About: Mattanah DeWitt
Writer & Photographer
As a writer and photographer, Mattanah DeWitt's passion is telling stories that connect people and empower them to live on purpose. She is currently earning her B.A. in journalism at Union University, where she serves as managing editor for the school's magazine and online newspaper, Cardinal & Cream.
Check out Mattanah's latest contributions to Our Jackson Home:
When I was eight years old, my family moved to Friendship, Tennessee, a town with a population of about 650 people. Having lived in Des Moines, Iowa, for most of my life, the only appeal of moving south was that my mom had a cousin in the area. I remember my surprise that a place so small could feel so loud. September was the month we moved, and even though the trees shed their covering earlier than normal that year, it still felt warm.
Courtney Vandiver walked toward the tall, off-white credenza in the corner of the studio, above which hung two loose coloring sheets with pink crayon streaks bleeding from the bold, black outlines of butterfly wings. About eight feet of blue masking tape formed an “L” shape around the credenza. Before the class began and the girls were still giggling and adjusting their leotards, Courtney told me she had placed the tape there one stressful day, warning her students not to cross the line.
I’m sitting by myself, the steady thrum of others’ voices around me, and I’m looking at a white sign with neat black lettering: “WHERE HOT COFFEE AND WARM CONVERSATION FLOW.”I’ve got the hot coffee part—it’s steaming pleasantly in a glossy brown mug—and I can hear the groups talking around me. There are some college students in the corner of the room. (I can tell they’re in school because of their tired eyes trained on the laptops perched in front of them, even as they continue to hold conversation with each other.)
I bought the most reasonably-priced vinyl record of my life at a record store in Jackson. This is the kind of sentence I never thought I’d write. For one thing, reasonable prices, particularly for a brand new, remastered vinyl of an iconic rock star like David Bowie, are hard to come by in most record stores. If you go to Wuxtry Records in Athens, Georgia, you’ll find records for around twenty to thirty bucks.