Archive for the ‘Mississippi Tattoo’

We should not forget where we’ve been: Group forms to collect LGBTQ+ history in the Quad-Cities – Crossville Chronicle02.17.21

The death of Joyce Wiley in June was a wake-up call to members of the Quad-Cities LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

In the mid-1980s, Joyce's 14-year-old son revealed to her and her husband Jack that he was gay. Although the Wileys loved Jason unconditionally, he struggled. As much as they accepted him, their support wasn't enough. Jason needed friends.

The Wileys came to realize the need for a support group for gay and lesbian young people and, as their son graduated and moved on, they worked with their pastor to set up a place where they could meet. In time, this led to the founding of a nonprofit organization called Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, dedicated to supporting and advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people and others, and educating the public.

Joyce Wiley directed the group from 1990 to 2017 and, when she died, her long-time friend Kathy Bowman, of Bettendorf, realized how much history had disappeared with her. Bowman also understands how important it is to preserve the history so future generations will understand how gay rights and acceptance evolved.

Bowman and others have now formed a nine-member steering committee that is conducting video interviews of current and former GLBTQ residents of the Quad-Cities area to document their stories of growing up, coming out and living in the Quad-Cities. Six interviews have been finished so far.

Allies, volunteers, community activists and religious/spiritual leaders who have been active in the GLBTQ community also are being sought.

And the committee is looking for documents, articles, pictures, videos and memorabilia related to GLBTQ+ history. Examples are pictures from important events, newspaper articles, pictures of the gay bars that have come and gone, maybe even a flag from a Gay Pride parade or program from a Red Ribbon dinner.

If you are interested in being interviewed or have documents, pictures, or memorabilia that you would like to contribute, contact Pastor Rich Hendricks at the Metropolitan Community Church, Davenport, 563-324-8281, or Mike Hetrick at Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, 309-786-2580.

"We want to preserve this history so that future generations know that this (gay rights/acceptance) ... didn't miraculously happen with the snap of the fingers," Clayton Peterson, a member of the committee from Rock Island, said. "It takes work, and just one or two people" made a big difference, he said.

Not only will the interviews document history, but they will be helpful to people trying to understand the issues, and themselves, he said.

"There are so many people affected by this, or who could be affected by this. When I came out, I thought I was the only person who felt this way. Kids feel insecure, feel they are 'too different' to be loved.

"I don't think we should forget where we've been," Peterson said. "Gay wasn't just invented in 1960. They were there. They just lived in a closet."

Committee members have talked with representatives of the Putnam Museum and Davenport Library about being repositories of what they collect. The Putnam already has begun an LGBTQ+ collection and will take whatever Bowman's group comes up with, Christina Kastell, curator of history and anthropology at the museum, said.

More on the Wileys

The Wileys' story was that their son did not want to be gay. While they accepted him, "he did not find that to be enough because he was seeing at school and all around him in society a definite bias against people who were gay and he did not want to be a part of that," Jack Wiley said.

"He was scared, really scared. He began to have mental issues and we almost had a suicide."

During Jason's senior year at Bettendorf High School he shared with a friend he thought he could trust, and "the first thing she did was spread it all over the school."

Part of the reason the Wileys were so immediately supportive of their son was that in 1982, the Rev. Alan Egly, pastor at their church, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad-Cities, had given a powerful sermon about the "pink triangle," the symbol used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals for persecution. Egly framed the issue as one of human rights, supported by United Nations principles, and the Wileys took that to heart.

Because of Jason, they decided to form the support group at the church.

Through word of mouth, young people and parents began coming from as far away as Dubuque and Geneseo. The Wileys were swamped. The group outgrew the church.

With Egly's help, they created the nonprofit Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity and Joyce Wiley "devoted a major part of her life to running it," her husband said.

"There were literally thousands of youth who came to events and proms and meetings. Many, many have said, 'She saved my life.'"

"We did not anticipate when we started this thing that this (equal rights, acceptance) would happen in our lifetime."

The AIDS crisis, role of Dr. Katz

Another story Bowman and her committee hopes to document is the devastating effect of the AIDS crisis and the huge role played by Dr. Louis Katz, an infectious disease specialist who project supporter John Bowman calls a "godsend."

New treatments have made it possible to live a long life with the HIV virus that causes AIDS, but there was a time from the early 1980s when it first appeared until the mid-90s when it was a vicious, universally lethal infection.

When the first case of AIDS was confirmed in the Quad-Cities in the 1980s, Katz known nowadays for his work on COVID-19was the only specialist in the area. At a time when some hospitals, doctors and nurses were afraid of, or refused to see, AIDS patients, Katz went out looking for people suffering from the disease, according to a 2018 Quad-City Times interview.

He dropped by their homes when they were too sick to make it to the hospital. If they didn't have insurance, he found a way to treat them anyway.

"These are people that were dying," Katz told a reporter.

At some point during three decades of service, Katz treated hundreds of AIDS patients, virtually every patient in the area. During the peak of the crisis, he put himself on call 24/7 and was in communication with hundreds of patients at a time.

His work and that of nurse Sandee Millage laid the foundation for the Genesis Health System to open the Community Health Care Virology Clinic in 1995.

"I think we need to realize just how bad the AIDS crisis was," Gary Lee Lawson, 80, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, said in his interview for the project.

"My partner got AIDS in the spring of 1984; he had hiccups for two months night and day. Paul was 6-foot, three inches tall and 225 pounds. When he passed, he was 93 pounds."

Mr. QC Fall Pride 2016 Lewis Stratton rides in an Audi convertible during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade.

Milange Cavalli, left, and Dementia Jaide of Davenport wave to spectators.

Moonshine Misfits performer Ashley Himes, known on stage as Lilith St. Scream, leads a chant to drown out religious activists during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Rhiannon "Tetra Tormenta" Hunt of Rock Island, left, hugs Katie Parry of Bettendorf in front of religious activists at the end of the first Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade.

Reverend Richard Hendricks, left, and Mary's owner Rob Stansberry wave to spectators.

