News for members of Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association
Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)
Meet Miss Rodeo America
Rising water and other thoughts
Today in Mississippi
April 2019 Advertisement
Vinegar Diet helps mother of the Bride
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his is kind of embarrassing, but here goes. My name is Sarah Pierce. I am 58 years old, and through the years (in my mind’s eye) I always thought I looked pretty decent. Especially so when our second daughter was married. I really considered myself a rather ‘smashing’ Mother of the Bride. That is, until the wedding pictures came back. I just couldn’t believe it. Here I am, definitely portly - not lean and svelte like I thought. Unfortunately the camera doesn’t lie. Since then, I heard about Emily Thacker’s Vinegar Diet and decided to give it a try. What surprised me most was how much I could eat yet I was losing weight and inches. It was like I was getting thin, thinner and thinner yet with the Vinegar Diet. I just thought you should know. - S. P. N. Canton, Oh.
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Recently, I had the pleasure to attend the NRECA meeting? Central Electric Power NRECA Annual Meeting in Orlando, which Association selected Wallace to represent is always a productive time filled with industry their local service area in the statewide Youth peers and news. And this year presented an Leadership Program for 2018, and during the especially momentous occasion for Mississippi, program’s annual workshop in Jackson, he was as one of our Youth Leadership Program particselected by industry professionals to represent ipants holds the elite title of the Mississippi on the national Youth 2019 NRECA national spokesperson Leadership Council. From there, he – and he sure stole the show. went on to win the pinnacle award of That young man is Wallace the program, the speech competition “Bubba” Bass, a senior at Leake held last summer in Washington, D.C., County High School who will where he competed against 42 council graduate in May. And let me tell members from other states and earned you, this poised, 18-year-old student the title of NRECA national spokesperbrought an audience of nearly 6,000 son. In fact, in our 32-year history with people to its feet, applauding his the program, this was the third time a My Opinion outstanding presentation with an Mississippian had captured that title. Michael Callahan emphatic standing ovation. For me, being there backstage as Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives If I could use only one word to Wallace made his speech that was of Mississippi describe Wallace’s presentation that met with a roar of applause was an day, it would be “exceptional.” Elooutstanding moment that I’ll never quent and confident, he strolled across the stage forget. I was so proud of him, our state and the as he shared a glimpse into his life, his family, hardworking people who make up our many his faith and his goals. He wove into his speech successful electric cooperatives. And, it was also a call to action for his young peers to aspire to a clear reminder of exactly why we participate become responsible leaders, which was centered in the annual Youth Leadership Program – to around a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, expose our high school students to a world of which states, “We cannot always build the opportunities and experiences. There is no future for our youth, but we can build our doubt that the impact this program is making youth for the future.” He also told of his within our state is, well, exceptional. great-grandfather who worked as a In closing, I’d like to offer a round of sharecropper to provide for his family of 14 congratulations. First, to Wallace for the children and how he thoughtfully displayed his preparation, delivery and message behind your worn-out, torn work shoes as a representation presentation; it was exceptional. Second, to our of the sacrifices made – a legacy that has left current 2019 class of 87 students from across Wallace and new generations of his family Mississippi; your drive to excel is exceptional. with the inspiration to work hard to “fill those Third, to our 20 electric cooperatives who big shoes.” participate in and support the Youth LeaderThrough his message, Wallace captured ship Program in their communities; your more than our attention. He captured our commitment is exceptional. And finally, hearts. to the ECM team for helping organize the So, how did Wallace, from Carthage, program on local and national levels; your Mississippi, end up center stage at the national work and dedication are exceptional.
“Our old oak trees” By Paula Lyle, Gautier Singing River Electric member JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI
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Today in Mississippi OFFICERS Randy Smith - President Keith Hayward - First Vice President Kevin Bonds - Second Vice President Eddie Howard - Secretary/Treasurer EDITORIAL STAFF Michael Callahan - CEO Ron Stewart - Sr. VP, Communications Sandra Buckley - Editor Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Kevin Wood - Graphics Specialist Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant
Today in Mississippi
On the cover
Mississippi is PORCH LIGHT Come and swing with me awhile we'll sit and talk Southern Style I'll charm, blush and even tease as we savor the lemonade breeze The mockingbird wails a sweet melody as I offer up a glass of iced tea magnolia blossoms scent the air swinging...slowly.....time melts there Watermelon wished and pecan dreams the porch is a magical place it seems a scarlet secret many won't tell it's here you win the heart of a Southern Belle
Vol. 72 No. 4 EDITORIAL & 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. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. • National advertising representative: American MainStreet Publications 800-626-1181 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300 Circulation of this issue: 473,017
The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Today in Mississippi is brought to you by your member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative and its various services, including wise energy use. If you are not a member of a subscribing cooperative, you can purchase a subscription for $9.50 per year. Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 11 times a year (Jan.-Nov.) 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.
— Kathryn Picariello
What’s Mississippi to you? 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 to email@example.com. Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing for length and clarity.
