By Mickey Howley
The latest issue of Food & Wine Magazine has an article titled “America’s Best Little Food Towns.” The editors listed just six of their favorite “little towns” (population under 5,000). Pretty famous small towns like Cooperstown, New York and Marfa, Texas. And in that number is Water Valley, Mississippi. In fact they list another very small town in Texas beside Marfa (which is way out in the southwest part) and that is Round Top, which is halfway between Austin and Houston. There are two other towns on the list, one in California and the other in Washington.
Which to my way of looking at the world makes us the only small southern town on the list. Texas isn’t the South is it? No, it isn’t. Well maybe a sliver of East Texas. I’ll leave it to you to check out Food & Wine’s reasons why they picked Water Valley. The online list gives a brief outline of the article. Best to see the hard copy in full color on this one. And this is just a very nice feather in the cap of all those who work in restaurants here in the Valley. I’ve said this before — restau-rant/food service is very hard work, but it brings so much to downtown. And eating local does way more than just putting a meal in your belly.
Thursday October 18 at 7:30 p.m. is the Annual Gen-eral Meeting for the Water Valley Main Street Associ-ation.
The WVMSA has been in action now for five years. Come out to the meeting and celebrate the recent positive changes that have taken place on Main Street. It will be short, sweet, and fun.
Speaking of changes, there was a traveling architect in town last Friday. David Peabody is originally from Natchez, but his architectural firm is located in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac from Washington DC. He specializes in building “green” houses—his website is greenhaus.org—and emphasizes low-tech solution with careful detailing as the way to achieve homes that are cozy, quiet, and durable. Forty years ago David was fresh out of college and traveled the state of Mississippi with his camera. He shot rolls and rolls of film in small towns across the state. And now 40 years later, with his 40 year old images in hand, he is once again travelling his home state. Going to the same towns he visited back then and again taking photographs, often from the same location where he had been. I saw his images of Water Valley from 40 years ago. Naturally a few buildings from then are now gone, but the activity on the street looked good.
David commented the town felt much the same—now mind you this was Friday afternoon and Main Street was busy. He could not say the same for all the towns he visited, his comment about the towns in the Delta was all they had going is just crops and casinos. But he seemed pleased to find Water Valley busy and with people out and about. So whether it is five years or 40 years, sometimes you just need a little perspective to see where the town has been and where it is going.