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Street Talk

Boots Give Away Fake Santa Claus

By Coulter Fussell


I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, look at the little picture of Mickey Howley this week. He’s got a wig on.” I know! I thought that, too. But then I realized that’s not Mickey Howley. It’s me, Coulter Fussell. Don’t worry, our fearless WVMSA leader is okay, still follically challenged, and hasn’t run out of things to say (as if).         He just asked me to write his “Street Talk” column while he focuses on Krombacher and steckerlfisch for a while. And as The North Mississippi Herald’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, I jumped at the chance.
Last week Mickey introduced me adequately enough: co-owner of Yalo Studio, a board member of WVMSA, owner of an historic home, mother of two boys, and big supporter of our local schools. That about sums it up. But now I can add “temporary adjunct North Mississippi Herald alternate ‘Street Talk’ columnist” to that list, and I must admit, I like that best. Sorry, dear children of mine, but until you get off the school bus and give me an opening line like, “Animals killed on the highways during the past several weeks have been numerous and varied” [Betty’s Week, 8/29/2012] then you two will always play second fiddle to The Herald. I am obviously kidding. I love my children as much, if not more, than The North Mississippi Herald.
Speaking of children, last Friday night was the rescheduled Christmas in the Valley event and it was great. My kids had the time of their lives at the Junior Auxiliary Polar Express Party. The J.A. offered to babysit anyone’s child for $10 a pop, while the parents shopped and enjoyed ‘Christmas in the Valley’ without toting around their little human tornados.
The J.A. provided children’s games and crafts, hamburgers, sweets, and visits from Frosty and Santa Claus ( who my oldest child declared a fake because “something about his boots wasn’t right.”) But the highlight of the evening was the snow on Main Street. By some miracle of Christmas, the J.A. made snow fly out of the upstairs window of the B.T.C. The snow was very sudsy and gave the effect that everyone was running around in a big outdoor bubble bath. It was beautiful.
I admit, I moaned and complained to no end about the rescheduling of Christ-mas in the Valley primarily because the galleries cannot reschedule openings. I knew my crowd was lost if another town event was postponed due to weather. I was bitter that the power of a couple small town gallery owners who experience the same weather as everyone else was no match to the mammoth tag-team duo of Jim Cantore and Dave Brown, the weathermen.
Those two could mind-meld Spock. I passionately argued (probably a bit too passionately) that people basically drop dead from heat stroke every year at the Watermelon Carnival and no one seems to bat an eye. I noted that one year at Watermelon Carnival I even walked past an elderly woman sitting on the curb at City Park crying because it was so hot outside. She was desperately sipping the last warm drops from an empty water bottle and mumbling past tear streaked cheeks, “…so hot… Oh, my word ….so h-o-o-o-t…” In retrospect, I probably should have helped her.
But what could I do?
I was crying, too.
I was wrong about the rescheduling, though. While I do still believe we can tough out weather a little bit better than we do (and this coming from someone who was so cold on my last camping trip that I stole the covers off my own three-year-old child), the rescheduled Christmas in the Valley event would not have been the same without the carriage rides or the children’s choirs singing from the Railroad Park Pavilion. Those two things were wonderful and worth the wait.
Be sure to go check out B. Gran Designs, Tracy Mar-berry’s new store on Main Street next to Hair Trendz. She specializes in refurbished and vintage furniture! Between her store and DeDe’s This$That, I’m gonna need a second job because I’m goin’ broke.

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