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FOR MEMBERS OF ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF MISSISSIPPI

o d y. e.

ay in ice

Crafted The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi celebrates fine artistry at the 43rd Annual Chimneyville Arts Festival

Of Memories and Thanksgiving

Champions of Chess

A Mississippi Thanksgiving Menu

NOVEMBER 2019 Page 32-01.indd 1

10/21/19 8:54 AM


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Of memories and thanksgiving Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.

W

e are always reminded to “live in the moment” and “make the most of each day.” And, that is certainly sage advice. After all, time flies by and memories fade. Some long ago memories, though, when recalled, seem like they just happened yesterday and still tinge of the very sights, sounds, smells and emotion that accompanied them. This time of year, we often reminisce of Thanksgivings past. These memories, tucked deep in the corners of our mind, are filled with recollections ranging from our childhood through adult years. We are seated around tables filled with turkey, dressing and all of the fixings — and also

Tennessee Williams filled with family and friends. Maybe they were small gatherings or overflowing; maybe they stir sentimental reflection or possibly painful times. Either way, they are ours and make up the unique story of our life. This month, we also celebrate Veterans Day and honor those who have and do serve our country to protect our freedom. Our dedicated men and women in the military have made numerous sacrifices — personally and physically. And, there are those who made the ultimate sacrifice, with their life. To me, it is most fitting that Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day are both observed in November.

So, while November is a time to share in the spirit of being thankful — for our freedom, family, friends, careers and bounty — it’s also a time to reflect on past moments that have shaped us and are precious to us. Because, as our beloved Mississippi author Tennessee Williams so eloquently stated above, “Life is all memory” — and as we all know, it certainly goes by too quickly.

Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Photo by Tammy Jones, Florence Southern Pine Electric member

AND

VETERANS DAY

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 3


in this issue

7 11

scene around the ‘sip A look at special people and places around Mississippi

outdoors today Quiet and distant places

13

southern gardening

14

local member communications

20

Roselles are a must for Mississippi gardens

feature The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi celebrates fine artistry at Chimneyville Arts Festival

The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Vol. 72 No. 11

OFFICERS Keith Hayward - President Kevin Bonds - First Vice President Eddie Howard - Second Vice President Randy Carroll - Secretary/Treasurer Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO EDITORIAL STAFF Ron Stewart - Senior VP, Communications Sandra M. Buckley - Editor Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Chad Calcote - Creative Director Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Kevin Wood - Graphics Specialist Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant EDITORIAL  OFFICE & ADVERTISING 601-605-8600

Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s electric power associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. • National advertising representative: American MainStreet Publications, 800-626-1181

Circulation of this issue: 454,415

Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year. T­­­­­oday in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 11 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.

26 on the menu

Prepare a Thanksgiving table with Mississippi homegrown produce

28 grin ‘n’ bare it Do you remember using encyclopedias?

31

4 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019

mississippi seen Fall’s falling dominoes

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

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On the cover The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi’s Bill Waller Craft Center, located at 950 Rice Road in Ridgeland, serves as a statewide visitor attraction, museum, shop, educational facility and community space.


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mississippi marketplace on the menu outdoors today scene around the ‘sip picture this my opinion co-op involvement

Champions of Chess grin ‘n’ bare it southern gardening the game that’s cutting across the academic curriculum

by Elissa Fulton The Franklin County Chess Center, located right in the heart of Meadville, is a one-of-a-kind chess facility dedicated to the educational development of students in the Franklin County School District. In a town of approximately 500 residents, the center has earned national media attention and has appeared on the “60 Minutes” television program. Since 2016, dozens of students have learned chess under the tutelage of Dr. Jeff Bulington. Fondly referred to as Dr. B by his students, he understands the scholastic limitations of growing up in a small, rural community. Bulington grew up in Indiana, playing chess from a young age and throughout his formative years. He went on to earn his Ph.D., and taught logic at Purdue University in Indiana. In 2015, while teaching math in Memphis, Tenn., he was sought out by an anonymous donor of the Southwest Mississippi Chess Foundation. Intrigued, Bulington accepted the task of determining if a chess program would be valuable to the students in the Meadville area. When he concluded it would be, he was asked to take the lead in implementing the now successful Franklin County Chess Center. “This is a totally unique non-profit scholastic chess center,” said Bulington. “The students have to be willing to come in and do the work and do well in school, but otherwise, it is completely free and available to the students in the schools. Chess helps to improve study skills, helps students to focus and teaches them the importance of preparing. It also teaches them the importance of failure and persevering when things aren’t going so well, because growth involves failure and that’s an important thing to learn early on.” The program begins in kindergarten and extends through the twelfth grade. The students come to the center after the school day, and the program is recognized as a class on the student’s curriculum. “Skill level and age are not necessarily directly correlated,” said Bulington. “Years of experience is important. There may be second graders that play better than high school students just starting out.” Bulington has always loved playing chess; and though he didn’t realize that teaching chess as a career was a possibility when he was in school, as the executive director of the Southwest Mississippi Chess Foundation, he knows this would have been the very career he would have chosen. “Chess is a scholastic game,” said Bulington. “It’s geometrical, and it’s pattern recognition. And sometimes people that are good at storytelling are good at chess. It doesn’t always

have to be the mathematical or logical way. Some of the best chess players have a background in literature. Chess really cuts across the school curriculum.” When Dr. B begins teaching his students, he tells them stories because stories are easy to remember. “I use the chess board sort of like a theater where these little dramas play out,” he said. Since opening the Franklin County Chess Center in October 2016, the students have gone on to win several state tournaments and played in cities like Chicago, Ill. and Philadelphia, Penn. Recently, the Mississippi High School Activities Association named chess as an official sport. “I think chess is growing as a mind sport in the United States,” said Bulington. “Over the last two decades it has steadily grown, and I believe it will continue to grow as people recognize its educational value.” The chess center has recently worked with the University of Mississippi offering workshops for teachers to earn certification in chess. Workshops were held in Oxford in July and at the chess center in Meadville in late October. Visit www.franklinchess.com for more information about the Franklin County Chess Center and the Southwest Mississippi Chess Foundation. NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 7


TMC operators monitor traffic conditions on Mississippi highways.

