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Town&Gown APRIL 2012

magazine


A Product of Horizon of Mississippi P.O. Box 3893 | Mississippi State, MS 39762 www.townandgownmag.com

{

staff

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Don Norman | publisher sdnpublisher@bellsouth.net

Leilani Salter | editor leilani@townandgownmag.com

Claire Massey | editorial assistant claire@townandgownmag.com

Jessica Bailey | acct. exec. jessica@ townandgownmag.com

Fenly Akers | acct. exec. fenly@ townandgownmag.com

{

writers

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Shea Allen Mike Christensen Justin Fritscher Emily Jones Joe Lee Claire Massey Susan O’Bryan Kathleen Oliveri Hellen Polk Kate Salter Milton Whatley

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ph o t o g r a ph e r s

Jessica Bailey Divian Conner Laura Daniels Maggie Harper

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}

Ashley Massey Claire Massey Leilani Salter Hannah Tibbetts

page design

}

Claire Massey Leilani Salter

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february

2012

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advertising design

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Chris McMillen

Reproductions in whole or in part, without written permission, is strictly prohibited. No responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited manuscripts, articles or photographs. We reserve the right to edit submissions before publication. Town & Gown is a free magazine published monthly and distributed in and around Starkville and the Golden Triangle area. Subscriptions are available for mail customers. For subscriptions or inquiries, write Town & Gown Magazine, P.O. Box 3893, Miss. State, MS, 39762, or call 662-323-1642.


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editor’s note

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pring is here! The days are longer and that’s good because there are so many fun things to do this month. Super Bulldog Weekend is April 19-22 and the Cotton District Arts Festival is April 21. There’s something for all ages – sports, arts, food. Sugarland will perform after the Maroon-White spring football game so get your tickets quick so you can have a great seat. Don’t forget the action on Dudy Noble Field at Polk-Dement Stadium. See page 12 for information and a calendar on Super Bulldog Weekend and page 14 for the arts festival. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and sunblock. Speaking of art, we visit with Carole McReynolds Davis on page 18 and the MSU art grads will hold an exhibition beginning April 3. Check out a sample of their work on pages 22 and 23. Easter is here and we’ve included ideas to fill baskets for any age. Debra and Tim Fairbrother have green eggs on their farm. Read their story on page 30. If you have a green thumb or aspire to have one, read about orchid growers Julie Martin and Ken Ramsey on page 24.

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With so many places to go and people see, there are just so many reasons you need to be stylish this month. Claire Massey tells you what to wear on page 45. Fashions from the ’70s are repeating which means you need plenty of high-waist, wideleg pants and platform shoes. Our cover girl Savannah White and MSU Fashion Board models show off great fashions from local merchants on pages 46-51. MSU’s Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising seniors will showcase their projects on April 25. See page 10 for more info. And as always, it’s all about the faces and places in our Out and About photo galleries. Thanks for your continued support of Town & Gown Magazine! Leilani Salter leilani@townandgownmag.com


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Contents

18

14

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30

features 12

On the cover

6

EDITOR’S NOTE

24

INSIDE OUT

COTTON DISTRICT ARTS FESTIVAL Art, music, fun, food

30

EAT DRINK

36

SHOPPING

WHO WAS DUDY NOBLE? The man behind the name

38

LIFESTYLES

53

RHYTHMS

BLOOMING OBSESSION Happy hours in the greenhouse

54

NEAR FAR

55

ON THE PAGE

FAIRBROTHER FARM The hen that lays the green egg

59

OUT & ABOUT

81

MORE

38

RELAXING BUSINESS Vitality Skin & Spa opens

82

THE LAST WORD

40

CLOTHING, POLITICS, BOOKS Meet the Reeds

14 16 24 30

SAVANNAH WHITE and members of MSU’s Fashion Board model styles by local merchants. See pages 46-51, 62.

SUPER BULLDOG WEEKEND Join the fun in Starkville

departments

Photo by Leilani Salter townandgownmag.com

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ATM senior expo is April 25 STORY COURTESY OF RYLEE TOMLINSON

Mississippi State University’s Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising seniors will showcase projects from their undergraduate careers at the 2012 Senior Exposition from 3-5 p.m., April 25, in the Lloyd-Ricks Watson building. The Human Sciences Association and Fashion Focus will present the expo. Each year the event is held to allow graduating seniors the chance to show off their talents. Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising has two concentrations within the major: merchandising and design. The expo not only includes designs by students, but also retailing portfolios where students have to “operate” their own store for a season. Most of the projects on display are class assignments, but some are original pieces the students constructed on their own time. Though the exposition honors seniors, all underclassmen are involved by planning and organizing the event.

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“We all love this major and are eager to put our special talents to work to make this expo a big hit,” said Rylee Tomlinson, Human Sciences Association president and graduating senior. “We have students who love to work with Photoshop who help with the posters, public relations and marketing minors to help get the word out, and students interested in event management that have orchestrated the floor plan for all displays.” Showcasing the graduating seniors is a top priority, but so is good publicity for the major. Vanessa Angel, Fashion Focus president and December graduate said, “It is time that people know about Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising. It’s such a wonderful program with dedicated, hard-working professors and amazing students.” n


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Super Bulldog Weekend Sugarland Concert to follow Maroon-White game at Davis-Wade

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BY JOE LEE

uper Bulldog Weekend, which always packs the Mississippi State Univeristy campus and takes place April 20-22, may draw an even bigger crowd this year with the inclusion of a major country music concert at Davis Wade Stadium. “Super Bulldog Weekend is the highlight of the spring for the Mississippi State community,” said MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin. “Basically, it’s our spring homecoming, with great weather, good fun and athletic events to attend. We’ll have a baseball series against Tennessee, a softball series against Kentucky and the SEC men’s tennis championships. “New for this year, we’ve added a bigtime concert – Grammy Award-winning Sugarland – as part of the Maroon-White football game. Dan Mullen’s fourth Bulldog squad will provide everyone their football fix, then Sugarland will take the stage at Davis Wade Stadium. It’s an event no one will want to miss.” Area baseball fans are already geared up for the Tennessee series, which has been moved from the usual FridaySunday block to Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Polk-DeMent Stadium to accommodate ESPNU. “We are excited to have our Super Bulldog Weekend games broadcast on national television this year,” said Dr. Jimmy Abraham, associate vice-president for development and alumni and the executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. “We hope Bulldog fans will show up a day early and spend the entire weekend with us on campus.” Another ever-popular SBW feature is the annual barbecue cook off, which will again take place behind McArthur dormitory ( just steps from Davis Wade Stadium). “Super Bulldog Weekend is in its 26th year. The pig cooking has been around since the second year,” said MSU Associate Athletic Director Bobby Tomlinson. “It’s just for fun – not a sanctioned contest – and we have room for 25 contestants and usually have to turn some away. 12

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Poster co

urtesy of

alumni.mss

tate.edu

“Cookers can start setting up at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20. Judging begins the next morning at 9 a.m. We’ve had folks compete who came from as far as Georgia. The Mississippi Pork Association has helped us put this on since the beginning.” Tickets for the Maroon-White game, which include admission to the Sugarland show, are $15 for MSU students and $25 for the general public. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. with the concert begining immediately after. n


Super Bulldog Weekend Schedule Thursday, April 19 All Day: Men’s tennis: SEC Championship 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: MAFES sales store hours for Super Bulldog Weekend (925 Stone Blvd. -300 yards south of Davis Wade Stadium) 6:30 p.m.: Baseball vs. Tennessee

Friday, April 20 All Day: Men’s tennis: SEC Championship 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: MAFES sales store 8 a.m.: Pig cooking begins (behind McArthur Hall) 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.: First Annual Department of Chemistry Scholarship Golf Tournament (Mississippi State Golf Course) For more information visit chemistry.msstate.edu. 4 p.m.: Pig cooking - Sampling of the Grill 5 p.m.: Softball vs. Kentucky 6:30 p.m.: Baseball vs. Tennessee

Saturday, April 21 7:30 a.m.: Noon: Strength & Conditioning Camp (football practice fields) 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: MAFES sales store 8 a.m.: Old Cotton Mill 5K Run 8 a.m. - Until: Cotton District Arts Festival (see pg. 14) 9 a.m. - Noon: Sorority Open House (Sorority Row, MSU Campus) Currently enrolled MSU students and prospective MSU students are invited to register for event Saturday 9-9:45 a.m. and tours are from 10 a.m. - noon. 9 a.m. - Noon: Pig cooking judging (behind McArthur Hall) 10 a.m.: Soccer alumni match 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Mississippi State Fan Fair (The Junction) 11 - 12:30 p.m.: Football team autographs/pictures with Bully (The Junction) 11 a.m.: Men’s Tennis: SEC Championship, semifinal #1 11 a.m.: Volleyball alumni match 12 p.m.: Softball vs. Kentucky (following the UK game - softball alumni game) 1 p.m.: Baseball vs. Tennessee 2 p.m.: Men’s tennis: SEC Championship, semifinal #2 5 p.m.: Maroon-White Spring Football Game (Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field) Following game: Sugarland concert (Davis Wade Stadium)

Sunday, April 22 1 p.m.: Softball vs. Kentucky 1 p.m.: Men’s tennis: SEC Championship, final

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Cotton District Arts Festival offers music, art, fun, food

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BY JOE LEE | ART BY VICKI BURNETT

ow many towns the size of Starkville put on annual events which attract as many as 42,000 people? Now in its 17th year and presented by the nonprofit Starkville Area Arts Council, the Cotton District Arts Festival was designed to educate kids in the Starkville community as well as help its many vendors profit from sales of their work. An estimated $60,000 in festival profits the last two years have gone toward college scholarships and arts and education grants for local youths. The proceeds have also helped fund summer camps with an emphasis on the arts. A free event, the CDAF features great live music by a variety of local and regional performers, mouth-watering cuisine from some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in north Mississippi, and original artwork from painters, potters and sculptors from all over the area. “To be a winning artisan in the Juried Art Competition at the Cotton District Arts Festival is no small accomplishment,” said CDAF Publicity Co-Chair Claire Mallory. “Winners receive both local and regional recognition for their work.” Joe MacGown of Starkville, who won the 2010 Best of Show Award for his piece entitled Organic Cosmic Lock, won’t be part of the CDAF this year, but multi-talented Starkville resident Laurie Parker will again display her work. “Laurie is well known for her children’s books which she writes and illustrates, like Everywhere in Mississippi. She also makes whimsical jewelry and collages which are always a big hit at the festival,” said CDAF Artisans’ Village Chair Laurie Burton. “Patrick Tranum from Sturgis makes incredible sculptures from discarded metal items and turns them into imaginative animals and people. Frank McGuigan is an artist from Columbus who paints watercolor gouache paintings in bold colors. Bonnie Renfroe is a ceramic artist from the Ackerman area who creates wonderful creatures in clay. Her small birds and other pieces are very popular at the festival.” Live music begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be performed on three stages. Entertainers will include The Flames, Kannawermz, Jessie Robinson and the Hip Waders, Musical Malpractice, and Tupelo native Jordyn Mallory, who performed on “American Idol” last year. This year’s headliner is Charlie Worsham, a musician from Grenada who has opened for Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert (see page 53). In addition, the three winners of the CDAF songwriter’s competition will again perform on the main stage this year. “Larry Wallace and I are responsible for choosing performing groups that we think will please the large crowd we’re predicting for the festival,” said CDAF Entertainment Chair Cindy Melby. “This area is 14

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loaded with talent, and groups beyond our state and region streamed in with requests to play. The only difficult part was in determining which ones to eliminate.” Another crucial ingredient of the Cotton District Arts Festival is A Taste of Starkville. If you haven’t attended before and already look forward to the live music and original artwork, plan on bringing your appetite and sampling delicious menu items unique to the area. “We are hoping for about 20-30 different food vendors,” said Jon Turner, co-chair of the CDAF Taste of Starkville committee. “They’ll run the gamut from the actual ‘fine dining’ types (Jay Yates of The Veranda; Restaurant Tyler; the Eat With Us Group, including Harvey’s, Peppers, The Grill) to more casual type restaurants like Morris Barbecue and Bop’s Frozen Custard. We’ll even have some of the more ‘traditional’ fair foods.” “I think what makes A Taste of Starkville and the CDAF unique is the attention to local flavors. Starkville has grown so much over the last few decades, especially from a cultural perspective. From the Cotton District itself to the reinvigorated Main Street, there’s a vibe now. You can walk a block and pass four or five really cool places to eat, and I think that’s what we try to mirror with the festival,” said Turner. If you’re looking for something Mississippi-oriented to read, the Rotary Club of Starkville’s Writer’s Village will feature several authors including former NFL player and MSU great Reggie Kelly, who will sell his own gourmet salsa and other condiments as well as copies of his motivational book, Prepared: Mind-Body-Spirit. There’s also a children’s section of the popular Poetry Slam and a roving reporter activity for kids. The Cotton District Arts Festival is indeed an event for the whole family – including your dog Rover, who will turn heads as part of the Spruill Properties Pet Parade – and costs absolutely nothing to attend and enjoy. If you’re worried about taking in too many calories while indulging yourself at A Taste of Starkville, the festival organizers even thought of that, too – you can start the day with a brisk run by competing in the Old Cotton Mill 5K race at 8 a.m. n For more information, visit http://www.starkvillearts.org.


