All posts filed under: OLE MISS

Ole Miss one of 15 schools nominated for ‘The South’s Best Tailgate’

Ole Miss was one of 15 colleges chosen for Southern Living’s “The South’s Best Tailgate” competition, But Clemson University was declared the winner. The contenders were listed in the magazine’s September issue. Southern Living Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Bierman said pre-game celebrations in the South matter as much as what happens on the field. “We’re asking readers to decide which school best honors our great tradition of Southern hospitality with the most stylish and spirited spread,” she said. The competition was held through Sept. 30. Southern Living crowned the winner at a fall home game. Here are the schools: 1. Appalachian State University 2. Clemson University 3. Florida State University 4. Louisiana State University 5. Marshall University 6. Oklahoma State University 7. Texas A&M University 8. University of Alabama 9. University of Georgia 10. University of Mississippi 11. University of Tennessee 12. University of Texas 13. Vanderbilt University 14. Virginia Tech 15. West Virginia University Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Entertainment: Mississippi native wraps up first season of "Pretty Wicked Moms"

Last night, was the season finale of “Pretty Wicked Moms.” Fans of the Lifetime reality show will have to wait until next season to see the antics of Mississippi native Emily Dees Boulden and her best friend, Nicole Noles. And it will be a while before we learn what’s happening with her Atlanta boutique, Swank; her daughter, Amzie; and her husband, Pete. Last night, the friends managed to get in trouble while attending a party at a “frienemy’s” house. While joking around, they found the party host’s preserved wedding bouquet, tossed it to one another as the camera’s rolled, and petals fell out of it onto the floor. The two also managed to knock over her wedding dress on display in the bedroom. Giggling ensued, followed by confrontational reality show drama that involved Emily telling the party host she was “fake.” You’ll have to wait a while to see Eli and Peyton Manning’s cousin steal the show, but she’s back in Mississippi this week. A couple of days ago, Boulden Tweeted: “Wheels Up to Mississippi! …

More of the story: Miss Mississippi contestant Kennitra Thompson fought for her life against Stevens Johnson Syndrome

When Kennitra Thompson was 6, she told her mother she wanted to become Miss America. The determined little girl convinced Patricia Thompson to purchase a few blank VHS tapes to record the annual pageant, and she repeatedly watched the videos, studying the winners and learning to emulate Miss Americas like Heather Whiteston (1995), Angela Perez Baraquio (2000) and Erika Dunlap (2004). At 13, she entered and won her first real pageant, Miss Junior Teen Jackson as number 135 out of more than 200 contestants. Other pageant wins followed. Then, Thompson was crowned Miss Metro Jackson and got to compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant for the first time last year, bringing her a step closer to the Miss America crown. This year, she’ll return to Miss Mississippi as Miss Rankin County Southwest, but a lot has changed for Thompson in the last few months. When she walks on the stage wearing a swimsuit, audience members may notice that her body is blemished with scars or “warrior wounds” from the life-threatening illness she recently battled. Kennitra …

Check out a Mississippi reality star’s ‘Pretty Wicked’ return to Mississippi tonight at 9 p.m. on Lifetime

For those who have yet to see the new Lifetime reality show “Pretty Wicked Moms” Tuesday nights at 9 p.m., you’re missing the mean girl antics of Mississippi native Emily Dees Boulden – the Queen Bee of the show, who college students and professors studying modern feminism in pop culture may find a bit confusing. On one hand, she’s portrayed as a skinny, blonde, high fashion Barbie doll. Pull her string, and she makes superficial remarks about her “Pretty Wicked Moms” peers. She’s also married to a wealthy cosmetic dentist, and they live in an Atlanta mansion. But before you jump to the conclusion that Boulden is an accessory or trophy wife for her rich husband, she’s also a self-described “tough as nails” business owner who operates a clothing store called Swank that she started before marrying her husband. It’s “her baby,” but she also has another one – a little girl named Amzie. In an earlier interview, Boulden told me the reason she agreed to be on “Pretty Wicked Moms” after turning down numerous …

More of the story: Miss Mississippi Marie Wicks talks about giving up the crown

It took five attempts before Ocean Springs native Marie Wicks was crowned Miss Mississippi last year, proving that persistence pays off. It’s funny how time flies. “It feels like yesterday,” said Wicks, recalling that victorious moment in Vicksburg. “It’s been such an incredible year, and it’s really surpassed what my wildest dreams are of what it would be to be Miss Mississippi. I’ve gotten to travel to different cities and meet people I never dreamed I’d meet.” One recent experience was visiting Camp Shelby. She met military members, received a combat uniform, drove a tank and learned how the National Guard trains for missions. Wicks, 24, has also spent the last year promoting the Children’s Miracle Network and her platform eyeSTAR, an acronym for EyeSight to All Regions, raising awareness about visual impairments. “I’ve done a lot of work with the Lion’s Club, organized free vision screenings and collected donated glasses,” she said, excited about the response. She also wrote a children’s book called Myope about a lion who needs glasses that she’s selling to …

Want to hear William Faulkner’s Mississippi drawl? Check out this rare 1952 film.