by Sandra M. Buckley Holiday travel along Mississippi roadways during November and December is among some of the heaviest documented each year. To prepare motorists with up-to-date traffic information — such as road conditions, road closures, construction zones and live traffic feeds — the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is constantly collecting and making this data available for travelers through its state-of-the-art Traffic Management Center (TMC). “The purpose of the TMC is to monitor and detect traffic incidents and inform the general public to enhance safety and provide information so they can make informed decisions on how to best reach their destination,” explained Daniel Wilson, TMC manager. “The TMC is the nerve center of MDOT’s traffic management system

through a statewide network of interconnected traffic monitoring devices,” said Wilson, noting that this network includes real-time traffic information from sources such as its 970-plus traffic cameras, emergency responder communications, speed detection layers and other sophisticated technologies. “Congestion analysis and radar technology help determine the number of vehicles on the road, and temperature sensors can help monitor the potential for ice formation,” Wilson said. “The traffic cameras are our top tools for detecting congestion issues. These cameras are located along the interstates and major highways throughout the state. Areas with heavier device concentration include the Jackson Metro, Hattiesburg, Southaven, the Gulf Coast and along each of the Mississippi River bridges. In these areas,

we also have devices such as our Dynamic Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radios, which further our reach to the traveling public.” The information gathered by TMC is continuously distributed across MDOT’s multiple channels. With nearly 2 million website views each month, TMC alerts are shared with 47,000 subscribers through the MDOT traffic app, website, mobile push notifications, email alerts and social media. “An informed traveler is a safe driver,” Wilson added. “If you know to expect delays ahead, you may be able to find an alternate route or at least be prepared to be patient as the delay clears.”

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Columbia welcomes The Wall That Heals exhibit by Nancy Jo Maples Columbia will host “The Wall That Heals” November 14-17 at Bluff Park, overlooking the scenic Pearl River. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day; admission is free. The three-quarter scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is chevron shaped, 375 feet long and 7.5 feet high. The display showcases more than 58,000 names of men and women killed in Vietnam or still missing in action. Names on 140 synthetic granite panels are illuminated by LED lighting and are listed by day of casualty. A paper directory allows for alphabetical searches; name rubbings are available for those who cannot attend. The 53-foot trailer that carries “The Wall That Heals” also functions as a mobile education center. The exterior of the trailer features a timeline and images of the Vietnam War. Additional exhibits include photos and information of service-

men, a map of Vietnam and examples of items left at the original memorial, which are collected and catalogued by curators. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1980 to fund and build the

Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled the traveling replica to spread the memorial’s healing legacy across the nation. The mobile exhibit has toured 33 locations across the United States this year, with Mississippi being its final stop for 2019. Columbia’s Walmart contributed the $15,000 exhibit fee, and local fundraisers are covering logistic costs. Visit www.vvmf.org/The-Wall-That-Heals for more information.

Christmas in the Orchard offers old-fashioned fun Fulmer’s General Store offers oldfashioned fun at its annual Christmas in the Orchard, held during the first three weekends of December. This unique, family-friendly event features holiday joy in a country setting. Melodies from carolers and live musicians fill the air while fire pits and hot homemade biscuits add warmth to the night. “This is all about Christ. Santa Claus won’t be here,” said Jeanette Fulmer, who owns the store with her husband Ken. A live drama about Christ’s birth will be presented every half hour. Set Fridays and Saturdays, the event is open 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is free. However, bring your wallet to ride horse-drawn wagons or to purchase goodies like hot chocolate, coffee, sweets, hot dogs, pork sandwiches and Fulmer’s famous cinnamon rolls.

A candlelit dinner is served twice nightly for $25; reservations are required. Guests feast on roasted Cornish hen, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans and bread and also get a horse-drawn wagon ride through the orchard. Open year-round, Fulmer’s General Store is located on a 15-acre pecan orchard in Richton and is known for its jams, jellies, unique kitchenware, raw sugars, breads and daily plate lunches. “Our bread has no preservatives or additives,” she said. “Nothing on our lunch menu comes from a box or a bag. It’s all homemade.” The Fulmers, along with their son and daughter-in-law, also host the Mississippi Pecan Festival each September, the Homesteaders’ Gathering each April and grow vegetables using farm equipment powered by Percheron draft horses.

Visit www.fulmersfarmstead.com or call 601-964-8222 for dinner reservations and more information. Nancy Jo Maples is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about Mississippi people and places for more than 30 years. Contact her at nancyjomaples@aol.com.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 9


mississippi seen events

HEALTH

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Places grin ‘n’ bare it

Vermont was the destination. Driving this time. Traffic from Birmingham to upstate New York was imposing, even frightening. Ground transport was decidedly dissimilar to my customary and accelerated travel by jet, the latter whisking me away to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom in a half day, layover in Atlanta included. Ostensibly, this trip was to hunt bears around cornfields, but it was equally, if not more so, an adventure in search of quiet and distant places. I found all I sought. We one midday stood at an overlook, farmland and hills and lakes scattered across the countryside. A line of mountains framed this pastoral scene. “Quebec,” my host said. That certainly qualified as distant. It is a long way from Mississippi to Quebec. And save some limited conversation and hushed breezes, there was quiet.

Farther along, there was a secluded pool, not huge but not small either, encircled by spruce, birch, maple. Rocks protruded here and there from placid waters. Those waters were perfectly peaceful. Nary a ripple. And all was quiet. The faraway was at hand, almost as if it were a worn and familiar wool jacket slipped on at daybreak. Colors were present in subdued pronouncements, the genesis of autumn in this rugged landscape. And there was a rock culvert. The trickle it corralled spilled into that pool. A date — I couldn’t read it — was chiseled into a specific stone, and I assumed it recorded the completion of this structure. But by whom? A rugged road passed atop the culvert, but no one lived nearby. Perhaps someone had at once. Perhaps not. Such a mystery only added intrigue to the quiet and distant. The bear hunt, that entity which had initiated this trip early on, morphed from corn fields to hound dogs. This came serendipitously when a local,

Bennie, stopped by camp and offered an invitation to join him the following day. He still practiced a tradition that was and is steeped in the history of that region but is one that is likely passing away when men and women of Bennie’s ilk are gone. He said he was 62. A tough, hardy and jovial 62. Bennie’s dogs were marvels, Treeing Walkers from a line that had been in his family for generations. Those dogs were disciplined and dedicated. They lived to pursue bears. It was the pursuit, we soon learned, that spurred Bennie to action. He no longer actually collected bears. He just pursued them and then walked away, dogs dutifully and in regimented order following. I would actually take the bear if success smiled on us. It did. As we passed an aging rock fence somewhere along the way after that productive hunt, I found myself wondering who and what and why and contemplating time’s passing. That passing, it seemed, was in a terrible hurry. I would soon be leaving the Northeast Kingdom, a quiet and distant place. Memories would remain.

by Tony Kinton Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. Visit www.tonykinton.com for more information.

A distant and quiet pool seemed to appear out of nowhere in the mountains of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Photo by Tony Kinton.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 11


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Harvest the calyx of a roselle bloom once the petals have fallen off and it is plump and tender. It can be used in candies and syrups. Photos by Dr. Gary Bachman.

