This Week’s Various

As always, unless otherwise noted, all pics here copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Ask me before using in any fashion. Thank you.

Margaret's Grocery, Vicksburg MS

The Washington Post ran the AP article (which quotes my friend Mary Margaret!) about the loss of Rev Dennis, famous for what he made Margaret’s Grocery outside Vicksburg into.  The funeral is Monday at 11a at Cool Springs Missionary Baptist, where he and Margaret worshiped.

The Vicksburg Post ( ) reports that during the 1980s and ‘90s, the couple used red, white, pink and yellow painted concrete blocks, scrap-iron columns, foam balls, cardboard tubes and other common items to turn the building into a castle. Inside, surfaces were covered with Mardi Gras beads, plastic trinkets and Christmas lights.

Hand-painted signs displayed Bible verses and religious phrases welcoming Jews and Gentiles.

“God don’t have no white church, and he don’t have no black church,” one sign declared.

The building is still standing, though deteriorated. The inside has been closed to visitors for years.

“Margaret’s Grocery has been the cornerstone of folk art environments in our state and many have traveled far and wide to experience the vernacular architecture created by the Rev. Dennis and Miss Margaret, as well their one-of-a-kind personalities,” said Mary Margaret Miller, heritage director for the Mississippi Arts Commission.

First, you make a roux…
demi cups of turtle, gumbo, and sweet potato soup at Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
The Entergy cookbook (a lot of people call this the ‘NOPSI cookbook’) is available online, free. That’s a great cookbook!

There’s a Save the Kilgore House movement for the late-19th century Queen Anne structure on the University of Alabama campus.  It’s believe that it the may have been built by Bryce Hospital patients. Here’s more:
Dr. Peter Bryce, the Alabama Insane Hospital’s first superintendent, probably obtained a set of plans for this house from one of the issues of the American Journal of Insanity, which published detailed articles on every aspect of asylum management. The Kilgore House is quite similar in design to hospital housing built in all parts of the country by asylum superintendents for their work force. In 1890 the hospital had four full-time carpenters and a painter on the payroll who utilized male patients in constructing and painting. Almost certainly, these patients would have worked on the Kilgore House.

“Work therapy” was a key aspect of nineteenth-century moral treatment’s humane philosophy. In an era when little was known about mental illness, asylum physicians recognized and utilized the therapeutic and calming value of daily tasks such as farming, and, in this instance, woodworking and painting, to treat patients.

When Julia Tutwiler worked to allow women to enroll at UA, many of the new coeds lived at the Kilgore house as a private residence.  Kilgore was engineer of Bryce Hospital.  The house was also the home of ‘the University’s first female faculty member, Anna Hunter (BS 03, MS 04) who roomed there. (See enclosed 1952 newspaper article on Miss Hunter/Mrs. Little at age 70.)

While the racial integration of the University has been widely memorialized on campus, women’s early struggles for civil rights, as well as the travails and triumphs of pioneering coeds and female faculty have never been the subject of adequate attention. The Kilgore House would seem to be the ideal location for such a memorial to University women.’

The Kilgore House has been a tour stop for the University.  Now, they’ve taken it off the list and the website for the house is even down.

Middendorf's, Akers LA
Gambit reports that Middendorf’s (flooded again, with Isaac) hopes to be open by September 12.

It’s being reported that Herve Leger’s inspiration for Spring 2013 BCBG comes in part from Annie Mae Young’s Gee’s Bend quilting.

Nice! A Ted Talk about ancient mounds in Louisiana, including Povery Point:

Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Q, Memphis TN
Epicurious very briefly mentions Memphis’ barbecue spaghetti. Above, bottom-right: the barbecue spaghetti we had at Jim Neely’s Interstate.

Yay for Nick Pihakis of Jim ‘N Nick’s, in a NYT post about Meatopia:
“We got sick of people pumping pork full of horrible stuff to make it tender,” said Nick Pihakis, the founder of the collective and the owner of 29 Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q restaurants from Denver to Charleston, S.C. “The right meat, processed and cooked simply, in the right way — it doesn’t need those chemicals.”

Ned and Jacqueline Crouch donate their folk art collection to APSU (Austin Peay in TN). Some of the pieces are *very* interesting.

Gus' Fried Chicken, Memphis TN
The UK’s Guardian asks: Why has Britain gone so crazy for fried chicken, and where on this side of the Atlantic have you eaten the best batch? and ends with a recipe done right, with the chicken given a proper bath of buttermilk overnight.

(above: Gus’ in Memphis, some of the best anywhere)

(the world’s largest office chair in Anniston AL:)

World's Largest Office Chair, Miller's Office Supply, Anniston AL

Congratulations, Amy C. Elliott!!  Amy, who made ‘World’s Largest‘ — the documentary about small towns with big things, has been awarded a ‘Best of 2012’ award from the American Society of Media Photographers for her work on ‘The War Within, a major multimedia project for the American Legion, focusing on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans, including fifteen portraits for the national magazine and three accompanying videos, which Elliott shot, directed and edited.’

Vollis Simpson Whirligig At American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore MD
(above: one of Vollis’ whirligigs I found at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore)

Channel 14 in NC did a story about the restoration of Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs in preparation to be moved to a park, open by November of next year.

Chris Rose writes in the Oxford American about his time at the Times-Pic and the city going without a daily (although BR’s Advocate is moving in…).

Someone I went to high school with — Heath Porter (who’s now the Director of Wine at the Greenbrier in WV), and Chris Lily from Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ, talk about pairing wine with barbecue sauce at this year’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. Heath and I were never close in school, but this is great!:

Do you like the way old books smell (I do!!)? One of my friends posted on FB what that smell actually is, and it comes from the book Perfumes: the Guide, describing the scent Dzing:   Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good-quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.


Me, a couple of weeks ago facing the sun (squinty!) but in front of the fountain at The Club in B’ham, where I hosted a birthday party for one of my sweet-sweet friends.  Have a great week, everyone! xoxo!

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