This Week's Various

Friday, February 28, 2014

As always, all images below copyright DeepFriedKudzu unless otherwise noted.

Love stories like this -- a face jug a couple bought 40+ years ago in a junk shop for $12 was just sold to the Birmingham Museum of Art for $100k...it's a John Lehman!

'An American Odyssey: The Warner Collection of American Painting' will open at the Frick on March 1 and be on view through May 25, 2014 (that's Jack Warner, Tuscaloosa).  The exhibit includes Whistler, Homer, Mary Cassatt...

And the Corcoran is being taken over by the National Gallery.

Rick Lowe, who grew up in Alabama, has been named the first artist-in-residence at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.
...Lowe’s new position as “a platform for Rick, to continue his work on Trans.lation, that is, working with the community in Vickery Meadow, working with artists throughout theDallas community, bringing people together to effect a kind of transformation.”

Lowe is no stranger to such efforts. In Houston, where he lives and will continue to do so, he conceived “Project Row Houses,” for which he received international recognition, including kudos from the New York Times and others. He planted “Project Row Houses” in Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood, where he and his team saved a series of shotgun houses from demolition, turning them into galleries, classrooms, studios and gathering spaces.

Chattanooga Farmers Market
above: Chattanooga Farmer's Market

We have to figure this out somehow, and Slate publishes Food Deserts Aren't the Problem with facts and figures to rethink this whole thing.

From the Post and Courier in Charleston, a piece questioning a Krispy Kreme fundraiser at school:
...Angel Oak was holding a Krispy Kreme doughnut coupon sale with the incentives for the top-selling classes being a pizza party and an ice cream party.

Say that again? Bon Appetit posted that:
A group of TV writers, ad creatives, and Chipotle execs are gathered to brainstorm ideas for what will become Farmed and Dangerous, the burrito chain’s four-episode comedy series about factory farming that is available...on Hulu.

Robert Johnson, Crystal Springs and Hazlehurst MS

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that Robert Johnson's son, Claud, can keep the profits of the only two known photographs of his father.

If you're in a Ripley's kind of mood, this (amazing) thing happened in Lexington, Mississippi this week.

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma AL
Above: the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Director Ava DuVernay's 'Selma' -- a MLK biopic -- has big news, according to Deadline:

Paramount is in final negotiations to acquire domestic distribution rights to Selma, a feature drama about Martin Luther King‘s 1965 landmark voting rights campaign regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement, and none other than Oprah Winfrey has boarded the project as producer.

They've been scouting recently in Alabama.

Spectre, Alabama -- the fantasy location in Tim Burton's 'Big Fish' was built on a river island near Millbrook.  That's what it looked like in the film, and this is what it looks like now.

above: my biscuits

The NYT: Biscuits and Scones Share Tender Secrets

The Birmingham Museum of Art is hosting the first Delacroix exhibit in the US in 10 years, 'Delacroix and the Matter of Finish' now through May 18, 2014.  There are 25 paintings and 20 works on paper, from 27 international institutions.  The exhibit's on-site curator for the exhibit is their new Curator of European Art, Dr. Robert Schindler, who came here from the Met.

Studio Museum in Harlem is opening 'When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South' on March 27 and it will run through June 29 of this year.  From the press release:

When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South queries the category of “outsider” art in relation to contemporary art and black life. The exhibition includes thirty-five intergenerational American artists—ranging from Minnie Evans (1892–1987) to current Studio Museum artist in residence Kevin Beasley (b. 1986)—who share an interest in the U.S. South as a location both real and imagined. Situating itself within current art historical and political debates, When the Stars Begin to Fall considers work by self-taught, spiritually inspired and incarcerated artists, many of whom are showing at the Studio Museum for the first time, as well as by some of the best-known artists of African descent working today. Inserting a gutbucket-funky aesthetic into classical, sometimes overwrought, tropes of African Americana—the folk, the downhome, the hailed — When the Stars Begin to Fall presents narratives of racial authenticity alongside forms of abstraction, embracing the role of experimentation in an ongoing discourse about black aesthetics.