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Dudy Noble Field at Polk-Dement Stadium

Who was Dudy Noble?

o

BY MIKE CHRISTENSEN | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MSU MEDIA RELATIONS

f the thousands of fans who’ll flock to Dudy Noble Field for Super Bulldog Weekend, a relative few are old enough to have known the man for whom Mississippi State University’s ballpark is named. Smaller still is the number who would have known Noble well enough to see past his coarse exterior. Noble died Feb. 2, 1963, about four years after he retired as State’s athletic director. He coached the Bulldogs baseball team for 26 seasons between 1920 and 1947. “You either loved him, or you didn’t like him,” an unnamed former associate told The Associated Press in a story following Noble’s death. Plenty of people loved him, according to Boo Ferriss, the 90-yearold former major league pitcher and Delta State coach who played for Noble at State in the early 1940s. “He was gruff-like when he was talking to you,” Ferriss said. “Kind of like a bear. You’d think, if you didn’t know him, that he was really mean. “That’s just the way he was on the outside. He had a heart of gold. Many a boy like myself is deeply indebted to Coach Dudy. He helped a lot of Mississippi boys become good men. I’m forever thankful to him. “It’s so fitting that the ballpark there is named for him. He gave Mississippi State recognition and respect in college baseball.” Noble was the reason Ferriss chose to attend State in 1939 after a stellar high school career at Shaw. “I was about to sign with Alabama,” Ferriss recalled. “I had offers from Alabama and Ole Miss. They were half-scholarships to play two sports, baseball and basketball. Coach Dudy wanted me to come talk to him, and right off he offered me a full scholarship just for baseball. “Now, that was in the Depression years. When I went home and told my mom and dad what Coach Dudy had offered, my father said, ‘You’re going to Mississippi State.’ That was my introduction to Coach Dudy.”

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Ferriss said he never second-guessed that decision. He was one of several players coached by Noble who went on to play in the major leagues. That list includes Hughie Critz, Alex Grammas, Paul Gregory (who would also coach the Bulldogs) and BudDudy Noble dy Myer. “He was wonderful to play for,” Ferriss said. “He actually had a great sense of humor. He’d make remarks that had everybody laughing. I really just can’t say enough about him. I owe him so much.” Noble was born in Learned in 1893 and attended Mississippi State (then known as A&M), earning 14 varsity letters in four sports before graduating in 1915. He became the Bulldogs’ baseball coach in 1920 and would post a 267-201-9 record in his 26 seasons, the last in 1947. His State teams won three Southern Intercollegiate Conference championships. “He was one of the real leaders in college baseball back in those days,” Ferriss said. “It was nothing like it is today. Coach Dudy was considered one of the top coaches in the country. He put a lot of emphasis on baseball at a time when most colleges weren’t.” Noble also was a leader in the formation of the Southeastern Conference in 1932. The original Dudy Noble Field stood on the campus site now occupied by Dorman Hall. The bleachers and grandstand were moved to the current site and the new Dudy Noble Field opened to much fanfare in 1967. It has been renovated many times and remains on par with the finest college baseball facilities in the country. The ballpark is now formally named Dudy Noble Field at PolkDement Stadium. But most Bulldogs fans still call it just “Dudy Noble.” To those who knew the man — and knew him well — that has to sound good. n


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Carole McReynolds Davis is known for her outgoing personality, colorful hats and artistic talents.

Hats and hues

n

BY JOE LEE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

obody makes an impression quite like Carole McReynolds Davis. A regular at the Starkville Café and a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Davis is a lifelong Starkville resident who graduated Starkville High School in 1960 and Mississippi State University in 1964 with a degree in English. She’s known for her colorful outfits, hats, artwork and the wrap-around porch of the family home on Louisville Street. Built over a century ago by Davis’s great-grandfather, Wiley Bartley Pearson, “She’s a Grand Ole Lady / The Pearson Place” is on the register of the National Historic Homes of America. It’s loaded with antique furniture, fine china and heirlooms that date back to the 19th century; the porch is decorated with Davis’s paintings, a doll house modeled on the home itself, art made from bottles and mannequins named Dottie and Molly Golly that are dressed in special costumes to celebrate occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas. 18

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Davis brings faces and places to life on her canvas

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But it’s her artwork that makes a lasting impression on the visitor, both in terms of the sheer volume of pieces (over 1,000) as well as the spectacular array of portraits, landscapes and still life. Many are on canvas, and Davis, in addition to using traditional wood and glass frames, often creates shadow boxes to house her work (a portrait of a poverty-stricken woman was framed with wood that came from the subject’s crumbling front porch). Not unlike her home, Davis’s work must be seen more than once to absorb its many layers and overall impact. “I am a realist artist. I love faces, places and everything else,” said Davis, who began drawing at age five and took lessons from Spanish artist and MSU graduate student Jose Barrio as a teenager. She has painted in Ireland, the Bahamas, Scotland, China and San Salvador; her work has been displayed at the Lagoa-Duncan Gallery in New York City as well as Jackson, Philadelphia and Starkville.


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Among Carole’s favorite paintings is this one of her great aunt, Miss Mabel Lewis.

“I love to paint what I see right in front of me that is inspiring and beautiful. Every day should be a happy day, and every day I attempt to paint all my dreams in bright colors and bold strokes.” In addition to her weekly column for Starkville Daily News (her artwork is also displayed on the newspaper’s website), she attained widespread exposure when Walt Grayson, the veteran weatherman and journalist at WLBT-3 in Jackson, featured her in his Look Around Mississippi segment several years ago. “I heard that Carole was dressing as ‘Aunt Sam’ for the Fourth of July and thought that was unusual,” Grayson said. “It wasn’t until after my wife, Jo, and I got to know Frank and Carole better that I understood that ‘Carole dressing to fit the occasion’ is just what she does. “We were sitting in their house doing that Aunt Sam feature when we discovered Carole’s artwork. She has a keen eye for capturing not only how someone looks when she paints them, but also some of their personality, or perhaps even some of their soul. Some of her renderings are caricatures; others are so realistic they could speak to you.” “Two words that best describe Carole might be ‘irrepressible’ or ‘exuberant’,” said Brent Funderburk, the renowned Starkvillebased artist and MSU art professor. “She is also, by necessity— 20

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and many miss this—a person who deeply and spiritually treasures aloneness. “She has a friendship with everyone she meets on so many levels; she seems to have a depthless capacity to love and tolerate all. But she is also a part of the cross-millennial fraternity of artists, and needs this to be unconfused with social or community collaborations (which she brings pure sunlight into). Carole gracefully walks the bridge between these two worlds: a world of public service and a mysterious inner world of visions and revelations.” In addition to her pieces that radiate warmth and happiness, themes of hardship and poverty can be found in Davis’s work. She’s known for her attempts to bring people together and has painted portraits of the late physician Dr. Douglas Conner of Starkville and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She became acquainted with Father Mike O’Brien, the pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church of Starkville from 1989-2001, and worked alongside city leaders of both races in the name of racial healing. “The Starkville Chamber of Commerce called a brainstorming meeting of all the pastors in town to discuss bringing people together,” O’Brien said. “Carole was at the meeting and was an enthusiastic supporter of the prayer breakfast the committee came up with. She painted a multi-cultural parade scene in downtown


Starkville and portraits of Dr. Conner, Dr. King and others involved in race relations. She’s an artist and creative and colorful, and she has the vision and heart to do the right thing and bring people together.” Active in the community, Davis once raised $12,000.01 over a period of 28 days for the American Cancer Society in Oktibbeha County and at MSU. Remarkably, the single largest donation was $300. “The theme was ‘Be the Biggest Rat in Town,’” Davis said. “I dressed up as a rat: a tail made of rope and a real rat trap on the end of it, whiskers out of broom straws that wiggled when I talked, a funny round nose, a red and white polka dot jump suit, colorful tennis shoes and a real paint bucket to collect money with a lid on top. “One of the most inspiring experiences in my life was when a little boy came up to me and said, ‘My mama is dying of cancer, and I only have one penny. May I put it in your paint bucket?’ I reached down to hug this precious boy and said, ‘Your one cent will be counted.’ I later went to Jackson and was crowned Queen Rat of Mississippi, but I can still see that little boy with tears in his eyes.” Davis turned 70 in March and has been married, Frank, since 1964. A native of Greenwood, Frank Davis Sr. worked for the USDA as an entomologist at MSU for 35 years. He was named an Entomological Society of America Fellow in 2005 Ned Gandy on a cold winter afternoon carrying firewood to his home.4 Cooter, a bloodhound that lived down the street from Carole.6

and remains an active part of the annual MSU Insect Rearing Center conference that draws lecturers and students from all over the world. They have three grown children and six grandchildren. “We met in the Starkville First Presbyterian Church on a Sunday morning,” Frank said. “She was in the choir and I was sitting in a pew up front. She says that I winked at her—I guess I did since she was such a beautiful young lady. “Carole is unique in her painting, writing, and decorating. I am very happy to see her enjoying life and pleased to see people enjoying all of her activities in the yard and house, and her articles in the Starkville Daily News. Her art genes are showing up in two of our grandchildren.” Being asked to name a favorite painting from her collection, Davis said, would be like trying to pick her favorite child. She’s never had a desire to sell any of them, nor does she think of what she does as a profession. “It is more of a great joy in my life,” Davis said. “I don’t think a real artist can ever put a price tag on something she has created deep within her soul. “I am most proud of the three children and my husband and soulmate, Frank. I hope I will be remembered by living each day to its fullest, and wearing a pretty, beautiful, outrageous and silly hat on my head or a wild, arty outfit on my body. My paintings will become my gift and my legacy to my family.” n

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SEEK to showcase work of art grads

The Mississippi State University Spring 2012 Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition will be held April 3-13. A gallery reception will be held at each of the galleries on April 12 as follows: 5:30 p.m. at McComas Gallery; 6:15 p.m. at Union Gallery; 7 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center on University Drive. Regular gallery viewing hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

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Richey, Artwork by Paul

photography by

.

Blake McCollum


Artists in gallery exhibits include: Tammie Adam Katie Douglas Rapheal Ellis Karen Ervin Brittany Horne Shelana Kelly Bradley Keel Blake McCollum Alexis McGrigg Jeff Porter Paul Richey Heidi Robinson Tyler Robinson Merrileigh Rutherford Nate Trott Wyatt Williamson

Photography by Blake McCollum

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InsideOut

Blooming obsession Orchid enthusiasts spend happy hours in the greenhouse

Julie Martin enjoys time spent in her greenhouse. Sylvester, an English Bulldog, is always close by. 24

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Above are some of the orchids growing in Martin’s greenhouse. Clockwise from top left, Phalaenopsis, Degarmoara Winter Wonderland and Paphiopedilum Sukhakulii. At right, keikis (pronounced key keys) is a small plant produced at the base or along the stems. When roots are 1-2 inches, a keiki can be twisted or cut off and planted in fine bark. Under good conditions, a keiki will reach flowering size within two years.

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BY EMILY JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

here is hardly a plant on Earth that can excite and motivate gardeners to the point of obsession. But two area growers who are exemplary orchid enthusiasts – Julie Martin of Meridian and Dr. Ken Ramsey of Starkville. Both insist the orchid is a flower of magnificence that delivers a universal message of hope. “Orchids can impart a wide variety of messages, but historically they include wealth, love, beauty and luxury,” said Martin, a retired nurse who devotes happy hours tending her collection of more than 400 orchids. She also makes time to attend Mississippi State University sporting events. Until recently she had 50 potted orchids crowding her home, so her husband, Bruce, decided to give her a greenhouse for their anniversary. The gift fueled her enthusiasm, and today her collection continues to multiply. “It makes my heart sing when I walk in the greenhouse and a new bud is about to emerge.

The anticipation of its beauty is like a kid waitwait ing to open gifts Christmas Day.” Martin is a proponent of organic gardening and she uses common products such as cinnacinna mon, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and rub-bing alcohol in place of harsh chemicals. “You can prepare a cinnamon spray using either alcohol or water as your solvent. The al-cohol infusion is faster to prepare and offers some insecticidal properties as well. I treat the trimming of orchids much like an open wound … cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide and dabbing a little cinnamon to keep the mildew and fungus away.” Martin is a purist and grows only orchids in her greenhouse to cut down on any contamination from other plants. Martin said parting with her “babies” would be too hard. She grows them strictly for the pleasure they afford. She pointed out that historically, orchids are believed to have healing properties and can help cure lung diseases and coughs. townandgownmag.com

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In addition to orchids, Ken Ramsey grows Staghorn ferns (pictured), bromeliads, tillandsias, Elkhorn Fern, Hawaiian Plumeria, Fiddleleaf Ficus and other tropicals which are available on his website.

