In the early 1880s, L.Q.C. Lamar was thinking about retirement from public life. He started purchasing land in the small town of Taylor, just south on Oxford. By 1882, he had acquired 550 acres along the Mississippi Central Railroad. On a hill overlooking the farm, he had a small wooden frame home built in the New England farmhouse style. There were also barns and shelters for the stock, and a dairy barn.
He wrote to his farm manager, William Knight, “that place is to be my future home at the end of my services here, I shall go to that place and spend the remainder of my life. You see, therefore, that you are not merely in charge of a nice farm and fine stock, but that you will contribute much to my future comfort.” (October 22, 2010, Page 2B)
When I left home at the age of 23 to go to Caracas, Venezuela, I took two large cardboard boxes with me containing school supplies (as I was going to teach fourth grade), linens, a few books and some clothes. I also took my grandmother’s 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook.
My roommate and I ate out most of the time, but when we did decide to stay home we each had our cooking strengths. She could make chili and I could make popcorn and chocolate chip cookies. We lived together for three years and never made a proper meal — and my cookbook was never opened. (October 22, 2010, Page 2B)
With his big brother and sister sitting next to him, surrounded by pumpkins of all sizes, 2-year-old Mack Shelton was more interested in watching the large construction equipment digging up the road on Jackson Avenue on Wednesday afternoon than smiling for his mother’s camera.
“I’m not sure I got a good one this year,” said Mack’s mom, Emily Shelton, with an exasperated smile.
Moments later, Mack was all smiles as he ran around the pumpkin patch at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with his brother, Sam, 8, and sister, Emma, 5, following close behind as they searched for their favorite pumpkins.
“Oh sure, now he smiles,” Shelton said with a chuckle.
The Sheltons have come to the church every year for the past six years to take photographs and pick out the family pumpkins. (October 22, 2010, Page 1B)
L.Q.C. Lamar is known nationally as a congressman, senator, Secretary of the Interior and associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, but he is not known for his interest in, and ownership of, farming operations. In 1854, Lamar was living in his home state of Georgia. He had established a law firm in Macon but he did not have any use for his extensive slave holdings. (October 15, 2010, Page 3B)
How many times have you heard, “If I win the lottery I would …”?
Chances are, if you are from Mississippi, not very often. I grew up in Florida and turning 18 meant one thing — being able to play the lottery. It was one of the first things I did on my way to work on my birthday. I bought both a scratch off and a Florida Lotto ticket and, although I did not win that week’s lotto (or any week’s), the excitement was just as fun.
As a student, the lottery would be a great benefit for myself and my classmates. The game’s main purpose — besides allowing those lucky few to win large amounts of money — is to fund programs for education. With the current budget cuts and the rise in price of education, a lottery could help many students and schools with extra funding that is so desperately needed by many. (October 15, 2010, Page 1B)
Playing the Chickasaw Princess Hoka who sold the land that is now Oxford to settlers, Bryant is doing more than just donning a black braided wig.
“I learned how to speak a little bit of the language,” she said Thursday. “It was a challenge coming up with an accent to sound somewhat authentic but I’ve loved doing it.”
Bryant is one of several people who perform in this year’s Spirits of Oxford being held at 6 and 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at St. Peter’s Cemetery. (October 15, 2010, Page 1B)
I was always fascinated by the idea that families would gather all of their worldly belongings into one wagon, brave the elements of the unforgiving west, and race to stake their claim to something they hadn’t even seen before. I remember trying to imagine what that must feel like. I would imagine the fear of not knowing what lay ahead and the anxiousness over this potentially dangerous, one way trip.
Then I found the “Grove” at Ole Miss and didn’t have to imagine anymore! (October 8, 2010, Page 1B)
Outstanding in the Field is described as “a roving culinary adventure,” a kind of restaurant without walls. The founders of this moveable feast promote the use of local produce in local meals prepared by local chefs to be enjoyed by local foodies.
Roughly 150 people took part in the special $180-per-ticket dinner which celebrated not just the chef who prepared the meal, but also the farmer and the fields that helped produce the meal.
As people drank a glass of Riesling, they watched as chef John Currence walked through the garden, selecting peppers, radishes and other vegetables to help add to the meal. (October 8, 2010, Page 1B)
“Oxford in the Civil War: Battle for a Vanquished Land” by Stephen Enzweiler is the new book just published by The History Press of Charleston, S.C. The author is a journalist and senior editor for “Y’all” magazine published here in Oxford and he writes extensively about Mississippi and the South.
I really didn’t find out anything that I didn’t already know, but the way the author has presented the data makes for pleasurable reading. I have read these stories over the years in various different places, but Enzweiler presents them in manner that follows Oxford from its earliest day through the war years. (October 8, 2010, Page 2B)
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Second Baptist Missionary Church are bridging the racial gap in Oxford through communication, education — and football.
The two churches broke bread — and finger foods — Saturday in the Grove before the Ole Miss-Fresno State game during their annual tailgating get-together. (October 1, 2010, Page 1B)