Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bring It On Home To Me

A hat tip to our classmate, Mary Jane (Kelly) Heisterkamp for pointing me to this music so I could post it. Thanks, MJ.

For a little break in the text action, see if you like street singer, Roger Ridley doing a Sam Cooke classic. I think he's great.

This song is supposedly based on a 1955 Gospel version song of the same name by The Staples Singers. Ben E. King wanted The Drifters to record it, but the group's manager rejected it. After leaving The Drifters, King brought it to the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who gave it a more contemporary sound and polished it into a hit. The bassline at the beginning was Stoller's idea. Many others have covered "Stand By Me" , but give a listen. I like this version by street singer, Roger Ridley and others... much better.

Souvenir Des Choses du Passé

Another Piece Of Meridian's Story

Long, but very interesting, well done chronology — with photos.

From Jack Shank's ,
Meridian, The Queen With A Past, Volume II

Click on:

Meridian Fire Department
( Photos are too small. Sorry! )

This fire occurred on Sunday, March 8, 1964 on Front Street between 22nd Avenue and 23rd Avenue.
Remains of 1964 fire on Front Street as seen from bridge at 22nd Avenue overpass.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The Alex Loeb's we grew up with on 5th street.

Loeb's Department Store is a historic specialty boutique department store in Meridian that has remained in the same family for four generations.

The founder, Alex Loeb, was to become a leading merchant in Meridian. He was born in Germany, married Mollie Threefoot, and moved to Meridian from Columbus, Mississippi. He opened his store in Meridian in 1887, selling fine men’s clothing — and only later added womens' and childrens' apparel. The store opened on Johnson Street, and was later moved to a new location on 5th Street.

During Meridian's "golden age" in the early 20th century, it was said that respectable railroad workers would only wear clothes from the Alex Loeb store. The well-dressed Loeb was a colorful character known for his white moustache, ever-present cigar, and hospitable personality; he would personally welcome each customer as he or she entered the store.

During the early 1900s, Loeb's was operated by Alexander M. Loeb's son, A. Marshall Loeb, who graduated from Harvard with an A.B. degree in 1911. The business was eventually passed to A. Marshall Loeb's son, Robert S. Loeb Sr., and his brother Alex Loeb after their graduation from Washington and Lee University in 1939. They also acquired the Marks-Rothenberg Co. department store on 6th Street, and throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s maintained Loeb's as the premier clothier in Mississippi. During the 1980's economic boom, Marks-Rothenberg store was sold to Zale's.

The current Loeb's Inc. is now run by Robert S. Loeb Jr., and continues business today on Front Street in Downtown Meridian.

Loeb's today on Front Street.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lamar Hotel

Harold Meyer built the Lamar Hotel in 1927. No longer a hotel, it now serves as a Lauderdale County office building. Sad, but it's hard to obtain interesting details about many of the places that added so much of the charm and texture to the "Meridian" we grew up with.

A bit of Lamar Hotel trivia:

On May 26, 1953, Elvis Presley entered an amateur contest singing "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" and "Baby, Let's Play House". This was the first Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Talent Show and it was held at the Lamar Hotel. Elvis came in second and won a guitar.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

September When It Comes

Now, every time one of us goes down, for some reason, this song pops into my mind... and just sits there for days, haunting me. I guess it's not directly related to Meridian, a town, but it is, in a way, linked to someone from back then... at least it seems that way to me. Probably addressing my own mortality, too... I suppose. In the third trimester of our lives, we are all in that zone now. Beautiful song.

Roseanne Cash and her Daddy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Knew?

Advertisement from 1904

The Marks Rothenberg store we all patronized was a five story building and, by small town standards, huge, consuming the entire length of 22nd Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets. We all shopped the large first floor sales area(s). Click on for larger pictures.

But on the 2nd floor and above was this! The fabled Grand Opera House which has now been restored to its previous grandeur. The space was said to be used for storage and warehousing in our youth.

For a full history of this hidden treasure, and how it was once again brought to life, click on here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Any MSCW Folks Out There?

If so, this one's for you.

Click away, ladies.

Another Mississippi Treasure... and a MSCW alumna.

