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OxfordMag.com 1 Hernando · Oxford · Tupelo · Ridgeland www.magnolialighting.com Your Premier Lighting Store and So Much More... OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 1 11/8/22 2:16 PM
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OxfordMag.com 3 OM 4 Contributors 5 Letter from the Publisher 8 Events 36 Book Picks 64 Style Guide 71 Marketplace 72 Said and Done in every issue arts & culture 12 THROUGH THE LENS WITH JOHN COFIELD Photographer shares first-hand evolution of documentary efforts 24 HUMANITIES HUB Picturing the future for YAC school & sports 32 KEEPING THE GAME FUN Freshman basketball standout Adam Tyson Jr. home & style 10 The South Lamar Bed and Breakfast food & drink 36 Five Must-Go Places for Breakfast FEATURES Eight Questions with Amerblyn Liles, Superintendent of Environmental Services, City of Oxford EIGHT QUESTIONS 30 10 OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 3 11/8/22 2:16 PM
Amelia Miller Ott
Joey Brent DESIGN
Clifton Clements Odom
Rebecca Alexander, Publisher
DEVELOPMENT/ DIGITAL CONTENT
Joey Brent, Photographer
Joey Brent is a local photographer in Oxford, Mississippi.
Lyn Roberts, Book Expert
Lyn Roberts has been general manager at Square Books for more than 20 years and can usually be found behind the counter at Off Square Books.
Jan Henning, writer
Jan Henning is retired from Delta Airlines after a 30 year career as a flight attendant. She has a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and has written travel, home and garden stories for newspapers and magazines in Rock Hill, South Carolina; Frisco, Texas and the Oxford Eagle.
Davis Coen, Writer
Davis Coen is a freelance writer and newspaper reporter from Oxford by way of South Carolina. He’s had stories published in various local publications including Oxford Eagle, Oxford Citizen and Daily Journal. He also maintains a music career with over a dozen tours of Europe and regular airplay on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
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OOxford shines so bright this time of year. Lights are strung like garland in a circle around The Square. The glow of shop windows draws us inside to find the perfect gifts for friends and family. The calendar is filled with music events, holiday gatherings and football.
We are thrilled to have special contributor John Cofield share thoughts and photos from his book published in November. This second book goes deeper into the rich history of Oxford that makes us nostalgic. For those who love the photos, make sure you follow John on social media.
It is also the giving season. Local businesses give back by helping showcase local charities. It’s that time of year for end of year donations, and this year especially we know they need our contributions to be successful in their mission.
We love food finds. Check out five breakfast spots to try. Also, a special gift some of the top restaurants share recipes you can make at home!
Looking ahead is also a part of this time of year. Jake Davis has one of the first in-depth interviews with a young Oxford basketball player, who as a freshman is already making scouts’ heads turn.
Wayne Andrews, who is always a step ahead, looks at the future for the Powerhouse. The creative renovation of the space will be a showcase that will make a dramatic impact to the culture.
Enjoy the season. We are so thankful for our Oxford friends and family.
Wayne Andrews YOK Arts Council
Photo by Bruce Newman Design by Allison Dale
ON THE COVER
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WHAT TO DO IN OXFORD
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… JORDY SEARCY WITH JULIANNA ZACHARIOU
Proud Larry’s - $15 November 2 | 9:00 p.m.
THE LYRIC PRESENTS… FLATLAND CAVALRY
The Lyric - $22, 18+ November 3 |7:00 p.m.
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… GEORGE SHINGLETON
Proud Larry’s - No price listed
November 4 | 9:00 p.m.
FIRST FRIDAY FREE SKETCH DAY
University Museum - Free November 4 | 10:00 a.m4:00 p.m.
THE LYRIC PRESENTS… DYLAN SCOTT
The Lyric - $27, VIP: $126, 18+ November 4 |7:00 p.m.
CHRISTMAS RAG WREATH MAKING CLASS
The Lafayette County Multipurpose Arena
November 6 | 2:00 p.m4:00 p.m
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… RAY FULCHER
Proud Larry’s - $10 November 9 | 9:00 p.m.
MUSEUM MILKSHAKE MASH-UPS
University Museum - For middle schoolers & teens, frees
November 10 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
THE LYRIC PRESENTS… THE CADILLAC THREE
The Lyric - $27 November 10 |7:00 p.m.
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… KUDZU KINGS
Proud Larry’s - $20 November 11 | 9:30 p.m.
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… KUDZU KINGS
Proud Larry’s - $20 November 12 | 9:30 p.m.
THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO HOUR
The Powerhouse - $0 November 17 | 6:00 p.m7:00 p.m
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… JOSHUA
RAY WALKER WITH MARGO CILKER
Proud Larry’s - $18 - $20 November 18 | 9:00 p.m.
O.D SMITH THANKSGIVING CAR SHOW
The Lafayette County Multipurpose Arena November 19 | 10:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m
THE LYRIC PRESENTS… FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 WATCH PARTY (USA VS. WALES)
The Lyric - $0 November 21 |12:00 p.m.
THANKSGIVING PUPPETRY WORKSHOP
The Lafayette County Multipurpose Arena
November 21 - 23 | Ages 6-12, Times 8:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m
PRESENTS… JOJO HERMANN
Proud Larry’s - $20 December 1| 9:00 p.m.
John Cofield signs Oxford, Mississippi: The Cofield Collection II
5 p.m. - Off Square Books Volume II of John Cofield's pictorial history of Oxford, Mississippi, with John Cofield's unique style of telling the town's tale. Featuring photographs from the Dain, Meek, Leslie, and Cofield Collections, as well as many private collections.
NOVEMBER 4 & 5
2022 Holiday House Craft Fair
8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Nov. 4
8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nov. 5
The Lafayette County Arena | Craft fair, food, silent auction!
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Ole Miss Football vs. Alabama
TBD, Vaught Hemingway Stadium - Wear Red
Shop Oxford Holiday Open House on the Square
11 a.m - 2 p.m., Downtown Square
November 21 - January 2
Holly Jolly Holidays
Visit Oxford’s 3rd Annual Holly Jolly Holidays brings you ice skating and holiday cheer, November 21 through January 2, 2022.
Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State
The Egg Bowl
TBD, Vaught Hemingway Stadium - Wear Navy
The Holiday Art Market
The Holiday Art Market provides artists a pop up retail location for the holiday season. The event will be held in the Gallery of the Powerhouse offering 10’ x 6’ booths. This is limited to artists and makers with
WHAT TO DO IN OXFORD
HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR 2022 BENEFITTING DOORS OF HOPE Dec. 3 | 9 a.m - 3p.m
PROUD LARRY’S PRESENTS… AMERICAN AQUARIUM WITH CORY BRANAN
Proud Larry’s - $20 - $100 Dec. 6 | 9 p.m.
THE LYRIC PRESENTS… BELA FLECK: MY BLUEGRASS HEART TOUR
The Lyric - $42 December 7 |7 p.m.
MUSEUM MILKSHAKE MASH-UPS
University Museum - For middle schoolers & teens, frees Dec. 8 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
OLE MISS MEN’S BASKETBALL
Ole Miss vs. West Georgia (Exh.) November 1, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. Alcorn State November 7, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. Florida Atlantic November 11, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. Chattanooga November 15, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. UT Martin November 18, Oxford
DECK THE HALLS, FLORAL DESIGNING CLASS
The Lafayette County Multipurpose Arena Classrooms
December 9 | 9:00 a.m2:00 p.m
Ole Miss vs. Valparaiso December 10, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. UCF December 14, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. Temple December 17, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. North Alabama December 20, Oxford
Ole Miss vs. Tennessee December 28, Oxford
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HOME & GARDEN
1003 South Lamar Blvd. Brandi and Scott Lewis Home OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 10 11/8/22 2:16 PM
WRITTEN BY JAN HENNING PHOTOS BY BRUCE NEWMAN
SSouthern comfort meets casual elegance in the South Lamar home of Scott and Brandi Lewis.
During a Christmas visit with Scott’s family in 2020, the couple noticed a large home for sale on the beautiful tree-lined avenue. Undaunted by the massive 13,000 square foot size, the couple bought the home the following summer and began a 14-month renovation. This post-Victorian gem acquired a fresh perspective and is now a Bed and Breakfast called appropriately The South Lamar. The original and front sections of the house are for guests, and the family lives in the back areas built in 1995 encompassing bedrooms and gracious living areas.