O

THE LITTLE-KNOWN ROSELLE BELONGS IN MISSISSIPPI GARDENS

ne of my favorite flowering landscape and garden plants has to be hibiscus, but hibiscus doesn’t refer to only one plant. We are lucky in Mississippi to be able to enjoy flowering hibiscuses from late spring to the fall. These range from hardy to tropical and even two that are called roses — rose of Sharon and confederate rose. Hibiscuses are members of the mallow family, which includes our Southern vegetable favorite, okra. It is easy to see the family resemblance when comparing flowers. In this article, I want to discuss another member of the mallow family, one that many gardeners aren’t aware of but really should be. I’m talking about roselle. Recently, at the Ornamental Field Day at Mississippi State University’s South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, most of the attendees were loving and asking about this unfamiliar plant. Red roselle or Jamaican roselle is one of the stars of the fall landscape. The ideal planting time is in the spring when you’re planting tomato transplants.

You could start seeds indoors, like you should do with tomatoes, or direct sow outdoors when the temperature is consistently 75 to 85 degrees. Roselle is a “pass-along” or heirloom type plant, so if you save seeds, be sure to plant more than you think you’ll need, as the extras can be thinned and passed along to your friends and neighbors. Roselles perform best when planted in full sun. Use either big containers or raised landscape beds to optimize drainage. And while roselles like our hot and steamy summer and fall seasons, be sure to keep the root zone consistently moist. Use fertilizer sparingly; I like using just a slow-release fertilizer at planting. Red roselle has attractive flowers that closely resemble okra flowers. The first time I grew roselle, I impatiently waited for the plants to produce flowers. But I found out that to get roselle plants to bloom, I needed to wait until later in the summer, as the days get shorter after summer equinox. Roselle is actually grown not for its flower, but for its flavorful calyx tissue. Always harvest when the calyx is plump

and tender, which is after the petals have fallen off. The calyx has a citrus flavor that reminds some of cranberry, which is why roselle is sometimes called the Florida cranberry. It you’re a fan of an herbal tea called red zinger, the dried calyx gives this drink its zinger and bright-red color. It is also full of vitamin C. The flavor lends itself to candies and syrups. In fact, I remember once having a delicious hibiscus beverage that featured a candied roselle calyx as the garnish. Growing roselle in Mississippi means enjoying it as a fantastic garden annual, as it’s hardy only in Zones 10 and 11. But that’s okay. This special plant is easy to grow and should be in every Mississippi garden.

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.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 13


WE’RE

Thankful

for our sister

cooperatives

When you think about Mississippi’s electric cooperatives, you probably associate them with the local community. And you would be right. Each of their leadership teams, board of directors and employees all live and work right in the communities they serve. But you may not realize that each one is actually part of a much larger cooperative network that brings additional value, tools and knowledge that benefit you, the members of the co-op.

Cooperation among cooperatives When a severe weather event is predicted for our region, our electric cooperatives call on sister co-ops in areas unaffected by the approaching storm. Through this system of mutual aid, we coordinate with other co-ops to bring additional trucks, equipment and manpower to an area. We work together and share resources in order to restore power to our community. A defining characteristic of a cooperative is “cooperation among cooperatives.” This is a way that co-ops work together to meet bigger challenges such as power restoration after a severe weather event. The ability to tap into the larger electric cooperative network and access tools, products, resources and leading practices from across the nation ultimately makes Mississippi’s co-ops and communities stronger.

Global impact Lastly, communities across the globe have benefitted from the lessons learned and experience of co-ops in electrification of rural areas in the U.S. NRECA International has provided access to reliable and affordable electricity to 120 million people in 43 countries. This effort is made possible through the support of electric co-ops in Mississippi and across the country. Hundreds of lineworkers, engineers and other co-op employees have served as volunteers to bring first-time access to electricity and train local partners to help utilities be sustainable in their own communities. November is a time of year for reflection and giving thanks. We are grateful for our sister co-ops who enable us to better serve you and our broader community. When electric co-ops collaborate, we strengthen each other and the communities we serve — and that is something in which to be truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Your local electric cooperative will be closed

November 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving. There will be dispatchers on duty in case of emergency or power outages.

In a world that is often too busy, may we find in each of our days little ways to slow the pace and enjoy simple quiet moments of Thanksgiving. 14 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019 Statewide 14-15.indd 14

10/21/19 8:43 AM


WHAT’S ON THAT POLE? This illustration shows the basic equipment found on electric utility poles. The equipment varies according to the location and the service they provide.

PRIMARY WIRES Primary wires carry 7,200 volts of electricity from a substation. That voltage is 60 times higher than the voltage that runs through your home’s electrical outlets! SURGE ARRESTORS These protect the transformer from lightning strikes. NEUTRAL WIRE The neutral wire acts as a line back to the substation and is tied to the ground, balancing the electricity on the system.

INSULATORS Insulators prevent energized wires from contacting each other or the pole.

SECONDARY SERVICE DROP Carries 120/240-volts of electricity to consumers’ homes. It has two “hot” wires from the transformer and a bare “neutral” wire that’s connected to the ground wire on the pole. GROUND WIRE The ground wire connects to the neutral wire to complete the circuit inside the transformer. It also directs electricity from lightning safely into the earth.

TELEPHONE, CABLE TV AND FIBER WIRES These are typically the lowest wires on the pole. Original illustration by Erin Binkley

NEVER NAIL POSTERS OR OTHER ITEMS TO UTILITY POLES. THESE CREATE A SAFETY HAZARD FOR LINEWORKERS.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 15 Statewide 14-15.indd 15

10/21/19 8:43 AM


Four reasons co-op careers are unique by Paul Wesslund The search for a purposeful career can begin and end at your local electric cooperative. Those aren’t just words or wishes. Working toward a greater purpose is at the heart of the co-op business model. Electric co-ops are communityfocused organizations that deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to the consumer-members they serve. This is an exciting time to be a part of the energy industry. Technology is continuously advancing, and consumers want more say in the way they manage their energy use. That means electric co-ops need a variety of skillsets to develop new technologies and infrastructure, keep the electric grid secure and power the lives and economy of our local communities. Here are four reasons why electric cooperative careers offer a unique opportunity to make a difference:

1. Member-led Because consumer-members lead and own the organization, co-op employees can take comfort knowing that the loyalty of their employer is with those served by the cooperative. “If you work for an investor-owned business, you might be helping people in your community, but more likely you’re helping stockholders who could live anywhere in the world,” said Adam Schwartz, founder of the consulting firm The Cooperative Way. “Co-ops, with the services they provide, can have a great impact on the quality of life in the local community.” 16 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019

2. Locally-owned The best thing about an electric utility owned by its consumer-members is that all it will ever care about is its local community. And that makes a difference to an employee, said Michelle Rinn, senior vice president of human resources at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “People want to feel like they’re doing work that matters, like they’re contributing to the world at large,” she said. “For co-ops, that comes from a connection to the community and the fact that the folks you’re taking care of really are your neighbors, the people you go to church with or you see at the grocery store every day.” Rinn added that when it comes to a job that provides electricity, “That’s work that matters. Especially when there’s a storm and the lights go out.” Both Rinn and Schwartz agree that electric co-ops also achieve a larger employment goal by providing jobs in smaller communities where they are typically located. As long as people will need electricity, electric co-ops will help the local economy with a strong, stable business.

