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outdoors today picture this my opinion grin ‘n’ bare it
Cooperative spirit is strong after Hurricane Ida October is National Cooperative Month, so each year, we take a moment to consider the impact that electric cooperatives make in our community. Their impact was best defined in the days following Hurricane Ida’s trek through Mississippi and Louisiana. Hurricane Ida’s Category 4 wind speeds of more than 140 miles per hour brought a path of destruction through southwest Mississippi, causing more than 85,800 members to lose electric service across our state. Hurricane Ida is tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane to make landfall in the United States. Ten electric cooperatives in Mississippi initially had power outages caused by Hurricane Ida with the hardest hit being Magnolia Electric Power in McComb, Southwest Electric in Lorman, and Coast Electric in Kiln. Cooperatives are guided by 7 Cooperative Principles; one of which is Cooperation Among Cooperatives. After personnel from each of these cooperatives restored power to their respective members, their linemen got up early the following morning and went to another electric cooperative in our state or neighboring Louisiana to repair electric service. Linemen and support staff did this for nine days in our state until electricity was restored. I came to work for the electric cooperatives 16 years ago after Hurricane Katrina devastated the state of Mississippi. I was impressed then with the willingness and fortitude of the employees of our local electric cooperatives to serve their communities, even when their own homes had sustained damage. Hurricane Ida proved once again that our electric cooperatives are committed to the principle of Cooperation Among
Cooperatives. Although there are 26 individual electric cooperatives across our state; there is strong unity when a disaster, like Hurricane Ida, strikes. Speaking of Cooperative Month, I would like to share a few facts with you about electric cooperatives and their impact on our state. Collectively, our 25 distribution cooperatives serve more than 802,000 homes and businesses in Mississippi through more than 95,000 miles of distribution power line. Our cooperatives were founded more than 80 years ago to serve rural areas in Mississippi. Today statewide, they average 8.4 meters per mile of power line, meaning we are still true to our heritage by serving rural areas. This is a low number when considering a major city in Mississippi averages about 30 meters per mile of line. Think about that for a second. When our linemen repaired a mile of power line after Hurricane Ida, they got eight homes or business restored compared to other utilities in more urban areas. Their job is a tough one, and they did it with a strong cooperative spirit. Carrying through with that same spirit, I would like to say, “thank you,” to you, our members, for your support and patience in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Your kind words of encouragement and thanks mean a lot after working long days in the summer heat to restore power.
by Michael Callahan
Magnolia Electric Power’s service area
by the Numbers The following numbers are the effects on Mississippi electric cooperatives:
Power outages Ida’s maximum wind speeds Electric co-ops with outages of power restoration
Tied as the fifth strongest hurricane in the U.S.
Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 3
in this issue
5 southern gardening Crotons mean bold fall foliage
7 scene around the ‘sip A look at special people and places in Mississippi
outdoors today Getting ready for this year’s hunting seasons
10 local news 16 feature
Blues guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is a future legend
The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi
Vol. 74 No. 10
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 Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphic Designer Kevin Wood - Graphic Designer Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant EDITORIAL OFFICE & ADVERTISING 601-605-8600
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20 on the menu
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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
23 mississippi seen Why Mansfield Downs is important to our state
On the cover Clarksdale blues guitarist and singer Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is being hailed by the music press as the future of the blues. Photo by Jim Fraher.
23 NEXT IN PICTURE THIS:
Send us photos of churches. Mississippi is filled with beautiful churches, both old and new. We want to show off our state’s gorgeous church architecture. Send us photos of old, abandoned churches or of newer, active churches. Make sure to send us the name of the church (if you know) and the location (town or city). 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: Nov. 30. Select photos will appear in the January 2022 issue.
4 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
My favorite plants for the fall season are crotons. These beauties have some of the boldest and brightest foliage found in garden centers. Their warm foliage colors of bright yellow, red and orange shades are perfect for autumnal decorations and displays. Some of the foliage rainbow color patterns look like abstract works of art. When grown outside in high light locations, the colors become even more intense. Crotons are not just great for the fall landscape and garden. They are attractive and add an exotic touch all through the year. I get a few questions from time to time about planting crotons into landscape beds. I usually advise against it because they are tropical plants that thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 to 12. In Mississippi, I suggest leaving them in their original pots or transplanting them into decorative containers. There are more than 100 varieties of croton, but we rarely find more than a few in garden centers. I don’t think it matters which variety you choose, as they all have magnificent warm, fall colors. Crotons also have a variety of leaf shapes, from long and short to thin and twisted. Growing requirements are pretty easy. Place them in the full sun, although some afternoon shade is beneficial. Feed with 20-20-20 watersoluble fertilizer once a month to keep your crotons happy. Maintain consistent soil moisture, as crotons don’t like to dry out. Being tropical, crotons don’t
Crotons such as this Petra variety offer some of the boldest and brightest foliage found in gardens.