Scott grew up in Lafayette County and met Brandi while he was attending graduate school in Dallas, Texas. The couple lived there for 20 years but continued to return to Oxford often for visits. During the pandemic, Scott, a banker with Wells Fargo, began working from home and with this new dynamic
the family decided they could make the move to Oxford.
“Scott is entrepreneurial and always interested in new businesses,” Brandi said. The couple own rental properties, but Scott admits the world of hospitality was a new venture. After receiving approval from the city and just as importantly, Brandi added, the support of many neighbors, the bed and breakfast concept began to materialize. There were two caveats: The maximum number of rooms to rent was five, and the family also needed to live in the house. Brandi has many roles in the venture, and Scott’s sister Shannon Lewis is the house manager.
After sitting empty for several years, the house required a passionate transformation to keep its old-world style yet meld it with modern conveniences and appeal. Brandi turned to local talent and professionals to help achieve their dream of providing luxurious accommodations for their guests as well as comfort and practicality
After sitting empty for several years, the house required a passionate transformation to keep its old-world style yet meld it with modern conveniences and appeal. Brandi turned to local talent and professionals to help achieve their dream of providing luxurious accommodations for their guests as well as comfort and practicality for their family that includes 17-year-old twins, Shelby Grace and Brandon, and 12-yearold Bridget.
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for their family that includes 17-yearold twins, Shelby Grace and Brandon, and 12-year-old Bridget.
Bruce Massey undertook the construction, and with interior designer Jennifer Russell of Oxford, the project began to take shape. “Jennifer coordinated the construction and held everything together,” Brandi says. “We couldn’t have done it without her. We were able to keep the original hardwood floors, fireplaces, and pocket doors because they had been so well-maintained,” she explains of the striking woodwork and intricate detailing that flows seamlessly from each room. Allen “JJ” Jones, owner of The Wood Shed by JJ, custom designed many favorite pieces including the white console in the gracious foyer that contrasts attractively with the staircase’s dark wood. He built custom coffee bars in each of the upstairs bedroom suites and modernized the kitchen. “The original cherry cabinets
in the kitchen had to be reconfigured to fit the new and updated appliances and JJ did such a great job you can’t tell where the old and new meet,” Brandi said.
When entering the home, the foyer lays the groundwork for the secrets beyond. “Mrs. Windham (the previous owner of the home) went all over the
world to collect things for her home,” Brandi said of many of the home’s conversation pieces. The foyer chandelier that Brandi affectionally calls “our naked David” was left in place as well as an eye-catching chandelier in the original kitchen that came from a train station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The living
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room boasts tall windows that soar to the ceiling flooding the room with natural light. Jennifer chose Sherwin William’s creamy white paint for the walls and ivory linen draperies adorn the windows providing dreamy counterpoints to the period design details. The formal dining room showcases a large rectangular table surrounded by comfortable seating, an eye-catching silicone basket “Wiggles” the couple purchased in Venice, Italy, and one of the home’s many fireplaces. “Too numerous to count,” Brandi jokingly described the home’s numerous fireplaces interspersed around the entire estate. A butler’s pantry separates the breakfast area and kitchen and is convenient for breakfast buffets on busy mornings. Brandi embellished the walls throughout her home with an eclectic blend of artwork that includes Savannah Jewell, an artist she discovered at the Double Decker Arts Festival, and Carlyle Wolfe of Oxford. “A little quirky and cool,” Scott said in
describing the colorful art that pops with color and intrigue.
The five bedrooms upstairs pay homage to previous owners of the house: Longest Suite; Stowers suite named after the original owner and architect; Couey Suite
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after Lamar Couey; East suite named after Scott’s late stepfather Sheriff Buddy East; and the Windham suite. The bathrooms undertook the most drastic renovation. “They were completely gutted to the ground with new tile, Carrera
marble and dual modern sinks for a luxurious feel,” Brandi said.
Russell chose crystal chandeliers and lighting that provides a glam mood. “Jennifer took me out of my comfort zone and talked me into these fixtures, but I love them now,” Brandi said of the chic lighting that adds a contemporary punch. Brandi’s favorite art work is showcased at the end of the long hallway called Marble by Catherine Erb of Memphis, a multi-colored painting that involves a heated wax medium and provides a luminous finish.
The rocking chair front porch wraps around to the side of the home and brick
steps lead to the courtyard anchored by a calming fountain with bistro tables and comfy seating. The property’s lush landscaping includes towering southern magnolias and is enhanced with stoneware containers in various sizes and shapes. Artfully designed by Wendy Carmean of Wend & Willow, the containers spill with hardy plants and delicate blooms including succulents, caladiums, flowing ivy and Sweet William. Stepping stones lead to the rear of the property where Scott has turned the cottage into his office separate from the main house.
Perhaps fate brought the family to this
place. In 1949, William Faulkner’s book “Intruder in the Dark” was made into a film and the Lewis home was featured as the lawyer’s house. A young boy runs from the courthouse square along South Lamar and up the brick pathway to the house. Among the crowd scene standing in front of the house is Scott’s late grandfather, young and handsome, an extra in the scene. Through thoughtful renovation that maintains the existing footprint of their home and a generous collection of art and thoughtful details, the Lewis family has created a presentday home that’s meaningful and primed for its next chapter.
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OXFORDPHOTOBOMB@GMAIL.COM WWW.OXFORDPHOTOBOMB.COM @OXFORDPHOTOBOMB OXFORD PHOTOBOMB WEDDINGS, EVENTS, PARTIES, AND MORE OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 16 11/8/22 2:17 PM
BY DAVIS COEN PHOTOS BY SUBMITTED
FOOD & DRINK
High Cotton’s ‘barrel picks’ continue through the holidays OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 17 11/8/22 2:17 PM
BBourbon lovers unite: High Cotton Wine and Spirits Warehouse will continue their growingly popular barrel programs, otherwise known as whiskey “barrel picks” or barrel selections, through the 2022 holiday season.
A whiskey barrel pick is when a retailer or restaurant/bar has developed a relationship with a favorite distillery and is able to personally go and select an entire barrel of whiskey that will then be bottled for them. In turn, the barrel will solely be available in that location.
Barrel picks tend to be available from bigger distilleries with inventories large enough to offer such programs to retailers, although other distilleries would likely offer these picks if they had higher production, in order just to sell more whiskey.
“No two barrels will ever taste identical,” said High Cotton owner Aaron Herrington, explaining the process of how his team goes about purchasing a single barrel select from a distillery.
“A lot of times with barrel selects, you’re getting not only a unique selection of bourbon, but you’re also getting a quality selection,” he said, of the programs going on for about five years now, since the store opened at its location on 2216 West Jackson Ave. in Oxford.
High Cotton is only among two other stores in the State of Mississippi that offer programs on such a large scale. At any given time, there are over 30 different barrels available to choose from, not just limited to whiskey but also including tequila, rum and other spirits.
Harrington and team members will travel to distilleries and personally hand-select barrels, a process which consists sometimes of tasting through five-to-ten from one distillery before selecting one
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they feel tastes best.
“Even among barrel selects we have different standards at different distilleries,” he said. “Sometimes we are looking for straight-up ‘the best’ barrel, and others, we are looking for the flavor profile that we think will best appeal to our customers. Other times, we’re looking for the most unique selection among the barrels.”
He regards these barrel picks as a way to develop a personal connection with customers, in the sense that consumers will have trust instilled in Harrington and his team’s ability to seek out a certain level of quality in the spirits they’ve selected for their store and rely on their consistency and maintain confidence in their drinking palates.
Currently High Cotton has barrel selects from major distilleries, such as Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, Wilderness Trail, WhistlePig, all Kentucky-based. Although one of the more unique barrel picks the store has dropped recently is a 6-year, 116.42-proof whiskey from Nashville Barrel Company, which was just made available to the Mississippi market.
Among about 20 barrels that Harrington expects soon are two of Ezra Brooks Cask Strength Single Barrel Select, about which his team describes one having “Initial notes of buttery vanilla transitioning quickly into a creamy cinnamon bomb,” and the other, “Up front notes of oak and black pepper, fading into a lingering finish of caramel nuttiness.”
Harrington said it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint when these anticipated barrels will arrive, although he hopes that most will be available during the holidays. “My guess is as good as anybody’s,” he said, although added that their next Four Roses and Weller 107 barrels are most certainly in route.
With regards to the growing success of High Cotton’s barrel program since opening, Harrington said they began with only two barrel selects did about eight the following year and are now doing roughly 40 picks. “Every year we will continue to select new barrels from
different distilleries, so the selection being offered is constantly changing,” he said. And as far as the lifespan of a barrel at the store, he said some of the more highly anticipated ones are liable to sell out the same day they arrive, as others may linger for a year, hinging partly on popularity or brand familiarity.