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The lady and the wood burning cook stove I have known Annie Ruth Thigpin for approximately forty years. She was a teacher at Rocky Creek Elementary School when I worked as a speech therapist and traveled to several county schools including Rocky Creek. Annie Ruth taught the fifth grade and was highly respected and well liked by her peers. A few weeks ago, Mr. Roy and I visited Annie Ruth in her home in rural George County to hear her story about the old wood cook stove. Annie Ruth has lived all of her life on the 80 acres her daddy purchased years ago. When she married, she and her husband, James Thigpin, built a house just a couple hundred feet from where she had lived all of her life. Annie Ruth’s father was Ernest Pipkins and her mother was Rhoda McLeod. Both had been raised a few miles north in a Scottish community called Vernal. This area became known as Little Scotland and Annie Ruth’s great great grandfather, Peter McLeod, had come to the area in the early 1800s. The McLeod’s encouraged their children to get an education and Annie Ruth and her mother both graduated from what is now the University of Southern Mississippi, and both were school teachers. After we visited and talked about old times, I said, “Annie Ruth, tell me about growing up as a country girl and especially about the old wood cook stove.” She smiled and said, “I was an only child, so I grew up as my mother’s little girl and my daddy’s big girl. I can remember helping
my mother do the cooking and housework in the mornings and then following my daddy in the afternoons. I had so much fun helping my daddy, and I especially liked to follow along as he broke ground with a mule and turning plow. I walked in the furrow as that rich George County dirt rolled over.” Annie Ruth said, “My mother taught e how to cook and that included learning Grin ‘n’ how to use the wood cook stove. Bare It You city girls by Kay Grafe just turned on the electric or gas burner, but I had to learn how to place the wood for different things we were cooking, and how to light it and get the right temperature. There really is an art to cooking on a wood stove.” Since my friend mentioned that all I had to do was turn on the oven or burner on our electric stove, that sparked a ton
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of other questions. “When did you get electricity in your house?” I asked. She thought a minute and said, “I believe it was in 1947.” “Well then,” I replied, “you could just turn your electric stove on and start cooking.” Annie Ruth laughed and said, “My mother and daddy did buy an electric iron, refrigerator and a few other appliances but they would not consider getting rid of that old wood stove.” I asked, “Annie Ruth, just how many more years did your parents continue to cook that way?” Annie Ruth got a big smile on her face and said, “All of their lives. It was my mother’s job to get up first and light the stove. So by the time my daddy got up, the kitchen was warm and breakfast was started. When she got too old and unable to get the fire going, I took over that task. I would go up to the old house every morning before school and get the stove ready for her to use.” Annie Ruth’s mother died in 1991. “I retired from teaching to take care of daddy and cook his meals on the wood stove,” she said. “By this time he was too old to cut and split the wood, so he taught
me how to split it. Daddy passed away in 1994 and my husband James and I closed up the old house and I began cooking again on the electric stove in our house. After a few days, James said, ‘Food doesn’t taste good anymore, I believe you need to go back to cooking on the old wood stove.’ So that’s what we did for over ten years after daddy died.” But when Annie Ruth’s husband died in 2004, she again closed up the old house and retired the old wood cook stove. I asked Annie Ruth if there was anything she would like to tell my readers, and she said, “I have had a wonderful life, wonderful parents, thirty great years teaching young minds and playing the piano in my church, and I’ve continued to live right here.” Then she grinned and said, “But I sure do miss that old wood stove and its wonderful food.” Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.
By Sandra M. Buckley Growing up in Oxford, Karen Kurr spent weekends with her parents and sister on the family farm in central Mississippi where they raised cattle and tended a grape vineyard and hearty vegetable garden. It was on the family farm that Karen learned about cooking off of the land and the joy of family time around the dinner table – values she still cherishes and puts front and center in her own family. “Friends and family cherished an invita- Karen Kurr is a member of the North East tion to Mama’s table, loaded down with Mississippi EPA. Visit her homegrown vegetables and Daddy’s www.notime2cook.com grain fed Angus beef,” Karen recalls. to learn more about No Time 2 Cook and “However, it was the conversation, for more recipes. fellowship and laughter that was enjoyed and remembered above all else. Mama and Daddy are gone now, but we as a family still gather around their old farm table enjoying some of the same foods and memories of days gone with our children, family and friends.” A few years ago, Karen found a way to honor and encourage such mealtime traditions by combining her passion for food with a mission to bring today’s busy families back to the dinner table – with No Time 2 Cook, her frozen meal business featuring wholesome ingredients and time-treasured recipes. Inspired by with fresh Mississippi ingredients, Karen selected a few of her favorite farm-to-table recipes (and memories) to share with Today in Mississippi … Enjoy!
Smothered Chicken over Wild Rice This recipe goes way back in my family to my Mama’s childhood in Copiah County. The original ingredients were simply one whole cut up chicken (usually a tough hen that was no longer laying), flour, salt, pepper and water. The onions, peppers, mushrooms and boneless chicken are my tweaks. Mama served this over white rice, but my family prefers wild rice. 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or chicken pieces of your choice) 1 green bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 1 medium onion 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
½ cup all purpose flour (1)15-ounce can chicken broth Dash of salt Dash of pepper 1 box Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bell peppers, mushrooms and onion into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Pour 1 cup chicken broth into a casserole dish (reserving remaining broth for the rice). Salt and pepper the chicken, dredge in flour and arrange pieces in broth. Sprinkle any remaining flour over chicken. Next, cover the chicken with sliced peppers, mushrooms and onions and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for an additional 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice according to package instructions (using reserved broth as part of the water called for in the instructions). Serve chicken, vegetables and broth over wild rice.
April 2019 I Today in Mississippi
Aunt Ida Bell’s Sweet Potato Casserole My Aunt Ida Bell Davis of Pascagoula was a great cook and famous for her sweet potato casserole, which I especially love to make when Vardaman sweet potatoes are in season. Over the years, I’ve made only a few tweaks to her original recipe, such as backing off a bit on the sugar (which my family and customers seem to prefer). 1 ½ pounds whole sweet potatoes ¼ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 2 eggs, slightly beaten ½ tablespoon pure vanilla ½ stick butter, melted
Topping: ⅓ cup light brown sugar 1 tablespoon plain flour ½ cup pecans, chopped 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick whole sweet potatoes with a fork, place on a cookie sheet and bake 45-50 minutes. Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Split, scoop out and mash the potato, which should yield about 3 cups. Add and beat in sugar, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Pour mixture into a 6 x 12-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking dish. For the topping, mix together brown sugar, flour and pecans. Drizzle melted butter slowly over pecan mixture, tossing as you drizzle. Crumble topping over sweet potato mixture. Bake approximately 45 minutes.
