Main Street Stationer
The Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau
observance of the Centennial of Yazoo City’s Great Fire of 1904
applauding the reopening of the first section of the new
you to a reception at the
MAY 25, 2004
to 7:00 p.m.
Tours of the Museum
EARLY THAT DAY AND JOIN US FOR A TOUR
MORNING AT 10:00
Call the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau at
or 800-381-0662 to get your name on the list.
the CVB in the Yazoo Herald for May
This month our main focus has been the 100-year anniversary of
the rebuilding of our town and the fire, which dates back to May 1904. I think everything got off to a great start with the parade
and Yazoo Fest on May 1. Even
with the rain we still had a great time. We are planning a reception for
May 25 from five until seven p.m. at the Triangle Cultural Center with
day tours of Glenwood Cemetery at ten a.m. Please call the CVB office to
sign up for the tour.
For those of you that are interested in seeing pictures of the
fire of 1904, stop by Ricks Library to see the fire exhibit with the
original photographs. Paul Cartwright and his staff have done a
I hosted a tour for a group of 4-H students and their parents
from Wisconsin last month. We
all had a great time. They
got to see a cotton farm, a cotton gin, and a catfish farm, and they
loved every minute of it. I
would like to thank everyone who helped make their trip a pleasant one.
Also many thanks to everyone for participating and helping with
the May events. As you know, we need everyone working together to be
successful in what we do in our town. Your comments and ideas are
welcomed. Please send them
to us at The Yazoo County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, P. O. Box
186, Yazoo City, MS 39194.
And speaking of everyone working together, here are some excerpts from Mayor Leach’s introduction at Haley Barbour’s announcement that he was running for Governor of Mississippi.
1998, I pledged to the people of Yazoo City that I would be fair and
honest and that I would do everything possible to make Yazoo City a
better place to live. That commitment is still there.
My vision has not changed.
I have and will continue to support individuals who I believe can
and will help this city and county.
Haley and Marsha Barbour have deep ties to this community and
this state. Haley has never
forgotten his roots. He has
always maintained a home in Yazoo City or Yazoo County.
In making this introduction I have chosen not to focus on what is
good for me or a Party. I
must do what is best for the people . . . Rather than focus on how Haley
Barbour has impacted our country by directing the political affairs
office at the White House and leading a National Party, I want to tell
you how he has impacted Yazoo City.
And, more importantly, what that can mean to Mississippi.
We know firsthand what Haley Barbour can do.
Back in the 1980’s, and not long after the tragedy of the
Mississippi Chemical plane crashing into a Yazoo City neighborhood, it
became clear that the Yazoo City airport was in a bad spot.
It was surrounded by schools and growing neighborhoods. Building
an airport is impossible without millions of federal dollars for most
towns, so even as desperately as we needed the new facility, it was not
going to happen without federal assistance.
That is where Haley came in.
He worked with the Reagan Administration and the U.S. Senate.
Before long we ended up with not only a new airport but a first class
facility. It is fair to say
that this would not have happened without Haley knowing how to work with
the people who controlled the money. . . .
.Back during the Ray Mabus Administration, the state decided to
have a competitive process to select one Mississippi town to try to win
a federal prison site. Again, Yazoo City turned to Haley and asked him
to lead the team that eventually beat out everyone else to land the
Federal Correctional Institution that now employs over 300 people on the
edge of our town. Haley was
able to work with the First President Bush’s Administration to get
this done – again, he had the connections and ability to win this for
Yazoo City and get it funded for more than $60 million.
Next, there was a chance of a second federal correctional
facility that would mean a 100 million dollar project and another 300
jobs for Yazoo City. Who
did we turn to again? That’s
right. Haley Barbour. This
time Haley worked with President Clinton’s Administration and our
congressional delegation to make certain that Yazoo City received
another shot in the arm.
And just recently, when empowerment zones were determined during
the current George W. Bush administration, there was a move to leave
Yazoo County out. This
would have had a negative impact on our county.
And we turned to Haley again and this time he worked with
President Bush’s team to make certain Yazoo County was included, which
really makes a difference for Yazoo City and Yazoo County people.
We in Yazoo know that Haley Barbour gets things done and not just
by working with Republicans. He
has demonstrated an ability to work with Democratic and Republican
Governors and with Democratic and Republican Presidents.
