This Week’s Various

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As always, all images unless otherwise noted copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Like to use one elsewhere? Kindly contact me here.

Graceland, Memphis TN

from a visit in 2002

Graceland is going to start having virtual, two-hour guided tours, January 27, Feb 25, and March 25, with more dates expected. Tickets are $98.50 and will include viewing the home, Meditation Garden, the plane, jet, and more of the complex.

Christenberry: In Alabama Exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art

from a visit to the Christenberry: In Alabama Exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art, 2017

Washington City Paper on the destruction of Lou Stovall’s print studio there due to a tree falling on it; there’s currently an exhibit of his work — through April 11 — at the Columbus Museum in Georgia. Really enjoying “Fruits of our Lives, 1971” by his wife, Di Bagley Stovall.

As an aside, one of Stovall’s neighbors: the Christenberrys.

Since William Christenberry died in 2016, his wife Sandy has slowly confronted reconfiguring the space in their home that includes her late husband’s work. For now, his studio space is less of a work space and more a storage unit. “You know, it’s been four years since Bill passed away,” she says, “and I’m still trying to figure out what to do … Because I want to have people come to visit the studio again.”

Business District TUPELO First TVA City

the Tupelo First TVA City neon sign, 2019

Among The High’s acquisitions last year, an important Ruth Clement Bond TVA quilt. This via Artfix, though just to note, the one at the TVA site doesn’t seem to depict what we usually think of as a banjo — I’d go with a guitar:

In July, the High purchased an exceptionally rare “Tennessee Valley Authority” quilt (designed 1934, made ca. 1937), featuring a design by Ruth Clement Bond (American, 1904-2005) and made by an unknown quilter from the Pickwick Dam Negro Women’s Association. One of only six known examples of this design, the quilt is full of symbols, including a sun, vegetation and a banjo — a likely deliberate reference to the African-derived musical instrument that came to the United States with enslaved people. 

…and…this correspondence from Dr. Maurice Seay, who was gifted one of the TVA quilts in appreciation for his work there, notes it as a guitar, as noted by the presenter, the president of the association. Maybe this one is different, though.

BTW, the NYT obit for Ms Bond in 2005 notes:

Designed by her, the quilts were sewn in rural Alabama by the wives of African-American workers building dams there for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Visually arresting and contemporary-looking even today, the T.V.A. quilts are considered pivotal in the history of American quiltmaking.

While most quilts of the period were based on the traditional geometric and floral designs that had endured for more than a century, the T.V.A. quilts are dynamic works of modern art.

Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah GA

the Kessler Mansion on Forsyth Park, from a stay in 2019

Kessler is offering buyouts of their hotel properties for events, or just whatever. From their email:

Enjoy private access to our entire property—whether unwinding in our elegant guest rooms, sampling award-winning cuisine at our inspired restaurants or browsing one-of-a-kind works of art in our galleries. 

Intersect by Lexus in NY is now hosting Savannah’s The Grey for delivery and carryout there, January 21-24. Copies of Bailey and Morisano’s new memoir/cookbook, “The Black, The White and The Grey” (via Bookshop, via Amazon) will be available with three-course meals.

The meals are $65pp and the meat option includes smoked catfish dip (hardboiled eggs, cornichons, rye crackers), yardbird (garlic trencher, captain sauce), and devil’s food cake (whipped cream, candied pecans, bittersweet chocolate). That all comes alongside sourdough bread, collards, and pickles.

I’m trying to come up with what a garlic trencher is, and it’s something like bread-as-plate and so — is it like the slice underneath beef tournedos (which, I kid you not, my friends and I still like to joke about how we’re going to order the “steak tornados” when the waiter comes by, because we’re still 12 on the inside)?

Also: The Grey’s Salted Honey Chess Pie recipe is here

Lusco's, Greenwood MS

the separated dining rooms at Lusco’s in Greenwood, from a visit in 2016

The Grey is doing outdoor dining with yurts and I’m suddenly thinking of how perfect the setups at Lusco’s and Giardina’s are for people who are comfortable with eating inside.

BTW, the Grey’s yurts are part of an AmEx + Resy program called Yurt Villages, and others doing it:

Super Random Section: 

Mixtape at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas begins Feb 6 and runs through Sept 26 this year is an exhibit — a “compilation of ‘tracks'” made up of items pulled from the permanent collection. Nasher felt the need to explain mixtapes:  Nasher Mixtape takes its title from a practice, born in the 1980s, of selecting a sequence of songs from different sources and recording them on a single audio cassette. Writer Nick Hornby compared making a mixtape to writing a letter: “[There’s] a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again.” A labor of love and a versatile creative activity, the mixtape has survived into the digital era in many different forms.