Mississippi Tomato Pie There’s nothing better than homegrown tomatoes. For my tomato pie recipe, Beef Steak tomatoes are the best because they have less juice and allow for a crispier pie crust. This recipe came from Linda MacNeil Barrett, my friend who was raised on a farm out from Sturgis in northwest Mississippi. 1 deep-dish pie shell 8 medium ripe tomatoes 1 ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 8 large fresh basil leaves 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream Dash of onion powder Dash of garlic powder ½ teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prebake pie shell for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Slice or rough-chop the tomatoes, removing seeds with juice. Salt tomatoes and drain, removing as much juice as possible. Slice the basil, add pepper and mix into the chopped tomatoes. Arrange tomato mixture in the bottom of the prebaked pie shell and cover with cheese. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder and hot sauce and spread over cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Ms. Betty’s Southern Pecan Pie Pecan pie was our favorite dessert, and when pecans were ready to harvest, Mama would buy a year’s supply from a local farm. Mama’s south Jackson neighbor, Ms. Betty Robinson, had the best pecan pie around, so Ms. Betty’s recipe has always been my go-to. (2) 8-inch traditional pie shells 1 stick salted butter, browned 1 cup light Karo Syrup 1 cup granulated sugar 3 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon pure vanilla ⅛ teaspoon salt 2 ½ cups broken pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brown butter to a nutty brown color and then cool slightly. Next, mix Karo, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and browned butter. Place pie shells on a cookie sheet and cover piecrust edges with a metal pie protector or crimp pieces of foil around the edges to keep the crust from getting too brown. Divide pecans and filling equally between shells. Push pecan pieces down into the filling so that all are well coated and evenly distributed in pies. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 325 degrees and continue baking 40-45 minutes. Pies are done when the middle barely shakes and an inserted knife comes out pretty clean. Yields two pies.
Today in Mississippi
Mississippi’s Electric Cooperatives host
Youth Leadership class of 2019 by Elissa Fulton A group of 87 high school juniors from across Mississippi gathered in Jackson for the annual Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Youth Leadership Workshop Feb. 27-Mar. 1. The hands-on workshop brings these students together from schools across the state to participate in team-building exercises, meet their legislators, tour the state Capitol and hear words of encouragement from government and business leaders and motivational speakers. “Our program focuses on developing leadership skills and encouraging young people to step up and assume leadership roles in their schools, communities and homes,” said Ron Stewart, senior vice president of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi. “We discuss issues facing students and challenge them to use their problem-solving skills to work with others to discover solutions.” The workshop offered the young people an opportunity to interact with other students likewise interested in fulfilling a leadership position and serving their community. Stewart emphasized the program is built around the cooperative business model with a focus on the Sleeper accepts the Youth Leadership Award from Ron Stewart, senior vice president of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi.
ALCORN COUNTY ELECTRIC Alana Hillard, Corinth Payne Sleeper, Corinth*
Congratulations Payne Sleeper, named to the 2019 Youth Leadership Council
CENTRAL ELECTRIC James Carpenter, Carthage John Carpenter, Carthage Savanna Greer, Carthage Callum Mann, Carthage Brooks McDill, Walnut Grove Kathryn Moss, Brandon Brack Rudolph, Carthage
Payne Sleeper, representing Alcorn County Electric Power Association, was selected as the 2019 Youth Leadership Council (YLC) member. He is the son of Natalie and Ronnie Sleeper of Corinth and attends Corinth High School. He will serve a one-year term as Mississippi’s YLC and attend a conference in Washington, D.C., with YLC’s from across the United States. Sleeper is an exceptional student. He is a member of the student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and drama club. Outside of school he is a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Leadership Alcorn, Mayor’s Youth Council and the First Baptist Corinth youth group.
EAST MISS. ELECTRIC Khadijah Bell, Meridian Daneel Konnar, Meridian Judson Moore, Meridian Maggie Phillips, Louisville Shelbie Dean Reid, Meridian
NORTH EAST MISS. ELECTRIC Johnathyn Assad, Potts Camp Mason Bay, Oxford Jed Fitts, Thaxton Murphy Grace Smith, Oxford Tamyia Spencer, Potts Camp
4-COUNTY ELECTRIC Ben Brown, Starkville Carrington Davis, Columbus Ethan Sevier, West Point Zachary Taylor, Columbus
NORTHCENTRAL ELECTRIC Grady Brooks, Holly Springs Bobby Current, Olive Branch Anna Ruth Doddridge, Olive Branch Kennedi Evans, Olive Branch Xavier Harrell, Olive Branch Avery Hughes, Olive Branch Madelyn Jones, Olive Branch Dreana Leake, Redbanks Morgan Lee, Olive Branch Sammy Lee, Southaven Caroline McIntosh, Olive Branch Katie Payne, Olive Branch
COAST ELECTRIC Caleb Bergmann, Gulfport* Jordan Calomese, Waveland Alaina Olsen, Gulfport Mary Thames, Gulfport
MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC Baleigh Brumfield, Summit Abigail Burris, Smithdale* Carley Craig, Brookhaven Amia Miller, McComb
DIXIE ELECTRIC Lorin Brown, Petal* Courtney Lee, Laurel*
NATCHEZ TRACE ELECTRIC Seth Burkes, Vardaman Chris Mathieu, Calhoun City
