Mississippi could use a magic fairy

Published 10:12 pm Friday, April 29, 2016

This has been a less than a glorious month for the state of Mississippi.

Bills were passed by our legislature that negatively effect education, and once again national coverage came after the governor signed the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, which continued our already perceived discriminatory image we cannot seem to shake.

If only there was a magic fairy who could wave her wand to tamp down the negatives of the magnolia state and expose its assets.

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I am not saying we forget about these archaic moves from our Legislature and Governor.  In contrast, for those of us who feel like our state government’s dastardly deeds do not represent us (possibly the majority), we need to work much harder to get the word out about all the “good stuff” going on in Mississippi.

This week, I found a website that listed 20 “Awesome” things about Mississippi.

I knew most of them, like Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues, and the first Coca-Cola was bottled in Vicksburg.  But there were some cool things about Mississippi I did not know and it made this southern belle smile with pride.

A Jackson native by the name of Harry A. Cole invented Pine-Sol. Cole, who was a chemist, lived in the pine forest of Jackson and knew that pine oil was a natural disinfectant and deodorizer.  In 1929, he created the cleaner. I wish this tid-bit of information could clean-up our image!

Oliver Pollock, who is buried in Pinckneyville, Mississippi, invented the dollar sign ($).

I do not know where Pinckneyville is, but I do know about the dollar sign.

You know those soft toilet seats you can buy at Home Depot? Well, we have them thanks to Columbus, Mississippi native David Harrison. He owns the patent on the “soft toilet seat,” and more than one million of those indulgent bathroom commodities are sold every year.

What would key lime pie be without sweetened condensed milk? Borden’s Condensed Milk was first canned in Liberty, Mississippi.

Dunn’s Falls, Mississippi was the first location where J.B. Stetson made his now famous Stetson hats.

Others may see us as hokey and bucolic, but we have bragging rights just like the next state.

The first lung transplant was performed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

We have a long list of renowned writers, which include William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams just to name a few, and our cultural resources do not end there. We also have our fair share of famous people who have excelled in music, theater, film and dance.  In fact, the USA International Ballet Competition, which is one of the world’s top competitions for ballet, is located in Jackson, Mississippi.

And for those who question whether we wear shoes down here…..The concept of selling shoes in boxes as pairs first occurred in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1884 at Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor.

Mississippians as a whole have a good heart, and it is up to all of us to prove we are much more than just a backwards thinking state.

And would somebody find that fairy and her wand!


About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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