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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
Entrepreneurs are sometimes the kind of people who come up with an idea and ruthlessly execute it. Others stumble into businesses ownership when their hobbies or passions lead them down a winding path of challenges and unexpected joys. Walt and Michelle James, the new owners of the Downtown Tavern, fall into the latter category. They are a pair of charitable entrepreneurs who were flung into the revitalization of downtown Jackson.
On Sunday afternoons during the months of September through January, odds are, someone you know is watching football. In fact, in the fall of 2015, twenty-six of the twenty-seven most-watched shows on television were football games. The one exception was the Republican primary, which was the thirteenth most-watched show over that time span. Football is, unquestionably, the king of all sports in America right now. One could argue that it is the most popular form of viewing entertainment, period.
When I first moved to Jackson, my only regret in my college choice was (what seemed to me) the lack of natural beauty in the university’s town. As a Middle Tennessee native and an East Tennessee enthusiast, I grew up enthralled by the beauty of Tennessee’s landscape: the rolling hills, slow-moving rivers, and Blue Ridge Mountains in the east. Hence, my relocation to West Tennessee was, quite literally, flattening.
Noah was five years old when we found out that he had cancer. He was in my Sunday School class and would come walking down the hallways at church with this skipping kind of swagger and the biggest grin on his face, like he knew something—or maybe had just done something. He was always smiling. So one day I asked him why he smiled so much. He grinned even bigger and said, “I don't know.”
Our first annual celebration of 731Day was a blast, and we're so glad that our old friend Trevor Masterson captured so many of its best moments on video. Check out this recap of some of this awesome day, and start getting ready for next year!
A few years ago I was talking to a friend of mine who lives in Denver about her plans for the evening. She told me she was going on a bicycle pub crawl. I had no idea what she was talking about. She explained that she and a group of her friends would rent bicycles and ride around downtown Denver and visit the local pubs and bars in the area. The idea was to have one drink at each location and then move on to the next place via bicycle.
I think most people would agree that there’s not much better than a good slice of pizza, especially after a long day at work or during an action-packed football game. You can get mediocre pizza from tons of places, but if you want some delicious, handcrafted, brick oven pizza, I’ve got just the place for you: Rock’n Dough Pizza + Brew Co. In addition to the aforementioned amazing pizza, Rock’n Dough offers grinders, salads, desserts, and weekly lunch specials, such as lasagna, shrimp and grits, and calzones.
Sitting with Taylor and Craig Lott at their recently opened business The Rugged Reclaimers, I ask them to describe their business to me, partly because I’ve had so much trouble describing it myself. A retailer of reclaimed (and new) goods, it’s tempting to group Rugged Reclaimers in under the moniker of antique or thrift store. But despite the number of antiques and goods usually associated with thrifting (pre-owned men’s flannel shirts, furniture, etc.), “antique” or “thrift store” still doesn’t sound quite right.
Nestled among the bustling restaurants and big box stores on Vann Drive, you can find one of the best local women’s clothing and accessories boutiques in town. Mam’selle is located right next to Starbucks and carries a huge selection of gorgeous pieces from dresses to handbags to candles. Mam’selle is home to many well-known designer lines including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Hobo, Frye, and the recently added Kate Spade.
This 731Day, we're proud to bring you Vol. 2, Issue 3: Harvest! This fall 2016 magazine will be available July 31, premiering at the 731Day Summer Pop-Up Shop. You can pick up your preordered copy at the shop or theCO, or you can have it shipped directly to you. Enjoy this short promo video by Katie Howerton hinting at some of our magazine's best stories.
A little over a year ago, I spent the summer exploring as many nearby state parks and national parks as I could squeeze into my schedule and my budget. After shedding more than a few dollars in kayak and canoe rentals, I decided to consider what it would be like to actually purchase a kayak. After some research and shopping around, I plunged into becoming a kayak owner.
The Jackson Theatre Guild initiates the 2016-2017 season with the musical Guys and Dolls, now playing at The Ned. Set in colorful New York, the conflict between the police and the illegal gambling ring of craps is at an all time high. Nathan Detroit, played by Billy Worboys, is famous for setting up secret meeting places to shoot craps. But with the police on high alert, he must come up with $1,000 cash in order to secure a location.
It seems quite contradictory to write a piece on why people should stay in Jackson on the eve of our move to Nashville. After eight years of choosing to stay, the decision to leave didn’t come easily, and I certainly put up a fight. However, I had to come to terms with the fact that sometimes a dream is for a season, and it’s okay for dreams to develop towards other places. You don’t have to abandon a sense of “place” once you move.
I have an affinity for hardworking people. That's why I like guys like Brandon Barnett. Brandon is one of Jackson's more interesting songwriters, and he also has a knack for churning out thoughtprovoking podcasts about the struggles of being a musician via "Left of Nashville." I sat down with Brandon last month to talk about things we liked and his music/podcast endeavors.
I had forgotten how exhilarating it is to fly up in the sky. The takeoff, the landing, and the whole experience seems to take your breath away. Maybe that’s because I don’t travel by air as often as I would like. I still think it’s crazy that Katie Howerton and I managed to take time out of our schedules to enjoy a day trip to St. Louis—flown directly out of Jackson. Encouraging a getaway trip to St. Louis might not come across as a typical Our Jackson Home topic. At least that’s what I thought at first.
"Hear me, people of the jungle! I, Mowgli, keeper of the law and guardian of the jungle, have come to entertain you!" The Jackson Children and Teen Theatre has put on The Jungle Book: The Musical at The Ned. The show opens with the talented Mowgli, played by Grayson Hart. He effectively captures the insolence and over-confidence of his character. The top vocal performance of the night, however, belongs to the tiger, Shere Khan, played by Lauren Ragsdale, for the song, "Can't We Be Friends."