philosophy: working together to accomplish goals. “We challenge the young people to discover strategies for becoming effective leaders in their schools and communities,” Stewart said. “At the workshop, they learn from public servants and inspirational speakers. In the end, we encourage the students to be intentional in making a difference in the lives of others. They leave the workshop energized and ready to serve,” Stewart said. During a luncheon, Gov. Phil Bryant encouraged the students to stay in Mississippi and work together to maintain a quality place to live and work. After breakfast with their legislators, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves addressed the group. He spoke of the many opportunties available to our youth and encouraged the students to set goals and work hard to achieve them. The students earned the expense-paid trip to the workshop in a competitive selection process sponsored by their local electric cooperative. “The Class of 2019 is a dynamic group, and we are expecting great things from them,” Stewart said. “They speak honestly about their beliefs and will be a positive influence on others.” Kevin Rico, Olive Branch Alex Sanderlin, Byhalia Danielle Smith, Olive Branch Morgan Vanderburg, Olive Branch PEARL RIVER VALLEY ELECTRIC Eli Johnson, Columbia Hannah Phipps, Hattiesburg PONTOTOC ELECTRIC Cheyenne Brown, Bruce Anna Beth Gandy, New Albany Nicole Staten, Pontotoc
SOUTHWEST ELECTRIC John Michael Chance III, Brookhaven Graci Malone, Brookhaven* Layna Myers, Brookhaven* Carleigh Sproulls, Natchez
TALLAHATCHIE VALLEY ELECTRIC Grant Burress, Water Valley Claye Childers, Senatobia Taylor Dean, Water Valley Mary Grace Dickerson, Batesville Nigel McGhee, Sardis J’Kayla Pomerlee, Water Valley Abbi Roark, Enid Ben Rowsey, Courtland
SINGING RIVER ELECTRIC Sarah Hults, Pascagoula Carly Jones, Moss Point* Madisyn Peterson, Ocean Springs TOMBIGBEE ELECTRIC Jeb Wells, Vancleave Sarah Taylor Baker, Tupelo SOUTHERN PINE ELECTRIC Alisha Boren, Baldwyn Hunter Lee, Taylorsville* Tara Beth Buse, Tupelo Ethan McNair, Seminary
Courtney Cochran, Tupelo Haley Dean, Saltillo Chloe Evans, Plantersville* Lakin Hamm, Fulton Cameron Mayes, Tupelo TWIN COUNTY ELECTRIC Ethan Blasingame, Avon Williette Kingdom, Greenville Mary Michael Mahaltic, Glen Allan YAZOO VALLEY ELECTRIC Hunter Barron, Yazoo City Peyton Jones, Yazoo City
* Leadership Finalists Spirit Award °• Friendship Award
Meet Miss Rodeo America April 2019
By Sandra M. Buckley Mississippi’s own Taylor McNair was named Miss Rodeo America 2019 this past December and has since been enthusiastically representing the Magnolia State as she makes appearances at rodeos, schools and other special events all across the country. The 23-year-old from Learned, who held the title of Miss Rodeo Mississippi in 2018, is using this opportunity to both promote and share Mississippi’s rich agriculture industry and lifestyle with others. Taylor, also regarded as the First Lady of Rodeo, was honored to share a few special thoughts with Today in Mississippi readers:
How did growing up on a rural Mississippi farm shape the person you are today? I grew up on my family’s row crop and cattle farm in the small town of Learned. My dad farms corn and soybeans and has over 100 head of cattle in the herd. Growing up in this environment helped to shape me into who I am today by learning the importance of responsibility, stewardship and how to work together. My sister and I put up and sold wheat straw for many years to have money to go towards our college fund as well as selling calves off of cows that we raised. These are the types of experiences that growing up on a farm
“I am a proud Mississippian through and through, and I do feel that with having this national title that I am able to share more about the agricultural roots that I come from as well as the great State of Mississippi.” —Taylor McNair, Miss Rodeo America 2019
afforded me to learn about the agriculture industry as well as myself.
When and how did you become interested in competing in rodeos? I began riding in Little Britches rodeos at the age of three. I participated in rodeos until my beloved horse, Patches, passed away, and I wanted to take a break for a little while. When I was 13,
Today in Mississippi
I started back riding and wanted to get back to competing. Over the years, I have competed in barrels, poles, stake race, goat tying and break away roping. Are there valuable life lessons you’ve learned from the sport of rodeo? One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned from rodeoing is to never give up and go after the goals you’ve set with all that you can. There were many times I would not have a good run at a rodeo and would be disappointed, but that made me want to try even harder next time and keep working until I reached the goals that I set. How would you describe the moment you were named and crowned Miss Rodeo America? When I was standing on the stage, and the moment that they announced I was the 2019 Miss Rodeo America, it was the most surreal and exciting moment of my life. I was nervous, excited, surprised and ecstatic all at the same time! There were so many amazing young women on that stage with me, and I am so grateful for this experience. Are you able to use your national platform to shine a spotlight on Mississippi’s rich agriculture industry? I am a proud Mississippian through and through, and I do feel that with having this national title that I am able to share more about the agricultural roots that I come from as well as the great State of Mississippi. Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business from Mississippi State University and with plans to attend the University of Mississippi School of Law and pursue a Master of Law in Agriculture and Food Law, what is your ultimate career goal? I thoroughly enjoy the policy side of agriculture. I feel like there are really exciting opportunities to help Mississippi famers and communities through lobbying for their best interest and what they need to produce the highest quality of food and fiber to feed and clothe the world.