like temperatures below 50 degrees, which is no problem in our summer season. Growing them in containers makes it much easier to bring inside for cold weather protection. It also allows you to enjoy the great color indoors if you place them in a bright window with indirect light. Once you take the plants indoors, be sure to mist the foliage every day or try this tip. Place the container in a dish with a layer of pebbles and water. This acts as a humidifier, as the water evaporates from the pebbles’ surface. An indoor problem to look out for are a few insect pests like mealybugs and spider mites that will show up if the containers start to dry out and stress the plant. Control these pests by washing the foliage with gentle dish soap and then rinsing. If you want a great plant for autumn impact, then I highly recommend getting a couple of crotons. The current selection of plants, in my opinion, has never been better at your local independent garden center. As you shop this weekend, be sure to pick up a couple of crotons to complete your autumnal decorations.
by Dr. Gary Bachman Gary Bachman, Ph.D., Extension/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. He lives in Ocean Springs and is a Singing River Electric member.
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 5
VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST __________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested
The warm colors of crotons make them ideal for fall, but they add an exotic touch all year. Colors are most intense when grown outside in high light locations.
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bring legends to life by Nancy Jo Maples Historical tales abound among souls resting in Griffin and Krebs cemeteries of Jackson County. Such stories come to life each fall with reenactments of deceased figures’ lives. Progressive tours are put on by the Jackson County Historical Genealogical Society and local history buffs who organize the events, research the characters, and act the parts wearing time-period costumes. Moss Point’s tour is its ninth; Pascagoula’s tour is its 15th. The Historic Griffin Cemetery Tour in Moss Point will be Oct. 23. Tours are 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. starting on the hour and half-hour. Located at the west end of Dantzler Street, Griffin Cemetery has recorded burials since 1848 and indications exist of possible earlier interments. Griffin’s tour always Skip and Betty St. Amant act as Marie DuPont centers on Moss Point Krebs and John B. “Celestine” DuPont, Jr. at families. This year’s tour the 2020 Krebs Cemetery tour. Photo by Nancy Jo Maples includes six presentations at gravesites depicting the lives of icons like Edward Khayat and his wife Eva. Khayat was an educator, banker, and 32-year member of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors. The Khayats will be portrayed by their grandchildren, Dr. Matt Murray and Deborah Frost Coulson. Another Moss Point figurehead to be represented is Frank Jefferson Hammond, Jr., depicted by Roy Lang. Well-known attorney Hammond was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Tom Getz will play Marion McKay Evans, a former lieutenant governor. The Goleman and Rasmussen families will also be presented. Folk musicians, The Great Speckled Birds, will entertain, and local vendors will sell plants and pottery. Golf carts are available for those unable to walk the terrain. The tour at Krebs is Oct. 28. A United Service Organization (USO) style show with costumed hostesses will kick off the event at 4:30 p.m. Cemetery tours run 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. beginning every 10 to 15 minutes. Located at 4602 Fort St.,
Pascagoula, Krebs Cemetery is the oldest active private family cemetery in the United States. Original tombstones date to 1820 with the marker of a 15-year-old girl written in French; however, burials are recorded for the cemetery as far back as the 1700s. The cemetery sits adjacent to the LaPoint-Krebs House. Dating back to 1757, the LPK House is the oldest, scientifically-confirmed standing structure in the Mississippi River Valley. The Krebs tour theme changes yearly. This year’s portrayals will focus on World War II in keeping with Pascagoula’s current effort to become an American World War II Heritage City. In addition to contributions from citizens and veterans during wartime, the city’s shipbuilding enterprises supplied many of the nation’s war vessels. Warren Gautier will portray his father, Hermès Frederic Gautier, local draft board chairman. Richard Lucas and Tee McCovey will portray Army and Army Air Corps
Ken DeAngelo portrays the late Rev. John Brock at last year’s Griffin Cemetery tour. Photo by Laura Cooley
members Mason Gray Farrell and Leonelle Bonam. Farrell is buried at Krebs. Bonam, Pascagoula’s only Tuskegee Airman, is buried at Biloxi National Cemetery but grew up near Krebs Cemetery. Harold Gautier and his sister Mary Elizabeth Gautier Mahaffey will depict Skip and Bettie St. Amant. Both served in the Marine Corps and are buried at Krebs. Two sailors buried at Krebs, James Thomas Kell, and William English Nolan, Sr., will be portrayed by Scott Logan and Arthur Portas. The Pascagoula event draws 200 to 500 guests; Moss Point’s tour draws more than 100. Admission is free to both. For more information on the Moss Point tour see its Facebook Page, Historic Griffin Cemetery Tour, or call 228-218-5239. For info about the Pascagoula tour, call 228-249-2697. Award-winning journalist Nancy Jo Maples has been writing about Mississippi people and places for more than 30 years. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 7
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Watch out for power poles! Farm equipment’s a lot taller and wider than it used to be. That’s why you should use extreme caution when operating equipment near power poles and lines, leaving a clearance of at least 10 feet. Knocking over a power pole or getting tangled up in the lines can be dangerous — even deadly.
