Mississippi Meanderings

At the tail end of 2020—and into the New Year—I visited the small town of Lucedale, Mississippi, to meet my girlfriend’s family.  I flew in last Wednesday and we drove back Saturday.

I’ve driven through Mississippi before, and was in Jackson a couple of years ago for a friend’s wedding.  This time I was much further south, as Lucedale—located in George County—is very close to the Gulf Coast, and about fifty minutes from Mobile, Alabama.  It reminded me a great deal of my dear South Carolina—pine trees and deciduous forests; ample farmland; small, rural communities flung across open land between larger municipalities.  In many ways, it felt like my home, just with small regional variations.

For example, my girlfriend’s family eats black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, like any good Southerner does (for them, the black-eyed peas represent good luck; for us, they represent pennies and wealth), but instead of collard greens (also for wealth—they’re the dollars), they ate coleslaw.  I suspect that’s because none of her family liked collard greens, but the difference goes further:  my girlfriend’s father had never heard of Hoppin’ John.  For my Yankee readers, Hoppin’ John is a mixture usually consisting of black-eyed peas, tomatoes, and okra, and served over white rice.  It’s good.

Other than a world without Hoppin’ John, Mississippi also had some local chains I’d never heard of before.  My girlfriend’s mother kept raving about Dirt Cheap, which I think is like a Lowe’s-meets-Ollie’s that sells mostly “dirt cheap” home improvement supplies.  There’s also a regional chain called Foosackly’s, which is essentially a smaller-scale Zaxby’s with clever advertising and a hilariously bizarre name.  My girlfriend quickly became annoyed with my fascination with this obscure chicken joint.

One highlight of the trip was building a fire with my girlfriend’s dad.  He is a man of few words, clad in suspenders, and incredibly resourceful—he maintains much of their land himself, and has built several sheds and garages.  He also has added to their home, which has been in the family at least two generations, and will stay there (his mantra:  “never sell land”).

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Wayback Wednesday: Airlines; Back to the Grind

I’m doing more retrospective/throwback posts here at the end of the year.  The end of the year is always a good time for reflections, but I’m also on the move in these last, dying days of 2020, so I’m trying to log posts in advance.

Indeed, today I’m hopping a flight to Mobile, Alabama, with my ultimate destination being a small town in George County, Mississippi.  My girlfriend and I are going to spend a few days with her folks before driving back to South Carolina after the New Year.

She might not appreciate this fact, but it’s reminiscent of a summer trip to New Jersey with my last girlfriend (although it went in reverse:  she and I drove up to New Jersey together, and I flew back solo).  I can never seem to date anyone whose parents live twenty minutes away—or even within easy driving distance.  New Jersey, now Mississippi—where next?  Here’s hoping I never date anyone from Alaska (although that would be cool); really, let’s hope I never have to hit the ruthless dating market again!

I don’t like flying.  I’m not scared of it, it’s just a pain—you can’t take shampoo and fingernail clippers with you because some Muslim jerks destroyed the Twin Towers.  I might be a jerk sometimes, but c’mon—do I look like someone who is going to hijack a plane with nose-hair tweezers?  Let’s apply a little discriminatory common sense here.

But here I am, yet again hopping a couple of flights to distant, sleepy locales.  With that, here is Summer 2019’s “Airlines; Back to the Grind“:

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Election Results 2019

Yesterday Lamar, South Carolina held elections for Town Council.  Since our local paper doesn’t seem to be putting the results online, I thought I would post them here.

I drove by Town Hall last night to check the results, but they were still working on finalizing the results when I drove by, and I lacked the will to drag myself out of the house again.  But I swung by this morning and photographed the official receipt from the machine, as well as the handwritten results (akin to a student council election), which were posted to the front door:

My strategy of voting for the challengers in a “Jacksonian spirit of rotation in office” failed, as the two incumbents sailed to reelection.  As such, Town Council is unchanged.

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