He knows how to work with people.. . . .
Wardell Leach, Mayor, Yazoo City, Mississippi
Market on Main Street
The recent Market on Main Street was fun – for those who spent time and effort to set up their displays to “show off” and those who attended to show their interest in and faithfulness to downtown and around Yazoo City.
Gary Andrews, chairman of the Promotions Committee, coordinated
it all, with the help of all committee members. Colon Johnson of Power
107 kept things moving and interesting; Sunflower furnished tasty
refreshments, Gilbert’s Gourmet provided the delicious coffee, and
Buck Coats loaned the building that held the exhibits (once fondly known
as Ellis Department Store). We’d bet Cecil Cartwright helped put
everything in order.
Alan Ramsay, owner and present restorer of the Lamar Hotel, gave
interesting tours of that historic building. We doubt that Alan has
definitely decided what he’ll eventually do, but he is making great
strides in doing the proper and necessary repairs to the building.
Merchants, banks, and others provided gifts for drawings, and
Karen Smith and Shanitra Finley of the Yazoo County CVB were in charge
of the drawings for these prizes.
Alderman Aubrey Brent expressed to Colon Johnson and the crowd his love for Yazoo City and some of his fondest memories. Sheriff James Williams, who always attends community affairs, came and got a much-needed break from all the strain and sadness at the Courthouse.
All in all it was a beautiful and
Hargon Tragedy Affects All
Throughout the weeks of worrying and wondering about the whereabouts and status of the lovely Hargon family, we couldn’t help but be proud of the work of our Sheriff’s Department, others at the courthouse, and all of the citizens of Yazoo County. Everyone cared; everyone was deeply concerned. No one came into Mijo who didn’t inquire if we’d heard anything new, or to say something prayerfully about the family.
The news media also seemed to be as worried as everyone else. They weren’t just seeking stories. They were seeking
answers. The fact that this became a national tragedy brought more
people into Yazoo County, and more news about us, and the only thing
that was bad was the actual crime that had happened. Two Fox News people
– a black man and a white woman – were reporting about being at
Vaughan. She told how hard
the officials were working to find answers; he told about the Hargon
family being one of the nicest he had even encountered.
Many Yazooans, like Susan and William Thompson who live right
next to the parking lot where the media set up shop, were helpful,
cooperative, even accommodating. Susan can brag that people from
national NBC used their bathroom, and that they fed some of them every
now and then.
The funeral in Canton was a sad occasion, but also uplifting
because of the grace and dignity of the family and the outpouring of
love and sympathy from the entire community.
KAY TAYLOR – Trust Kay Taylor, now living in Germantown, Tennessee, to keep Yazoo on its toes. She sent us an article from the nearby Collierville newspaper about their historic photography contest. Collierville, aware of the fact that the first week of May is National Preservation Week, plans to accept entries of pictures taken years ago and also pictures taken recently of historic buildings, etc. The photos will be displayed all during April, judged and winners announced during a special Preservation Week event at Seasons at the Church on May 6, 2004.
It sounds like a good idea for Yazoo, too. We’ve got several people with old photographs, and lots of upcoming photographers. We might could get Marion Brown and John Langston, both professionals, to come home and judge the entries. What we’ll need is an organization, or group, to organize, promote, and coordinate it. Maybe the Main Street Promotions Committee, or the Yazoo Historical Society, or another group. They’ll have to receive and take good care of the entries.
Back to Kay – it was great to hear from her. She worked hard for historic Yazoo when she and John still lived here. If we remember it correctly, she coordinated the first tour of our historic churches. In her note, Kay wrote, “ . . . anyway, thought of you, Yazoo, and ‘Main Street.’ Just passing it on as it’s always good to share one’s ideas that we may hear or see.” Thanks, Kay, and please do it again!
And, Kay, -- what is Seasons at the Church?
WALT GRAYSON – We’ve heard that “everyone loves Raymond” though we’ve never watched the show. What we hear more often now is that “everybody loves Walt.” Walt Grayson is a former weatherman on WLBT who now travels “Mississippi Roads” “:Looking Around Mississippi.”
At the sime time Walt was shown on WLBT’s Saturday night “Looking Around Mississippi”, telling about Yazoo’s 1904 fire and rebuilding and showing pictures before and after the fire, Sam Olden was in Tupelo at the Mississippi Historical Society’s meeting. Sam, again a member of their board, gave the prayer. Walt Grayson was there to receive an award for all he does to promote preservation, etc.
