Meridian’s New Threefoot Hotel

Because we’re the kind of people who get excited about new hotels opening, we really couldn’t wait to see what Marriott had done with the art deco Threefoot building in downtown Meridian, Mississippi. Branding it Tribute Portfolio means that — in Marriott’s terms — it’s one of their “characterful, independent hotels drawn together by its passion for captivating design drive to create vibrant social scenes for guests and locals alike” and that’s really just a lot of words in wonky phrasing that could probably mean a lot of things. Here, list of Tribute Portfolio hotels.

In 2003, I took this pic of downtown Meridian, before the MSU Riley Center had opened and downtown was looking more empty than anything. That big building is the Threefoot.

Threefoot Building, Meridian MS

Threefoot came about when the Dreyfuss family came to the US and had their name anglicized.

We’ve been following what’s going on with this building forever. Back in 2014, Av was invited inside and took these pics:

Threefoot Building, Meridian MS

Threefoot Building, Meridian MS

When we stayed at the Threefoot in late November right after they opened:

The Threefoot Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Meridian MS

The Threefoot Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Meridian MS

The Threefoot Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Meridian MS

The staff was very nice; the room seemed small (though it’s an old building, so…)

The Threefoot Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Meridian MS

The Threefoot Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Meridian MS

…but the bathroom was rather spacious in comparison.

The Threefoot Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Meridian MS

We’d definitely stay here again, and I’m glad we had this opportunity to see more of the building, but the room itself didn’t exude a particular charm (that could have likely been more easily achieved had the designers embraced the built-in art deco design elements that are already here rather than create a space that would be home…anywhere) that would lend itself to “can’t wait for next time” status.

In that category currently — I can’t wait to get back to: Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans // Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas // Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah // 21C Museum Hotel, Bentonville // The Driskill, Austin // St Anthony Hotel, San Antonio // Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Mooresville, Pointing Up

In November, we visited Mooresville, Alabama and wound up using a pic I took of the boys at the 1839 Old Brick Church as our holiday card

Mooresville Brick Church, Mooresville AL

It’s been used as both a Baptist mission and Methodist church and now belongs to the town of Mooresville

Mooresville Brick Church, Mooresville AL

It can be rented for ceremonies.

This is the pic we used for our Chanukah cards (I like using Touchnote to make sending the cards so easy)

Mooresville Brick Church, Mooresville AL

Here on the top of the steeple, a hand with finger pointing toward Heaven:

Mooresville Brick Church, Mooresville AL

The only other church I know of with that particular feature is the 1859 First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson, Mississippi:

First Presbyterian Church, Port Gibson MS

First Prebyterian Church, Port Gibson MS

First Prebyterian Church, Port Gibson MS


One of my groups here is thinking of putting together a program with 1818 Farms in Mooresville. They have classes on things like raising backyard chickens, wreath making, and flower arranging.

 

Ishkooda Mailbox Menagerie

Ishkooda Mailbox

Mailbox Menagerie
early artsy attempt, further processed on my iPhone with Hipstamatic, probably, when Hipstamatic was everything
Ishkooda community, Birmingham AL, 2010.

Dawn DeDeaux’s The Space Between Worlds

I don’t know how the New Orleans Museum of Art can ever take down the Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds (though it ends January 22) because it is absolutely perfect and if I’m a curator or director there I’m definitely thinking about what board members and big givers I can start a conversation with about how we need to build a new wing and voila this is our centerpiece. It needs never leave.

Daisy Space Clown in Black Field, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Daisy Space Clown in Black Field

The Mantle (I've Seen the Future and it was Yesterday), Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

The Mantle (I’ve seen the future and it was yesterday)

Granted, for obvious reasons I didn’t attend a lot of shows this past year, but no matter, this would have been my favorite anyway.

The Face of G-d, in Search of, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

The Face of G-d, in Search of, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

The Face of G-d, in Search of, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

The Face of G-d, in search of

The museum describes:

…the first comprehensive museum exhibition for the pioneering multimedia artist Dawn DeDeaux. Since the 1970s, DeDeaux’s practice has spanned video, performance, photography, and installation to create art that exists at the edge of the Anthropocene. Anticipating a future imperiled by the runaway population growth, breakneck industrial development, and the looming threat of climate change, DeDeaux has long worked between worlds of the present and the future.

And this could have been dark and dangerous and uncomfortable, and it was all of those things, but not so much that it left one feeling awful, rather introspective and more considerate about situations that need more attention.

Target, After Jasper Johns, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Target, After Jasper Johns

Watermarker Highrise, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Watermarker Highrise

From NOMA: Since the 1970s, her art has addressed an ever-widening series of gulfs: between people, between cultures and communities, and ultimately between humans and the Earth itself. Living and working in Louisiana—one of the fastest disappearing landmasses in the world—DeDeaux has been grappling with urgent questions about Earth and humanity’s survival for the last fifty years. As we face a world increasingly imperiled by rising waters, roiling temperatures, unchecked pandemics, and escalating social strife, the future DeDeaux’s work has long foreseen is now.