Think safety around power lines. 8 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
Few things are more rewarding and enjoyable than being in the squirrel woods with a good dog.
While doves and some limited waterfowl — teal specifically — can be hunted in September, the bulk of hunting in Mississippi begins in October. And this is a grand month for beginnings. October is marked by fresh, brisk mornings and leaves dressing for autumn. Morning sunrises fill azure skies and shadows take on a peculiar slant unlike that of the suffocating summer just past. October is a grand time to be sure. Two hunting seasons that open in October are for game that occupies certainly the No. 1 slot in popularity — deer — and the probable No. 2 or No. 3 — squirrels. The latter tends to vacillate somewhat, and whether it is second or third in the line-up is inconsequential. It has long been and likely will be anticipated by most hunters of the Magnolia State. Deer in October may only be hunted with archery gear. While not as commanding of attention as is the later firearms seasons, this pursuit of bow hunting boasts a strong following. Thousands take to the woods with bows and arrows each year in hopes of gaining the proper distance from a whitetail while shooting short-range equipment. And most that put in their time doing so are richly rewarded. Squirrel hunting may, by some, be viewed as a strange attraction. Squirrels are common in city parks and along city streets and in backyards and on lawns. Wooded roadsides seem filled with them. Common they are, and that familiarity may coax the unschooled of squirrel hunting to disregard them as viable, to consider them as little more than cuddly bundles of activity. Dedicated squirrel hunters know differently. They recognize that squirrels are worthy of
pursuit, cunning and suspicious of intrusion into their wild haunts. In short, squirrels are a challenge. And they provide the makings of a fine supper. While growing up, I was introduced to squirrel hunting by my dad. There was not even a deer season in proximity to our humble home area. But those glorious autumn mornings, and at times bitter winter days, in the squirrel woods were the things of dreams, part of the journey into reality and adulthood, now memories treasured and often relived minus many regular companions from those early days. I, back then, became a squirrel hunter and remain such. I go every year. These days I seldom actually collect a squirrel, maybe a half dozen in singles or pairs scattered out over the season. Fried squirrel and biscuits coax me to do so. But mostly, I simply go. And sit and think and look and listen and marvel and recall who and what I really am. There is great profit in my squirrel hunting. Much too good to miss, this endeavor.
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.
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 9
VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST __________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested
BRINGING THE POWER WWW.SOU THERN PIN E.COOP | P.O. BOX 60 | 1349 1 H WY. 28 | TAYLO R SVIL L E, MS 39 16 8 | 800.231 .524 0
Members Are the Cooperative Difference In Mississippi, electric service is provided by one provider in any given territory. Some providers are private companies like Mississippi Power and Entergy. In contrast, others are non-profit cooperatives like Dixie Electric, Southwest Electric, and, of course, Southern Pine Electric. We all share the same goal of providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to our consumers. At Southern Pine and our sister cooperatives, that isn’t our only goal. We know that you do not have a choice about who provides your electricity, but we work every day to ensure that if you did, you would still choose us. Southern Pine strives every day to bring you the best member service possible. Because we are member-owned, we know just how vital our members are to our success. Members elect the board of directors who make decisions that impact all of us. Members live and work in our service area and provide essential services to Southern Pine employees and communities. We bring the power to your homes and businesses, and you teach our children, care for us when we’re sick, build our roads, lead our churches, and serve Southern Pine employees in a myriad of ways. We are all part of the same community, and that’s why service to community — cooperative principle number seven — is ingrained in us. Serving 11 Mississippi counties, our membership is diverse because there is no demographic requirement for
10 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
membership, other than living in the service area. Members are the cooperative difference and drive every decision we make at Southern Pine. As we commemorate Co-op Month in October, we celebrate you, our members. Southern Pine was born of this community, we are led by this community, and we are focused on you. Since our creation, so much has changed about how we live our lives. Technologies have made all kinds of tasks more manageable, and most of the improvements require electricity. That’s why today, more than ever, safe, reliable, and affordable electric service is crucial to our lives. Co-op Month is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come, look at where we are going, and remember why we do what we do. It’s a time to say thank you to our members, the lifeblood of our cooperative. We promise that we’ll always do our very best to make you proud to be members of Southern Pine Electric.
