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Paul Ott Carruth, ‘Country Royalty’

w i n t e r 2 0 1 0 | ACC E N T S O U T H M I S S I S S I P P I | V O L . 2 , N O. 1

CONTENTS features
happy birthday


by Guest Writers
Five South Mississippi writers give new
by Shannon Estes
Hattiesburg’s majestically restored train station
appreciation for life’s delights celebrates its centennial

by Robyn Jackson
Families welcome the opening of the newly
by Trudy Berger
A sweet tradition in Brookhaven
renovated Labor and Delivery Suites at King’s
Daughters Medical Center


by Trudy Berger
Paul Ott uses his voice to educate other
by Charlotte Blom
Thanks to GPS devices, geocaching catches
men about breast cancer on in South Mississippi

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CONTENTS W I N T E R 2 0 1 0 | ACC E N T S O U T H M I S S I S S I P P I

Guest Column
by James Welch



Picayune’s Dynamic Duo
in every issue
8 Editor’s Notes
48 In the Kitchen
52 Life in South Mississippi
Sculptures in demand after
artist’s death


Coast artist burns with creativity
36 after Katrina




Reba’s Reviews


Author follows God’s will to
Honduras school



William Carey University professor
publishes book with son

Bluegrass/gospel legend Doyle
Lawson brings Quicksilver to

34 Paul Ott photographed by
Trudy W. Berger

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TRUDY BERGER, a retired business series set in the Mississippi Delta.
consultant who moved to Southwest She is a recipient of the Richard Volume 2, Number 1 • Winter 2010
Mississippi after a 30-year profes- Wright Award from the Mississippi
sional career in Houston, is an elec- Arts Council and will receive the
tion commissioner for Pike County Harper Lee Award this year from
and a volunteer for the Summit the Alabama Writers Forum. Her
Historical Society, the McComb first anthology of mystery stories, Robyn Jackson
Depot Railroad Museum and the “Delta Blues,” will be published
Preservation Commission in her cur- May 1 by Tyrus Books, and includes
rent hometown. She is a graduate stories by John Grisham and James CONTRIBUTORS
of the LSU School of Journalism. Lee Burke and other Southern Trudy Berger
authors, and a foreward by Morgan Karen Blakeney
Charlotte Blom
KAREN BLAKENEY is an award-win- Freeman.
Shannon Estes
ning writer who lives in Gulfport Louie Galiano
with her husband and five children. REBA J. MCMELLON is a freelance Carolyn Haines
Before graduating from Millsaps writer, photographer, columnist and Valerie Wells
College, she studied art and poetry professional mental health consult-
at St. John's College at Oxford ant. She reviews books written in or
University. Karen has recently com- about the South. Her Wit and GUEST COLUMNISTS
Reba J. McMellon
pleted a memoir about her young Wisdom column, book reviews and
James Welch
son's struggle to overcome Scimitar feature articles have been pub-
Syndrome and Congenital Kyphosis. lished in newspapers and magazines ADVERTISING
She maintains a congenital heart nationally and internationally. She For advertising information
defects Web site, lives in Hurley and is a graduate of Kristi W. Gatlin the University of Southern Brookhaven and McComb
CHARLOTTE BLOM has a bachelor
Charlotte Blom
of arts degree from Vassar College. JAMES WELCH is a freelance writer
She has been freelance copy editing who grew up in the McComb area
and writing for years, as well as and has lived in the Hattiesburg
sampling unrelated professional area for the last six years, with his DESIGN & FABRICATION
experiences. She enjoys exploring, high school sweetheart and wife, Lisa W. Pittman
hunting and gathering in and around Wendy. They have three children,
her home in Hattiesburg. Ariana, Lauren and Braden. He likes
to treat every day as an adventure,
LOUIS A. GALIANO owns an and with three children under the
antiques store with his wife Debbie age of seven, it usually is. ACCENT South Mississippi is
in Picayune. A graduate of published bimonthly by
Louisiana State University with twin VALERIE WELLS is a freelance SoMiss Publishing LLC
Post Office Box 19027
degrees in English and business, his writer who has covered all aspects
Hattiesburg, MS 39404-9027
career has been mostly in manage- of community journalism for the
ment and in teaching college eco- past 20 years. A military brat with SoMiss Publishing LLC.
nomics. He is presently at work on deep roots in South Mississippi, she All rights reserved. Contents of
his second novel, a sequel to his looks for stories about the shared this magazine may not be
reproduced in any manner without
first, "Snorkel - Immersions in history and culture of the region
written consent from Publisher.
Time." Born in New Orleans, he brought to life by everyday folk.
ACCENT South Mississippi cannot
moved to the Picayune area more She has written for national and be held liable for errors
than 20 years ago. regional magazines and has been and omissions.
editor of several publications and
CAROLYN HAINES is a Lucedale Web sites. She lives in Hattiesburg Printed in the U.S.A.
native and author of 13 novels, with a patient husband and two
including the “Bones” mystery well-adjusted sons.

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Whether we like it or not, we have started a new year, and we can choose to enter it with fear
and trepidation or hope and anticipation. I choose the latter.
While writing and editing stories for this issue, I was struck by how often the people profiled
had dealt with change and unexpected opportunities in their
lives and emerged the better for it.
Billie Buckley had never aspired to be a writer, but when a
member of her church, who just happened to be the
Hattiesburg American’s religion editor, needed a guest col-
umn, she soon found herself writing weekly, which she did
for 10 years or so. She’s cut back to once a month now, but
she has just self-published a collection of some of her favorite
columns. She titled her book “Put Some Good On My Life,”
and that’s what she tries to do for others.
Paul Ott shares that philosophy. The singer/songwriter and
radio/TV host found out he had breast cancer but instead of
curling up in a ball, he beat his disease and now is “on fire”
to share his faith with others, and to educate men and women
about breast cancer.
Sadako Lewis moved to Mississippi with her husband, who
was in the Air Force, then found herself far from her family in
Sadako Lewis
Japan when they divorced. She went to college and began a
career as an artist, something she had never had the courage
to pursue until she was more or less forced to.
Milo and Mickey Asche lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and a knee injury disabled
Mickey, but it opened the door to careers for them as artists.
Then there’s Bruce Brady, who changed careers not once, but twice. He had a successful law
practice in Brookhaven when he gave that up to take a job as a field editor for a national maga-
zine. Then, on a whim, he sat down with a chunk of clay and some primitive tools and sculpted
a big horn sheep. Within a few years, he was creating limited edition bronze pieces that have
won awards and are in some prestigious collections, including the Ronald Reagan Presidential
The point is, we don’t know what the future holds, and with a recession, two wars and many
natural disasters plaguing us, it can be easy to give in to fear. But the examples these people set
show us that life is an adventure, and if we are open to opportunities, they will find us.
It may be a little late, but Happy New Year, and may 2010 be your best year yet.

Robyn Jackson

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GUEST COLUMN | a brand new you

some Fitness Tips to

insure a NEW YOU
this New Year


A wise man once said, or stress from work can get in the with what day it is, so on my
“A journey of a thousand way of our positive outlook and opposite vacation I dodged every
miles begins with just one stop us from reaching our full fit- calendar I saw. You get the idea,
step.” The same is true of ness potential. A bad attitude and I assure you that it did won-
fitness, our journey toward fitness or a negative out- ders for my mood. Sometimes we
begins with one little look can conquer you before you just need a change to get us back
step. Getting in shape even get started, so it’s important on track.
doesn’t necessarily to stay on top of stress manage-
require that you devote ment. EAT HEALTHIER
every moment to exercise, We are all surrounded by We all know how this one
it just requires that you stress, it looms over our lives like goes and the sound of it makes us
start taking the steps. a rain cloud ruining our sunny cringe. But, it doesn’t have to be
You don’t need to run a day, but it can be controlled. Start that way. The important thing to
marathon, you just need to start by learning how to see it coming. remember is to keep it simple.
moving. So let’s stop procrastinat- One of the biggest mistakes that Simple works and complicated
ing and begin living healthier this we make when it comes to stress doesn’t. There are tons of expen-
year, like so many of us resolved is trying to ignore it, causing it to sive diets out there that will have
to do. It’s not too late. build up and explode. But, if we you counting everything from
You can start by finding cre- start paying attention to what our calories to carbohydrates, but
ative ways to get moving. bodies are telling us, we can catch only one thing really counts when
Anything that you do that causes it early and deal with it before it it comes to eating healthier and
you to move will help. Start by gets out of hand. that’s keeping it simple.
parking a couple of spaces further However, sometimes you just You don’t need a fancy degree
from the grocery and walking need a break and in those situa- to know that fatty foods aren’t
those few extra steps. Take the tions I highly recommend an good for you or that you can’t get
stairs instead of the elevator, or opposite vacation. An opposite away with eating that huge slice
take the dog for an extra walk. vacation is a term that I have of pie anymore. All you need to
Even carrying in the groceries or coined. During the holidays, I had do is be thinking about it as you
raking the leaves count as mov- nine days off in a row when I choose your meals. Maybe bake
ing, and can be beneficial, so be intentionally tried to do the oppo- some of the things that you used
creative and find new ways to get site of what I do during my nor- to fry or swap them for something
moving. mal routine. On a work day I a little healthier. And trading the
shave, so for nine days I grew a sweets for fresh fruits, at least
ATTITUDE beard. On a work day, I check the some of the time, will certainly
One of the most important weather in order to know how to help as well. Remember, nothing
pieces of fitness equipment we dress, on opposite vacation I drastic has to be done, it’s the lit-
have is attitude, so be sure that refused to check on it at all. On tle steps that add up to a spectac-
you have a good one. Depression my normal schedule I keep up ular journey.