“There’s a lot that goes into how long a particular barrel will be available,” said Harrington. “For instance, I have two different Maker’s Mark barrels in the store right now, one of which is low in stock and likely to sell out soon, but I’m going there next week to pick another barrel which should arrive in the spring. So, we are regularly and constantly picking new barrels that will phase into the barrel program, whereas some other barrels may phase out just because they are sold out.”
Harrington intends to continue developing High Cotton’s barrel program, and credits the largest factor to simply being availability, because the distilleries only have so much of a product to offer. “Certain distilleries have essentially what equates to a waiting list, but not quite,” he said. “You can’t just say, ‘I want one.’ There are a lot of factors that determine who gets barrels. Some decided by the distilleries, others by the companies that represent the product in Mississippi.”
All of High Cotton’s barrel selects are available for daily tasting, although they’re limited in the amount that they’re allowed to pour, just based on ABC regulations. But customers can sample them, as well as a variety of other products on hand at any given time.
“At the end of the day, it’s about just trying to focus on giving our consumers a quality product that we’re willing to vouch for, and most barrel selection programs are considered one of the premiere offerings from distilleries,” said Harrington.
“It’s barrels hand-selected by us for our customers, so it’s a product that we want to put in the hands of our consumers that we really have confidence in.”
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BY JOHN COFIELD PHOTOS BY CONTRIBUTED
Photographer shares first-hand evolution of documentary efforts Through the lens with John Cofield OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 20 11/8/22 2:17 PM
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DDiabetes has no silver lining, but my recovery from its damage changed everything. Out of the blue, Oxford went from my beloved hometown to a hobby that swiftly turned into a job, and then a passion.
"Facebook changed my life" still sounds awfully corny to me, but it's the truth and where the seeds for these books were planted.
So, there I was with less than my original right foot propped up for six weeks. One day I got a call from Glenn, "Hey, I've been told a student photographer of Dad's from years back at PR has posted online a picture he took of Jack. I'm not about to start a Facebook page, you go do it and see what they are saying about Daddy." And so it started. Within minutes of becoming a Facebooker, I realized people
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Ethel and Robert Kennedy are welcomed at the Oxford Airport in advance of Kennedy’s 1966 speech at Tad Smith Stadium. Photograph copyright Ed Meeks Collection
really liked the old black and whites of the town and county, and there I was with boxes, drawers, and cedar chests full of old photographs.
So I got a scanner setup and learned how to use Facebook and took off. Soon the game changed when town friends began sending me their old family photos saying, "They'll get more coverage on your page than anywhere else." A collection began to grow and I am not overreaching here to go back to William Faulkner's quote as it applies to Oxford's pictorial history:
“I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.”
As the stories and photos began to pile up and the Facebook posts started becoming popular among friends and soon by many strangers to me. Ed Meek took me under his wing and into his latest successful enterprise at hottytoddy.com. I began recounting Oxford history with pictures from many sources and then old Cofield family friend Kaye Bryant said, "There's a book in you."
ABOVE: Ron Shapiro at The Hoka, photograph by Paige Buffington LEFT: Jim at Hemingway Stadium with his basket of peanuts at his feet, photograph by J.R. Cofield, copyright The Cofield Collection
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As the stories and photos began to pile up and the Facebook posts started becoming popular among friends and soon by many strangers to me. Ed Meek took me under his wing and into his latest successful enterprise at hottytoddy.com.
I began recounting Oxford history with pictures from many sources and then old Cofield family friend Kaye Bryant said, “There’s a book in you.”
I began collecting everything I could on the most popular Facebook posts and before I knew it there was a huge stack of local memories. As people started asking for my mailing address and soon their grandma's decades-old scrapbooks began to be delivered to my door, I knew I was a new keeper of Oxford's past.
But how to connect all this history in a book and move from one subject to another without big gaps and seams? Then I realized that many memories came from the days we rode around town on two wheels. So, I got on my spider bike and took off for the past.
I have been riding through old Oxford ever since.
General Dentistry | 2155 South Lamar Blvd, Oxford, MS 38655 | OxfordDental.com (662)234-5222 Oxford Dental Before after
D.M.D, Dr. Walker Swaney, D.D.S, Dr. Lauren Phillips, D.D.S, Dr. Sam Morrison, D.M.D
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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, photograph by J.R. Cofield, copyright the Cofield Collection
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Rebel Drive Inn Ole Miss annual photograph
BY WAYNE ANDREWS, YAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED
ARTS & CULTURE
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is what the next 50 years looks like for YAC
TThe Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, YAC to most residents, will celebrate its 50th anniversary during the next 12 months.
Founded in 1975, YAC is an organization committed to a diverse offering of artistic and cultural opportunities in and around Oxford. Each year, YAC creates and delivers a package of projects, programs and good works in the spirit of its mission to the community. The board and volunteers work to present more than 300 days of art programs, ranging from student programs, exhibits by emerging artists, live theater productions, concerts, classes and independent film screenings.
YAC’s membership drive is one of the key fundraising tools to enable free art camps for children in the summer, concerts in the Grove, live music at The Powerhouse, a rotating schedule of free art exhibits and equipment to present live productions by Theatre Oxford, Leda Swan and others at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
Because milestone anniversaries often are a time of reflection, the current board of directors for the Arts Council remains grounded in the roots that established the organization, as well as being focused on the next 50 years of service.
Attorney Walt Davis, a long-serving
board member and past board president, noted that “we felt the 50th anniversary provided an opportunity to think about our service to the community, how it has evolved over time and define the Arts Council’s future service to the community.”
Surveying YAC’s impact
YAC, in preparation for the 50th anniversary, secured a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct an organizational review and strategic plan.
“We wanted to ensure our focus and programs aligned with our mission,”
said Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Arts Council. “Small organizations such as ours often only have the time and resources to focus on current programs. Our board and staff wanted to take time to evaluate the impact of programs and ensure we had the right resources for YAC moving forward.”
The grant allowed the Arts Council to conduct community listening sessions, interviews with community partners, asset mapping of resources and to draw upon data from the National Arts and Economic Prosperity Study.
“The Arts and Economic Prosperity Study provided key data,” Andrews
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said. “YAC organized the participation in the study by Lafayette County arts organization, which tracked attendance, budgets, spending and jobs supported by the arts over the course of a year.”
The results outlined how the region represents a distinctive cultural landscape that produced a powerful concentration of nationally significant cultural icons that have made significant contributions in literature, music, civil rights and major historic events that took place there.
The rolling hills of North Mississippi hold sacred Native American burial mounds, where the site of epic Civil War battlefields and the place that hold evidence of lingering civil rights struggles. The hills have and can continue to inspire powerful literature, vibrant music, food, and creative pursuits. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council served as a hub in the region, supporting artists and programs, and managing spaces that supported ongoing contributions to the arts, literature and community development.
YAC’s support of 20 thriving arts and cultural organizations was reflected in the
221,000 people who attended events generating just under $11 million of economic impact in the community and supporting 148 jobs annually. The Arts Council served as a starting point assisting many of Lafayette County’s signature events in building their program.
Annual festivals such as the Oxford Film Festival and Fiber Arts Festival grew with support from the Arts Council. Stacey Sanford, current director of the Fiber Arts Festival, said “YAC has not only provided support to those with ideas, such as Lynn Wells and Patsy Englehart, who launched the Fiber Arts Festival, but to Andi Bedsworth and me, who have carried the project forward.”
The Oxford Film Festival has been recognized as one of the top film festivals in the country and the Fiber Arts Festival is the oldest and largest in Mississippi.
Others who benefit from YAC
Community events such as the Makers Market, Art Crawl and One Night Stand Motel Art Show benefited from support by the Arts Council.
Erin Austin Abbott, organizer of the annual Motel Art Show, had produced the event outside of Mississippi. When she started to organize the event at the Ole Miss Motel, the arts council offered support.
“The Arts Council offered me tools and support that allowed me to focus on growing the program,” she said. “I was able to highlight Mississippi artists while attracting regional attention for the event. Their support helped to make the annual showcase sustainable.” The annual artist showcase now draws more than a thousand people annually to an artist takeover of a local hotel.
The Powerhouse Community Arts Center the overhead of managing the building is underwritten by YAC - provides a home for Theatre Oxford, Hinge Dance Company and Thacker Mountain Radio. While these important cultural organizations fill the evening with a wide range of programs from a weekly radio show, modern dance and the annual 10 Minute Play Festival, the staff uses the facility to host programs that focus on teaching creatives how to grow as a business.
