Quote of the Day “I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.” — William Faulkner
Travellinbaen spent the 4th of July holiday weekend and a few other days recently in Oxford, Mississippi. It’s a town I’ve spent quite a bit of time in, including three terrific years of academic misery and alcoholic bliss. I’ve been there to watch football, basketball, and baseball, often cheering on my Bulldogs, but even more often as a more or less neutral observer. And I go there a lot to visit friends and family. Oxford is a great town. It’s not as great as its weekend denizens and part time citizens think it, but a damned sight better than any other town in Mississippi, and most of the South. And no, this is not hard for a State man to admit. Travellinbaen calls it like he sees it.
Independence Day in Oxford means first and foremost independence of the town from the a-hole students that call it home for 4-6 awesome years of undergraduate heaven. They overrun the town in a constant ooze of obnoxious and spoiled behavior while also injecting the vitality and the ever increasing economic stimulus that allows the town to be. The kids are gone maybe three or four weeks a year and even most of the truly ardent Ole Miss alumni will tell you those are the best days to be in Oxford, save 6-7 Fall Saturdays each year.
My week there began with breakfast at the fantastic Bottletree Bakery (honey cream cheese Danish, chocolate croissant and hot tea if you’re curious), then moved on to the city swimming pool. This is not a misprint. At 37 and a half years of age, I’ve never been to one. I thought they closed them all down because of integration. At any rate, it is a very large, nice pool, surrounded by blue sky and green trees plus a bit of kudzu, cost under two bucks to get in and has got to be the least Ole Miss place in all of Oxford.
There was a street party on the square July 3 with great music, lots of dancing, and a whole lot of townies, their kids, and relations. Many of the songs mentioned in my Music Buffet post and comments were on the songlist including two that should have been but were mistakenly interposed with similar tunes by the author. Instead of “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Strokin”, I should’ve inserted “Let’s Get It On” and “Electric Slide.” Hey, I write these things in stream of conscience. But most importantly, they ended the show with a rousing rendition of the music buffet staple of staples–yep, Mustang Sally. Sweet.
I ran in to Joey Lauren Adams, Hollywood actress in residence, twice. For several years I’ve heard tales again and again about how aloof, ugly, smelly, slutty and rude she was, but that’s not what I saw. She smiled, she greeted me in the same friendly way most everyone in Oxford does (seriously–no joke there), and she looked great. Not to mention she was driving an old, large, blue pickup truck. I like her movies, I like her voice, I hate Oxford myths and I trust my own eyes. She seemed pretty and cool to me.
Which brings me to the lowlight of my trip. One of the 5 percent or so of the folks that make people hate Ole Miss. Within five minutes of meeting the guy he punched my Katrina/State Farm button. Actually, he smashed it to bits. I can tell you there is no redeeming a personality that starts off a conversation bragging about the way he’s helping screw people 350 miles away out of their money. Then he proceeded to make fun of his ex-girlfriend, though she probably deserved it seeing as how she was dating this buffoon, pontificate on the excellent state of the local, state and national economy, brag about his money and trash Joey Lauren Adams. I missed a lot of his other highlights thanks in large part to a nice bottle of Washington state red table wine and a big red stadium cup.
My crew also hit the fireworks display, 5K race and the town parade which was so truly awful that it came full circle (as parades are want to do) and was deliciously campy and sweet. We ate ice cream and watermelon and grilled chicken. We went to the park and we crashed a hotel swimming pool. There was absolutely no excitement. And we were sad to leave so soon.
Bonus Quote of the Day “It’s not a normal voice.” — Joey Lauren Adams, describing her voice