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Partial to Home: A night on the river

Posted 8/27/2016 in Local Columns

Beth and I went kayaking Wednesday afternoon. We launched at DeWayne Hayes Park out near Columbus Air Force Base. It's lovely out there.

 

Partial to Home: Prankster fails to get Harper's goat

Posted 8/20/2016 in Local Columns

OK, let's get one thing straight before we go any further: Bobby Harper has no more goats for sale. Fact is, he never had any to begin with. Throughout most of August, though, he's had a pleasant, though not always easy, time trying to convince readers of the Mississippi Market Bulletin of that.

 

Partial to Home: Extracting sweetness

Posted 8/13/2016 in Local Columns

Since company was coming at 7:30, bright and early, we needed to get up and get moving. There was the old cypress table Melvin Brewer made for us to move to the garage, the extractor to set up and the five-gallon pails to rinse out.

 

Partial to Home: Snake handling trumps political speeches at fair

Posted 7/30/2016 in Local Columns

NESHOBA COUNTY FAIR, THURSDAY -- Phil Bryant is on stage talking about Tuesday at the fair with his new friend, "Don Trump," the candidate's son.

 

Partial to Home: As pools proliferate, swimming holes nearing extinction

Posted 7/23/2016 in Local Columns

Nedra Mitchell has a lot of pictures on her cellphone. So many, it took her several minutes Thursday to dig up two images of swimming holes in the Caledonia area, one she took Memorial Day, the other about 40 years ago.

 

Partial to Home: Bluegrass in the heart of the county

Posted 6/25/2016 in Local Columns

As Troy Clyde Eaves lay dying, his seven children gathered round to do what they had done with their father all their lives, play music. Bluegrass and gospel music. Around midnight, a curious thing happened.

 

Partial to Home: A steak with Martie

Posted 6/18/2016 in Local Columns

Years ago, when our firstborn was small enough to carry around in a basket, a night on the town was often dinner at the Old Hickory Steakhouse.

 

Partial to Home: Summer in a jar

Posted 6/11/2016 in Local Columns

Pat Burwell is telling me how to get to her house in Steens, but I'm not getting it.

 

Partial to Home: The view from Homer's front porch

Posted 5/28/2016 in National Columns

It's Friday afternoon and I'm sitting on the front porch of an uninhabited trailer that until recently was the home of Homer Cantrell.

 

Birney Imes: The fraternity of beekeepers

Posted 5/21/2016 in Local Columns

Omar is having trouble with his bees; they're not producing honey. This according to Rashita, the woman who manages the inn where I am staying.

 

Partial to Home: Questions without answers

Posted 5/14/2016 in Local Columns

A woman in our group wonders aloud if the birds were singing when the air was filled with ash. I walk over to the fence and balance my recorder on the rusting strands of barbed wire.

 

Partial to Home: Persimmons

Posted 4/23/2016 in Local Columns

About four years ago a friend visiting from the North rode with me to a rural church outside of Caledonia to photograph the tombstone for a woman's leg. The woman had the leg removed for medical reasons, and, perhaps thinking it would be useful later, had it buried next to the spot her remains would eventually (and now) inhabit. Her husband's grave neighbored her on the other side.

 

Partial to Home: A eulogy for Bob

Posted 4/16/2016 in Local Columns

Last weekend I attended the funeral of a dear friend who died after an almost two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Though not a religious man, Bob's funeral was held in a Catholic church in a scruffy section of Syracuse.

 

Partial to Home: Emoji, Uber and two birthdays

Posted 3/26/2016 in Local Columns

One afternoon last week I walked into the house to find our grandson helping Beth develop a personal emoji. You know, those little icons that go with emails and text messages to communicate emotion: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise.

 

Birney Imes: Fossil hunting on the Luxapalila

Posted 3/19/2016 in Local Columns

Eighty-five million years ago, sharks swam where Gardner Boulevard is now. Carnivorous raptors roamed nearby beaches. Ten-foot-long crocodiles thrashed about.

 

Birney Imes: A bit of Alabama history

Posted 2/27/2016 in Local Columns

Tuesday afternoon, in a warehouse in Fayette, Alabama, Kimberly Bowling, a 45-year-old mother of three, Auburn University graduate and business owner, maneuvered a pallet jack up the ramp of a semi-trailer and pushed it under a listing tower of glass jars. The jars, $20,000 worth of them, had just arrived by truck from Jonesboro, Arkansas.

 

The gentle gardener

Posted 2/13/2016 in Local Columns

Back in the 60s when he was a student at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, and dating a pretty young coed named Jessie, Melchie Koonce had an idea.

 

Partial to Home: 'Remember me as you pass by'

Posted 2/6/2016 in Local Columns

If you want to find Billie Noland on a Thursday morning, the best place to look is Friendship Cemetery. Such has been the case for 29 years.

 

Grandma Willie's Jerusalem artichoke relish

Posted 1/16/2016 in Local Columns

A letter from a 93-year-old woman in Bartahatchie leads to living room in Brooksville. There on Thursday afternoon I heard stories about long-ago teenagers dancing barefoot in a local dance hall and learned some of the finer points of making Jerusalem artichoke relish.

 

Partial to Home: Google's Earth

Posted 1/9/2016 in Local Columns

Mrs. Leonard Ross sent us a letter last week. Enclosed was a check for six months of The Dispatch and a year's subscription to Catfish Alley. In a note with her check, Mrs. Ross wrote, "Have been subscribing to your paper since water!!! Keep it going to print!" She also wrote, "Tell Birney to keep 'Partial to Home' articles going. Printed news very important for us 'oldies,' who are not 'computer involved.'"

 

 

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