Artists in the exhibition include Benny Andrews, Kevin Beasley, McArthur Binion, Beverly Buchanan, Henry Ray Clark, Courtesy the Artists, Thornton Dial, Minnie Evans, Theaster Gates, Deborah Grant, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Bessie Harvey, David Hammons, Lonnie Holley, Frank Albert Jones, Lauren Kelley, Ralph Lemon, Kerry James Marshall, Rodney McMillian, Joe Minter, J.B. Murray, John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, Marie “Big Mama” Roseman, Jacolby Satterwhite, Patricia Satterwhite, Rudy Shepherd, Xaviera Simmons, Georgia Speller, Henry Speller, James “Son” Thomas, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems and Geo Wyeth.

Paveen "Beer" Chunhaswasdikul Pottery
above: a "V-6 teapot" by Paveen 'Beer' Chunhaswasdikul, from a previous Bluff Park Art Show

Some of the Southerners exhibiting at the Smithsonian Craft Show:
Aakofii (jewelry) from Atlanta
Fong Choo (ceramics) from Louisville
Paveen "Beer" Chunhaswasdikul (pottery) from Gadsden
Susan Dyer (jewelry) from Chattanooga
Mary Jackson (sweetgrass baskets) from Charleston
Ray Jones (wood) from Asheville
Reiko Miyagi (ceramics) from Weaverville, NC
Jim and Shirl Parmentier (ceramics) from Mars Hill, NC
Kenny Pieper (glass) from Burnsville, NC
Chris Roberts-Antieau (fiber) from New Orleans
Eric Seritella (ceramic) from Carrboro, NC
Tom and Shawn Thomas (leather) from Belton, TX
Mark Whitley (furniture) from Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Jennifer Zurick (basketry) from Berea, KY

Red Velvet Cake
above: a little slice of my (this time) single-layer red velvet cake

From RNN: Red velvet appeared on 23 percent more menus in 2013 than in 2012, according to menu research firm Datassential. Since 2005, its mention on menus has grown by 500 percent.

Sanctuary, Old Marbury Methodist Church at Confederate Memorial Park, Marbury AL
above: Sanctuary, Old Marbury Methodist Church, Marbury AL
Gallup finds that Alabama and Mississippi are the most Protestant states in the nation, and that Mississippi, Utah, and Alabama are the 'most religious states'.

From the March Smithsonian Magazine, this is what John Hendrix does while listening to the sermon at his church.

The WSJ calls it a 'Disneyland of Food':
A venture involving Eataly, the Italian food-emporium chain, and the municipality of Bologna will develop a theme park dedicated to food, continuing a string of public-private partnerships in Italy aimed at creating jobs and spurring economic activity.

Old Monroe County Courthouse - To Kill A Mockingbird
above: Old Monroe County Courthouse

Nelle Harper Lee's suit against the Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville has been settled, although the details have not yet been made public.

For those of us who will always love Mister Rogers, this piece in Esquire, which I think is a reprint, but nonetheless...

And just to get you started, there's this below, and know that you will need Kleenex for this and other paragraphs:

He had already won his third Daytime Emmy, and now he went onstage to accept Emmy's Lifetime Achievement Award, and there, in front of all the soap-opera stars and talk-show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, "All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are….Ten seconds of silence." And then he lifted his wrist, and looked at the audience, and looked at his watch, and said softly, "I'll watch the time," and there was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked…and so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds…and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier, and Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said, "May G-d be with you" to all his vanquished children.

Amazon Prime / Instant Video has Mister Rogers episodes.  We still watch.

Now this has nothing to do with Mister Rogers, well maybe a little.

There is a meteorologist in our town named James Spann, on ABC 33/40.  The kids think he is amazing and a celebrity.  Grown-ups think he is amazing and a celebrity.  I asked him to come to Shug's school and do a presentation last year.  We learned tons about the weather in a way that was so free-form and conversational and not the least bit boring.