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O NE M AN ’ S T REASURE Got to admit it - I’m a junk store junkie. Nothing I like

better than a good Salvation Army or Goodwill in which
to prowl about and await the joy that comes from an
unexpected and sometimes rare find.
Since I own an antiques shop (actually my wife’s but
I might put in a day a week to keep the old hand in)
there have been times when a fairly valuable item might
pop up, but that’s not the main attraction. As I pass the
shelves of plastic knick-knacks and mismatched dishes,
while working my way back to the electronics depart-
ment of Beta VCRs and Commodore 64 computers, I real-
ize that each piece has a history quite apart from its man-
ufacture, its original purchase primarily resulting from
the what “seemed to be a good idea at the time” art of
But not everything is a loss. Books are recyclable, giv-
ing pleasure to successive readers with each turnover. At
a “twenty books for a dollar” sale at the local Goodwill, I
once bought 60 or so. The clerk lent me a shopping cart
to push them over to my car. As I live in a small town,
my wife got innumerable phone calls all asking at what
point did Louie become a bag man.
Since I’m a little short fellow, the clothing does not
ordinarily fit me. However, there was one time when I
spotted a pretty good pair of Levi’s hanging on the rack
for two bucks that appeared to be tailor-made. When I
went in the dressing room to try them on, I stuck my
hand in the pocket and out popped two dollar bills.
There appearing to be some sort of prophecy at work
here, I brought the jeans up to the counter and paid for
them with the newly acquired pocket change.
Try doing that at Macy’s.
- Louie Galiano

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When I first moved out to Semmes,

Ala., I had access to several hundred
acres to ride my horse. The area was won-
derfully unpopulated. While I trotted
Miss Scrapiron or Mirage through the
woods, my dogs ran along with me and
got plenty of exercise. They frolicked in
the underbrush and swam in the lake -
the best doggy life possible.
When the county paved my dead-end
dirt road (which I fought tooth and nail)
the area became prime development.
Everything changed. So today, instead of
woodland rides, the dogs get exercise via
the “whirling treat machine.”
It’s a simple game, but one the dogs
never tire of. I stand in the center of the
yard with a bag of chicken jerky strips.
As I slowly spin in a circle, I toss the
treats as far away as I can while the dogs
P AGE T URNERS (there are six of them) run maniacally in
all directions after the treats.
I also bribe them to vault the horse
When I need a little comforting, I never fail to find jumps, balance on barrels, and leap
it in a book. I learned at an early age that reading through hoola hoops tied in trees in a
takes my mind from the concerns of the day and makeshift doggy gymkhana. It gives me
allows a welcome escape. During times of transition intense pleasure to see them play.
and uncertainty, the familiarity of a favorite author - Carolyn Haines
always bolsters me.
I recall sitting in one of the expansive, sunlit wait-
ing areas of M.D. Anderson with my mom, waiting on
the kind of news no one wants to receive from a doc-
tor. I was reading “Marley and Me,” by John Grogan
and sharing tales of canine misadventures with her.
We giggled and howled, in spite of dire circum-
stances. The book was there to comfort us both, and
I’ll never forget how grateful we were to have that
Words inspire and strengthen me, encourage and
enlighten me. Books offer an opportunity to remove
myself from worry and stress, and that alone provides
both a physical and mental cushion against the rav-
ages of the day. Whether the book is an historical
work, classic fiction or humor, I can always find com-
fort in the pages of a captivating read.
- Kristen Twedt


12 aacc
ntt sso
Old movies are like comfort food
for me. I’ve been a classic films fan
since childhood, and an aficianado of
all things Warner Bros. since high
school, when I had a big poster of
Humphrey Bogart on the wall of my
bedroom, right next to Peter
I rediscovered the magic of those
old black and white movies seven
years ago, when my mother was
dying of cancer. Getting lost for a
couple of hours in “Casablanca,” or
laughing at the screwball comedy in
“Bringing Up Baby,” took my mind
off my grief for a while. Lucky for
me, Turner Classic Movies obliged
by filling its schedule during those
months with dozens of old favorites
as well as some movies I’d been
wanting to see for years, like “The
Philadelphia Story,” and “The Shop
E YE ON THE S PARROW Around the Corner,” that are now
also must-sees whenever they air.
Even now, I find myself turning to
About a year ago, I decided I was going to read a good old movie when I need a little
through the entire Bible by committing a little time hug and there’s no one around to
each morning to the task. I say task because initially, give it to me. I love to watch new
my approach was more like a student attacking an movies, too, but when times are
assignment instead of a reader seeking joy. Along tough and I need an escape, I can
the way, a little divine intervention occurred. always find it in those flickering
Last summer, my husband installed a tubular black and white images on my TV
birdfeeder just outside our breakfast room window. screen. Bogey, Cary, Kate, the two
A couple of hummingbird feeders were already in Jimmys (Stewart and Cagney), Fred
place. A few days after he filled the feeders with and Ginger and Bette are always
seed and nectar, the birds took notice. As I sat at the there for me.
table reading my designated Bible chapters, God’s - Robyn Jackson
creation began to put on a show! I’ve watched an
assortment of hungry visitors—blue jays, robins, car-
dinals, even an occasional ruby-throated humming-
My morning Bible study is now a simple pleasure.
I look forward to a cozy ritual of sipping hot coffee,
reading God’s word, and watching the birds. Ethel
Waters made a lovely gospel hymn famous. “His eye
is on the sparrow,” she sang. Every once in a while,
mine is, too.
- Karen Blakeney
FEATURES | kdmc labor & delivery

Baby, oh baby!
Families welcome the opening
of King’s Daughters
Medical Center’s
Labor and Delivery Suites



Angie Williamson looks forward to the party when the newly

renovated Women’s Center at Brookhaven’s King’s Daughters
Medical Center holds its grand opening. The project to update
the labor and delivery suites and nursery will be something
worth celebrating.
“It’s been 18 months and we’re still not done with the nurs-
ery,” Williamson said. “Hopefully we’re going to be in our
completed nursery by the first of April. When I’m sure every-
thing is finished, we’re going to have a big blow-out.”
An average of 700 babies are born at King’s Daughters
Medical Center each year. The hospital serves Lincoln County,
as well as parts of Pike, Lawrence, Franklin and Copiah.
The update is part of a much larger renovation project at
the hospital, said Johnny Rainer, chief development officer.
“The entire hospital renovation project was in excess of $12
Williamson, a Registered Nurse, supervises the Labor,
Delivery, Recovery and Post-Partum unit, or LBRP, for short. It
has nine fully-functioning suites with all new bedding and
medical equipment, including electronic monitoring and chart-
ing. “That makes the nurse more accessible to the patient,”
she said.
Williamson said KDMC had the first LDRP in the state, and
while some hospitals have gotten away from the model of
keeping the mother in one room from start to finish, “We still
do it the old-timey way,” she said. “We keep them in the same
room so that they don’t have to pack up and move to another
room after the baby is born.”
Because the new mother and her family spend so much time
in the suites - they have to stay for 36 hours after delivery, to
make sure everything is OK with mother and baby - Williamson
wanted the newly renovated rooms to have a warm, homey
“I wanted to make it like a really exclusive bedroom,” she
said. She chose a soothing palate of mossy green and beige

14 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
with maple hardwood floors and cabinetry. There’s a also offers rooming-in, where the baby stays in the
comfortable rocker/recliner, as well as a sofa that same room with the mother, if that is preferred.
pulls out in case Dad wants to sleep there overnight. “We’re one of the last remaining 24-hour fully-
There is also an LCD television in every room. functional nurseries,” Williamson said. “We’ve got a
The attached bathrooms have also been renovated minimum of two nurses who are in there all night
and each has a garden tub. A lavatory has been long to do nothing but care for babies. In our new
added to each room to make it handy for hand-wash- nursery, once we get that construction completed,
ing without having to go into the bathroom. we’ve enlarged it so we can have up to 20 well
“We have a place for everybody to come in and babies in it.”
wash their hands before they pick up your baby,” There is a fully-functioning operating room on the
she said. floor, in case it’s needed. Doctors also administer
Lighting is muted, so that it has more of a home anesthesia themselves so they don’t have to wait for
feeling, but there are also exam lights built into the an anesthesiologist to become available.
ceiling. “It has a really intense beam so the doctor KDMC has four board-certified obstetrician/gyne-
has enough light,” Williamson said. cologists, a pediatric cardiologist and two board cer-
There are also two observation rooms where tified pediatricians, as well as a lactation consultant
expectant moms can be watched prior to admission to help mothers who are nursing.
to make sure they really are in labor. The labor and delivery team had to move off their
“These are as well labor and delivery beds in case floor during the 18-month renovation project, and
we have to overflow,” Williamson said. Williamson said they are glad to be home again.
The babies can stay in the nursery down the hall, “It’s so nice to be able to have our own showers
which is staffed 24-hours a day, but King’s Daughters and tubs back,” Williamson said.

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 15
FEATURES | paul ott carruth

C OLOR H IM pink

P AUL O TT uses his voice to educate men about

breast cancer
To some people in the multi-billion dollar tourism industry, he is known
as the “Voice of the South.” Still others in his five-state audience think of
him as the “Eagle,” from the title of his weekly radio and television show
“Listen to the Eagle.” But to fellow cancer survivors Paul Ott is a kindred
spirit and a beacon of hope in an often disconsolate and disheartening land-
scape of doctors and medical procedures.
Paul Ott Carruth’s journey began 76 years ago not many yards away from
the room in which he sits and reminisces this beautiful wintry afternoon on
Lake Dixie Springs, where Paul shares a lovely wooded lake home with his

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wife, Linda. His first wife, Alberta, mother of three literally died from lack of blood supply. Paul
of his children, died of ovarian cancer at the young believes that the tumor died because the Lord
age of 44, after a two-year struggle with the dis- killed the blood supply. He does not require
ease. Paul’s daughter Carla Carruth Tigner, co-host lengthy medical explanations for what he considers
of his weekly program, shocked him with the news to be the Lord’s work.
that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer at The big “C” shakes people and changes people –
the age of 42 – the same age that her mother had Paul’s “C” began when he was in the third grade
been diagnosed with cancer. Two years later, in and became a Christian, joining First Baptist
Church in Summit. He graduated from high school
in Summit and from Southwest Mississippi
Community College before going on to obtain his
teaching degree at the University of Southern
Mississippi. He taught physical education in the
Hattiesburg schools and worked at the YMCA for
several years before returning to Pike County with
his young family. His passion for the outdoors and
wildlife conservation - often expressed in songs -
were kindled while living in Hattiesburg and there
is literally no recognition or award in that area
which has escaped him.
Paul’s calendar is filled with speaking engage-
ments and public appearance, church conferences
and rallies. At a time when many people his age are
slowing down, he seems to be hitting his stride. He
and wife Linda are frequently on the road to these
various engagements, and when home, nothing
pleases them more than having a house filled with
2007, Paul discovered a lump in his breast actually any number of their 13 grandchildren ranging in
during a taping of the show. age from two months to 20 years.
Although the outcomes of the father and daugh- “There ought to be a law against a man being
ter cancer stories are similar, the course of their this happy,” Paul says with a broad smile.
treatment varied. Carla’s cancer required a double When asked what he regrets at this stage of his
mastectomy and chemotherapy; in March she will life, Paul answers enthusiastically “I just wish that
mark five years since initial diagnosis. She discov-
ered her lump through self-exam but treatment was
delayed when subsequent mammograms and ultra-
sound failed to confirm the presence of the lump.
Her advice to women and men alike: “Be proactive
and persistent in seeking medical attention; don’t
be put off or intimidated by doctors and don’t stop
until you get the attention you feel you need.”
Paul had a mammogram, was referred immedi-
ately for surgery and had a mastectomy; his cancer
required neither chemotherapy nor radiation.
During an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, his
cancer was described as “necrotic” – the tumor had

Paul’s daughter, Carla Carruth Tigner,

and his step-brothers are a big part
of his support team.
I had used the first 65 years as well
as I have these last 10. Since having
cancer, I am on fire to give my testi-
mony and get the message about the
Lord out to people.”
Paul refers to himself as the poster
child for men with breast cancer but
taken together, he and Carla are truly
the dynamic duo. They served
together as co-chairs for the Susan G.
Komen Breast Cancer Campaign
statewide in Mississippi. So broad is
their appeal that Carla and Paul are
now on the radar screen for an inter-
national breast cancer campaign.
“When I’m gone, I just want peo-
ple to know that I left more behind
than I ever took away from any-
thing,” Paul says. “I think that’s how
the Lord intended for us to live our
lives and I think He left me here and
gave me all this energy for a really
good reason.”
And don’t you doubt for a minute
that Paul Ott would wear pink!

