La’Porsha Renae

What’s there to say about pop sensation La’Porsha Renae? During, and especially after, her stint on American Idol, she is our hometown heroine. She overcame a number of hardships to make it on stage, where she blew away her competition week after week.

After her college graduation at the age of 22, Renae was a victim of domestic abuse. After a year, she separated from her husband and moved to McComb with her one-month-old daughter Nayalee Keya. Accompanied by her daughter, she returned to audition for American Idol in Little Rock, Arkansas and earned her golden ticket by performing in front of the judges with Radiohead’s “Creep”. Renae was announced as the final runner-up on April 7, 2016.

Hours after the end of the American Idol, Renae announced that she had been signed to Big Machine and Motown Records. American Idol mentor and Big Machine Label Group CEO, Scott Borchetta told Billboard the reason for the signing is “because of the overwhelming fan demand and success of the farewell season of American Idol.”

Her debut studio album, Already All Ready was released on March 31, 2017. Buy the album HERE.

Charles R. Crossley

Charles R. Crossley, Sr. of McComb, Mississippi was an African American artist who was influenced by artists Pablo Picasso, Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence and was good friends with the late John T. Scott; an African American sculptor, painter, printmaker, and professor of art at Xavier University in New Orleans. When I first moved to McComb, I met his wife Fern Crossley and she introduced me to him and his work. He loved teaching art to children in the community. He has left a major imprint on the arts scene in McComb. On December 27, 2012, at the young age of 74, he passed away while still creating and planning new paintings. To see more of his life’s work, visit the Charles R. Crossley Website. The Charles R. Crossley Memorial Gallery, where the bulk of his estate is housed, is open by appointment.

Charles R. Crossley Memorial Gallery
325 N. Front St.
McComb, MS 39648
601.810.4072

One Stop

Phil asked, “Do they have crawfish?” Boy howdy, do they ever have crawfish. Folks line up ten deep, especially on payday, where they get hot, steaming bags of huge crawfish by the pound. But, that’s not the only thing cooking. They have some of the best fried food around – shrimp, fish, potato wedges, turkey wings, and more. They, however, are especially known for those wangs!! HOT, CRISPY, JUICY. In the word’s of Ms. Fern, “They are off the chain!!” They have two separate steam tables, one loaded up with soul food – collard greens, boiled cabbage, green beans – and the other with a variety of Asian-inspired dishes – fried rice, egg rolls, Chow Mein noodles, sesame chicken. A small meat and side is only $3.59 but you can get more than twice that amount for $5.99.

One Stop
601 S. Broadway
McComb, MS 39648
601.684.4644

Highway 51 Revisited: McComb, MS

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Jesse Brooks and published by Amite Tangi Digest. Click HERE for the full article.

McComb, Mississippi is the kind of town that seems to get by on day-to-day business. It doesn’t beat its chest to declare that it is better than somewhere else or decorate itself as something flashy. However, the best way to describe McComb is welcoming. You can walk into a public place or a locally owned business, and people smile and greet you. They ask you how you’re feeling and talk directly to you like they’ve known you for years.

Though McComb may sound like a typical sleepy Southern town, history suggests that it wasn’t always that way. Like so many towns that reside on Highway 51, it exists because of the expansion of the Great Northern Railroad, known today as the Illinois Central Railroad. The city was founded in 1872 after Henry Simpson McComb decided to move the railroad’s maintenance shops to the area. Railroad employment caused a city to form and blossom.

do it Pike County

Most art shows are collections of works by an artist or group of artists. do it is a different kind of exhibition, one that has taken place again and again around the world with a different look each time.

It began in 1993 as a conversation between a Swiss curator and two artists, exploring whether traditional exhibition formats could become more open-ended. They asked whether a show could take written instructions as a point of departure, each of which could be interpreted anew every time it was enacted. The curator invited 12 artists to send instructions, which were translated into 9 different languages and circulated internationally as a book. In the years since, the set of instructions has grown to over 250, and do it has been featured in at least 50 different locations worldwide, including major museums and university galleries.

This iteration of do it Pike County organized by Pike School of Art – Mississippi is the very first presentation of an Independent Curators International exhibition in the state of Mississippi. Instructions will be interpreted by student artists from Jubilee Performing Arts Center (JPAC) and members of the community. Exhibitions and events will take place at St. Andrew’s Activity Center, Pike County Chamber of Commerce, McComb Public Library, and Percy Quin State Park. The exhibition is a P.S. Satellite of Prospect New OrleansProspect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp taking place concurrently in nearby New Orleans.

For information on calls, upcoming events and performances, and a behind-the-scenes look at do it Pike County, please visit http://psa-ms.org/do-it/

Munchies 2

A while back, Clay Russell wrote an article on hamburgers for Pulse Magazine. This place wasn’t open yet but had it been, it definitely would need to have been included. Like the sign behind the counter says, it’s not fast food, but it’s well worth the wait. Only a few people were dining in, but a lot of people were picking up orders they had called ahead, and that’s probably the way to go about it if you’re not able to take a long lunch.

I went with Mississippi Rising’s own Ms. Fern Crossley and we both had the Bacon Cheeseburger. The meat patty isn’t some preshaped frozen disc, but obviously formed by hand as a big ball and then flattened out a bit on the grill. The moist burger was fully dressed with mayo, mustard, ketchup, pickle, onion, lettuce, and tomato. The fries were super crisp and piping hot. One of the best burger combos I’ve had in McComb, for sure!

They have a very extensive menu, and it seemed that a lot of fish and shrimp baskets were being ordered. I’ll have to go back and give that a try next – VERY SOON!

Munchies 2
535 Pearl River Ave
McComb, MS 39648
601.249.7710
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Tech Talk

COMING IN SEPTEMBER

In partnership with Roar TV, a project of Digital Media & Technology at Business and Technology Complex at McComb School District.

For more information, contact Nic Graham at 601.395.3136 or grahamd@mccomb.k12.ms.us

The Digital Media & Technology program is designed for students who wish to develop, design, and implement projects in the field of digital media. The program emphasizes the creative design of content related to digital production skills. The course focuses on the basic areas of computer graphics, animation, audio production, and film. Certifications are available in Adobe and Apple programs.