The UK's Guardian does an 11-minute piece on Road Trip USA: Mississippi and possibly no one has ever said 'Panther Burn' so beautifully:
At 8:30 they show our friend Murray Kornfeld (of Kornfeld's Department Store in Greenwood, just right across from the Crystal Grill, you *must* go see him, then go have lunch or at the very least a piece of pie...) holding up a shirt, then a shot of the store. Loved the spot with Hoover Lee too, and the tiny glimpse of Margaret's Grocery. The whole thing was great. Well done.
Also this month The Telegraph publishes a feature, Mud: southern comfort on the Mississippi, and it's like a love letter to the steamboat...
Had no idea (from the Telegraph article) that Viking River Cruises was considering for 2015 making a Mississippi River itinerary.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, based in Ohio, did a super-limited run of flavors inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald (in time for the Gatsby release, of course) which included Blackberries + Sweet Cream, Loveless Biscuits + Peach Jam, Dark Chocolate Rye, and Cognac + Marmalade. Sigh.
The CBS This Morning feature on GooGoo Clusters won a James Beard award.
Conditions of workers harvesting Vidalias, in the NYT.
The Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum is now open in Cleveland, at Delta State. From Preservation Nation:
Quon, like many other children, grew up stocking shelves in the family store. She also went on to earn a college degree, an aspiration that many Chinese immigrant parents had for their children.
“I don’t know what it is about coming from these towns,” she says. “There’s a real connection and a pull, and we feel strongly about supporting and trying to document this past that we have.”
The museum has been in development at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. for about two years, and came into being through the initiative of Quon, current president Raymond Wong, and about a dozen other people. It is currently housed in the archives building at Delta State and features an exhibit of artifacts re-assembled to look like an authentic Chinese grocery, including an original set of doors from Quon’s family store. Wong hopes that eventually, the museum might be a free-standing building, “a place for research and education.”
The Camellia Grill may have to change its name, but sounds as though the new owner really should have abided by the contract with the previous owner to avoid the whole mess.
There is a Mississippi Blues Trail Curriculum available for teachers; it's geared toward 4th graders but can be utilized for other grades. Media samples including interviews, field recordings, songs and videos, are included for each lesson. It's a project of the Mississippi Arts Commission, coordinated by my friend Mary Margaret. Yay!
The As I Lay Dying trailer has been released:
Texas Monthly has published their 'Top 50' barbecue list. They do this about every five or so years, and this time, only 18 of the ones on the 2008 list made it. And why yes, of course Snow's in Lexington made it. Get ready to be upset if you're looking for Smitty's to be included. Who's the best in the whole wide world (not just Texas!)? Franklin Barbecue in Austin.
Appropriately, this week TM promoted the recipe for brisket from the April '11 issue. It includes the directive, 'Hoist the brisket onto the grill, with the thicker end toward the fire and the fat cap facing up. Fill a foil loaf pan with water and put it as close as possible to the firebox. Then find a comfortable chair and read War and Peace.' But to make up WaP's 1440 pages, surely Lonesome Dove and The Gates of the Alamo would be more appropriate.
Good grief at this somewhat favorable(?) review from Ed Ward for the Oxford American of John Swenson's book, New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans.
The Eudora Welty Foundation awarded its 2013 Research Fellowship Award to Ole Miss student Ebony O. Lumumba, an advanced doctoral student in English. She will do research in the Eudora Welty Collection "to explore the inclusion of elements of the African American community in Welty’s fiction and photographs. She plans to spend two months this summer in the archives, reviewing images, personal letters and notes, and published works, in preparation for her dissertation on mothering and foodways of disenfranchised communities in texts of the Global South."
The Brennan's drama continues. And that's after last month's (stand-off!?!) drama.
This week, I found the book 'Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist' and besides the aforementioned, the other most cleverly-named concoction has to be the: Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margarita.
