl River Valley Electric member.
2 . First Christian Church in Columbus by Jean Bailey of Columbus; 4-County Electric member.
6. The Village Chapel at Landrum’s Homestead in Laurel by Evelyn King of McComb; Magnolia Electric Power member.
3. Evangel Temple Church in Meridian by Jason Dyess of Meridian; EMEPA member.
7. Antioch Baptist Church in Kemper County by Barbara Bishop of Meridian; EMEPA member.
4. First Presbyterian Church in Tupelo by Robbyn Rogers of Tupelo; Tombigbee member.
8. First Baptist Church in Starkville by Jay Reed of Starkville; 4-County Electric member.
22 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
9. Lockhart Methodist Church in Lauderdale by Melinda Goff of Lauderdale; EMEPA member.
11 13 12
10. Presbyterian Church in Toccopola by Sherry Sledge of Pontotoc; Pontotoc Electric member.
15. French Camp Presbyterian Church in French Camp by Larry Littlejohn of French Camp; 4-County Electric member.
11. Albans Church in Bovine by Denise Jackson of Wesson; Southern Pine Electric member.
16. St. Pierre’s Episcopal Church in Gautier by Scott Lenoir of Gautier; Singing River Electric member.
12. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Raymond by Margaret Wilson of Byhalia; Northcentral Electric Cooperative member.
17. Christ Church in Christ Hill by Teresa Lott of Perkinston; Pearl River Valley Electric member.
13. China Grove Church in Kokomo by Renee Timmons of Kokomo; Pearl River Valley Electric member.
18. Gillsburg Baptist Church in Gillsburg by Donna Williams of Osyka; Magnolia Electric Power member.
14. Bethel Black Jack Baptist Church in Vaughan by David Shipp of Midway; Yazoo Valley Electric member.
JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 23
Delta Delicious Serves two This is the po’ boy I turn to when I want a quick, saucy seafood sandwich. This is not to be confused with the pour on pulled pork barbecue sauce. This is a garlic and Worcestershire buttery sauce with fresh thyme and smoked paprika. It soaks down into the crisp bread and gives the shrimp a lemony, glistening sheen. Roll
INGREDIENTS 2 (8-inch) po’ boy loaves sliced lengthwise 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, divided 2 cloves ﬁnely chopped garlic 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves Pinch dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Salt and cracked black pepper 1 pound medium (41/50) peeled, deveined shrimp
24 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
up your sleeves and toast-up some extra bread just for sopping up any sauce that is left in the skillet. I sometimes make this BBQ shrimp and toss it with angel hair pasta or ricotta ravioli with a side salad for a fast dinner.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread cut side of bread with mayonnaise and toast until brown and crisp. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted add the garlic, Worcestershire, lemon juice, pepper sauce, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook and
stir for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and increase the heat to high. Cook stirring occasionally for 4 minutes until the shrimp are pink and very slightly curled. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining butter until melted. Fill each po’ boy with shrimp and a big spoonful of the buttery sauce.
Martha Hall Foose, the author of “Screen Doors & Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook,” won the James Beard Award for American Cooking. Her latest collaboration is “A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South” with Amy C. Evans. Martha makes her home in the Mississippi Delta with her husband and son. She is a member of Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.
Serves four I love a big po’ boy on a Saturday for lunch. By frying the onion rings before the shrimp, the oil gets seasoned and gives the shrimp a special savory fl vor. I like to use a blend of flou , cornstarch, and seafood breading mix to coat the shrimp and onion rings. The flour oats them well. The cornstarch gives extra crunch, and the seafood seasoning adds some southern-style cornmeal fl vor without any grittiness.
INGREDIENTS 2 large, sweet onions (Vidalia or Walla Walla) cut into rings 2 cups all-purpose flou 3/4 cup corn starch 3/4 cup fish fry seafood breading mix (I like Louisiana or Zatarain’s brands made with corn flour) 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend 1 cup yellow mustard 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (I like Crystal) 2 pounds large (31/35) peeled, deveined shrimp 1 quart oil for frying 4 (8-inch) French bread loaves or po’boy rolls sliced lengthwise 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup cocktail sauce 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
Using a combination of prepared yellow mustard and eggs to act as a “glue” to hold the coating in place works wonderfully well. The mustard does not impart a strong fl vor because the vinegar and water in the mustard evaporates when fried. I like a combo of shredded iceberg and fresh cabbage to provide a fresh crunch.
Soak onion rings in a large bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. Drain the onions. Carefully remove the thin membrane from the inner wall or each piece of onion. Pat onions dry with paper towel. Return the onion rings to the bowl.