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Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Foundation and Small Business Development Center program with events such as the Big Bad Business Series, Community Supported Artist and Arts Incubator, aid Mississippians in launching businesses rooted in the culture of North Mississippi.
Catherine Smith, of Southern Bird Studios, credits the Arts Council’s Community Supported Artist program with “helping both raise the funds and take the time to expand my business.” Smith expanded her art business to include gift items featuring her painting. These gift items can now be found in 300 stores in 40 states across the United States.
The result of taking the time to evaluate the impact of the arts, listening to community needs and exploring resources not present in the community highlighted how the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council was a hub connecting resources within the community. “We could track that programs and support offered by the Arts Council made our community a regional HUB with creatives coming to Lafayette County to access programs,” said Andrews.
That’s how the board used this research to create a plan and vision for the next 50 years, which includes the upcoming Humanities Hub.
Building the Humanities Hub
The Arts Council created a proposal for a physical humanities hub as a facility that will offer artists and creatives studio and living space, ensuring creatives have a place in our community. These interactive spaces for classes, workshops and conferences will be a place to connect to the people, voices and stories that have shaped our community and make them part of our shared future.
The Arts Council secured a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities of $750,000 to create a Humanities Hub. The proposed two-story facility would be built next to the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
Over the past year, the Arts Council, working with the city of Oxford and the Mississippi Department of Archive and History, completed the first stage of the process. Ensuring the proposed construction would not impact a registered historic building located within Oxford’s Historic District unlocked funding to begin designs for the Humanities Hub.
Now comes the challenge – meeting the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. The Arts Council has launched a special capital project campaign for funds to match the pledge from the NEH.
“While we are at the start of the process, we know that projects of this scope will require support from a wide section of the
community,” Andrews said. “Our first step is letting community members know that the opportunity to provide this unique space exists. We have received support from the city of Oxford, Lafayette County and state partners. Still, we know it will take a broad base of support to reach our goal.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities allows projects to raise and report qualified donations throughout the course of the project, unlocking funds from the NEH Challenge Grant. Donations to the Humanities Hub project are providing the Arts Council with the support to secure skilled professionals in planning the project. This project will require experts on creative reuses of a former industrial space, designs of a building to complement the existing Powerhouse and experts to navigate the city, state and federal requirements.
Construction on the new space is not expected to start until mid-2023, but the work starts now. YAC launched a website – MShumanitiesHub.com – to provide the community with updates on the project.
Donations will support the early phases of the project. “Everyone gets excited when construction starts, but just like with any building, there is a foundation that supports the entire project, and in this case, that foundation starts with support from the community” added Board President Mac Nichols.
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Amberlyn Melton Liles Superintendent Environmental Services City of Oxford
BY BRUCE NEWMAN
Q: What has kept you in Oxford and working with City for 21 years?
A: I originally came to Oxford in 1997 and started my studies at the University of Mississippi. I worked through my college years at a quaint little store on the Square called Jewels by Annette. After graduating with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, I took my first real job at North Mississippi Regional Center. After a year, I realized the Night Shift was not for me. I enjoyed working with the clients from North Mississippi Regional Center and the job with Recycling coordinator for the City of Oxford came available and my uncle was in the waste and recycling
business in Greenwood, Mississippi. So, I had a little bit of knowledge. Also the residents from the regional center worked out at the recycling center ….. it was an added bonus. I began as Recycling Coordinator (12 years), then assistant Director of Environmental Services for two years and the past several years I have been the Superintendent of Environmental Services.
Q: What would you most like people to know about what you do at Environmental Services?
A: We aren’t just trash collection. Our department helps keep Oxford clean and beautiful by the collection
of commercial and residential refuse, recycling, rubbish, right of way maintenance, Class I rubbish site and transfer station as well as maintenance of St. Peter’s and Oxford Memorial Cemetery.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job with the city?
A: I love my job and coworkers, we have grown so much since my beginning in 2001. We have all had a part in the success of our beautiful town. The teamwork of each department, past Mayors, Alderman and employees have made Oxford what it is today, A wonderful place to live.
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Q: When you look at other cities, what does your department do better than many others?
A: Collection of refuse, rubbish and recycling! We have an amazing team. Our services are scheduled to twice a week garbage, one day a week rubbish and recycling collection. The goal is to have the streets free of debris and garbage cans not be left at the curb
Q: What are the most common things people throw away that should be thrown away another way?
A: PAINT… do not put cans of liquid paint in the garbage….. the paint will seep out and leave a trail on the road. Unwanted paint may be thrown away if dried out in solid form (add kitty litter to speed the process) or hold until the Household Hazardous Waste Day in April.
Q: What kind of training, certifications did you have to be able to manage such a large department?
A: I have a degree from Ole Miss and
certification from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Qualify but I must give credit to an amazing boss, Annette Farmer (owner of Jewels by Annette) taught me so much about customer service and gave me the responsibility of millions of dollars of jewelry by opening, running and closing shop….she taught me so much. Also when I started with the City of Oxford, I started at the bottom… I watched …what to do … what not to do….and ask lots of questions.
Q: How do you prepare for game day trash differently than a normal day?
A: Yes! Game day or should we say days…. the amount of trash gauges the success of businesses and restaurants from our visitors and residents. We work late and early to service dumpsters and rolloff dumpsters around town.
Q: Outside of work, what would a perfect day in Oxford be for you?
A: Where would you go, what would you do? Brunch on the square and walking to all of our fabulous shops.
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PAINT… do not put cans of liquid paint in the garbage….. the paint will seep out and leave a trail on the road. Unwanted paint may be thrown away if dried out in solid form (add kitty litter to speed the process) or hold until the Household Hazardous Waste Day in April.
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AAdam Tyson Jr. lives in the gym.
The Oxford freshman made waves on the national AAU circuit this summer with his explosive athleticism and remarkable fluidity with the basketball. Now, he is ready to take the country by storm as his high school career begins in earnest.
Tyson, who stands at 6-foot-7 and still has room to grow, has all the physical tools to be an elite Division I basketball player, but it is his work ethic and drive to improve every day that leaves coaches excited and scouts drooling.
“He’s always in the gym,” said Oxford head coach Drew Tyler. “It can be at the park commission, it can be Oxford High School, or the Turner Center or South (Campus Recreation Center) and he’s either playing or he’s doing drill work.”
Tyson says that penchant for hard work comes from his father, who he also credits with getting him started on his basketball journey.
“This guy right here has taught me a lot,” Tyson said while smiling and gesturing to his
father. “He taught me to keep my head on straight, just focus — be humble for sure, just stay positive is all.”
The elder Tyson said he has worked hard to instill a strong work ethic in his son while still trying to ensure that he enjoys the game and has fun playing.
“I want to keep the game fun for him,” Tyson Sr. said. “Soon enough it’s gonna become a job, but I want to keep it fun, I want to keep a balance between the hard work, the training and having fun with the game. If it comes to the point where you have to go out and feel like it’s work, it becomes a job and it takes the fun out of it.”
The younger Tyson is certainly having fun with the game after announcing his presence on the AAU circuit this summer and earning a spot at the CP3 Rising Stars National Camp.
The invitation-only event, which is hosted by NBA superstar and future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul, brings the best high school underclassmen from across the globe together for a three-day camp that exposes
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“I think everybody was wanting to compete at a high level and he came out a little shaky at first, but then he measured up the competition and came through. He played hard; when he wasn’t going on offense he got it going on defense and he held some of the top guards in the country.”
them to professional training and exercise regimens and allows them to meet other top prospects from around the world.
“I think everybody was wanting to compete at a high level and he came out a little shaky at first, but then he measured up the competition and came through,” the elder Tyson said. “He played hard; when he wasn’t going on offense he got it going on defense and he held some of the top guards in the country.”
That experience has already proven itself invaluable as Tyson prepares for his freshman year at Oxford after spending his eighth-grade season with Lafayette.
The Tysons moved into the Oxford School District this summer so that Adam Jr. could learn from Tyler, praising the Oxford head coach’s experience and intimate knowledge of the game.
“He’s a very funny guy and a good coach. He’s taught me a lot of little things that just helped me get better and he’s taught me a lot of life lessons too,” the younger Tyson said. “He gives speeches and stuff and you just learn from it. [He helps you] with stuff you need to work on.”
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Tyson also enjoys the connective nature of Oxford’s basketball program and said he was immediately drawn to the family environment.