Unilever is moving to 100% cage-free eggs for its Hellman's mayonnaise brand, so I dashed off an email to Duke's (world's best) and they replied that: "We do not have any plans at this time to use 100% cage-free eggs. We thank you for your continued support of Duke's Mayonnaise." Well, boo.
Although there's no Treme to watch right now -- it starts back supposedly this fall, and we're only getting five episodes -- David Simon (whose show is Treme) gets dragged into the discussion about Bravo's negotiated money to film in NOLA for the next season of Top Chef. There's a whole Twitter back-and-forth, but suffice it to say that Andy Cohen should consider giving the money back plus some and try to come off looking like as much of a mensch as one can after lobbing snarky tweets. Top Chef, is a great show but it's so late to the party in choosing New Orleans and the state of Louisiana as a stage to shoot the show in anyway. Oh, and you have to love Bourdain's tweet: 'TC is not doing NOLA a favor by shooting there. NOLA does world a favor by existing.'
Treme: The Cookbook will be released July 23; you can preorder now.
'Top Chef' has iterations across the globe -- Greece, Romania, France/Belgium, Finland, Canada, and more. In Canada it's on their Food Network, and guess what they're showing tonight? Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives -- seriously, but also a show called 'You Gotta Eat Here!' and in that episode they visit a restaurant in London, Ontario that serves a turducken club, and the mayonnaise has (don't forget we're talking Canada) maple syrup.
"The Crow and The Pitcher" by sculptor Vicki Banks, which was installed at Keys Municipal Park in Ocean Springs, has been vandalized -- someone stole the crow. It's the first act of vandalism to public art according to a board member. I really like how the thief was asked to return it: "If someone took the piece of the sculpture in a moment that they now regret, we hope they will do the right thing and just put it back where it came from or drop it off somewhere so we can retrieve it." It surely was just someone carrying out a spur-of-the-moment prank. Hope the crow flies back soon.
From the Clarion-Ledger:
Myrlie Evers-Williams today (May 11) became the first person in a decade honored with a Humanitarian Award by the University of Mississippi — the same institution that turned away her late husband from entering law school.
The widow of slain Mississippi NAACP leader Medgar Evers was surprised with the award after delivering the university’s 160th commencement address this morning to Ole Miss graduates.
G-d bless Ka'Nard Allen and the others who were victims at the second line on Mother's Day. There's a fund that's been set up to give him a good 11th birthday, here. He deserves goodness.
Gip's Place, the Bessemer juke joint: the city has said it can't operate as a business and thus can't charge for food/drinks/cover/etc.
Driving the Juke Joint Trail, in the NYT (first stop, the aforementioned Gip's):
“There used to be juke joints all around here,” Mr. Seaberry said as we stood outside, watching the sun set. “Well, a lot of young folks didn’t know how to act, and they just had to close them down.” He looked out across an infinite Delta horizon. “But all my people like the blues.”
'Here in Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, we have a citizen who refers to himself as a farmer. A farmer who also writes. This is William Faulkner, of Oxford, Mississippi. His family is Old South and he's never been gone from Lafayette County for long, yet the name of William Faulkner has spread throughout the world as one of the greatest writers of American fiction today.' Parts of this are horribly staged, horribly acted, and Faulkner must've shuddered to see it later, on film. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see these clips as they were presented by CBS for their show Omnibus, in 1952 -- this was just put up on YouTube this week:
The University of South Carolina just made available on the web one of the pieces of its F. Scott Fitzgerald collection (provided by Scottie): his ledger; one section of the ledger is for Zelda's earnings.
A couple of weeks ago All Things Considered did a feature on Southern Cross the Dog, the new novel set in the Delta, by Bill Cheng. Thing is, he's never been to the Delta. A few days later, the NYT reviewed it, as Seeing Mississippi Sight Unseen.
From its opening pages, “Southern Cross the Dog” has all the markers of a novel written in the finest Southern gothic tradition. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 sweeps in, taking a few unlucky characters with it. There are references aplenty to race, poverty, the blues, voodoo and an ill-fated brothel.