by Chris K. Rhodes President/CEO Southern Pine Electric
G R 0
Southern Pine Responds Swiftly Hurricane Ida spared Southern Pine Electric’s service area the devastation and destruction that Louisiana experienced. While we did experience outages, we responded safely and quickly. At the height of outages caused by Hurricane Ida, there were over 22,000 meters without power. Southern Pine crews and additional contractor crews had all power restored within 36 hours!
After restoring power to all Southern Pine members, crews from each Southern Pine district headed to Louisiana to help in restoration efforts at DEMCO. DEMCO is Louisiana’s largest electric cooperative and serves seven parishes in southeast Louisiana. Southern Pine crews joined thousands of other linemen who descended upon Louisiana to help restore power to so many in need.
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 11
WAREHOUSE TEAM BRINGS THE POWER BEHIND THE SCENES Every day, without fail, the warehouse team makes sure that the crews are ready to serve our members with the equipment and supplies needed to bring the power. That’s never more evident than during outage-causing weather events because this team jumps into action to keep the supplies coming as the need grows. The warehouse team is responsible for housing all materials necessary to build and maintain our system. With 10,500 miles of line over 11 counties, that’s no small task. Each week the team is responsible for ordering, receiving, and restocking the warehouse to ensure that anything the crews may need will be ready at a moment’s notice. They pull supplies, charge out materials to whoever needs them, and retire old materials. The team of three also maintains all tools and personal protective equipment that keep our employees safe. On top of the 42,000-square-foot warehouse, the team manages the outside pole and transformer yards, a combined 8.19 acres, while keeping all areas clean, tidy, and organized, so items can be found at a moment’s notice. With over 1,000 unique items on hand in varying quantities from a hundred to thousands, organization is critical to their success. James Holder, warehouse supervisor, says there is never a dull moment with his crew, and they have fun while working hard. “I have a great team. All of them would give you the shirt off their backs, and while each one of us has our weaknesses just like everyone else, when you put us together, we shine.” “The warehousemen are a vital part of the team that brings the power to our members, working behind the scenes to keep our crews going. Members may not see them on the front lines, but without them, we wouldn’t be able to serve our members,” said Chad Lewis, vice president of operations. L to R: Ronald Hughes, warehouseman; Stephen Bowen, warehouseman; and James Holder, warehouse supervisor
12 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
Stephen Bowen has been a part of the Southern Pine team for five years as a warehouseman. Before joining our team, he worked in the oilfield industry for seven years as an electronics technician. “I got to see the world, so I have no regrets,” said Stephen. “I worked in Singapore for eight months and lived the life of a nomad, in a way, for those seven years, just going wherever the job took me.” Stephen started at Southern Pine in 2016 and said at first it was a culture shock. “I wasn’t used to the fact that I was home every night and could develop a life outside of work.”. Stephen said he’s worked at some companies that treated him and the other employees like a number, but he’s never once felt like that at Southern Pine. “We do maintain a level of family comradery that is easy to pick up on once you start your career here,” he said. “All it takes is one storm to hit us, and you’re quickly reminded how the men and women of Southern Pine pull together to keep the lights on.” Stephen says his job at Southern Pine allowed him to “pump the brakes” and settle down. When he did, he met his future wife, and he is thankful. Stephen has been married to his wife, Hannah, for just over a year now. “I am so thankful for Hannah. I never thought I’d be the stereotypical married southern man, but here I am,” Stephen said. “Hannah has been the biggest blessing in my life in the short time we’ve been married.” Together, the young couple raises Goldendoodle puppies. Stephen says they have one litter a year, which keeps them busy until late December. “Any time after October, we have 10-15 little furballs on our hands, and that’s a full-time job until they’re old enough to head off to their new homes,” he said. If he and Hannah are not busy with the puppies, they enjoy being in their game room, playing video games, and building Lego sets. “I guess we’re just big kids at heart,” he added. He is a member of First Pentecostal Church of Bay Springs, where his father has pastored for over 17 years.
“We do maintain a level of family comradery that is easy to pick up on once you start your career here.”