Well, he was fantastic -- we all laughed, I (many of us) came to tears. In one part of his talk, he just briefly but plainly spoke about where in Alabama he grew up, and how he and his mom had been abandoned by his father when he was young and how hard that was, and how he and his mom left their town and moved to Tuscaloosa and things got better, then he got older and followed his dreams.  So it didn't come across as terribly dark since he was speaking to a young audience, but the message came through that bad things can happen when you're little but you can totally overcome them.
  James Spann
I told him, when Av and I were walking him back to his car, how especially grateful I was that he shared his story.  Every child needs to hear: yes, something bad can happen, but it doesn't keep you from being who you really are and who you can be and are meant to be. You are strong and you are good-willed and you are compassionate and you are resilient.  Amen, amen.

 James Spann and I

I wanted to give him a gift for coming, so I bought a pair of suspenders, which he always wears.  My sweet/wonderful/crazy-talented FIL who can do *everything* put our school logo on the back in leatherwork, and I had them embroidered with James Spann's bad-weather catchphrase: 'Go To Your Safe Place' (it was a hit and he promised to wear it on the air -- he even showed it that evening on the news when they showed our school clip!).  And look at those goofy faces we are making!  I can't remember what we were laughing about, but love me some James Spann.

There's a subway cake fairy in NYC.  BTW, I think the way it's spreading, her icing is either too cold, or too thick -- but good for her!  Either way, I think I could be pie fairy, handing out bourbon pecan, chess, lemon icebox, peanut butter, and buttermilk coconut pies to newly-made friends.  Maybe some still-hot fried pies, too.  What kind of person would pass that up? I will do this.

The Louisiana Folklife Center is seeking traditional family recipes as it is updating and releasing the Natchitoches-Northwestern State University Folk Festival Cookbook. Email recipes to folklife -at- nsula -dot- edu with 'cookbook' as the subject.

Walker's Drive-In Neon Sign, Jackson MS
above: Walker's in Jackson

The 2014 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists have been announced. Southern notables include:

Best New Restaurant
The 404 Kitchen, Nashville
Casa Rubia, Dallas
MilkWood, Louisville, KY
Pêche, New Orleans
Pinewood Social, Nashville

Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar and Refuge, Houston
Arnaud's French 75 Bar, New Orleans
Cure, New Orleans
Kimball House, Decatur, GA
The Porter Beer Bar, Atlanta

Outstanding Chef
Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, SC
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Anne Quatrano, Bacchanalia, Atlanta

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Phoebe Lawless, Scratch, Durham, NC
Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL
Philip Speer, Uchi, Austin and Houston

Outstanding Restaurant
The Fearrington House Restaurant, Pittsboro, NC
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL

Outstanding Restaurateur
Giorgios Bakatsias, Giorgios Hospitality Group, Durham, NC (Kipos, Parizäde, Village Burgers, and others)
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans
Ford Fry, Ford Fry Restaurant Company, Atlanta (The Optimist, JCT Kitchen, No. 246, and others)
Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez, Taqueria del Sol, Atlanta
Nick Pihakis, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Birmingham, AL

Outstanding Service
Abacus, Dallas
Bacchanalia, Atlanta
Brigtsen's, New Orleans
Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
McCrady's, Charleston, SC
One Flew South, Atlanta

Outstanding Wine Program
5 and 10, Athens, GA
The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
Café on the Green at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Irving, TX
FIG, Charleston, SC
The Grill Room at Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
Luca Paschina, Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville, VA
Ann Tuennerman, Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans
Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA
Lee Gregory, The Roosevelt, Richmond, VA
Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, VA
Angelo Vangelopoulos, The Ivy Inn Restaurant, Charlottesville, VA