“I was highly suspicious of this book when I first started it,” said Richard Howorth, the owner of Square Books in Oxford, Miss., and a revered authority on Southern literature. “I was won over.”
Bill Cheng is doing a signing/reading at Lemuria in Jackson on May 20 and Square Books on the 21st.
The dates for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (the T Bone Burnett / John Mellencamp / Stephen King musical) is going around the country -- as a concert. USA Today writes:
Described as a "Southern Gothic, supernatural musical," Ghost Brothers uses folk and blues textures to spin a "tale of fraternal love, lust, rivalry and revenge." In it, the spirits of two siblings who died around the same time — while fighting over a girl — haunt a cabin in Mississippi where their kid brother, now a middle-aged man, lives with his two young adult sons, whose relationship is as fraught as their late uncles' was.
As previously announced, an album of Ghost Brothers will also be released June 4...
On October 16, it will be at the Ryman; tickets here.
The NYT reports on a slave cabin in Edisto Island, South Carolina being moved to the new Smithsonian African-American history museum, scheduled to open in late 2015.
It will be among the featured artifacts, beside Harriet Tubman’s shawl, Nat Turner’s Bible, a Tuskegee Airmen fighter plane and Emmett Till’s coffin. Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s director, called it “a true jewel in the crown of our collection.”
Lonely Planet on Beyond the Beignets: New Orleans' Modern Food Movement:
‘We are New Orleans-trained cooks but we don’t accept the orthodoxy of food traditions,’ confirms Michael Doyle, chef at Maurepas Foods. ‘I decided I wanted to rethink the corner joint,’ he says of the inspiration behind his buzzing Bywater restaurant. With a highly seasonal menu, favorites come and go but the goat tacos with pickled green tomatoes and a harissa-inspired sauce...have proved such a hit that Doyle had to devise a network of goat farmers in Louisiana and Mississippi to keep up with demand. The chicken leg quarter served with greens and grits and a slow-poached egg is Southern cooking at its best, and in Doyle’s words, ‘allows me to show off that not everything we do is esoteric.’
Reading this week:
The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered
Fresh American Spaces: Romantic - Nuanced - Happy - Cultured - Exuberant
The UK's Guardian does an 11-minute piece on Road Trip USA: Mississippi and possibly no one has ever said 'Panther Burn' so beautifully:
I've been a fan of Deborah Stone since I used to frequent her day spa; now her business, The Pantry, is open in Crestline. This article in the Bham News goes into her transition from spas (she owned the first in the southeast) to her farm:
By 2001, they were able to move the horses, and Stone Hollow Farmstead started out as a small breeding and training facility for European Hanoverian horses. When not tending the horses, Stone grew therapeutic herbs and developed her own skin care line...
"I wanted a sustainable farm," she said. "I wanted to have our own milk and meat; we already had chickens and eggs."
...The herb gardens yielded up delicious ingredients for the cheeses as well as therapeutic ones for the skin care.
A peppercorn goat cheese has a touch of lemon verbena. Vidalia Onion and Muscadine uses grapes grown on the property. Pecan and Honey uses honey from the Stone family's hives. All the products of the farm are free of chemicals, antibiotics and additives.
Besides the food being divine (I ordered a catered lunch for several people from there just last week), the interior is pretty great, too.
Earlier this year in Tennessee, we took the boys back to Sewanee, University of the South, which I first visited for a Polk family reunion. We have a connection to the school in that a relative, Bishop Leonidas Polk (on the non-Jewish side of my family, obv) helped found it, beginning when he wrote to other Southern bishops on July 1, 1856 asking for their support in creating a school that would become "our common property, under our joint control, of a clear and distinctly recognized church character, upon a scale of such breadth and comprehensiveness, as shall be equal in the liberality of its provisions for intellectual cultivation to those of the highest class at home or abroad."