“We do a lot of stuff together as a team, it’s a good program,” he said. “We talk [on the court] and we talk off the court and have fun.”
The Chargers are returning a talented group of upperclassmen headlined by juniors D.J. Davis and Miles Luber as well as senior captains Jake Marsh and Jackson Myatt.
Davis, who earned First Team All Region honors as a sophomore last season, already has developed strong chemistry with Tyson that is continuing to solidify as the two spend more time together on the court.
Tyler says the connection between his two stars is unique in today’s age, where players sometimes tear each other down in competition for the spotlight rather than building each other up.
“I think they feed off each other,” Tyler said. “When one of them has success, the other one’s happy for them and I think that’s almost extinct these days… D.J. and Adam are two of the better players in this area, no doubt about it, but I like how well they play off each other.”
The Chargers are hoping that unique connection will translate to sustained success on the court as they try to get back to Jackson for the first time since making the jump to 6A in 2018.
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BY, KELBY ZENDEJAS PHOTOS BY, KELBY ZENDEJAS
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SSince Oxford’s local fare boasts James Beard nominated chefs and restaurants, our reporter sought out Oxford’s best breakfast spots and the hearty dishes they served. Considering breakfast is named the “most important meal of the day,” these local restaurants and their impeccable offerings will not disappoint anyone trying to get the best start to their day.
1FIRST WATCH, 104 S Lamar Ct
On the Plate: Classic French toast with “million dollar bacon” and a tall glass of chocolate milk
The first stop on the map was Best of Oxford’s Best Brunch award winner, First Watch. Although a local chain, First Watch serves everyone from hometown locals to football guests with its rustic, healthier style of breakfast. I decided to stick with the classic French toast with a side of the restaurant’s favorite, “million-dollar bacon.” The bacon is a dish every First Watch-goer should try: four pieces of peppered bacon with a drizzle of syrup. Two thick slices of brioche bread, topped with powdered sugar, butter, and syrup paired with bites of the “million dollar bacon” made for the perfect combination. As for a drink, I’m a sucker for a tall glass of chocolate milk, so of course, First Watch did not disappoint. The menu also hosts healthier options such as steel-cut oatmeal and avocado toast.
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BIG BAD BREAKFAST, 719 North Lamar Blvd
On the Plate:
2The hearty fried chicken and waffle
Big Bad Breakfast gets its glory from its southern charm mixed with fun flavors. I couldn’t resist a perfect moment for chicken and waffles. A perfectly crisp waffle topped with fried chicken is a southern staple that Big Bad always gets right. While there are other classic options to explore on the menu, the crispiness of the chicken wins every time for me. Flaky goodness paired with a buttered up waffle will stay on Big Bad’s “must eat” menu item list.
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BEACON, 1200 North Lamar Blvd
On the Plate: One pancake, two sausages, a fried honey bun, cheese grits, scrambled eggs, one biscuit and a cup of coffee
I ventured to this breakfast place by my lonesome, and I’m so glad I did. Immediately, the Beacon felt like home. Judy served me with a smile and suggested that a fried honey bun was the way to go. A fried honey bun? Anything fried sits well with a southerner. Sitting on my multiple plates was nothing but southern breakfast goodness. If you want a breakfast that fills you to the brim, Beacon is the place.The sausage was my favorite part as it was well-salted and just the right amount of thickness. Paired with bites of the fluffiest pancake, this combo was unparalleled. A biscuit that I didn’t know I ordered - waited patiently to be eaten. Add the scrambled eggs and a piece of that sausage, and the best biscuit was made.The Beacon has stood for 59 years, rightfully so. If you haven’t been here, please go.You will thank me later.
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4COMMON GROUND, 81 Ed Perry Blvd, Suite 101
On the Plate: Vanilla latte and an avocado, egg, and cheese sandwich on a brioche bun
For the efficient breakfast goer, Common Ground on Sisk Avenue is the perfect pit stop. With a window seat, I was set for the morning. I had to grab a vanilla latte with cinnamon on top and an avocado, egg, and cheese sandwich. Served on a toasted brioche bun, the creamy avocado spread aligned perfectly with the saltiness of the egg and cheese. Common Ground may be more known for its coffee, but any of the quick breakfast sandwiches are a must-try.
DON’T MISS AN ISSUE - SUBSCRIBE $24 PER YEAR – 6 BIG ISSUES CALL 662-234-222 Oxford Magazine is the must read companion to the South's most interesting city Oxford, Mississippi. The bi monthly, content driven glossy tells the stories of Oxford's people, life and culture through stunning photography, compelling writing, featuring many of the city's most noted voices COMING IN JAN/FEB – WEDDING EDITION OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 40 11/8/22 2:17 PM
BOTTLETREE BAKERY, 923 Van Buren Avenue
On the Plate: A honey cream cheese danish, strawberry humble pie, and iced vanilla latte
Tucked away on the Square is the quaint Bottletree Bakery. I walked in and wanted every single thing. Waiting inside were endless pastries, including danishes, biscuits, scones and even a pumpkin spiced twist. I couldn’t decide what to try first.The conclusion consisted of a honey cream cheese danish and a strawberry humble pie. As a tough critic of danishes, the honey cream cheese danish was delectable. It contained just the right amount of flakiness one desires when eating fresh pastries. Although I couldn’t see the honey, it felt like honey drizzled out of every bite.The strawberry humble pie was just as tart as it was sweet. Crumbs of sweetness fell after every single bite.
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BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
Courtesy of Taylor Blue of Oxford Gourmet & Gifts
1 loaf of sourdough bread
1 1/2 cups of blueberries
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear sourdough loaf into bite-size pieces and place in a greased casserole dish. Mix in blueberries over the top. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Slowly add heavy cream until well combined. Once combined, pour over the bread/blueberry mixture.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
1 block of cream cheese soft ened
2 cups powdered sugar
About 1 cup heavy cream to thin
1 tablespoon vanilla
Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla until you reach a smooth but thick consisten cy. Pour icing over the warm casserole and enjoy!
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CAJUN FRIED TURKEY
Butch Scott of Taylor Grocery Catering
1 12-14 lb. Whole Raw Turkey, THAWED
1 Quart Apple Juice
1 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Stick/1.4 pound Butter
1 lb Taylor Grocery Special Events Catering Seasoning
3 gallons of Canola Oil
Thoroughly defrost turkey by placing it in refrigeration for a min imum of 3 days. Not completing this step is a life-threatening health risk.
Wash raw thawed turkey remov ing everything from the stomach cavity of the turkey. Be sure to remove any ice inside the turkey. Pour apple juice and lemon juice
into a stock pot. Bring to a boil and add butter.
Add 1 cup of Taylor Grocery Special Events Catering Cajun Seasoning to the stock pot. Con tinue stirring until the seasoning has melted.
Remove from heat.
It’s now time to inject the turkey. Using a marinade injector, fill the injector with the cajun marinade. Make as little holes in your turkey as possible while injecting as much marinade into the turkey as pos sible by sticking the needle in and moving it in different directions through one hole.
As a rule of thumb, I inject each breast in two spots and then once in the thighs and legs for a total of 8 injection sites.
After injecting the turkey It’s time for the rub down.
Using the remaining Taylor Gro cery Special Events Catering Cajun Seasoning, rub the turkey down. Next, allow the turkey to rest under refrigeration for about 4 hours while the seasonings do their job.
Fill your cooking pot to the fill line with the three gallons of Canola oil. Do not overfill as this is a fire hazard and could cause severe burns.
Preheat your oil to 300-325 degrees and slowly lower your seasoned turkey down into the pot of hot oil.
Fry your turkey for 4 minutes per pound of turkey weight. 10 lb tur key = 40 minutes. You are looking for an internal temp of about 175 to 180 degrees.
Allow the fried turkey 15 to 20 minutes to rest before carving.
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READ THIS BOOK BOOKS
FOR Gift Giving
Recommendations from LYN ROBERTS General Manager, Square Books
Oxford, Mississippi: The Cofield Collection II
By John Cofield
Volume II of John Cofield's pictorial history of Oxford, Mississippi, with John Cofield's unique style of telling the town's tale. Featuring photographs from the Dain, Meek, Leslie, and Cofield Collections, as well as many private collections.
Ole Miss 2022 Baseball National Champions by Nautilus
Link: https://www.squarebooks.com/ ole-miss-2022-baseball-nationalchampions
A beautiful, oversized coffee-table book featuring 200+ extraordinary, full-color photographs with a foreword by Ole Miss Baseball Team Captain Tim Elko and essay by Head Coach Mike Bianco.
