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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
Call me crazy, but my first time ever at a state fair was Friday, September 15, 2017. Yep. Last week. Perhaps I was hidden from this curious world throughout my childhood because my parents prioritized safety and sanitation, two things fairs aren't known for; but germs and fire hazards aside, I stepped onto the Jackson Fairgrounds on Friday night not sure of what to expect.
Throughout my childhood, my parents and I would travel to Bells, Tennessee, to visit our relatives. With me being an only child, looking out of the car window was my main source of entertainment until we reached our destination. While passing through, there was one particular building that caught my eye. I suppose it was the huge movie poster displays or vibrant signs that always grabbed my attention. We’ve stopped in and shopped at a few stores on that strip, but I can’t recall ever entering in the mysterious building.
We've all been there: It's a Friday night, and you're craving a burger like nobody's business. Fast food won't suffice, and while local staples like Burger Barn always hit the spot, you're looking for something a little more unique. It begs the question: What is Jackson's best burger? Well, in honor of the upcoming National Cheeseburger Day, we're taking you on a tour of three of Jackson's most creative and tasty burgers—but only you can decide which reigns supreme!
In March of 2016 I began dating my girlfriend Natalie, a girl who was born and raised in Jackson and who had the knowledge to back it up. Me being an out-of-town transplant, she thought that it was of great importance for me to learn a little culture and history of this city that we know and love. I gladly complied. Usually these lessons were unplanned and casual. As things came up in conversation she would explain to me the history as best she knew it. One of those things was Waffle House.
There is a spot in this little city that beckons me come when I am in need—in need of assurance, in need of rest, in need of a change of scenery. I must admit, I did not find this spot on my own. I was dating a boy that understood my tendency for restlessness, and one night at dusk, he drove me to his secret respite in our small world. We sat at the edge of the parking lot of what is now a bustling commercial hub and watched the sun go down over our city. For the first time, I saw life here.
Lambuth University and its small, historic campus seemed enchanting from the first time I set eyes on it the morning I went to register for my junior year in the fall of 1993. I was breathless at the charm and history that seeped from every leaf and brick. Everything from the old oak trees that stood guard like ancient soldiers to the squirrels that ran around chattering (with an attitude bigger than they were) contributed to the magic feeling of the place.
Clothing has been a symbol of identity since the beginning of time, and fashion remains one of the most prevalent ways to express oneself. Jackson is home to over twenty original boutiques with apparel as unique as the businesses themselves, and each caters to its own audience, with styles, colors, and combinations for all ages, sizes, and personalities. Kristi Woody introduces us to four of these local gems, capturing their identity through photography.
So we were on the hunt again. Charles and I had not been geocaching for a long time, and I decided it was the best way to spend an afternoon off work, to which he replied, “Okay,” in his signature shrug and half-smile. Our first geocaching adventure was nearly nine years prior to this. We had found a few by the Love’s truck stop in Jackson and more by some historical landmarks around town. At the time I saw this as a simple act, two friends doing something random together just because.
Recent Union University graduate David Parks has found a fascination with the night sky that goes beyond the occasional star gaze in the countryside. Having been an avid photographer since the age of thirteen, Parks began attempting more challenging landscapes in 2013 when he was in Jackson studying astrophotography in his free time. Using a longer exposure, he is able to capture the slow, bright movements of the cosmos, a process that requires exact precision and a good dose of patience.
In May of 2016, there was weeping and gnashing of teeth—or so it would have appeared. Schools rich in personal and communal history were closing. Their doors were shutting for good, and the buildings would just sit there, rotting. There was no clear plan for what would happen to those buildings other than the fact that they wouldn’t house students.
Our second annual celebration of 731Day was an absolute blast, and Shelby Kee and Katie Howerton have put together this highlight video to show you how much fun we have! Go ahead and mark your calendars for next year; Tuesday, July 31 will come faster than you think! Featuring "Rebels" by Coopertheband.
Growing up into my late teens or early twenties, I had so many people telling me what I needed to do and what I needed not to do. Looking back, it was very overwhelming to someone like me, a naturally meek and quiet person. I had so many opinions thrown at me, and it took me a few years to finally sit down and truly think about what I wanted in my life. I was told countless times by various people how I needed to move away, get out of this small town, and live somewhere bigger because there's so much "more."
Fellow Jackson citizens: Do you need anything? How about legal counsel? Perhaps varicose veins reductions? Are you a painter who needs dance classes? What about some good old-fashioned matchmaking? Then you need Dolly! Fortunately for us, Hello, Dolly! has come to the stage at The Ned, and she has brought all her business cards with her. Dolly Levi, played by Julie Glosson, is an expert at everything. In her own words, she’s a professional meddler.
Terry Prince & The Principles is a Memphis-based band with a well-developed sound and solid local roots. They’ve recorded a new EP entitled You Are Here at Rocket Science Audio in Memphis. Their talents will soon be showcased through a live set at the well-beloved Grimey’s, a Nashville record store. And, perhaps most importantly for our audience, Terry Prince & The Principles will be at Bassmnt Jackson this Saturday night.
It's that special time of year again: 731Day! Of course, as with any holiday, you'll be looking for the perfect soundtrack to boost your celebration. That's why I compiled a playlist of thirty-one songs, all by artists and bands who call Tennessee their home. What better way to enjoy your hometown than hearing the music that your neighbors have created? Now you can support local music along with the local businesses participating in 731Day.
“Are we broken?” I saw those three words at the top of an article a couple of months ago. They were referring to the current political climate in our country. Without delving into specifics, it’s safe to say that our present political situation is a bit perilous. Communication between parties vacillates between accusatory and defensive. The president is being investigated for obstruction of justice relating to a foreign country tampering in our election.