8 I Today in Mississippi I April 2019
1. French Camp Alumni Museum. By Tiffany Sarah Smith, French Camp; Delta EPA member. 2. My arrowhead collection, all found locally in Petal. By Keith Ball, Petal; Dixie EPA member. 3. An old windmill in Neshoba County. By Karon Wilcher, Carthage; Central EPA member. 4. My father's typewriter he purchased shortly before he enlisted in the Army and used it while serving as Company Clerk in World War II during his duty in the Philippines. By Linda Hollingsworth, Quitman; East Mississippi EPA member. 5. A classic Ford Fairlane I saw in Ocean Springs at a Cruising the Coast event. 4 By Jerome Zoller, Vancleave; Singing River Electric member. 6. “All things pass.” By Laird Bagnall, Columbus; 4-County EPA member. 7. “Artifacts from the past.” By Norma Bowlin, Summit; Magnolia Electric Power member. 8. “Old records in a trunk.” I've been collecting vinyl records since I was a kid, when my grandmother gave me her collection. By Lindsey Bowen, Ackerman; 4-County EPA member. 9. A 1907 Weaver pump organ and stool. By Kate and Nelson Wilson, DeKalb; East Mississippi EPA members. 10. A War Ration Book with my mother-in-law's name on it. By Donna Stafford, Olive Branch; Northcentral EPA member. 11. These are two cameras that my father used to take hundreds of photographs. The photograph in the background is one my father took of my mother, sister and me on a camping trip in the early 1960s. By Sandy Warren, Benton; Yazoo Valley EPA member. 12. I spotted this truck in a shed while visiting a friend in Bogue Chitto. By Elizabeth W. Boyd, McComb; Magnolia Electric Power member. 13. The smokehouse my grandfather used for many years to smoke meats. I now live on their property and get to admire this piece of my family’s history on a daily basis. By Angela G Smith, Jayess; Magnolia Electric Power member. 14. Cotton boll clip-on earrings from the 1950s that belonged to my grandmother who lived in the Delta. By Madeline Cuevas, Wesson; Southwest Electric member. 15. “Bottles.” By Sandra Wadsworth, Hattiesburg; Pearl River Valley EPA member.
Today in Mississippi I 9
16. A 1934 piggy bank that belonged to Grandma. By Blanche Walters, Picayune; Coast EPA member. 17. My late fatherâ€™s old â€˜75 Chevrolet. Believe it or not, it still runs! By Debra Pierce, Leakesville; Singing River Electric member. 18. This little wooden rocker is one of two made for my mother and her twin sister in 1936 in Winston County. By Charlene Bennett, Sumrall; Pearl River Valley EPA member. 19. A 1931 Lincoln Model K and a 1941 Stearman airplane at the Antique Auto and Engine Club of Mississippi and Vintage Airplane Show in Gulfport. By Andy Switzer, Gulfport; Coast EPA member.
10 Today in Mississippi
Member owned. Locally operated. That’s the cooperative difference.
PRVEPA Contact Information: Columbia: 601-736-2666 Hattiesburg: 601-264-2458
Purvis: 601-794-8051 Wiggins: 601-928-7277
To pay bills or report outages:
Member owned. Locally operated. That’s the cooperative difference.
855-2PRVEPA (855-277-8372) Visit us online at www.PRVEPA.com
#ThankALineman Pearl River Valley Electric salutes the service of our linemen America’s electric cooperatives have designated the second Monday of April as National Lineman Appreciation Day. The full text of the resolution, which was adopted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in 2013, reads: “Whereas linemen leave their families and put their lives on the line every day to keep the power on; Whereas linemen work 365 days a year under dangerous conditions to build, maintain and repair the electric infrastructure; Whereas linemen are the first responders of the electric cooperative family, getting power back on and making things safe for all after storms and accidents; and Whereas there would be no electric cooperatives without the brave men and women who comprise our corps of linemen; “Therefore be it resolved that NRECA recognize the second Monday of April of each year as National Lineman Appreciation Day.” “We are proud to recognize all electric linemen for their dedication to serving our members and protecting the public’s safety,” said Randy Wallace, PRVEPA general manager. “I would also encourage anyone, if they ever have a chance, to take a moment and thank our line crews for the work they do. They are special individuals and they do an outstanding job for our Association.”
NATIONAL LINEMAN APPRECIATION DAY APRIL 8, 2019
navig ating the
Eli Johnson and Hanna Phipps in front of the state Capitol in Jackson.
April 2019 Today in Mississippi
y! Pearl River Valley Electric sends local students to the Youth Leadership Workshop - with the goal to help prepare Mississippi’s brightest students for the future! The Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi held its 33rd Youth Leadership Workshop Feb. 27 through Mar. 1 in downtown Jackson. The annual event brought 87 students from across Mississippi to the state capital to participate in activities designed to enhance their already present leadership abilities. Eli Johnson of Columbia High and Hannah Phipps of Oak Grove High were selected from among the schools in Pearl River Valley Electric’s service area to represent the electric cooperative during the workshop, which is designed to help instill leadership qualities, inspire creative thinking, encourage community service and introduce students to many of today’s state role models. The students participated in teambuilding activities and discussions, met with their state legislators and visited the state Capitol. They also heard from a variety of motivational speakers as well as from Mississippi’s top leaders, Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. Gov. Bryant continued his long-time support of the program by speaking to the students during a luncheon at the
Old Capitol Inn. During his remarks, he talked about the importance of being a servant in the community and the great opportunities for leadership roles in the state. “Learn all you can about leadership skills and do that by helping in your communities,” he said. “Leaders must take a bold step, and then convince enough others to help in completing a vision.” Lt. Gov. Reeves encouraged the students to take charge when there is a need in their community as well as to find ways to reach common objectives. “Through the years as lieutenant governor, my goals have evolved and have significantly increased,” Reeves said. “We have to work together in order to accomplish goals.” Training young leaders is fundamental to building strong communities, and through
“We are proud to have these two outstanding students represent Pearl River Valley Electric.” Randy Wallace General Manager
this program Pearl River Valley Electric hopes to prepare promising students for a bright future. “We are proud to have these two outstanding young people represent Pearl River Valley Electric,” said Randy Wallace, general manager. “Each year, the youth leadership program has encouraged students to expand their view of the world, and they take away lifelong lessons and develop lasting relationships. They are our future leaders, and we look forward to seeing them
Eli Johnson joined the other students in teambuilding and problem-solving exercises.
be successful in their schools and communities.” Eli is the son of Kristi and Mike Johnson of Columbia, and Hannah is the daughter of Stephanie and Jamie Phipps of Oak Grove. In June, the two will travel with the group to Washington, D.C. for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour. The seven-day trip will include visits to popular monuments and memorials and also meetings with Mississippi’s congressional delegation during a visit to Capitol Hill.