Devon MacCall of Moline, left, kisses girlfriend, Liv Crouch of Rock Island while standing in front of religious activists after the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Body suspension performer Manda Rexx completes what is believed to be the first-ever bi-state suspension as well as the first suspension of the Mississippi River during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. "My physical pain is nothing in comparison to the emotional pain that people go through every single day being discriminated against," Rexx said, while suspended on the Talbot Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River.

President of QC Pride Tee LeShoure starts a chant with spectators who joined the parade during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Miss QC Fall Pride, Ginger Snaps, rides in a BMW convertible during the parade.

Bottoms Up Burlesque performer Rhiannon "Tetra Tormenta" Hunt of Rock Island smiles while dancing in the street during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Miles, 9, and Soren Heffeditz, 7, of Moline walk in the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Spectators join the parade behind QC Pride Vice President Michelle Royal on Saturday during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Saba, a one-month-old miniature horse, walks dressed as a unicorn during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Bottoms Up Burlesque performer Karen "Kinky Taboo" Westmoreland of Moline dances in the street during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Mayci Lee of Sterling, Illinois, left, and Sydney Brown of Polo, Illinois, hug at the end of the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Moonshine Misfits performer Ashley Himes, known on stage as Lilith St. Scream, leads a chant to drown out religious activists during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Quad-City Rollers members Linda "D Cup Noodle" Roelens, left, Ivory "Poison Ivy" Lovell during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Bottoms Up Burlesque performer Rhiannon "Tetra Tormenta" Hunt of Rock Island hugs Katie Parry of Bettendorf in front of religious activists at the end of the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Body suspension performer Manda Rexx completes what is believed to be the first-ever bi-state suspension as well as the first suspension of the Mississippi River during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Body suspension performer Manda Rexx hangs by piercings in her shoulder blade area and her knees as blood drips down during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Co-owners of Tooth and Nail tattoo shop Chadillac Rexx of Davenport helps his fianc Manda Rexx get laced up for a body suspension on a parade float during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Manda Rexx of Davenport, with help from her fianc Chadillac Rexx, prepares for a body suspension on a parade float during the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Banner-carriers of the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport make their way over the Centennial Bridge on June 9, 2018. The parade began in Davenport and ended in Rock Island. It concluded the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Davenport on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

A parade-goes carries a banner.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Scenes from the first-ever Quad-Cities Unity Pride Parade in Rock Island on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The parade marked the end of the inaugural Quad-Cities Unity Pride Week and started at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue in Davenport and ended at 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street in Rock Island.

Jack Wiley holds of photo of his wife Joyce, who died in June. The Wileys, of Moline, became allies of the LGBTQ+ community after their son came out to them when he was 14. The Wileys realized that, outside of themselves, their son had no support at school or in society at large. They founded an organization called Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity. Now their pioneering efforts, along with those of others, are being documented.

Jack Wiley and his wife Joyce were influenced by a sermon at their church, the Universalist Congregation of the Quad-Cities, delivered by the Rev. Alan Egly in 1982 about the "pink triangle," a symbol used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals for persecution. Egly framed the issue as one of human rights.

Joyce Wiley dedicated a major portion of her life to directing Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, a nonprofit organization she and her husband Jack founded with the help of the Rev. Alan Egly tosupport and advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people and others, and educate the public.

Jack Wiley shows off a photo of his wife Joyce, who died in June. The Wileys, of Moline, became allies of the LGBTQ+ community after their son came out to them when he was 14. The Wileys realized that, outside of themselves, their son had no support at school or in society at large. They founded an organization called Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity. Now their pioneering efforts, along with those of others, are being documented.

Dr. Louis Katz, infectious disease expert, speaks in August about the increased number of COVID-19 cases since the re-opening of bars and restaurants in the Quad-Cities. During the 1980s and 1990s, he was at the forefront of the treatment of AIDS patients in the Quad-Cities.

Dr. Louis Katz

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We should not forget where we've been: Group forms to collect LGBTQ+ history in the Quad-Cities - Crossville Chronicle

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The Rose Tattoo – Wikipedia02.04.21

The Rose Tattoo is a three-act play written by Tennessee Williams in 1949 and 1950; after its Chicago premiere on December 29, 1950, he made further revisions to the play for its Broadway premiere on February 2, 1951, and its publication by New Directions the following month. [1] A film adaptation was released in 1955. The Rose Tattoo tells the story of an Italian-American widow in Mississippi who has withdrawn from the world after her husband's death and expects her daughter to do the same.

The original Broadway play starred Maureen Stapleton, Phyllis Love, and Eli Wallach. Other original cast members of the 1951 Broadway play included Martin Balsam and Vivian Nathan.[2] The original production of The Rose Tattoo premiered February 3, 1951, at the Martin Beck Theatre (now known as the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) and concluded October 27, 1951, with a total of 306 performances. It was produced by Cheryl Crawford, written by Tennessee Williams; incidental music by David Diamond, staged by Daniel Mann, scenic design by Boris Aronson, costume designed by Rose Bogadnoff, lighting designed by Charles Elson, general manager John Yorke, stage manager Ralph De Launey, conductor and harpist Nettie Druzinsky, musicians: Michael Danzi, Jack Linx and Frank Kutak, production associate Bea Lawrene, and press representative Wolfe Kauffman.[3] The play was recreated for a July 5, 1953, hour-long radio adaptation on the program Best Plays.[4] Recordings of the radio drama exist in archives and private collections.

The play was revived in 1966, again starring Maureen Stapleton, with Maria Tucci replacing Phyllis Love in the role of Rose Delle Rose. Tucci was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance.[5] The revival ran from November 9 to December 31 at the Billy Rose Theatre (now known as the Nederlander Theatre) with 62 performances under the direction of Milton Katselas. Scenic design by David R. "Tex" Ballou, costume design by Frank Thompson, lighting designed by Peggy Clark, stage manager Ray Laine, and press representatives Arthur Cantor and Artie Solomon.[6]

The second revival, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Mercedes Ruehl, took place in 1995 from March 23 to April 30, running for 73 performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre with casting by Stuart Howard and Amy Schecter under the direction of Robert Falls. Scenic design was by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by John Kilgore, hair and make-up design by Claus Lulla, wig design by John Aitchison, general manager Don Roe, management consultant Gordon G. Forbes, stage manager Peggy Peterson, assistant stage manager Wm. Hare, and dialect coach K. C. Ligon.[7]

New Directions Publishing reissued the play in 2010 with a new introduction by playwright John Patrick Shanley.