Best Chef: South
Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
Derek Emerson, Walker's Drive-In, Jackson, MS
Justin Girouard, The French Press, Lafayette, LA
Matthew McClure, The Hive, Bentonville, AR
Rob McDaniel, SpringHouse, Alexander City, AL
Ryan Prewitt, Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans
Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans
Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast
Billy Allin, Cakes and Ale, Decatur, GA
Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh, Charleston, SC
Colin Bedford, The Fearrington House Restaurant, Pittsboro, NC
Kathy Cary, Lilly's, Louisville, KY
Ashley Christensen, Poole's Downtown Diner, Raleigh, NC
Scott Crawford, Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, NC
Todd Ginsberg, The General Muir, Atlanta
Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV
Vivian Howard, Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, NC
Scott Howell, Nana's, Durham, NC
Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani, Asheville, NC
Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC
Josh Keeler, Two Boroughs Larder, Charleston, SC
Matt Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
Daniel Lindley, St John's Restaurant, Chattanooga, TN
Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis
Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC
Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest
David Bull, Congress, Austin
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin
Matt McCallister, FT33, Dallas
Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
Chris Shepherd, Underbelly, Houston
John Tesar, Spoon Bar and Kitchen, Dallas
David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston


Faulkner House Books
above: Faulkner House Books, where Faulkner once lived in the Quarter

Southeast Missouri State University’s Online Learning is offering -- free, to everyone -- an eight week “Faulkner 101” class in collaboration with the Center for Faulkner studies.

Oxford is offering, gratis, Critical Thinking for Beginners.

Someone check Tom Fitzmorris' temperature, because he liked Dickey's.

This pic has been sent numerous times: is this what brisket looks like in North Carolina? Please say no.

WUTC Public Radio, UT at Chattanooga, did a piece on snake handling and the passing of Pastor Jamie Coots, who passed away after being biten by a rattlesnake at a service.  Jamie Coots' son, Cody, will become pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name.

What will Robert Irvine and Restaurant Impossible do with a barbecue restaurant in Hammondville, Alabama (the show was at Bryant's Seafood World in Hueytown earlier in February)?  The nice people at The Main Dish in Meridianville sold their restaurant last year; Pollard's in Memphis seems to be doing well as does Woody's in Tupelo.

Ahead: Old Scotland Church, Old Scotland AL
above: Old Scotland, Alabama

Nice piece at Opinionator / NYT on The Art of Vernacular Voice by Amy Clark, associate professor of English, director of the Appalachian Writing Project, and co-director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise:
Capturing the true cadence of any region’s dialect in written form is tricky, because it should harmonize sounds with words and grammar patterns (the three elements of dialect) that may be centuries old. There may be generational differences among those who use them, as well. For example, I grew up hearing my great-grandmother use the 15th-century word counterpin for quilt, and the Scots-Irish haint for ghost. My grandparents use hit for it and least’uns to describe the youngest in a family. They also pile on modifiers, especially if they had a right smart bunch of company for the holidays, a holdover from our storytelling, ballad-singing ancestors who migrated from Western Europe through the Pennsylvania cultural hearth in the early 1700s and populated the Appalachian mountain chain.

Maurice's Piggy Park, Columbia SC
above: Maurice's Piggy Park

As The State in South Carolina put it, 'Maurice Bessinger, who was as famous for his barbecue shops and sauces as he was for his diehard segregation stands, has died at 83.'

Further: In 2000, after The State newspaper disclosed that Bessinger was distributing pro-slavery tracts at his Maurice’s Gourmet Barbecue headquarters in West Columbia – under the shadow of the enormous Confederate flag he flew outside – people began boycotting his eateries.

Stores including Walmart and the U.S. military pulled his well-known mustard barbecue sauce from their shelves. Bessinger later would claim the boycott cost him $20 million. In his 2001 biography, “Defending My Heritage,” Bessinger blamed media reports for the loss of business.

At the time, Bessinger was distributing pro-slavery audiotapes and gave customers a discount if they bought his literature. South Carolina had “biblical slavery,” Bessinger claimed, which was kinder and different than other forms of slavery.

His family, not him, has been running the restaurant for a while now, and one of the sons said in an interview earlier in 2013 that the idea is to stay out of politics.


View gtaz: Salvation Mountain in a larger map

The LA Times on our loss of beautiful Leonard Knight, creator of Salvation Mountain, whose message was 'G-d is Love'.

Leonard was cremated and his ashes are being divided for two separate ceremonies:
1.) Friday, March 14, (2014) at Ft Rosecrans Cemetery in San Diego. Please RSVP to bobl@salvationmountain.org if you will attend, arrive at 10 am for the 10:30 am ceremony.