One of Paul’s greatest joys is time

spent with his family. Below are
five of his grandchildren.


“Listen to the Eagle,” Paul Ott’s live

call-in radio show, can be heard at
6 p.m. Mondays on WAKH 105.7 FM
in McComb, KFNV 107.1 FM in
Natchez and WJDR, 98.3 FM in
Prentiss; and WMXI 98.1 FM in
Hattiesburg/Laurel, WXAB 98.9 FM
and WIGG 1240 AM in Wiggins,
WRJW 1320 AM in Picayune, WRBE
106.9 FM in Lucedale and WOSM
103.1 FM on the Gulf Coast.
You can also go to listentotheea- Call 1-800-251-5891 or
#444 on Cellular South.
His TV show airs at 6 a.m. Sundays
on WHLT in Hattiesburg and at 5:30
a.m. Sundays on WJTV in Jackson.


Hattiesburg’s majestically restored train station
celebrates its centennial


Just imagine downtown Hattiesburg a hundred
years ago. You can see the bustling little town of
several hundred people, mostly sawmill workers,
buzzing with excitement over the new addition to
an area now known as the Newman-Buschman
Historic District. The town built by railroads and
sawmills was now connected to the outside world
by a 14,900 square foot, Italian-Renaissance-style,
tile roofed train depot.
Adding to the pride felt by city residents that
day was the fact that the depot wasn’t designed by
just any architect. It was designed by Frank P.
The station was designed to reflect the booming
little lumber town’s attitudes and vision of a grand
Through the years the depot has served the Hub
City as a transportation mode, contributed to music
legend, helped win two world wars and has been a
cornerstone of the revitalization of downtown.
Now, a few years after the completion of a $7.6 mil-
lion restoration, Hattiesburg residents are taking
pride in the building’s approaching 100th birthday.
“This depot is a real addition to historic
Hattiesburg,” said Graham Hale, 74, as he waited
for a train in mid January. “This building is a real
“Milburn was a pretty famous architect who was asset to the community.”
well known for his depot designs,” said Sarah
Newton of Albert and Associates Architects. “The A TIME TO CELEBRATE
Italian-Renaissance style was pretty popular As the depot’s birthday approaches, the impor-
(around the turn of the 20th century).” tance of that historic milestone will be celebrated

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 19
with several planned events,
beginning Feb. 13.
“We will host an event in
the Grand Ball Room,” said
Glenn Sanders, president of
the Mississippi Great
Southern Chapter of the
National Railway Historical
Society. “There will be a
banquet and a swap meet.”
The city is planning an
open house during Spring
Art Walk on April 17 that
will highlight the history
and restoration process of
the train depot.
“The 100-year milestone is
an important one,” said
Betsy Rowell, executive
director of the Historic
Hattiesburg Downtown



Association. “The depot is actu- PHOTO COURTESY ALBERT & ASSOCIATES

ally one of our cornerstone build-
The downtown association has
planned events that are separate
from the official open house the
city is hosting.
“There will be a sculpture
exhibit during March and April
using elements from railroads,
such as rails, cross-tie beams,
spikes and so forth. It is really an
unusual art exhibit,” Rowell said. “If you look at old railroad said Patti Mowery, a lifelong res-
“There will also be a Summer maps from those days you’ll see ident of Hattiesburg. “There used
Heritage Food Fest on June 18- Hattiesburg in the middle of all to be a Greyhound station down-
19.” these different rail lines,” town. My parents said there
Sanders said. “Hattiesburg was in would be many, many buses
FROM THE START the hub of all these railroads.” pulling out of there loaded down
In the beginning, Hattiesburg’s with soldiers who had left the
train depot was the center of PEAKS AND VALLEYS train station.”
transportation in this part of the Commuter traffic at the site Traffic through the depot
Pine Belt. Before the construction probably reached its peak in the dropped off during the 1950s.
of highways, the affordability of early 1940s when more than The era of the family car and the
the family car, and the advent of 100,000 soldiers passed through commercial jet had arrived. By
commercial airlines, most long Camp Shelby on their way to the 1960s the station was used as
distance overland journeys were Africa, Europe and Asia to fight a freight depot due to the declin-
done via passenger train. the Axis powers. ing number of passengers. As
Not long after the train station “My parents told me of how usage fell, deterioration set in.
opened for business, Hattiesburg there used to be train after train As the 21st century
became known as the “Hub City” after train loaded down with sol- approached, demolition of the
and the depot was its center. diers coming into that station,” old hub of the Hub City was dis-

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 21
cussed. However, the value of of events that are perceived to and we were very pleased with
the old depot was just too great have happened. That means they the end result.”
to let the building be destroyed. may or may not be true. The lack A few modern amenities were
And that value was more than of evidence of Graves having added, however, to make life
just financial, said Johnny played- or not played - the first more convenient for Amtrak pas-
DuPree, mayor of Hattiesburg. guitar riff in the train depot sengers, such as an air condition-
Due to the cultural and histori- leaves the story open for debate, ing system and a clock tower.
cal value of the depot, the said Adam McAdory, also with “It’s nice to see it occupied
restoration project became one of C&M Music. and full of life,” Newton said
DuPree’s first projects as mayor. “There’s just not enough proof with a smile. “It’s better to have
After six years, that effort came that it actually happened,” a building like this repaired and
to fruition. McAdory said. “If there was, it utilized than to just sit there and
“It has been a long time com- would be on billboards. Proof be an eyesore.”
ing but the results are outstand- would make it a bigger deal.” Rowell agreed. “It gives peo-
ing,” the mayor said. “The train But proven or not, the story is ple an opportunity to come
station, in my opinion, is one of a good one. downtown for event exposure to
the most beautiful buildings in “Hattiesburg definitely does what we are doing downtown.
Hattiesburg and it was the begin- not promote that story enough,” Many times these are people who
ning of changing the look of Curtis said. wouldn’t necessarily come down-
downtown.” town otherwise.”
Amtrak passenger Saint THE LOVE OF A Funding for the restoration
Missionary Beatrice Vaughn, 84, COMMUNITY came from several sources,
agreed with DuPree and lauded A building such as this is including the federal govern-
the city’s efforts to restore its brought back from the brink of ment, the Mississippi
depot and downtown area. destruction only when a commu- Department of Transportation
“It’s so nice in here. It is so nity loves it too much to let it go. and the city of Hattiesburg.
clean and peaceful,” she said. From citizens, to politicians, to “Most of it was federal
“Hattiesburg is such a clean city. construction workers and archi- money,” Newton said. “We origi-
The way they have restored this tects, those involved in saving nally intended to do the project
building and the way they keep this historic structure take pride in phases, but by the time the
their city reminds me of in their accomplishment. city was ready to begin the fund-
Canada.” The building was in very poor ing had come through. So we did
shape when the reconstruction the whole project.”
PART OF MUSIC LEGEND efforts began and had to be com- Once the work was underway
Among the important events pletely gutted and refurbished, in November 2004, there were
surrounding this downtown cor- said Newton, the lead architect very few snags, Newton said.
nerstone is, according to legend, on the depot restoration project. “Everything went pretty smooth-
the birth of rock and roll at the Its days as a freight depot had ly. We even had Hurricane
depot. In 1936, Blind Roosevelt destroyed the terrazzo tile floor Katrina in the middle of it, and
Graves performed the first guitar in the Grand Hall. Water poured yet there were still very few hic-
riff at the depot, according to through the roof and the ceiling cups.”
rock historian Robert Palmer. had been destroyed. All of the While the old depot has had
“I don’t think Hattiesburg gets original doors and most of the its ups and downs, a century
enough credit for its role in windows were either gone or later it is still being used.
music history,” said Matthew damaged. And all that was just “The building is a venue for
Curtis, who works at C&M Music some of the damage that had to events, both large and small,”
in Hattiesburg. “According to the be repaired. Rowell said. “Weddings and
legend, this is the birthplace of “When we remodeled we tried receptions are held there, as well
rock and roll. This is where it all to keep it as close to its original as large scale events.”
started.” design as possible,” she said. The city assumed ownership of
Legends, however, are stories “The contractors did a good job the building in 2000 and the ren-

22 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i

ovations were completed several ful as I remember it.” take him to his granddaughter’s
years later. A black tie gala wedding in Birmingham on that
marked the rededication of the NOT JUST A LANDMARK nippy January morning, he
old depot on April 21, 2007. The old depot is a unique land- smiled proudly as he talked
“Over the years investment mark that brings back fond mem- about the improved conditions of
with public dollars has equaled ories for many Pine Belt residents the facility.
that of the private investment,” and is a show piece for a down- “It’s a wonderful restoration.
Rowell said. “It is a very, very town determined to revitalize. They did a really good job,” Hale
positive thing to see our elected But it is more than just those said. “This is the first time in 25
officials help save important his- things. It’s still a functioning years that I’ve taken a train. I
toric buildings such as the train station. have a foot problem and I could-
depot.” Vaughn, a New York resident, n’t drive up there. So, I decided
The high level of investments said she has ridden trains all her to go by train.”
and involvement involved in sav- life and really enjoys the experi- Although it’s been a while
ing the depot was well worth it, ence. For her, rails are the only since he boarded a passenger
she said. “The cost augments way to travel long distance. train, Hale is no stranger to that
what we are trying to do. It’s “At my age, I don’t need to be mode of transportation.
always wonderful to save a build- on the highway in a car. And “I went to college in
ing in the public domain. buses? Forget about them. They Charlottesville, Va., and I rode
Anytime we can save a landmark ride rough and make too many the train from Meridian to there
building it is good for stops. Give me a train any day.” and back. My parents would pick
Hattiesburg. Downtown is com- In fiscal year 2009, more than me up in Meridian and take me
ing of age” 11,100 people boarded or to Jackson (where the family
The restoration project took on unboarded Amtrak trains at the lived),” he said. “My children
a personal note for many Pine depot. These passengers generat- ride the train all the time and
Belt residents. Mowery, in partic- ed roughly $625,000 in ticket when I hurt my foot, they said I
ular, gets emotional when sales, according to a fact sheet on would enjoy it.”
recounting the many events from Amtrak’s Web site.
her childhood that occurred at A train known as the Crescent A NATIONAL STAGE
the depot. The daughter of a rail- takes passengers to or from New For a short time on this very
road employee, the old station Orleans, Birmingham, Ala., spot, Hattiesburg became the cen-
has always been a part of her life. Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., ter of national attention and a
“I grew up down there,” she Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, part of presidential history when
said. “I can remember the porters Pa., Baltimore, Md. and New then-Sen. Hillary Rodham
rolling me out to the trains to York. The train makes two daily Clinton arrived to stump for the
load the luggage. And the stops in Hattiesburg. Democrat party’s nomination in
(restored) depot is just as beauti- As Hale waited for his train to March of 2008.