A third Broadway revival starring Marisa Tomei and directed by Trip Cullman premiered at the American Airlines Theatre in previews on September 19, 2019, and officially on October 15.[8][9][10]

On May 12, 1957, the Pike Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, staged The Rose Tattoo with Anna Manahan as the lead and the Irish scenic artist Reginald Gray as the set designer. After a short run the theatre was invaded by the Irish police and director Alan Simpson was arrested for producing "a lewd entertainment" for miming dropping a condom onto the floor. Williams' script calls for a condom to fall out of a pocket during the show but the Pike staging mimed the act, knowing it would cause conflict. An intellectual revolt against the closing of The Rose Tattoo came from not only Ireland but from the continent, led by playwrights Samuel Beckett, Sen O'Casey and Brendan Behan. Simpson was later released. The presiding judge, Justice O'Flynn, ruled: "I can only infer that by arresting the accused, the object would be achieved of closing down the play." One of the results of this case was that any charges brought against theatre would have to be proven before the show could be forced to close.[11]

A film adaptation starring Anna Magnani was released in 1955. Magnani won an Academy Award for her performance.

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The Rose Tattoo - Wikipedia

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Best of Jackson 2021: Community and Culture – Jackson Free Press02.04.21

Best Arts Organization, Best Place to Get Married: Mississippi Museum of Art

(380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515, msmuseumart.org)

With its series of constantly rotating exhibits and a substantial permanent collection, the Mississippi Museum of Art offers something for fans of nearly every artistic medium and period. For Director of Marketing Jana Brady, these varied stylings foster MMA's aim: conversation.

"Our hope for the local community is that you can see and experience art where you normally wouldn't and to create a place where you can have comfortable conversations about art and about Mississippi's past, present and future," Brady says.

This sense of comfort and familiarity have led many Mississippians to choose the museum as their wedding venue, and Brady believes that the space lends itself to such a choice.

"The museum offers a wedding experience like no other," Brady remarks. "There's a beautiful indoor and outdoor space, and we have rotating collections, so they have their own entertainment by having (their wedding) at the museum."

Anyone who married at the museum during 2020 had the special privilege of having works from masters Van Gogh, Monet and Degas on display nearby in the galleries for their special occasion, as the museum has played host to an exhibit featuring the European artists and their contemporaries.

The museum's exhibits are open to visitors and members alike, with certain hours designated as "senior hours" to offset COVID-19 concerns. Taylor McKay Hathorn

Best Arts Organization Finalists

HeARTworks (1100 W. Capitol St., 601-353-2759, stewpot.org) / Mississippi Arts Commission (501 N. West St., Suite 1101A, 601-359-6030, arts.ms.gov) / Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (201 E. Pascagoula St., 601-960-1565, msorchestra.com) / New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com)

Best Place to Get Married Finalists

Bridlewood of Madison (3024 Highway 22, Madison, 601-707-4024, thebarnatbridlewood.com) / The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601-366-5552) / Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / First Baptist Church Jackson (431 N. State St., 601-949-1900, firstbaptistjackson.org) / Ice House (251 W. South St., 601-398-3200, icehousevenue.com) / McClain Lodge (314 Clark Creek Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms)

Best Festival, Best Annual Event: Hal's St. Paddy's Parade and Festival

(March, halsstpaddysparade.com)

Thirty-seven years ago, Malcolm White and a group of his friends dressed as characters from various mediahe was Colonel Sandersto parade through Jackson's streets. But what originally started out as lighthearted fun has now grown into one of Jackson's most unique cultural events, now named after White's late brother, Hal, who was an ardent supporter of the yearly festival.

As the years went by, parade participants formalized into krewes, with many groups getting together every year to plan around that year's theme or around an original idea they may have that they believe will contribute to the merriment.

Described by parade enthusiasts as Mississippi's "green Mardi Gras," the event begins at Hal and Mal's, circling past the Old Capitol Museum, the Governor's Mansion and the Westin Hotel en route back to its starting point.

This mid-Jackson celebration of the good work of UMMC's Children's of Mississippi hospital features Mississippi blues singers, along with a hearty helping of New Orleans-style brass music, which provides a soundtrack for the after-parties that continue long into the night.

Although White cancelled the 2020 parade due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for the 2021 parade are in full swing, with parade organizers planning to retain the previous theme: "Here's Looking at RUDE, Kid" if they receive permission from the city, which is still pending. The upcoming parade will also feature last year's grand marshal, Trace Alston, and is slated to take place on the fourth Saturday of March, with the usual 70,000-plus revelers expected to join in the fun. Taylor McKay Hathorn

Best Festival Finalists

Bright Lights Belhaven Nights (August, brightlightsbelhavennights.com) / Cathead Jam (May, catheadjam.com) / CelticFest Mississippi (March, celticfestms.org) / Farish Street Heritage Festival (October, farishstreetheritagefestival.com) / Mississippi Anime Festival (March, msanimefest.com) / Mississippi Craft Beer Festival (June, fondren.org)

Best Annual Event Finalists

Bright Lights Belhaven Nights (August, brightlightsbelhavennights.com) / Cathead Jam (May, catheadjam.com) / Jackson Indie Music Week (January, jxnindiemusic.com) / Mississippi Comic Con (June, mississippicomiccon.com) / Mistletoe Marketplace (November, mistletoemarketplace.com)"601-362-9676, jacksonacademy.org)

Best Dance Group: Ballet Magnificat!

(5406 Interstate 55, 601-977-1001, balletmagnificat.com)

Founded in 1986 by husband-and-wife team Keith and Kathy Thibodeaux, Ballet Magnificat! is an arts organization dedicated to celebrating the word of God through dance. The inter-denominational Protestant ministry tours the world as the first professional Christian ballet company.

Ballet Magnificat's School of the Arts offers dance classes for students as young as 3 years old through adult ages.