2.) Saturday, March 15, (2014) at Salvation Mountain. No RSVP required, all are welcome. Most likely at 11:00am - check Slab City or the Salvation Mountain FB page for updates.

Goode Company Armadillo, Houston TX
Above: there he is.

The giant armadillo on Kirby Drive (at Goode Co Barbecue and in front of the Armadillo Palace) in Houston has a story, courtesy the Houston Press:
"Then we went to Plan B," Goode says. "We found a guy who said he could haul it back down to Houston for us, but there were things we didn't think about, like fitting under overpasses and what kind of route are we going and how we had to get wide-load permits for every state between Wyoming and Texas. All these logistical things we didn't think about. We weren't sure it was going to make it in one piece, but about two weeks later, this guy shows up with an armadillo on a flatbed trailer."

USA Today on the Nashville Restaurant Scene predictably mentions Husk, Catbird Seat, and Rolf and Daughters, as well as Josephine, the 404 Kitchen (up for JB Best New Restaurant this year) where:
After the cooking is done, he even renders down leftover animal fat to create candles for the dining room.
and Pinewood Social (also up for JB Best New Restaurant this year -- the menu (which looks pretty terrific) developed by Josh Habinger who's been at Alinea and Catbird Seat), an:
all-day coffee shop, restaurant, bar and bowling alley to offer customers a three-dimensional social experience.

The new Perez Art Museum Miami lost a $1MM vase (Han dynasty from Ai Weiwei’s traveling exhibition, According to What?) when an artist broke it purposefully to protest the collection's favoritism to international over local art.

Coke Crates
above: how comfortable will we be on the porch this summer?

It was said that the reason the spiders were so abundant last summer was because our winter wasn't terribly cold, but if you're thinking that we can perhaps thank the polar vortex for sparing us of so many of them this coming summer...wrong.  From the Gadsden Times:
As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger — a maxim that can aptly be applied to insects in the winter time (via an Alabama Extension entomologist and Auburn University professor of entomology).

The James Meredith statue desecration (noose around neck, older Georgia flag draped) is a federal investigation now; freshmen students from Georgia have been questioned but apparently weren't cooperating; the Mississippi Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon has been suspended and its three members under investigation have been expelled. SigEp's CEO was quoted:
"SigEp as a national Fraternity has championed racial equality and issues on diversity since 1959 when it became the first national fraternity to invite members of all races, creeds and religions to join its membership. For this to occur in 2014 is an insult to the legacy of James Meredith, the University of Mississippi community, and the SigEp alumni who fought for racial equality in the late 1950s," he said.

James Meredith had to say about the incident:
Outspoken Mississippi civil rights pioneer James Meredith is calling recent vandalism of a statue is his honor at the University of Mississippi "foolishness" and a "distraction" and he said in no way should it discourage African-American students from attending Ole Miss.

...Meredith said, "teenagers have been committing pranks and doing foolish things forever, and blacks will be out of their minds if they were planning on going to Ole Miss and let this distraction turn them away."

"There has not been a lynching in Mississippi since 1958, almost six decades...so what's so important about a noose? That's foolishness," he said.

Meredith also spoke about the importance of education for minority students and said churches should play a more important role in helping to raise black children.

He told Alan Binder at the NYT that this would all intensify his effort -- which he's had for a while now, before all this -- to have the statue of him removed from campus.

“It’s a false idol, and it’s an insult not only to G-d, it’s an insult to me,” Mr. Meredith said.

View From Mt. Cheaha, Alabama
above: the view from Mt. Cheaha

This interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, 'Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Why the Cosmos Shouldn't Make You Feel Small' was probably the best thing on NPR all week.

Nectar, Hansens Sno-Bliz, New Orleans LA
above: nectar flavor at Hansen's

Hansen's Sno-Bliz opens for the season on March 7.  75 years!

Waffle House
above: where else?

Kevin Gillespie begins 'competition training' at Waffle House.

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