The boys are still a little young to grasp the big idea of ancestors but of course I still get a big kick out of showing them his image in stained glass there at All Saints' Chapel:
"That's one of your PawPaws" sounds easier than "boys, meet your 5th cousin 4 times removed":
The stained glass windows throughout are amazing but one thing that makes the space so interesting = the atypical subjects gracing the chapel:
Sir Isaac Newton:
William Crawford Gorgas:
(above and below -- the McClurg Dining Hall. Um, my college dining hall wasn't this pretty!)
The school also does 'Summer in Sewanee' while the students are away, and they host all kinds of academic, artistic, and sporting camps for adults and children. I'm thinking that when both boys are old enough, we may consider spending a week up there for them to attend the All Sports day camp.
...visitors of all ages come to the Mountain to relax, to explore our 13,000 acres of trails, lakes, and forests, and to take advantage of the many opportunities offered from late May to mid-August.
Sports camps bring athletes of all ages to the Mountain while musicians rehearse on green lawns beneath spreading trees. Writers and poets come to practice their craft and learn from some of the finest writers in the world. And a number of academic programs offer a wide range of educational opportunities.
(more Fred Webster art here)
There's been another viral obit, this time for a woman from Bay St. Louis. The entire piece, which was written at Huntsville Hospital, can be found here. Some excerpts:
Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia. She had previously conquered polio as a child contributing to her unusually petite ankles and the nickname "polio legs" given to her by her ex-husband, Jean F. Larroux, Jr. It should not be difficult to imagine the multiple reasons for their divorce 35+ years ago.
...Toni often remarked that her son, Jean III, was "just like his father," her ex-husband, Jean Jr., a statement that haunts her son to this day.
They...carry the Larroux family torch forward through each and every Happy Hour, Mardi Gras and cocktail party.
...The sisters dearly loved Toni; spoke often and as one family photo proved, all preferred Clairol blonde in a box #47.
...She...had the ability with family pets to usher them toward heaven at an unrivaled pace.
...Her memorial service...will be led by Rev. Curt Moore of Orlando, Florida, a questionable choice for any spiritual event, but one the family felt would be appropriate due to the fact that every time Toni heard Curt preach she prayed for Jesus to return at that very moment.
...Anyone wearing black will not be admitted to the memorial. She is not dead. She is alive.
Toni's funeral was as unique as her obituary. The pastor who led the service - referred to in the obituary as "a questionable choice for any spiritual event"- tossed Mardi Gras beads into the crowd while proclaiming "She's not dead! She's alive!"
Earlier this year, we had an event to go to in Huntsville but we also wanted to take the boys over to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga -- so we drove up, decided to spend the next day around Sewanee and that part of Tennessee, then back down to Huntsville.
For whatever reason, we stopped in Monteagle and stayed at the Best Western Smokehouse Lodge there. I'm not huge on hotelrooms with doors opening to the outside (I guess that actually makes it a motel, right?) but there weren't a lot of options there and this really wasn't a bad stay at all:
What made our stay interesting and fun was that right next door is Jim Oliver's Smokehouse Restaurant which is a neat place -- it's been in business since 1960 and has the aura of being preserved in a certain era. We were staying on a Saturday night and the main dining room had live music; the performer that evening was a guitar player who had written a few country songs for other artists, a couple of which I recognized. The food served in the restaurant was pretty good. I had a vegetable plate of greens, dressing, and green beans. The boys ordered breakfast, which they serve all day. Everyone was happy:
The building is so much bigger than one might imagine. There were big displays of hams, preserves, a little museum to the Louvin Brothers, a coin-operated player piano, a display of moonshine paraphernalia, antiques everywhere...
The next morning,we got up and drove through the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, which my WPA book said had been around since 1882 when a group of 'Southern churchmen organized a summer conference for Sunday school workers' and it became 'a Chautauqua assembly lasting eight weeks, in July and August'.