3. Variety of jobs The more than 900 electric co-ops in 47 states require a lot of different skillsets to keep the lights on. That means potential employment seekers could find work in construction, electrical equipment operation, engineering, customer

service, communications and public relations, employee benefits coordination, software analysis and vehicle maintenance, to name a few. Rinn sees different advantages for employees depending on the size of their co-op. In larger cooperatives, a variety of professions are available. At smaller cooperatives, employees have the opportunity to flex multiple professional muscles in a single role. “At a really small co-op, people have to wear multiple hats,” she said. “You don’t come in and you’re just the accountant, or you’re just the receptionist, or you’re just the executive assistant. There’s the opportunity to work on a lot of different things and build a broad range of skills.”

4. Guided by co-op principles The first modern co-op was formed in 1844 and developed a set of principles that guides co-ops today. Those include voluntary, open membership; democratic control by the membership; members’ economic participation; autonomy and independence; education and training; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community. America’s electric cooperatives are looking for individuals to lead the charge in meeting our nation’s energy needs. Together, we can create a brighter future for all. Visit www.electric.coop/careers to learn more about electric co-op career opportunities.


PATTeRN THERE’S JUST NO

to it!

by Brad Barr canvas, cardboard and paper. “I’m an eclectic artist.” Ann Easley doesn’t follow the pattern of many artists and Why did she start painting and working in arts and crafts? craft aficionados. In fact, she doesn’t really use a pattern at “I felt like I needed an outlet. I find that through working with all — just a vision. the arts.” She even takes up a needle and yarn now and again. Much like her grandmother, an elaborate crochet artist But today, Ann spends much of her time creating jewelry. in her own right, Ann can be likened to a creative chef — a She took up the hobby about pinch of this and a pinch five years ago. It works like of that results in an artistic this: Ann purchases carved dish for all to enjoy. pieces of jade from Asia and Ann grew up in MurAfrica, often hundreds of freesboro, Arkansas, years old, and builds neckspending much of her time laces around them. “Every at the family-owned downone of them has a story,” town mercantile. Ann and she said. But no story is her husband Melvin have the same. “I like for them lived in the New Hope to have their own identity.” Community in Lowndes She is also a jewelry collecCounty since 1972. But tor, always ready to display much of her interest in arts several pieces of colorful and crafts came early in accessories. life from her grandmother, Her work is done in a gawho lived just down the rage, turned sunroom, turned street from her in Murart studio. “This freesboro. She crocheted Lowndes County artist Ann Easley lights up a room with her colorful is where it all happens,” and taught Ann. Every paintings, jewelry and collections. The avid artist is always exploring different ways to use color in her work. she said of the 25-foot by Easter, Ann remembered, 25-foot colorful space. her grandmother gave “I love colors. They’re my friends. But I do have a little serenity her gorgeous baskets decorated with handmade dancing dolls. about me,” Ann explained. “She was always into something creative. She had no patterns. Her advice for aspiring artists and craftspeople? “Acquaint She just made what she wanted.” yourself with colors. Get a color wheel. Remember, opposites Ann’s mother created ceramics and glazes. She also sewed attract. Start mixing colors and see what you get.” and painted china. “She taught us to be ladies,” Ann said of Ann also recommends familiarizing yourself with tools of herself and siblings. the trade — brushes, canvas and different types of paint. Ann graduated with an education degree from Henderson Look at other art, she added. “I just like to create something State College. She and Melvin have one son, Darrell, and four from nothing.” grandchildren. And don’t, she stressed, always rely on a pattern to create At her mother’s urging, Ann (a busy wife and mother) took something magical. “Sometimes you have to think outside the a painting class. “The teacher told me I should be teaching the box. Because there really is no pattern to it.” class,” she said with a grin. Ann has been painting since 1975. “A blank canvas called my name,” she said. Ann paints on NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 17


MISSISSIPPI IS

William Faulkner’s Sanctuary Eudora Welty’s home state Elvis Presley’s birthplace The bulk of the Natchez Trace; Sprawling beaches Along the Gulf Coast shore One blues man’s Crossroads And inspiration for more Warm front porch welcomes With a wide open door An abundance of history Tradition and folklore With Ruins of Windsor Vicksburg Battlefield And Pharr Mounds to explore She’s a ride down the Mighty River On the American Queen And some of the most beautiful countryside That you’ve ever seen She’s music and melodies And the mockingbird’s songs, By valor and arms And faith ever strong; She’s magnolias blooming Around Jackson’s capitol dome And the sweet scent of honeysuckle That forever says “home” Since December 10, 1817 Our 20th state “Go Mississippi” The Hospitality State Roll on Mississippi You’re a true State of Grace by Patricia Neely-Dorsey, author, poet, speaker and “Mississippi Goodwill Ambassador”

www.patricianeelydorsey.webs.com


In

Remembering and honoring Mississippi veterans

by Nancy Jo Maples at Newton and 80 at Kilmichael. emotional, patriotic wreathThe wreaths are identical, all made of laying services each secfresh balsam fir bouquets adorned with ond Saturday in December, red bows and made by the Worcester deceased veterans are remembered Wreath Company in Maine. Wreaths lay throughout Mississippi as well as all throughout the Christmas season, and other 49 states, at sea and abroad. The volunteers remove them the second annual event is called Wreaths Across Friday in January. The Friends of MissisAmerica and will be held this December sippi Veterans sponsors the Newton site. 14. The idea is to recognize all veterans Kilmichael’s ceremony is co-sponsored by from the Revolutionary War to presCivil Air Patrol Golden Triangle Squadron ent-day conflicts. and Civil Air Patrol Cleveland Squadron. More than 1,600 military cemeteries participate across the country, including Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Newton and North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael. Other participating sites are national cemeteries in Biloxi, Corinth and Natchez and the Mississippi War Memorial Monument in Pontotoc. Mark Lawson, director of the veterans’ state burial grounds in Newton and Kilmichael, said he favors the Wreaths Across America ceremonies of all military recognition services. Volunteers place the The Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Newton, greenery, pause with hand over Wreaths Across America 2018. heart or a salute and then speak the Morrill Worcester started the effort person’s name. in 1992 when his wreath company had a “A person dies two deaths — the surplus of wreaths near the end of the physical death and the death when holiday season. He remembered touring people stop speaking our names,” Arlington National Cemetery as a young Lawson said. “This ceremony keeps our boy and decided to donate a surplus of veterans from dying the second death.” 5,000 wreaths to Arlington as a way to This year’s events at the Newton and express his gratitude for our veterans’ Kilmichael cemeteries begin at 9:30 a.m. fight for freedom. Worcester donated and will include a ceremonial laying of wreaths every year without applause wreaths on each of the 946 tombstones or public attention. However, in 2006 a at the Newton site, as well as the 78 graves at Kilmichael. In addition, the cere- photo of tombstones decorated in his monies include laying wreaths at the flag- wreaths across Arlington’s snow-laden burial ground went viral on the interpole in Newton and at the roundabout in Kilmichael for each branch of the military, net, and the response was so large and patriotic that it evolved into a nonprofit plus the U.S. Merchant Marine, Prisoners organization — Wreaths Across America. of War and those Missing in Action. Last The live wreaths are now hauled to year 1,200 people attended the ceremony

cemeteries across the nation by truck drivers who donate their time and fuel to the mission. Last year, 1.8 million veterans’ wreaths were draped across tombstones, including 9,387 at Normandy-American Cemetery in France. This year, the program expects to reach 2.3 million wreaths. The wreaths are more than decorations; they are symbolic. The live greenery symbolizes everlasting life. Each wreath consists of 10 bouquets of balsam tips, representing 10 special qualities of veterans: faith, love, strength, honesty, humility, ambitions, optimism, concern, pride and hopes and dreams. The circular shape represents eternity, the scent represents purity and simplicity and the red bow represents great sacrifice. Following a mission statement “to remember our fallen U.S. veterans, to honor those who serve, and to teach our children the value of freedom,” Wreaths Across America has a museum that honors veterans and offers programs such as The Veterans Remembrance Tree Program, which was established in 2014 to invite families to visit the land in Columbia Falls, Maine, where the balsam tips are harvested each year. Families can sponsor trees as living memorials to their lost loved ones. Also, the pilgrimage hauling wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia has become known as the world’s largest veterans’ parade, stopping at schools, monuments and communities along the route. Wreaths costs $15 each and can be ordered online. Wreath-laying ceremonies are open to the public and free to attend. Teaching tools and curriculum for elementary and middle school students are available on the website. Visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org for more information.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 19


FEATURE

Crafted & Curated The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi celebrates fine artistry at Chimneyville Arts Festival, December 6-8 by Sandra M. Buckley

20 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019


Exquisite.

Handcrafted.

One-of-a-kind.

Inspired.

Works of art.

named for the former governor who played a significant role in establishing the Guild as well as promoting the fine arts culture within Mississippi. The 20,000-square-foot facility serves as a museum, visitor attraction, educational center and community space. Throughout the year, a variety of classes are offered to the public, from clay and carving demonstrations to woodturning, sculpting, weaving and knitting as well as children’s art camps and field trips. The Craft Center, open seven days a week, 361 days a year, also houses the Gallery retail shop, which is filled with exquisite crafts for sale made by Guild members. “If you’re looking for a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, handmade gift, you’ll have no better choice than the Gallery at the Craft Center,” said Rhonda Blasingame, fiber artist and member of the Guild’s board of directors. “Glass, wood, fiber, metal, useful, decorative and everything in between — we have you covered.” “I love shopping in the Gallery,” Mercier added. “I can find something for any occasion. It’s the perfect place to find a wedding or housewarming present, or a baby gift that will become a treasured family heirloom. We encourage brides to register, as well.” Since 1976, the Guild has hosted Chimneyville Arts Festival, which has become one of the premier holiday shopping events in Mississippi. Held at the Trade Mart in Jackson, this year’s event will be held December 6-8, featuring handcrafted works of art from nearly 100 Guild members.

These are all words used to describe artisan crafted and curated items handmade in such mediums as clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paper and wood. Excellence in these mediums and the field of fine artistry abounds, in fact, throughout the membership of the prestigious Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi — from contemporary pottery to heirloom-inspired jewelry, colorful fused glass, intricate wood carvings and quirky clay sculptures to sleek metal designs, hand-woven baskets, fanciful characters and abstract artwork. The Guild was created in the early 1970s to provide professional artisans the support and opportunity needed to flourish in and make a living from their craft. For more than 40 years, it has ensured a strict tradition of preserving the highest standards of craftsmanship for artists, who are recognized as experts in their medium. Artistic creativity thrives deep throughout Mississippi, which is a fact that has been recognized for decades around the world. “There is something in the air or water — Mississippi is full of talent!” said Becky Mercier, fiber artist and Guild member. “Our members represent the best of the best in fine craft,” added Mercier, who also serves as a member of the Guild’s board of directors. “Many of our craftsmen have received national accolades, and they are as recognized in their medium as some of our great writers and musicians.” While members of the Guild must first meet professional standards in their medium and artistic category, a distinguished jury review process held twice each year determines eligibility. Today, the Guild’s membership spans more than 350 of the region’s most diverse and talented artists and craftspeople, with 80 percent being Mississippians. It is also considered one of the most respected craft guilds in the country. The statewide headquarters is located in Ridgeland at the Bill Waller Craft Center, Opposite: Glass art by Guild member Roger Sturdivant. Above: Artwork and activities at the Craft Center.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 21


“Chimneyville is the only show in the region comprised of Craftsmen’s Guild members, meaning each participant goes through a strict process to join the Guild and must complete a standards review every three years,” said the Guild’s board of directors president, Debby Delashmet. “What this amounts to is a superior quality of craftsmanship in every item created for Chimneyville by these talented artists. “I attended Chimneyville for many years as a patron before I joined the Guild,” added Delashmet, who is a stained and fused glass artisan. “What appealed to me as a patron was the willingness of the craftsmen to discuss and even explain the process of creating their work so one might appreciate the time and effort that goes into every piece.” Part of the experience of Chimneyville is having that unique opportunity to interact with the craftsmen. “You can meet the artist who created the work and maybe gain some insight about what they do and why they do it,” Blasingame said, adding that the mission behind Chimneyville is to expose the Guild’s craftsmen to as many people as possible — and expose as many people as possible to the craftsmen. “We want everyone to see all the beautiful art our members create.” Approaching its 43rd year, the festival is a showcase of artistry. “The success of Chimneyville is attributable to the consistently high quality of the work offered by our craftsmen,” Mercier noted. “It is also the only one that features only all handcrafted items. I love shopping for Christmas gifts at Chimneyville because I can always find a special, one-of-a-kind gift for everyone on my list, at any price point. It’s fun to build a collection of heirloom quality pieces that don’t get tossed out after a few months or that everyone else is receiving.” “The public will see works of art at Chimneyville that they will not find anywhere else,” Delashmet added. “It is a treat to find that special gift for that special person or someone who