Magnificat! Youth Ballet and MiniMag! often perform at local nursing homes, schools and churches, and the Summer Dance Intensive and Teachers Workshop bring hundreds of students from around the world to Jackson for a unique technical and spiritual experience.

Ballet Magnificat! also started the Dance Program at Belhaven University, providing curriculum, faculty and facilities; it has now grown into a full Dance Major program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The studio also helped Belhaven University start the school's dance program.

Most recently, the company has added Ballet Magnificat! Brazil, headquartered in Curitiba, which includes a trainee program and a performance company, and dancers from all over South and Central America proudly proclaim God's word. "Our hearts' desire ... is to be faithful to our lord Jesus Christ and go where He wants us to go," Keith says. Michele D. Baker

Finalists: Dance Works Studio (1104 E. Northside Drive, Clinton, 601-720-1885, dwsms.com) / Dancing Dolls (1410 Ellis Ave., 770-265-1111, dollhousedancefactory.com) / Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet (110 Homestead Drive, Madison; 601-853-4508; 106 Autumn Ridge Place, Suite 3 & 4, Brandon; 601-992-9016; msmetroballet.com) / Montage Theatre of Dance (608 Hinds Blvd., Raymond, 601-857-3460, hindscc.edu) / Prancing J-Settes (1400 John R. Lynch St., 601-979-2026, sonicboomofthesouth.com) / Xpress Dance Company (2160 Main St., Suite D, Madison; 601-853-0826; 155 W. Government St., Brandon; 601-954-6268; xdance.net)

Best Tourist Attraction, Best Museum: Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

(222 North St., Suite 2205, 601-576-6800, mcrm.mdah.ms.gov)

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum's eight galleries allow Mississippi students and visitors from around the globe to learn about Black Mississippians' struggle against centuries of systemic oppression and their fight for civil rights.

"Students weren't taught this in the history books," Pamela Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums, says.

"People walk in and understand that (the fight for civil rights) wasn't just about people like Rosa Parkswho didn't live in Mississippi. Our heroes and sheroes are right here, and they did astonishing things."

The museum, which has been nationally recognized for its contribution to the study of southern civil-rights history, exacerbates this sense of astonishment with its interactive exhibits. A jail cell, a replica of the enclosures at Parchman Prison Farm, is located inside the museum, along with a series of mugshots of the Freedom Riders who were once imprisoned there.

The centerpiece of the museum, dubbed "This Little Light of Mine," however, sings literally and figuratively with hope. In addition, a model classroom, which highlights the stark differences between white and Black schools, showcases a video describing the ramifications of the Brown v. the Board of Education decision.

Another hallway houses five "lynching monoliths" engraved with names of known victims of lynching in the state that had the most.

Ultimately, he museum challenges Mississippians and non-Mississippians alike to reckon with the nation's dark history and to take action to forge a brighter future, an opportunity that the Jacksonian community appreciates enough to vote for the establishment in the Best of Jackson series year after year since its debut. Taylor McKay Hathorn

Best Tourist Attraction Finalists

Brandon Amphitheater (8190 Rock Way, Brandon, 601-724-2726, brandonamphitheater.com) / Fondren (916-812-5678, fondren.org) / McClain Resort (874 Holly Bush Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms) / Mississippi Comic Con (1200 Mississippi St., mississippicomiccon.com) / Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive, 601-576-6000, mdwfp.com/museum) / Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St., mdah.ms.gov/2mm)

Best Museum Finalists

Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive, 601-432-4500, msagmuseum.org) / Mississippi Children's Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515, msmuseumart.org) / Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive, 601-576-6000, mdwfp.com/museum) / Smith Robertson Museum (528 Bloom St., 601-960-1457, jacksonms.gov/smith-robertson-museum)

Best Live Theatre/Theatrical Group: New Stage Theatre

(1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com)

Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of New Stage Theatre's 2020 season, Artistic Director Francine Reynolds believes that the variety of programs Mississippi's only professional theater company offered during this time has ensured its continued success.

"(We offer) education programs, which creates the next adult audience, and we have a lot of extras: children's shows, holiday shows and two different new play series," Reynolds says.

The Eudora Welty New Play series focuses on the development of new plays, while the Mississippi Plays series either features the works of Mississippi writers or depicts the lives of Mississippians, with many stage selections doing both.

New Stage also offers a series of on-demand pre-recorded solo shows that people could stream from anywhere, such as "Why I Live at the P.O." and the upcoming "Fannie Lou Hamer."

This season offered a socially distant spin on these celebrations of Mississippi life, introducing its "Thursday Night Virtual Plays, Conversations and Cocktails" series that featured live readings of plays, one of which revisited "Pipeline," the last show to be performed before a live audience at the theater. Reynolds cited the play as being among her favorites, although she quips that "the most recent play is always (her) favorite."

New Stage also paired each live reading with a recipe for what we all really needed in 2020: a hard drink. Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: Black Rose Theatre Company (103 Black St., Brandon, 601-852-1293, blackrosetheatre.wordpress.com) / Enchanting Memories Entertainment (662-590-2748, facebook.com/enchantingmemoriesentertainment) / MADDRAMA (601-454-1183, maddrama.com) / Magically Perfect (504-502-2847, facebook.com/magicallyperfectentertainment) / Mississippi Children's Music Theater (100 Post Oak Road, Madison, 601-201-8558, mschildrensmusictheater.com)

Best Category We Left Off: Best Tattoo Artist

Many consider tattoos to be one of the best forms of self-expression, art they can display to the world. As commonplace as tattoos have become, it's no wonder that Jacksonians would want to highlight the talented artists who hone their craft in the metro by voting that they would like to see a Best Tattoo Artist category.