I'm not certain how many homes are on the grounds here, but I would guess several dozen. Maybe around 150? Just love these cottages:
Must be mishpocha at Polk'n Along:
Occasionally homes here come up for sale, and it looks as though at the website under 'cottages for sale' that they often are sold fully furnished. One with 9 bedrooms and 5-1/2 baths is selling for $769k. Another listed has been in the same family since 1919.
A troll bridge, even:
During the off-season, groups use the grounds for other events, weddings, etc. Some of the cottages are leased, also, and of course there's a wide variety of rates. It would be *so* fun to rent one of the cottages for a few days and play house here...the setting is just beautiful.
This is the DuBose Conference Center, which was originally Fairmount College and among its students were sisters who later went by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and Soong Ching-ling the wife of Sun Yat-Sen.
After leaving Monteagle, we headed toward Sewanee, and St. Andrew's, where my WPA book instructed 'the Order of the Holy Cross of the Protestant Episcopal Church conducts St. Andrew's School, which cares for 100 boys from the mountains of Tennessee and neighboring states. The buildings, on a beautifully wooded campus, are of the Spanish type, most of them designed by Wilson A. Gosnell of Chattanooga...'
It's now co-ed and serves over 250 students from 6-12th grades. Pretty, pretty:
When Andrew Zimmern was here to tape a show earlier this year -- it hasn't aired yet -- I was among the people consulted on by the production company as to where he should go (more on that closer to when the episode airs, with some great pics Av got when he met him). For barbecue, he visited Miss Myra's in Cahaba Heights, and I noted that it was one of the places in town that served white barbecue sauce, which was first made/popularized up in Decatur at Big Bob's.
He really liked Miss Myra's barbecue. But what he went on and on about, and what he wrote about for his regular feature for Food and Wine, was the banana pudding there.
He writes, '...when I tell you, without equivocation, that it’s the most famous, most amazing, best tasting banana pudding recipe in the world, trust me, it is. Four generations have carefully guarded this recipe as the perfect finish to the barbecued chicken with white sauce dinner for which Miss Myra’s Pit Bar B-Q, near Birmingham, Alabama, has been famous for, running on three decades now. Enjoy. It’s dessert heaven...'
Av and I had lunch there again today (I had chicken with white sauce, potato salad, and deviled eggs -- Av had the smoked sausage):
We decided that it has all the elements for a great Alabama barbecue place: a Coca-Cola sign somewhere (although, disappointingly and downright wrong, they serve Pepsi), there are anthropomorphic pigs either as figurines or drawings, there's a large Golden Flake display, and of course photographs and other memorabilia extolling the excellence that is Alabama football.
...and of course, for dessert, banana pudding:
BTW, Andrew has a new show on Travel Channel called The Border Check that may get picked up as a series.
Last Thursday, as part of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights confrontations in Birmingham, there was a commemoration of the Children's March that started 50 years ago on that day. Av was there and took these pics:
Joe Minter was there -- so happy to see him:
For a month, MLK had organized sit-ins and boycotts, but things didn't really take off until the Children's Marches began on May 2, 1963. Thousands of students were hauled off to jail and in an effort to stop the demonstrations, Bull Connor brought out the dogs and firehoses -- everyone has seen that old news footage.
Over the years, Av has been to numerous events in which Caroline McKinstry spoke; she was friends with the four girls killed in the 16th Street church bombing in Sept '63 and was just upstairs from them when the blast occurred. Apparently over the years she had claimed to be the subject of this iconic Life Magazine photo (considered fair-use as a unique historic image).
A Birmingham, Ala., minister has long said she is the woman in the picture, saying so on "Oprah," CNN, in books, newspaper interviews and speeches across the country.
But a Detroit woman, Mamie Chalmers, recently contacted The Detroit News to say she is the person in the photo. Three people who participated in the demonstration where the picture was taken support her contention.