Coat onion rings with flour mixtu e. Shake off any excess coating. Fry onion rings until golden brown. Remove to drain on paper lined sheet pan. Pour any leftover mustard mixture from the onions into the remaining mustard mixture.
In a medium shallow bowl, combine the flou , cornstarch, breading mix, and Creole seasoning and set aside.
Working in batches, take the shrimp from the mustard mixture allowing excess to drip off and coat with the flour mixtu e pressing the shrimp into the mixture to coat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, egg, and hot sauce. Pour 1 cup of the mustard mixture over the onions. Toss to coat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour mixture over the rings and toss to coat. Toss occasionally to keep the onions coated. Add the shrimp to the remaining mustard mixture and toss to coat. Heat oil to 400 degrees. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with crumpled brown paper sacks. Working in small batches, take onion rings from mustard mixture allowing extra to drip back into remaining onions.
Fry the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly curled and golden brown. Drain on paper lined sheet pan. Spread the cut sides of each piece of bread very lightly with mayonnaise. Toast in oven cut side up until crusty and browned. Spread bottom of each cut side with cocktail sauce. Top with shrimp, lettuce, and cabbage. Spread each top with mayonnaise and stack the sandwiches. Serve with onion rings.
JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 25
mississippi marketplace The Inspirations in concert. Jan. 21. Petal. First Baptist Church of Runnelstown today will host the onEvents the menu outdoors open to the public will be group at 7 p.m. A love offering will be received. Mississippi’s published free of charge as space allows. 9211 Highway 42. Details: 601-583-3733. scene the ‘sip picture this Submit details ataround least two months prior to Lowest 2nd Annual Melodies of Bluegrass Festival. the event date. Submissions must include a Feb. 25-26. Morton. Bands include: Patchwork my opinionLife Insurance co-op involvement phone number with area code for publication. String Band, Catahoula Drive, The Pilgrim Family, Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Events are subject
Fair River Station, Tyler Carroll and Pineridge Bluegrass, Southern Gentlemen, and The Tennessee Bluegrass Band. Show starts at 1 p.m. daily. Roosevelt State Park, 2149 MS 13. Details: 601-604-4234 or 601-527-9127.
to change or cancelation due to COVID-19. Please conﬁrm details before traveling.
grin ‘n’ bare it
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26 TODAY | JANUARY 2022
A piece of Pearl Harbor history at home So, after the ﬁrst of January, how long did it take before you wrote the correct year on your papers at school? Or ﬁnally put the right date on a check the ﬁrst time? Year-long habits are hard to break. It’s funny the snippets you remember from childhood. Daddy had a brother who lived with us off and on. I don’t remember much about him. But I vividly recall one day he grabbed a page of the kitchen calendar and announced he was going to make it into a new month and ripped it off. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Can you do that? Does changing the calendar make time change? Or does the passing of time change the calendar? Later, when I’d recall this episode, I ﬁgured it was probably the ﬁrst of the month, anyway. I think all of his verbosity was an attempt to put one over on a little kid — that he had some superpower over time and the cosmos. Maybe it was even a subconscious rebellion over the inevitability of the passing of time. But he wanted to make it look like it was his idea. Like he controlled it instead of the other way around. Another byproduct of time passing is museums. You don’t put new stuff in a museum. It has to age and take on the patina and esteem that only the passing of time can give it. We were shooting another “Mississippi Roads” show the other day at the Laurel Veterans Memorial Museum. There are exhibits there from the Civil War all the way through both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, and more. One of the artifacts they have is an actual piece of the superstructure from the USS Arizona that was sunk in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 (80 years ago last month) that culminated in bringing the United States into World War II. When the Arizona Memorial was constructed in the 1960s, some of the superstructure
was removed from the ship, and the Navy donated some pieces of it to qualiﬁed veteran’s organizations. One of those pieces is in Mississippi. The wooden case in which it is housed is sort of a museum piece itself. The case was built by Ben Napier from wood removed from the deck of the USS Missouri, as well as Piney Woods pine from Mississippi. You will recall Ben and his wife Erin host the HGTV show “Home Town” featuring the fantastic renovations they have been doing with the homes and buildings in Laurel. I suppose that’s another by-product of time passing — renovations. If time stood still, we wouldn’t need to remodel what deteriorated over time. But we might end up like “The Chronicles of Narnia,” where it was always winter but never Christmas. So, since it is going to happen anyway, enjoy the passing of time. Remember the things you choose to and impress your grandkids by making the month change every now and again.
by Walt Grayson 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.” Walt is also a reporter and 4 p.m. news anchor at WJTV in Jackson. He lives in Brandon and is a Central Electric member. Contact him at email@example.com.
JANUARY 2022 | TODAY 27
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