This issue’s book picks were hand-selected by Lyn Roberts, General Manager at Square Books for more than 20 years. She can usually be found behind the counter at Off Square Books - along with many of the titles below.
The Vicious Circle: A Novel by Katherine St. John
For fans of Lucy Foley and Liane Moriarty, a twisty, escapist suspense about a mysterious retreat center harboring violent secrets. A perfect paradise? Or a perfect nightmare?
The Passenger Box Set: The Passenger, (Boxed Set)
By Stella Maris
The best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Road returns with a two-volume masterpiece in an artfully designed box set. The Passenger is a fast-paced and sprawling novel while Stella Maris is a tightly controlled coda, told entirely in dialogue. Together they relate the thrilling story of a brother and sister, haunted by loss, pursued by conspiracy, and longing for a death they cannot reconcile with God.
The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times (Hardcover)
By Michelle Obama
In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.
The Mark of Cain (Paperback)
Tyler Keith has long been known in Oxford for his stellar guitar playing in The Neckbones and The Preachers Kids. What you may not know is that he has a Masters in Southern Studies and an MFA in Documentary Expression. The Mark of Cain: A Southern Noir is his first novel.
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At this season we are thankful for our blessings, but also keenly aware of the needs of those in our community as well. In Guide To Giving, local businesses partnered with charities to help them get their story out about the ways they help and how we can help them continue their mission. Consider these charities for your end of year giving and support.
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Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
BY ANGELA CUTRER
The idea for the Oxford Mon ster’s Ball came to Lauren West Cleary while watching “Hocus Pocus” on the back porch with friends. “Oxford is not short on any galas or cocktail parties, but at the time we did not have an adult costume party around Halloween,” she said. “I thought it was such a creative and fun way to support Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, which has touched so many families in our area.”
An associate broker with Cannon Cleary McGraw, Cleary knew just how important the hospital was to locals, including herself. “My family had already spent time there with my son after a bad fall and worked with the maternal fetal specialist
while I was expecting my second child with complications,” she said. “This was even before we found out about my daughter’s heart condi tion.
“The facilities, the doctors and the care are simply unparalleled. Le Bonheur is so special to me, and I can’t imagine sending my children elsewhere. It truly provides the best pediatric care in the region.
“There’s a wonderful local board, chaired this year by Jennifer Maras calco. They have organized and worked to bring recognition to this worthy cause and to provide access to families who need assistance. Ev ery child deserves the best care.”
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals, features expert physi cians and staff, state-of-the-art
technology and family-friendly re sources. Part of the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare group of hos pitals, Le Bonheur Children’s Hos pital grew from a partnership with a local group of women, who had be gun in 1923 to make clothes for un derprivileged children living at Leath Orphanage in Memphis. Calling itself the Le Bonheur [“Hap piness”] Club, its membership grew and its focus sharped on attending to the health care needs of children in the orphanage. By providing transportation to doctors’ appoint ments, the women of Le Bonheur Club became well known to local pediatricians, the hospital’s website reported.
The idea for a hospital dedicated solely to children came up in 1944, when a group called the Memphis
Pediatric Society contacted Le Bon heur Club. “After raising $2 million to build the facility, members of the community and Le Bonheur Club gathered on June 15, 1952, to open the doors to the hospital. As Le Bon heur Club’s president released red balloons with keys to the hospital attached, the celebration served as a promise that no child would ever be turned away from Le Bonheur.
In the ’70s, Le Bonheur became the primary pediatric teaching part ner for The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Depart ment of Pediatrics, in 1995, the hos pital joined the Methodist Health care family, in 2010 Le Bonheur moved patients into a newly built hospital and by 2011, it was named a Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
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GUIDE TO GIVING
Oxford Animal Rescue Center
BY ANGELA CUTRER
Animal welfare in Lafayette County and in Oxford is something officials with the Oxford Animal Resource Center take very seriously. They have to.
After recent issues with other ani mal rescue organizations in the area, Oxford Animal Resource Center had to work doubly hard to build trust be tween itself and the community. That’s because when an animal is in need, someone trustworthy needs to speak to the issue to ensure proper care, including veterinarian atten tion, is used to get an animal back on its feet.
“We believe we have gained a lot of respect and positive light from the community since Critterz closed,” said Kelli Briscoe, director of the Ox
ford Animal Resource Center. “We maintain a professional and sanitary environment for all of the animals in our care. Our upmost goal is to better the lives of every animal that comes through our doors.”
The Oxford Animal Resource Cen ter is a great place to put your time and your donations to help animals in need. The center believes that any animal from infant to old age needs someone fighting for them to survive.
From Oct. 1, 2021 to Oct. 1, 2022, the Oxford Animal Resource Center took in 779 animals.
The attitude of those who work at the center is reflected in the center’s mission statement: It is Oxford Ani mal Resource Center’s mission to provide ethical and humane care for animals while prioritizing live out come. Our primary goal is to promote quality care and compassion through education, protection, and commu nity outreach.
“We are continuously hosting events such as destressing exercises with the university for students, adoptions with local partners and yappy hour,” Briscoe said of the cen ter’s events. “The public can view all of our upcoming events through our social media pages.
“A mission that we are focusing on over the next year is bringing more awareness to microchipping. Studies have shown that 73 percent of stray an
imals found their homes back with their families due to being micro chipped. The Oxford Animal Resource Center offers this resource for $5, and encourages the community to make an appointment with us to receive one.”
Briscoe said the center could al ways use more food bowls, beds, milk replacement for kittens and puppies, as well as mini miracle nipples with syringes for feeding newborns.
“We can always use donations for our pet food pantry for our citizens who need financial assistance with pet food, beds and treats,” she added.
She said volunteers are always welcomed at the Oxford Animal Re source Center. “The OARC values all of our volunteers and we always wel come new ones,” Briscoe said. “You can find the volunteer application on our website at www.oxfordarc.org.”
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Canopy Children’s Solutions
BY ANGELA CUTRER
It’s been more than a 100 years since Canopy Chil dren’s Solutions opened its doors to supply the needs of vulnerable children. Whether it’s helping chil dren find loving homes to later soothing victims of trauma and emotional chal lenges, Canopy is the pio neer of finding solutions to help Mississippi’s children and families.
Canopy’s devoted staff en sures every child they meet has the tools for success. With more than 500 mental health behaviors health ex
perts, educators and social service professionals all throughout the state, Cano py’s driving force to help suf fering children is sponsored by community partners who believe in the mission to en sure kids thrive.
Canopy Children’s Solu tions is Mississippi’s largest nonprofit provider of behav ioral health, educational and
social service solutions. Founded in 1912, Canopy of fers a full array of integrat ed, community-based ser vices in all 82 counties as well as intensive cam pus-based and educational programming.
By working with law en forcement, Child Protection Services, mental or medical health professionals and many other organizations, Canopy provides a wide range of services to help children and their families overcome extraordinary challenges and to thrive.
Mississippi’s 24-hour child abuse hotline (1-800-
222-8000) allows any per son who suspects a child is being abused to file an anon ymous report. If you see something, say something. The physical, mental and emotional well-being of abused children relies on adults who will advocate for their safety and healing.
For more information on Canopy Children’s Solutions, visit their website at: mycan opy.org.
Canopy Children’s Solu tions thanks Regions for helping support the mission to ensuring all children have an opportunity to reach for the stars.
50 November/December GUIDE TO GIVING
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GUIDE TO GIVING
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi
BY ANGELA CUTRER
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi seeks to fill the gap between school and home by providing welcoming, positive envi ronments for children and teens. The staff want to create places where kids can have fun, can participate in life-changing programs and can build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults.
The organization’s mission is “to in spire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as produc tive, responsible and caring citizens.”
Every day, 63,413 Mississippi chil dren go unsupervised after school, risking being unguided and unsafe un til a parent returns home. In Mississip pi, after school programs provided ex panded learning opportunities to
70,558 students as a lifeline for work ing families, according to afterschoo lalliance.org.
That’s why the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi boasts five club houses, including the L.O.U. Barsk dale Boys & Girls Clubhouse in Oxford, as well as two in Tupelo, one in Ripley and one in New Albany.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi welcomed 377 children on an average day after school in the last year and served 54,574 meals and snacks to those attendees. Almost 940 youth were served, and 95 percent of club members are minority races, with 59 percent being male and 41 percent being female.