‘Early in his life, William Faulkner had an epiphany: ‘I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about, and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.’” – From openculture.com A website called “Open Culture” published a 1952 film this week shot shortly after Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for literature. Take a look at it to see footage of Oxford and its residents more than 60 years ago with glimpses of the square, the Ole Miss campus, Faulkner’s friends, The Oxford Eagle, and you’ll hear Faulkner’s Southern drawl, something I had never heard before watching it. Click the “Open Culture” link to watch the whole film that is broken into five, three-minute segments. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Tweet your thoughts on the Oscars tonight: #CLoscars

Our Weekend story published Thursday took a look at the 85th Academy Awards, and we asked a mix of theater and film professors, as well as working writers, actors and producers, about their Oscar predictions. Most agreed that Daniel Day-Lewis will be hard to beat this year, and Ben Affleck was robbed of a Best Director nomination for “Argo.” Here are more of their thoughts: Chris Offutt Chris Offutt is an assistant professor of English and screenwriting at the University of Mississippi, who earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa in 1990. He has written for HBO’s “True Blood” and Showtime’s “Weeds.” Q. What are some of the Oscar contenders you have seen this year? A. I’ve seen all of the nominees for best picture. Unfortunately, it was not a year for great movies. Individual performances surpassed the films themselves. This was most evident in “The Master.” Two movies were loosely based on real events — “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Lincoln” — and, as such, lose some of the (ending) …

In the bag: Ole Miss grad’s handbags sought-after totes

University of Mississippi art graduate Katie Kalsi, 34, is making a name for herself as a handbag designer. The Memphis native launched a line of 23 hobo-style handbags in 2003 with hand-painted, interchangeable straps. Since then, Kalsi said the bags have gotten attention from Taylor Swift and Priscilla Presley, and Belk began carrying them. We caught up with Kalsi to ask her about her life and design work. Q. Tell me about your childhood. What are some of your earliest memories of growing up in Memphis? A. I have always been creative and spent a lot of my childhood drawing, painting, sewing and crafting. My mother and father always encouraged and praised my ideas and creativity. My best memories are at my parents’ home in Shelby County. When you think of Memphis, you may not think of immediately lakes, barns and greenery, but I saw all of that right outside my window. I loved being outside. I was always able to find something to do and something that inspired my creativity. Q. Tell me some …

These boots were made for . . . Rebels, Eagles and Bulldogs

Everybody needs a pair of cowboy boots, and I saw these in Oxford’s Belk store recently. If you’re an Ole Miss, Mississippi State or Southern Miss fan, you may want to check out Game Day Boots. They sell personalized team boots for 70 schools, but I only saw UM, MSU and USM from Mississippi. At $399, they are a little pricey, but you could think of them as an investment if you wear them to every game. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Anniversary calls for recommitment

As an eighth-grader at University High School in Oxford in 1962, Duncan Gray III was well aware of what was happening with the civil rights movement. On the evening of the riot at the University of Mississippi protesting James Meredith’s admission, Gray’s father, an Episcopal priest, went on campus to calm the swelling crowd and try to get students to go back to their dorms. “For his efforts, he was roughed up pretty good by the crowd,” Gray said. “The night and its aftermath are seared in my own consciousness.” Now 50 years later, the Right Rev. Duncan M. Gray III, who followed in his father’s spiritual footsteps, is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi and is helping lead a Walk for Redemption and Recommitment at Ole Miss. The event today will commemorate the riot. It will begin at the Gertrude Ford Center at 6:30 p.m., where then Lt. Gov. Paul B. Johnson Jr. first blocked James Meredith’s path to campus on Sept. 26, 1962, and pause at the front of the circle where …

Change was happening in Mississippi, and it couldn’t be stopped by teargas or bullets

Change was happening in Mississippi, and it couldn’t be stopped by teargas or bullets. That’s how Hattiesburg resident Bryant Myatt remembers the events surrounding the integration of the University of Mississippi. Myatt was a National Guardsman from Tupelo sent to the University of Mississippi in 1962, the day of the riot. “Everyone knew that (Gov. Ross) Barnett was going to fight it, and everyone knew it was a losing proposition,” he said. “The news coming out of Jackson had nothing to do with what was going on. I felt that integration was needed, and this attitude was not uncommon in my part of the state.” Logic dictated that integration was coming regardless of what the ‘Bubbas and Barnett’ thought, Myatt said. “We arrived around midnight on a Sunday and had already been cursed out before leaving Tupelo,” Myatt said. On Monday, things became quieter, but Tuesday, Army troops arrived in shiny Jeeps with .30 caliber machine guns mounted. “The trouble started all over,” he said. Natchez resident Don Estes, an Ole Miss sophomore in 1962 …

