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Coliseum, university campus • Here lie

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seven hundred Confederate and Union

boys who died at Shiloh in 1862. What a
Lisa Neumann Howorth (a.k.a. the Night Mayor war, what a war.

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of Oxford) is our guide.

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BLUE HEAVEN — Twenty minutes away,

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on Main Street in Water Valley • An

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incredible array of vintage vinyl music and

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and restaurants like jewels in a crown, and you can have big

musical instruments.

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fun and great meals without ever leaving it. But some of the cool-

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est things to do and see around town can be a little harder to find.


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These are some of the places I like out-of-towners to know about:

A stylish venue to buy local and outsider

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art or a photograph by Eudora Welty.

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YOCONA RIVER INN — 842 Highway 334

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East Cozy and informal, in an old country

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VENTRESS HALL — University Avenue,

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university campus Look for the gor-
CITY GROCERY — On the Square • Great
bar and upstairs balcony, and a fun place

• •

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house eight miles out of town. Beautifully geous, poignant stained glass window by to run into local writers. Ask Chip Moore,

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prepared dishes with a Southern accent. Tiffany commemorating the University City Grocery the best bartender in town (and there
Remember, it’s B.Y.O.A.B.B. (Bring Your Greys, the Ole Miss students who went off are dozens of good ones), to make you
Own Anything But Beer!). to war in 1861. All of the boys were killed or Brown’s letters and work. The Seymour a French 76, one of Faulkner’s favorite

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wounded at Gettysburg. Lawrence Room, honoring this important cocktails. Downstairs, an excellent menu


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SQUARE BOOKS — On the Square • Cof- old-school publisher, includes writers with Louisiana emphasis. Chef and owner

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fee, homemade baked goods, two floors JAMES MEREDITH MEMORIAL — Between such as Jim Harrison, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Currence trained with Bill Neal at

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of books, and a balcony overlooking both the Library and Lyceum, university Tom McGuane. Crook’s Corner Café and Bar in Chapel

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the courthouse and South Lamar. Nearby campus • A life-size bronze likeness of

Hill, North Carolina, and at Gautreau’s in

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are Square Books Jr. and Off-Square James Meredith appears to stride toward a AJAX DINER — On the Square • Home New Orleans, his hometown.
Books, from which Thacker Mountain seventeen-foot limestone portal. Erected cooking, meat-and-three with New
Radio is broadcast. in 2006, the memorial commemorates Orleans specialties such as po’boys and L&M’S KITCHEN AND SALUMERIA —
Meredith’s struggle, in 1962, to be the first gumbo. Good Bloody Marys. A favorite of North Lamar • Dan Latham cooked with

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ROWAN OAK — Old Taylor Road An av- African American to enroll in the Univer- novelist and gourmand Jim Harrison. Mario Batali and raises and cures his own

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enue of old cedars leads to the front door sity of Mississippi. pork. See it curing! A sleek but unpreten-

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of Rowan Oak, the house Faulkner lived BURNS METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH tious uptown interior.

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in from 1930 to 1962. Well-informed cu- — Jackson Avenue • Although the

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rator Bill Griffith makes visits lively and AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS — J.D. church was organized by freed slaves in CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: PROUD LARRY’S — South Lamar, off the
Square Books; Mississippi
friendly. Look for Faulkner’s outline for A Williams Library, university campus • 1870, the building was erected in 1910. quail at L&M’s Kitchen and Square • Great burgers, fries, and pizza.
Fable, written on his study walls, and his Permanent exhibits of William Faulkner It was John Grisham’s office for several Salumeria; Ventress Hall. The best music venue in town. Epic past
old typewriter, which practically glows items, including the Nobel Prize. Look years until he donated it to the Oxford- shows featured Warren Zevon, Mose Al-

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with a holy light. The house is haunted. for important civil rights papers and the Lafayette County Heritage Foundation, lison, Elvis Costello, and the Hives.

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Of course. recently added special collection of Larry which plans to restore it.

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UNIVERSITY MUSEUMS — University National Institute on Drug Abuse. Back ST. PETER’S CEMETERY — Jefferson Street

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BARNARD OBSERVATORY — Sorority Avenue and S. Fifth Street, university in the day it was said that students who and N. 16th Street • Faulkner and his wife

Row, between Grove Loop and Student campus • The David M. Robinson collec- worked the patch wore pants with cuffs lie at the bottom of the hill under big oaks.

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Thacker Mountain Radio BY MARY WARNER

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Union Drive, University of Mississippi tion of classical art and Barnard’s exquisite and loose shoes. High y’all. There’s a historic marker. Other family mem-

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campus • Designed by F.A.P. Barnard, French scientific teaching instruments bers are in an enclosed plot with a large obe-

★ When my twin sister flew in from the Big City a few years ago, she may have expected a horse and buggy, but what

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the beautiful, classic observatory (com- she got was an old-fashioned radio show. It was a Thursday, and Thacker, short for Thacker Mountain Radio, would are world-class. Look for the Southern folk BLUES ARCHIVE — J.D. Williams Library, lisk in the middle of the cemetery. Faulkner’s

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begin at 5:30 p.m. I sat beside my sister in what seemed like a wooden-floored cave walled with books, illuminated by only a

pleted in 1859 and restored in 1992) is art collection that includes the wonderful university campus • The world’s most ex- “mammy,” Caroline Barr, lies to the right of

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spotlight on the stage and tiny Christmas lights winking above us. A couple hundred

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now the home of the Center for the Study paintings of Oxford artist Theora Hamblett tensive blues collection was jump-started the path just beyond the old cedar stand.

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people applauded as the host, Jim Dees, announced the round of guests: an author

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of Southern Culture. Center projects from New York who’d written about the Underground Railroad, a quartet of bluegrass (1895-1977). by B.B. King’s seven thousand-item collec-

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string pickers, and a wacky one-man show whose theatrics perhaps had not been
include the Encyclopedia of Southern seen since vaudeville’s reign. An hour passed and we stepped out into a crisp night. tion. There are films, photos, books, and BEACON RESTAURANT — North Lamar •
Culture, Living Blues magazine, the gos- That was my first-ever experience with live radio, and though I would leave my college MARIJUANA GARDEN — university memorabilia covering all aspects of blues Oxford’s oldest restaurant. Not fine dining,
pel music magazine Rejoice, the annual job at Square Books to work in London for a short while, that evening was a first kiss: campus • The only legal marijuana patch folklore — and listening facilities. but the real deal. Big country breakfasts
I returned to Oxford and enrolled in Ole Miss’s Southern Studies program. And as the
Faulkner Conference, and the Southern producer of Thacker Mountain, I now sit next to Dees. (Thacker Mountain Radio is in the United States produces pot for re- begin at six o’clock. (You might meet your-

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Foodways Alliance. rebroadcast on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and can be heard on the Web.) search at the National Institutes of Health’s CONFEDERATE CEMETERY — behind the self a husband here. I did.)

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