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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
Professor Haelim Allen’s office, like the rest of the art department at Union University, is in beautiful disarray. There are paintings on the walls, half-completed sketches on her desk, various models in differing states of completion on a bookshelf, and of course a second bookshelf overflowing with literature that seems a staple of every teacher’s office. Just outside of her office door is a gorgeous light box which fills the hallway with a sense of peace and calm. The building itself is not by any stretch beautiful, but Professor Allen has transformed her office and the hallway leading up to it into a peaceful, welcoming environment.
WOW. We did it. We ate at 100 local restaurants. It seems like just yesterday we were launching this fun campaign to #eatlocal on that first day of spring in 2016. Here we are, two years later, glad for all we've learned about our city along the way and our bellies hungry to return to some new favorite spots. Enjoy this final #OurJacksonTable review by Katie Howerton of the last few restaurants we visited this winter.
“I want you to close your eyes and imagine waking up on Christmas morning with all of the gifts your family and Santa Claus has brought you under the Christmas tree,” third grade teacher and author Natalie Cravens tells her students at West Chester Elementary in Chester County. “Now, while keeping your eyes closed, imagine being very sick instead and waking up in a hospital room void of presents on Christmas morning.”
It’s the woman at the bus stop holding a toddler’s hand. It’s the woman using food stamps in front of you at the grocery store. It’s the woman at the soup kitchen who can sing like no one else. These women and their families eat, sleep, and live a few blocks away but their stories are too gruesome to share, and it makes us a little uncomfortable to talk about them, much less look at them, eat with them, or live with them.
March means spring, and for Jackson, that means more races, concerts, shows, and overall fun for our community. Find out what special guests are heading to West Tennessee this month, what organizations you can support, and how your family can celebrate St. Patrick's Day. (It's on a Saturday this year!)
In Norway it gets dark early. As we left for the arena around 4:00 P.M., the hazy glow of the daytime winter sky in Oslo had faded. I was on the bus headed to a concert honoring one of our own. Daniel was a member of our little band of misfits living in Geneva, Switzerland, who worked in and around the United Nations on issues ranging from poverty, hunger, and demining to human rights, health, and humanitarian relief. By all measurements, Daniel had “made it.”
"How many miles away is Sonic?" I stared, dumbfounded, as they told me the nearest Sonic was ten miles out of town. Kevin patted my leg reassuringly. "Well, you'll learn to enjoy the drive." We were newlyweds and newly graduated, interviewing for a Residence Life Director position for Kevin in Middle-of-Nowhere-Close-to-Sonic, Kentucky. They chose another candidate, and our lives forever shifted, allowing us to keep the roots we had been cultivating in Jackson during our stay here as college students.
On Sunday afternoons when I was young, my grandparents and I would drive south from church on the 45 Bypass and inevitably come to a stop at the red light at the bottom of the Hollywood Drive exit ramp. I would be in the backseat of my grandfather’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. I could barely see out of the window, but my eyes would always be drawn to a sticker on the light pole next to the intersection. On the sticker was the head of the Atlanta Braves mascot from the early 1980s: Chief Nok-A-Homa.
It’s time for another Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re excited to celebrate or planning to treat it as just another day, this playlist will have you singing along. Let’s give our local artists a round of applause and enjoy their romantic (or anti-romantic) songs this Valentine’s.
The door opens with a wide swing as I'm greeted with the usual "Hi, friend, come in!" Tiny footsteps come faster and faster around the corner until I'm hit by my favorite little person hugs. Coffee is probably already in the works for me, and a spot on the couch cleared. "So, how are you?" she asks.This is the usual welcome I receive at the Havner household. There are some people in life who were made to share in our stories—people who don't simply listen to your words but involve themselves, too.
February may not be everyone's favorite month to get out and about, but it does hold Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, and lots of cozy indoor events! Check out what Jackson has going on as we wrap up winter with entertainment, inspiration, and even some exotic animals.
Step inside the middle store at theLOCAL, Jackson’s new micro-retail development, and enter Chase Walker’s vintage world. Mounted to the wall behind the register, a rusted mattress frame displays coats and bright ski jackets. A taxidermy red squirrel (who doesn’t have a name yet) holds business cards urging “GET LOST.” Vinyls slump in a crate under the window. Afghans are folded next to a row of soft, faded flannels. Wooden pallets display statement pieces high on the walls.
While growing up on the east coast, Christal King became intrigued with the breathtaking surroundings of Hampton, Virginia. She fell in love with every aspect of nature, especially the endless views of the ocean and its beautiful aromas. She was inspired to put her memories into a dream that she would never forget. Those inspirations are what fueled what is now Indigo Scents Candle Co. King started selling her specialized products in 2012, then took it a step further to selling her products at the farmers’ market and other vendors within West Tennessee.
All my life I have heard people talk about how time flies. I have never actually witnessed a clock sprout wings and take off, but as a child, that's the only way I could picture time flying. As I got older and little bit wiser, I knew clocks did not really fly and understood it was just a figure of speech—but to me, it seemed like a joke because time felt like it was crawling. For many, it becomes a reality when children are born. One minute, you're holding your precious baby; the next, they are having babies of their own.
I came to Jackson sight-unseen in 2011 when I arrived for new student orientation at Union University. Removed from the South since 1999, I had developed a proper Midwestern wall around myself. People like to talk about Midwestern friendliness, but let me tell you, there is none of this "chat with strangers in the grocery store line" or "call everyone ‘hon’" there. As in architecture, walls may be breached with effort, but it's usually easier just to leave them alone.
Something unique is happening in Jackson: a space dedicated to handmade pieces by a collective of artists, many of whom are local to the area, where people can feel a connection to the items they purchase. While micro-retailing has seen a boon in large metropolitan areas across the country, Jackson now has its own venture in theLOCAL, a collection of small shops curated by local entrepreneurs in downtown Jackson.
I watched a film a few months ago that has more or less floated along the periphery of my thoughts ever since. It was titled A Ghost Story and was about the passage of time and the way humans seem to find a way to tear down and rebuild everything over and over again. More than that, however, it’s about one man’s attachment to a physical place. Throughout different scenes in the movie, a young couple is seen discussing the possibility of moving from the house where they live. The house is inauspicious.
Generally speaking, January is known as the reject-event month following the glitz and glam of the holiday season, but we're determined to make the most of it, especially with our new year's resolutions fresh on our minds. Here are five events we're especially excited so that our January is full of meaning and fun, but make sure to check out our full community calendar here.
2017 has been a year to remember, and much of that is thanks to our talented contributors who have poured themselves into telling the stories of Jackson in such a compelling way that they become part of our lives. With that, we are proud to share this year's top ten stories from our blog, encouraging you to read any you missed and to high-five the writers, photographers, and subjects featured.
Today may just be another Christmas morning for you, but for us, it's our third birthday! In honor of this special milestone in Our Jackson Home's history, here's a video by our own Kevin Adelsberger created for the Jackson Chamber's Women in Business event from earlier this month that highlights our mission and just how much we've grown in three years.
When you interview a guy you’ve known for years—a guy who has had dozens of articles and interviews published since the launch of his business—the thing you are probably the most aware of is the desire to be original in what you put on paper for the whole world to see. If nothing else, don’t be cliché about it. So that was my goal as I mentally prepared myself to interview Sam Bryant, owner of Samuel T. Bryant Distillery here in Jackson.
This fall we cozied up at some favorite local spots for warm meals, including a handful of food trucks and a couple of new businesses, too! If you're unsure where to go for dinner tonight, check out Katie Howerton's reviews below, then join us for our last season of #OurJacksonTable this winter as we hit 100 local restaurant visits.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, we are dropped in the middle of a story already half told. Scrooge is a nasty, miserly man being haunted by his former business partner and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and yet to come. But why? Who are these ghosts and what are their motives behind repeatedly visiting Scrooge that fateful Christmas Eve?The Jackson Theatre Guild has brought the very play to The Ned that we need to answer these questions: Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.
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.)
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.
On Our Podcast
Mam'selle has moved!
Ever been curious about our state Supreme Court Justices? We've got one right here in our backyard: Roger Page, the first member from West Tennessee outside of Memphis. Today on our podcast, Kevin Adelsberger interviews him about his Chester County heritage, career path, and personal priorities in his significant role.
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.
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541 Wiley Parker Road | Jackson TN, 38305
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