Around 31 percent were teens, 69 percent aged 12 and younger, 88 per cent qualified for free or reduced lunch and 56 percent lived in single-parent
At the L.O.U. Barskdale Boys & Girls Clubhouse in Oxford last year, 239 youth were served, with 19,195 meals and snacks provided. Minority races counted for 96 percent, with 32 percent of the attendees being teens and 68 percent aged 12 and under.
Activities include sporting lessons and support services such as tutoring, mentoring and good old-fashioned supportive relationships. By helping youth feel positive about themselves at home and at school, the organization’s staff feel it is important in building confidence and helping the children
make good decisions to reach their true potentials.
The Oxford Boys & Girls Club has a 100 percent high school graduation rate. “I love being at the Boys & Girls Club,” said member and volunteer Cianna Da vis on the club’s website. “It really helps me stay academically focused.”
Oxford and its surrounding com munities always rally around to sup port the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi. Monetary donations are in dire need at this time so that activity fees and supplies may be paid, as well as utilities and transportation costs. Community members are encouraged to donate snack foods, gift cards and cleaning supplies.
To donate, contact the L.O.U. Barksdale Boys & Girls Clubhouse at bgcnms.org. Monetary donations can be made through BGCMS.org.
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BY ANGELA CUTRER
Court Appointed Spe cial Advocates (CASA) of North Mississippi, as do all CASA organizations, advocates for the best inter ests of abused and neglected children through the service of trained, court-appointed community volunteers called “advocates.”
CASA names as its purpose as one “to train volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children in court proceed ings to ensure every child is in a safe and permanent home.”
As an important part of the LOU community, CASA vol unteers speak for abused and neglected children who are placed in foster care.
Its core values revolve around helping children, hav
52 November/December GUIDE TO GIVING
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Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, YAC
BY WAYNE ANDREWS AND ANGELA CUTRER
The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, YAC to most residents, will celebrate its 50th anniversary during the next 12 months.
Founded in 1975, YAC is an organization committed to a di verse offering of artistic and cultural opportunities in and around Oxford. Each year, YAC creates and delivers a package of projects, programs and good works in the spirit of its mission to the community. The board and volunteers work to present more than 300 days of art pro grams, ranging from student programs, exhibits by emerging artists, live theater productions, concerts, classes and indepen dent film screenings.
The Yoknapatawpha Arts
Council serves as a hub in the region, supporting artists and programs, and managing spac es that supported ongoing con tributions to the arts, literature and community development.
YAC’s support of 20 thriving arts and cultural organizations was reflected in the 221,000 people who attended events generating just under $11 mil lion of economic impact in the community and supporting 148 jobs annually. The Arts Council served as a starting point assist
ing many of Lafayette County’s signature events in building their programs.
The Powerhouse Community Arts Center - the overhead of managing the building is under written by YAC - provides a home for Theatre Oxford, Hinge Dance Company and Thacker Mountain Radio. While these important cultural organiza tions fill the evening with a wide range of programs from a week ly radio show, modern dance and the annual 10 Minute Play Festival, the staff uses the facili ty to host programs that focus on teaching creatives how to grow as a business.
The Arts Council has created a proposal for a physical hu manities hub as a facility that will offer artists and creatives studio and living space, ensur ing creatives have a place in the
community. These interactive spaces for classes, workshops and conferences will be a place to connect to the people, voices and stories that have shaped our community and make them part of a shared future, said Wayne Andrews, executive di rector of the Arts Council.
YAC’s membership drive is one of the key fundraising tools to enable free art camps for chil dren in the summer, concerts in the Grove, live music at The Powerhouse, a rotating sched ule of free art exhibits and equipment to present live pro ductions by Theatre Oxford, Leda Swan and others at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
To donate or for more infor mation, call 662-236-6429 or visit http://www.oxfordarts. com/.
54 November/December Oxford GUIDE TO GIVING
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OxfordMag.com 55 Oxford Our friendly, knowledgeable team is here to help you with all of your home maintenance and repair needs. 662.234.3232 1400 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 we’re wishing you & your family a happy holiday season! Holidays h a p p y OXMtemplateNovDec.indd 55 11/8/22 2:18 PM
BY ANGELA CUTRER
Since 1963, Communicare has served as northern central Missis sippi’s community mental health center by providing quality, individual ized care to Calhoun, Lafayette, Mar shall, Panola, Tate and Yalobusha coun ties. Its mission is “to deliver caring, professional assistance to people of all ages seeking mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, school-based services, IDD services and 24-hour crisis services.”
The Haven House, a residential treat ment facility run by Communicare, wel
comed its first resident in August 1978.
As the first of its kind in the area, The Haven House’s treatment services origi nally could house 15 male residents at a time in its repurposed church building in rural Lafayette County. Treatment ranged from 30 to 90 days.
By the time of its first anniversary, The Haven House served 94 people, and by 2001, the organization moved into its own state-of-the-art, 48-bed facility off Highway 7 in Oxford. This new building meant The Haven House could serve both men and women suffering from ad dition.
The Haven House now treats more
than 300 individuals a year, helped by a staff of both medical professionals and master’s level therapists.
The Haven House also provides treat ment for clients suffering from both sub stance abuse disorders and mental health disorders.
Services include residential substance abuse treatment, medicated assisted treatment, withdrawal management ser vices, intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment, recovery support ser vice, outpatient substance abuse treat ment and sober living.
For more information, call 662-2347237.
56 November/December GUIDE TO GIVING
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GUIDE TO GIVING Palmer Home for Children
BY ANGELA CUTRER
Palmer Home for Children was founded in 1895 as a small orphanage for needy children. Now, almost 127 years later, Palmer Home has expanded into a multifaceted faith-based nonprofit that aids children of all ages.
Located on a 150-acre Panther Creek Ranch campus, Palmer Home sports cottages headed by house parents. That sense of home can help children feel comfortable while receiving personalized educational and therapeutic services to build their knowledge as well as their moral and social skills within a Christ-centered family atmosphere.
Not satisfied with staying still and letting the years flow past them, Palmer Home’s officials continue to search for more ways to help vulnerable children while instilling a love of God. The home expanded its scope of services to other types of care for children who need extra help.
This means there are now four distinct care settings arranged to meet the necessaries of each child they serve throughout the various stages of their lives they’ll meet. The four services include campus care, foster care, family care and transitional care.
Campus care: Children live on a campus family atmosphere connected to trustworthy adults.
Foster care: Children receive support and a family connection through Palmer
Home’s certified foster families.
Family care: Infants of mothers in prison receive nurturing care with the goal of reunification; staff also offers support for the mothers after release.
Transitional care: Young adults receive guidance about education, careers and life skills needed for independence.
This is all done at The Dr. Hugh Francis, Jr. Wellness Center, a 25,000-square foot facility with classrooms, counseling suites, therapy rooms and recreational areas. It’s a space for hope and healing in accordance with Palmer Home’s “Whole Child Initiative.” This initiative states that Palmer Home’s “proprietary approach to care provides a trauma informed, holistic and relationally centered foundation and guides” all they do. They seek
to help vulnerable children overcome trauma and position them to thrive in home, school and community life.
The Whole Child Initiative operates through four core principles: whole story, whole child, whole team and whole caregiver. This guarantees that a “whole” child can benefit from the wholeness of his or her world and those who inhabit it.
Last year, Palmer’s Home celebrated these milestones:
• 250 children served
• 15 incarcerated mothers served through family care
• 26 reunifications to biological families
• 3 high school graduations
• 5 college graduations
• 3 young adults in the
• 10 young adults in college
Palmer Home for Children is completely donor based. It receives no state or federal funding - everything they do, they do through you. Whether it is a monthly gift or a onetime one, Palmer Home will use those funds from individuals, corporations, organizations and groups to help children be children, families get back together after tragedy and teens with getting ready for college or the military - the list goes on.
If you are looking for a mission this holiday season, consider Palmer Home. Your donation means one of your loved ones will receive a holiday card from Palmer Home, thanking them for the donation made in their name.
To learn more about Palmer Home for Children, visit palmerhome.org.
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More Than a Meal
BY ANGELA CUTRER
More than a Meal provides dinner for more than 75 people every Tuesday night. The volunteers also hand out toiletries to their guests, as they liked to call the people they meet.
With a mission of serving the people of Oxford with good food, encouragement and a sense of community, More Than a Meal staff members seek to provide friendship as well as meet personal physical needs.
“We offer a warm meal, fellowship, tutoring for children and much, much more,” said Sarah Beth Gary, who adds that the organization has been dedicated since September 2009 to helping those in need from Oxford by
serving meals at the Stone Center.