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 23
Nearly 12,000 people turned serves Hattiesburg as an inter- either end of the canopy was
out to see the presidential candi- modal transit facility, a show- removed, shortening the covered
date and former first lady as she piece and a link to the days gone portion of the platform to around
asked for their votes. Downtown by. But there is one other service 500 feet.
was so crowded that a line to get that the depot provides for the During the restoration, the
into the station’s ballroom Hub City. It serves as a majestic, entire platform was demolished
snaked back and forth along the silent lure that keeps visitors and replaced. A raised platform
train tracks and spilled into the wanting to return. with ramp access created a grade
streets. “This place is so nice I could entry to Grand Hall. New canopy
Mayor DuPree remembers that just forget about New York,” extensions were added to com-
chilly, misty morning as well. He Vaughn said while awaiting her plement the historic canopy. The
was the one who introduced the train. “I will be back.” restored canopy is slightly short-
Pine Belt to the woman who er than the original.
would become secretary of state. AMENITIES
That day “was one of crazed So that Grand Hall could serve AWARD WINNER
excitement and monumental not only as a passenger hall but The depot restoration project
exposure for Hattiesburg,” also as a much needed event won a Mississippi American
DuPree said. “As thousands space, the renovation program Institute of Architects Honor
poured onto the premises of called for an alternate passenger Award in 2009.
Hattiesburg’s train depot it was waiting room that would provide Source: Albert & Associates
evident that the millions of dol- all of the modern amenities of Architects
lars that were used to renovate intermodal transit. The ticketing
this facility was worth it and area was designed to accommo- FOUNDING
allowed the nation to peer into date local and regional bus serv- In August of 1880, during a
the heart of one of America’s ice, rail service, and a welcome railroad survey trip from
most livable small cities.” center for visitors to the area. Meridian to New Orleans, Capt.
Although there were many An historic emblem celebrat- William Hardy stopped to rest
layers of security put in place by ing Hattiesburg as the Hub City and have lunch. He drew a line
the secret service, “it did not dis- was recreated with water jet cut through the virgin pine forest
pel the surreal atmosphere that terrazzo on the floor. and intersected the New Orleans
gave way to an event that and North Eastern Railroad
changed the course of our PASSENGER PLATFORM where the city of Hattiesburg is
nation’s history,” he said. The Hattiesburg Train Depot now located. Hardy decided to
once boasted having one of the locate a train station here and
LOOKING FORWARD longest covered passenger plat- named it “Hattiesburg” in honor
As its 100th birthday forms at 924 feet. of his second wife, Hattie Lott
approaches, the old depot still Over the years, 200 feet at Hardy.
Source: Hattiesburg Historical

Location: 308 Newman St.,
Building Area: 14,900 sq. ft.
Cost per Square Foot: $342
Construction Cost: $7,615,909*
Date of Completion: March 2007


a sweet tradition in Brookhaven


Walk through the doors of to be the rock-solid character and constancy of its
this Lincoln County bake namesake, Janie Stogner.
shop and you will imme- Janie and husband Keith Stogner have owned
diately sense a sugar rush the pastry shop in its current format since
as well as the sense of nos- November of 1989, but Janie literally grew up in
talgia. Janie’s Pastry Shop the shop. Her parents, Walter and Lottie Moak,
has operated continuously worked for the shop’s founders, Janie and
since 1939, in the same Norman Traver. So close were the two families
location since 1941, all but that Janie was named for Mrs. Traver, who died
eight years by members of one extended “family.” just one week prior to Janie’s birth.
Customers come from all around, surrounding “Some of my earliest memories are of toddling
counties, Hattiesburg, Jackson, New Orleans, the around this store watching Mr. Traver and my
Delta, Alabama, California and all the other dad bake and my mom work the front counter,”
states. What is the allure of this place filled with Janie recalls. “Then when Mr. Traver got older
cakes, pies, Mardi Gras king cakes, doughnuts, and ready to retire, my parents gradually bought
and all manner of sweet rolls and cookies? It has him out. But as I grew up working in the shop, I

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 25
Janie’s Pastry Shop, 206 S.
Whitworth Ave., one block
south of the depot and across
from the log cabin in downtown
(601) 833-4321
Open 5:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

guess I resented everything hav- stream of customers seeking tasty Shop. “I know whenever he’s
ing to be done my dad’s way, so I items from the lunch menu. here; I can hear him whistling
finally left and went to work dec- Although the hours she puts in sometimes. And I’m just not sure
orating cakes for Kroger in are still long, Janie says “I’ve cut he’d go with me to another build-
McComb.” back - I don’t work 36 hours ing,” Janie says.
That stint away from the shop straight the ways I used to.” Of The shop is 71 years old now
turned into an eight year sojourn course when she gets ready for and she looks forward to cele-
for Janie, during which time she Valentine’s Day and fills her dis- brating 75 years in business.
married Keith and expanded her play cases with hand-dipped “I just think it would be so
skill set and business experience. thousand strawberries in scrump- neat to have a big 75th celebra-
Returning to Brookhaven, Janie tious melted chocolate by the tion. Another thing I think is neat
decided to buy the Pastry Shop thousands she will doubtless pull is that one of my customers
back from its current owners. It another 36 hour tour of duty. comes in once a month to fill up
had changed hands a couple of Janie loves what she does and a container of cookies to send to
times once her parents had she loves her shop – she has the his grandson who’s serving in
retired, but wisely Janie and her quiet assurance and confidence Iraq,” Janie says.
brother had retained ownership that comes with experience and With customers like that, there
of the name and recipes. Janie set faith, and she has both in abun- is no doubt Janie Stogner will
about obtaining a bank loan and dance. attain whatever goal she sets.
purchasing the business she was As Brookhaven enjoys a rebirth
destined to own and operate. of its downtown area through
Known far and wide for her restoration, renovation and
decorated cakes, Janie comments preservation of older buildings,
“All of my cakes are made from Janie is particularly appreciative JANIE’S FAMOUS PECAN PIE
scratch with fresh ingredients.” of the fact that she was able to 1 cup sugar
The afternoon of the interview retain the location of her shop. 1 cup white corn syrup
the front door opened and closed “Sure, my customers would 4 eggs
with a constant stream of cus- have probably followed me to 1 tablespoon vanilla
tomers. Morning business is another place,” she says with a 1 cup pecans
heavy as well with coffee broad smile, “but I’m not so sure Bake in unbaked pie shell at
drinkers, doughnut and pastry about my dad.” You see, Walter 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
seekers. Lunchtime finds a steady Moak still inhabits Janie’s Pastry

26 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
in search of

Thanks to GPS devices, geocaching
catches on in South Mississippi

Euphoric from a four-mile walk ly. “It’s Devon!” he shouted. This ing, reports
on Longleaf Trace in late further compounded my confu- there are 978,648 active caches
November, I neared the parking sion; I hadn’t known a Devon hidden around the world. Last
lot alone with my thoughts, left to since my high school days in New time I punched in the
appreciate the trees and silence York a million years ago. Hattiesburg-39401 zip code, 145
around me. Or so I thought, until Turns out it was my friend, records pulled up in close range,
I heard my name. But no one was Evan Williamson, a 28-year-old and 3,033 records appeared with-
there, so I ignored it. Then I librarian at the Library of in a 100-mile radius of the area.
heard it again. Hattiesburg, Petal & Forrest But until Evan and I crossed
I spun around and saw a figure County. And he was on a mod- paths, I had only vaguely heard
about 100 feet away stepping out ern-day treasure hunt. of geocaching, so of course, I
of the woods. I waved and actual- Started by some folks in wanted to see for myself.
ly turned to walk away awkward- Washington, Geocaching has been Evan checked the GPS appli-
around since 2000 when the cation on his iPhone (a plausible
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) theory as to why geocaching has
became more accurate for the regained popularity as of late) for
usage of everyday people (the which he paid $10 to download.
selective availability caused by He said the cache we were look-
scrambling was done away with). ing for was about a mile away.
Since then, the “sport” has made The air was getting chillier as the
its way to all seven continents. sun went down, it being a regular
This past November, it even fall day, but the fact that I wasn’t
snuck onto the big screen, in the wearing proper coverage wasn’t
indie flick “Splinterheads.” going to hinder this mission.
A cache (container with a log “It puts purpose in what I do
and goodies available for trade) anyway,” Evan, who keeps a tent
can vary in complexity. They can and a sleeping bag in his trunk
be multi-stepped puzzles, and and prefers comics and video
some - called bugs - are even games to regular sports,
implanted with tracking devices. explained. “I like to travel, go on
The “sport” also has a ton of spe- road trips, and take walks out
cialized lingo, like, after caches here or downtown. This just gave
are found, users note that on its reason to it. I can walk aimlessly,
corresponding Web page, often go get some groceries and stagger
ending with TFTC (thanks for the back, or I can use my GPS to do
cache). As of this January morn- this.”

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 27
When we’d walked the allotted
amount, Evan punched things in
his phone again and we jumped
off trail, slightly scrambling over
the small mound covered in dead
leaves and pine needles. The
iPhone GPS has about a 25-foot
radius of accuracy, meaning the
compass has lots of chances to
overshoot the actual location you
want. Most people who hide
caches also leave you cryptic clues
(via the Web site) which Evan
prefers. In general, he says he only
devotes 10 minutes to locate a hid- tion than anything else. It is a
ing spot. tremendous about of fun,” Abbey
But on this day, we must have said. “And it’s a healthy thing
spent 20 minutes just looking for because it gets you out. It’s fun
the one cache. The clues were going off to places in the woods.”
vague and inaccurate, telling us to Evan found his first cache was
look for a tree that wasn’t there, in downtown Hattiesburg. He says
for instance. And after kicking they’re hidden everywhere,
through piles of pine needles including on University of
repeatedly, it turned out the ammo Southern Mississippi’s campus. In
box was hidden on the other side fact, the geocaching world is often
of the path. intertwined with the “regular”
Despite occasional logistical world, co-existing right under the
snags, Evan says he has taken to noses of “muggles” (a nod to J.K.
geocaching because he “likes Rowling’s Harry Potter series). can do geocaching. People com-
crosswords better than word One member of the geo-site has pete against each other in teams or
searches.” hidden a cache in Hattiesburg’s just go it alone. The site has “8th
Caches can be made out of Town Square Park, but warns of Grade local culture class in
anything, from as little as match high “muggle” traffic during Live Purvis” as a registered user, and
containers to the typical ammo at 5 performances and the Pine I’ve been told of husband-and-
boxes or more unique objects. Belt Farmers & Artisan’s Market. wife teams.
Once Evan found a ceramic pump- Greg Bryant, 49, vice president When Evan and I finally found
kin in Alabama, which is the far- of Howard Industries, says the the cache box, my sneakers were
thest he has traveled to geocache. creativity and adventure is pre- muddy, I had stray pine needles in
Some people, though, go to much cisely why he likes it. my hair, and I was beginning to
greater lengths for the off-beat “It takes you to places and question the fuss. Yet, at the sight
sport, such as attending conven- shows you things you never of the ammo box, I found myself
tions around the world, or going would have known about other- geo-geeking-out over the loot, and
to “GeoWoodstock” which meets wise.” Greg said. asking how far we were from the
at different locations every year Like Evan, Greg also doesn’t next.
(and will enjoy its eighth anniver- count regular sports as his main Since then, Evan has also
sary in July in Carnation, Wash.). thrill. In addition to geocaching, accompanied me on a minor excur-
Abbey Magruder, 50, Internet his current preferred activities are sion to a cache at Veterans
publisher/consultant in skydiving and race cars. He has Memorial Park in downtown
Ridgeland, is an avid duck hunter planted geocoins and travel bugs Hattiesburg. It’s a notably more
and outdoorsman as well as very that have made it to all 50 states, difficult hunt without an iPhone or
active in the Boy Scouts, and has and overseas to places like Japan, GPS, but Evan says it’s possible. I
geocached across the U.S. from Germany, Switzerland and hope to find out.
New Mexico to North Carolina. Czechoslovakia.
“It’s actually more of an addic- People of all ages and genders TFTC.