Since tattoos are generally permanent forms of body art, finding a qualified tattoo artist who can enact your vision for your tattoo can be key, and Jackson is rife with both outstanding shops and artists. While this category does not exist in the current Best of Jackson series, readers can browse the finalists for Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlor in the Urban Living section to see which shops they may want to consider. Amber Helsel

Finalists: Best Children's Entertainment / Best Couple / Best Home-Based Business / Best Place for a First Date / Best Virtual Church Service

Best Art Gallery: Fondren Art Gallery

(3242 North State St., 601-981-9222, fondrenartgallery.com)

Seventeen years ago, Richard McKey built and designed Fondren Art Gallery as "a multi-use building and business" to create art and promote local, national and international artists. Today, with more than 30 artists and 500 pieces on display, the gallery endeavors to offer art of exceptional quality at affordable prices.

"There's some really funky, crazy art in there, but there's some fine art also," McKey says, "I like that. I don't want it to be a gallery that just pleases one type of person. I want to be able to attract, entertain and please a lot of different people."

In addition to pieces from every medium, Fondren Art Gallery also offers a custom framing service and a music studio for instrumental lessons and live performances. Although COVID-19 has limited the number of customers in the gallery at any one time, McKey offers a full catalogue of works through his online store.

A creator himself with a background in public art, carpentry and music, McKey hopes the new year will see in-store business and live music "fired up again." And with construction on the road in front of his gallery finished, Fondren Art Gallery is more accessible than ever. Kyle Hamrick

Finalists: AND Gallery (133 Millsaps Ave., andgallery.org) / Brown's Fine Art and Framing (630 Fondren Place, 601-982-4844, brownsfineart.com) / Fischer Galleries (736 S. President St., 601-291-9115, fischergalleries.com) / OffBeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com) / View Gallery (1491 Canton Mart Road, Suite 7, 601-278-3991, viewgalleryart.com)

Best Local Podcast: Save JXN

(savejxn.com)

After 30 years of living in south Jackson, Clay Edwards concluded that "there aren't very many loud-mouth conservatives, and it felt like a niche that wasn't being catered to."

A proponent of the capital city who bears a "Welcome to Jackson" tattoo on his arm, Edwards received backlash when he shared a video he made with a drone that showcased many of the abandoned buildings in Jackson to his Facebook page.

"I started getting attacked by people calling me racist and all those other things, just because I was posting pictures of these empty buildings," he says.

To present his intent and beliefs more clearly, he decided: "I should probably start talking to tell my side of the story." Thus, he began his savejxn.com website where he posts podcasts, as well as videos and other materials. His website is still a "work in progress," he says, but Save Jxn has garnered more than 26,000 followers on Facebook, 16,000 followers on Instagram and 1,600 subscribers on YouTube.

His wife, Crystal Edwards, sometimes co-hosts the podcast, which Clay describes as "Jackson, Mississippi's only right-leaning news and politics-based podcast."

"I like to consider us the No. 1 source for an alternative opinion on the local news, kinda the Jacktown Alex Jones, minus the conspiracy theories," Edwards says. Richard Coupe

Finalists: EmpowHER Podcast with Krississippi / From The Heart of A / Key to the City (facebook.com/key2thecitypod) / Othor Cain Media (facebook.com/othorcainmedia) / Reality Breached (realitybreached.com) / Token Talk

Best Public Forum/Speaker Series: Mississippi Black Leadership Summit

(1072 W. Lynch St., 601-353-8452, facebook.com/MississippiBlackLeadershipSummit)

The Mississippi Black Leadership Summit started over 10 years ago as a place for elected officials and community members to create solutions to community issues like public education, economic development, voting rights, criminal rights and environmental justice. "We began as a monthly luncheon," Nsombi Lambright, executive director of One Voice, says. "Over the years, it evolved into a full conference event."

The annual Summit brings together sheriffs, tax collectors and assessors, mayors, attorneys, judges and others. In 2020, the slate included state Reps. Chris Bell and Kabir Karriem and Emmy-nominated actress Aunjanue Ellis ("The Help," "Get On Up"). "We come together for strategy and to share best practices across the state and south," Lambright says. "The State of Black Mississippi" was the final panel.

The Summit will continue to bring together diverse leaders. "We want (them) to play a strong leadership roleguiding the agenda and holding the space so community people can talk to their elected officials," Lambright says. Michele D. Baker

Finalists: Empowering Progressive Speakers Toastmasters Club (4780 N. Interstate 55, 662-251-6517, toastmasters.org) / Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series (1701 N. State St., 601-974-1000, millsaps.edu/major-happenings/arts-lecture-series) / Operation Shoestring (1711 Bailey Ave., 601-353-6336, operationshoestring.org) / Refill Cafe Friday Forum (136 S. Adams St., 601-540-7231, refilljackson.org) / Save Jxn (savejxn.com)

Best Socially Distanced Activity in Jackson: McClain Safari Tours

(874 Holly Bush Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms)

Buddy and Joni McClain, the owners of McClain Resort in Brandon, first kept a private collection of animals, but visitors enjoyed the animals just as much as they did. Thus, the McClain Safari Park and Tours came into being in May 2018.

More than 500 animals from 50 different species call the 2,000-acre park home, Safari Park Director Matt Jurney explains. Guided tours began with wagons pulled by tractors, but the pandemic caused the park to open self-guided, drive-through tours over the summer. Families can still enjoy the zebras, giraffes and other exotic animals while maintaining safe social-distancing practices in their own vehicles.

"By no means was COVID-19 a good thing, but it allowed us to adapt and make some good changes," Jurney says. On average, roughly 200 cars visit the park each weekend, doling out provided feed to the waiting animals. Kyle Hamrick

Finalists: Capital City Kayak Adventures (601-953-7615, capitalcitykayaks.com) / Chalk Walk (Northpark Fall Fest, 1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601-863-2300, visitnorthpark.com) / Dinner at/Staying Home / Museum-to-Market Trail (jxntrailblazers.com) / Reservoir Overlook (Natchez Trace Parkway, Milepost 105.6, natcheztracetravel.com)

Best Nonprofit Organization: The Mustard Seed

(1085 Luckney Road, Brandon, 601-992-3556, mustardseedms.org)

At age 21, adults with disabilities no longer qualify for special-ed services through Mississippi public schools, and "their worlds to get smaller," The Mustard Seed's Community Relations Director Mandy Sisson says. The organization offers its 40 "seedsters," who range in age from 21 to their mid-70s, the opportunity to learn about the arts, but the nonprofit's goal stretches far beyond the walls of its Brandon campus.