We can’t think of anyone more deserving of the award for preservation interest than Walt. He’s been to Yazoo for Bell Road, the agricultural garden on the Triangle Grounds, to talk to Emory Hodgson about his brush with history, to promote our fund-raising calendar for the historic museum (calendars are still available and they run 18 months!), and to Glenwood Cemetery recently to hear Jackie Sanford tell the story about the fire and how it started to a group of senior sitizens. Everyone, any age, loves that story.
Keep up the good work,
Walt, and always bring wife Jo with you. She remembered Sam before you
did, we hear. And while we miss you talking so slowly and simply about
the weather, we like seeing your shows more.
CATHERINE PREWITT – Retired Yazoo County
Chancery Clerk Catherine Prewitt was honored recently in Jackson. She
was one of nine women in Mississippi selected to receive an award from
Governor Haley Barbour for exemplifying the “Power of One” by giving
selflessly of her time and talents to make a difference in the lives of
others. First Lady Marsha Barbour presented the awards to Catherine,
Sela Ward, Maggie Wade, and six other Mississippi ladies. The ceremony
took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Catherine, much to her chagrin
(she says!), was identified as the oldest recipient! Congratulations,
Catherine! We appreciate you. We missed any newspaper article about
this, but got these facts from the FUMC bulletin.
GINGER JACKSON JOYNER – Ginger and Brad Joyner are operating Attala Art outside of Sallis, Mississippi. Ginger is the daughter of Charles and Penny Jackson of Yazoo, and the Joyners live and “work” in a house built by her great-grandfather. And they love it.
They have been featured in many ways lately. Walt Grayson did a program on them (which we forgot to watch), a newspaper (was it the Clarion-Ledger of the Herald?) had a nice article, and now the Delta Business journal’s March 2004 issue has an interesting write up.
The Joyners are a rather unique family. Brad and Ginger both make pottery, and Ginger also paints pictures. It seems they are also musical, including son Zach who has been playing the violin since he was four years old. And they especially like the blues.
Attala Art gallery is open Saturdays from ten to four, and other days by appointment.
BALES is doing another book on Willie Morris. I’m not sure what it
is, but Larry L. King will write a biographical essay and Jack is
“annotating some 900 items about Willie and probably that many by
him.” I do believe that if Jack Bales showcases Willie it will be an
interesting book. Jack hopes to come to Mississippi to sign books and
we’d love to have him here on Main Street. The book probably won’t
be out until next year.
BARBARA travels a good bit, and usually brings me a bit of chocolate
from places she has time to look around. The latest was a box of
“Armadillo Droppings” from the Dallas airport where she had to spend
about three hours.
story on the box was interesting: “On a ranch not far from Bandera,
Texas, Old Maria was mixing pralines in the big black iron kettle on the
old ranch stove when two pesky armadillos knocked over the trash can. By
the time Maria had run off them rascally critters the pralines had gone
on acookin’ much longer and browner than usual. When the cowboys came
in for dinner and saw all them little pralines lined up in a row, Slim
drawled, “Whatcha got there, Maria? Armadillo droppings?” And so a
Texas tradition was born – bite size delicious dark brown sugar pecan
Barbara asked me later if these new chocolates were good, I told her
they weren’t chocolate but they were delicious and I’d eaten every
one! I didn’t tell her what I thought of every time I ate one.
JUNE 26, 2004
from John Byrd at the Triangle)
26 is the date of the second annual Yazoo Blues Festival to be held at
the historic one-hundred-year-old building, now the Triangle Cultural
Center. Starting time is 12:00 noon, so don’t be late for a day filled
with excellent blues.
own Mike Holloway will be this year’s headliner. Mike grew up in Yazoo
City but now resides in Nashville where he has a successful musical
career. Other performers will be Johnny Horton, Bud Spires, Otha Holmes,
Bill Abel, and Cadillac John, plus many more.
Yazoo Blues Museum should be completed enough so it can be open for all
to see some of the rich blues history of Yazoo County. And there will be
a VIP party at the Triangle on June 25 that will be used as a fundraiser
for the event.
your calendar and make plans for a musical day at the Yazoo Blues