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 13
It’s a matter of (Co-op!) principles ACE Hardware, State Farm, REI, Land O’Lakes, and Southern Pine Electric Power Association all share something in common: we’re all cooperatives. We may be in different industries, but we all share a passion for serving our members and helping our communities thrive. In fact, all cooperatives adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness, and service to the greater community good. October is National Co-op Month, so this is the perfect time to reflect on these principles that have stood the test of time but also provide a framework for the future. Let’s take a look at three of the cooperative principles.
Voluntary and Open Membership Just like all co-ops, Southern Pine Electric was created out of necessity — to meet a need that would have been otherwise unmet in our community. So in 1938, a group of neighbors banded together and organized our electric co-op, so everyone in our community could benefit. For a modest
greater good. In this, we include everyone to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for the entire community. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory, regardless of race, religion, age, disability, language, political perspective, or socioeconomic status.
Democratic Member Control Our co-op is well suited to meet the needs of our members because we are locally governed. Each member gets a voice and a vote in who sets the vision for the co-op, and each voice and vote are equal. Southern Pine Electric’s leadership team and employees live right here in the community. Our board of directors, who helps set long-term priorities for the co-op, also live locally on co-op lines. These board members have been elected by you and your neighbors. We know our members have a valuable perspective, and that’s why we are continually seeking your input and encourage you to weigh in on important co-op issues and participate in co-op elections. Our close connection to this community ensures we get a first-hand perspective on members’ priorities, thereby enabling us to make more informed decisions on long-term investments.
Concern for Community membership fee to the co-op, any farmer could get electricity brought to his farm. Neighbors came together to tackle a problem that they all had but couldn’t solve alone. They worked together for the benefit of the whole community, and the newly established electric lines helped power economic opportunity in our community. While this history may be forgotten, key parts of that heritage remain — the focus on our mission and serving the 14 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
As a utility, our mission is to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy to our members. But as a co-op, we are also motivated by service to the community, rather than profits. Southern Pine Electric is a reflection of our local community and its evolving needs. We view our role as a catalyst for making our corner of the world a better place by providing quality of life. Because we are guided by our seven cooperative principles, it’s not just about dollars — it’s about opportunity for all and being fair when engaging with our members.
2021 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING SET FOR NOVEMBER 11
Billy M. Berry
Southern Pine Electric’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held on November 11, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. We are hopeful that we will be able to host an in-person meeting. However, safety protocol regarding COVID-19 will dictate whether the meeting will be held on-site or virtually. Southern Pine will provide more information soon. We appreciate your patience as we work to protect the health and well-being of our members and employees. Southern Pine members will receive a notice and proxy in the mail providing them with the opportunity to vote for directors
either by mail or electronically. For your vote to be counted, proxies must be received by Monday, November 8, 2021. The 2021 Nominating Committee has, pursuant to the bylaws, nominated four cooperative members to serve for a period of three years as a member of the board of directors of Southern Pine. They are Billy M. Berry from Simpson County, David Tadlock from Scott County, Haskins Montgomery from Jasper County, and Jeffery Sims from Forrest County. These candidates are members in good standing and are your friends and neighbors. All four are very well-qualified and meet the qualification guidelines established by the cooperative. All members of the board of directors are bound by the mission to enhance the quality of life of our members and community by safely providing electric energy at an affordable price. Members who vote will be entered into drawings for the following prizes: $1,000 of electricity, $750 of electricity, $500 of electricity, $250 of electricity and a GRAND PRIZE of a retired Southern Pine pick-up truck. Winners will be notified by telephone, email, or mail. Please take an active role in your cooperative by voting! We love visiting with our members and are looking forward to seeing you in person if safely possible. Any questions or concerns may be sent to the firstname.lastname@example.org. OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 15
Photo by Justin Hardiman
16 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
Photos by Chad Calcote
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 17
Revisions Requested Approved
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Ask anyone who has witnessed one of Ingram’s live performances, and they will describe the moment when their jaw dropped in awe. Ingram has recently released his second album, “662” named for the area code of his beloved north Mississippi home. His debut CD, “Kingfish,” was nominated for a Grammy in 2019. Ingram has performed with living blues legend Buddy Guy, recorded with funk icon Bootsy Collins and has been interviewed by Sir Elton John on his Apple podcast. He’s been on the cover of Guitar World and DownBeat magazines and Rolling Stone wrote that “Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.” Not bad for a kid who was taught to play guitar at an arts education program at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale.
by Steven Ward The history of the blues is embedded deep in Mississippi’s past. So, it’s no wonder that the future of the blues has blossomed from the same legendary locale. According to one legendary account, Mississippi blues icon Robert Johnson went to “The Crossroads” in Clarksdale to make a deal with the devil to sell his soul in exchange for the ability to play his guitar and become the greatest musician in history. Clarksdale is also the birthplace and home of 22-year-old blues guitarist and singer Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. A child prodigy who picked up the guitar at 11 after playing bass and drums, Ingram has taken on the role of blues savior. His record company wrote in publicity material that Ingram “has quickly become the defining blues voice of his generation.”
mississipp on the menu outdo scene around the ‘sip
During a break from his current tour, Today in Mississippi had a chance to ask co-op involvement Ingram a few questions. Today in Mississippi: Do you feel like your songwriting has matured or gotten better on the new album?