"They have an opportunity to live a full life that's engaged and fulfilling," Sisson says. "We aren't hiding them on campus. We want them out in the community, showing what they can contribute to society."

The Seedsters create hand-painted ceramic art, which the nonprofit sells in its gift shop and at locations in the metro. The sales constitute 20% of the Mustard Seed's budget. Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: CARA - Community Animal Rescue & Adoption (960 N. Flag Chapel Road, 601-922-7575, carams.org) / The Good Samaritan Center (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-355-6276, good-sam.com) / Mississippi Children's Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / My Brother's Keeper (407 Orchard Park, Ridgeland, 769-216-2455, mbkinc.org) / Ronald McDonald House (UMMC) (2524 N. State St., 601-981-5683, rmhcms.org) / WFBC Inc. (769-257-0073, wfbc-inc.business.site)

Best Virtual Fundraiser/Charity: Mistletoe Marketplace

(in-person/hybrid, Junior League of Jackson, 805 Riverside Drive, 601-948-2357, mistletoemarketplace.com)

Mistletoe Marketplace recently celebrated 40 years, "but had to reinvent and reimagine Mistletoe Marketplace 2020" due to COVID-19, as steering committee chair Lori Hill Marshall explains, in order "to help the economy, but in a safe way."

The Junior League of Jackson worked with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs to determine the safest strategy. As a result, the organization decided to limit physical attendance and hold shopping shifts at three hours apiece.

"We hosted the bands, auctions and luncheon speaker Tim Tebow online," Marshall says.

As a result, they raised about $1 million to support early literacy, children's health and social development for youth. Michele D. Baker

Finalists: 12Ks for the Holidays (Good Samaritan Center, 114 Millsaps Ave., 601-355-6276, goodsamaritancenter.org) / Best Dressed Jackson (The American Cancer Society, 1380 Livingston Lane, 800-227-2345, acsevents.org) / Discovery Night - Remix! (Mississippi Children's Museum, 2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / Pink Fridays (ICTV & The Steven James Foundation, ictelevision.com) / Real Men Wear Pink (The American Cancer Society, 1380 Livingston Lane, 800-227-2345, acsevents.org) / Refill Jackson Initiative (136 S. Adams St., 601-540-7231, refilljackson.org)

Best Radio Personality or Team: Nate and Traci

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‘Why y’all wait this long?’: The Seahawks know they were fortunate to draft DK Metcalf, and the feeling is mutual – The Spokesman-Review12.27.20

SEATTLE There was a little luck involved, sure. Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider acknowledges that now, more than a year and a half later. Actually, the word Schneider uses is blessed as in, the Seahawks were blessed to grab DK Metcalf when they did, at the very end of the second round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Schneider quickly catches himself.

We were just blessed that he lasted I dont want to say that long, Schneider says, because he frickin hates that.

The Seahawks good fortune is obvious to anyone who has paid even casual attention to the team since the start of the 2019 season: Metcalf is a megastar. Hes the most physically gifted wide receiver the Seahawks have had with all due respect to Hall of Famer Steve Largent and as talented and entertaining as any receiver in the NFL today.

So, yes, Schneider was blessed to select DeKaylin Zecharius Metcalf with the 64th overall pick in 2019, after 31 teams had a chance to draft him. They all had their chance, and they passed. Schneider, actually, had earlier opportunities to draft Metcalf and he passed, twice.

How did Metcalf last that long? And how did Schneider manage to trade back into the second round to finally draft the receiver out of Mississippi?

Metcalf famously asked the first question when Schneider called and told him he was going to play for the Seahawks. Metcalf, sitting on a couch at his familys home in Oxford, Miss., surrounded by family and friends, was wearing a white T-shirt with the words SHOULD HAVE NEVER PASSED in red block letters. Metcalf and his younger siblings had the shirts made that day.

Metcalf began crying almost immediately after Schneider delivered the good news. Schneider, inside the Seahawks draft room in Renton, Wash., then handed the phone to coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll: DK!

(Loud sobbing on the other end.)

Carroll: Hey DK, this is coach Pete Carroll.

Metcalf: How you doing?

Carroll: Im doing really good. OK, well both cry together then.

Metcalf: Why yall wait this long, man?

Carroll: I know. I know you had to wait a little bit, but that doesnt matter youre coming to Seattle, man. Youre gonna play with the Seahawks, and youre going to catch footballs from Russell Wilson. So get ready to go, big fella. We are fired up for it.

Metcalf: Thank you. Thank you.

In the buildup to the draft, Metcalf had what Schneider called an incredible, incredible workout at the NFL combine. Metcalf measured 6-feet-3 and 229 pounds with a wingspan of 6-11. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds and bench-pressed 225 pounds 27 times measurables that are practically unheard of for a wide receiver. Theyre really, almost, unbelievable.

What made his combine performance even more remarkable was that it happened just three and a half months after hed had surgery to repair a broken neck, an injury that had prematurely ended his college career at Ole Miss in October 2018 and briefly threatened to end his football career for good.

The injury at least partially explains why NFL executives were reluctant to take a flier on Metcalf in the first round, why so many of them were willing to draft eight eight! wide receivers before him. There was also the matter of his infamous three-cone time 7.38 seconds, after he had slipped which put him on par with a typical offensive lineman. In hindsight, the hubbub over the three-cone is the apex of silliness in the over-analysis of Metcalfs prospects.

To answer his question about why he fell as far as he did, Metcalf later relayed another conversation hed had with Carroll. The coach offered perhaps the best theory for Metcalfs fall: People just thought you were too good to be true, Carroll told him.

Revisiting the 19 draft from his perspective, Schneider first offers some context, and then a philosophical explainer. Two days before the draft, Schneider had completed a blockbuster trade that sent defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City for a 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick, a deal that shaped Seattles draft priorities.

We knew we were not going to be able to get a long-term deal done with Frank Clark, Schneider says. So making that trade and then working off of that and knowing that you dont necessarily want to draft for need, it ends up happening to a certain extent.

