Mississippi Moments Podcast

Mississippi Moments, a weekly radio program airing on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is a partnership between the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and MPB.

The Podcasts

Before there was Whole Foods, there was wild foods. As a young man, Alonzo Brandon of Port Gibson, hunted in order to help feed his family. In this episode he describes how he would outsmart the squirrels that tried to hide from him.

After working all day, Alonzo Brandon would often go coon hunting. He recalls waiting until dawn some nights for a treed coon to finally come down.  He also discusses his weapon of choice, the 22 caliber rifle. 

Brandon’s family raised hogs as an additional source of protein.  In this podcast extra, he remembers how the hogs would also hunt to supplement their diets.


Direct download: MSM_433.mp3
Category:foodways -- posted at: 3:22 PM

Dan McDaniel grew up in Bude, Mississippi. In this episode, he discusses why the town’s barbershop was central to the lives of so many. He also recalls the sawmill work whistle and the men walking home for lunch.

 Today, most of us take indoor plumbing for granted.  McDaniel remembers when plumbing was a luxury.

Because lumber was transported by train, all sawmill towns were connected by rail. McDaniel explains that back then, passenger trains were the most common way to travel.

Photo Credit: Gil Hoffman Collection

Direct download: MSM_432.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 4:37 PM

Family history is our personal connection to the past. In this week's episode, Ethel Patton D’Anjou of Claiborne County tells the story of her great grandfather’s escape from slavery. She also shares the tale of how her great grandmother, a native American was spared from the Trail of Tears by her birth parents and ended up in Mound Bayou.

PODCAST EXTRA: Alcorn University was founded in 1871 to educate the descendants of former slaves. Ethel Patton D’Anjou recounts her grandparent’s decision to come to Alcorn and open their own business. She hopes that her family’s history continues to provide inspiration for generations to come.


Direct download: MSM_431.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 3:13 PM

In 1918, F.S. Wolcott began using Port Gibson as Winter Quarters for his Rabbit Foot Minstrel Show.  In this episode, Jimmy Allen explains why Wolcott’s show was different from other Minstrels. He also describes how a typical minstrel show operated.

As a bookkeeper in his father's Port Gibson car dealership, Allen had first hand experience dealing with Wolcott. He learned that when it came to Wolcott, the squeaky wheel got the grease.Wolcott eventually formed a partnership with his competitor, F.C. Huntington.  In this podcast extra, Allen recalls how that partnership led to a warrant for Wolcott’s arrest.


Direct download: MSM_430.mp3
Category:The American South -- posted at: 2:36 PM

This month marks the ten year anniversary for Mississippi Moments and it coincides with new schedule and format changes.  Since its debute, MSMO has been 4 1/2 minutes in length and aired on MPB Think Radio each Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 pm. Because of changes to the amount of local break time set aside by NPR at the bottom of the noon hour, MPB asked us to change to a 90 second format Monday through Friday, so shorter program aired more often.

Our solution to this new challenge had been to produce three related episodes per week, each containing one audio clip, instead of one episode containing three clips. The three episodes are played in rotation Mon-Fri and are also combined to make one podcast episode that is virtually identical to the old format.

To streamline the process, we at the Center for Oral History have taken over the final production of the episodes from MPB. The advantage being that we can now add bonus clips to the podcast.  In the past, the 4 1/2 minute format meant that some of the best material wound up "on the cutting room floor" as they say.  Listeners are now instructed by Bill Ellison at the end of each broadcast episode to visit MississippiMoments.org "to hear more."  It also allows us to post the podcast episode the same week that the broadcast episodes air - so no more having to wait for weeks to listen to the podcast of an episode that caught your attention!

We are excited about the new changes and we hope that you, our loyal listeners are excited as well.  We can promise you that the best is yet to come because we have barely scratched the surface of this amazing collection! Thank you.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:39 PM

Mardi Gras has been celebrated in Biloxi since 1883.  In this episode, Jerry O’Keefe remembers the excitement of attending the parades as a boy in the 1930s. Later, as a young father in the 1940s, O’Keefe shared his love of Mardi Gras with his children. 

After being elected Mayor of Biloxi in 1972, O’Keefe realized the city’s Mardi Gras fundraising system needed to be overhauled.  He explains how that was accomplished and why Mardi Gras remains so important to the city's identity.


Direct download: MSM_429.mp3
Category:Gulf Coast history -- posted at: 4:07 PM

During WWII, most African-American Soldiers served in support units away from the front lines. All that changed during the War in the Pacific where because of the close proxmity of the conflict, black soldiers found themselves fighting shoulder to shoulder with their white counterparts.  In this episode, Lee Spearman of Bay Springs remembers the only objective was to stay alive.  

Journalist Ernie Pyle reported from the frontlines in Europe and the Pacific during WWII.  Spearman was there when Pyle was hit by enemy fire.


Direct download: MSM_428.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 5:45 PM

Rowan Clark of Bude was 16 years old when he got his first job in 1924. In this episode, he recalls being a water boy and delivering ice for the local icehouse. Like so many others left unemployed by the Great Depression, Clark rode the rails looking for work.  He describes his journey across the country chasing rumors of job opportunities.

Clark was finally offered a job washing cars in New Orleans…at service station that was actually a front for rum runners!

Direct download: MSM_426.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 6:03 PM

For Randy Yates, the Neshoba County Fair was a family tradition. In this episode, he explains why the fair was so important to his grandparents. One of the most vivid memories for Yates was the endless variety of food the fair had to offer.

According to Yates, no one worked harder to prepare for the Neshoba County Fair than his grandfather.  He remembers it being a year-long labor of love.

Direct download: MSM_425.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 6:00 PM

Jackson has always enjoyed a wide selection of choices when it comes to dining out. In this episode, Randy Yates discusses the important role Greek restaurateurs played in Jackson’s culinary history. Yates began working for Primos Northgate restaurant as a college student.  He remembers the large crowds and the places the staff would go between shifts.

After Primos, Yates took a job working at Scrooge’s.  He credits owner Bill Latham and Don Primos for teaching him some important job skills. 

Today, Randy Yates is co-owner of the Ajax Diner, on the Square, in Oxford.

Direct download: MSM_424.mp3
Category:foodways -- posted at: 5:55 PM