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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
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.
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.
On Our Podcast
We'll miss you, HaliHannigan's!
Most college kids go through a few different areas of study, but few end up opening a boutique of their own within five years of graduating. Today on our podcast, Kevin Adelsberger sits down with La Petite Boutique owner Tabitha Moore to hear how she transitioned from social work to operating a mobile boutique to now running a brick-and-mortar shop.
Eggs. Flour. Milk. Sugar. Your basic ingredients for a cupcake. But so much more than that goes into the cupcakes at HaliHannigan’s Café & Cakery. Five years ago a cozy little space in the Columns bedecked in pink and black opened its doors—and its heart—to the Jackson community. Neill and Christi Bartlett, the husband and wife team that co-own HaliHannigan’s (whose name is derived from various parts of the names of their three daughters), were ready for a change.
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541 Wiley Parker Road | Jackson TN, 38305
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