She reported that the Aztecs drank a mixture of vanilla orchid and chocolate to get power and strength. “Vanilla is one of the rare examples of orchids being used for food,” she said. “Both the seeds and surrounding pulp within the seed pod of the vanilla orchid are used to make the extremely popular vanilla extract.”   Meanwhile, when Ramsey hung up his drill and walked away from his dental practice, he had one thing on his mind – MSU sports and devoting full attention to propagating his growing stock of tropical plants, especially orchids. Ramsey retired recently after  40 years of practicing dentistry. Spurred by his love of orchids, he launched a cottage business from his home in Sherwood Forest. This is the same man who has not missed a Mississippi State football game in  34 years, and he has logged in 403 consecutive games.  “I believe the orchid flower is one of God’s special gifts to mankind,” he said. “There are few plant species more varied and none more beautiful. Most believe that orchid plants, with their delicate and fragile looking flowers, must be extremely hard to grow. Nothing could be further from the truth.” He specializes in varieties that are tolerant of high temperatures, wind and rain such as the Cattleya flower, which is often used in corsages and wedding decorations.   26

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“These orchids stay in bloom for up to two months and the fragrance of their flowers is wonderful,” he said. “An interesting thing about orchids is that they are ‘bloom-specific.’ Some bloom in the spring, some in the summer, some in the fall and others in the dead of winter. One could have several species and have orchid flowers every month of the year.” Both growers said orchids require only the basic necessities to live happily as houseplants: occasional fertilizing (half-strength), occasional misting, water once a week during their growing season but less so during the winter months, good indirect light and a welldraining, soil-less planting medium. “They don’t like ‘cold feet’ and do best with lows at or above 50 degrees,” Ramsey said. “Being in the Deep South, my plants are subjected to occasional highs above 100 degrees with the average summer temperatures in the 90s. They flourish with a couple of hours of early morning and late afternoon sun.” All his plants spend eight months hanging under oak trees, subjected to natural conditions which toughens them, and they then spend the winter months in his greenhouse or in his weatherized back porch. They can be grown in baskets, pots, ceramic bowls or even mounted on various wood stock.  “I really like to have a prospective buyer contact me before selling or shipping plants. If there is something special about growing any


plant I sell, I always include ‘Care Instructions’ for that particular plant. I want my plants to grow (and bloom) for the buyer just like they do for me. I am not a Lowe’s, for heaven’s sake”. He also grows and markets bromeliads, tillandsias, Staghorn and Elkhorn Ferns, Hawaiian Plumeria, Fiddleleaf Ficus and other tropicals which can be shipped to any location in the continental United States. Contact Ramsey at 662338-9189 or drdawg97@gmail. com. Visit his website at  http:// www.tropicalplantsandmore.com. Ramsey and Martin point out that orchids are no longer a specialty plant – orchids have gone mainstream in a big way, and they predict the plant will continue to bloom in popularity. n

Ramsey’s greenhouse is full of tropical plants, such as bromeliads and tillandsisa, that he sells on his website.

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Family heirlooms Flurry creates treasures with primitive rug hooking craft

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BY EMILY JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

s Sheila Flurry contemplated her well-earned retirement, she began looking around for an outlet to quench her creative thirst. The fates were way ahead of her, and she accidentally fell headlong into the love of a primitive craft known as rug hooking. At a time when manufacturers flood stores with inexpensive machineloomed rugs and carpets, Flurry discovered that the meditative process of rug hooking is a rewarding hobby that can produce superior results. That, combined with her love of antiques and family heirlooms, produced the winning ticket for a timeless art form. “Several years ago I read a feature in Starkville Daily News about a woman in Texas who hooked rugs. I couldn’t wait to learn more,” said Flurry. “I looked around and couldn’t find much information.” Flurry served as the former dean of students at East Mississippi Community College’s Mayhew campus after serving as principal of Starkville Academy for nine years. She was attending a business conference at Lake Tiak-O’Khata when she overheard that a workshop on rug hooking was taking place down the hall. Her curiosity got the best of her, and she wandered into the room to discover a world she never knew existed. With fascination, she watched as the hookers pulled loops of yarn or fabric through stiff woven bases made from burlap or linen. Each had their own stand which held the project up to eye level. “The people were working intently on their projects while chatting and receiving tips from the workshop leader.” Flurry was instantly hooked (pun intended). “I bought a hooking frame, a hook (which looks a little like an ice pick with a bent blade), and a kit containing all the ingredients for my first rug,” Flurry said. By the time she retired in 2009, she was ready to enter the more advance phase of her new art form. She attended a rug hooking camp in Oxford where enthusiasts from throughout the South gathered to work on projects similar to folk artists who engage in “quilting bees.” “There were even a few men,” she said. Soon hooking became a relaxing and challenging activity she could perform while watching television. “The nice thing about this activity is it’s easy to walk away and come back to at will.” At first she would buy her canvasses already stamped with designs. Now she is designing her own patterns and transferring them to the canvasses which can be as large as her ambition dares attempt or as small as a doormat. Flurry favors wool thread which she obtains from a company called Double M Sheep & Wool in Texas. “They raise the sheep, then weave and dye the wool,” said Flurry. She produced a book of swatches which contained almost as many colors and hues as a Pantene color wheel. The hobby is relatively expensive with quality wool swatches running about $8-9 a yard. That yard of fabric will only provide enough thread for a small corner of a rug. She figures the stunning 5X6 Oriental rug she hooked for her family room cost around $1,000, not counting her time. That’s still a bargain when you figure that similar handmade designs can sell for $10,000 on the open market. It took two years to complete her masterpiece, working off and on. “I spend more time with my hooking in the winter when the weather keeps me indoors,” she said.

Flurry will be among artisans demonstrating their crafts during the annual Art in the Garden tours scheduled for Saturday, May 19. So far, she has hooked at least 15 rugs, most of which bedeck her home in Colonial Hills in Starkville. There are primitive designs which draw conversation and intricate quality Orientals you would expect to find in a museum. There are whimsical designs with seasonal themes including Halloween and Christmas which she hooked with her grandchildren in mind. There are tapestries suitable for hanging or to use as runners for a dining room table. Like all artists, Flurry hooks rugs for the pure joy of it. She said she would love to find others in the area who would like to come together to share their hobbies as a group. Flurry will be among artisans demonstrating their crafts during the annual Art in the Garden tours scheduled for Saturday, May 19. She will be set up in the garden of Don and Danya O’Bannon beginning at 9 a.m. n townandgownmag.com

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Colored eggs Fairbrother farm is home to many animals and a feathered flock that lays eggs in a variety of colors

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STORY BY JOE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

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ebra Fairbrother worked full-time at Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library for 25 years before retiring in 2009. She remains on staff as the administrative assistant to Dean Frances Coleman and spends a lot of time on her family’s farm in the Sessums community near Starkville. She and her husband, Tim, have four grown children and nine grandchildren. They have almost enough animals to start their own zoo. “We started with one horse and now have 13 quarter horses, nine Texas Longhorn cattle, three parrots, one macaw, six geese, two ducks, one guinea, 11 hens, a rooster and three dogs,” said Fairbrother, who grew up on a dairy farm in Purdin, Mo. “My folks always had chickens when we were kids, and I decided I’d like to have a few. My son, Sam, built me the chicken house for my Christmas gift in 2010. In January 2011, we bought chick chickens that were 5-6 months old.” While this didn’t exactly change Fairbrother’s life, her existence cercer tainly became more colorful—some of the eggs she began finding were green. “I have a variety of chickens: Dominecker, Yellow Buff, Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn and some cross-breeds,” she said. “One of the crosses lays the green eggs. They’re typical-looking except for the color of the shell. It isn’t neon green, but there’s no doubt the shell is green.” Usually the color of the egg is determined by the chicken’s diet. Most eggs are white or shades of brown, although some are green and even blue. Interestingly, the Fairbrother chickens produce different-colored eggs while getting the same food. “All of our chickens eat the same thing. I give them a layer pellet and then they roam around outside all day eating bugs. I get white, brown and the green eggs,” Fairbrother said. “A chicken that’s old enough to lay eggs can lay one per day. Mine have been good layers. I gather the eggs in the evening and get six to nine right now. I’ve gotten as many as 10 in one day. All of them slack off in the summer heat and again in the winter cold. But they started laying so good I had more eggs than my husband and I could use.” To help with the overstock, Fairbrother enlisted the help of her friend Amanda Clay Powers, an assistant professor in the Mitchell Memorial Library reference department and the Poultry Science Department library liaison. “Debra was looking for people to buy her eggs,” Powers said. “and most of my friends are the community-market-sustainable-agriculture-local-food-buyer-types. I knew they would want access to those eggs as soon as she asked. “I volunteered to organize the deliveries and payments for my friends out of convenience. I could never take it to a commercial level – I have plenty to do on campus – I’m pretty much just an egg courier.

Debra and Tim Fairbrother share the work on the family’s Sessums farm that is home to plenty of animals. The rooster and hens have the run of the farm producing as many as 10 eggs a day, in a variety of colors.

My friends love it, and they’ve insisted Debra was charging too little for the eggs: they all decided to pay $3 a dozen instead of the $2 a dozen she initially asked.” Powers has at least five regular customers that want a dozen eggs in any given week as well as a couple of friends who would buy two dozen a week if possible. “Everyone that gets them adores the variety in the look of the eggs, especially the green ones,” she said. “When Debra’s chickens first stated laying, the eggs varied a lot in size, too. Now they’re very regular in size, so the green ones are extra special.” Fairbrother enjoys what she’s doing and has a realistic view about the future of her enterprise. “I would have to have lots more chickens to make this a money-mak money-making business,” she said. “But I am thinking about getting more chickens as these will stop laying eventually.” n townandgownmag.com

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25-30 teams of pork enthusiasts will compete in the annual pig cooking contest during Super Bulldog Weekend. (Submitted photo)

Swine dining a

Annual pig cooking contest is highlight of fun-filled Super Bulldog Weekend

BY SHEA ALLEN | SUBMITTED PHOTOGRAPHY

ll good social gatherings seem to center around good friends and good food. Throw in sporting events and an art festival, and you have the makings for one of the most anticipated spring weekends in Starkville thanks to the Cotton District Arts Festival and Super Bulldog Weekend all happening April 19-22. The Super Bulldog Weekend Pig Cooking Contest has grown to be as large of an attraction as the multitude of sporting events the weekend was originally created to celebrate more than two and a half decades ago. Each year, 25 to 30 teams of pork enthusiasts begin to set up their cooking stations on campus the Friday of Super Bulldog Weekend and settle in for what will be, for most, a 24-hour marathon of pig cooking. The contest is divided into three categories of whole hog, shoulder and ribs. Contestants are allowed to enter into two of the three. Seasoned contestant Doss Brodnax has been cooking pigs for the contest every year since its inception. Though the pig cooking is his main job during the event, Doss loves Super Bulldog Weekend for the fellowship. “It’s a very social event, and I just love being a part of the camaraderie and seeing people from all over the place who love Mississippi State,” Doss said. 32

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But with a few first place wins under Doss’s belt, the accolades are nice as well. His team, the Flyin-Plowboys, was originally comprised of Doss, a Mississippi State agriculture major, and his friend David Whitfield, a Mississippi State aerospace engineer (hence the name). Over the years his team has changed and evolved but their pig cooking has stayed the same – so much so that the Flyin-Plowboys created a pig cooking manual, to which they follow, to ensure their whole hog is cooked to perfection each time. “When [David and I] first started, we had never been in a competition before, but we just loved cooking so we decided to enter,” Doss explained. “Over the years we learned what worked best – it’s a very unique and slow process.” Doss and his team cook their whole hog for 24 hours, which requires them to stay up all night making sure their process is followed to the letter. “We first order our hog, which must be around 120 pounds,” Doss explained. “Then we build a concrete fire pit, two blocks high, line it with tin foil and big, two-by-four grates.” The interesting part is that Doss uses only six charcoals at a time during the entire 24 hours cooking process. “We’re careful to make sure the pig doesn’t get too hot, so we


Smokey G’s pig requires 40 pounds of charcoal and 14 hours to cook. (Submitted photo)

keep just six coals at a time burning,” Doss said. “About every 30 minutes we have to add a few more, but just a few to make sure he cooks nice and slowly.” Like all accomplished pig cookers, Doss is mum about his exact recipe for his hog rub and barbeque sauce, he does share that a few key ingredients he uses are vinegar, lemon and pepper to make the rub that is applied before and during the cooking. Then, roughly 12 hours into the process, the pig is turned over and basted with another vinegar-based marinade, and then it’s covered in a cooking tent to lock in heat and moisture. “We baste every hour until he’s done, and by done, I mean until he’s completely tender,” Doss said. Relative newcomers, Terry and Walter Gentry, of Baldwyn, and their friends, who comprise the team Smokey G’s, have made a name for themselves in the Pig Cooking Contest in recent years. Graduates of MSU, the brothers had always attended Super Bulldog Weekend, but didn’t participate until 2000. Since then, the team has six first place trophies for the whole hog, five trophies for the ribs and five overall first place trophies. “My brothers and I had watched a pig cooking contest on television, so we decided to try it ourselves,” Terry said. “As the years have gone on, our process is nothing like the first time. The first few years we tried, we didn’t do well at all, but you take what you’ve learned, and you learn from other cookers there, and you make adjustments and refine your technique.” One thing that has always remained the same for the brothers is their unwillingness to compromise that their sauces must be homemade. They start with a roughly 150-pound hog, and after they clean him, they inject him with their homemade cocktail of ingredients that include apple juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and liquid smoke. “Then we dry rub him with a mixture of about 12 ingredients,” Terry said. Different from Doss’s calculated six charcoals, The Smokey G’s pile approximately 40 pounds of charcoal and hickory wood in their fire pit to reach their target temperature of 195 degrees. They do not use lighter fluid because they do not want the fumes to interfere with the integrity of the meat. “We cook for about 14 hours, and all the while, we’re battling the element, which affects the cooking, too,” Terry said. “We’ve cooked in freezing cold and pouring rain and everything in between, so you have to adjust your cooking, which is just a lot of trial and error.” The final step after the hog is cooked is the creation of their

barbeque sauce, but Terry isn’t sharing what separated them from their competition, but what he will say that he knows the judges are looking for something that sets the cookers apart from each other. With so many wins, Terry’s recipe must be doing the trick. The judging starts Sunday around noon with about 70 judges taking part. The event requires so many judges so that each judge is responsible for tasting only three to four pigs to make sure their pallets (and tummies) don’t get bogged down. “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it,” longtime judge Walt Newsom joked. “I’m actually a lousy judge because I like them all.” Walt has been judging the Pig Cooking Contest for 25 years and was so intrigued with pig cooking that he traveled to Memphis in May to become a certified pig cooking judge. “I’ve judged various places around the state, but no one can hold a candle to the Mississippi State Pig Cooking Contest,” Walt said. The judging is divided into blind tasting and onsite. The onsite judging gets interesting when contestants feel the pressure to not only cook a good pig, but to also showcase their pig in a way that will stand out to judges. Doss’s visual task is to appeal to the judges’ love of Mississippi State. “I like to put an MSU baseball cap on his head and an Ole Miss cap on his tail,” he laughed. “The judges get a kick out of that.” “One year I even had a team dress up their station with palm trees and hula girls,” Walt said. “It’s all in good fun, but you have to remember to let the pig speak for itself.” The judges select the winner from each of the three categories, and then an overall winner is selected from those winners. “People are out to win, yes, but what I love most about this event is that really everyone is out to have a good time, too,” Walt says. “It’s such a good feeling of friendship, sportsmanship and camaraderie the entire weekend.” As to not put added pressure on the pig cookers to supply food for all those who will attend the weekend, Mississippi Farm Bureau and the Pork Producers Association cook hundreds of pounds of pork for all to enjoy and get their fill. And if all the pork you can eat hasn’t filled you up, the Cotton District Arts Festival features 25 restaurants from all over the area showcasing tastes from all over the world – from Mediterranean to Mexican. Though most who attend the festival typically have pottery, paintings and photographs on the mind, the Starkville Area Arts Council believes that culinary feats are works of art, so the Taste of Starkville is an important component of the event for the whole family. n townandgownmag.com

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g n u pr s s a ing h

Spr

EatDrink

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1: Casa Mia dinner plate, salad plate, bread and butter plate and soup bowl. Thyme 2: Vietri Lastra in white and grey. Mak B 3: Vietri Countryside. Giggleswick 4: Phillipe Delhouliers with Annieglass dinner plate and cake plate. Mak B 5: Vietri Incanto and Damask glass in aqua with Incanto metallic charger. Giggleswick 6: Tomato plant. Thyme 7: Vietri Campagna and Gallina. Giggleswick 8: Vietri Medallion. Mak B

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Rest and relaxation Columbus dermatologist opens Vitality Skin & Spa in Starkville

Dr. Bethany Reed Hairston, a board-certified dermatologist, recently opened Vitality Skin & Spa in Starkville. She continues her general dermatology practice in Columbus, but devotes her weekends to consultations with clients at the Starkville facility.

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BY EMILY JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

estled in the middle of the central business district of Starkville, a new spa invites its clients to escape for a few hours to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. The opening of Vitality Skin & Spa has generated excitement among its clients who say they emerge exhilarated and refreshed after their transformative sessions, all designed to nurture healthier skin and overall well-being. “In the past I have always gone to big cities to seek out the spa experience,” said an enthusiastic Debbie Nettles, owner of ERA Town & Campus Realty in Starkville. She was first in line when Vitality opened its doors in November. “Now I don’t have to leave town. I feel like we have a piece of the big city right here on Main Street.” Nettles said that from the moment you enter Vitality’s tranquil and meditative setting you will be instantly enveloped in the luxurious spa ambiance that beckons you to relax and enjoy the experience.

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“It was so relaxing that I fell asleep during my first facial,” said Nettles. Dr. Bethany Reed Hairston, a board-certified dermatologist, opened Vitality Skin & Spa which had been a long-time personal goal of the physician. She continues her general dermatology practice in Columbus, but devotes her weekends to consultations with clients at the Starkville facility. She is aided by a team of licensed massage therapists, cosmetologists and aestheticians, all skilled in giving facials, manicures, pedicures and other beauty treatments. “I’m a big fan of Dr. Hairston and her staff,” said Nelle Cohen, wife of the head coach for the MSU Diamond Dawgs. “They’ve taken great care of me and my fair-skinned family since we moved here in 2008. When I heard Dr. Hairston was opening a spa in downtown Starkville, I was thrilled. I go in pretty regularly to purchase products (I love the Obagi line) as well as ‘pampering gifts’ for friends and family.”


n A selectio ds a e b th a b of of the are some ems it a p s y n a m t a le b availa . ty li a it V

Cohen added that Vitality offers a full line of soaps, candles, bath beads and salts and gift certificates were popular during the holiday season and on Valentine’s Day. “My girls and I have also been eyeing the Amy Head cosmetics and plan to try them out soon. And they have a wonderful massage therapist, Betty, who is helping me work out my baseball-related stress. Those 22 inning days can be rough on a girl.” All procedures at the spa are performed in the well-appointed and tranquil atmosphere of an early 20th century craftsman style bungalow. “When I spotted this building, I knew it would be perfect for what we had in mind,” said Dr. Hairston. She enlisted her friend Penny Bowen, owner of Penny Bowen Designs and Bella in Columbus to transform the interior into an eclectic retreat. Soft music, lighting and comfortable furnishings add an ambiance normally reserved for Hollywood starlets. “We even have a back door exit to protect the privacy of our clients,” said Dr. Hairston. Amy Head, one of Mississippi’s most successful makeup artists, with her own line of cosmetics, agreed to give the spa exclusive rights to the Amy Head products. Vitality’s cosmetologists trained under Head extensively prior to opening day. Head’s signature is applying unique color choices with creative makeup application techniques. “Beautiful, natural and easy describes our philosophy of beauty,” said Head whose flagship studio is in Ridgeland. She also operates studios in Birmingham and Oxford. “A beautiful makeup application is our goal for our clients, no matter what age or lifestyle.” Other procedures offered at the spa include microdermabrasion, chemical peels and Botox injections. “I think people underestimate the effectiveness of these skin care procedures and may rely on expensive cosmetic surgery which might be unnecessary,” Dr. Hairston said. She added that all instruments are sterilized for safety and all treatments are medical-grade, equal to those she offers in her medical practice. Assistant director Kathryn Phillips manages the daily operations of Vitality Skin & Spa. She said private makeover parties for small groups can be arranged, especially before special events such as proms or weddings. The spa is located at 322 University Drive and is open from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Reservations are recommended. Call 662-323-5377 for more information. n

s ittany Russell show r Cosmetologist Br directo nt ta sis as to ow off a new eye shad Kathryn Phillips.

Manicure and pedic ure specialist Stephanie C applies po ash lis to a custo h mer’s nails.

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Crowds filled the streets of Tupelo on July 21, 1928 when Reed’s held a giveaway of a $500 jersey cow.

Building aClothing, brand: books and politics

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BY JOE LEE

ome family business names are instantly recognizable in their communities. Reed’s Department Store has been a fixture in downtown Tupelo since 1905, and locations have opened over the years at the Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo, Jackson Square in Columbus and on Main Street in Starkville. There’s a great deal more to the Reed family than just high-quality merchandise, however. They have strong ties to quality public education, an undying love for their hometown, and a desire to serve. Jack Reed Jr. is in his first term as mayor of Tupelo and followed his dad into politics – Jack Sr. won the Republican nomination for governor in 1987 before losing the general election to Ray Mabus. But the imprint began with R.W. Reed Sr., who founded the company when he moved to Tupelo from Itawamba County and opened a dry goods store. “I started on weekends as a cashier while in high school in 1939. Two years later I began work in our shoe department,” said Jack Reed Sr., a Vanderbilt University graduate who served in World War II and went full-time with the store in 1948. He and his brothers, Bill and Bob, were the second generation of the family business. “Industrialization in the ’50s brought in many new families. Not many multi-generational families are left. Many of

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my more ambitious high school classmates left for better jobs.” Jack Sr. and his wife, Frances chose to stay and had four children: company president Jack Jr., executive vice-president Camille Reed Sloan, board secretary Catherine Reed Mize and Scott Reed, who left the business to become a financial consultant and works several doors from the family’s flagship store. Lex Jackson, the president and co-owner of the Starkville and Columbus locations, joined in 1970. A former president of both the Mississippi Economic Council and the Mississippi Retail Merchants, Jack Sr. was the chair of the Mississippi State Board of Education from 1984-1988. Likewise, Catherine Reed Mize and her husband, Paul “Buzzy” Mize, were awarded the 2006 Association for Excellence in Education’s Jack Reed Sr. Advocate for Education Award, and Buzzy Mize was named the 2003 Tupelo Public School District Parent of the Year. “Buzzy and I are very committed to public education,” Catherine Reed Mize said. “Both of our boys graduated from Tupelo High School with a very good education. My siblings and I graduated there, too. Through the years we wanted to support the teachers and principals at our children’s schools in any way we were needed. We’ve done a little bit of everything, from serving as homeroom parents to PTA presidents.”


Along the way, of course, Catherine, Camille and Jack Jr. got to watch their father run for governor. “Daddy had never run for any public office before, so we learned as we went,” Catherine Reed Mize said. “Before he ran he had been involved in so many good endeavors and causes locally, statewide and nationally. I remember he was gone many nights a week attending various meetings but he usually made it home by bedtime. “He and my mother worked as a team to raise four children, run a business and be so involved in the community. As one of four children, it was a special treat for me to be able to ride with him all by myself to one of his speeches. I was so proud of both of my parents.” “My father always told us to make our corner of the world a better place, no matter how small or large it was,” said Camille Reed Sloan, who began making bows for the store in grade school before taking on regular part-time work in high school. “I think we have all tried to do that. I remember that my father was not always popular with the stands he took on integration. One local convenience store owner put his picture up and asked people not to shop at Reed’s. All along, though, the owner’s wife was purchasing the family’s clothes with us.” Like his father, Jack Reed Jr. was educated at Vanderbilt University. But he went to law school at Ole Miss and practiced law for five years before returning to the family business. He decided to run for mayor of Tupelo only six months before the election in 2008. “I worked at the store over Christmas holidays in high school and college, and helped take inventory over the years,” he said. “Basically, my parents told me that doing well in school was my job. “I think we all have different chapters in our lives. Growing up, I was always proud of the store. As all four of us children were, I was lucky enough to be given a great education, and I enjoyed practicing law. I’ve taken great pride in working in the family business for 30 years, and I hope my chapter as mayor of Tupelo will have been of benefit to our city. “The most challenging aspect of the job is making changes that I perceive to be significant in the face of some very negative personalities. I’m most proud of leading Tupelo’s winning team in Kansas City to win our fourth All America City Award.” Catherine Reed Mize identifies 2008 as the company’s best sales year. She said that while business remained flat in 2009-2010, the 2011 year at Reed’s was the most profitable the family has ever had. “Both our Tupelo mall store (at Barnes Crossing) and the Starkville store have contributed to our growth and profitability,” she said. “Sportswear – particularly men’s – and women’s shoes have shown our biggest increases, with North Face jackets and Toms shoes leading the way. “Ladies’ wear and gifts and our children’s department have been good, and Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore remains profitable thanks in large part to autograph signings by John Grisham and Jack Cristil.” “The gift shop has only been around since the ’70s,” Camille Reed

Jack Reed Jr. (right) was elected mayor of Tupelo in 2009. He is pictured with Jack Reed Sr. at a victory party in Tupelo the night he won.

Sloan said, “but we have many customers tell us that their parents or grandparents always brought them to Reed’s to buy clothes and to ride “Bucky” (the mechanical horse in the children’s department). I think Bucky is 60 years old. “Like all of our departments, our bridal business is certainly regional. We offer china and crystal that may not be offered in a bride’s hometown, so we do have a wide area we service. Additionally, the groom may be from our area and the bride farther away, so we cover a lot of ground. “While online is convenient, many customers still like to ‘touch and feel’ the gifts they buy. Our online registry is becoming more and more important to us, though – we get calls from all over the country, and we encourage the bride and groom to spread the word that gifts may be bought online.” The company has come a long way since the days of R.W. Reed Sr. and the dry goods store – the Reed’s website features a scanned newspaper ad that ran in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in 1907 and promotes premium ham for 13 cents a pound and a small soda for a dime. In addition to top-quality lines of clothing, shoes, and gifts, the Reed’s world famous T-shirts have almost taken on a life of their own. Everything from MSU to Elvis Presley to Tupelo area soccer is prominently displayed within a format that promotes the family brand. “Originally we printed 50 T-shirts to give away to the girls who were participating in our Reed’s homecoming fashion show in Tupelo in 1988,” Catherine Reed Mize said. “We did this for three years before wondering if anyone would pay for a shirt with our name on it. “They’ve just grown and grown every year since then. People see them as a regional point of pride, and they have been worn all over the world. We work hard to keep the quality high and the graphics cool.” In addition to featuring John Grisham’s A Time To Kill among many Southern authors and titles in the bookstore, there are also copies of A Time to Speak, a book compiled by former reporter Danny McKenzie in 2007. It contains more than a dozen of Jack Reed Sr.’s speeches between 1956 and 2007. townandgownmag.com

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Brown, and Tupelo’s own John Armistead. There are many first editions and autographed books on the shelves, including a number of works from bestselling Mississippi author John Grisham. “Mississippi is known for its outstanding independent bookstores, and publishers understand that and want to send authors to us,” Gatlin said. “I spend hours every day researching books, going through catalogs, and talking to fellow booksellers about what their customers are reading.” While digital downloads have hurt many big-box stores as well as locally owned outlets around the country, Gatlin said her store jumped right on board. “Reed’s Gum Tree is one of three bookstores in Mississippi that offers e-books through Google,” she said. “They are compatible with all reading devices except Amazon’s Kindle. If you visit our website you will have access to the same e-books you can get through a larger retailer – and at the same price – but you’re still supporting a local business. “Book sales are actually the best they’ve been in quite a while. People seem to appreciate the fact that they can talk with a real person, and I have people sit next to me and share their life stories. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything,” said Gatlin. MIZE FOUNDATION

Jack Reed Sr. and Jack Reed Jr. visit with John Grisham (center) at his Theodore Boone book signing at Gum Tree Bookstore. (Photos submitted) What kind of advice did the father give his son about going into politics? “I told him to run if he wanted to do so,” Jack Sr. said, “but to remember his obligations to his wife and our business, and to give it his very best if elected and to expect a lot of criticism – all of which he has done. “I’m most proud of my children’s involvement in the store and the community. And I’m most thankful for the many loyal customers who’ve kept us going.” REED’S GUM TREE BOOKSTORE Emily Gatlin, the manager of Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore in Tupelo, figured she had a recipe for success on her hands when she booked MSU broadcasting legend and longtime Tupelo resident Jack Cristil for a signing on Dec. 15, 2011. Cristil was wrapping up a hugely successful book tour with MSU Journalist-in-Residence Sid Salter, who wrote Jack Cristil: Voice of the MSU Bulldogs, and the date they agreed to was in the heart of the Christmas shopping season. “The response was incredible,” Gatlin said. “We sold almost 500 copies before they even walked in the door that night. People started arriving an hour and a half prior to the event to wait in line. Mr. Cristil had to come back another day to finish signing the books we sold, and not a single customer complained.” Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore puts an emphasis on Southern writers like Greg Iles, Willie Morris, Donna Tartt, Ellen Douglas, Larry 42

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The Henry Mize Foundation began in April 2003 after the death of 1938 Mississippi State University graduate Henry Mize, a Booneville native and a lifelong supporter of Bulldog athletics. His nephew, Paul “Buzzy” Mize of Tupelo, is the foundation’s permanent director. A graduate of distinction from MSU’s College of Business and Industry in 1978, Buzzy Mize is the senior vice-president of Ross & Yerger Insurance Services in Tupelo and is married to Catherine Reed Mize. Under his direction, the Mize Foundation donated the stateof-the-art scoreboard that hangs in the center of MSU’s Humphrey Coliseum – a gift valued at $1.8 million dollars. “The Foundation began when my father left Drew to go play baseball at MSU,” Mize said. “He fell in love with State and convinced his little brother, Henry, to come over and see how he might like going to college there. Uncle Henry promised to give it one year, and that year turned into a lifetime.” Mize, whose father died young, saw his uncle lose his wife at a young age. The couple had no children. “I saw how a university and its people can become a family to a person as I watched Uncle Henry continue the constant migrations to the land grant college,” Mize said. “MSU was the first place I looked if I couldn’t find him. If I couldn’t go to a game he would go by himself, and so many State folks knew him that there was always a tailgate crowd that would take him in like family.” In addition to the jumbotron projects in the Hump and at Dudy Noble Field, the Mize Foundation helped remodel the men’s basketball locker room and has just finished helping the construction of the Mize Pavilion. “We also support United Way and we funded the beginning of a consortium that linked the resources of the president’s offices of Northeast Community College, Northwest Community College, Itawamba Community College and East Mississippi Community College,” Mize said. “I’m really proud of that one, as it helped traditional rivals come together and yield results that individually they couldn’t do. “The Foundation has other projects, too, but all were born out of a love for Mississippi State.” n For more information about the Henry Mize Foundation or to make a donation, visit http://www.createfoundation.com.


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The traveling pink pants Childhood friends stay connected and stockpile plenty of new memories

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BY EMILY JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY SUBMITTED

everal years ago there was a movie about four best girlfriends who hatched a plan to stay connected as their lives carried them to foreign parts of the Globe. They passed around a pair of secondhand jeans Members of the sisterhood incl that fit each other perfectly. Those pants became ude (in no particular order): Stephanie Josey Ramsey of the tie that bound them together and the catalyst Celeste Scales Wood of Houston, Texas; Georgia Bry Lubbock, Texas; an Lindley of Starkville; Rob Linda Peden Jordan of Brando bie Long Reed of Saltillo; for stockpiling new memories. n and her twin sister Brenda Ped Logan of Franklin, Tenn.; Sue en Mallory of Crystal Lake, llen Henley Oswalt of Starkv Ill.; B. B. Lewis Borrowing on the movie theme, a group of 1968 Kilg ille; Beth Bost Nix of Hampto ore Booker of Monroe, N.C.; n Cove, Ala.; Susan Bet ty Sikes Barton of Round Rock, graduates of Starkville High School are maintain- and Cha Texas; Linda Fultz Batte of Old rlotte Williams Register of Bro smar, Fla.; ken Arrow, Okla. (Photos sub ing a special connection through a pair of pink mitted) pajama pants. The wildly colorful pants feature a heart shaped design guaranteed to stand out in a crowd. The item of clothing has been circulating among the classmates and turning up in the most unlikely places. Linda Crosby Sanders of Starkville is credited with coming up with the idea during one of their annual “camp meeting reunions” which are typically held at the Pickwick retreat owned by classmate Kay Good Ross, who now lives in Germantown, Tenn. “We call it Camp 68 and proclaimed Kay our camp counselor,” Sanders said. “We all decided to throw ourselves a big 60th birthday party; so, of course, gifts were in order ... mostly of the gag variety.” “Laughter is a top priority in our group, and the pink pants Photos were the perfect touch,” said Georgia Bryan Lindley. “We decided chronicle the to take pictures doing something wild and crazy while wearing the travel of the pink pants. In the pants and share the photos as a way to stay in touch.” photo at right Sanders noted the gatherings can be serious or silly and can Lindley, MSU Police Chief, is change from moment to moment. “Last year we got up at 5 a.m. in the and watched the royal wedding of Will and Kate while wearing ti- pantsshown and above, aras.” they take a ride in a car trunk. Lindley described how close the sisterhood continues to be after 40-plus years since departing Starkville High. “We have been inseparable since kindergarten,” she said. “Most the pants on her Harley, while Ross strikes a colorful pose wearing of us grew up in the same neighborhood within walking distance the pants on her skis in the middle of Pickwick Lake. of each other.” “Many great things have come through the experience of reconToday all but three have moved to other locations, but they stay necting with childhood friends,” said Sanders. “We all had so much connected by the annual camp meetings and a growing enjoyment fun that we organized a reunion for the whole class, and everybody of each other’s company as the years slip by. agreed it was absolutely the best one ever. Old age does have its Recently the tradition spawned a photo book entitled “Camp 68 perks.” –The Traveling Pink Pants.” It contains pictures of each classmate “Since we started getting together, we have shared so much wearing the pants while engaged in activities from Florida to Okla- laughter, the birth of grandbabies and prayer for each other in so homa. many moments – both happy and challenging,” she added. “ReOne photo shows Lindley, chief of Mississippi State University member the little song ‘Make new friends, but keep the old; one is Police, in combat boots, carrying an M-16, wearing a bullet proof silver, the other gold’? These childhood friends may be platinum.” vest and, you guessed it, the pink pants. In another shot, Carol Duke Along the way, the girlfriends discovered that their friendship is Templeton is wearing her pants at the entrance to the Grand Ole one of life’s most enduring gifts and worth so much more than a Opry, oblivious to the gawking passersby. Beth Ray Ott is wearing pair of pink pants. n

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Claire’s Style Update

C Claire Massey

Claire Massey is Town and Gown Magazine’s Editorial Assistant. She has a fashion blog TurKoiz (tur-koiz.blogspot. com), is a featured stylist for stylesays. com and a Mississippi State University Fashion Board alumni.

Shop local merchants for similar items.

hristian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen, and Miu Miu are just a few of the top shoe designers in the world. They might not complete the average women’s collection of shoes, but these designers have been in every fashionista’s dream some time or another. We all have this problem and most likely every women would admit it — shoes are our weakness. Yes, we must have the latest clothes, jewelry and handbags, but overall the shoe is what completes the look. Jumping out of the fashion magazines and on the runways for the spring is iconic looks from the ’60s and ’70s. Most people who had the privilege to grow up then never thought this style would be back so vigorously. Muted tones, fringe and prints were slight understatements then. Now back for another round paired with bright and pastels tones, this season’s trends are setting fashion history. Still working the runway are maxi dresses — timeless pieces for day or night. Youuthful vibrant colors continue with neon tribal wedges — oozing a beach vacation get-away outfit. Fun and flirty, the washed blue jean button-up complements this ensemble well. Adorn this outfit with a fringe black shoulder purse and wispy hair for an effortless look. Keeping a tonal consistency, these bright print strappy wedges punctuates this entire outfit. Prove yourself to be a fashionista and wear a fitted teal mini and a boxy black chiffon blouse atop. The modern color blocking can be shown by pairing a bright orange clutch to the mix — perfect for a night out on the town. The photo to the lower-right has ’60s and ’70s written all over it. A flowing printed shirts with a tailored dark coral wide-leg pant go great with a bold pair of wedges with brown and dark coral leather straps. Opt for a vintage – inspired shoulder bag and be a pure flower child. Be in the spotlight this spring season by complementing outfits with bold and edgy bright shoes as mentioned. Have an effortless look back from the flower power days with more than just bell bottom jeans and headbands. Vibrant colors paired with toned-down pieces set the trend — perfect for Super Bulldog Weekend and the Cotton District Arts Festival. See local merchants for these trends. They are stocking the shelves to keep any woman uniquely chic. For more fashion and style ideas go to turkoiz.blogspot.com or stylesays.com/#!/clairemassey8/. n

PHOTOS COURTESY OF POLYVORE.COM

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LifeStyle

Selena Pharis models a teal tee with cream blazer, coral wide-leg pants and jewelry from L.A. Green. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER 46

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Victoria Mayhall models a pearl-accented dress with hand-crafted jewelry from L.A. Green. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

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Kasey Fulgham models a coral and grey romper and gold jewelry while Paromita Mitra models a multi-colored jacket and gold jewelry from Sisters. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

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TOP LEFT: Savannah White models a neon chiffon top with linen shorts and a coral and gold necklace. TOP RIGHT: George Salomon models an aqua button-up with khakis and Chauncey Anderson models a Southern Marsh polo with jeans. LOWER LEFT: Caroline Gilbert models a multicolored romper . LOWER RIGHT: Savannah White models a fedora hat, all from Reeds.

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Savannah White models neon chiffon top and gold jewelry from Reeds and umbrella from Giggleswick. 50

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER


AT RIGHT: Kasey Fulgham models a blush dress with bangles from Deep South Pout. BELOW LEFT: Carley Mohen models a white tank, coral cardigan, navy and white polka dot shorts, yellow stone necklace and a leather and gold cuff bracelet from Deep South Pout. BELOW RIGHT: Savannah White and Paromita Mitra model great spring colors from Amy Head Cometics at Vitality Skin and Spa. Savannah is wearing Pink Dawn and Illusion blush, Moonlit, Gleaming, Aubergine, and Steel Mist eye shadow and Sugar and Spice, Prosperity and Wet Lips lipstick. Cosmetologist Brittany Russell styled her design. Paromita is wearing Sweet Raspberry and Willow blush, Cosmo Collage and Candlelight eye shadow and Montego Bay and Moonstruck lipstick, styled by cosmetologist Amber Norman. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

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SeeHear

APRIL

BY CLAIRE MASSEY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEILANI SALTER

NEW Music Releases

April 17

April 1 n Changed by Rascal Flatts

n With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery by Moonface n As Himself by Stik Figa n Sweet Heart Sweet Light by Spiritualized

April 2

April 24

n Simone Felice by Simone Felice n Spooky Action at a Distance by Lotus Plaza n First Serve by De La Soul’s Plug 1 and Plug 2 n Blklstrs by Blacklisters n Luftwaffe Pond by The Lifeman n Fields and Birds and Things by Jonny Parry Chamber Orchestra n A Man Possessed by Christian Webb n Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Up At Twelve by History of Guns n We Are Not The Same by Lux n Spit No Evil by Ras Kass

n Brooklynnight by Senea n Great Chicago Fire (Bloodshot) by Waco Bros. and Paul Burch n Hard to Love by Lee Brice n Blunderbuss by Jack White n Candy Salad by Suckers

April 3 n I Love You, It’s Cool by Bear in Heaven n Locked Down by Dr. John n Ugly by Screaming Females n Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj n Bottoms Up by Obie Trice

April 7 n Changed (Big Machine) by Rascal Flatts

April 10 n Our Loving is Killing Us by oOoOO n A Wasteland Companion by M. Ward n Boys and Girls by Alabama Shakes n Mr. Impossible by Black Dice n OhNoMite by Oh No n New Life by Monica

LIVE Music Schedule April 12 n Colour Revolt at Rick’s Cafe

April 13 n The Glitter Boys at Cowbells n Good Paper at Mugshots

April 14 n Craig Putman - Hillbilly Delux at Cowbells n The Gondoliers at Amory Railroad Festival

April 18 n Jeff Norwood at Anthony’s

April 21 n Sugarland at Davis Wade Stadium n Brandon Lay at Cowbells

April 24 n Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at Bettersworth Auditorium in MSU’s Lee Hall

April 28 n Purfek Daze at Fat Daddy’s n Good Paper at Mugshots

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Rhythms

Worsham to headline arts festival BY JOE LEE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAMERON POWELL

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t’s a long, slow climb to music industry stardom. Charlie Worsham, who grew up in Grenada and is the headliner at the Cotton District Arts Festival this year, is almost there. “Last fall I was lucky to get to play ten shows opening for Taylor Swift,” Worsham said. “Most were in hockey arenas that hold up to 20,000 people, and she sold out pretty much every show. It was an incredible experience. Our biggest show was at the new Dallas Cow Cowboys stadium, and there were 55,000 people. I’ll never forget that feeling, and that sound – loud.” Worsham began taking banjo lessons in third grade from local legend Larry Wallace of Starkville, who won the Mississippi State Banjo Championship from 1978-1984. “He has been a huge influence on my music ever since,” Worsham said. “I played at bluegrass festivals from ten years old and onward but didn’t play with a full band until my eighth and ninth grade years. I spent all my high school weekends with a band called The Players – all good friends who were older and more experienced and taught me well. “This will be my first CDAF appearance, although I’ve performed many times in Starkville. It feels like a second hometown sometimes.” In addition to the tremendous exposure from opening for Swift and Lambert, the touring experience has had quite an impact on Worsham, who moved to Nashville in 2006. “Miranda is so down to earth, and I have so much respect for her voice and songs,” Worsham said. “But most of all, she’s a kind and gracious person. There’s no filter, no ‘put-on’ in her music. It’s really her stepping up to the mic. Every bit of what she believes and loves and cares about translates through the speakers directly to her fans’ hearts every night. “Seeing people cry and sing along to (Lambert’s) “The House That Built Me” or grin while singing to (Swift’s) “Mean”

inspires me to keep working and striving to make the best music I can. And I hope to get to continue to make music for a long, long time.” A five-song EP (extended play recording) featuring five of Worsham’s songs are available on Amazon.com for digital download, including “Mississippi in July,” “Trouble Is” and “Could It Be.” He plans to play everything from the EP at the Cotton District Arts Festival, as well as other original songs that will be included on a full-length recording down the road. “We’ll have fun with a cover song or two, and I might just have to get Mr. Wallace to sit in with us for a banjo song,” Worsham said. “I cover everyone from Tom Petty to Don Williams. My songs are about all kinds of love, growing up in Mississippi, friends, being young and having the world ahead of you, and some of those life lessons that make you say a little prayer.” n For a sneak peek at the music of Charlie Worsham, visit http:// www.youtube.com/charlieworsham. townandgownmag.com

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{NearFar

Womack coming to Riley

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BY JUSTIN FRITSCHER | PHOTOGRAPHY SUBMITTED

he sounds of reputable musicians will be echoing from the MSU Riley Center this month, with upcoming performances by the Del McCoury Band, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Lee Ann Womack. Del McCoury and Preservation Hall take the stage together for a show called American Legacies on April 7 in what the center’s executive director, Dennis Sankovich, calls a fusion of “brass and grass.” Del McCourty’s bluegrass influences will take its high tempo acoustic sounds from the Appalachian Mountains to the streets of New Orleans, home of jazz and, of course, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. While both groups have captivated audiences for more than five decades, they have only starting playing together recently. Although bluegrass and jazz have many differences, their similarities promise a fascinating show, Sankovich said. Meridian lies somewhere in the crossroads between Appalachia and the birth of jazz, making this combination of artists the perfect fit for the Riley Center, he said. In addition to this classic duo, country music fans will have a performance to anticipate – Grammy winner Lee Ann Womack. She takes the stage April 14 and is one of several country artists to visit the Riley Center this year. Womack pulls her country inspiration from her roots, influenced by albums played by her father who was a part-time disc jockey. She recently went on tour with George Strait and Reba McEntire, but now she is on the road alone with plans to tell stories about real life through song. She also performs in North Carolina this month and will perform in Biloxi in May. “You’re trying to catch a moment of someone’s life, and in my case, make the best kind of country music you can, because country music – to me – is real life,” she said in 2005 when “There’s More Where That Came From” one the album of the year award from the Country Music Association. Womack’s hits include “I Hope You Dance,” “Never Again,” “A Little Past Little Rock” and “I’ll Think of a Reason Later.” Tickets cost $34-$40 for Del McCoury/Preservation Hall and $46-$52 for Womack. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m.; a pre-show event for Womack begins at 6 p.m. The theater is located at 220 Fifth Street in downtown Meridian. Attendees from Starkville are recommended to purchase a bus ticket for $10. The bus departs the MSU campus three hours before show time. n

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For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www. msurileycenter.com or call (601) 696-2200.


{On the Page

Raylan BOOK REVIEW BY MILTON WHATLEY

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hen (and if ) I reach the age of 80, I will consider myself blessed if I can hit my mouth with a spoon of oatmeal. At 80 plus Elmore Leonard continues to do what he has done for decades, which is to write some of the best crime fiction on the market today. The newest offering from the pen of Leonard will not disappoint his regular readers and should bring new fans to his writing. Raylen is Elmore Leonard’s new novel featuring one of his most popular characters, Deputy U. S. Marshal Raylen Givens. Givens, the central character of the popular F/X television series Justified was not the creation of its writer/producer Graham Yost. The character of Givens first saw the light of day in a short story entitled Fire in the Hole which was included in a collection originally entitled When the Women Came Out to Dance. The collection was recently released in paperback and retitled Fire in the Hole to capitalize on the popularity of Justified. The television series uses as its basis the short story (which was the pilot episode) as well as two novels by Leonard featuring the Givens character entitled Pronto, Riding the Rap. Of all of Leonard’s work that has been brought to the big and small screen, Justified is clearly his favorite. In interviews he has expressed as much and has said of Tim Olyphant who portrays Raylen Givens in the series, saying, “He is the kind of guy I saw when I wrote the lines.” Givens is a Deputy U. S. Marshal who entered law enforcement to escape working in the Kentucky coal mines he did as a younger man. While working in Florida, he was forced to shoot a career criminal. The shooting was ruled as “justified” but the publicity associated with it led to Givens being reassigned to the Lexington, Ky. office of the Marshal service. There, he is called on to work in and around Harlen, the town where he grew up, and the locals remember him not so fondly. Givens is a throwback to the no-nonsense law officers of 100 years ago. This fact makes him unpopular with the local criminal element and hard to manage by his supervisors. Art Mullen, his immediate supervisor, would have him fired or transferred, if he were not so successful. Violence comes in Givens’ wake, but he is successful. In this new novel, Raylen Givens crosses paths with three powerfully drawn women characters. Two of the three would

rather have him dead than interfering in their business. In Harlen, there is the usual illegal drug trade along with the unauthorized removal of human organs – unauthorized because the people who have their organs removed do not give their permission. The people who harvest the organs do offer to sell them back to the original owners for a “reasonable” price. The characters and dialogue in Raylen are alive in dark and dangerous ways. As the story unfolds, the tension mounts and the reader is pulled to the edge of his chair. As you read, you know that a body is going to hit the floor; you just don’t know whose. Because of Leonard’s advancing age, there’s no guarantee that he will ever revisit the Raylen Givens character. But we can celebrate that he has taken us this far in the story, and we can hope that the ride will continue. n

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{On the Page

Celebrity in Death BOOK REVIEW BY SUSAN O’BRYAN

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he futuristic world of homicide detective Eve Dallas and her uber-rich husband Roarke keeps spinning in Celebrity in Death the 34th novel in the suspense novel series by J.D. Robb, also known as Nora Roberts. And if the past can predict the future, it will be the latest in a string of Robb bestsellers dating back to fall 1999. Best described as a “tough cop with a dark past,” Dallas has been a hit since 1995 and Naked in Death, when Robb first introduced readers to a late 21st century New York City complete with glides links, drying tubes and vacations to other planets. It’s a world where real coffee is a luxury and droids are commonplace. It’s a world where a Irish rogue-turnedbillionaire falls for a hard-headed woman determined to be a voice for silenced victims. In reality, it wasn’t until 2001 that readers learned that Robb was indeed the pseudonym for best-selling novelist Roberts. She keeps pace with reader demand for Dallas/ Roarke romance and adventure by publishing two “In Death” novels a year. Celebrity in Death finds Dallas and her team, including detectives Delia Peabody and Ian McNabb, getting the VIP treatment while a move (“vid”) is being filmed based on one of her many closed murder cases. The stars have been carefully chosen for their identical made-over resemblances to Dallas, Roarke and others. When one of the stars, a mean spirit named K.T. Harris, turns up drowned in the director’s rooftop pool, the case has Dallas doing a double-take. Not only does the victim eerily resemble her gentle partner Peabody, but everyone at the star-studded dinner now is a suspect. Could it be the handsome womanizer, the pair of secret lovers or perhaps the ever-polite director’s wife? The cast list is long and complicated. 56

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With the help of high-tech gizmos, a hard-working team and a devoted, highly resourceful husband, Dallas strips the masks from famous names and faces to find what evil lurks beneath. While the detective tears down others, the relationships with those significant in her world grow stronger. Anyone who has read a Dallas and Roarke-centered suspense/romance novel knows that trusting others never comes easy for Dallas, a woman still suffering from childhood abuses and abandonment. In each novel, her icy front crumbles a bit more, leaving her more open to the loyalty of friends and co-workers. The cast of characters keeps expanding, but readers know they can count on Roarke, Peabody, McNabb, Mavis, Nadine and others to keep Dallas focused – and safe. As expected with any “In Death” novel, Robb sets a fast pace and keeps it going full throttle. One death leads to another – and another, secrets built on secrets, until the criminal is caught in Dallas’ net. And yes, the good guy always wins, but for Dallas fans, that just means there’s more to come. n


{On the Page

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Reading Aloud BOOK REVIEWS BY HELLEN POLK

aster baskets, eggs to fill and hunt and candies of every kind have been on the shelves at local stores for quite a while. It’s one of the obvious messages that Spring is on the way. But so are the daffodils, the beautiful redbuds and singing birds. We see God’s beauty all around us right now. This has to be my favorite time of year as we celebrate new life in nature and new life in Jesus Christ.

What better time to share a book or a Bible with that special child in your life. There are so many biblical accounts of the Easter story for children of all ages and reading levels. Two great Easter books published by Zonderkidz are excellent choices for reading aloud. The Legend of the Easter Egg by Lori Walburg and Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs by Melody Carlson present heartwarming and beautifully illustrated stories of the relationship between the eggs children love to hide and find and God’s gift of eternal life. For those who wish to give a Bible for Easter, visit your local bookstores for many child appropriate versions that will meet your child’s needs at this time. Jan Karon, author of the very popular Mitford series for adults, has written a delightful story for children called Miss Fannie’s Hat. In this Easter story Miss Fannie, age 99, loves hats of all shapes, color and sizes. She donates her favorite hat to raise money for her church and receives a wonderful surprise in return. Some of the books include a CD of the story read by the author as well as a storyboard and reusable stickers for retelling.

Simply titled The Easter Egg, Jan Brett again delights her readers with an exquisitely illustrated story of the lovable Easter Rabbit and his bunny helpers who are decorating eggs for Easter. Different breeds of bunnies and chickens hop along the woodland floor as ferns, wildflowers and pussy willows emerge in the warm spring air. In true Jan Brett style, the beauty of the world around us unfolds with a story that should be treasured and shared for generations. This book will also inspire creativity when decorating eggs for popular egg hunts!

Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies by Louise Mathews and The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar Fractions Book by Jerry Pollatta make great books to tuck in the Easter basket. Both stories are appealing to children while they teach valuable math skills. With all the eggs and candies available at Easter there are unlimited opportunities to teach important concepts such as color, size, and value. In addition to teaching these skills, these two books are just plain fun! Sharing stories, candy, and the glory of God’s creation are the perfect combination for celebrating spring. townandgownmag.com

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{On the Page

Reading the Classics

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BOOK REVIEWS BY KATE SALTER

ritish author Charlotte Bronte, the eldest of Bronte sisters (others are Emily and Anne) and a member of one of history’s most famous literary families, was born on April 21, 1816 in Yorkshire, England. The Brontes are the epitome of bravery and strength – publishing for years under the male pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell in order to elude the

male dominance of their times and thereby showcase their works to the world. In this season of warmer weather, new foliage and fresh beginnings, Charlotte is the perfect author to celebrate as all of her works, from the largely recognizable Jane Eyre to the lesser-known titles are united by the same sense of renewal and hope that the springtime brings.

Jane Eyre Author James Joyce called the protagonist of his novel Ulysses the only “complete” man in literature. By these standards, Jane Eyre is perhaps the only complete woman in literature. For in Jane is a woman who is simultaneously intelligent, independent, vulnerable, wise, naive, cold, passionate, practical and creative. She is not a person who is easily compartmentalized and labeled, and critics who deem her depressed due to her heartaches over her dark past and her uncertain future in love, in my opinion, abysmally miss the point of her character. Though neither the language nor the setting not modern – for those reasons some readers find this sort of literature threatening, sadly –  the general themes Bronte addresses remain relevant today. The idea of following your heart even when doing so defies social norms, drives this stunning novel and reflects a human desire for freedom with which everyone can empathize.

Villette Villette is, amazingly, more endearing and yet deeply darker character study than Jane Eyre. In the novel, the main character Lucy Snowe embodies the sadness, depression and heartaches of the prototypical plain woman. Compared to her friend, Ginerva, Lucy is not beautiful. To Ginerva’s cousin and Lucy’s other contemporary, Paulina, Lucy is unaccomplished and untalented. Yet she still dares to hope in the affections and companionship of men – and, in one, she finds the first real friendship which can sustain her troubled soul. Bronte’s final character deals with the sometimes violent sea changes that families experience, the unbelievable surprises, the struggle to decide between individual desires and that of society and repressed emotions in true 19th century English heroine style. Any reader on some level can connect to Lucy’s feelings of hope and anticipation as well as to those of regret and understanding. Depending on where readers are in life, the novel’s ending will hold different meanings and as such, this book is to be cherished and reread for any Bronte fan or lover of literature.

The Professor In addition to the risk of publishing under the male pseudonym, Charlotte Bronte is one of the few female authors of the Victorian era who daringly chose to appropriate the male voice in a first person narrative. From this perspective, The Professor is a highly intriguing novel for it presents the feminine idea of the masculine mind, or rather the mind that women wish men possessed. The hero, William Crimsworth, is exhibited as a young man sympathetic toward women and their genderspecific challenges. However unrealistic this portrayal may be considering the nature of gender politics at that point in history, the story suggests that Charlotte thought more progressively than some of her counterparts, acknowledging the glaring discrepancies that existed between men and women. Although The Professor is not necessarily one of her most popular novels, its social critique is interesting and still very relevant today. n 58

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Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Photography by Claire Massey

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Starkville Academy Volition Photos courtesy of Mediagraphix photography

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Starkville Academy Volition Tea Photography by claire massey

1. Taylor Tennyson, Payton Allen, Kat Garrard 2. Sarah Beth Jones, Susannah Cox, Katie McLemore 3. Haley Swedenburg, Ashley Weeks, Emilie Sanders 4. Kathleen Logeston, Caitlin Russell, Jessica Tranum 5. Laura Crain, Maril Jackson, Hannah Huddleston 6. Jordan Jackson, Tanner Fant, Julianne Jackson 7. Coleman Rybolt, Natalie Parrott, Morgan Lyle 8. Sally Marie Passons, Cori Hosford, Brittany Phillips 9. Lauren Temple, Brenna Sweeney, Mary Williamson 10. Hannah Ball, Shelby Marsh, Savannah Brown 11. Kelsey Green, Lexie Brooks, Mary Adele Rackley 12. Bell Hester, Amber Chamblee, Christa Wilburn 13. Lauren Ware, Taylor Campbell, Mary Austin Barber, Corrine Jackson 14. Lynda McReynolds, Sandra Gladney, Jamie Elliott townandgownmag.com

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Fashion Board Show Electric Brights, Neon Lights Photography by Claire massey

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Meridian Heart Ball Photography by Hannah Tibbetts

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Starkville-MSU Symphony’s Romantic Rendezvous Photography by laura Daniels

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Adelaide Paul Art Exhibit Photography by Leilani Salter

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1. Dave Boles, Ellen Boles 2. Susan Brown, Barb Adkins, Robin Fant 3. Nicole Wyatt, Monwell Partee 4. Anna Phipps, Jordan Jaggers 5. Jack Forbus, Lynda Forbus 6. Suzy Turner, Tony Morris 7. Nancy Hargrove, Guy Hargrove 8. Joan Wilson, Elizabeth Hawkins 9. Joan Taylor, Clay Taylor 10.Ruth de la Cruz, Armando de la Cruz 11. Lydia Thompson, Adelaide Paul 12. Jim Turner, Suzy Turner 13. Jean Marcus, Andy Gaston

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MSU Lyceum Series: St. Lawrence String Quartet Photography by LAura daniels

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1. Bob Fuller, Stacey Parvin, Robbie Richardson, Jimmy Richardson 2. Guy Hargrove, Nancy Hargrove 3. Leonard Brandon, Rachel Brandon 4. Marie Mestas, Donnie Mestas 5. Zach Loman, Marie Mestas 6. Hank Moseley, Jeff Donald 7. Ada Fulgham, Bonnie Renfroe, Magdeline Dobson, Susan Cook, Lilli Fulgham, Beatrice Dobson 8. Greg Henley, Flo Henley 9. Barbara Crawford, Marilyn Laird, Pat Greer 10. Janey Stubbs, Catherine Boyd, Lady Mary Thompson 11. George Crawford, Phylis Benson 12. Daniel Jones, Rhonda Jones 13. Dianne Freeze, Sally Laughlin, Marty Friend, Terry McDowell 14. Brett Bossier, Carrie Abel 15. Kelli Anne Terrell, Divya Doshi 16. Dolly Moore, Karen Lillly, Mark Lilly 17. Brynnan Russ, Andrew Cupil 18. Maridith Geuder, Margaret Kovar 66

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Dance Around the World Photography by Laura Daniels

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1. Alezandra Tolliver, Jennifer Worman 2. Lesley Strawderman, Jane Strawderman 3. Kabindra Bhattarai, Nisha Bhattarai, Sushil Raj Poudel, Cynthia Oli 4. Chauncey Anderson, Ravin Davis 5. Saeed Keshani, Sason Nouranian, Saber Dormohammadi 6. Marta Amirsadeghi, Sanaz Salehi, Saidi, Amanda Nour 7. Arash Salehi, Arash Taheri 8. Natrell Cox, Dazshea Petty, Chinesa Smith 9. Christian Walls, Jeanesha Cox, Whitley Walls, Grachaunta Lindsey, Kimberly Walls 10. Chyna Wheatley, Allison Richmond 11. Justin Miller, Lance Gillespie, Tabor Cook, Fred Oglesby, Lionel Lee, Rob Walker 12. Indian Student Association 13. Starlight Dancers

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Kappa Sigma Parent Social Photography by Laura Daniels

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1. Susan Leber, Rhee Nix, Jeff Leber 2. Jenni Cumbaa, Noel Cumbaa 3. Nick Leber, Susan Leber 4. Susan Leber, Jeff Leber, Brian Leber 5. Retta Boyd, Chris Boyd 6. Chad Rawson, Mary Rawson 7. Tom Horton, Martha Horton, Bowen Horton 8. Regina Russell, Ethan Russell 9. Kyle Little, Jenine Little 10. Teresa Williams, Jeff Williams 11. Bill Patrick, David Patrick, Josh Skrmetti 12. Richard Hewlett, John Kyle Hewlett, Diane Hewlett 13. Melody Sally, Stewart Sally, Jim Sally 14. Vicki Spring, Robin Morton 15. Jeff Weill, Alan Weill, Tracy Weill, Claudia Hawkins, Wade Hawkins, Michael Hawkins, Joseph St. Columbia 16. Kent Stribling, Deanie Fanning, Skye Jones, Michael McPhail, Trent Stribling, Skye Jones, Johnny Fanning, Paul McPhail, Angela McPhail 68

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A Crown Affair Photography by Laura Daniels

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1. Linda Pote, Anne McWhorter 2. Richard Blackburn, Jennifer Blackburn, Connie Templeton, Chip Templeton 3. Alixi Hui, Kate Fabel 4. Martha McAlpin, Dolton McAlpin 5. Wallace Killcreas, Christina Killcreas 6. Carolyn Katz, Beverly Smitherman, Jamie Smitherman 7. Parker Wiseman, Lindsey Wiseman, Robert Phillips, Lucy Phillips 8. Justin Dornbusch, “Elivs�, Alyssa Warrick 9. John Harkness, Virginia Harkness, Mark Bricka 10. Vanessa Shaffer, Donald Shaffer 11. Ben Carver, Jamie Carver 12. Vanessa Wilson, Tom Wilson 13. Kris Lee, Amanda Clay Powers, Peter Messer, Anne Marshall 14. Shalyn Claggett, Alixi Hui, Kate Fabel, Judy Ridner 15. Jean Marcus, Elvis, Robert Phillips 16. Jean Marcus, Elizabeth Hawkins 17. Ruth de la Cruz, Armando de la Cruz 18. Steffan Blumer, Theresa Kennedy 19. Angela Chege, Christian Rabl 20. Ben Mageamua, Zendia Mageamua, Tes Salmon, Ruth de la Cruz, Armando de la Cruz townandgownmag.com

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Women in Higher Education State Conference Photography by Laura daniels

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Lyceum Series: The Acting Company’s ‘Julius Caesar’ Photography by Laura Daniels

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1. Chelsea Berry, Darrell Hawkins 2. Patty Newsom, Christy Savage 3. Jacob Hathcock, Lyle Mecaskey, Grace Williams, Sarah Williams 4. Sarah Williams, Katie Simmons 5. Matt Bond, Kimberly Keel 6. Zach Meints, Magdalen Dobson, Trey Wallace, Rebekah Bisson 7. Janice Ross, Niah Jamerson 8. Trey Rice, Zach Evans 9. Judy White, Charles McKellar 10. Kaibrina Parkman, Antrone Gardner, Angela Sanchez 11. Tinsley Colmer, Listiawan Hadi 12. James Lang, Tara Trask, Rachel Hall 13. Rebecca Hyde, Margie Hyde, Mike Hyde 14. Elisabeth Nolan, Angie Nolan 15. Beth Thompson, Julia Thompson, Michael Thompson 16. Crystal Crossler, Rob Crossler 17. Tamarie Phillips, Kristen Shell 18. David McKell, Amy Hornsby 19. Kylie Rigdon, Bill Potter 20. Kelly Marsh, Lara Dodds, David Morse townandgownmag.com

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Delta Delta Delta Swinging For St. Jude Photography by Ashley Massey

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Distinguished Young Women Photography by Laura Daniels

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1. Sara Powell Harper, Jacquelyn Nemeth, Anna Jackson, Katie Wood, Lacy Claire Whitten, Emily Damm, Mary Kate Hughes, Holly Travis, Leah Gibson, Natalie Parrott, Katherine Carr, Mykela Bricka 2. Mary Kate Hughes, second alternate; Holly Travis, Distinguished Young Woman; Leah Gibson, first alternate 3. Rickey Travis, Holly Travis, James Travis, Cynthia Travis 4. Holly Travis, Distinguished Young Woman and Overall Fitness Award 5. Leah Gibson, first alternate and Overall Talent Award 6. Mary Kate Hughes, second alternate 7. Emily Damm, Overall Scholastic Award 8. Natalie Parrott, Spirit Award and Be Your Best Self Essay Award 9. Anna Jackson 10. Mykela Bricka 11. Jacquelyn Nemeth 12. Katie Wood 13. Lacy Claire Whitten 14. Katherine Carr 15. Sara Powell Harper 16. Mallory Pitts, Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman townandgownmag.com

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Magnolia Film Festival Photography by DIvian conner

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1. Niah Jamerson, Ruth Brown 2. Amy Alford, Brian Alford 3. Matthew Mlsna, Claire Caprio 4. Drew Oliveri, Heather Oliveri, Tyler Oliveri, 5. Kim Horning, Doug Buckius 6. Daniel Lee Perea, Coop Cooper, Melanie Addington 7. Daniel Hoing, Alex Hoing 8. Andrea Dinep, Nicholas Dinep-Schneider 9. John Formby, Devon McAllister, Audrey Sheridan 10. Brien Henry, Amanda Henry, Glen Bryant 11. Aaron Wong, Emily McGuire, Jordan McGuire 12. Becky Bickford, Dan Bickford 13. James William Harris, Jonathon Harris 14. Zach Moore, Jesi Johnson 15. Casey Dillard, Glenn Payne