In other words, the Seahawks needed an edge rusher, and there were a couple Schneider was eyeing with his first selection. That pick, at No. 29, ended up being TCU defensive end L.J. Collier. With their second-round pick the Seahawks took Utah safety Marquise Blair at No. 47. Based on the Seahawks evaluations, defensive end and safety were thin positions in the draft, and as such required early action for needy teams at those spots.

The thing I think a lot of people maybe dont necessarily understand about the draft is its not necessarily who you think is better than who its not this guy versus that guy or that guy versus this guy, Schneider explains. Its truly about how you acquire them and where we think well be able to acquire them.

The 19 draft was strong at wide receiver very strong, Schneider says. The Seahawks had several receivers graded highly, and Metcalf was for sure among those. Schneider uses Wilson surely the most significant pick he will make for the Seahawks, selecting the franchise quarterback in the third round in 2012 as a comparison to Metcalfs situation.

The best example of that is Russell, right? Schneider says. You know, where do you take a 5-11 quarterback? What does history look like? And what are you hearing around the league?

Soon after taking Blair, Schneider said he began trying to trade back into the second round to get a receiver acknowledging now that trading up in the draft is something hes rarely comfortable doing. But in this case he knew what he wanted, and he found a willing trade partner: New England. Schneider agreed to send a third-round pick (77) and a fourth (118) to the Patriots for pick No. 64.

We were able to work out a deal fairly quickly, Schneider says.

Of course, no one could have predicted what Metcalf would achieve this early in his NFL career; if anyone had an inkling, he would not have lasted until the end of the second round.

Metcalf is redefining unbelievable. Where his raw talent was once too good to believe, he made everyone almost instantly believe in his potential upon arriving in Seattle.

Much like a guy like Russell Wilson, DK has that self-efficacy thats off the charts, Schneider says. Its his work ethic and his passion, and you can tell how important the game is to him. Hes been a stud since the day he walked in the door here.

Terrence Metcalf knew right away that his son had landed in an ideal scenario in Seattle, on an established team with a veteran quarterback. That feeling is confirmed when he puts on his sons No. 14 jersey to watch the Seahawks play each week.

Hes in the perfect place, Terrence said.

His son has come to that realization, too.

I wasnt supposed to go in the first round for a reason, probably because I wasnt going to work as hard if I got drafted in the first round or early in the second round, DK Metcalf said this season. It allowed me to come in here with a chip on my shoulder and just to realize what it felt like to be an underdog in the NFL. I dont think it would have affected my approach to the game but probably my approach to life. I probably would have taken this opportunity for granted. It was just a blessing in disguise. God put me in this position. He made me wait until the 64th pick, just to be placed in this organization.

Terrence was an All-American offensive lineman at Ole Miss and played seven seasons with the Chicago Bears from 2002-08. For him there is a strong correlation between a teams success and the closeness of its players; camaraderie is vital, and he recognizes that with Wilson and Seattles receivers.

Wilson has taken on the role of big brother to DK Metcalf, and it was Wilson who believed in Metcalf as much as anyone early on. After just two training-camp practices last year, Wilson declared that the rookie receiver had the potential to be a Hall of Fame-type player. What sounded like hyperbole then might turn out to be prescient.

Its easy to get carried away daydreaming about what a long-term success Wilson to Metcalf could look like. Wilson has, in fact, taken that sentiment to another extreme, saying he wants to build a legacy with Metcalf that becomes synonymous with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. And Wilson has openly said he wants to break the Peyton Manning-Marvin Harrison all-time record for quarterback-to-receiver touchdown passes of 114.

Metcalf turned 23 on Dec. 14, a day after catching his 10th touchdown reception of the season from Wilson in a victory over the New York Jets. Hes still just 23, and yet hes so unlike anything else in the NFL a One of One tattoo is sprawled across his abdomen and its as if he is still that 8-year-old Pee Wee player who is so much bigger and stronger than everyone else that the other parents demand to see his birth certificate before the start of every game.

Metcalf has 17 touchdown receptions in 30 NFL games, and he ranks fourth in the NFL this season with 1,223 receiving yards. Unofficially, he must be leading the league in tussles with opposing defensive backs. He seems to relish the fight.

Im not going to back down from nothing, he said.

Sure, Terrence said, the draft snub did motivate DK more so when he was a rookie eager to prove everyone wrong. But it was just a few weeks ago that DK again tortured the Philadelphia Eagles, who had taken another receiver (Stanfords JJ Arcega-Whiteside) seven picks before Metcalf. He made sure to mention the slight after the game.

Its always something special for me to watch him; I dont care if he has only one or two catches, Terrence said, adding: All Ive ever talked to him about is you work hard, you treat people right, you trust God, and then things will fall in line for you. And thats what the DeKaylin is. Ive been asked as lot of question like, Have you ever had an issues (with him)? Hes been, to me, that child you always dream about, that child you pray about. God blessed me with a houseful of kids who understand that. So I have no negative anything that I can say about my son, my baby, my boy. Im just excited, and I really enjoy seeing him doing exactly what (hes doing), man and do it the right way.

DK has unwavering confidence in himself. Terrence buoys that self-belief by regularly sending DK a two-word text message: Be Legendary.

And DK is on his way.

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How Comedy Writer Phil Rosenthal Became the Unlikely Heir to Anthony Bourdain – InsideHook12.23.20

Phil Rosenthal is a lucky guy. The show for which hes best known, Everybody Loves Raymond, ran for nine seasons, entering rarefied air for television sitcoms, and continues to be a favorite in syndication to this day. It is the kind of success that comedy writers only dare dream of, and a feat that would be virtually impossible in the streaming era.

Perhaps even more enviable, though, is Rosenthals current gig, hosting a hit travel show for Netflix where he journeys all over the world to sample local food and drink. Somebody Feed Phil is now on its fourth season, filled with joyous human interaction and cultural curiosity, energy that the entertainment media landscape desperately needs these days.

Dont worry, Rosenthal knows hes lucky saying it no less than seven times during our interview and is now using his platform to help the hospitality industry in these trying times.

On the set of Somebody Feed Phil

Netflix

InsideHook: What was your goal for the series Somebody Feed Phil?

