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Old 05-21-2013, 02:51 PM
 
Location: PNW, Aspen, NY: CPS & Meadow Lane
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Nice! There's probably some sort of 'Tiger Oak' under the brown paint on the mantelpiece. And that hardware cloth over the glass on the breakfast room door is there for a reason.

Oh, and the rampant evergreen Cherokee Rose (naturalized in the Deep South, but actually native to China) grows fast, and has thorns which will penetrate Crocs (the shoe, not the reptile), gloves, and clothing. Those thorns will rip the unwary to bits, and thus make the plant ideal for positioning under windows. One rose, well-trained, should be enough to fortify one side of a house (the canes, eventually, can be twenty feet long). Two Cherokee Roses should be enough for each side of a perimeter fence (eight per yard). I've seen them clipped, and so you could even forgo the fence (in front), and just fashion a rose barrier.

If Rose Rosette Disease hits Vicksburg and takes out the Rosa Laevigata (Cherokee), then the dreaded McCartney Rose (Rosa Bracteata, from Sri Lanka and Burma, equally thorny) is supposedly resistant to the new disease, as the vectoring Mites do not recognize the foliage as that of a rose. The Buttercup Yellow 'Mermaid' is a rampant Bracteata hybrid, if you want something fancier than plain white. It's considered one of the three greatest roses of all time. Mermaid's been known to trap dogs with its thorns, and so could possibly trap a meth addicted or drunken "teen" or "youth" attempting to invade your home (Mainstream Media and Police Spokespersons consider them to be 'teens' and 'youths' throughout most of their lifespan).

The Antique Rose Emporium in Texas is an easy mail-order go-to for such roses. But I think there are locals who are growing antiques/species now, too. When we were going to 'The Greater Belhaven Farmer's Market' in Jackson, we'd see local growers with their roses.

Glad you found such a sweet deal! Vicksburg's very interesting. The Carpetbagger families there offer an historic goldmine. Most writers ignore them, and concentrate on the Antebellum families. The Carpetbagger families tend to be haughty, condescending, conspiratorial, and cold, and most of the wealthier attorneys and physicians in town come from this group. They go mostly to one church (unless they've married Baptists, or have social-climbed into Episcopalianism), and send their kids to a certain private school notoriously rife with 'mean girl' cliques. But they're waaaaaaaaay more interesting, from a literary (and murder mystery) standpoint than are the Antebellum Gentry. The more eccentric family members can be extremely colorful. Oh, and the more florid among them tend to have the heaviest Southern accents you'll hear anywhere.

____________

Addendum: Your Must-watch Movie List
Summer & Smoke (Tennessee Williams): most accurate portrayal you'll see, of life in the Delta's small towns, during the period when your house was built. And yes: during the period of financial panics, many Mississippi doctors did deliberately get their genteel lady patients hooked on opiates, in order to create a steady source of income. One infamous instance of this was in Crystal Springs.

Delta Jews: This was produced by Public Television, I think. No clue where you'll find it. I bought our copy at a shop run by Mississippi Public Radio. Validates the old saying "There's no Jews like Delta Jews" (except maybe in Louisiana, where the equivalent film is Pushcarts and Plantations).

This Property is Condemned (Tennessee Williams, bastardized by Coppola), but totally captures the "dusty Delta days" which are in store for you, in about three weeks.

Baby Doll (Tenn, agin...). Shot in a real decaying Delta mansion. Carroll Baker got my Husband excited. The millwork in that house did it for me. And the antique Pierce Arrow in which Carol Baker and Eli Wallach 'played Chauffeur' gave me a second epiphany.

Ode to Billy Joe: here, we learn that Billy Joe actually jumped off that Tallahatchie River Bridge, not because of an out-of-wedlock bebeh, but because he couldn't get excited when the "Fancy Woman from Yazoo City" let him in behind the glass-bead curtain, in her tent at the county fair. Not sure my Mom ever worked out of Yazoo City (OK, I seriously doubt it), but I like to think of her as the Fancy Woman who so traumatized Billy Joe, he just had to jump of that bridge to get rid of the skin crawlers he was having, just thinking about her.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: What words could be adequate? Captures the mindset of the New Money around Clarksdale astonishingly well. (Elizabeth Taylor here plays Old Money married to New Money). And you'lll see her nemesis, Sustuh Woman, everywhere you go in Mississippi. Sustuh Woman is the absolute archetype of the loud-mouthed Redneck Priss Pot. The Delta was a seriously epic place, once. One Delta mercantile heiress went to Spain, and came back with a nobleman, whom she kept in the Tea House at the back of her garden. He was known in her Bridge circle as her 'Spaniel'. A plantation heiress from around Clarksdale came back from France with a Count (whom she married). Many Delta towns are named after places the grand families visited when they did their obligatory "Grand Tours of Europe". (Isola, after Isola Bella, for example)

Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood:Louisiana is more magical than Mississippi, and the social interactions there are vastly less strained. But I think this film somehow (despite being a Hollywood product) captures the lifestyle you'll find throughout the Plantation Country in both states. A lot of it is too silly for words. But a lot of it is a real as real can get. Plenty of Upper Middle Class women in the Delta and Acadiana see it epitomizing their lives.