Miss Welty was often asked why she never married. This photo may go a long way toward helping us answer that question.
More about Miss Welty on a site commemorating her life

Joe B. Stewart, detective par excellence, was once again on assignment, reviewing our "cold case" files and he was able to provide the above photos.. Thanks, Joe B.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Miss Maude Smith- 1922

Joe B. Stewart is an inveterate supplier of wonderful Meridiana material. " Jack Shank is a former MHS teacher, as we all remember. He is author of what may be the definitive historical documentation of our town: "Meridian: The Queen With a Past", Volumes I, II, & III. All I can say is, "Jack, watch your back because Joe. B. may be gaining on you."

Thanks... once more to Joe B.

"David: I found this in a 1922 Meridian, Miss. High School yearbook, "The Kaldron". Joe B.

Click on to enlarge.

For some reason, I just don't remember her being this "hot".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old Country Club

Old Country Club – Meridian, MS

Photographer's note:
This old Country Club is located just north of Meridian, Mississippi.

According to the present owner – who has had the property since the course closed – the club house was built in 1917, around the same time that the course opened. It remained open until sometime during World War II when the lack of people playing golf forced it to shut down. The property was purchased, and has been privately held, since 1946. Today it’s used for storage and as a shed for equipment.

I know nothing more about this place than what he wrote. Maybe one of you can tell us more.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In The Alley

This is probably my favorite photo of them all. I wish I had narrative to go with it. One of you must know where this is. Click on for a larger image.

Photographer's note:
Taken in Meridian, Mississippi (map) with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi.

I'll Have Some Ribs... And What's That Special Again?

If this place had been around back then, I might have stayed home. Note the "Rock House" sign in the background.

The full sign:

The photographer's explanation:
The Rock House Trading Post (gun and pawn) moved from an old rock and stone house to a metal building a few years ago but they were wise enough to bring this cool old sign with them in the move.

I'm skeptical of the sign's authenticity because I don't see any bullet holes. DNJ

Brookshire's Ice Creaam

Small (largest drive-in photo I could find), but you get the picture. .. and I'm sure you remember banana splits.

The plant where ice cream was made. Note the fallout shelter sign on the right.

Payday 11/28/62 in the amount of $13.65

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meridian History - Early 20th Century.

Click on each page to turn it. Text size is "zoom-able". Warning! You've got to really want to read it. 64 pages and the navigation is tricky

Meridian Illustrated - 1904

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Clarkco State Park

Hat tip to Carl "Dough" Watson (one of the Bonita Boys) who suggested posting this place from "back then".

Located just south of Meridian near the Mississippi-Alabama state line, Clarkco State Park has been a favorite Mississippi recreation spot since 1938. Its 65 acre lake is situated on 815 acres of gently rolling woodlands, Clarkco State Park offers camping, cabin rentals, and water sports in a convenient yet unspoiled location, providing the perfect retreat for an afternoon or weekend getaway.

It's hard to find out much about this place, but I found an anonymous review coupled with a remembrance on a travel site.

"My summers at Clarko were spent like most kids spent their summers back then. We would spend our days swimming, walking in the woods, playing with the other kids at the campground, catching frogs, and just hanging out having fun. And things haven't changed much at Clarko in 54 years. The biggest attraction is still the lake. There is a swimming area with a lifeguard, plus plenty of non-swimming areas to just wade and chase tadpoles. Paddle boats are available for rental, and they always make for a day of fun. Fishing is allowed... and seems pretty good from the others I have watched."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Boyette's Fish Camp

I don't know anything about this place. I just like the sign — and the fact that it's within the greater metropolitan Chunky area on the Chunky River. We used to have a thing about naming places to eat catfish and hushpuppies "camps" — maybe folks still do. I remember a Gappy's and a Long's ( I think ???). They were south of Meridian, as I recall. Perhaps Boyette's was formerly Ezell's.

One of Chunky's most famous landmarks is Boyette's Fish Camp, which serves legendary fried catfish and shrimp to visitors from miles around. Some 50 years ago, the riverfront restaurant opened as a hamburger stand serving fisherman but was soon converted into what became one of the first fish camps in the state. The Boyette family has owned the restaurant since 1983, and diners have been clamoring to get their hands on the fish camp's secret recipes for coleslaw and hushpuppies ever since.

Meridian Little Theatre

For History and Timeline, click on: