For better or worse, there are sounds and experiences in Mississippi that evoke home (Chicago) to me. The sound of police sirens at odd hours. The early morning but distant rumble of trains.

And then…

Wait for it…

Shopping at the Walmart located on Grandview Boulevard in Madison, Mississippi.

Not the Target located off I-55 in Jackson. Not the Kroger on Lakeland in Flowood. The Walmart 2720 Supercenter in Madison. This one.

This shouldn’t make sense, really. I think Madison is considered the tonier of Jackson suburbs. For example, the city of Madison has demanding architectural design requirements. (Read about them here.) Most of the retail structures have a greigy Corinthian feel. Uniformity is the rule.

But walk yourself into 2720 and it’s kind of like Chicago. A varied stew pot of people. The shoppers there are a diverse bunch. There are different races represented and, as far as I can tell, different income groups. Some days you’ll hear Spanish, which I love b/c it reminds me of Pilsen. (Miss you much, 16th and Halsted.) People scurry around, sometimes mindlessly bumping into one another. And occasionally (but not often) there’s litter. Home.