Every week, a church group or other organization provides the meal by preparing a well-balanced nutritious menu for generally about 120 people. Sponsoring groups provide any additional items they may need to make their meal a success, including table decorations for 15 long tables, while More Than a Meal provides plastic gloves for serving and for food preparation, garbage bags and take-out containers.
When it comes to what More than a Meal needs itself, Gary said the group needs paper towels, toilet paper, body wash and shampoo for both men and women, diapers and pull-ups of all sizes, deodorant for both men and women, and lotion.
Volunteers are also needed.
Volunteers get to greet visitors at the welcome table, visit with guests, tutor or read to attending children, help distribute toiletries, play and supervise children at the meal and on the playground, create crafts with the children, provide programs or talks to the guests, assist the host group serve the meal and help out in the kitchen.
“Every week we provide a nutritious meal, but we do not stop there,” Gary said. The organization has speakers from local organizations to join them for helpful information
from the puppeteers of the Oxford Public Library. Representatives from the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Oxford Food Pantry have also spoken at More than a Meal events.
“The Oxford community supports More Than a Meal each week by providing meals and toiletries,” Gary added. “We are always in need of keeping our toiletry closet stocked. [However,] I am continuously overwhelmed by the outpour of support. We are so blessed to live in a place that gives so generously.”
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GUIDE TO GIVING
GUIDE TO GIVING
The Pantry in Oxford has been a mainstay in the area for people needing extra help for their families.
In 2020, The Pantry served 30 percent more visitors than ever before, mainly due to COVID-19 pandemic issues. Changes had to be made toward pre-sacked bags to feed a family of four instead of visitors being able to shop for their unique needs.
This past May, The Pantry served 580 families, and in June, The Pantry served 640 families, a significant increase above the normal number.
Those rising numbers are concerning, but not totally unexpected, due to inflation and other unique issues America has been facing,
including rebuilding at the pandemic.
In 2021, The Pantry served 5,705 families for a total of 12,500 individuals, said The Pantry’s coordinating director, John Kohne. “In 2022 so far, we’ve already far exceeded that number because of the issues going on in the country,” he said. “Since June, we’ve served 640-680 families, which is 25 percent up more.”
The need is everywhere, but The Pantry can only do so much. “There has been an increase in folks coming to The Pantry from neighboring counties,” said Pantry Publicist Juanita Boutin to the Oxford Eagle about how only residents of Lafayette County can be served, as spelled out in the organization’s by
laws. “...The Oxford Pantry keeps a listing of food pantries available in adjoining counties, and we will do our best to direct clients to them.”
The agency is supported by a collaboration among 16 local organizations. All monetary donations go toward refilling The Pantry shelves not benefitting from the Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis and from local venders. Kohne said they are
fortunate enough to have had enough contributions, but the holiday season is coming up.
“The bulk of our donations comes from individuals and corporations,” he said. “They really make this thing work.
“Dollar are what we need to keep up with the holidays coming up. That money goes to purchase the other half of our products.”
Main needs revolve around keeping up supplies of soups, hot cereals, canned and dried beans and peas, and canned meat and vegetables. Your donations provide more variety than bulk purchasing.
Donations can be mailed to The Pantry, P.O. Box 588, Oxford MS 38655 or via paypal. me/pantryoxfordms.
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62 November/December > Real Estate > Health Care > Cannabis > Business > Criminal Defense > Estate Planning > Risk Management 2088 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS, 38655 Phone: 662.237.7447 | harrisshelton.com
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Interfaith Compassion Ministry
BY ANGELA CUTRER
Since 1999, Interfaith Compas sion Ministry has served the Oxford community by helping those who need a hand up when it comes to basic needs.
People come to ICM during or af ter a crisis, including substance abuse problems, needing legal council, facing homelessness or simply trying to make ends meet.
A program of the United Way, ICM is a collaborative effort among local churches to provide assistance exclusively in Lafayette County and run by Director Lena Wiley.
ICM has 30 to 40 visits per month. The Oxford Police Depart ment will call ICM if a person or a
family is evicted, and partner Ole Miss Motel will provide up to three nights of shelter. ICM and the more than 30 churches who support the ministry step in to help the needy find stable footing.
Because the ministry is almost exclusively backed by religious or ganizations, ICM relies heavily on private donations. In 2017 alone, ICM provided 668 hot meals, helped 236 homeless individuals, helped 2,557 people pay their rent and helped 2,078 pay their utility bills.
Interfaith Compassion Ministry, located at 1918 University Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. For more information, call 662-2811002.
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EDITOR JIM DEES
is a writer and longtime host of Thacker Mountain Radio. He is the author of The Statue and the Fury - A Year of Art, Race, Music and Cocktails.
FIRE IN THE FAMILY
PPerhaps instead of wreaths, candles and Scotch Pine trees, the visual of the season should be finish line tape, such as one crosses when completing a marathon. Indeed, modern life of 24-hour news, extreme weather, politics and even sports, can batter one’s psyche like running 24 miles uphill. Like drowning in pumpkin spice.
What’s the solution? Well, as any doctor might advise: proper rest, exercise, and diet. Your pastor would counsel getting closer to your Creator. My neighbor Burke Murkee would grunt: “Throw another log on the fire and pass the eggnog.”
Ah yes, fire. Humankind has sought solace in flames since caveman scratched that first note on the wall: “I’m freezing my bag a— off.” This led to hunting and gathering which is now known as, “Black Friday shopping.”
Hard to imagine old cavers in loincloths stampeding over a LED TV but that’s evolution.
Fire and the holidays fit like poker-in-hand. My ancestors worked at Parchman penitentiary in the early 20th Century and lived on site in employee housing. At Christmastime my Aunt Sister regaled us kids with tales of prisoners known as trusties who were, well, entrusted, with slipping into her and her siblings’ bedrooms in the pre-dawn hours to light the fire in their fireplace.
The mental image of this conjures a cozy fairy tale - with flames.
A century later, as a child, I remember glancing over at our fireplace one spring day and seeing two children-size cowboy belts atop the logs. They were leftovers from Christmas for my brother and I that Santa had (exhaustedly) forgotten to bestow.
The belts would have been discovered soon enough. My father, probably like yours, was partial to having a fire in season. This meant it was always a good time to go outside and pick up sticks if he happened to find you lollygagging around.
Pine cones were also a favorite and it’s true, when they ignite, they make a fine flame.
Our father had a precise itinerary when he laid a fire: small kindling of wood shanks from leftover lumber mixed with tightly rolled newspapers. The logs would be stacked on the irons with edges opposite each other, spaced for air flow. Then, like nuts on a sundae, he would sprinkle the pine cones in around the paper and shanks.
He wasn’t above adding the occasional empty
skim milk carton.
Here in Oxford, on Dec. 8, 1980, a freaky group of us were watching Monday Night Football with the sound off. We kept the fireplace roaring and the small TV was an afterthought. Two or three paces away from the fire was chilly due the porous crumbling of our hippie house.
We were quoting from a Playboy interview with John Lennon, even in our lamest Beatle accents,when suddenly Lennon’s face appeared on the screen. We quickly turned up the sound in time to hear the nasal-intonations of Howard Cosell announcing the unfathomable news, “Shot and killed in New York…”
The fire burned even colder that night.
A decade later, when I was fortunate to spend some years in the cool enclave of Taylor, I fell in with fellow pyro-lovers, that is to say, most everybody in town. Any occasion was reason for a small bonfire.
One memorable week, a party was forged around the week-long burning of a tree stump, right downtown.
A nice fire outside may be the best use of the element. Sitting under the stars on a chilly evening, lost in the flames, sipping your preferred anti-freeze, could possibly induce world peace.
Especially if the fire is all-embracing and makes you turn yourself like a rotisserie chicken.
This is why a chimney is obviously not a place for a Big Elf like Santa Claus. Who would want to ruin a nice red felt suit shimmying around in soot made from the occasional skim milk carton?
Not to mention that white beard.
The last time I visited my now-gone parents, my mother was by the fireplace complaining about the small birds nesting in the chimney. I could also hear the birds but my father was deaf enough to be blissfully unaware.
My mother would eventually hire a chimney sweep who relocated the birds and showed them to my amazed father. They had avoided a holocaust. He would soon lay his last fire. When it came time to open the flue and ignite his handiwork, the roaring rush of pecan and oak would fill the air with heat, comfort and joy.
Remember your loved ones this season and warm them with a fire.
And I’ll think, once again, ole Burke Murkee is right.
SAID AND DONE
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