Let’s Talk Jackson: My Spiritual Home

St Andrews

My spiritual home is the cathedral of St. Andrew’s Church which is built from the floor to ceiling to represent an upside down boat.  It was where all my children were baptized in the mid 70’s and where Hinky and I continue to worship and share in its communal life.  I am proud of its rich history, especially in the 60’s, when it stood tall and strong in the move toward racial reconciliation.  It continues that tradition as we join other groups and people in a new program called Growing Together Jackson, to revitalize and re-energize our beloved city.  It is a place where it is safe to question anything and celebrate the great mysteries of life.

Written by Pat

 

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Pat

Let’s Talk Jackson: Madison County Magazine

The following is an excerpt from Madison County Magazine.

Lemuria embarked on a bold endeavor a couple of years ago when John Evans suggested to photographer Ken Murphy that they create a book on Jackson in the same classic style as Ken’s previous books: My South Coast Home, Mississippi, and Mississippi: State of Blues. Lemuria had never published a book before, but we wanted to contribute to our community. What better way than to publish a book? When Ken began submitting photographs of downtown Jackson I could not help but remember Eudora Welty’s recollection of the first time her family went to the top of the Lamar Life Building:

 “When the new Lamar Life Building was going up, I remember my father, who in those years was General Manager of the company, taking the greatest pride and a daily exhilaration in the workmanship of it. No wonder he was proud of the beauty of what was happening. I think he felt its climax was the clock; but all the way up to that tower he personally loved and endorsed every stone that was laid, every gargoyle that peeped forth from the various stages . . . My father led the whole family by the fire­escape, a romantic climb; and it was lovely and worth every step to stand on the roof where the tar was just hard enough to receive our weight, and the clock just as close as your hand, and to look out at the wonderful and unfamiliar view of Jackson, seen for the first time as a whole, in one sweep.” -Eudora Welty from “A Salute from One of the Family” Lamar Life Insurance Company, Tower of Strength in the Deep South: 50th Anniversary 1906­-1956.

Even if our contribution is not as grand as the Lamar Life Building, we know the pride that grows when we contribute to our community. Whether it be the St. Paddy’s Day Parade or Fondren Unwrapped or familiar neighborhood hangouts, like Bully’s or Brent’s, these scenes come from the hard work and creativity of Jackson’s people, who make it a wonderful place to live. Put yourself on the page and support Jackson’s culture through your time and your patronage to our many local businesses, museums, landmarks and parks. While our homes are scattered across the metro area, our support of each other will grow the vibrancy of the entire region.

Please join us on August 5 at 5:00 at Lemuria as we launch Jackson: Photographs by Ken Murphy.

Written by Lisa Newman

unnamed (1)

Madison County Magazine is Madison County’s only lifestyle publication covering the arts, culture and entertainment and covers events and areas all over the state of MIssissippi. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Lisa

Let’s Talk Jackson Guest Post: Dr. Pepper at Primos

Written by Jane Robbins Kerr

I grew up in Jackson a long time ago and I love telling little stories of back then.  In the afternoon when Central High School let out we almost always gathered at Primos restaurant across from the Post Office down town.  I nearly always ordered a Dr. Pepper to drink because a man would come in at 4 o’clock and give you a silver dollar if you were drinking a Dr. Pepper…at 10, 2 and 4.

StateFair_DSC2663-2

Growing up I always loved going to the MS State Fair….eating a hamburger, riding the rides and just walking around kicking up sawdust.  Mama would always caution me before leaving not to eat anywhere but the Junior League booth because she was sure that the hamburgers in the other booths were made of horse meat.

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Lemuria

Let’s Talk Jackson: Confessions of a Non-Fraud

FRAUD ALERT!

FRAUD DETECTED!

I know people don’t like outsiders. I know there is something to say for the whole “born and raised” thing, but I have to admit, I was neither born, nor raised in Mississippi. Mississippi was so far down the list (#50) in places I thought I would end up after college that doing something like writing a blog to describe how I feel about the city of Jackson is a very surreal experience for me. I have been living among you Jacksonians, I have learned your ways…I must attest however, that I am a fraud.

Or am I?

If you thought for some reason I was going to get around working Cloud Atlas into this blog you are sorely mistaken.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is in my top 5 books of all time. OF ALL TIME. I came to Lemuria bookstore for the first time to purchase a copy of the paperback and was completely blown away to find a bookstore like Lemuria existing in such a weird, unlikely place. From the moment you walk up the steps and see the store, you are greeted by something pretty magical. The bookstore put Jackson up one notch in my book. It was now at notch one.

Lemuria ProC best DSC2296

After a while, more and more of the city began to reveal itself in strange and amazing ways. Fondren was the main selling point in my agreement to move here, but the people are what kept me around. It’s very easy to make assumptions about a place, or group of people you absolutely know nothing about. I think that may be the biggest reason the perception of Jackson is all “PRAY FOR JACKSON” or “I WENT TO JACKSON AND GOT REKT.” I was guilty of this thinking, but then I left my house. I did what John Evans and Ken Murphy, and all of us at Lemuria are proposing with Jackson: Photographs by Ken Murphy- I experienced the city that is just waiting for people to take the time.