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MSU Alumni Banquet Photography by Leilani Salter

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1. James J. “Jim” Rouse (center) was named Mississippi State University’s 2012 National Alumnus of the Year. Rouse is pictured with his family (from left) Chris Taylor, Kathleen Fuller, Connie Fuller, Rouse, Julie Rouse, Lisa Taylor, Jeff Taylor, Connie Taylor, Claire Taylor. 2. MSU President Mark Keenum presents Jim Rouse with the 2012 National Alumnus of the Year award. Accepting college alumni awards from Dr. Keenum are: 3. Dr. James E. “Jim” Newsome, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 4. Wendy J. Allen, College of Architecture, Art and Design 5. Dr. Donald L. “Don” Hall, College of Arts and Sciences 6. Francis C. “Franc” Lee, College of Business 7. Henry E. “Ed” Blakeslee III, James Worth Bagley College of Engineering 8. Larry E. Castle, College of Forest Resources 9. Dr. Locke A. Karriker, College of Veterinary Medicine 10. Cornelious D. “C.D.” Smith Jr., MSU-Meridian Not pictured: Corey M. McKern, College of Education townandgownmag.com

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Holidates Photography by Divian Conner

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1. Rocky McBride, Audrey McBride 2. Hugh Gerald, Libby Gerald 3. Tyson Gair, Jane Gair, Hardy Mitchell, Kim McElroy, Lesli Wolfora 4. Dinah Clark, Harold Clark 5. Tom Walker, Cindy Walker 6. Suzanne Lindley, Les Lindley, Ed Williams, Jan Williams 7. Roy Carpenter, Susan Carpenter 8. Dorothy Hendrick, Phillip Hendrick 9. Frank Brewer, Wendy Brewer 10. Perry Rackley, Michele Rackley 11. Brenda McCafferty, Steve McCafferty 12. Bruce Crain, Melanie Crain 13. Libby Gerald, Audrey McBride, Melanie Mitchell 14. Kathryn Laughlin, David Laughlin, Keith Winfield, Carol Winfield, Beverly Smitherman, Emmett Smitherman

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Holidates Photography by Divian Conner

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15. Hardy Mitchell, Melanie Mitchell, Linda Langston, Steve Langston 16. Janet Thomson, Nancy Miles 17. John Jordan, Dinah Jordan, Keith Winfield, Carol Winfield 18. Alex Harris, Cindy Harris, Anna Hood, Ken Hood 19. Margaret Taylor, Steve Taylor, Barbara Carver, Wayne Carver, Debbie Tate, Dale Tate 20. Ed Black, Lynn Black, Jennifer Blackburn, Richard Blackburn 21. Bill Parrish, HelenSue Parrish 22. Kay Milam, Edd Milam 23. Doug Minchew, Sue Minchew 24. Van Miles, Nancy Miles, Ernie George, Francis George 25. Emmett Smitherman, Beverly Smitherman 26. David Laughlin, Kathryn Laughlin 27. Carolyn Winfield, Audrey McBride 28. Vicki Katz, Joy Holley, Kathryn Laughlin townandgownmag.com

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Delta Gamma Milk and Cookies ‘Service for Sight’ Photography by AshLEy Massey

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Starkville Community Theatre ‘Beau Jest’ Photography by DIvian conner

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1. Christopher Walrath, Matthew Crane 2. Jean Walrath-Ferguson, Bob Anderson, Kris Lee, Carol Sorenson, Walter Diehl 3. Teresa Turnipseed, Sue Self 4. Leon Mowry, Betty Mowry, Joan Taylor, Clay Taylor 5. Jean Brandon, Presley Flowers, Hembree Brandon 6. Happy Deas, Babs Deas 7. Scott Carson, John Strand 8. Armando de la Cruz, Ruth de la Cruz 9. Bob Collins, Pam Collins, Walter Diehl 10. Spence Crabtree, Diana Crabtree 11. Margie Thompson, Tina Nowell, Ronnie Vowell 12. Larry Moorhead, Nancy Bearden 13. Lee Dempsey, Lyle Tate, Jansen Fair 14. Cynthia Calbert, Sylvia Milosh, Patricia Hodges, Mirna Martinez 15. Terry McDowell, Jansen Fair, Debbie Dunaway, Marianne Ulmer 16. Abigail Vollar, Paula Mabry

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Kappa Delta Pancake Late Night Photography by Ashley Massey

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1. Alex Benge, Kelsey Dewberry 2. Catherine Stukenborg, Erin Patterson, Casey Bailey, Casey Ferguson 3. Bailey West, Anna Morgan 4. Mary Clark Strange, Brittney Clark, Sarah Margeret Hewes, Halston Hales 5. Sarah Margaret Hewes, Olivia Lunsford 6. Tori Bardoul, Shelby Norris, Mallory Hemphill 7. Lacy Ladner, Nicole Radich 8. Olivia Porter, Brie Jordan 9. Mialee Billingsley, Mari Micci Bramuchi 10. Bailey Clark, Morgan Lyie, Elizabeth Scott 11. Hrehan Hakeem, Pete Mitchell, Ted Kazanski 12. Jessica Grace DeVries, Delanie Howell, Lexie Bodin, Morgan Gollott 13. Kat Garrard, MacKenzie Nowell 14. Lauren Stutts, Tatum West 15. Brittany Coleman, Kyle Parker 80

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More

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72nd Annual Columbus Spring Pilgrimage The Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation’s Spring Pilgrimage will feature home tours, Tales from the Crypt, dramatic presentations and more through April 7. For more information call 1-800-920-3533 or visit columbus-ms.org. Aberdeen Antique and Classic Car Show The car show will be held from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Courthouse. Entry fee is $20 for one car and $15 for second. Visit aberdeenms.org for more information. Threefoot Festival The Meridian Arts Council will host the Threefoot Festival in downtown Meridian including a daylong juried art show with hands-on activities, entertainment and Threefoot Bloody Marys. For more information visit meridianarts.org. American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band The American Legacies will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian. Tickets will be $34-40. For more information visit msurileycenter.com. Hitching Lot Farmer’s Market Columbus’ farmer’s market will open for spring from 7-10 a.m. in downtown Columbus. Visit columbusmainstreet.com for more information.

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34th Annual Amory Railroad Festival     The festival will be held at Frisco Park in downtown Amory through April 15. Festival will include entertainment, arts and crafts, 5K run, car show, carnival, food, music and more. For more information visit amoryrailroadfestival.com.

Second Samuel Starkville Community Theatre will perform Second Samuel April 12-15 and 17-21. The play starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday - Saturday and on Sundays at 2 p.m. For more information visit sct-online.org.

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Relay for Life of Oktibbeha-MSU    Relay for Life will be held at the MSU Junction from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. For more information email jbaker@saffairs.msstate. edu. Azalea Balloon Festival     Held at Veterans Park in Tupelo, the festival will be Friday and Saturday. For more information visit tupelo.net.

APRIL Tupelo Flea Market and Craft Show The South’s largest indoor/outdoor flea market will be held through April 15 at the Tupelo Furniture Market Building Friday 5-9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $1. For more information visit tupelofleamarket.com.

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Lee Ann Womack Lee Ann Womack will perform at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-show at 6 p.m. Tickets are $46-52. For more information visit msurileycenter.com. Spring Into Action 5K Race The race will be held at Sally Kate Winters Park in downtown West Point. Children’s run starts at 5:30 p.m. and the 5K Run will start at 6 p.m. Visit sallykatewinter.org for more information.

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Semi-Annual Delta Gamma Dorothy Garrett Martin Lectureship This lectureship will include a speech on values and ethics by Patricia Heaton, ABC’s The Middle actress. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and speaker starts at 7:30 p.m. at MSU’s Humphrey Coliseum. Admission is free. Annieglass On The Road Mak B will host Annieglass founder Annie Morhauser 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Mak B and Co. located on Russell Street in Starkville. Business After Hours: Spring Fling Luau The Greater Starkville Development Partnership’s Business After Hours will be held at the Veranda at 5:30 p.m. with a Hawaiian luau theme. For more information visit starkville.org. Super Bulldog Weekend   A weekend full of family fun including baseball, softball, volleyball, football games, tennis matches, pig cooking competition, Fan Fair and more. See page 13 for a schedule of events. Tickets for all events can be purchased at hailstate.com/tickets. Phi Mu Pizza Late Night   Phi Mu will host a Pizza Late Night including live music from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Phi Mu house at MSU. Tickets are $5 for 2 slices of pizza or pizza sticks, a cookie and drink. All proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. For more information and to purchase tickets call 205-261-3167.

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Philadelphia Ham Jam Arts Festival The festival will include live music, BBQ, arts and crafts and a Hog Wild Run

in downtown Philadelphia through April 21. For more information visit hamjamartsfestival.com.

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Cotton District Arts Festival The Starkville Arts Council will host the Cotton District Arts Festival on University Drive in Starkville in the Cotton District. Admission is free. For more information visit starkvillearts.org or page 14. Kappa Alpha 2nd Annual Raffle for Bulldogs for a Cause Kappa Alpha will be raffling a purebred English Bulldog. All proceeds will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Assocation. Tickets are $20. For more inoformation email sk469@msstate.edu. OCH Regional Medical Center Old Cotton Mill 5K Run Race will begin at 8 a.m. and registration is at 7 a.m. Register in advance for $20 and $25 day of race. For more information email shay08@gmail.com Spring Giant Possum Town Yard Sale The yard sale will be held at the Columbus Hitching Lot in downtown Columbus from 7 a.m.-noon. For more information visit columbusmainstreet.com.

Do You Want to Dance? The Meridian Symphony Orchestra presents Do You Want to Dance? at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit www.meridiansymphonyorchestra.com.

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Grace Potter and the Nocturnals     MSU Music Maker Productions presents Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performing at Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall on the MSU Campus at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets at msuconcerts.com. Apprarel, Textiles and Merchandising Exposition     MSU’s ATM seniors will showcase projects from undergraduate careers at the Senior Exposition at the Lloyd-Ricks Watson building 3-5 p.m. 3rd Annual Wine Downtown in Tupelo The Mainstreet of Tupelo will host a wine tasting event with merchants in downtown Tupelo. Wine tasting is 5-8

p.m. and a rooftop party at Park Heights will be held from 8-10 p.m. For more information visit tupelomainstreet.com

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| april 2012

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TheLastWord

Kathleen Collins Olivieri, a lead information technology consultant with Mississippi State University, was a feature twirler for the Famous Maroon Band in this photo taken Sept. 20, 1986 when MSU played USM at the Jackson Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Baton twirling, watermelon and MSU BY KATHLEEN OLIVERI

w

atermelon and Southern hospitality changed my life and led me to Mississippi State University. Growing up in Yazoo City during the 1970s meant lots of socializing around a juicy watermelon; many times with family and oftentimes with new friends. One Sunday evening, a young couple visited the First United Methodist Church in Yazoo City. My parents, displaying their Southern hospitality, invited the couple to our house for watermelon after church. That night changed my life forever. The wife of the young couple had twirled the baton in high school and offered to teach me. I was in the 6th grade, the year was 1978. Only a Southern girl would have a life-altering event materialize over watermelon. More importantly, a Southern girl would only describe baton twirling as “life-altering.” Baton twirling brought a world of pretty costumes, hard practice, new friends, lots of fun and pretty costumes (this is very important). Baton twirling also sent me to Mississippi State University at a very young age. Beginning in 7th grade, I spent six summers at MSU attending band camp. Two weeks of sheer fun. I can still hear Dr. Kent Sills telling us to “play in the street” after our evening camp convocation. I was fortunate my school band directors “allowed” baton twirlers. Twirling the baton for the Yazoo City Junior and High School band was really “big time” to a small town girl. I look back at the home movies and laugh hysterically at my novice twirling! Yet,

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my junior high band director must have seen something that the home movies have never shown: he suggested that I audition for the Mississippi Lions All-State Band as a majorette. As a Lions Band member in 1982, 1983, and 1984, I was surrounded by MSU and Starkville folks yet again! There were many Starkville high school students in Lions Band and Dr. Sills directed the summer band as well. All roads and twirling events continued to lead me toward MSU. My mother didn’t twirl the baton, which is a frequent assumption. Southern mothers do tend to live through their daughters. My mother was a figure skater growing up in Oklahoma. That opportunity did not exist in Yazoo City. Baton twirling was the next best thing, I suppose. In 1984, I took the field as a feature twirler for the Famous Maroon Band. At Mississippi State University, I met my husband of 22 years, Ralph Olivieri. We have two children, Kelly and Rachel. Kelly is the baton twirler in our family today and will audition for the Famous Maroon Band in April. The one (and only) similarity between the two twirling generations is prom. In 1984, the Yazoo City High School prom was the night before feature twirler tryouts at MSU. In 2012, the Starkville High School prom is the day of tryouts at MSU. A very flimsy similarity, but Southern mothers look for anything when passing along a legacy. Watermelon and Southern hospitality changed my life. What seemingly ordinary daily life event changed yours? n


Town and Gown Magazine  

April issue 2012

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