Phil Rosenthal: My whole drive is to get people to travel, and to get them out of their comfort zone. For a lot of people, their comfort zone is the couch. Of course I looked to other travel programs, for example what Anthony Bourdain did, but that is never going to be doing what he did. I am not as adventurous as him. I am not going to Borneo, sleeping in a tree, getting drunk with the local people and having them tattoo me in the chest with painted nails. I envy that, but I am not that guy. I wanted to do a show for the people like me, who might be uncomfortable the moment they get onto a plane. Those are my people.

Do you have an episode that comes to mind where you felt wildly uncomfortable, but ultimately benefited from moving forward anyways?

There was an episode like that we did in Saigon, Vietnam. My brother, who produces the show, came up to me and told me that the next day we were going to get up at 4 in the morning and we were going to a little local shop on an island in the middle of a river. There they help you catch your own fish and also gather lotus stems and snails. So basically they wanted to send me out to the middle of a swampy lake in hip waders to catch fish and pick snails while the sun was still rising.

I said, You lost me at 4 in the morning. Then we fought about it for a little while and eventually I gave up arguing. I was completely unsure of myself at first. The mud at the bottom of the lake was insane, it was like a giant was trying to pull me down. I asked the owner if there were snakes in the water, and he said, Of course! There I am already in there, with my boots on, and he is walking around barefoot. But I ended up getting the snails, catching the fish, and then sitting down to dinner with the family. And to this day it is one of my favorite things ever.

How about for this season? What was the moment that you didnt expect?

Being in Rio during Carnival was just such a unique experience. Looking at me, you wouldnt think, Theres someone who can dance. And I dont! But try not to dance when you are in Rio in January. They will pull you in, and they dont care how you look doing it. That is an experience that I normally wouldnt look for in my regular life, but because I was there it opened up to me. And I had a lot of fun, so I decided that I should dance more at home. For that purpose I am doing a little dance challenge for my Somebody Feed The People charity.

What is the challenge?

It is on social media, and anyone can enter, they just have to post themselves dancing and donate to the charity. I want people to know that Im matching the donations that go to the World Central Kitchen if you go through a portal I have set up on the site somebodyfeedthepeople.org. I want people to give, and I am going to match whatever comes through there. Im going to pick a winner who I am going to have a little Zoom dinner with.

What destination from this season do you think surprised you the most?

I loved every place that we have gone for the show, but I would say that the Mississippi Delta was the biggest surprise for me. For those who dont know, its the stretch between Memphis, Tennessee and Jackson, Mississippi. You could do the whole trip in a day. Going down Highway 61 you hit these amazing little spots. I was blown away by this area. I thought that I was stepping into the movie Deliverance. But what I found was the nicest, sweetest, warmest people out there. And the most delicious food.

How has it been getting to know the chefs that you meet through the show and outside of the show, now that you are in the biz?

I am very lucky to be doing what I do, and to have met the people that I have. They welcome me in restaurants, because I am the restaurants friend kind of guy. I am an advocate for restaurants, and they especially need them now. I am one of the ones working to get that bailout for them.

Being on Netflix, you are in good company when it comes to food shows. Have you gotten to know any of your colleagues in that world?

Roy Choi has become a buddy and he is one of the great geniuses out there. That man reinvented the way people eat. The whole food-truck scene really took off because of his work. I have become friendly with Andrew Zimmern. I have gotten to know David Chang and Jon Favreau, who has his own cooking show now on Netflix. He is wonderful and such a genius. The fact that he can do everything that he does as a creative person and still cook is impressive. But I want to stress that I am not on the same level as these guys, I am just a fan. I cant cook! Nobody wants to eat my cooking. But they like me, because I love them. I just have great respect and love for what they do.

Where would you like to go for a fifth season?

I really want to go to India. I have never been there in my life, let alone for the show. I know I would have an amazing time. I am guessing I have to start with Mumbai, because that is the city, but I hear that the north part of the country is also beautiful. I only been to Sydney in Australia, so I would really love to explore that country more. I think that is another one that I have to do. I dont feel like I have scratched the surface at this point.

On that note, do you know if you are getting another season with Netflix?

I havent heard anything from Netflix. They have just told me that they havent decided yet. I mean it is doing well, but that doesnt mean much, because they like new things. They dont run their series for a long time. They only renew about five percent of their existing shows. I hope they will let me do more, because I love doing it so much.

Well if its not on Netflix, you are going to do it somewhere, I hope.

Oh I am going to do it somewhere! I will do it any way I can. Because this experience has truly affected me and introduced me to an incredible batch of people. I could go on for hours naming all of the incredible chefs and people that this show has allowed me to connect with. Getting to meet these people is the best part of traveling, in my opinion.

Since the show has been going for awhile now, have you found yourself getting recognized more often now?

The last time I was in an airport was back in March. I was waiting to pick up my luggage and a guy comes up to me and said, Hey, youre the food guy! I am absolutely fine being known as that guy or the food guy, which I get a lot. Nobody needs to know me more than that!

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Local authorities, organization work to crack down on human trafficking – WJTV12.12.20

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) Millions of people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, and Mississippi is not exempt. The Hinds County Sheriffs Office and a local community organization are working to put a stop to this crime.

Even in a pandemic, the Hinds County Sheriffs Office is investigating reports of human trafficking cases.

Captain Tyree Jones said people have to educate themselves on what human trafficking is and how to spot it.

Look for things that may be suspicious that relate to money and things they bring into the house, certain things that they may surround themselves with. Sometimes these things may lead to an arrest or a human trafficking investigation, he said.

Sandy Middleton, who is the executive director for the Center for Violence Prevention, said, A lot of times, there may be a tattoo, and so a lot of times we may see a victim with their pimps name on their neck.

Middleton said since opening the tower in 2017, they have been working to be a place of shelter and restoration for victims. She asked for people to themselves on human trafficking and to support the center.

Captain Jones encouraged anyone who suspects human trafficking to call the sheriffs office at (601) 974-2900 or the human trafficking hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.

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Local authorities, organization work to crack down on human trafficking - WJTV

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