Poet and Nobel Prize winner T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” This is certainly true for higher education opportunities that may have not been available to many students based on the space in which they find themselves in life. However, community colleges around the country have given a new hope to these students, providing them with an opportunity to “Stay Close, Go Far.” In fact, this is the slogan of Jackson State Community College.
Small Town Big Sound started off with a dream: Keegan Paluso’s desire to use his musical background to help others in West Tennessee realize their potential. What began as this idea soon formed into a community of local artists, each with different and diverse experiences, working together to create original music. Keegan shared with me about how Small Town Big Sound writes, records, and produces the music of our area.
It's been another great season of flavors classic and adventurous, hot and cold, casual and elite. Check out Katie Howerton's review of our spring 2017 #OurJacksonTable dozen, and join us in trying even more local restaurants, food trucks, and snack shacks this summer!
Whenever I see children playing, I look on in awe as they construct their secret worlds right in front of me with equal parts determination and abandon. One minute, they’re deeply engrossed in a world of fantastical creatures and spaceships where the good side will undoubtedly prevail.
I’ve been a mom now for over four years. While there are few things that four years will make you an expert at, I’d say I’ve earned a mom badge or two. I’ve also had my fair share of epic mom fails. Whether you’ve put parts of your own life on hold to stay home with your children or you’re negotiating the difficult balance between being a career woman and a mama (or maybe you’re like me with one leg in each camp trying to do both but mostly just doing an uncoordinated split), this article is for you.
It had been a long day of alphabet learning, number counting, napping, and recess. Dirt stains on the front of my Little Mermaid t-shirt were telltale signs of hide-and-seek in the giant front schoolyard. As I lay on my mat slowly stretching after a nap, my eyes wandered around the room, resting on the touch spot number posters and then gradually following the brightly colored train with letters A to Z that stretched around the room.
It’s dark as Aaron Witmer trudges out to his food truck at 3:30 on Saturday morning. Stars twinkle overhead and moonlight throws shadows as he unlocks the door and climbs into the back. With careful precision, he measures out flour, oil, eggs, and other ingredients and dumps them into the stainless steel mixer resting on the floor. At the flip of a switch, it comes to life and beats the disparate ingredients together into cohesive dough—the first donut dough of the day.
Confession: I don't love barbecue. I know. Shameful. I grew up in the South and everything, but barbecue isn't something I crave—but sometimes I wonder if that's because my tastes have for so long settled for whatever is slopped on a bun at a sporting event, church picnic, or drive-thru. Whether a barbecue fan or not, it can't be denied that West Tennessee is home to some of the nation's best, and interpretations of the vague title continue to surprise and impress locals and visitors alike.
Having been a hairstylist for nearly sixteen years, Tamara Reed takes pride in beautifying her clients with the latest hairstyles. And with a keen eye for fashion, she chose to incorporate more options for clients at her salon, Studio 31. Tamara didn’t stop there, though. Her love for fragrance influenced her to turn an idea into a reality, which was creating her very own perfume line. This soft, elegant aroma is an oil-based perfume called Aramat.
It seems like we are constantly bombarded by fast food commercials and diet ads. If we aren’t getting a burger then we need to be taking a weight loss pill. Or hey! Why not both at the same time? Our society is constantly on the go, grabbing whatever we can reach to put into our body. We approach every part of life with this fast-paced mentality, including the most important thing: our health. Advanced medical knowledge is still crippled by bad lifestyle habits.
Balance. Poise. Grace. Stamina. All things that are waning for this thirty-seven-year-old man. Honestly, I never had a lot of physical grace or poise. In my athletic years, I generally excelled by crashing, slamming, and flinging my body all over the court or field in order to succeed. I was never a graceful athlete. Unfortunately, for me, the workout at Pure Barre required all of the aforementioned attributes.
Dutch Garden Berries is a local start-up business that specializes in growing natural strawberries in a protected environment. Bas Van Buuren, the owner and grower of Dutch Garden Berries, started planting in January and has been experimenting to find the best conditions for the strawberries ever since. Van Buuren is passionate about growing fruits and vegetables, but especially fruits, in a controlled environment.“I believe that growing in a protected environment is the future, ” he said.
I remember being in the locker room as a seventh grade basketball player at Tigrett Junior High School and coming to the realization that I was going to have a hard time keeping up with most of the guys on the court. I had some normal feelings of insecurity and nervousness, but nothing out of the ordinary for a prepubescent boy in 1992. Fast forward twenty-five years and those feelings came back in a hurry as soon as I walked into the CrossFit Jackson gym.
In the 1940s my grandmother’s boss proposed to her, which she promptly refused. It must have made her daily life incredibly awkward, particularly since she didn’t have a car and her boss frequently picked her up to take her to work. She lived near the neighborhood now known as LANA in midtown. It’s a part of Jackson that many remember as Hicksville. The proposal most likely happened only a few yards from where I get my prescriptions filled.
On Our Podcast
National cheeseburger DAY is Monday!
Perhaps you recognize Ryan Porter from the Jackson Chamber—or you knew him when he was a kid at North Side. Or you met him a few years back through the police department or JEA. Any way you put it, Ryan is a Jackson man through and through, and today our podcast, Kevin Adelsberger interviews him about the many hats he wears and why he's planted roots in West Tennessee.
There are few places in Jackson that have been around long enough to become a source of nostalgia for locals. Many small businesses that were around back when we were young have changed significantly or the owners have moved on. There is at least one place, however, that evokes childhood memories of a perfect summer burger and milkshake with your friends. That place is Burger Barn.
Don't miss a beat.
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541 Wiley Parker Road | Jackson TN, 38305
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