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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
It’s been six years now since I enjoyed a week’s vacation with my family in London, England. Before visiting I had the suspicion that I was a true Brit at heart, between my Beatles addiction, affinity for a hearty breakfast, and wardrobe of heavy layers and muted colors, but upon landing at the Nashville airport, Styrofoam cup empty from a poor rendition of the real Earl Grey in which I had indulged myself for the last week at every opportunity, I knew I would forever miss that place.
Standing in the center of the walkway, I found myself staring anxiously at the building before me: the University of Memphis at Lambuth. It was my first day back to college since graduating from Jackson State Community College a little over a year before, and I reluctantly confessed to myself that I was a bit nervous. I couldn’t quite pinpoint the reason for this nervousness; I had been through the “first day of school” more times than I could count, yet I still felt the same anxiety as I had in previous years.
The Duncan family greets you as a soon as you arrive. At first you see a quaint gift shop atop a hill, and below to the left, you see a few rows of trees of the first farm. As your wonder begins to take over, you get closer to that tiny shop, and you notice they have hot cocoa for you to enjoy right there on the doorstep. You walk in, and the shop explodes with color and warmth. There are beautiful homemade wreaths, ornaments, and holiday decor that just seem to resonate in a place you’ve long forgotten.
There is nothing quite like southern suburbia. It’s filled with people who just want to sit you down and offer you a proper sweet tea, cars nearly big enough to fly to space, and monograms embellishing almost everything you own. Like most of you readers, I was born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee. I grew up with two loving and supportive parents, a beautiful nanny whom I would come to know as family, a hilarious sister two years younger than me, and a huge black lab named Winston. (He was named this after the prime minister Winston Churchill, of course.)
We've got the perfect selection of local goodies that make for unique gifts and even better entertaining ideas. Check out details below.
The air hovers thick. It’s almost too heavy with moisture to breathe in. The field is still green with summer’s gift of abundant rain and sunshine, but the leaves on the nearby trees are starting to shrink up, dry out, turn brown. Fall is coming soon, bringing with it the growing anticipation of a new cross country season.The year is 2009, and I’m in high school at Trinity Christian Academy. It’s another oppressively hot August, but most people don’t notice too much since they’re properly air conditioned.
Jackson, Tennessee, is a constantly changing and expanding city—with the many colleges and schools in the area, it also has an influx of a younger age group that calls Jackson home. With this younger crowd comes different and varying interests, along with new forms of entertainment.Enter Alex Sanchez, competitive online gamer. Sanchez graduated from Union University in 2017 with a degree in business and an unstoppable vision to bring people together in Jackson under the banner of e-gaming.
Inevitability is the evil twin of hope. Hope is when we’re not quite sure what will happen, but we’re certain that we want it to happen. The mystery of hope and, to be quite honest, the appeal of hope rest in its uncertainty. There’s the idea that what we are hoping for will eventually morph into reality and, if we’re lucky, possibly exceed our original expectations. Hope is why the idea of something is oftentimes better than the thing itself. We survive on hope. Hope keeps us moving.Inevitability, however, is certain.
I have always felt some connection with Jackson, Tennessee—possibly because my grandfather was the first chiropractor in Jackson. (For those who might of known him, he was located off 45 down from the Red Cross building.) So in part you could say my roots are here in Jackson.I was born and raised in Lexington, Tennessee. Growing up, my mom, twin sister, and older brother would load up into a red station wagon and head out to Jackson, listening to Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” cassette tapes.
With the end of summer comes a season of plaid shirts, pumpkin spice lattés, and cozy bonfires with friends and family. We all have cute memories of autumn—taking a hayride, jumping into a pile of leaves, or picking our seasonal jack-o-lantern from the local pumpkin patch (or Kroger, if we’re honest). However, the season of autumn also brings a much scarier side as well.
Eating is an incredibly sacramental act. In fact a feast, regularly celebrated, is one of the universally recognized rites of the Christian Church. It can be a reminder of our lack of complete self-sufficiency. We need things outside ourselves in order to survive even on the most basic of levels. The sacred is also something that is meant to be experienced with other people. Meals are often communal, and I would argue that the best meals are always shared experiences. No matter how good the food is it is always better shared with other people
Jackson’s musical dichotomy has had a strange, often polarizing environment for musicians to grow in over the last decade. Often touted as the bathroom break between Memphis and Nashville, Jackson—with the exception of Carl Perkins’ aeonian influence on rockabilly—is not critically recognized as a musically significant city. To say that Jackson is part of a bigger delta blues triangle would be more plausible. Music scenes are often planted in Jackson but never seem to flourish.
We have a propensity to glorify revolution. We want to label things as revolutions whether they are revolutionary or not. Perhaps this is because we view ourselves as the by-products of a revolution. We love to celebrate rebels who overthrow and overturn the felt tyranny of the old existing order. This is right and good to a certain point, but revolution has a dark side, too. It is rare however that we pause to reflect on the negative consequences of revolution.
We are so proud of the dozens of local students who submitted their artwork and poetry to our contest in collaboration with the Jackson International Food & Art Festival! If you missed the festival last weekend, make sure to check out our winners in this virtual gallery, then go see them for yourself at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital's new gallery later this month.
There’s a new show in town; Jackson, Tennessee, has been chosen to host the inaugural TN Music Awards. The TN Music Awards is a red carpet event focused on fostering community feedback, supporting local music, and expanding entertainment. Nathan Hunnicutt, along with the Jackson Area Music Society (JAMS), has been planning an event like this with Jackson in mind for some time now.
A morning ritual, a conversation piece, a shared bond: coffee adopts whatever role its faithful consumers may assign. It’s one of the few addictions that our local cultures openly embrace. Even just the word “coffee” can be seen on decorative signs for the home, on t-shirts, on mugs. Coffee has transcended its place as a drink to an idea: the symbol of incentive in an increasingly demanding world. “I can’t do anything before I have my coffee” is not a personal statement; it’s a cities-spanning mantra.
This summer was full of lots of food trucks, a few meals out, and a whole bunch of trips to the farmers' market, and we had a blast. Check out Katie Howerton's review of our summer 2017 #OurJacksonTable dozen, and join us in trying even more local restaurants this fall!
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.
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It's Nutcracker weekend!
While always encouraging safety and respect in our community, let's not forget to listen to and comfort those who have not found safety and respect. Today on our podcast, Kevin Adelsberger interviews Wo(Men)'s Resource & Rape Assistance Program (WRAP)'s executive director Daryl Chansuthus, who is striving to do just that. Discover how this Tennessee native ended up in Thailand (and now back in her home state) and how her heart for the hurt and unheard is changing the lives of sexual assault and domestic violence victims in West Tennessee.
As I walked into the bustling and brightly colored waiting room of Pat Brown’s dance studio, I was immediately hit by a rush of memories from my days in leotards and tights. I heard the combinations being called out with extreme zeal in the studio, an extremely familiar sound for the sixty dancers who make up the Ballet Arts of Jackson troupe. The older group of dancers were hard at work rehearsing a routine to Thriller for a Halloween event while younger girls peeked in from the hallway.
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541 Wiley Parker Road | Jackson TN, 38305
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