Left: Eli Johnson and Hannah Phipps pose at the Youth Leadership Workshop. Below (L-R): Representative Ken Morgan, Hannah Phipps, Eli Johnson, Senator Angela Hill, Senator Joey Fillingane and Senator John Polk.
Today in Mississippi
Grown, Raised, Crafted and Made Products
“What we like about this land most of all is the sense of togetherness it gives.” — Hodding Carter, II, 1907-1972, Mississippi Delta award-winning journalist and publisher By Sandra M. Buckley It is “this land” – or rather the dark, rich fertile soil packed deep throughout Mississippi – that does bind us all together, especially when it reaps a fresh and hearty bounty that, in turn, we are able to enjoy together and even share on a global level. Thanks to this fertile land, not only is agriculture a booming, billion-dollar industry in the state, it also is responsible for nearly 30 percent of Mississippi’s workforce, either directly or indirectly. Rooted deeply in our rural areas, it currently represents
more than 35,800 farms. “Agriculture is the heart of many of our small towns and rural communities,” said Andy Gipson, Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, also a farmer himself. “My wife, Leslie, and I live on a working family farm with our four children, where we manage a cow/calf operation and tree farm.” As today’s lifestyle and food trends are increasingly centered around simplicity, people are more conscientious about the sustainability of their food as well as more intentional to buy from and support local businesses. “As Mississippians, we have Understanding the significance of this movement, the Mississippi a great deal to be proud of, Department of Agriculture and and the Genuine MS program Commerce recently launched Genuine MS, a branding profocuses on the many things gram that fosters the agriculture Mississippi has to offer.” industry in a variety of ways and includes four product classifica— Andy Gipson, Missississippi Commissioner tions: Grown (crops and proof Agriculture and Commerce
duce); Raised (livestock, dairy, apiary, seafood and aquaculture); Crafted (food and beverages; hand-crafted items made of agricultural or natural resources); and Made (manufactured items at least 51 percent manufactured in Mississippi). “When a farm or business becomes a member, they are allowed to use the Genuine MS brand as a stamp of authenticity to show that their products are Grown, Raised, Crafted or Made in Mississippi,” said Gipson, explaining that members are featured on the Genuine MS website, a marketing platform that also allows consumers from around the world to find, learn about and purchase these local products online as a one-stop-shop. “The vision of Genuine MS is to show the strength and importance of agriculture locally, nationally and globally by telling the story of the dedicated farmers, crafters, entrepreneurs and manufacturers that play a part in feeding and clothing, not just our nation, but the world.” Genuine MS products range from fruits, vegetables, honey, mushrooms, nuts and popcorn to seafood, beef, lamb and pork and even tap into
Jason Price, MDAC
Today in Mississippi I 13
Jason Price, MDAC
Paige Manning, MDAC
Frank Ordonez, Mississippi Agriculture Magazine/Journal Communications
Michael Tedesco, Mississippi Agriculture Jason Price, MDAC Magazine/Journal Communications Jason Price, MDAC
organic skincare products, bakery items, jewelry, farm equipment, timber and Christmas trees. “As Mississippians, we have a great deal to be proud of, and the Genuine MS program focuses on the many things Mississippi has to offer,” noted Gipson. “We also have some unique products that may not first come to mind, like flower farms that can be found near the Coast and in the Hills,” he stated. “South Mississippi is the home to a number of blueberry farms, and many don’t realize that we are ranked 9th nationally in blueberry production. Many also don’t realize that their next glass of tea could actually come from tea grown on a farm located in Poplarville or that Mississippi is one of the nation’s top rice producing states with farms that mill their rice to sell to local consumers. Genuine MS products can be found all over the state.” Additionally, retailers, such as restaurants, farmers markets and merchants, who sell Genuine MS products can join the program as Associate Members as a means to showcase their support. “By supporting Genuine MS, you are supporting your neighbors and
communities,” Gipson said. “Local farms and businesses not only provide great products; they provide communities with jobs and economic development opportunities.” As Hodding Carter so eloquently acknowledged, “this land” certainly does provide us a familiar and welcomed sense of togetherness, especially when that takes the shape of homegrown goodness filling our dinner tables and discoveries of other such agriculturally-inspired products and services that call Mississippi home. “Mississippians have a long history of being creative as well as talented – just look at the many famous writers, musicians and artists that have called Mississippi home,” added Gipson. “It is no different when you delve into those who are Growing, Raising, Crafting and Making products.”
Visit www.genuinems.com or call 601-359-1159 for more information.
4 U.S farm-raised catfish fillets 2 cups cornmeal 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup cornstarch 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup honey 1 teaspoon lime zest 1 tablespoon orange zest
Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees. Combine cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Evenly coat catfish fillets with cornmeal mixture and shake off any extra. Cook fish for five minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Combine honey and zests in a small bowl and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Drizzle fillets with honey mixture and serve. Recipe shared by the Kitchen of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
Today in Mississippi
Today in Mississippi
Today in Mississippi
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Thank goodness After what seems to be an eternity, I finally had a chance to do some much-needed work in my landscape and garden. The pleasant weather we’ve had only adds to my enthusiasm. I’ve been wanting to expand the big container planting I have in my front yard, so I removed the last of the Indian hawthorns that were planted in the ground. I did this while they were beautifully blooming a snowy white. I put down a commercial weed barrier followed by a layer of red lava rock. This is the only instance where I would use a weed barrier. I’ve been fascinated by Distylium ever since it was named a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2018, so I planted a couple of these selections in 15-gallon, composite half-barrel planters. I’m pretty happy with these choices. But I was thinking about how I chose Distylium, and it was through information available to me through the Mississippi State University Extension. If Extension hadn’t written the Mississippi
spring has arrived!