Last edited by GrandviewGloria; 05-21-2013 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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Re: Grandview Gloria's riff on "carpetbaggers".
Some of Mississippi's largest slaveholders and owners of the finest pre-Civil War mansions were Northern transplants.
The actor George Hamilton once owned a home in Natchez.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:28 PM
 
Location: PNW, Aspen, NY: CPS & Meadow Lane
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I won't be mentioning which movie star's brother is reported to have opened the door of their Natchez mansion to select tourists, during Pilgrimage, wearing nothing but a pair of crystal-heeled Marabou slippers and a gracious smile.

The terms 'Northerner' and 'Carpetbagger' have traditionally had entirely different meanings, although the latter was mostly a subset of the former.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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Okay, what's the difference between a carpetbagger and a garden variety northerner? LOL

I'm finding people much friendlier here! I chatted with the lady at Mama Dogs for awhile today, then drove by the house this evening hoping the guy working on mine and the one next door was there just to unload some stuff and my Walmart haul, and not only was he there, but he and a couple of girls hanging out on the porch with their kids helped me move in a few things and one of their little boys was up hugging on me. And turns out the guy doing the work knows a screenwriter and filmmaker based in Jackson who is working on a documentary project on the blues and has done some work on Hustle and Flow and another movie whose name escapes me (I'm on overload, but in the good way!) He was already trying to call him and tell him about me. I'd be willing just to be a gopher on a project like that.

So tomorrow I officially move in. They have several pieces of furniture already in the house and a couple of wardrobes stored out back he's going to move in. I'm very happy to say that old couch is staying -- I love that freakin' thing! ;-)
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: PNW, Aspen, NY: CPS & Meadow Lane
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Carpetbaggers, in the Southern context, were a phenomenon of the Reconstruction Era, following the Civil War. They were low-class men from the North, suddenly empowered by the American Government, in roles of "Administering" the "Reconstruction" of the South ('Ensuing Rape of the South' would be a more accurate term than 'Reconstruction'). The name came from the type of luggage with which they arrived (made from cheap, showy patterned carpet, rather than from leather). Often, these men were culturally and racially disparate from Old Stock Northerners.

Anyway, their tenure in the South was a reign of terror. And they stole a great deal. Hinds County's/Jackson's legitimate aristocracy was driven from the area by the Carpetbaggers. Often, the real Old Jackson families fled to distant parts of the state, or to other states, to avoid being murdered by these newcomers (some actually were murdered). Many families had their holdings confiscated or stolen, through one device or another (jacked-up taxes, usually). And the Carpetbaggers became the new elite of the town. Their last names really stand out. They don't sound anything like Worthington, Leflore, or Dunbar.

Jackson, until the Seventies, was regarded as a toxic backwater by the rest of the state. Delta girls went to Memphis to shop. Jackson society was regarded by those in Meridian, Natchez, Columbus and Greenville, as.... well.... just not. Professionals seeking careers moved to Dallas or Atlanta. Only when those cities filled up with Yankees, and a heavy Southern accent trapped many Mississippians in Mississippi (one was not taken seriously with a heavy accent), did people from better families start moving to Jackson (nowhere else to go). They found the cultural/social scene in Jackson to be moralistic/backward/paranoid/repressed, and so gravitated toward Madison County, which was more genteel (and, at the time, rural). Annandale Estates | Our Neighborhood

The Episcopalian Chapel of the Cross was a sort of nucleus for that crowd. People built out in the country, rather than subject themselves to the crass, baton-twirling, bible-thumping, diamond-flashing 'elites' of Jackson. Today, Madison County is the richest in the state, and Madison the City, the richest (and generally tops in everything) town in the state. This is partly because the Carpetbagger-descended ersatz aristocracy of Jackson made the Capital City such a miserable place for people whose backgrounds were genuine (frankly, I LOVED Fashionable Northeast Jackson in those golden days before Frank: but then, I grew up in a tarpaper shack without running water, and my first 'real job' as a kid was counting money for an old bootlegger - and none of my family names, legitimate or illegitimate, are anything like 'Worthington', either: so what did I know?)

So the term 'Carpetbagger', in the traditional Southern context, is not really applicable, I suppose, to contemporary individuals.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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I live in Cleveland and we tended to favor Memphis over Jackson as the "big city". We have relatives living there.
I remember visiting the Jackson Mall in its short-lived heyday. I think it was built in the wrong place at the wrong time - just as white flight kicked off in the nearest neighborhoods.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
I live in Cleveland and we tended to favor Memphis over Jackson as the "big city". We have relatives living there.
I remember visiting the Jackson Mall in its short-lived heyday. I think it was built in the wrong place at the wrong time - just as white flight kicked off in the nearest neighborhoods.
Memphis to Jackson should be no comparison. Memphis is over twice its size and far more well established with more big city amenities you come to expect from "city life".