Chimneyville Arts Festival exhibits

22 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019

Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi Craft Center, Ridgeland

is difficult to buy for — and it’s fun for the shopper!” In addition to shopping, guests at Chimneyville can also enjoy live demonstrations by artisans, such as Guild member Dayton Scoggins of Heidelberg who specializes in chainsaw sculpture using wood. “Each year, Dayton Scoggins is a crowd favorite,” Mercier shared. “He creates the most amazing pieces using a chainsaw. He sets up out front and carves all day long. The detail he can achieve with a chainsaw is incredible. The kids love it!” Other live demonstrations include carving, spinning and weaving. In addition, a florist will share tips on flower arrangements by incorporating vases handmade by craftsmen at Chimneyville. A popular “best gifts for guys” segment as well as a storyteller ready to captivate the audience will take to the stage too. An exhibition of youth artwork, called “Artists and Artisans of the Future,” representing nearly 20 schools from across Mississippi will be on display throughout the event. “We are especially excited about our student exhibit,” Mercier said. “The level of talent from these students is amazing, and it is reflective of the commitment to fine arts and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) in our public and independent schools throughout the state.” “Two local coffee shops will be setup with their specialty coffees and locally made pastries and snacks,” Blasingame noted. “We’ll have small seating areas throughout the Trade Mart to take a break and savor the coffee before heading back to the booths for more shopping.” The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi is always looking to enhance and grow its membership — in a genuine effort to both


NEXT IN PICTURE THIS:

n

Submission guidelines

• Photos must be in sharp focus.

celebrate and encourage rich, local talent. And in turn, that growth energizes and cultivates the success of Chimneyville. “The Guild continues to attract talented, gifted, creative members,” Mercier noted. “It’s inspiring to see that a new generation of makers is embracing the tradition of fine craft, but giving it a fresh, modern interpretation.”

Chimneyville is the only show in the region comprised of Craftsmen’s Guild members, meaning each participant goes through a strict process to join the Guild and must complete a standards review every three years. What this amounts to is a superior quality of craftsmanship in every item created for Chimneyville by these talented artists.” Debby Delashmet, board of directors president Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi

“We have been more proactive in recruiting new, and younger, members and have implemented a mentor program for more established members to work with applicants who are not initially accepted,” Blasingame added. “We’re conducting more prepare-to-qualify sessions, and we’re actively reaching out to other artists and not waiting for them to come to us. They are our future!” Visit www.mscrafts.org for more information.

Chimneyville Arts Festival 2019 Friday, December 6 — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, December 7 — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, December 8 — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer (of any age). • Photos may be either color or black and white, print or digital. • Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files of at least 1 MB in size. If emailing a phone photo, select “actual size” before sending. We cannot use compressed photo files. • Please do not use photo-editing software to adjust colors or tones. We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our production standards. • Photos with the date stamped on the image cannot be used. • Each entry must be accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people or places in the picture. Feel free to add any other details you like. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

n

How to submit photos

• Attach digital photos to your email message and send to news@ecm.coop. • If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one email message, if possible. Please be sure to include all information requested in the guidelines. • Or, mail prints or a CD to: Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Photographers whose photos are published are entered in a random drawing for a $200 cash prize to be awarded in December 2019. Questions? Contact Today in Mississippi at 601-605-8600 or news@ecm.coop.

General Admission ticket: $10 • Sip ’N’ Shop ticket: $25 Mississippi Trade Mart, Jackson

Photos must be emailed or postmarked by December 6. Selected photos will appear in the January issue.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 23


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10/4/19 1:56 PM


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added sugar, limited butter, but still bursts with flavor. hanksgiving is just around the corner. There is so Or, simply brush four to six washed sweet potatoes with much to be thankful for this time of year, between heart-healthy olive oil and slow cook them on high for spending time with friends and family, eating delicious food 6 to 8 hours. Split and spritz cooked sweet potatoes with and shamelessly napping during the day. Thanksgiving is the olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. only holiday where the dinner table is the center of attention Winter squashes typically find themselves on the table as and no wrapping paper is required. And it offers you the seasonal decorations, but they can also be a star ingredient excuse to pile your plate high with nutritious, Mississippi in holiday recipes. Like summer squash, winter squashes are low grown vegetables such as sweet potatoes, winter squash in calories and carbohydrates, and green beans. but rich in wholesome nutriIt is possible to plan a ents. Butternut, spaghetti and healthy Thanksgiving menu acorn squashes have a dense that doesn’t carve out the texture with a firm flesh that family’s favorites. You would Sweet potatoes are the darling holds up in hearty soups, be surprised at the simple of Thanksgiving and Mississippi casseroles, breads and swaps to traditional reciagriculture. Sweet potatoes are filled desserts. Try roasted acorn pes that will give thanks to with vitamins and minerals, thanks squash sweetened with a healthy heart with fewer Mississippi honey and calories, added sugars and to their rich orange pigment and seasoned with nutmeg. salt. From dips to desserts, heart-protective fiber. Don’t overlook the easy healthy holiday eating is withswaps to save Thanksgiving in reach, especially when you calories, allowing you to savor your favorite decadent dishes. allow Mississippi’s homegrown produce to be plated, first. Choose one traditional casserole to be the sidedish king This holiday season, add several sensible side dishes to and finish trimming the turkey with fresh-baked, roasted your Thanksgiving table. or steamed vegetables. Steam fresh green beans and Sweet potatoes are the darling of Thanksgiving and sprinkle them with pine nuts for a simple, seasonal Mississippi agriculture. Sweet potatoes are filled with side dish. Show gratitude to your family and health vitamins and minerals, thanks to their rich orange pigment by giving these healthier twists a try with classic and heart-protective fiber. Let the sweet potato’s goodness Thanksgiving recipes. shine by trying a healthy sweet potato casserole that has no

26 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019


No Sugar Added Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients 2 pounds sweet potatoes 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce 4 tablespoons butter, melted 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice seasoning 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped Additional salt and cinnamon for topping (optional) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake or microwave sweet potatoes until done, then cut in half and let cool. Remove skins and set sweet potatoes aside. Add applesauce and peeled sweet potatoes to food processor and mix until smooth. Add melted butter, pumpkin spice seasoning and salt; blend well. Transfer potato mixture to a 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle the top with pecans and optional toppings. Spritz pecans with olive oil for a crunchier topping. Bake 25-30 minutes, until it bubbles and topping has browned. Let cool before serving.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Mississippi Honey Ingredients 2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons Mississippi honey Cinnamon (optional) Salt and pepper to taste Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split acorn squash in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash halves into quarters and place in a mixing bowl, leaving the skin on the squash sections. Toss squash with olive oil, nutmeg and honey. Lay the squash pieces, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional). Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the squash flesh begins to turn golden brown and is tender. Lightly season with salt and/or pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve warm. Tip: A sturdy knife to slice an acorn squash is a necessity. Pierce the skin of the squash in a few spots, and microwave the squash on high for 2 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before carving.

Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Ingredients 1 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 1 tablespoon olive oil (plain or flavor-infused) Salt to taste Pine nuts (or slivered almonds) for garnish Bring 1-inch of water in saucepan to boil. Cook green beans, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain beans, wipe pan dry and return pan to heat. Add olive oil to pan, then add beans and coat in oil. Season beans with a pinch of salt and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with nuts and serve.

Plated 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 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 and online at www.theRebeccaTurner.com.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 27


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books, so I had to use the ones at school or visit the home of a friend who owned the books. My favorite encyclopedia was the Britannica. Mr. Roy’s parents owned World Books, probably because they were cheaper. But if you were really privileged, there was a 26-volume set of Britannica encyclopedias proudly displayed in your home. Mr. Roy and I married in 1956 and after two years of military service and two more years working and saving, we purchased our first house. We also had two little girls and a little extra spending money. Mr. Roy said, “One thing I have always wanted is a set of Britannica encyclopedias. And now that we have two children, I intend to get a set. We can pay a small amount each month.” A few months later, Mr. Roy was home from work and an

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encyclopedia salesman knocked on our door. When Mr. Roy opened the door, the salesman started his sales pitch. Mr. Roy said, “I don’t need to hear all of that, I’ll buy a set.” The salesman was so shocked that he did not know what to say so he kept on with his sales pitch, and Mr. Roy kept telling him he didn’t need to hear that. Finally, they both calmed down and consummated the sale. A few days ago, I decided to search for that set of books we purchased in 1964 for more than $400. In terms of today’s monetary value, that would be equivalent to around $2,000. I found all 26 books stacked on a shelf in a storage room. I removed several volumes, took them upstairs and thumbed through them. The books brought back good memories of happy and peaceful times. After I finished with the books, I went

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Information and communication technology is one of our fastest growing industries today. Use of the computer enables us to have huge volumes of information available at unbelievable speeds. When I have a question or need information, I rush to my computer, iPad or smart phone and ask Google for help. We have become so accustomed to this practice that we tend to take the information expansion for granted. A few days ago, I sat at my computer pondering what to discuss with my readers during our next monthly visit and I began thinking about when I was a young schoolgirl and how I searched for information then. Many times, I had to write a paper about some famous person, event or place and there was only one reliable source for information, encyclopedias. My parents could not afford a set of those wonderful

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to my computer and found the website for Britannica encyclopedias. It’s sad, but not surprising, that you can no longer purchase printed copies. After 244 years, the company was forced to yield to technology and it now offers an online service, with a monthly fee, that provides reliable information you may not be able to get from other sources. Sometimes I think the world is passing me by, and I long for the peaceful days when we did not insist on getting things done in micro seconds and obtaining gigabytes of information. But then Mr. Roy will purchase some new gadget that will turn our house lights on or off when we are thousands of miles from home, and I think, “Well, all of this new technology is pretty exciting after all. I wonder what it will be like in another 10 years.”

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NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 29


mississippi seen

mississippi is...

events

mississippi marketplace 42nd Annual Hernando Christmas Open House, Turkey Shoot, November 16, Vestry Community. 9 a.m. Want more than 454,000 readers to know about your special November 9-10, Hernando. Enjoy shopping around to 1 p.m. Daisy Masonic Lodge #421; 25700 School House outdoors today event? on Events openthe to the publicmenu will be published free of charge the Hernando Courthouse Square, and pictures with Road. Details: 228-697-5980. as space allows. Submit details at least two months prior to the Santa will be available Sunday. 1 to 5 p.m. Details: event date. Submissions must include a phone number with “Into the Woods, Jr.,” November 18, 19 and 21, Pearl. scene around the ‘sip www.hernandoms.org; 662-429-9055. picture this area code for publication. Mail to Mississippi Events, Today in Presented by Pearl Jr. High School, the musical centers Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; or email Holiday Open House, November 10, Yazoo City. on a baker and his wife’s journey to break a witch’s curse. to news@ecm.coop. Events are subject to change. Please confirm Good food, good fun, good shopping. 1 to 5 p.m. my opinion Along the way, they run into classic fairytale characters, detailsco-op before traveling. involvement Free admission. Details: 662-746-5031.

such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack. 7 p.m. Pearl High School Performing Arts Center; 500 Pirate Cove. Admission. Details: 601-664-9725. Trees of Christmas at Merrehope, November 21 – December 29, Meridian. A “Sing a Song of Christmas” theme will be represented with more than 30 Christmas trees exquisitely decorated to represent holiday songs. Live musical performances and tours of the Antebellum 23rd Annual Holiday Boutique, November 15-16, Pass Merrehope and Victorian F.W. Williams historic homes are also available. Details: www.merrehope.com; Christian. Hosted by the Pass Christian Yacht Club, come 601-483-8439. visit more than 21 shops and artists, featuring pottery, jewelry, children’s toys, handcrafted items, photography, 36th Annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, glass art, flowers and more. Plus, the Ladies Auxiliary will November 23, Kosciusko. Come do your Christmas be selling homemade entrees, desserts and side dishes shopping with us, there is something for everyone! that are great for Thanksgiving. 10 a.m. 120 South 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attala County Coliseum; Highway 12 Market Street. Admission, good for both days. Details: East. Details: 601-416-4809. 928-581-2512; alexandrabalch@gmail.com; Facebook. Christmas in the Park, November 28 – December 28, American Cancer Society Bark for Life of the MS Gulf Collins. Enjoy a driving tour featuring thousands of Coast, November 16, Biloxi. A fundraising event honoring twinkling lights and beautiful displays that celebrate the cancer survivors and their canine companions with birth of Jesus Christ, the United States Armed Forces and demonstrations, contests, music, food and family fun. joyful holiday scenes that are sure to delight all ages. 12 to 4 p.m. Survivors, Caregivers and Canine Companions Tours are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 9 p.m. Honor Walk at 1 p.m. Hiller Park. Admission. Details: Bettie D. Robinson Memorial Park. Free admission. www.relayforlife.org/barkmsgulfcoast. Details: www.covingtonchamber.com; 601-765-6012. Arts and Crafts Fair, November 16, Vancleave. Hosted The Life of Christ, November 30, Monticello. Come by the Vancleave Library Friends, the 23rd annual event celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with this drivewill showcase arts and craft vendors, children’s activities, through, live presentation featuring many local churches food vendors, a book sale and more. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. portraying scenes from the life of Christ, from the journey Vancleave Library; 12604 Highway 57. Details: to Bethlehem to the resurrection. Free admission. blugrasrunr@yahoo.com; 228-826-5857. 5 to 8 p.m. Atwood Water Park; 1362 East Broad Street. Details: 601-431-9317; Facebook. Big Gospel Singing Concert, November 16, Pearl. Featuring Hinsons, Singing Echoes, Revelations and Frozen Winter Wonderland Christmas Festivities, Tim Frith & Gospel Echoes. 6:30 p.m. Pearl Community November 30, Leakesville. Hosted by Main Street Center. Details: 601-906-0677; 601-720-8870. Leakesville Organization, come and enjoy a parade, vendor booths, live music, caroling, Christmas karaoke and more. 5 to 10 p.m. Green Park. Details: www.leakesvilleevents.com; 601-689-0749. 3rd Annual Hernando Veterans Parade, November 11, Hernando. Lest we forget what our veterans have done for us, help us publicly offer our thanks, respect and admiration by attending the parade. A luncheon will follow at 11 a.m. for the veterans and their families at the National Guard Armory. Parade begins at the Hernando Courthouse Square; 2535 Highway 51. Details: 901-634-1548.