Medallion publication and promoted this plant, I would have never known about it or chosen it. It occurs to me that if I’m still learning about how to be successful in my garden and landscape, what about home gardeners who don’t have access to all of the resources available to me? One of the best ways to gathSouthern er information Gardening about being by Dr. Gary Bachman successful in the garden is to know which experts to ask. This is not the time to follow that independent streak most humans have (to be honest, mostly men) and try to figure it out yourself. Guessing usually costs more than doing it right the first time. That’s advice we’ve all heard before, and it pertains to gardening and so many
other things in our daily lives. Your neighbors, newspapers, garden clubs, the local Extension office and Saturdays on the radio are some of the best resources for garden information. Gardeners like to share their experiences, so ask. There are also lots of garden talks, field days and other events in the spring and throughout the year featuring horticulture experts from Mississippi State University and across the Southeast. These are great venues to talk directly to these specialists. Many gardeners, young and old, rely on the Internet, and it can be a great and quick source of gardening information. Social media is another wonderful way to interact with garden and landscape experts and get answers to those growing questions. “Southern Gardening” has a social media presence on Facebook (SouthernGardening), Twitter (@SoGardening) and Instagram (southerngardening). There’s even a Facebook
Today in Mississippi
Live event most Fridays at 10 a.m. And you can always email your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. A tagline I use on my email is even, “Why google when you have me?” Take advantage of these resources. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and look up answers so you can have your best garden and landscape in 2019.
Gary Bachman, Ph.D., is an associate Extension and research professor of horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs.
Today in Mississippi I April 2019
Want more than 438,900 readers to know about your special event? Events open to the public will be published free of charge as space allows. Submit details at least two months prior to the event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Send to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi,P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; fax to 601-605-8601; or email to email@example.com. Events are subject to change. We recommend calling to confirm details before traveling.
Native Plant Sale, Apr. 5-6, Moss Point. 1,500 plants on site with dozens of species to choose from, and experts onsite to give advice. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Pascagoula River Audubon Center; 5107 Arthur Street. Details: pascagoula.audubon.org. Vancleave Quilting Bees Quilt Show, Apr. 5-6, Vancleave. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Vancleave Public Library; Hwy. 57. Details: 228-219-5662. 44th Annual Southern Heritage Pilgrimage, Apr. 5-7, Aberdeen. Ten magnificent Antebellum and Victorian homes will be available for tour, plus cemetery tours, carriage rides and much more. Details: 662-369-9440; aberdeenpilgrimage.org. 4th Annual Shiloh Arts & Crafts Show, Apr. 6, Pelahatchie. Handmade items, antique car show and more. Free admission and parking; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Shiloh United Methodist Church Campground; 2394 Shiloh Road. Details: 601-213-7528. Choctaw County Flea Market, Apr. 6, Ackerman. Lots of vendors, activities for children, food and more. Free admission. Details: 662-285-6337. Meridian Maker Faire, Apr. 6-7, Meridian. Show-and-tell event with inventors, entrepreneurs, techies, hobbyists, educators, authors, environmentalists and more. Sat. 10 a.m. 5 p.m. and Sun. 1 - 5 p.m. Miss. Industrial Heritage Museum. Free admission. Details: 601-693-9905; Meridian.MakerFaire.com. 49th BiAnnual Spring Street Festival, Apr. 6-7, Picayune. Unique downtown shops and dining. 300 artisan and food vendors, special attractions and live entertainment. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free admission. Historic Downtown Picayune. Details: 601-799-3070; www.picayunemainstreet.com. Hugh Bill McGuir Memorial Sacred Harp Singing, April 7, Bruce. 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Bethel Primitive Baptist Church; Hwy. 9. Free admission. Details: 601-940-1612. 8th Annual Smokin’ on the Tracks BBQ Cook-off, Apr. 12-13, Summit. Barbecue contest, car show and entertainment. Details: 601-248-2509; 601-248-0083; SmokinOnTheTracks.com. 39th Annual Alcorn State University Jazz Festival, Apr. 13, Vicksburg. Headline, university, college and high school jazz
ensembles from around the country will perform. Vicksburg Convention Center. Free admission. Details: 601-877-6602; alcorn.edu/jazzfest. Starlight Gala, Apr. 13, Pass Christian. Benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast. Live music, silent and live auctions, food and more. 7 - 10 p.m. Pass Christian Yacht Club. Admission. Details: 228-806-5946; bgcgulfcoast.org. Waynesboro Whistlestop Festival, Apr. 13, Ackerman. Arts and crafts, food vendors, classic car and motorcycle show, activities for children, food and more. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free admission. Details: 601-735-2268. "The Road to Calvary", Apr. 14, Foxworth. Presented by New Hope Baptist Church; 508 New Hope Church Road. 7 p.m. Free admission. Details: 601-736-6511. "The Road to Calvary", Apr. 14, Morton. Presented by Choir & the BSU Drama Ministry of East Central Community College. New Liberty Baptist Church; 191 Measels Road. 7 p.m. Free admission. Nursery provided. Details: 601-214-8499. Lower Delta Talks Series, Apr. 16, Rolling Fork. Featuring poet Patricia Neely Dorsey. 6:30 p.m. Sharkey-Issaquena County Library; 116 Robert Morganfield Way. Free admission. Details: 662-873-6261; lowerdelta.org. Choctaw County Flea Market, Apr. 19, Ackerman. Lots of vendors, activities for children, food and more. Free admission. Details: 662-285-6337. 2nd Annual Meridian Little Theatre Golf Tournament, Apr. 20, Meridian. A 4-person scramble fundraiser for Meridian Little Theatre; includes cart, breakfast, lunch, prizes and more. Briarwood Golf & Swim Club. Details: 601-482-6371; meridianlittletheatre.com. Sacred Harp Singing, April 21, Houston. 1 3 p.m. Enon Primitive Baptist Church, south of Hwy. 8. Free admission. Details: 601-953-1094. 12th Annual Chocolate Tasting Event, Apr. 25, Vancleave. Presented by Friends of the Vancleave Library. Featuring an abundance of chocolate treats, doorprizes and raffles. 5 - 7:30 p.m. Vancleave Library; Hwy. 57. Admission. Details: 228-826-4143. Adams County Master Gardeners Plant Sale, Apr. 27, Natchez. Native, pollinator, herbs and vegetable plants available. Education