Jackson is a city on life support. Areas of it are seeing restoration, other areas are falling lower and lower. The suburbs continue to thrive while much of the inner city continues to decay. Memphis has similar problems, but since it's so much larger the problem is not as significant.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:10 PM
 
Location: PNW, Aspen, NY: CPS & Meadow Lane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
I live in Cleveland and we tended to favor Memphis over Jackson as the "big city". We have relatives living there.
I remember visiting the Jackson Mall in its short-lived heyday. I think it was built in the wrong place at the wrong time - just as white flight kicked off in the nearest neighborhoods.
If you haven't read Dollar Cotton, by John Faulkner (William's brother), then it's a must. I'm sure you've heard, all your life, the stories about which socialites' grandparents walked, barefoot, down out of the Hills. This book fleshes-out those stories (and a whole lot more that's true about the Delta) into an epic tale. I think it's about the area around Clarksdale and Greenwood. And it touches upon the way most of Memphis' grand mansions got built. And then, it was 1925, and .... poof! ... it was all over. (there's a lynchin', of course, because... well... if it's about Mississippi, then there's gotta be a lynchin', or you're not gonna get published: even back when the book was written.

I'm told that Delta girls of a certain standing got their wedding dresses from Levy's, and did their general shopping at Goldsmith's (...in addition, of course, to all the fine shops in the bigger Delta towns. Those shops gradually disappeared, of course, when private schools became a must, and tuition took every Dollar everybody could scrape together). Memphis was a part of their natural 'range'.

Jackson was not part of their 'range'. "We only knew about McRae's (department store), because it was on TV, along with those 'Reach for Seale Lily Peach' commercials, on the Jackson channels. I mean, we all read the Commercial Appeal, out of Memphis: not that rag of a payuhpuh those Holy Rollers down in Jackson put out. And I'd never heard of Frances Pepper ('the' Dress Shop, in Jackson, for decades), until Skippuh got outa lawschool an' we had ta move ta Jackson."

And then, you'll hear something like, "When we were kids in Greenville, we'd make up joke names. We thought they were just rollin'-on-the-floor-funny, because they were so preposterous. Like who could ever possibly really be named 'Darlene'? Right? And then I'm up in the (exclusive Jackson women's club), and some of those women have those joke names! I had to give myself a little attitude adjustment, or I was not gonna survive in that town." At this point, the Delta Girls are collapsed into fits of laughter, until somebody chokes out, "And now, some of the Jackson Debutantes have those joke names! Family tradition!" (more falling-on-floor, laughing)

I, too, have wondered what on Earth they were thinking, putting Jackson Mall where they did. But at the time, Jackson was just a sleepy little town, with a mostly very nice population. When the thing was in the planning stages, I think they were probably thinking that they could have 'The Help' on one side, and 'The Customers' on the other side (Eastover, Belhaven, Woodland Hills...) and it was close to all the mandatory stuff school kids bused-in from all over Mississippi were forced to see around the Capitol... so after trudging through the museums, the kids could be turned loose to shop the mall. And there were two nearby airports! And Lake Hico! And the zoo! And My Nellie Gardens! (I'm sorry, that's Mynelle Gardens...). It was at the center of all that was happening. You know, It was really getting built-up out that way!

Anyway, here's the entry from 'DeadMalls': DeadMalls.com: Jackson Mall: Jackson, Mississippi

Considering that some malls plotz soon after opening (like that drop-dead-beautiful one near the StupidDome in New Orleans, which never had one profitable minute and the ones out on the West Bank, that went under scary fast), Jackson Mall had a good run. And I'm told that Metrocenter (thanks, in part, to McRae's fantastic advertizing/merchandising of that branch) blazed onto the scene in a way that totally erased Jackson Mall from the collective conscious. The fabby restaurant in McRaes' Metrocenter was named after a famous old Jackson brothel (The Widow Watson's), and store displays included things like a Jaguar sitting on Royal Doulton or Wedgewood Teacups (demonstrating the strength of the porcelain, as well as underscoring its exclusivity).

I think that if Jackson Mall had upgraded... added huge crystal chandeliers and fabu draperies, to play-up the theme already started with the parquet flooring... and maybe changed the moderne planters to formal ones holding topiary... then maybe it would have had a chance. But anyway, it had a good run, and its adaptation is doing a lot of good for the community.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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I think the Jackson Mall opened in 1969 and the MetroCenter opened in 1978. I remember visiting Northpark in 1984 before all of the stores were open. So maybe JM's heyday lasted longer than MC's.
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,530 posts, read 9,817,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
I live in Cleveland and we tended to favor Memphis over Jackson as the "big city". We have relatives living there.
I remember visiting the Jackson Mall in its short-lived heyday. I think it was built in the wrong place at the wrong time - just as white flight kicked off in the nearest neighborhoods.
Not to mention Memphis is a heck of a lot closer to Cleveland than Jackson is.
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