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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
I woke up to a phone call around nine in the morning; my friend’s neighbor’s grandmother’s employee had just quit his job, and they needed someone to come in immediately. Naturally, I was next in line. I drove across town to a strip mall I had never seen before and wandered into an unmarked restaurant where I was greeted by two golden lions, the king of Thailand (who was placing a call on an old brick phone), and a particularly satisfied Buddha.
While perusing the West Tennessee Farmers’ Market, it would be hard to pass by the mountain of deep green vegetables and neon radishes of Rose Creek Farms, owned by Ray and Ashley Tyler. Their farm is nestled in a valley in Selmer, Tennessee, with a little over one acre of active farming land. With the help of high tunnels and row covers, they’re able to extend the typical season barriers to grow deliciously tender greens and veggies all year round.
My daughter is in the fifth grade. She’s just beginning that transition from child to full-blown adolescent. And with that transition inevitably comes the time when I’m not fun enough to hang out with on a Friday night. I’m experiencing that right now. Sure, it wounds the pride a little, but I knew it was coming, so we’re dealing with it. By “dealing with it,” I mean that we’re inviting her friends to do stuff with us on the weekends now instead of putting a puzzle together or playing Mario Kart or watching Andi Mack.
Is there a better time of year to get out and enjoy the weather than October? Sure, there’s always fall break, Halloween, and a few good Saturday morning races, but don’t forget the local beer, fashion shows, and some dog-friendly fun! Check out Katie Howerton’s five top events for this month.
By most standards, I’m a baby vegetarian, as I’ve only been a vegetarian for three-and-a-half years. But in those years, I’ve seen my body do incredible things. Let me back up a little bit. After having my first child, I struggled with losing the sixty pounds (yikes) I’d gained during pregnancy. I talked to a friend of mine who I’d always considered “the healthy one,” and she gave me some of her favorite recipes. I noticed all of them were meatless. So I decided to cut out meat, but just for a little while because, hello, bacon!
Great art is meant to be experienced. It is not enough to see a picture of a painting by Delacroix or Jacques-Louis David in an art history book. You must tramp across the wide corridors of the Louvre and encounter them in all the massive, unbelievable glory and beauty; anything else is only a poor substitute. This sort of artistic experience is a great blessing, and it explains why so many people continue to visit the great museums of the world.
As we all gear up for this week's 4th Annual International Food & Art Festival, we're wondering how it could get any better! Check out this photo gallery from last year as Katie Howerton highlights the people of the festival—so many different ages, ethnicities, and religions, but all part of Jackson on this special day.
I slipped my hands into my jacket pockets and stepped out into the cool, not-quite-wintry February afternoon. It was a pleasant Thursday on the University of Memphis Lambuth campus, and I was in need of a good walk among the trees before I began my afternoon Spanish class. Ever since I can remember, nature has always been an escape for me.
My dad had a Jeep when I was very young. Riding in it was one of my earliest memories. I don’t remember the model or the color (it could have been brown) or if there was a lift on it. I only remember that it didn’t have a top and that the wind would blow in my face as he drove. The sky was over my head, the clouds directly above me. I knew that I liked the feeling of having nothing blocking my senses. Light poured in. The breeze slapped us silly. We could see everything above and around us.
2002 was the year that changed my life. I had just moved to “the big city” of Jackson from the incredibly small town of Trezevant, Tennessee. My new journey started at Union University as a Christian Studies major, and quickly I realized I had turned religion into a textbook, not an action. It took a while to recover from the shock of not knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, as this was my plan for quite some time—going into ministry. I continued pressing on with my major until 201 Ash Street happened.
Life changes quickly. It is the start of another school year. The word “new” seems to permeate all conversations: new clothes, new shoes, new school supplies, new teachers, new schedules, new friends, new experiences, and new adventures. These things seem to give us all a fresh start and a regeneration of life for this season. But for some, this way of life is not a given. We have all heard the old saying, “The one thing in life that is constant is change.”
What will a person not do because of love? With love, the seemingly absurd and impossible becomes logical and likely. Love is what drives us to actions and accomplishments, from the noblest and greatest to ordinary and poignant. To paraphrase the famous early twentieth century English author G.K. Chesterton, something becomes great or beautiful or indeed lovely because we love it. Not because it was great, beautiful, or lovely before we came. This is because love is transformative.
Gathering with friends and family around a beloved movie is a special thing for many people. Maybe it’s a yearly tradition of going to the movie theater on Christmas Day or a parent taking a child to each new superhero film that hits the screen. These are bonding experiences, and with Jackson Outdoor Movies now a part of our community, locals can make more memories like these under the stars. Jackson Outdoor Movies provides a first-class movie watching experience for public and private events.
September just might be Jackson's most nostalgic month, bringing us favorite events we've loved for years. From classics like the Starlight Symphony, state fair, and International Food & Arts Festival to new fun and fall races, this month is bound to keep your family entertained every weekend.
We have loved following along with Jackson Downtown Development Corporation's "People of Downtown" series on Facebook and Instagram, and this week, we were lucky enough to have our own Editor-in-Chief Katie Howerton featured. Read a little more of her story below and find out why downtown Jackson is such an important part of Our Jackson Home's mission.
The year was 1984, and a young student from a remote region in the heart of Africa walked out of a small Jesuit mission in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Makim Mputubwele was leaving a torn country to study applied linguistics in the sprawling, peaceful landscapes of Indiana.
