a visit to greenwood in the delta

The Mississippi Delta is a big place. It encompasses more than 7,000 square miles of alluvial floodplain, stretching from Tunica in the north to Vicksburg at its southwest corner. The Delta contains some of the earth’s most fertile soil. And it’s a fertile place for the imagination if you’re the visiting type.

I like accessing the Delta through Greenwood. It’s an easy drive from Jackson, about an hour and 40 minutes. As you thread your way through Lexington and Tchula, Route 49 becomes quite flat. Cotton fields to your left and right. And then you find yourself in Greenwood. In many ways, it’s like time has stood still.

There’s Delta Feed on Main Street.

Architecture from the late 1800s persists and evolves, as this structure on Howard Street does.

If you plan on visiting Greenwood, I would aim for September when the cotton is high. To see cotton fields in the cotton capital of the world is a pretty cool experience.

bloom on, azaleas

March 2019 marks the end of my third winter in central Mississippi, and I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first time I’ve noticed all the beautiful azaleas.

This shrub produces some fantastic flowers in the most saturated colors. A bright pink, as observed on Quinn Street in #Belhaven:

And vibrant red on Whitworth Street:

And even fuchsia at the Mississippi State Capitol in downtown Jackson:

How magnificent.

jill conner browne and the sweet potato queens

Jackson is counting down to St. Patrick’s Day, or St. Paddy’s Day as it is known here. And the 2019 St. Paddy’s Day Parade on March 23 is expected to draw 75,000 visitors–pretty massive for a city of 167,000 people. Central to the St. Paddy’s Day Parade is a little somethin’ called the Sweet Potato Queens. You might be thinking, Sweet Potato Queens? Read on.

In 1983, Malcolm White (of Hal and Mal’s fame) decided a St. Paddy’s Day Parade would be fun to produce, so he did. And Jill Conner Browne, a local Jacksonian, decided to be the parade’s Sweet Potato Queen. As Browne explained to the Houston Chronicle:

You know, in the South we’ve got a beauty queen for every event, every organization, every day of the week, every food group. I was pretty far removed from the beauty queen circuit, but I just declared it [being the Sweet Potato Queen] to be so. I just found it funny, and still do.

Sweet Potato Queen

Source: Natalie Maynor via Flickr

The Sweet Potato Queens have a reputation of adding bawdy fun to the parade and since that first parade have mushroomed as a network of 6,400 chapters in 37 countries. No joking. Can’t make it to the parade next Saturday? Consider checking out New Stage Theatre’s Sweet Potato Queens: The Musical, which is based on Browne’s best-selling books and is appropriate for ages 18 plus.

boots & more on high street in jackson, mississippi

As a consumer, there are a few purchases where you might benefit from being expertly fitted. Buying cowboy boots seems to be one.

Last September I was itching for a pair of cowboy boots. I headed to the only place I could think of–Boots & More on High Street just east of downtown Jackson.

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You could easily get lost in this store (big selection), but one of the staff members found me and I found these beauties, which I absolutely love. The turquoise bluebirds seem to dance across the leather. And the tiny red hearts here and there? Love.

Having never purchased cowboy boots before, I was impressed with the variety of choices. Boots are available in snip toe, rounded toe, and box toe as well as in different leathers. Think cowhide, goat, snake, ostrich, alligator. Prices also vary considerably–from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Goodness.

Andrew Evans wrote a great article for National Geographic on what to look for when buying cowboy boots. You can access his advice here.

imagination sparked in laurel, mississippi

I love old stuff, I really do. Old houses, old streets, old trees–all of it. Was fortunate to spend a Sunday afternoon in Laurel, Mississippi, a couple weekends ago, and the Busy Bee News-Coins-Pipe Shop on N. Fifth Street? Imagination sparked.

Busy Bee News-Coins-Pipe Shop Laurel Mississippi Deep South

The news and pipe shop made complete sense to me. But coins? Something I’d have to research/parse later.

Fifth Street is a main artery from the historic downtown area, and it’s dotted with old buildings and Southern live oaks. More lovely than I could have anticipated.

Laurel Mississippi City Hall Deep South

Laurel Mississippi Fifth Street Southern live oaks Deep South

A little further down is the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and although the museum doesn’t permit photos outside of the lobby area, the collections are diverse and exceptional.

Across the street from the museum is the Rogers-Green House, which is pretty magnificent, at least to this passerby.

Rogers-Green House Laurel Mississippi Deep South

buttermilk popsicles at deep south pops

Ran an errand yesterday in downtown #Jackson, and woo wee, it was a warm and sunny day. Almost 82 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty special for the end of February. When Mother Nature dials up the warm-weather crank, I head to DSP–Deep South Pops on N. State Street.

Heaven on a stick is the Strawberry Buttermilk Popsicle. The crushed strawberries are fresh, and the buttermilk lends the popsicle a slightly tart/sour vibe. Translation: This popsicle isn’t ultra sweet.

The buttermilk popsicle is also available in blueberry, which is almost as good as the strawberry version.

If you need a caffeine pick me up, Deep South Pops offers an assortment of coffee drinks. It’s a cool space to hang out and chill.

the backroads of hot coffee, mississippi

If you like to drive and appreciate rolling pastures, farms, and pine trees, get yourself to Covington County, #Mississippi. The sun was abundant yesterday, so I hit the road in search of Laurel. But heading east on Highway 84, I found and visited Hot Coffee, Mississippi. Best name ever for an unincorporated area in Mississippi and maybe the Deep South.

When I was staff at the Mississippi Association of REALTORS, Hot Coffee was the inspiration for a free monthly webinar series I created. And I had so much fun marketing each webinar presenter. The subtitle for the Hot Coffee series was We’re Brewing Something Special in Mississippi. Indeed.