The WSJ with A Professional Photographer Builds a Picture Perfect Loft in Northern Alabama, and they’re talking about Robert Rausch‘s home studio

The 1901 Crisco House in Macon GA (so named because the gentleman who owned it created…) is on the market at $1.65M. It was sold in the 19-teens to William Jordan Massee Sr., “Big Daddy,” who *may* have been the inspiration for *that* Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. And how over-the-top wonderful is it that there’s a fireplace at the grand staircase landing (pic 15)?

I missed this from last year, but Mississippi’s Amy Miller won Huntsman’s (very traditional English, bespoke, equestrian/sport) annual tweed competition

Smithsonian on The History of Charleston in Three Mouthwatering Meals for a March 23 event they’re co-sponsoring with the Chas C&VB. Foods to expect? Shrimp and grits, red rice, and berbere spiced salmon

Asheville NC has a Zelda Fitzgerald Week in March, and this year’s event concludes with excerpts of the musical based on her life (which was created by Roger Cook (who wrote “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”) and the late Les Reed)

Penta on Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moments series of videos of works from museums across the US

Yet another Derby Pie trademark lawsuit

The Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956 exhibit opened January 16 and runs through September 5 this year

These free to print retro-future posters from NASA JPL

Austin’s Lonnie Dillard obit goes viral

This piece is a couple of years old, but Wild Photos of Louisiana’s Rural Mardi Gras

Wild Ground Alabama restorative sanctuary for caregivers

(hi, I mentioned this was the super random section) Realizing it’s J. Crew Factory, but when they’re selling It’s Fall Y’all tees with a leaf as the apostrophe, J. Crew forgot who J. Crew is. Instead, someone should have ordered a (beloved) Tweeds catalog from the 80s off eBay and just copied everything. Ugh. As an aside, the (formerly J. Crew) Jenna Lyons show on HBO Max is a little frustrating (y’all put a ping pong table by that big glass-front china cabinet!? The Baccarat collection we inherited from Aunt Pearlie is in there!) but mostly wunderbar

Really, really like this wheel-thrown colander by potter Jake Johnson, at the Southern Highland Craft Guild

Beignets, minus powdered sugar, plus icing glaze, from Antoine’s in Gretna

Wow at these 2018 pics of an abandoned house in (I think) Birmingham with the indoor pool, velvet rope stair railing, and so much vintage glam that’s just gone awry, and whuuut is with this one in Chattanooga

Here’s Gehry’s design for the 150 anniversary decanter for Hennessy X.O cognac and if there’s a part of you that’s like “I wonder if it’s going to evoke crumpled up aluminum foil…” well…

In 2015, Matthew Teague’s piece in Esquire, The Friend: Love is Not a Big Enough Word about his wife’s terminal illness, and their mutual friend, has been expanded and made into a movie. In the NYT, a story — When Some Critics Reject the Film that’s about Your Life — about how the film (shot in Fairhope AL, where Matthew still lives) has been largely panned by media outlets though audiences have been more kind, and what that’s like for him. It’s being released in theaters and streaming today.

Variations on king cake can get a little weird, sometimes tiresome because whoever is trying too hard, but the sushi king cake at Rock-n-Sake looks fun

Salsa macha, yeah

Freddy Mamani is the “King of Andean Architecture” — he’s featured in the new Beatrice Galilee book, Radical Architecture of the Future (via Amazon), and here’s why. Interview with the book’s author here at AD

Hmmm going to have to check out the Jewish Cowboy popup in Nashville with the cornbread latkes made with Marsh Hen Mill Jimmy Red cornmeal

Galerie with a small piece titled How History Continues to Influence the Rich Design Legacy of New Orleans with mentions, among others, of Bevolo, Andrew Hopkins, The Chloe.

“Vieux Carré lights have that little post that runs across,” explains the third-generation leader of Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights. “It’s called a ladder rack, because you had to lean the ladder against it when you lit the gas.”

National Shrine of Saint Roch

from a visit to the National Shrine of Saint Roch, 2013

Back in September, the Historic New Orleans Collection did a post about Five Real New Orleans Stories that Should be Made into Movies, one being the story of St Roch Chapel:

In 1868, New Orleans was gripped by a grave yellow fever outbreak…Rev. Peter Leonard Thevis, who preached at the Holy Trinity Church (which is now the Marigny Opera House) sought to protect his parishioners from the outbreak. Thevis made an appeal to Saint Roch, patron saint of the diseased and disabled, who achieved his sainthood amidst the Black Death.  