Confronted by The News with this information Sunday, the minister, Carolyn McKinstry, 65, backed off her claim.
"That's a misidentification," she said during a phone call. "I don't know who's in the photo but it's not me."
Asked why she had repeatedly said otherwise, McKinstry hung up.
For Chalmers, 71, who has been challenging McKinstry's assertion for 16 years, the retraction was sweet vindication.
As always, all images here unless otherwise noted are copyright DeepFriedKudzu. Need/like to use one? Contact me. Thanks
State Senator Ryan McKenna of Missouri actually submitted this bill (which he later revoked -- there's a little more to it than this, but here's what he wrote out):
"Any person living in this state aged 8 and under may wear seersucker suits at their leisure. Any person over the age of 8 living in this state may not wear seersucker suits because adults look ridiculous in seersucker suits..."
The Kowaliga Restaurant at Lake Martin (named in honor of the Hank Williams song 'Kowliga') is open again, this time under the direction of two SpringHouse alums.
The story of Vivian Maier, a nanny back in the 1950s and a street photographer extraordinaire -- except no one knew the photography part, until 2007 when a box of her undeveloped negatives were purchased by chance at auction. She passed away in 2009 before being contacted by anyone. And ohmystars how much talent she had. A documentary is being made about her and her images. If you haven't seen these yet, prepare to see what are now...this sounds weird to say it this way, but...new iconic images:
A new theme park will be built in south Alabama, backed by a group of comedians, and already the name is...eeeehhhhhhh. Sigh.
Lessons in How to Play with Fire in the NYT, on Jack Sanders, a Rural Studio alum, and his Austin company, Design Build Adventure.
Mr. Sanders’s company, Design Build Adventure, makes elegant steel kitchens and furniture, rugged landscape elements, hipster hotels (like El Cosmico, a yurt, tepee and trailer complex in Marfa), conventional houses (like the “sandlot” renovation of a cottage for John Spong, a Texas Monthly editor), treehouses (the filmmaker Richard Linklater has one), high-style chicken coops and public art, among other things.
“The adventure part is trying to replicate the wonder and spirit and all that we had at the Rural Studio..."
The Market Diner Restaurant in Thomasville, Georgia is *amazing* and I can't believe I'm saying/writing that because it's a buffet, but still! Fresh, fresh, fresh, they must've had more than half a dozen peas and beans, there were casseroles galore and of course my favorite, rutabagas, and ohmystars the fried chicken was crazy-good. It's one of those places where they give you a discount if you bring in your church bulletin on Sunday (I guess they would have accepted the Saturday announcement sheet from our synagogue, right?) and the walls have all kinds of taxidermy, rifles, and paper hornet nests. So perfect. Can't wait to go back the next time we are in that part of the state.
From NPR's All Things Considered: Meeting Florida's Seminoles Through Rediscovered Photos.
Emily Matchar writes in her upcoming book, 'Homeward Bound' about the romantic vision many have of domestic affairs pre-modernization; it's excerpted at Salon and the article bears an unfortunate title.
These narratives appeal to our collective sense of nostalgia: pink-cheeked farmwomen kneading homemade bread, mothers and daughters shelling sun-warmed peas on country porches, and multigenerational families gathered happily around the dinner table to tuck into Grandma’s hand-plucked roasted chicken. As the oft-quoted Michael Pollan saying goes, “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” (in my case, that would mean a steady diet of pierogies and cabbage).
Unfortunately, this cozy vision obscures the often-grimy truths about what cooking was really like for our foremothers and -fathers in the preindustrial, preconvenience era...
Cordova, Alabama is demolishing downtown, which was partly destroyed by tornado, then later fire...I understand that some people are getting together to try to save the tilework at the old Tallulah Hotel, which I photographed above a few years ago.
The 'top 10' tornado cities, via the Weather Channel, may not be the ones we think of first. Four of the top five are in Alabama and Mississippi.
Funds are being sought to build a Tammy Wynette museum in Tremont, Mississippi.
Mazel tov to Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubar for their “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking” winning a James Beard award.
Also, Cooking Light won for their feature, 'Mississippi Chinese Lady goes home to Korea':
...Of course, as a southerner does, I love the South, long for Mississippi, feel the South ever-present in my blood and my soul. During my elementary school years, we lived in the Delta, whose bleakness I still find mysterious and beautiful whenever I go back. I remember, as a child, passing sharecroppers and seeing white families picking cotton together while a combine stirred up dust in the next field. The poor, dark, tragic, funny, beautiful South: I remember hard dirt clods loosened by the plow in my grandparents' garden that were perfect for pitching at my cousins; angry crawdads waving in the ditches after a rain; people of at least three colors loitering outside the tamale stand; tiny razor cuts painfully discovered at bathtime after running through the corn patch; a pail of purple-hull peas in the breeze-way waiting to be shelled; the delicious salt-lick brine of boiled peanuts at a ramshackle gas station...
Lonnie Holley's performance at the Whitney, in the Brooklyn Rail:
I can’t tell if Lonnie Holley is from some place deep in the past or if he’s lurking in our future—he’s exceedingly difficult to pin down...
Two of Fats Domino's pianos are on display in museums, one at the Presbytere as part of the Katrina display:
...and the other, the white Steinway, was unveiled this week and will be on display at the Old US Mint.
Dr. Manuel Ramirez, a professor of Mexican-American history, History of the U.S.-Mexico Border and Chicano Studies at UTEP, remembers trying to convince El Pasoans that tamales are prevalent in the African American South after returning from his Ph.D. studies at the University of Mississippi.
“I would tell people back here that there were tamales stands in the Delta, and they would not believe me. So I sent them pictures from the Internet. Then they thought it was actually Mexican people who had these stands and restaurants but it was African-Americans,” says Ramirez.
Ramirez’ experience corresponds with Avant-Mier’s previous research for a book about his fascination with the blues artist Robert Johnson because of his song called “Hot Tamales.”
As he did his research, Avant-Mier wondered, “Why is an African-American man from Mississippi, a blues guy that’s famous, why is he singing about hot tamales?”
(I think he means now-famous, as Robert Johnson wasn't well-known during his lifetime.)
So how *does* nutria taste, really? From Boing-Boing.
There's a Kickstarter for a documentary, Rodents of Unusual Size:
And armadillos have migrated to Tennessee.
Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' to debut at Cannes this month; update with exclusive image at Entertainment Weekly.
We like Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter, but found out last week after I experimented in exchanging it 1:1 for peanut butter in peanut butter pie, that the original pb is actually better. It was still good, but not better.
So if you have a jar use it for something else, because across the country it's supposedly out of stock.
Maybe the largest pimento cheese roll-out in fast food chains? Biscuitville has a new pimento cheese bacon biscuit.
will be released this fall.
“’Brother Joseph and the Grotto’ is a true fairy tale about a young boy who immigrated to the United States and helped transform a small piece of land in the Alabama woods,” said Cliff Vaughn. “It is also an inspiring tale involving folk art, Alabama history, perseverance, and a life of devotion.”
she's suing for copyright of To Kill A Mockingbird**. You heard that right. Say whatnow?!:
In the lawsuit, Lee alleges that when her long-time literary agent, Eugene Winick, became ill in 2002, his son-in-law, Mr Pinkus, switched several of Mr Winick's clients to his own company.
Mr Pinkus is alleged to have transferred the rights to secure himself "irrevocable" interest in the income derived from Lee's book.
He also sought to avoid paying legal obligations he owed to his father-in-law's company for royalties, according to the lawsuit.
It is further alleged that Mr Pinkus failed to respond to offers on e-book rights and a request for assistance related to the book's 50th anniversary.
The lawsuit bids the court to assign any rights in the book owned by Mr Pinkus to Lee and asks that she be returned any commission he took from 2007 onwards.