Never ever in a million years would I have guessed that I would be a small business owner living in Jackson, Tennessee. I am one of the most shy people you will ever meet. That ambitious entrepreneur spirit is in me, but growing up, it wasn’t readily apparent, even to me. My husband, on the other hand, always knew he would work for himself and probably stay here in Jackson. Both of our grandparents owned their own businesses, and their examples shaped our lives. When I think of Jackson, I think of my family.
If you have been to a lazy weekend day the West Tennessee Farmers’ Market or a night out at one of Jackson’s finer dining establishments, then you are no stranger to the soothing sounds of Scott Myatt’s music. Myatt’s song, a mixture of melodic singing and guitar playing, is a familiar sound often filling the air throughout our city. A part-time musician and a part-time visual artist, Myatt brings his lyrical touch on the senses to locals as a proud citizen of Jackson.
August is here, which means school is back in session and the weather may be a bit better—right? Either way, Jackson still has some awesome events to keep you and the family entertained as we say goodbye to summer, from golfing and hacking to contemporary music and old movies. Check out what you should be at this month.
Each year, we gather together on July 31 to recognize Jackson, Tennessee, and all that makes it special. 731Day is not about Our Jackson Home but rather about what OJH stands for: "celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love." An essential aspect of the 731Day celebration is music. We have many talented local musicians in our area, and we'll be lucky to hear their tunes in person at our first-ever Porchfest.
With Vol. 4, Issue 2: Sensations coming out here in just a couple of weeks, we've been working with Tennessee Industrial Printing Services to make sure the quality is as pristine as ever. Check out this video by Kevin Adelsberger interviewing our Editor-in-Chief Katie Howerton about why we love TIPS and what they have meant to our business over the years.
I am not one who marches for a cause. I don’t exactly enjoy situations in which I have to follow someone else’s lead. I am not an activist. In fact, I think some activists can be detrimental to the cause for which they are advocating. At some point, it all becomes white noise, or worse, it becomes flammable to the ears of everyone else. At its best, activism can enact societal change for the better over a long period of time; at its worst, it can become divisive to the point of an irreparable dislocation.
What would happen if a natural storm wiped out the heart of a city? How would the identity of a community remain intact if vital parts of it are destroyed? These are questions that the Madison County Archives prepares to answer with every property deed, court record, and legal notice that is carefully preserved on its shelves. “You could re-create local history with the files we have,” Archivist Thomas Aud tells me from his seat in the Archives atrium.
This Tennessee summer heat is almost more than we can bear, but at least there's lots going around in town to keep us busy and happy! From fireworks and 5k's to music and theatre, July will be a month to remember. Here are the events we hope to see you at!
Once upon a time, the US-45 Bypass was built to smooth traffic flow on what we all know and love as Highland Avenue. However, even upgrades need upgrades, and one needn’t be a native of Jackson to notice all the recent changes to the Bypass, particularly where it merges onto I-40 at Casey Jones Village.
Stacey Fain’s journey to opening her own ice cream truck started when her husband asked her what her dream was. Just a few hours after that conversation, they were searching for the perfect truck to get started! Although they also serve banana splits, sundaes, and shakes, as well as dairy- and gluten-free packaged products, Stacey’s Ice Cream Cruiser is best known for their delicious soft serve ice cream in chocolate, vanilla, and twist.
“Community is not something you have, like pizza,” wrote social critic James Howard Kunstler in The Geography of Nowhere. “Nor is it something you can buy. It’s a living organism based on a web of interdependencies—which is to say a local economy.” Americans, perhaps above all others, have bought into the lie in the last couple of generations that each person is an island, shaping her or his own destiny with nothing but a morning shot of caffeine and a solid WiFi connection.
It is one of the most tense places in the world. A tightly packed geographic meeting of three major religions and a nervous geopolitical flashpoint, the area sits within the inner circle of major foreign policy decisions for most countries. Needless to say, the Old City of Jerusalem does not regularly serve as an exhibition stage for fringe outdoor sports. On May 2, 2016, however, visitors to the Tower of David on the western edge of the Old City saw something unique.
I grew up in Franklin, Tennessee, thirty minutes south of Nashville, where recycling is a part of the landscape. Most people there are careful to sort out their blue bags however they need to in order to make environmental sustainability a reality for their community. When I moved to Jackson in 2015, though, it seemed no one could give me information on where and how I could recycle, something that I imagine comes as a shock to many who move to the area. You can’t buy blue bins at Lowe’s, and even Home Depot’s selection is extremely small. There isn’t even public curbside pickup available in the city, and I haven’t seen any recycling dumpsters throughout the community.
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After playing football at UT Martin, coaching for thirty years at the University School of Jackson, and now basing his career at Trenton Rosenwald Middle School, Mickey Marley sure has a lot of lessons learned to share. Today on our podcast, Kevin Adelsberger gets a glimpse into his life and encourages us to get the full story in Mickey's new book, Game Ready.
Order your copy of the latest issue of the Our Jackson Home journal—Vol. 4, Issue 2: Sensations. This issue covers August through November 2018 and explores the five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. Enjoy stories ranging from local restaurants and tattoo shops to Jackson’s music and arts culture. Click here to learn more, and click here to subscribe to the journal for a full year.
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