Kingfish: Yeah. The songs on “662” are more personal, and there’s been some growth — musically, vocally, and with the songwriting. Songwriting is not easy. You want to be original, but sometimes I overthink it.
TIM: You have a song on the new album called, “Another Life Goes By.” Why did you feel like it was important to write that song right now?
K: Actually, the song was written before what happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I wrote the song because blues has always been protest music. It’s our blues of today, and I think it’s mandatory that we talk about it. TIM: Do Clarksdale and Mississippi play a part in the man
K: Absolutely, Clarksdale is a big factor in who I am. Because of all the people here in the city. The blues. The music. The culture. Everything I’ve been through here. TIM: Tell me about your favorite blues guitar players and influences.
K: I mean I listen to and love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Son House, Lighting Hopkins, Freddie King, and Otis Rush. All those guys are influences. I think the best player I ever saw live was a guy called T Model Ford. He was so authentic. There was something about his style. He could be out of tune, but the way he played really touched me. TIM: You have played all over the world. I’m sure you have had great experiences. But what do you miss about Mississippi when you are on the road in exotic places?
K: The cooking for sure. Food from home. But also, southern hospitality. I miss the people.
TIM: If you were born and raised in, say, Iowa or California, do you think you would be a blues guitar player today?
K: Oh no. No. No disrespect to Iowa or California. But kids wind up doing what they see. It’s about what they are around. And being in Clarksdale, I’ve been around blues music my entire life.
Photo by Laura Carbone
18 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
Photo by Justin Hardiman
ssissippi marketplace outdoors today p picture this my opinion grin ‘n’ bare it
4 1. Death by Chocolate by Marlene Langford of Maben; 4-County Electric member. 2. Strawberry shortcake by Neetsie Gary of Yazoo City; Yazoo Valley member. 3. Ghoulish Guacamole dip with chips by Evelyn King of McComb; Magnolia Electric member.
5. Gluten-free bread and BLT fixings by Hannah McPherson of West Point; 4-County Electric member. 6. Carmel Cake by Coleen McKenzie of Eupora; 4-County Electric member. 7. Bread by Karon Netherland Wilcher of Carthage; Central Electric member.
4. Fried green tomato salad by Lauren Brumfield of Richton; Singing River Electric member.
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 19
with Rebecca Turner
Homegating: Graze and grab-n-go grub perfect for football season Fall is in the air, which means football season is back! And with football comes game-watching parties. The traditional tailgating party happens on campus, outside the football stadium in designated areas like The Grove, The District, The Junction, or The Roost. However, as long as football has been televised, fans have hosted parties from the comfort of their own home. Now, thanks to an ongoing global pandemic, more football fans are embracing the idea of “homegating” and scoring extra points for safety with at-home game-day festivities. Hosting your football tailgate at home gives you a chance to stay safe, avoid crowds, and keep your budget low and the fun high. Food is the life of the party on game day, but fans want to graze and gab about the game instead of sitting down for a meal. That is why making everything buffet-style or grab-n-go is the best setup. You can never go wrong with
bite-sized appetizers, delicious dips, miniature main courses, and dessert. The best part, you can try new recipes with each game day while keeping the MVPs in rotation. Classic tailgating foods include chili, ribs, hamburgers, wings, chips, and cheese dips. This year give rookie recipes a starting position on your table — kickoff the party with sausage and cheese cups, bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts, and creamy blue cheese onion dip. Go for the goal with walking tacos and air fried corn on the cob. Keep dessert simple with crowd favorites like individual ice cream cups, brownie bites, and chocolate chip cookies. Tailgating may still look and feel slightly different, but that doesn’t mean the party is over. Whether you’re headed to campus, ready to host a tailgate at home, or watch alone, throw on your school colors, get a plate of festive foods, and enjoy a game-day adventure.