Postcards to Teddy Roosevelt, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Postcards to Teddy Roosevelt

Gulf to Galaxy, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Gulf to Galaxy

Where's Mary video, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Where’s Mary video and Mary statue

For DeDeaux, physicist Stephen Hawking’s prediction in the early 2000s that humans have 100 years left—not to save the planet, but to figure out how to flee—sounded an alarm bell that humanity has a limited-time-only opportunity to come together and co-exist. Her art implores us to seize our last opportunity to heal past divisions, counter present inequality, and forestall future strife.

The Space Shroud, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

The Space Shroud

Dirt Bowl Table, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Dirt Bowl Table

CB Radio Booths, Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

CB Radio Booth

Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds exhibit at NOMA

Moo, Neigh.

Moulton Stockyard Steakhouse, Moulton AL

Moulton Stockyard Steakhouse, Moulton AL

A boy in college took me to the Moulton Stockyard Steakhouse (there really is a stockyard in the back) on a first date.

I thought: wow, he gets me and knows I love experiences and I’m so grateful we’re not at Red Lobster or Olive Garden (he drove a dually, had a bass boat, and wore a cowboy hat and boots so he was staying on brand here).

Moulton Stockyard, Steakhouse Sign
Fiberglass animal friends on the 3rd floor
Moulton AL, 2010.

 

Dairy Bar Greatness and Handpainted Dixie Cup Masterpieces

Let’s start the year with a tiny bit of fun nostalgia. Like old dairy bars and that ’90s icon, the Solo Jazz cup.

Lafayette, Louisiana is home to a real Borden Ice Cream Shoppe — the last one. And it is everything.
Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Those floors. That ceiling.

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Those lights.

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

chocolate, choc swirl, choc chip, rocky road, walnut, vanilla, cherry vanilla, strawberry, praline, mint chip, butter pecan, cookies & cream…

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

All the ’90s college vibes with the Solo Jazz cup.

Borden's Ice Cream Shoppe, Lafayette LA

One of my best friends has a restaurant and I told them it would be so terrific if they could carry Solo Jazz like our college days. They agreed and called their US Foods guy (this is what friends do. When you nerd out on a cup, they call somebody and make it happen). The US Foods guy came back with a huge carton of these cups below without saying anything…like this 😂😂😂 complete imposter Dart 20J16E J Cup in purple Impulse design, absolute atrocity, would pass for the perfection that is a Solo Jazz RP16P-00055 🤣🤣🤣 .

Dart Purple Cup

I just know my friend called the US Foods guy and it started something like “hey, I know you thought this was no big deal, and I know this sounds crazy, but…”

One day let’s get together and put on an exhibit of hand-lettered signs/images from dairy bars and hamburger/hot dog stands. I submit for your viewing pleasure the collection at the Tasty Dip of Heflin, Alabama:

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

And yes, of course my favorite:

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

which, haaaa, I think is the, or cousin to the Solo No. 77SE “Silhouette Design” from 1977

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

Real question: Is it possible to look at this picture of a grape snow cone and not sing Chattahoochee lyrics? 

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

Tasty Dip, Heflin AL

xoxo!

Little Nadine Earles’ Dollhouse

In Lanett, Alabama, there’s a dollhouse built over the monument for Little Nadine Earles, who passed away in 1933.

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

When she was four years old, she asked her parents for a doll house for Christmas. Her father started on it, but she became sick with diphtheria, and then pneumonia. Her parents gave her a tea set and life-size doll before the holiday, hoping it would help make her feel better, but she just wanted the doll house, and told her daddy, “me want it now.” She passed away December 18th, before he had it completed. After she was gone, her father hired a contractor to build it at the cemetery. Inside are several dolls, a little toy tea set…

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

The stone reads:
‘Our Darling Little Girl
Sweetest In The World
April 3, 1929
December 18, 1933
Little Nadine Earles
In Heaven We Hope To Meet
Me Want It Now’

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

Below is a photograph inside the dollhouse that shows her friends that came by for her next birthday. The pic is inscribed “Little Nadine Earles Birthday Party” and the date. So sad!

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

People still leave notes:

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

Her parents are buried outside the dollhouse, and Nadine’s brothers have deeded the area to the city of Lanett.

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

Little Nadine Earles Dollhouse Monument, Lanett Alabama

There are four other cemetery dollhouses like this that I’m aware of: one in Tennessee, one in Ohio, and two in Indiana.

Actually, after my latest graveshelter post, not a dollhouse structure per se, but reader Wanda (thank you again!) sent me this clip of a cemetery in Florence, Alabama, where things were left in a protected monument for a little girl:

…and that reminds me of the grave of Florence Irene Ford in Natchez, who died in 1871 at the age of 10.

Monument for Florence Irene Ford, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS

From the city’s site:
Upon her death her mother was so struck with grief that she had Florence’s casket constructed with a glass window at the child’s head. The grave was dug to provide an area, the same depth of the coffin, at the child’s head, but this area had steps that would allow the mother to descend to her daughter’s level so she could comfort Florence during storms. To shelter the mother during storms, hinged metal trap doors were installed over the area the mother would occupy while at her child’s grave.

…you can see the trap doors behind little Florence’s tombstone, which covers the stairway her mother used. They can still be opened today.

Stairwell at Florence Irene Ford's Monument, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS