Mississippi Roads; Ham Jam Arts Festival, Peggy's, Williams Brothers Store, Marshall Ramsey Pgm. 2811.
If. They're going to show you meet me. You know. Camp singer. With. Now. Welcome back to Mississippi roads. I'm your host while Chrysler. Coming to you this week from the show by county. Where at the seventh annual ham jam Arts Festival and downtown Philadelphia. Mississippi rode down from my home and we visited a local store right here. Customer service at center stage. And we've got a
shot at the Clarion-Ledger. This is the ham and the ham jam arts festival. Delicious. I'll have to give it a try. There are some 15 teams here competing for trophies and cash awards and rib categories. The top 5 are awarded prizes. And there's also a grand prize winner a crown for the entire festival. I was contacted by the memphis BBQ network. So you know you're going to find some scrumptious barbecue right here in downtown Philadelphia. But speaking of delicious food in downtown Philadelphia in our first story we're going to slip right around the corner over here to Peggy's restaurant and chow down on some delicious home cooking. Now that's not true of D.C. a restaurant with an open cash drawer sit in the front door.
Dropping money on the way out. Make changes in the. Bar codes generally something we associate with the Boy Scouts or knights in shining armor. Not by the term connected to money or business. But then again Peggy's is much more than a business. It's her home. And I was referred to is that woman that cooks in her high heels. You. Call the luncheonette. For years and years and years. And. One day somebody picked up on. It. But that's what everybody says. We're going to pay. This is our home. Secret that it was. Just like going home. This is our living room. And so this is where I hung out before SKU before I started to go in first grade. And people would come in the door through here and and you know I had.
A hundred and fifty trying to show up at my house every day and if we didn't keep the doors locked they'd just walk again because that's one reason I didn't put signs up. I had enough Wolken Ian as it was that was sent out that would really had a problem. So apparently not a problem with spreading word of Peggys no signs no business hours posted on the door. How do you people keep finding their way here and how does a regular house transformed into a popular restaurant in the first place without any advertising. Sister in law really started it but she had just maybe 20. It was her average number just people around Squire business people came down to I took over in 61. And word of mouth is what I want but I never did it for Tess. We wouldn't be here without community either. The community decided pig didn't exist anymore. We wouldn't be here we don't advertise. They send people to us. And even people from out of time I come through and I want to know directions to where it's I am
like are you here. I'm from Akerman Mississippi. And we came down to take is to eat lunch and you know and I've been eating here since they were placed up in 1961. And then hair probably about eight. Eight 10 years at least three days a week for the last 27 years. So for forty seven years now Peggy says fed the people of not only Philadelphia and the state of Mississippi but across the country. A nice warm home cooked meal from right out of her kitchen. But what exactly is it about this quaint little restaurant that keeps people returning no matter what the distance. For that extra help with. All of the pork chop chicken spaghetti. And of course the fried chicken and the rice and gravy the best. My favorite. All of it. Is the food. Oh the food. This is down home cooking.
We had. Chicken and dumplings made from French. Fried chicken. Cornbread. Chips in right. But again. You know when we're you know they're called lima beans. But here how better to. Be. Proud of. The big apple pie. Real man the title we fill our head every day. We have. Right. Now about 120 to 150 pounds. Nine. Hundred fifty pounds. How many potatoes is that. Well. One good sized potato weighs about two hundred seventy nine grams. So three fifths. So 150 pounds would be about 250 potatoes. Now that's a lot of potatoes. I had some people from New York down like Amy and in they saw all those reopened Titus I couldn't believe that was real. But tell you to see these in New York. It takes a lot of time. But it's worth the difference in the
taste. But that's what we get. We started everything from scratch. And in order for that to happen Larry arrives back east right nearly every morning. Morning 6:00 a.m. time to get to work. Put the pot down get the seasoning and. Get the best. We're going to. Have to free up the stuff. 8:30 in the morning. I started. Taking. The cast iron skillets are their original that was way off and we started 48 years ago. So Hans piggies changed. The food it's still just like it used to be and sixty one customer told me one time he tailed. How it was changed because at first I had my kids. You're so manly and then it went to the grandchildren and then they went went from their graduation pictures to their way to big.
There's some live pictures change this and there's the pictures of all of the food has remained consistently. There has been one change. Only. But he didn't travel for. My husband's hailed as a. Real but we were just plugs. I wouldn't let anybody else take my name. But Stanley our youngest one decided that he didn't want to blow the seat down so. You would want to close your route home down with you in my home. And. And these people. Here are. Standing family. Being on you know your parents house and ain't paying launch so long but. You know if you didn't get to talk to different people come in. I enjoyed the company. And this time with the people sitting at the table where sometimes you know the cars sit myside you sometimes you don't but before you leave me we'll have to
leave sometime go pick up or somethin. People got where in we were. B is it we couldn't wait in someone would just lay their money down that they own the thing and walk out. So I thought well if they can do that why don't I just put a basket up there and let them make their own change. So Les what came up in this really work. Good ol lease yours. Somebody forgets to pay. Nine times out of the next time they come in. They're going to die. We've had people coming in from out of town and we had a couple come in from New York. They came in and they were so out of the Flies that I walked out for half the time. Two weeks later I got a piece of mail from them. And. It was the. Other One. Just forgot to. Tell me now but her highness. It's good that. In a small town you can still date things like man. That's what's so great about. Going when we have to have a case here we probably will be in England.