workshops on herbs and crepe myrtle bark scale. 8 a.m. - 12 noon; Co-Lin Community College, Natchez campus; 11 Co-Lin Circle. Free admission. Details: 601-445-8201. 9th Annual Cruise for St. Jude, Apr. 27, Lucedale. Motorcycle ride, poker run, car/truck/motorcycle show, live music, food vendors and LifeSouth Blood Mobile. 9 a.m. 2 p.m. L.C. Hatcher Elementary School. Details: 601-508-2202. A Night Under the Stars, Apr. 27, Dekalb. A fundraiser for Kemper Academy’s arts and music program with outdoor children’s activities, including field games, bouncy house, concessions and more. Admission. Details: 601-743-2232. Rankin County Master Gardeners Plant Sale, Apr. 27, Brandon. Hundreds of beautiful plants for sale. 8 a.m. - 12 noon. MSU Extention Building; 601 Marquette Road. Free admission. Details: 601-825-1426.
Barn Sale - Antiques & Collectibles, May 3-4, Purvis. More than 65 vendors with trailer loads of antiques and collectibles. 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. 4799 Old Hwy. 11. Free admission; $2 parking. Details: 601-818-5886. Springfest, May 4, Monticello. Presented by Divide Memorial Methodist Church. Lots of food, children’s activities, bake sale, vendor booths, door prizes, concert and more. 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free admission. Details: 601-431-9317. 2nd Annual Trinity Plant Sale and Quilt Show, May 4, Starkville. Numerous plants and gardening items plus art and quilt displays. All sales benefit charities. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Trinity Presbyterian Church; 607 Hospital Road. Free admission. Details: 662-323-9340. Rummage and Bake Sale, May 4, Brandon. Featuring clothing, furniture, household goods, baked goods and more. All sales benefit charities. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Nativity Lutheran Church. Details: 601-825-5125.
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Today in Mississippi
Rising water and other thoughts
Silver Street continues past the barricade and under the Mississippi River flood water in Natchez. Most of the side roads and some of the major highways in the South Delta look just like this small section of Silver Street. So I guess we can add 2019 to 2011 and 1973 as exceptional flood years in Mississippi.
hen you grow up along the Mississippi River as I did in Greenville, for the rest of your life anytime you get near it you hear your father gravely warning you, “That River will kill you.” When my dad told me that I’m pretty sure he was counting on me storing it in the “good advice” side of my brain and not in the youthful “let’smake-that-a-challenge” side. I obviously heeded it or I wouldn’t be writing this now. His words whispered to me again the other day as I parked my car at the barricade on Silver Street at Natchez Under The Hill and walked to where the flooding Mississippi was boiling over its banks into the low dip where the Lady Luck Casino used to dock. My path was only a few feet above water and just a few feet from the bank. The current was angry. And close. I remembered not to stray near it. Nearly a hundred yards of floodwater lay beyond the barricade over Silver Street. It had to have been at least three feet deep at the low spot. Another set of identical barricades blocked the far side of the flood. After that the dry pavement again emerged from its impromptu bath and continued its way on up the steep bluff.
Natchez sits high enough up above the Mississippi that not much of it is affected by floodwater. Up at Vicksburg however, a whole neighborhood is in the backwater area frequently flooded by Chickasaw Bayou across from the National Cemetery in the Vicksburg National Park. The Cemetery and the Park are on that first bluff above the river. Chickasaw Bayou is at the bottom of the bluff on the very south end of the low, flat Delta. The lower Delta is really getting it again this year. It’s a double punch. There was a lot of rain over the entire Delta this winter. Mississippi And about the time that rainwater was to drain Seen from the lower Delta into by Walt Grayson the Yazoo and then the Mississippi Rivers, there came a flood down the Mississippi. So when the Mississippi, where the Delta back water is to empty into it, is as high or higher than the water that is to flow into it, there’s nowhere for all that Delta rainwater to go but to back up and flood inside the levees. So as the water in the Delta crept northward
and grew deeper the flood of 2011 began to be mentioned quite a bit, the last worst-flood in the Delta. As the water deepened further, the 1973 flood started creeping into the conversation, the worst flood since 1927 in the south Delta. I did a high water story for WJTV in the lower Delta in early March. Not grasping the magnitude of the flooding that had already taken place, I imagine mine was one of the last automobiles to actually make it from Holly Bluff to Satartia before the road became completely impassable. And I only had one lane out of the water in places. It never occurred to me the flooding was already that bad until I got into it. And yes, I heard Daddy’s voice again as my road seemed to sink closer and closer to the edge of the water until it was just a spit of asphalt before me, raised ever so slightly above the lapping floods on either side. Next time I look out and see that I’m in the middle of a cypress bayou I want to be in a boat, not my car, and preferably with a fishing pole and not a camera. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and he is the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact him at email@example.com.
Today in Mississippi April 2019 Pearl River Valley