Ole Miss’ first African-American student body president talks about changing times

We just finished a package of stories about the 1962 Ole Miss riot by those who opposed integration and African-Ameircan James Meredith’s fight to attend school there. Here are some of the stories. Jacqueline Certion, a senior academic advisor at the University of Mississippi, noticed something special about Como native Kimbrely Dandridge while watching Dandridge run for freshman homecoming maid. “Kim has been driven since the day she set foot on this campus, Certion said. “Typically, if you run for homecoming, people know you, but the way she pulled together her support system. She did it on Facebook and really got out there and introduced herself to people who were clueless as to who Kim Dandridge was. After I saw her do this, I kept calling her the ‘first black Miss Ole Miss,’ but she became the first black female student body president.” Dandridge, a Senatobia High School student majoring in journalism, was elected freshmen maid. “After that, I was influenced to participate in other parts of the student government,” she said. “I went on …

‘Pregnant in Heels’ star revels in Mississippi ties

Fans of Bravo!’s show “Pregnant in Heels” know it’s a docu-drama that follows fashion designer and maternity concierge Rosie Pope as she helps million dollar mamas-to-be prepare for the arrival and care of their babies. But they may not know this: •Pope was a ballet dancer with The London Contemporary School of Dance, who moved to New York City at 18 to model. One of her gigs was posing for photographer Steven Meisel in the pages of Italian Vogue. •She attended Columbia University on a Presidential Scholarship to study neuroscience. •And her unique accent is a blend of British and Southern because her husband has Mississippi ties. That’s right – hubby Daron Pope is a Mississippi native, and his dad, Mike Pope, was an Ole Miss coach before landing a job with the New York Giants. “I think the thing about growing up in England and growing up in the South – there’s a lot of tradition,” Rosie Pope said by phone. “It’s really important to have a family foundation in how we raise our …

Mississippi grins and bears it

Ole Miss has a new mascot – the black bear. But does Mississippi have a bear population? Clarion-Ledger reporter Justin Fritscher tells us we do, and the number has grown from 40 to 120 bears in the last decade, most of which reside in the Delta and southwest part of the state. Fritscher says Mississippi once had a large bear population that lured President Theodore Roosevelt to Sharkey County in 1902 for a history-making bear hunt. The term “Teddy bear” was coined when the prez declined to shoot a black bear that his hosts captured and tied to a tree. Hunting and the spread of farmland in the 20th century caused the bear population to stagnate until there were few female bears left, but the girls eventually began to migrate back. Ole Miss isn’t the only evidence of the state’s black bear heritage. Mississippi hosts The Great Delta Bear Affair each year in Rolling Fork, a festival to increase awareness of bear protection. Last year’s theme was Just Another Day in Bearadise. The BEaR Education …

Colonel cupcakes?

Ole Miss fans who haven’t been completely won over by the new bear mascot may find this Colonel Reb cupcake sweet. It was recently displayed inside the Hey, Cupcake store in Jackson’s Canton Mart Square. I wanted to bring him home, but he was only a sample. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Blindsided by a button-down

I watched The Blind Side in Oxford last weekend in a packed theater. That’s a rarity these days, and we weren’t sure we’d find a seat, but eventually did in the back row. When the movie ended, the audience clapped – also pretty rare. Because I’m a victim of marketing and a UM grad, I noticed one of the Ole Miss button-down shirts Sandra Bullock was wearing in the movie and decided to walk next door to Campus Book Mart to see if they had any. Sure, enough, they did, so I bought a couple. I wasn’t sure if either were identical to Bullock’s, but after doing a quick Internet search, I believe I did purchase a near identical copy, as well as a blue one. PremiereProps.com is selling the exact shirt Bullock wore in the film for $399 if you’re interested. Luckily, I didn’t pay that much. Trivia: Did you know the teen who plays Bullock’s daughter, Collins, in the film is Lily Collins, daughter of ’80s singer, Phil Collins? Got a comment? E-mail …

Shep returns to Oxford

Fox news anchor Shepard Smith, an Ole Miss graduate and native Mississippian, brought a camera crew to Oxford this week to cover the Mississippi primary, and I had the opportunity to talk to him by phone. Much of the conversation revolved around his love of Mississippi and appreciation of Oxford. Click here to read the article. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Heigl’s Ole Miss connection

You may be aware that “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl’s new movie “27 Dresses” opens this weekend, but what you may not know is Heigl recently married a former Ole Miss student with a rising music career. Check out Josh Kelley’s Web site to learn more about his music and bio. In interviews, he has called Oxford his old stomping ground, where he performed at places like Proud Larry’s before hitting the big time. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Not bad for a boy from Holly Springs

According to The New York Times today, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has signed a new contract and will be earning $7-$8 million a year for the next three. Not bad for a boy from Holly Springs. The article also reports that although Smith has a hectic schedule as a big time anchor, the University of Mississippi grad frequently returns to Oxford to attend every football game. Click here to read the full article Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save