Thevis prayed to Saint Roch—commonly invoked against plagues—to heal the sick in his church, promising to erect a chapel in the saint’s honor. Miraculously, no one in Thevis’ church succumbed to yellow fever. Thevis, making good on his promise, laid the cornerstone of what would become the St. Roch Chapel on September 6, 1875, and the legendary St. Roch Cemetery soon sprang up beside it. For generations, the cured left tokens—also known as ex-votos—such as crutches, prosthetic limbs, and even dentures on the altar in the chapel. The ex-votos serve as an offering for a cure or improved health. 

We still leave those today.

I was reading Eudora Welty: On William Faulkner (at Lemuria, this limited edition, via Amazon), and in it she told an interviewer in 1972:

I used to take a lot of the state newspapers and in the old days I loved to read the Oxford Eagle. There was one woman whose name kept turning up there, but I always felt any name around Oxford was automatically the property of Mr. Faulkner. He had such perfect names. I don’t know if this is true, but somebody once told me they mentioned a name to Mr. Faulkner and he said, “Yes, I know the name well. Can hardly wait for her to die” so he could use it. 

Gypsy Lou Webb, co-publisher of literary magazine The Outsider (in its pages, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Bukowski), one-of-a-kind, inspiration for Bob Dylan’s Gypsy Lou (above, a cover of it), passed away earlier this month in Slidell.

From Vice in 2013, A Pilgrimage to Gypsy Lou Webb, New Orleans’ Patron Saint of Literature (which shows she wasn’t particularly romantic about certain things: on her outfits, she says, “when you’re selling paintings, you talk funny, you look funny, the whole damn thing. Those days are done.”” and on living in New Orleans, “I don’t want to live in the French Quarter! I lived there for 32 years! I’ve had enough of it!”).

On Bukowski:

Lou’s eyes widened like she must be misunderstanding this woman: A show about me? She looked back down at the program and pointed out a photo of her husband’s old printing press. “The University of Tulane gave him that press,” she remembered. “He tried to give them money for it. They didn’t want to take it. But they took it.” She pointed to another photo: “And that’s Charles Bukowski. Went by the name of Hank. That was one hell of a nice guy. He drank a lot.”

Mosca's, Westwego LA

Chicken a la Grande, from a visit in 2017

Mosca’s Chicken a la Grande recipe at the Washington Post

Loretta Lynn in Concert, Alabama Theatre, Birmingham AL

from a concert at the Alabama Theatre, 2007

Celebrating 50 years of the album Coal Miner’s Daughter, MCA Nashville will reissue it on black vinyl Feb 12. New album out March 19. Here’s her new recitation of the song:

Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) Target Bldg, Mulga AL

the Noli Me Tangere building in Mulga AL, 2020

The Marathon Mini Target is Gone, Long Live the Marathon Mini Target at Texas Monthly:

While the Prada Marfa stands as highbrow, moneyed commentary on consumerism, stocked with real designer handbags and armed with a security system, the ramshackle railroad structure slapped with a Target logo like an afterthought served as its sillier, more accessible (and theoretically affordable) counterpart. 

Courtyard at St. James Hotel, Selma AL

the St James’ courtyard, from a stay in 2005

The St James Hotel in Selma is part of the Hilton Tapestry collection, and is accepting reservations for stays beginning January 26

Herbert Buchsbaum’s My Search for Lost Time in a Slice of Jewish Rye at the NYT

“My wife wisely suggested that perhaps the best rye was whichever one you grew up with. I’m sure there’s truth to that. Especially if you grew up in Savannah when Gottlieb’s was around.”

Firing Line, with William F. Buckley and guests Eudora Welty and Walker Percy. I remember from reading Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald (via Bookshop, via Amazon) that she wasn’t crazy about this appearance, though she did just fine

Smoked turkey legs have long been a thing at fairs and amusement parks, but they’ve epicuriously (ha I don’t that’s a word, but you’ll see) leveled up. At Texas Monthly:

…massive smoked turkey legs stuffed with mac and cheese and your choice of chopped brisket, smoked sausage, fried chicken, or fried shrimp. When they say stuffed, what they and every other restaurant mean is that the turkey legs are smothered with a combination of toppings. The legs may be falling-apart tender, but they’re not deboned or actually filled with the ingredients. If you don’t like different foods on your plate mixed together, this trend isn’t for you.

Our Very Poor English (but we love it) Congrats Cake

Shugie & Cake

Congrats Cake

Haha! We like to joke around with each other and in honor of Shugie winning the District Spelling Bee, I made him a cake with some very poor English on top (and we cut it the new way, by taking inverted wine glasses and scooping it straight up/down (you can prob figure out which was Shug’s piece)). We’ve had a great week and are looking forward to some relaxing outdoor time this weekend. Hope you’re doing really, really well and making some fun plans. xoxo!