What makes a person “from somewhere”? Some people will start the conversation with, “You need to have been born there.” If that is their argument, then yes, I am a Jacksonian Fraud. I should say that I think they are absolutely wrong before I go any further. You see, I was born in the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but nothing about that city feels like home to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city and it has come a long way in my 24 years of existence, but it has never really resonated with me. I’ve spent significant portions of time in New Orleans, LA, Berkley, CA, and St. Louis, MO and I feel like those cities are much more responsible for shaping me into who I am, and will eventually become. Now I am a resident of Jackson, MS. Four years ago I came to Jackson for a girl, and she was convinced the city would grow on me, and for years she was wrong. Today, she is absolutely correct. I’m here because I want to be, and this city deserves people that want to be here regardless of where they come from, or where they want to be.

There is plenty to love here in Jackson. Lemuria has made it pretty easy for everyone to get started with this book. So…

FRAUD AVERTED?

 

Written by Andre

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Andre

Fourth of July Creek

Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite novelists, is credited with a tidy 8-item list for would-be fiction writers. Number two is simply, ”Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.” Sounds reasonable enough. But then, in item six, writers are commanded to be “sadists” and “make awful things happen” to the character whom we readers are supposed to pull for.

Jacket

Smith Henderson must have been paying attention to Vonnegut when working on his debut novel Fourth of July Creek. Set in rural Montana, the novel follows Pete Snow, a social worker who rescues children from abusive and dysfunctional families and accidentally stumbles across Benjamin Pearl, son of paranoid homesteader Jeremiah. We like Pete. He does good work, despite the fact that he himself is broken. He gets kids out of dangerous houses with drug-dealing parents. He slowly gains the trust of Jeremiah Pearl, whose paranoid delusions forced him and his family into the wilderness, eventually sharing much-needed medicine and food with them. Pete does this all while in the background, his personal life is falling apart: his brother is in trouble with the law; his crumbled marriage threatens his relationship with his daughter; the interactions with his dad are too complicated to summarize. These bad things boost Pete’s “good-guy” credibility with us.

But then, we don’t like him, too. He slugs a client in the stomach. He admits to alcoholism but does nothing to correct himself, and his drinking often flings him into violent blackouts. He’s a bit of a misogynist.

The complexity of the book’s main character is just one of the highlights, though. The rest of the cast is just as delightful in their varying degrees of dysfunction and likability. They are all quite real. My mom is a retired social worker and, while she never punched a client (to my knowledge) I can assure you that the crazy people Pete encounters do honestly exist in real life. All of these characters are presented to us through Henderson’s lively prose, which allows us to follow several sub-plots at once without getting confused.

It might sound like a bleak book, but it’s not. Without spoiling the plot, I can assure you that Fourth of July Creek is suffused with hope, stubborn and fleeting it may seem at times. Pick up a copy and see for yourself.

 

Smith Henderson will be at Lemuria signing Fourth of July Creek on Wednesday, July 16 at 5:00.

Written by Jamie

Let’s Talk Jackson Guest Post: Off the Record

Jim PathFinder Ewing has written six books, published in English, French, German, Russian and Japanese. His latest is “Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating” (Findhorn Press, 2012). His next book — about which he is mysteriously silent — is scheduled to be released in Spring, 2015. Find him on Facebook, join him on Twitter @EdiblePrayers, or see his website,www.blueskywaters.com

In the photo, it’s called Old Tavern on George Street, but folks of a certain age – those who first listened to the Beatles when they debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show – remember it as George Street Grocery. A lot of schemes were hatched in the back of that bar back in the 1970s and early 1980s. 

George St Grocery

Not many people remember that there used to be a framed plaque on the wall next to a round table at the very back that read in gold: “Capital Press Corps.” That’s where a handful of journalists used to retire after work and have drinks with various movers and shakers, including legislators, judges, even former and sitting governors on occasion – all “off the record.” It was a great way to find out what was really going on and why. The rule was: We couldn’t quote anything we heard at that table; but if we found out about it elsewhere, it was fair game.

I doubt that goes on much anymore in Mississippi (fraternizing between journalists and public officials, or even between public officials of different parties). There’s a Capital Press Corps that still meets, convened by the Stennis Center, but I doubt they even know who the founders were — or where, why, when or for what reason they met. Last time I went to one of the Stennis meetings, I had to invite myself and they didn’t know who I was. Everybody looked very serious and, well, sober. The meeting was orderly and on the record.

Back then was more fun.