28 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
Rare African-American
photographic exhibit
coming to museum


Rare pieces of Mississippi’s Civil War

history will be on display at the African-
American Military History Museum dur-
ing the month of February. A unique col-
lection of 13 seldom-seen photographs is
on loan from the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of
Art in Biloxi and features original Civil
War photography from the private collec-
tions of C.P. Kitty Weaver of
Massachusetts and Isiah Edwards of Long
“It is an honor to have these rare photo-
graphs in our museum,” said Hattiesburg
Convention Commission Executive
Director Rick Taylor. “Most
Mississippians have never seen these pho-
tos or know the stories associated with
“The Native Guard: A Photographic
History of Ship Island’s African American
Regiment,” tells the history of the 2nd
Regiment of the Louisiana Native Guards
serving on Ship Island in the Mississippi
Sound during the Civil War. The
Louisiana Native Guard began as a
Confederate regiment of free black men,
but when New Orleans fell to Union
troops the regiment disbanded. In need of
reinforcements, the Union Army called for
all black Confederate soldiers to join. In
September of 1862, the 1st Regiment of the
Louisiana Native Guard was formed.
The photographs come from the per-
sonal diary of Col. Nathan W. Daniels, the
leader of the 2nd Regiment. Daniels
fought for African-American rights after
the war until his death in 1867. The photo-
graphs provide a rare look at the African
American regiment through the eyes of a
white officer. Each photograph is accom-
panied by Colonel Daniels’ captions and
descriptions along with the date.
The exhibit will be open to the public,
free of charge, during normal museum
hours. For more information about the
exhibit, call (601) 450-1942 or visit

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 29
The art of Milo and Mickey Asche can be seen at Galiano’s Antiques, Fine Arts,
and Baby Boutique, 101 N. Main St., Picayune, (601) 799-3929, or by appoint-
ment only at Asche Studios,, (601) 799-3235.




“But we haven’t eaten anything yet,” Mickey said.
“I think I’ll have the chocolate pie first,” Milo said.
Enter Milo the free spirit, whom husband Mickey says has taught him that life was not structured
according to the standard methods of custom, and who gave him the courage and daring to become one of
the finest up-and-coming wildlife and landscape artists in the South.
Milo and Mickey Asche are a team, each complementing the other in ways that are subtle, unconcealed,
and endearing. Both come from different backgrounds, led different lives, and came together while surviv-
ing loss, yet turning it into a gain. Milo was born in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mickey, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Early on, Mickey’s family moved to Picayune, whereas Milo followed a friend to Slidell, La. They met
there in a theater production, and it was there that they decided to put down roots.
But four months later, Hurricane Katrina put an end to that prospect, totally destroying their home and
most possessions. Mickey, an aircraft mechanic with Chevron, and Milo, a self-employed massage thera-
pist, moved to higher ground in Picayune, where Mickey’s company had set up a trailer park for displaced

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 31
ART | milo & mickey

employees. But one morning on his way to work, a recur-

ring knee injury disabled Mickey. Still, the condition allowed
him and Milo the opportunity to pursue their original aspi-
rations - painting.
Milo started in acrylics, Mickey in watercolor and for
the next few months they painted constantly.
“We had so many paintings we didn’t know what to do
with them,” Mickey said. “So we decided to walk around
the streets of Picayune and see if anyone was interested in
buying them.”
Milo sold her first painting for $40,
Luck struck when the couple walked into Galiano’s
Antiques and met Debbie Galiano, who recognized the nas-
cent talent of the blossoming artists and who began to dis-
play whatever prints and paintings Milo and Mickey deliv-
“Debbie sold many of our works and gave us encourage-
ment,” Milo said. “We’ll always have a soft spot in our
hearts for her. She started us on our way.”
After surgery and recuperation, Mickey returned to his
original job, but within a few days he realized that in the
interim his life had veered toward a different course.

“People thought that I was crazy

for leaving a great job, but painting
was all I wanted to do.”
So how do things work out when one scraps it all to

32 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
follow the dream? Mickey’s oils now command suggested by misty angelic figures which appear
thousands of dollars. He is featured in Artists almost ephemeral in their gentle use of delicate
magazine, where he placed in the wildlife division earthy colors. Wildlife art has become Mickey’s
of a competition, and his prints are published genre. The couple recently spent three days
through Live Oak Editions which sells his work anchored in a houseboat in the Atchafalaya Basin
from the Carolinas to east Texas. Last year, he was where Mickey took more than 2,000 photographs
commissioned to do the official poster for the of wildlife and swamp scenes to be later conveyed
Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival. to canvas, although Mickey is known to stop his
“I never doubted for a minute that Mickey car upon seeing a bird beside the road in order to
Asche would be a great artist,” said Milo. take its picture for a subsequent transformation by
With her own works, Milo attained “Best in his brush.
Show” at the Slidell Arts Evening and won the “We are always growing,” Milo said, “always
“Best Landscape” division in the St. Bernard Art on the verge of something great. We are now
Guild. exhibited in eight galleries between Louisiana and
The Asches recently rented a house in which to Mississippi. We live the life we love, the way we
do nothing but paint and return to their home at want to live it. It is our own life and belongs to no
one else.
“We found that there were too many distrac-
tions in our own place,” Mickey said, “particularly “And, most of all, in our
with our four dogs. It was when I was working on version of things, there’s
a painting and I noticed one of the dogs looking at
me and wagging his tail right across the wet can-
absolutely no reason why the
vas that we decided we needed a quieter spot.” chocolate pie can’t come
Milo says that her paintings range from child- before the meal.”
like whimsical images to what she calls chaos,
which is represented by the textures and structure
used in her work. Presently her mode is “softness”

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 33
ART | bruce brady

10 years after Bruce Brady’s death,
the Brookhaven artist’s sculptures
are more in demand than ever

To learn more about Bruce Brady’s limited

edition sculptures, go to, or
call Ables Antiques at (601) 833-3555.



Brookhaven sculptor Bruce Brady

died 10 years ago, on Feb. 8, 2000,
but demand for his limited edition
bronzes - and their value - just
keeps increasing.
His widow, Peggy Pierce, said
she gets calls from collectors who
are willing to pay any price for one
of Brady’s early pieces, but the col-
lectors who own them aren’t willing
to sell.
“A lot of the early pieces are sold
Brady, an avid hunter, outdoors-
man and writer, began sculpting as
a lark, around 1980. The youth
group at First Baptist Church of
Brookhaven was having a fundrais-
er to support a mission trip and son
Bruce Brady Jr., who was taking a
college pottery class, handed his
father a lump of clay and told him
he should sculpt something to sell
at the auction. And even though
Brady had never sculpted anything,
opener and a pocket knife and mod-
eled this big horn sheep,” Pierce
recalled. The piece sold for $350.
“We were amazed it would go for
that, but it was a very nice piece.”
Brady was an editor for Outdoor
Life magazine, and on a trip out
West for the magazine, the couple
visited galleries in Santa Fe, where
he was intrigued by the bronze
sculptures he saw there. They
looked in the phone book and called
out,” Pierce said. “That’s the beauty he decided to do it, using a trophy a foundry. The owner, Dell Weston,
of having a limited edition, it makes head hanging on his wall as the gave them a tour and showed them
them more valuable. A Brady model. a casting. Weston gave him some
bronze is a good investment.” “Bruce sat there with a letter sculpting materials and Brady went

34 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
home and sculpted a running bull elk. tion, to $15,500 for a mountain man sculpture called
“It was absolutely beautiful,” Pierce said. “That “The Far Horizon.”
summer, we took it back to the foundry and had it cast “A lot of women buy them as gifts for their hus-
just for us.” bands, but we have quite a few men who are collectors
Others soon began asking if they could buy a repro- and buy them for themselves,” Warren said. “Animals
duction, so Brady created his first limited edition. are what tend to sell better.”
“The next thing we knew, we were well into the Brady had already given up a successful career as
bronze business,” Pierce said. an attorney in Brookhaven to accept a job as a field
Brady’s subject matter ranged from bird dogs and editor for Outdoor Life magazine, after writing as a
wild turkeys to busts of American leaders and writers, freelancer for years, when he decided to become a full-
including Mark Twain and William Faulkner. He creat- time sculptor, but his wife once again supported him
ed 75 limited or open edition pieces, as well as several whole-heartedly.
one-of-a-kind editions. One of his bison sculptures, “He had three successful careers,” Pierce said.
“Tatanka,” is in the art collection of the Ronald Reagan “When he gave up the law practice, that was a major
Presidential Library, and his bust of Theodore step. But I knew he really loved to write when he
Roosevelt was purchased by the U.S. Senate as a retire- made the decision. He was on staff for Outdoor Life
ment gift for Sen. Robert Dole. for 32 years when he passed away.”
Brady was twice named Wildlife Artist of the Year The Bradys had three children - all of whom still
by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, and his pieces live in Brookhaven - along with 13 grandchildren and
are in the collections of museums, corporations and one great-grandson. Peggy Brady remarried a few
private collectors across the country. He also sculpted years ago and now lives in Huntsville, Ala. She and
the Conerly Trophy, presented each year by Cellular Jim Pierce, whom she had gone to high school with,
South and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame to the met again at their 48th class reunion.
outstanding college football player in the state. The “He has the greatest respect and appreciation for
original Conerly Trophy is on display at the Hall of Bruce, which makes me love him even more,” Pierce
Fame in Jackson. said.
“He was so talented, and to just pick this up at mid- She is very proud that her late husband left such a
dle age is amazing,” said Amanda Warren, owner of beautiful legacy, and that a decade after his death, he
Ables Antiques in Brookhaven, one of the few places has not been forgotten.
where you can still buy Brady’s limited editions, many “For me, it was such a special blessing to watch him
of which are just about sold out. Prices range from work. He loved it. He was compelled to do it,” Pierce
around $100 for a feather that is part of an open edi- said. “It was just a God-given talent.”

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 35
ART | sadako lewis

After losing everything in Katrina,
Coast artist Sadako Lewis
burns with creativity again


Herbie Hancock blasts out when Sadako Lewis

answers the phone. When Lewis paints in her studio,
which is covered by magazine clippings and photos,
she likes her music loud enough to block everything
else out.
Lewis, 61, was born in Fukuoka, Japan with the
blood of her artist father pumping through her veins.
The youngest of four children, she was her father’s
sidekick. He took her to art shows or “sketching
trips” and she even knew the taste of sake at a very
young age.
Her father saw to it Lewis got as much exposure
Mississippi, “struggling to survive.” She wasn’t able
to do anything else but work, which she was doing as
a waitress. Until she became a citizen and decided to
go to night school, that is. For this she received a Pell
Grant and ended up earning two associate’s degrees,
one in business administration, (technically called
applied science). But she disliked this degree so
much it propelled her to get her second degree in art.
During that time, through a local Buddhist organ-
ization, she meet her second husband, David Lewis,
with whom she had her third child, a son.
When her father died of cancer, Lewis read his
to art as possible. He furnished her with private les- diary and found that he regretted not being able to
sons in high school, and she says she was “exhaust- have done more with art.
ed” from them. After spending 2-3 hours at them “I need to do this for him, carry it on,” she said.
she’d come home ready to But it wasn’t until about five years after her
drop, drained. father’s death that her creative fire was ignited.
“My sisters thought When Lewis’s daughter gave her a watercolor book
maybe he saw something for her birthday, Lewis had an epiphany, remember-
in me even though I ing the vow she made to her father’s spirit and mem-
showed no interest,” Lewis ory, and she switched her major in school at the jun-
said. “I never thought I ior college.
was enjoying it.” To her surprise, Lewis then experienced a typical
Her concern was more artist’s dream: she received a letter from William
about family. Lewis’ first Carey University asking for her portfolio, and was
husband was a GI in Japan subsequently offered a scholarship. Faced with the
but when he was stationed threat of failing a test if she didn’t study, Lewis took
at Keesler Air Force Base text books along on her honeymoon. She graduated
in Biloxi, they moved to in 2001 with high honors and an academic award for
the states with their two excellence, and set out into life with her BFA in
daughters. painting and ceramics.
But then fate took its In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, the Lewises
course, and the couple got took refuge with family in Oklahoma, taking only
divorced, rendering Lewis their cat, some clothes, the computer, and a sketch
a single mother in pad and some art supplies. Their home in Long Beach
was completely destroyed. Only a concrete slab stood in its
wake; all their belongings, including most of Lewis’s paint-
ings and what she calls a “dream studio,” which had only
been completed that year, were obliterated.
Lewis was ready to leave Mississippi for good.
“We were staying in a beautiful town, and the Mississippi
coast was so dirty and nasty, the destruction just over-
whelmed the place,” she said.
However, her husband went back to work within a couple
of weeks, living in a FEMA trailer alone until they decided
what to do.
Because of their positions as area leaders in the Buddhist
SGI organization, Lewis decided to return and start over with
her husband, who asked her to return to “rise again and be
part of that history.” Lewis wanted to be there to see that.
The Lewises bought another house - furnished - in Long
Beach, and began picking up the pieces of their lives. In spite
of the hardships, or perhaps as a result, Lewis’ art flourished.
She wanted to paint more than ever; she experienced another
deepening of her resolve.
Like so many artists devastated by the loss of their work
after Katrina, Lewis knew there was only one option: to rise
like a phoenix.
“All I need is my two hands to create. I am growing and
evolving every day,” she said. “I can make new ones.”
When she still didn’t have enough supplies, she used fab-
ric abandoned in the house by the former owners. Slowly she
regained her studio supplies, made new books of inspiration
filled with images of artists such as Larry Rivers, Egon
Scheele, Willem De Kooning and John Miriam. Accordingly,
Lewis would describe her style as expressionistic. But her
method is as meticulous as she was with her studies. If she’s
not working from sketches of live models, she usually makes
them from photos or even Vogue’s layouts, and then jumps
to canvas.
Lewis just signed a contract with Negrotto’s Gallery in
Biloxi, making them her exclusive representative from
“bridge to bridge,” or basically the Mississippi coast. Romy
Simpson, Negrotto’s owner for six years, first saw Sadako’s
work at “Pinktober” where (mostly) women’s work was
donated for a breast cancer charity. Right now, she has seven
small paintings hanging for February’s Black History show
and three large paintings unrelated to that subject.
“We fell in love with her work,” Simpson said. “It was
rich, had a lot of movement. She uses oils and not a lot of
artists do that these days, especially with the thickness. She
uses non- traditional colors, her prices are really affordable.
She’s just fresh and different.”
Of her late father, Lewis said she’s making up for his lost
time, since he could only deeply delve into his art after
“It was bubbling up inside him for many years,” she said.
“I can feel it through him. I think he’s really happy.”
Broadway veteran shares love
of dance with South Mississippians


Percell Rivere St. Thomass what happens in between. It’s the

moves constantly. He stands tall, feeling,” he said. “It’s a shame 80
walks with purpose and uses his percent of ballroom dancers and
arms to punctuate his speech. competitors will dance the rest of
He’s a peripatetic teacher who their lives not knowing what it
travels from town to town in the feels like.”
South teaching want-to-be He empathizes with pioneers,
dancers how to glide gracefully like his grandfather David
across a ballroom floor. “Showboat” Thomas, the first
The joy of dancing can belong black player to try out for Major
to anyone open to the experience, League Baseball. By comparison,
he insists. He brings that poten- St. Thomass contends his grand-
tial experience to as many father was the more fascinating
Mississippians as he can find. person.
This isn’t about training competi-
tors for the Olympics or making SHARING PASSION
a fortune quick. It’s about bring- St. Thomass moved to the
ing the general public into the Hattiesburg area four years ago,
studios and clubs already exist-
fold. right before Hurricane Katrina
ed, he saw a larger community
St. Thomass shrugs at his cos- turned South Mississippi upside
yearning to dance and curious
mopolitan history. Neither being down. He initially came to work
about getting caught up in the
born in Paris, France, nor danc- with a studio that has since
romance, the physical exertion
ing in Broadway hit shows seems closed.
and the expressive routines.
that impressive to him now. His “Other places wanted me - a
Helping to rebuild a communi-
passion is teaching dance to school in West Palm Beach, Fla.,
ty for ballroom dancing follow-
average folks. wanted me. But I was needed
ing Katrina has become his mis-
“Dance is not the steps - it’s here,” he said. Although a few
sion. It’s not been without its

38 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
frustrations. One of the largest was a personal desire to share his personally confronted the produc-
challenges St. Thomass faces is a love of dance. Then, he and his ers of the film and asked why they
notion that ballroom dancing is a business partner started another ignored “Showboat,” the response
methodical science boiled to down studio in Hawaii and nurtured was pretty simple. No information
to a straightforward syllabus. another community of dancers. about him could be found.
Another aspect that bugs him is He sees the same opportunities St. Thomass has spent time with
what he sees as an overemphasis now in the Gulf South. While he’s cousins asking about pictures,
on competitions. Seeing newcomers not interested in owning another newspaper clippings, mementoes
dance with confidence and laugh studio, he wants to spread the mes- of his grandfather’s contribution to
on the floor thrills him. sage of dance to as many communi- civil rights and to baseball. For
Yet the technical aspects of his ties as possible. He divides his time years, nothing was found. Then a
exacting art don’t escape him. The between Hattiesburg, Gulfport, cousin was doing some remodeling
National Dance Council of America Covington, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; in his Mobile home and discovered
lists St. Thomass as a professional and Fairhope, Ala. He stays in a treasure trove of documents long
competitor and an adjudicator as motion. forgotten. “Showboat”’s brother
well as a teacher. He’s a choreogra- Jesse had kept the papers and the
pher, a performer, a coach, a judge ‘SHOWBOAT’ ROOTS memories. The family wants Ken
and a world traveler. While St. Thomass sees this Burns to do a follow up film about
He also was a successful actor region as new land for ballroom the baseball player from Mobile.
and dancer. After spending years dancing, his roots run deep in the St. Thomass doesn’t know what
in Paris and New York performing South. his next step will be. He still feels
in shows like “West Side Story,” His mother’s family is from needed in South Mississippi but
“Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Cats,” Mobile. He shrugs about being an can’t deny the desire to travel
he realized he wanted something international man of dance because again, to make new discoveries and
different. He had some good roles, he feels the really fascinating fig- dance with the world.
too - Simon in “Jesus Christ ure in his family was his grandfa-
Superstar” and the Scarecrow in ther, David.
“The Wiz.” It just wasn’t what he While sports fans and historians
wanted in life. remember Jackie Robinson as the
“I was having fun performing, first black to join Major League
but I wasn’t really excelling,” he Baseball, his grandson wishes they
said. would remember David
He was one of the first blacks to “Showboat” Thomas. A baseball
win ballroom competitions in the player from Mobile, “Showboat”
early 1980s. He felt pulled during played in the Negro League and in
that time to become a coach and a 1945 was the first black chosen for
teacher of dance teachers. the major leagues. He tried out for
“At the time, people said to me, the Dodgers one year before Jackie
‘You don’t win and quit. Blacks Robinson made the majors.
aren’t making it in this business. “Showboat” went as far as training
You are. Don’t quit.’” camp before getting cut. St.
Despite that pressure, St. Thomass said it was because his
Thomass felt compelled to go to grandfather was ill. A 1977
new lands to learn and to teach. Associated Press story suggests it
He traveled to Argentina and was “Showboat”’s age and not his
studied tango and Latin dance. race that led to the end of his major
He visited a relative in Alaska in league career before it started.
the early 1990s and discovered the St. Thomass was outraged when
huge state had practically no ball- award-winning documentary film
room dance community. He helped maker Ken Burns ignored his
create and nurture one. Some of it grandfather’s existence in the PBS
was a business decision, some of it series “Baseball: A Film.” When he
ART | reba’s reviews

Read any GOOD BOOKS lately?



Eudora Welty is one of the great American writers. She is
also a celebrated photographer. This book contains 226 black
and white fascinating photographs taken during the 1930s,
‘40s and ‘50s, many of them of rural Mississippi.
Miss Welty was a passionate observer in both her writing
and photography. Her photography career began with the
WPA program in the 1930s. This book has an excellent for-
ward by Reynolds Price and a candid introductory interview
with Eudora Welty conducted by Hunter Cole and Seetha
Srinivasan at Eudora Welty’s home in Jackson in January
In the interview, Welty refers to her pictures as snapshots
rather than photography because of the way they were taken.
“They were taken spontaneously - to catch something as I
came upon it, something that spoke of the life going on
around me. A
snapshot is now or never. A good snapshot stops a moment
from running away.”
“Eudora Welty Photographs” is a must-have for students
of photography, the short story and all things Welty.


Set in Jackson, “Sources of Light,” is in no way childish
or child-like but is written for ages 10 and up. The plot cen-
ters around a 14-year-old girl named Sam. She and her
mother move down to Jackson from Pittsburgh after her
father dies in the Vietnam War. It is Sam’s first year in high
Set in 1962, Sam is confronted by racial tensions that
catch her off guard. Her mother is struggling with adjust-
ing the volume of her own life as Sam finds solace, clarity
and power behind the lens of a camera.
Sam’s mother has a photographer friend from New York

40 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
City who is also new to Mississippi. His name is Perry Walker.
Perry and Sam’s mother are both fans of Eudora Welty, whom they
run into at the local grocery store. “She takes great pictures of peo-
ple out in the country, dancing, or leaning on a front porch.” Perry
says. The character brings to mind real life photographer James
Perry Walker.
In the midst of some ugly violence, Perry teaches Samantha to
find the shadows first in order to recognize her source of light. As
with her previous books, Margaret McMullan proves to be a great
writer of young adult fiction.
Recommended for all Mississippi libraries, this would be an
excellent book to assign and read aloud.


