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Celebrating the people and the stories of the city we all love: Jackson, Tennessee.
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.
The first rule of Fightshop is: you don’t talk about Fightshop. Wait. That’s not it. That’s Fight Club, the Brad Pitt and Edward Norton film where dudes just generally beat the snot out of each other. The Fightshop is sort of like that, except you’re beating on bags, not people. And we can definitely talk about the Fightshop because it’s tough to find a better workout around town. The first thing I noticed during my first visit was the plethora of heavy punching bags hanging from a black, metal contraption.
Saturday, April 29, marked the third annual Catalyst Music Fest hosted by the student organization, SMACS (Student Members of the American Chemical Society), from the Union University Chemistry Department. Each year the event raises money to support local charities, with the proceeds from this year going to benefit the Star Center in order to provide scholarships for their programs like art and music therapy.
I am convinced that every young person dreams of leaving their hometown, going to a larger city, and making it “big.” That was definitely a dream of mine. Born in Memphis, I moved to Jackson with my family at the age of four. Jackson is my mother’s hometown. This is when my understanding of what made living in Jackson special began.My siblings and I were in a childcare program, and Jackson Parks and Recreation’s summer program is where I met many friends.
Let’s suspend our thought for the next ten to fifteen minutes and imagine what could be. Let’s not think about dollars and cents or logistical structure. While those things are necessary, they’re not for us right now. What we need are open minds and unencumbered ideas about what our downtown might possibly be if we could just think a little bit beyond what we’ve always thought. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen beyond. I’ve seen what downtown Jackson could be if we could just all get on board.
Walt Disney World, Gulf Shores, Baton Rouge, France, the Bahamas, the Yucatan; these are places we go to retreat from the normalcy of life. These are the destinations of our vacations, our free week off from work to do what we want. Yet retreating to something different doesn’t have to mean venturing beyond state lines. As native West Tennesseans, we forget the vast culture and history that surrounds us.
Vineyard’s Gifts, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is located in one of the quaintest little pockets of Jackson. On the corner of Wiley Parker and North Highland Avenue sits a small shopping center including a florist, spa, children’s clothing store, and café. In the center of it all is Vineyard’s Gifts, a boutique gift shop that specializes in bridal and baby registry, stationery, invitations, and gift items. The store was originally opened as a florist in downtown Jackson by Lyda Tomlin Vineyard.
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Adoption isn't an easy journey for any family, and today on our podcast Kevin Adelsberger sits down with Union University professor Dr. Fonsie Guilaran and his wife Lesley to hear about their especially unique story of bringing their children home. Find out how special needs, health, and international culture shifts play a huge role in creating a family.
On a fall afternoon I decided to diagnose my boredom with little good, ole fashioned exploring around the heart of Jackson, Tennessee. Equipped with my camera, I ventured downtown searching aimlessly for anything out of the ordinary to grasp my attention. Having already spent a majority of my time in this part of town, I desperately needed to be more creative with finding a hidden gem. After countless hours of wandering, trespassing, and jaywalking, I was on the brink of defeat.
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