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Festival at the Barn, November 4-9, Polkville. Presented by the Music Barn, enjoy open stage jamming the first three nights at 6 p.m., with no admission. Live bluegrass, country and gospel music will be held the last three nights, with admission. Details: 601-955-9182; 601-946-0280.

Magnolia State Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show, November 8-9, Pascagoula. Enjoy fossils, gemstones, jewelry, supplies and more. Plus, there will be children’s activities, such as making gem trees and Christmas ornaments. Jackson County Fairground Civic Center. Adult admission. Details: www.mgcgms.org; 228 872-9286. “Broadway Bound,” November 8-10, Laurel. Presented by the Laurel Little Theatre, this Neil Simon classic comedy production is presented in the historic 1937 Arabian Theatre. Reservations and details: 601-428-0140. MSG Sean Cooley Memorial 5K Run/Walk, November 9, Ocean Springs. A fundraising event for the Sean M. Cooley Citizen Soldier Nursing Scholarship Inc. that provides financial scholarships to qualified nursing students who are either in the military or discharged, in good standings, or their spouse. Registration at 8 a.m.; race at 9 a.m. Ocean Springs front beach walk. Details: seancooleyscholarship@gmail.com; Facebook. Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highland Games, November 9-10, Gulfport. Featuring Highland Reign, Kracker Dan, Red McWilliams and more musicians. Plus, jousting, clans, vendors, children’s activities, Irish dancing, highland cows, bagpipe bands, sheep herding, artisans, authentic food and more. Harrison County Fairgrounds; 15321 County Farm Road. Details: mshighlandsandislands@gmail.com; 228-380-1642; Facebook.

Join us for our annual

grin ‘n’ bare it

Richton, Ms

CHRISTMAS IN THE ORCHARD A Unique Family-Friendly Christmas Experience • Carriage Rides

• Live Music • Fire Pits for Roasting • Dickens Carolers Marshmallows • Historical Walk• Visit Our Knife Shop • Holiday Shopping thru Cabins FREE hot chocolate & s’mores kits to church groups with prior reservation. ALSO: Reserve your table for a candlelit Christmas dinner! (at additional cost)

FREE N • Hayrides IO • Visit General Store ADMISS

DEC. 6, 7 • 13, 14 • 20, 21 / 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Come Celebrate Keeping Christ in Christmas Info and reservations: 601-964-8222 • fulmersfarmstead.com

30 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2019


mississippi seen

mississippi is...

Fall’s falling events

mississippi marketplace on the menu outdoors today scene around the ‘sip picture this my opinion co-op involvement

DOMINOES southern gardening

Like stacked dominoes, when you thump the first one the rest of them quickly topple over, autumn is just like that. It seems the year just drags along until the State Fair. Then thump — down goes the Fair. And it bumps Halloween, which bumps Thanksgiving, which bumps Christmas. (And yes, I realize Christmas is actually not in autumn, but just let it ride this time.) I was at opening day of the Fair this year, which also happened to be the hottest October day ever recorded at the Jackson Weather Service. After making a couple of loops up and down the Midway doing live shots for Channel 12 in Jackson and shooting video for a story to air later, I wanted to get a t-shirt proclaiming “I Survived The Hottest Day Ever At The State Fair.” But I settled for a cinnamon roll instead.

... I wanted to get a t-shirt proclaiming ‘I Survived The Hottest Day Ever At The State Fair.’ But I settled for a cinnamon roll instead. You bump into nice folks at the Fair who want to tell you hello and may even suggest a story or two. I love to stop and visit. One lady asked me something I get

grin ‘n’ bare it

While visiting with friends at Singing River Electric in Lucedale a few years ago, I saw this cornucopia downtown. Hopefully all of Lucedale, Singing River and all of the rest of us experience the abundance the autumn harvest cornucopia symbolizes. Photo by Walt Grayson.

asked a lot. She wanted to know what part of the state I find most interesting. And there is no single answer. I have really never been anywhere in the state that I didn’t like — all for different reasons. And which direction I’d strike out on any particular day probably depends on various things — like what mood I’m in, even the time of year it is. Well, since we are half way through our “dominoes,” the Fair and Halloween behind us with Thanksgiving and Christmas still to come, I tend to think about simpler times and long ago places this time of year. The reason for that is we spent some of our Thanksgivings and Christmases at Grandmother’s house in Itawamba County when I was a child. And the “old folks” gathered there tended to talk about even older times. I can’t remember a single story they told, but the overall sense of security and a sense of belonging and of being a part of a place and family still come back, especially this time of year. For 20 years I fought with a wood-burning heater in my house because Grandmother had wood heaters in her house, and I was trying to recapture that feeling. But muddy floors from

hauling in firewood and a chimney that never did draw correctly bumped us over to gas logs a while back. Hit the remote and instant ambiance! But if I were to strike out for someplace in Mississippi this time of year, it would be up northeast somewhere. Since all of my childhood sites up there have since then been remodeled, nowadays I’d try for some place like an old cabin at Tishomingo State Park where I could build a wood fire and have a screen porch — and there I would swing and be thankful for the family I had and the sense of belonging they gave me. Happy Thanksgiving.

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.” Contact him at walt@waltgrayson.com.

NOVEMBER 2019 | TODAY 31


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Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Today in Mississippi November 2019  

Today in Mississippi November 2019

Today in Mississippi November 2019  

Today in Mississippi November 2019