SAUSAGE AND CHEESE CUPS INGREDIENTS 12-ounce package wonton wrappers 1 pound sausage 3 tablespoons dry ranch dressing seasoning mix 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded 8 ounces cheddar cheese shredded 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup milk Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. Carefully press wonton wrappers in the tins and fold edges back and flat. Should look like a cup. Bake empty at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. 20 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
Brown sausage and drain off fat. Cool. In a large bowl, mix ranch dressing mix, cheeses, yogurt, milk, and sausage. Fill wonton cups with sausage mixture. Bake again at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from tin to a wire rack to cool. Tip: Pre-bake the cups and store in an air-tight container until ready to fill. You can also mix your filling together the night before, refrigerate, and do steps 5-7 on game day.
BACON WRAPPED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
BLUE CHEESE ONION DIP
INGREDIENTS 8 slices of bacon 16 Brussels sprouts Toothpicks Salt and pepper to taste
INGREDIENTS 16 ounces sour cream 1 packet onion soup mix 1/4 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled 1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed 1 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together and let chill.
Trim, wash, and pat dry Brussels sprouts. Cut bacon slices in half.
Serve with assorted veggies and/or chips for dipping.
Line a baking sheet in tin foil. Wrap bacon around Brussels sprouts and secure with a toothpick. Place on a baking sheet. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until bacon reaches desired crispness.
AIR FRYER CORN ON THE COB INGREDIENTS 6 frozen corn on the cobs Butter Salt and pepper
WALKING TACOS INGREDIENTS 1 pound lean meat 1 taco packet (or 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning) Individual sized Frito chips Favorite taco toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, pico, salsa, etc. 1 cup milk Prepare meat as directed on the taco packet. On game day, place prepared taco meat into a slow cooker and turn on warm. Allow guests to build their tacos with individual sized chips bags, and taco toppings. The chip bags can be their serving container.
Place your frozen corn on the cob into the air fryer basket and cook for 12 minutes at 360 degrees. After 12 minutes remove the corn. Place a layer of tin foil into your air fryer basket and then sit your cooked corn on the cob on it. Season your corn with salt and pepper and add some butter to each corn cob. Cook for an additional 3 minutes at 400 degrees. After 3 minutes roll your corn in the butter that has dropped down into the tin foil. I f not done enough, cook for another 3 minutes. All air fryers are different.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rebecca Turner is an author, registered dietitian, radio host, television presenter and a certified specialist in sports dietetics with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A lifelong Mississippian, she lives in Brandon and has spent the last decade offering no-nonsense nutrition guidance that allows you to enjoy good health and good food. Her book, “Mind Over Fork,” challenges the way you think, not the way you eat. Find her on social media @RebeccaTurnerNutrition and online at www.RebeccaTurnerNutrition.com.
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 21
mississippi marketplace homemade goods, jewelry, purses, holiday gifts, and Events open to the public will be published free more. Proceeds go to help the Center Ridge Outpost, on the menu outdoors today a camp for children with autism. Raffle tickets will of charge as space allows. Submit details be sold for a community basket to support our local at least two months prior to the event date. mission, “Friends in Need.” Details: 601-214-7834. this scene around the ‘sip picture Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Email to The 25th Annual Vancleave Arts and Crafts Fair and Sale. Nov. 20. Vancleave. More than 50 arts email@example.com. Events are subject to my opinion co-op involvement Book and craft vendors will be present with many great change or cancelation due to COVID-19. Please confirm details before traveling.
hand-crafted items for Christmas gift giving. Inside the library, the year’s biggest book sale will be happening. All proceeds will go toward the Friends of the Vancleave Library’s projects and programs. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Vancleave Public Library. 12604 Highway 57 in Vancleave, Jackson County. Details: 228-8264143. JGRLS.org.
southern gardening Turkey Shoot. Oct. 9. Jackson County. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Daisy Masonic Lodge No. 421, 25700 School House Road. About 14 miles north of Vancleave off Highway 57. Details: 228-861-3995. The 23rd Annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale. Oct. 9. Brandon. Door prizes, multiple vendors, baked goods, and hand-crafted gifts. Church proceeds to benefit social ministries such as: Harbor House, Center for Violence Prevention (assistance for abused women and children), Rankin County Human Resource Agency, Grace House, Mississippi State Hospital, VA Volunteer Services, Habitat for Humanity, Stewpot, and the church’s annual live nativity scene. Free admission. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nativity Lutheran Church, corner of Crossgates Boulevard and Old Brandon Road. Details: 601-825-5125.
grin ‘n’ bare it
The 67th Pre-Thanksgiving Gospel Sing Concert. Nov. 20. South Mendenhall. Featuring The Down East Boys, Terry Joe Terrell, Tim Frith and the Gospel Echoes, and The Revelations. New Life Fellowship. 2167 Highway 49. Details: 601-906-0677.