Set in Baton Rouge, La., this debut novel is an amazingly
authentic fast read. How George Bishop captures the intricate
nuances of the internal turmoil of a mother and daughter is noth-
ing short of prize-winning literature. If the reader picks one book
to take to the beach on spring break, this would be it. The role of
the father is also an
act of psychological
Written in letter
form, the book begins:
Dear Elizabeth,
It’s early morning
and I’m sitting here
wondering where you
are, hoping you’re all
A fight, ended by a
slap, sends Elizabeth
out the door of her
home on the eve of her
15th birthday. Her
mother, Laura, is left
to fret and worry —
and remember.
Wracked with guilt as
she awaits Liz’s return, Laura begins a letter to her daughter, hop-
ing to convey “everything I’ve always meant to tell you but never
In her painfully candid confession, Laura shares memories of
her own troubled adolescence in rural Louisiana, growing up in an
intensely conservative household. She recounts her relationship
with a boy she loved despite her parents’ disapproval, the fateful
events that led to her being sent away to a strict Catholic boarding
school, the personal tragedy brought upon her by the Vietnam
War, and the significance of the tattoo below her right hip.
This is a small book that packs a punch in short order.
ART | billie buckley





Billie Buckley never set out to be a writer, but an

invitation from the religion editor of the Hattiesburg
American to write a guest column one week turned
her into one.
That was 24 years ago, and Buckley is still going
strong. She has been writing a personal column for the
newspaper since 1986, and she includes that first
essay in her first book, “Put Some Good On My Life
(CrossBooks, $13.99), a compilation of 51 columns that
she has revisited and revised. She found common
themes among the hundreds of columns she has writ-
ten and divided them into 10 chapters: Sharing
Secrets, Just Being Real ... Period, Celebrating
Ordinary Days, Meandering Through Marriage and
Other Relationships, Solving Pesky Problems of Life,
Growing Up Days, In the Classroom for 32 Years, My
Yo-Yo Emotions, Let’s Play Ball, and Listening to
Friends and Readers.
The selection process was long and hard, Buckley
said. “From over 1,500 columns, I chose 50 to rewrite
for the book.”
Buckley, a retired sixth-grade teacher who lives in
Petal, shares her faith and stories about her family in
her columns, whether she’s quoting from love letters
written by her father to her mother during World War
II, talking about her “Favorite Preacher,” as she calls
“Put Some Good On My Life” husband Gerald, pastor of Sunrise Baptist Church, or
is available for $13.99 from making fried okra for her grandchildrens’ breakfast. and Her stories can be funny or heart-breaking, but the thread that ties them together is her faith, which cen-
Copies are also available at ters around these words of Jesus Christ: I am the Way,
Main Street Books in
the Truth and the Light. No one comes to the Father
downtown Hattiesburg.
To order an autographed but by Me.
copy from Billie Buckley, “As a nine-year-old little girl in Laurel,
send a check for $15 to Mississippi,” she writes in one column, an open letter
P.O. Box 1133, to a non-believer, “I heard these words and somehow
Petal, MS 39465. knew I needed a heavenly father. My earthly father
For more information on the
was killed in a foxhole in Germany during World War
Good Shepherd’s Children’s
Home and School, or to II. I have learned from his letters and life (as told to
sponsor a child, go to
me by others) that his faith was not a sham or
a crutch. What a waste his life would have
been if this were true. My hope is that your
life will not be wasted either.”
Buckley had two goals in self-publishing her
book. The first is to leave a legacy to her sons -
Steve, owner of Bucko’s Cleaners and head
football coach at Petal High School, and Stan,
pastor of First Baptist Church of Jackson - and
her five grandchildren - Adam, Neal, Anna,
Slade and Annaleigh - so they would know
who she is and what she stands for. The sec-
ond goal is to raise money for the Good
Shepherd’s Children’s Home and School in
Honduras. For the last 10 years, her paychecks
from the Hattiesburg American have gone to
support the children there, and the profits
from book sales will go to the school.
Buckley learned about the school in 1998,
when Gerald was interim pastor at the First
Baptist Church of Mount Olive. Billie was
teaching a Bible study class, which had
“adopted” a young girl at the school and was
sending financial support for her monthly.
Dwight and Margarette Carr, directors of the
Baptist Medical and Dental Mission
International, a Hattiesburg-based nonprofit,
were members of the church and invited the
Buckleys down to Honduras for Gerald to
preach and for them to see the work the min-
istry was doing there.
“I was moved to secure uniforms for the
children to wear to their school on the grounds
of the home,” she said. “They did not have a
feeling of belonging and all children wore uni-
forms to school in Honduras. They got their
uniforms. They now belong. That was the
Buckley continues to support the home, and
to let others know about the children and their
“It is what I am supposed to do,” she said.
“I really don’t have a choice. This is what my
Lord wants me to do for the 200 children.”

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 43
ART | Ricky Nobile


The USO’s rich history leaps from the


pages of a coloring book by acclaimed
Hattiesburg artist Ricky Nobile. His new
book allows children and adults to read and
color together, while learning about the
African-American Military History
Every aspect of the museum is covered,
including its days as a USO. Also show-
cased are many of the museum’s exhibits
and famous African-Americans, such as
Gen. Colin Powell and local heroes Jesse L.
Brown, the first black naval aviator, and
Ruth Bailey Earl.
“The African-American Military History
Museum is such an important part of the
area’s history,” said Traci Rouse, communi-
cation and marketing manager. “This color-
ing book gives children a chance to learn
about African-American history in a fun
and exciting way.”
The old USO building on East Sixth
Street near downtown Hattiesburg was
built as a recreational facility for black serv-
ice men and women stationed at Camp
Shelby during World War II. The exhibits
cover the military history of the United States from a black perspective, beginning with Crispus Attucks,
who died during the Boston Massacre and was an inspiration during the Revolutionary War, and proceed-
ing through the Civil War, World War I and World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the current wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan.
The book showcases Nobile’s natural talent through hand-drawn pictures and narrative. The coloring
book’s story details the museum through the eyes of three children and their museum guide. For Nobile,
this was a chance to learn and educate children and adults about an important part of Hattiesburg’s and
our nation’s history.
“While doing the coloring book, I really learned a lot about African-American history,” Nobile said. “I
had fun writing the story, and it gave me an opportunity to teach children and parents about the service
and sacrifice of these brave men and women.”
Nobile is known for his wide variety of artistic talents, ranging from political cartoons to children’s sto-
ries and coloring books. He has been drawing political cartoons since 1970 and is featured in 30 newspa-
pers across Mississippi. He also draws editorial cartoons for the Mississippi Business Journal.
For more information about the coloring book contact the African-American Military History Museum
at (601) 450-1942.
The African-American Military History Museum is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility.
Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing, operating and promoting
tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area. The Museum is located at 305 E. Sixth St., Hattiesburg.
Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m, Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, call (601) 450-1942
or visit



44 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
William Carey University
professor publishes
children’s book with son



W William Carey University assistant professor of

biology Dr. Julie Smith-Rogers and her 10-year-
old son Brady recently published the children’s
book “The Culinary Capers of Canon & Lily:
Canon Grows a Garden.”
In “The Culinary Capers,” best friends Canon
the moose and Lily go on a culinary adventure.
Canon wants to eat foods that are not available
in the forest and Lily suggests he grow a garden
so that he can eat whatever he likes. Together
they plant a garden with their friends and make
many new animal friends by way of their stom-
Upper Elementary School. His hobbies include
cooking, baseball, flag football, running 5K races
and scuba diving. Brady is the one who suggested
that the book be illustrated.
“Now let me clear about this,” Smith-Rogers
said. “I am not a trained artist by any means.”
Together she and Brady drew the pictures to
accompany the storyline.
Several people saw the project in their home
and suggested they publish it. Smith-Rogers felt
she owed it to Brady’s hard work to pursue the
possibility. Now they have a book that can be
purchased through, and they partici-
“The idea for the book came from the two pated in a book signing and reading at Oak Grove
babies in our home,” said Smith-Rogers. “Our 20- Primary and Lower Elementary Schools.
month-old Canon eats the most unusual things. “Brady was a child who hated writing assign-
He would rather eat Coq au Vin or Jamaican Jerk ments,” Smith-Rogers said. “It was a total joy
Chicken than eat regular chicken nuggets. He working with him. Come to find out, it isn’t the
dips plain fried crawfish into spicy remoulade writing process he dislikes at all, it’s the physical
sauce. We laugh all the time about his eating act. He really enjoyed working on the manuscript
preferences.” on the computer.”
Smith-Rogers also has Lily, who is about 9 The principals of the two Oak Grove schools
months old. hope that by presenting the book writing process
Smith-Rogers has published scientific journal to the students they will see that all authors are
articles and a chapter on the use of antioxidants not “seasoned” individuals with agents and fancy
in Alzheimer’s Disease, but this is her first foray book deals.
into children’s books. “Mississippi is full of bright, talented students
“After Lily was born, I was feeling guilty about who just need to be encouraged in their endeav-
not having enough time to spend with my two ors in the arts, sciences, humanities, and what-
older boys,” Smith-Rogers said. “My oldest, ever fires their passions,” Smith-Rogers said. “As
Nicholas, is involved with all kinds of sports and my mother always told me, the surest way to fail
is away from the house a lot. My 10-year-old, is to never try.”
Brady, needed some attention paid to him. One Smith-Rogers is available for readings and book
day I suggested that we write a book together.” signings. Contact her at
Brady is a fourth grade student at Oak Grove

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 45
ART | bluegrass concert

Bluegrass/gospel legend Doyle Lawson brings his band
Quicksilver to Hattiesburg


One of the legends of bluegrass
music is performing at Hattiesburg’s
Saenger Theater on Feb. 20, but Doyle
Lawson remains a humble Tennessee
boy at heart, despite all the Grammy
nominations and critical acclaim for
him and his band,
“We’re looking forward
to coming to the Saenger
Theater. I’ve got friends
that always come to see
me when I play in the
years later, with his eyes set on a
musical career, he learned to play
banjo and guitar, too.
He got a job playing banjo with
Jimmy Martin when he was 18, in
1963. After playing in a few other
Quicksilver sound that fans expect.
“It’s the real deal,” Lawson said of
his bluegrass/gospel fusion. “We do
a lot of a capella and you really have
nothing to hide behind there.”
Bluegrass musicians don’t usually
earn the fame and fortune of
their country music cousins,
and Lawson said those who
choose a career in bluegrass do
it for the love of the genre,
although it has become more
popular over the last couple of
Hattiesburg area,” decades.
Lawson said during a tele- “There’s a lot of purity in it,”
phone interview while Lawson said. “You’re laying
taking a break from out your emotions on your
recording his new CD, sleeve and hope people accept
which should be out this it.”
spring. Lawson estimates Lawson doesn’t have to
it’s his 35th or 36th album. bluegrass bands, he started his own, worry much about that. His band’s
Lawson grew up listening to the the Country Gentlemen, in 1971. He 2002 album, “The Hard Game of
Grand Ole Opry on the radio, but no wanted to put together his own Love,” was nominated for a Grammy,
performers impressed him more than sound instead of just playing some- and Quicksilver has won multiple
the father of bluegrass music, Bill one else’s. In 1979, he formed Doyle awards from the International
Monroe, and his Blue Grass Boys. Lawson & Foxfire, which soon was Bluegrass Music Association, begin-
“His music was different, more renamed Quicksilver. His goal with ning with song of the year honors in
intense,” Lawson said. “High lone- this band was to blend bluegrass and 1990 - the first year of the IBMA
some is the term we used for it. I gospel, acoustic music and four-part awards - for “Little Mountain
could hardly wait for Saturday nights harmony, like his father used to sing. Church,” and in 2003 for “Blue Train
to arrive so I could listen. I decided The band’s lineup has changed (of the Heartbreak Line).”
early on that I wanted to play that many times over the past 31 years, Lawson, who plays more than 60
kind of music.” and Lawson jokingly refers to it as concerts and bluegrass festivals a
Lawson’s father, mother and sister “the farm team” for bluegrass. year, said he has no plans to give up
sang in gospel groups and when he Alumni have gone on to play for the road.
was 11 or 12, he expressed an interest Ricky Skaggs’ band Kentucky “As long as my health stays good,
in learning to play the mandolin. His Thunder, IIIrd Tyme Out and my hands are good, and my voice
father borrowed one from a musician Continental Divide, to name a few of holds up, I won’t retire.”
friend, and Lawson taught himself to the top bluegrass bands. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will
play by listening to the radio and Lawson said he tries to integrate perform at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the
records, and watching musicians on each new member’s unique talents Saenger Theater in downtown
television occasionally. A couple of into the band, while retaining the Hattiesburg. Tickets are $18-$23.

46 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
IN THE KITCHEN | iwinter dishes

st retc h . . .
your food budget with
Nothing stretches the food budget
quite as well as a casserole. A couple
of chicken breasts cut into bite-size
pieces can feed a family of four when
mixed with rice, a can of condensed
mushroom soup and maybe some veg-
etables or sour cream.
But the reason we love casseroles
is because they taste so delicious. All
that meat, pasta or rice, vegetables
and cheese all melded together ...
yum! Just try one of the following
recipes and you’ll agree.

Mock Cabbage Rolls Salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin Ritz crackers
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic Mix chicken, sour cream, cream of chicken soup,
1/4 teaspoon pepper milk, onions and salt and pepper together. Place in
3 cups cooked rice a casserole dish. Sprinkle top with cracker crumbs.
1 3/4-pound head cabbage, coarsely shredded Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until
1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce the casserole bubbles.
1/4 cup light brown sugar - Recipes & Remembrances, Main Street Baptist
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, Church
Pizza-licious Casserole
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large skillet, cook the meat, onion and garlic 1 pound ground chuck
over medium heat until the meat is done, about 7 1 15-ounce can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce
minutes. Drain any excess liquid. Add the pepper 1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
and cooked rice, mixing well. Spoon the meat mix- 1 10-ounce can refrigerated pizza crust dough
ture into a 4-quart casserole dish coated with non- 1 8-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese,
stick cooking spray. Top with the shredded cabbage. divided
In a medium bowl, mix together the pasta sauce
and brown sugar. Pour the sauce over the cabbage. Brown meat in 10-inch skillet on medium-high
Bake, covered, for 1 1/4 hours, or until the cabbage heat. Drain, if necessary. Add tomato sauce and
is tender. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and continue mushrooms and heat through.
baking for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick
Serve. Makes 6-8 servings, 307 calories each. spray. Press pizza crust into bottom and halfway up
- The Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook sides of dish. Spread half of mozzarella cheese on
bottom of crust, then top with meat mixture. Bake
Chicken Casserole uncovered at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Top with
2 cups cooked chicken, deboned and chopped remaining cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or
1 pint sour cream until crust is browned and cheese is melted. Makes
1 can cream of chicken soup 6 servings.
1/2 cup milk - Best of the Best 500 Fast & Fabulous Five-Star 5-
1 onion, chopped Ingredient Recipes

48 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
winter stews

There’s something very gratifying about cooking a meal from

scratch. All that chopping and stirring makes you feel like you’re really
accomplishing something. And when cold winter sets in, what could be
more satisfying to cook and eat than a rich, hearty stew?
Stews are also easy on the budget because you can buy cheaper,
tougher cuts of meat that become tender as they slow cook, and you
can stretch a small amount of meat to feed a family.
Nothing says “welcome to my home” more than a pot of something
delicious simmering on the stove, so give these stews a try this winter.

Chicken Chili Quick ture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, broiled or potato cubes are tender and the pork is done,
grilled, chopped approximately 45 minutes. If the stew gets too thick,
1 package white chili seasoning (or regular chili) add more chicken broth. Add the salt and pepper to
1 10-ounce can diced Ro-Tel tomatoes, undrained taste. Makes 8 servings, 273 calores each.
2 16-ounce cans white beans, undrained - The Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook
1 1/2 cups water

Mix all of the above in a large stockpot, bring to a Quick Beef Stew
boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer about an hour. 2 pounds lean boneless top round steak, trimmed of
- Best of the Best 500 Fast & Fabulous Five-Star 5- fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
Ingredient Recipes 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sliced carrots (1-inch slices)
1 3/4 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cubed
Southwestern Pork Stew 1 large onion, sliced
1 3/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
cut into 1-inch cubes 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped red onion 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups fat-free canned chicken broth Salt and pepper to taste
1 10-ounce can chopped tomatoes and green chilies 1 14 1/2-ounce can beef broth
1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- 1 cup light beer
inch cubes
1 teaspoon chili powder Combine the meat and flour in a plastic bag; close
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin the bag and shake.
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained Coat a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and
1 16-ounce package frozen corn cook the meat over high heat until browned, about 7
Salt and pepper to taste minutes, stirring often. Add the carrot, potato,
Toss the pork with the flour to coat. In a large onion, mushroom quarters, garlic, parsley, thyme,
pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown the salt, pepper, beef broth and beer. Cover, and cook
pork over medium heat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and the
the onion, and cook until tender. Add the broth, vegetables are done. Makes 6 servings, 391 calories
tomatoes and green chilies, sweet potato, chili pow- each.
der, cumin, green chilies and corn. Bring the mix- - The Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook

a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i 49
T sweet TOOTH
IN THE KITCHEN | isweet treats


I’ve got a shelf full of cookbooks, but lately, when I want to
try a new recipe, I turn to two or three favorites. One that
seems to be getting the most looks these days is “Best of the
Best 500 Fast and Fabulous Five-Star 5-Ingredient Recipes,” by
Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley. The recipes are easy but
This spiral-bound collection is published by McKee’s Quail
Ridge Press in Brandon and is available for $16.95 at book-
stores and online at
If you’re craving some new desserts, try these recipes from
the book.

TINY KEY LIME PIES In double boiler over simmering water, melt
2 Key limes caramels with 1/2 can evaporated millk. Preheat
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix with butter,
1/2 cup sugar remaining 1/2 can evaporated milk and chocolate
1 egg, beaten chips. Press 1/2 of dough into a greased 9-by-13-
6 miniature graham cracker pie shells inch pan; top with caramel mixture. Spread evenly
with remaining dough. Bake 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grate 1 teaspoon lime
zest into mixing bowl. Squeeze 3 tablespoons juice SPICE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
into same mixing bowl. Add cream cheese and beat 1 16-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
until creamy. Stir in sugar and egg, beating until 3 eggs
fluffy. Evenly divide mixture between pie shells. 1/3 cup oil
Bake 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center 1/3 cup water
comes out clean. Cool slightly. then refrigerate until 1 18 1/4-ounce box spice cake mix
ready to serve. Garnish with additional lime zest.
Makes 6 servings. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl,
beat pumpkin, eggs, oil and water until blended
CINNAMON APPLE CRUMBLE well. Add cake mix, and blend 2 more minutes. Fill
1 cup brown sugar 24 paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake about 18
3/4 cup Bisquick minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes
1 tablespoon cinnamon out clean. Top with cream cheese frosting, if desired.
1/2 stick butter, melted
8-10 medium apples, peeled, sliced POTATO CHIP COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch 1/2 cup sugar
glass baking dish. Combine sugar, Bisquick, cinna- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
mon and butter until crumbly. Layer apples in bot- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
tom of baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. 3/4 cup finely crushed fresh potato chips
Bake about 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
In large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until
GERMAN CHOCOLATE fluffy. Gradually add flour and beat again until
CARAMEL BROWNIES smooth. By hand, add vanilla and potato chips; mix
1 14-ounce bag caramels, unwrapped well. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto ungreased
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk, divided cookie sheet. Bake in 325-degree oven 15-20 min-
1 18 1/4-ounce box German chocolate cake mix utes, until light brown. Allow to cool, then sprinkle
3/4 cup butter, melted with softed confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Makes
1 cup chocolate chips about 5 dozen.

50 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
You Are Invited to Be a Part of Our

2010 Summer Wedding Issue

Share memories of your special day in ACCENT’s 2010 Summer Wedding Issue.
For more information, visit our Web site at
or email


New Year’s Resolutions
my 2010
good intentions


In an effort to make the year 2010 as positive and stress-free as

possible, I decided to unburden myself of the traditional New Year’s
Resolutions, opting instead for the more laid-back New Year’s Good
Psychologically, resolving to spend ridiculous chunks of time on exercise machines while
avoiding fattening foods feels like punishment. It’s time to repackage this product.
Instead of sentencing myself to torture and self-denial, I intend to treat myself to the best that
Mississippi has to offer. This year, I will not be swearing off any naughty foods. Whenever pos-
sible, however, I plan to supercharge my diet with six Mississippi-grown foods known for excel-
lent nutritional value.
Eggs, a great food to start the day, have taken a beating in the press (forgive me, I couldn’t
resist). Sure, eggs are high in cholesterol, but only a small amount passes into the bloodstream.
For a nearly perfect source of protein, nothing beats eggs - oops, I did it again.
Another Mississippi standout - blueberries. If you’re not growing your own, mark your cal-
endar to attend the Blueberry Jubilee in Poplarville, on June 12. When compared to 40 other
fruits and vegetables, blueberries rank number 1 in antioxidants. They are also high in fiber and
vitamins A and C.
Although I refuse to give up steak, this year, my baked potato will be a sweet potato. This
beta carotene powerhouse is ranked number 1 in nutrition by the Center for Science in the Public
Interest. In fact, these delectable orange spuds would also go well with grilled chicken, which is
low in fat and high in protein and B vitamins. With the right seasonings, chicken is delicious
enough to lure me away from that less healthy T-bone.
Between meals, I intend to reach past the bags of chips and candy to grab my favorite nuts.
Did you know that a handful of pecans a day lowers cholesterol according to a Loma Linda
study? Now, now … I don’t think that means we should eat pecan pie every day.
Instead of a slice of pie, how about a slice of watermelon? Researchers believe lycopene may
have significant potential for the prevention of some cancers. Watermelon is a lycopene super-
star, containing more than any other fruits and vegetables, even tomatoes.
So, there you have it - my New Year’s Good Intentions. Yes, I know which road is paved
with good intentions. In the South, though, when we say we intend to do something, by golly,
we do it!

52 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i

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