GUIZERIX: It’s about time, Southern Living

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Deep in the dusty corners of my email drafts is a very strongly worded letter to one Sid Evans, Editor of Southern Living Magazine.

As a longtime reader and subscriber to what was once considered the holy grail of publications on Southern culture, for the last couple of years it seems as though every issue has disappointed me at one level or another. Primarily, the chief disappointment is that, clearly, Southern Living doesn’t recognize any part of Mississippi that isn’t Oxford or the Gulf Coast.

Or, let’s be honest — rarely has an issue passed that hasn’t prominently featured Birmingham or Charleston to a nauseating extent.

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If I ever get the nerve to hit send on said letter to Mr. Evans, I might ask him, why the oversight of Vicksburg for so long? What makes our city less deserving of recognition than, say, Bay St. Louis or even Dunedin, Florida?

But I saw a glimmer of hope this week when Visit Vicksburg unveiled a special online feature written by Southern Living and posted on the magazine’s website. The article, titled “Make this undiscovered Mississippi River town your next weekend destination,” by Tara Massouleh McCay, details where to go, what to do and where to eat in Vicksburg.

The article really hits the high points when it comes to what makes Vicksburg special and truth be told, what the people who live here already know. So, I wanted to take things a step further for the droves of people who will undoubtedly read the article and decide to detour to our beautiful town.

Number one: Southern Living recommends the fried green tomato BLT at the Tomato Place and they’re absolutely correct. When it’s not prime season for the juicy red fruit, fried and green is the way to go. I might add that the smoothies are a must-grab and I’ve yet to try one of their concoctions I didn’t like.

Number two: Main Street Marketplace is like your mama’s kitchen. And when you’re at mama’s house, you don’t wait for some menu to be passed around. You just grab a glass of lockjaw-sweet tea, smile and wait patiently for the special. It’s yet to disappoint.

Southern Living also did well with its plug of our local bed and breakfast establishments. When asked, I usually make recommendations for lodging based on where I wouldn’t mind my own family staying. Thankfully, the opportunities for historic digs at a reasonable price are aplenty.

As far as things to do, the article brought up a few activities I hadn’t thought about in a while and some of my personal favorites. The weather is just about right for one to climb the Illinois Monument without needing paramedics and a gurney to transport you back to your car, and I’ve yet to be bored simply strolling downtown and enjoying our local shops and restaurants.

The article didn’t warn outsiders to the city that they’d need to wear comfortable shoes as they trek up and down Vicksburg’s hills, but surely the tourists will figure it out on their own.

It’s my hope that, now that Vicksburg has gotten Southern Living’s attention, the online article won’t be the last time we see the River City mentioned by the publication. I’d say it’s a long-overdue feature.