Yes, from the AP:
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has scheduled June 6-13 as the Elkmont Firefly Viewing Event. A firefly species known as Photinus carolinus flashes synchronously to attract mates. Thousands of visitors throng the park each year to see the naturally occurring show.
Above: tamales at Doe's in Greenville
Little Rock Soiree lists the ten dishes to eat in central Arkansas before you join the ancestors, and one of them = the tamales at the LR Doe's.
Seen in B'ham:
The WSJ interviews Daniel Vaughn, the new barbecue editor at Texas Monthly. They ask:
One of the best-known barbecue places in the state, Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, is open only on Saturdays, and opens its doors at 8 a.m. Who eats barbecue at 8 a.m.?
I do. Hell yes, many times. It’s only three hours from Dallas. It’s not that far to go for great barbecue. You leave at 6 a.m. and a leisurely drive gets you there at 9. The beauty of a place which is open at 8 a.m. is that is that it lets you eat barbecue all day long.
Nashville Scene fairly gushes over Jim 'n Nick's.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a can opener in a JNN kitchen, and they have even gone as far as to invest in pig farms and processing plants to control their supply chain and encourage the use of heritage breeds of pig.
The result is food that tastes like a combination between a great barbecue joint and a meat-and-three restaurant. At last year's Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York City, I watched Yankees line up around the block for some South in their mouth as many of them reveled in the first pimiento cheese they had ever tasted served with spicy link sausage and some saltine crackers. Sure, it was utterly simple, but it was also reverential and revelatory.
The 90-year-old Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel is showing off their $3MM in renovations, including a Chihuly chandelier.
The shifting strategy of preservation: How Civil War battlefields have changed in the Washington Post:
...Despite admirable efforts to connect battlefields to the larger history of the Civil War, the one thing that battlefields can teach very well is the history of what happened in a particular place. If the goal is simply to inspire thoughts about the larger social history of the Civil War, one battlefield is pretty much the same as the next — and it becomes difficult to explain why we need to preserve so many of them, and with so much land taken off the tax rolls. If the goal is to make people passionate about battlefields and their preservation, visitors need to engage with the actual place to understand its strategic importance and the tactical back-and-forth.
The Arkansas D-G has reported that the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville will be putting the works they bought a 50% stake in, the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, from Fisk University on display from November 9 through February 14. This is the deal that went to court because Stieglitz's widow, Georgia O'Keeffe put a stipulation on the collection that her gift to Fisk never be sold. For other gifts of art with stipulations gone awry, see the Barnes Foundation.
Charleston Scene ran Roger Moore's review of Mud and titled it '‘Mud’ is as authentically Southern as today’s cinema gets'
The Delta Blues Museum is one of ten recipients of the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Work to complete the Gehry-designed pods at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi will begin now, and is scheduled to be complete spring 2014.
Full text here.
...Notwithstanding the many strides toward freedom, the righteous struggle against hatred in all its forms continues. Let us today reaffirm our abiding commitment for human and civil rights for
In closing, Mr. Speaker, I wholeheartedly endorse and support H.R. 360, which posthumously awards a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, in recognition of the 50th commemoration of the bombing of the Sixteenth
Street Baptist Church.
I just *knew* the Elvis...um, tribute artist...was not the guy! He was later quoted, "I heard the word ricin for the first time in my life from a federal agent in homeland security while being interrogated for four hours in a federal building in Oxford," Curtis told CNN. "And I thought he said 'rice'. I said: 'I don't even eat rice usually. I'm not even a rice lover.'"
The House of Blues has a pretty amazing collection of folk art, and around 200 of their pieces will are now on display at the Ogden in an exhibit titled "When You’re Lost, Everything’s A Sign: Self-Taught Art from The House of Blues” through July 21.
Reading this week:
Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church by Lisa Pulitzer
The Southern Movie Palace: Rise, Fall, and Resurrection by Janna Jones