 

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Lemuria

Let’s Talk Jackson: To Millsaps or Not to Millsaps

Millsaps Observatory best_DSC2375

As one of Lemuria’s youngest employees, I am just now entering my second year of college at Millsaps, which means I have ALL the freshman stories, but I think I’ll keep the majority to myself until that elusive diploma rests safely in my hands. And while I do not have any personal experiences or stories to share about Millsaps’ observatory (which is featured in our upcoming book about Jackson), I do have many of the campus itself. Back when I was in high school (so, forever ago) I went through the typical teenage struggles of deciding which college I should attend after graduation. In short, which campus would be right for me? Then I made my list of pros and cons, visited the other college I was considering, made some revisions to that list until the only thing left I had to do was visit Millsaps’ campus; on which I found a swing bench by one of the dorms, sheltered by trees. That’s when I decided Millsaps was the right choice. I could see myself on that bench reading after class, relaxing…which I did (for about a week) until I realized that I needed to spend some quality time with my homework. But do I regret my choice? NEVER! And since I chose to stay in Jackson that means I not only get to continue working at Lemuria but I also get to go to all the other cool places shown in our book. So there.

Written by Elizabeth

 

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Elizabeth

Let’s Talk Jackson: Mandatory Shrimp

My memories of downtown are firmly rooted in the Mayflower and all the other buildings’ locations are, in my head, in relation to the Mayflower. This is was the go-to place for my family to go out to eat until I was in my teens. Now, a few words about how my family eats:

There are rules to eating, like if we go to a new place I will not allow anyone to order the same thing (you have to try as much of the menu as possible). Each family member has a quirk but all of them pale in comparison to rule #1, my mother’s rule: if shrimp are ordered, they MUST be eaten. This was non-negotiable and established in large part because of how good the shrimp are at Mayflower.

Mayflower_1_CMYK_DSC8376

We ate there so much we cultivated usuals. Mine was crab bisque and fried shrimp. We knew all the staff, and more importantly they knew they couldn’t take any of the plates away while they still had shrimp on them. Seriously, I was forced to eat shrimp cold-green-beans style, choking them down so we could pay the check and leave. I went back there because I saw the photos in this book. The usual still tasted as good as I remember. I finished all the shrimp.

 

Written by Daniel

 

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Daniel

Let’s Talk Jackson: State Fair Memories

The Mississippi State Fair is dynamic: loud and quiet; simple and gaudy; here and gone. And this dynamism trickles down to the individual, too. During my childhood, the fair meant a day trip up from Hattiesburg and falling asleep on the return trip down Highway 49. As a Millsaps student, it was a distraction from whatever paper was due the next day. Now, as a parent, it’s something entirely different.

My son’s daycare closes so their staff can attend the annual Mississippi Early Childhood Association conference, and for the past three years, this has coincided with the opening week of the Fair. Since I had to take off a day of work to stay with him, and I love corn dogs, the Fair seemed a logical way to spend part of our day. He was two during our first outing, and he didn’t last too long; it was chilly that October, and the petting zoo kind of freaked him out. But each subsequent year, he’s enjoyed it more.

The next year he rode the carousel with me in tow till the both of us were nearly laid out with vertigo. Last year he rode his first ride alone: a kiddie roller coaster shaped like a cartoonish centipede whose track waved a lazy oval. Wanting something a bit faster, he and I did a few tandem trips down the big slide, becoming airborne on the last hump and laughing like . . . well, like a dad and his 4-year-old. No longer afraid of the petting zoo, he cackled and made up an impromptu song as the goats nibbled carrot chips from his hand.

For my son, the Fair means ice cream, funnel cakes and rides. Right now, it means a day with dad. Sooner than I’d like to think, it’ll be a place where he goes with his friends, shunning his goofy dad’s presence as teenagers are supposed to do. I hope that the Fair will mean nostalgia for him as he treads through memories with fondness similar to mine. The rides he’ll ride will be bigger, faster, more fun, more dangerous. For him, the Fair will be an ever-increasing whirling blur of excitement and screams and light, just like when he was growing up. But for me, part of the Fair will always be me sitting on a square of burlap, my kid locked between my knees as we zip down the fiberglass slide, our laughter trailing behind us.
State Fair_DSC2457-2

Written by Jamie

 

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Jamie

Let’s Talk Jackson: We Need YOU!

You may have noticed a recent trend on Lemuria’s blog, that trend being us shouting our love for the city of Jackson from the rooftops. If you don’t already know, Lemuria is publishing a book about our great capital city! Jackson: Photographs by Ken Murphy is a collection of all of the things that we think make this place so incredible and worth sticking around for. All of us here at the store have been working on blogs about what makes Jackson special for each of us personally, but we want to hear from you, too!

I’m sending out a call to arms, a call for you to help us yell and holler until we’re hoarse about how this city is more than statistics, more than its past, and full of the possibility for a bright present and future. I need you to write a few paragraphs about what makes Jackson special to you personally and send it in to me so that I can put it up on our blog. You guys are the reason that Lemuria exists, and your voices are so, so important to us. So crack those knuckles, sit down with that cup of coffee, and tell me why you love this place. Let’s share it with the world.

Please email all entries to hannah@lemuriabooks.com

Written by Hannah

Jackson: photographs by Ken Murphy is available now for purchase. To order a copy, call Lemuria Books at 601.366.7619 or visit us online at www.lemuriabooks.com. Please join us in celebrating Jackson on August 5th at 5:00 in Banner Hall!

Written by Hannah