Barn Sale – Antiques and Collectibles. Oct. 15-16. Purvis. More than 70 collectors with trailer loads of antiques and collectibles. 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Barn sale auction Friday at 5:30 p.m. 4799 Old Highway 11, Purvis (Oak Grove). Details: 601-818-5886 or 601-794-7462. Landrum’s Homestead Fall Festival. Oct. 16. Laurel. Wagon rides, gem mining, shooting gallery, old time games, fishing, cake walk, woodcarving, and blacksmith demonstrations. The event will also feature food, homemade ice cream, and beautiful fall photo spots. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10. Children 3 and under are free. 1356 Hwy 15 South. Details: 601649-2546. landrums.com. Lumberton Olde Tyme Festival. Oct. 16. Lumberton. Arts, crafts, entertainment, and food. Presented by the Lumberton Economic Development Council. 201 West Main Ave. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details: 601-796-4212. 2nd Bluegrass Festival. Oct. 23. Quitman. Acts include Bounds & Determined and Kings Mountain Band, both from Northport, Alabama; Patchwork String Band from Oxford and Rhonda Kelly of Quitman. Starts at 10 a.m. Clarkco State Park, 386 Clarkco Road. Details: 601-776-6651. Whistlestop Weekend. Nov. 5-6. Meridian. Formerly known as the Railfest, Soule Live Steam, and The Carousel Organ Association of America’s Fall Rally. Railroad memorabilia, live steam engines, classic cars, model trains, steam musical organs, blacksmithing, antique machine shop, broom making, and antique print shop operation. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details: 601286-7738. The Annual Holiday Missions Marketplace. Nov. 6. Puckett. Sponsored by UMW of the Puckett United Methodist Church, 6412 Highway 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A rummage sale and vendors will be outside. Come inside and enjoy a homemade soup lunch, a bargain at $5 a bowl. Also shop for the holidays, and holiday casseroles and desserts will be for sale or to order ready for Thanksgiving/Christmas. Past items included: arts and crafts, woodwork/yard art,
22 TODAY | OCTOBER 2021
Infants and toddlers are curious by nature. Open electrical outlets just beg for exploration, which can be pretty dangerous. To keep those little fingers out of trouble, pick up some safety plugs at your local store. They’re inexpensive and can be installed in seconds. And they’ll give you peace of mind while those curious little minds keep looking for new outlets.
A message from
Merit Falls in Simpson County
Long time Mississippi newspaper columnist Bill Minor was an acquaintance of mine. We bumped into each other from time to time at various functions. Often, he would come to the television station and be our commentator on election nights. Over the past few weeks, I have finally picked up a copy of Bill’s book, “Eyes on Mississippi.” It is a collection of his columns about Mississippi politics and associated issues over a 50-year period starting in the late 1940s. It’s an interesting insight into the issues of the day as they were unfolding. All of it is history now. But it was current events at the time Bill was writing about it. We have the perspective of hindsight. No one knew what was coming next as he was banging out his “Eyes on Mississippi” newspaper columns.
Fishing at a “good spot”
The tone of one of his articles caught my attention. It seemed a departure from his normal attitude about things. It’s in the last chapter of his book where he has compiled columns about people that he really admired. The gist of this particular article is how one person can make a difference. And in the 1970s, Mansfield Downs made a huge difference for those of us who like to explore a river or float a Mississippi creek now and again. Who is Mansfield Downs? Well, I wouldn’t have had any idea had I not read the book. It was Mr. Downs’ persistence that convinced the Legislature to redefine “public streams” in Mississippi. Until 1971, a public stream was one on which you could float a steamboat loaded with 200 bales of cotton for at least 30 straight days a year. All of the rest of the smaller rivers, creeks,
and bayous belonged to the landowners. That means if you wanted to try floating or canoeing one of our current popular creek or river floats back then, you could have been arrested for trespassing. But in 1971, the Legislature updated the public waterways qualifications and opened up about 90% more of the state’s waterways — places we use today. And that may never have been done — or at least it wouldn’t have been done when it was — had it not been for Mr. Downs from Pearl River County. Floating the Chunky River And I don’t know another thing about him. But if you ever play in Pelahatchie Creek or paddle the Pascagoula or ply the upper Pearl, thank Mr. Downs. They say three-fifths of the world is covered in water. Mississippi may not be quite that wet, but as a fisherman-cousin of mine told me once, you can’t go 20 miles in any direction in Mississippi without finding another good fishing hole. In October, the weather finally starts getting to where convertibles, front porch swings, and out of the way streams all become more purposeful. Thank you, Mr. Downs, for access to our watery quiet spots.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTOBER 2021 | TODAY 23
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