One of the many reasons that I started Hello Jackson was to create a resource for people traveling through West Tennessee to find local businesses to support. One of the places that is already pretty popular with travelers is the I-40 Exit 87 BBQ Stand. It is a food truck-style establishment with a lot of character. Growing up, I always associated barbecue with family gatherings. Any time we all got together, we went somewhere to get some delicious pulled pork and all the sides.
The first job I remember having was working a lemonade stand. My cul-de-sac was having a yard sale, and I took my Fisher Price cassette player and microphone out front and sold cold drinks to passersby. My brother and I kept the money in a pencil case, and my mother baked some treats to attract more people. From the very first sale, my brother and I were hooked on lemonade stands. We got more sophisticated as the years went on with handmade signs and slogans.
Megan was a fact nut, the kind of girl who was interested in the details in everything she studied. She once committed a semester to checking out a certain number of design books at the library just to keep herself inspired in her trade and always learning. So it shouldn’t have surprised me when began research on her new historic duplex on Arlington and affectionately referred to it by the name the metal sign read outside: The Merriweather House.
It's finally summer, and what better way to get you in the mood to soak up the sun than with the perfect set of songs from our music-lovin' writer Olivia Skelton? Check out this twenty-tune playlist created just for Jackson, also available for listening on Spotify.
We've had a blast getting a taste of some of Jackson's finest restaurants, new and old, during our first season of Our Jackson Table! Check out these first thirteen stops we've made throughout the spring, then join us for even more local cuisine this summer.
In the middle of what to some could be considered poetic chaos, there is a disarray of hotel bookings, bus scheduling, vendor organization, food and beverage orders, and official players rosters yet to be released. All those are made by one man. I sat down with Jason Compton, General Manager of the Jackson Generals, who is now in his seventeenth season with the team. The Major League Baseball season has already begun, but the Generals begin on April 7.
I’m seated by a floor-to-ceiling window in a Memphis coffee shop waiting for a former professor of mine. Memphis, because it’s his home turf. I watch the passersby coming and going on this sunny Saturday, and as I’m looking outside, I see Bobby C. Rogers turning the corner of Cooper and Cowden. He is a professor of English at Union University.
When I moved to Jackson to attend Union University, I had no connections to the community. I didn’t know anyone who lived here and planned to escape Jackson as soon as I got my degree. A few weeks into my freshman year, one of my professors gave his class two options: we could write a ten-page research paper, or we could volunteer for a couple hours a week throughout the semester at an after-school program called the HUB Club.
I often think of the power of words. The words others use to you about you, the words you use. The words that came before us and the words that will come long after we’re gone. The very same tool that can inspire and lead to greatness also can be used to cut down, leaving only rubble where something wonderful should have stood. Jackson could be either of those, and the power is in those who call it home.
Exit 85: West Tennessee School for the Deaf. I take this exit off of I-40 every week to go to my English lessons. The exit sign catches my eye (and not just because it is also the exit for Christmasville Road, which I think is a pretty fantastic name for a road). Here is some background to the significance of my road sign musings: my youngest brother, Jack, is hard of hearing. After we found out about his hearing loss, our family moved several hours away in order to be near a good school for him.
Nestled on top of a hill and surrounded by a beautiful vineyard is the charming Botbyl Pottery & Companion Gallery, where you will find a gorgeous selection of handmade pottery, baskets, textiles, jewelry, and even handmade bath products. The majority of the pottery in Companion Gallery is made by owner Eric Botbyl, who is a longtime artist and potter. The gallery also features work by Kelsey Nagy, Amelia Stamps, Shadow May, Caroline Cercone, Becky Rosenkrans, and Made on Acorn Hill.
The annual event "A Taste of Jackson & West Tennessee" took place at the West Tennessee Farmers' Market last night. This evening allows local restaurants and food vendors to showcase their wares to benefit the March of Dimes. Taste of Jackson is a great opportunity to try to flavors of some of Jackson's most popular restaurants as well as those of some places you may have never visited.
A few months ago, I sat across a table from a four-year-old named Thomas. He and I were waiting on his dad who was in the gym coaching my son and the rest of a high school church league basketball team. I had some paper and markers, so we began to draw. Thomas drew his brother, where he lived, a mystery map, the gate to his house, the family car, his mom, his dad, a basketball, a fish in the water, and much, much more. Did I know this because he was a gifted illustrator?
Have you been through a breakup recently? Have you ever been let down? Have you ever wanted to let someone know how you really felt but weren’t sure if you could say it to their face? Or if they even deserved that luxury? Well, then I’ve got the music for you. Bo Kitzman got his heart broken, and he’s not afraid to tell you about it. I got a chance to sit down with him recently and pick his brain about his own feelings. He also asked me to share a few of my thoughts on his songs.
On Our Podcast
Celebrate 100 years of National Parks!
With the presidential election just around the corner, we've definitely got government on the mind, and sometimes it's nice to have a place to debate and discuss our nation's issues. Today on our podcast, Kevin Adelsberger sits down with Dustin Summers, the Chairman of the Madison County Young Republicans and the Executive Director of the West Tennessee Physicians Alliance. Hear about this West Tennessee native's journey through politics, education, and health, and listen to his thoughts on this year's election.
Fall is finally in full swing, and if you're anything like me, you know that there are few things better than fall camping season. There's just something about the cozy campfires and the chilly mornings that makes being outdoors in the fall so much more invigorating than any other season. And if you live in Jackson, you're fortunate to be surrounded by tons of nearby state parks and recreation areas that make getting out in nature a breeze.