Armand Coullet, Mississippi Impressario
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
12h ago
On Saturday, March 17, 1951, the stage of Jackson’s Civic Auditorium supported a cast of players the likes of which never had nor never since has tread the boards in the capital city. As the very Devil himself, Charles Laughton led Agnes Moorehead, Charles Boyer and Sir Cecil Hardwicke in a surprisingly successful enactment of Shaw’s “Don Juan in Hell”. The review in Sunday’s Clarion-Ledger (“‘Don Juan in Hell’ a Big Hit Here”) states that the Jackson audience was thrilled with “Agnes Moorehead’s amazing transformation from a woman of 77 at death to a lady of 27 in Hell”, adding that “Laughton ..read more
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Quick Summer Pickles
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
4d ago
Slice or cube young summer cucumbers, tomatoes, or squash. Pack into a quart jar. Mix a cup of water, about a third a cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon each salt and sugar. A little garlic is a nice touch. Stir until dissolved, pour over vegetables, and add liquid to cover. Seal and shake a time or two before refrigerating. Let sit overnight before serving. These keep for about a week, but they’re usually gone by then ..read more
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The Segregated Landscape
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
6d ago
Jennifer Baughn says of her seminal work, Buildings of Mississippi, that the goal “from the start was to integrate—and I use that word purposely—black and white landscapes.” In this splendid essay (presented as a sidebar on p. 313), Baughn explains how the components of Mississippi’s landscape came to reflect the divisions of the state’s closed society. Before the Civil War, enslaved blacks were discouraged or prohibited from congregating without white oversight, and although blacks and whites interacted on a daily basis, it was in the context of owner and owned, powerful and powerless. For a ..read more
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So You’ve Moved to the Rural South
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
6d ago
Congratulations! However, depending on where you’re from, there are probably a few things here that will come as a nasty shock to you. Here are a few of those things. Consider this as a guide. It is by no means exhaustive. 1. When you’re driving past your neighbors, you wave at them. This sends a signal that says “I am one of you, I belong here, I see you”. It also sends another, arguably more important signal that says “I promise not to scrape the left side of your F150 with the left side of my F150”. 2. Yes, everybody here drives an F150. Yes, every single one of those F150s is absolutely ne ..read more
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Kenneth Tobey: A Love Letter from Mykki
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
1w ago
by Mykki Newton Kenneth Tobey appeared in hundreds of feature films and television shows of almost every genre, but to Monster Kids he is best remembered as the romantic figure of a career military man who never backed down from a monster fight. I guess I should explain what a “Monster Kid” is to those not familiar with the term.  A Monster Kid is someone who grew up watching classic science fiction and horror movies produced prior to 1970. Many Monster Kid’s first exposure to Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and all the Cold War creatures representing our fear of the nucl ..read more
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Shrimp and Eggplant Curry
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
1w ago
Once as a very young man, I walked into a health food store that was run by one of those formidable New Age types whose moral superiority in the realm of nutrition–which she considered an extension of her deep-seated beliefs in The Great Mother and Her Bosom of Beneficence–was further exaggerated by just being an asshole herself. When I asked her where she kept the curry, she literally sniffed, tilted her nose towards the tie-dyed bed sheets covering the ceiling and said, “I’m sure you mean to make your own. If you’ll give me your recipe, I’ll show you where you can find the ingredients.” So ..read more
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Valley of Dry Bones: A Meditation on Change by Howard Bahr
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
1w ago
In 1951, author S. Skip Farrington, Jr., bestirred himself to see how America’s railroads were faring in the years following World War Two. What he found was a thriving industry open to innovation and dedicated to customer service. In his classic Railroading the Modern Way (Coward-McCann, 1951), Farrington extolled the virtues of the great companies whose heralds, maps, lists of officers, and intricate schedules fattened The Official Guide to the Railways, that indispensable yearly publication, the size of a Chicago phone book, that every ticket clerk and agent in the Republic consulted for t ..read more
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My Scalloped Potatoes
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
1w ago
I make a blond roux with butter, add enough whole milk to make a thin sauce, which I season with salt and white pepper. I then parboil waxy potatoes, peel and slice thinly, layer them in a glass or porcelain baking dish, spooning the sauce between the layers. This is baked in a medium-high oven (350 or so) until the potatoes are tender through and the top somewhat browned ..read more
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The First Memorial Day
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
1w ago
Widely acknowledged as the precursor of Memorial Day, observance of a Decoration Day began shortly after the end of hostilities in the Civil War, when citizens began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. Many cities claim to be home of this observance, including Waterloo, NY, Boalsburg, PA, Carbondale, IL, Columbus, GA, and much closer to home, Columbus, Mississippi. In their 2014 book, The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday, Dr. Richard Gardiner and Daniel Bellware state that according to the Veteran’s Administration, at least 25 cities across America claim to have originated the Memori ..read more
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Ill Wind from Mississippi
Mississippi Sideboard
by Jesse Yancy
2w ago
In February, 1944, Laura Z. Hobson, a 43-year-old, divorced Jewish mother in Manhattan, read an article in Time magazine that reported Mississippi Rep. John Rankin had called Walter Winchell a “kike.” Hobson was outraged, even more so to read that nobody in Congress protested, particularly during the height of the Holocaust. She wrote about the Rankin incident in her first draft of Gentleman’s Agreement, the story of a Gentile reporter who pretends to be Jewish to investigate anti-Semitism. That someone as all-American as the reporter, played by Gregory Peck, succeeded with such a masquerade ..read more
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