We certainly hope not. Where else can you find a home cooked meal in a house that could just about be good mothers with honor system is no longer a thing of the past in a family atmosphere where no one a stranger is a thing of the present. Hopefully this present will continue on for another few years. While the ham jam Arts Festival here in downtown Philadelphia is a two day event starts on the Friday and ends on a Saturday. And they usually hold at the third weekend of April every year. And here around the square you'll find all kind of vendors with all kinds of products you can find anything from paintings to woodworking to pottery to be just. Lots of quality lots of quantity and some pretty good bargains too. And speaking of quality and quantity just outside of town there's an old
store that still has the advantage of an old general store and the quality of that personal touch. To some people a job is just a job. Talk in the morning talk out in the afternoon. But are the Williams family of Williams Brothers store within sight of Philadelphia. Williams will. Store is a way of life has been for over a hundred years and rather was started by. Angie and Brian Williams That was my grandfather and his his brother that moved here from Lee County and when I got. To this area it was too weird to get in a full length here so they said this looks like a good place to put a business so they went in and. Did business in 19 0 7 here said Williamson his cousin Jane Cross white all the third generation that were you Mr. run Williams brother Stuart Johnny Williams Mavis and Peggy Williams These are the second generation.
They were here to take advantage of the next generation taking on the bulk of the day to day operation now and enjoy coming back to work even more than ever before. You know I don't have to carry my prison as much responsibility now as that used to my daughter and CNN doing but I enjoy it I know the people I know the cut and customising just people are just nice and I like people and I think he's in jail and that's why people are asking when I'm going to harness the bad get oh no oh no. Williams Brothers is going into their second century of doing business but if someone had been in here for 50 years they'd still recognize the place it changes a little but nothing stays the same. There have been changes over the years. I guess we've gotten larger. We have more stuff to say oh but other than that I mean it's a sign it's a sign you know. And a hundred years competitors have come and gone but every time you go to Williams Brothers the store is always full of people. What is it about this store that makes customers drive right past all
the places they could buy the same things to come here. I guess I'll most want to try and ask you the same thing. You know I guess it's it's uniqueness. The fact that it has been here for a hundred years the fact that you don't feel like you're when you walk in here you go into the same store like you do in a mall. Friendliness the fact that people go why don't you help you and you can find something for just about anybody. Everybody in the family can just about come here and find something. I think the uniqueness of it is probably the biggest attraction I get stopped but I don't like this morning while I saw this guy walking around Stone I thought well you know you look like you might need some help and I went up and I saw him you know going to happen. And he looked at me and he says Amazing amazing. And I thought well what is it broke in the back. And he's just this dough is amazing. So you know I take it so for granted. But my read is amazing the people I've met it's the uniqueness of it not the something
about it. It's safe to just draw people to the stove. I don't know you know but he just says this is just amazing to me and I thought to myself Melissa amazing to me that is amazing. Do you. No longer go to Wal-Mart located about a mile up the road from where your brothers but instead of drawing business from the Williams Brothers is just as busy as ever. Maybe more so. They always say that my granddaddy started the first Wal-Mart they always said this store was a first Wal-Mart a little bit of everything. Maybe it's the taste of the past that you get as soon as you walk in it sets the store apart. There's something stable about the past or at least our perception of the past especially passive far back enough that we didn't live it. We just imagine how good and innocent it was. Something we don't sense in modern times. Williams Brothers is about as snug as a fireplace and hearth is on a winter night or at least our perception of that kind of sanctuary. We don't tell us is a gentle margin I don't want to come and have a construction
right in front. No good cheese and jogging just a gentle start. It's family that's a part of the attraction family run business extended family honored right up there with the horse collars and hams hangs jerseys from Sid's sister's family. The Mannings. Well I used to tell people about you brother you know. Now tell them I'm paid a lot. But it ate my way in the branch of William that was my mother and father course I my older sister Libya made Archie So Copenhagen a law they. May all love coming up here. They love their grandma and grandpa want to come stay with them in the summer and cook for an eight hour boat work here for a couple summers. One night when I was a young course Peyton played bad much baseball was a day of. Football so he waited never come work with a button left to come come visit. But the Manning connection is just a bonus. That still be a charm to the store that it goes both ways just as people like to come here to shop the way you like to come here to work every day
when I was raised in the style. So I just love being here. And although it is work it's never been just a clock in the morning and clock out in the afternoon kind of job that now law sometimes gets a little long but but not oh and the wonderment of it all has never worn off. And there's so many big stars out there you know I'm. Down south and here we are. But it's just amazing. Top notch local and regional entertainment is to state that Bam-Bam art
festival how to kick it off on Friday night with what they call a Jesus jam where Christian artists provide all the entertainment. That on Saturday during the day there's a local artist and talent competitions but then regional artists taking the stage on Saturday night for a lot of high energy entertainment. And speaking of talent and entertainment. In our next segment we go to the wacky. Yet talented world. Of editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey. The good ole cartoonist understands the issues but also understands. The nuances. And sees. The humor in things. Convincing people of opinions and and. Has a lot to do with tone and it all cartoonists has such a wide variety of
tone he or she can use in doing that in my Marshall. Randy has such a good understanding of that in such an excellent sense of humor that that makes it more people. I think Jackson needs a cartoonist because we have so many elected officials that are cartoons that a lot of cartoonists been cut because of cost cutting facts and so the number has dropped from about 200 when I started down to about 80. Now I talk to other cartoonists place like California No never see the people they draw. I go out to eat and run into them. Mississippi like it's two degrees of separation if you know one person you can get around the state so I literally will be in a restaurant run into like the lieutenant governor or run into the Mayor at Taco Bell of all places. And so you know he's like a marshal Corera like like you know just like this is so surreal. You start playing cops with a badge and then he started busting strip clubs so I drew him with badges like paste these and then he pulled over the bus so I started around the middle to 20 so I put
hugged me on the badges so it started evolving. First I had a little cowboy outfit and he had the little hug me pasty badges and I'm like you know I'm afraid where this is going to. Yeah so he's one of the classic characters that evolved over time in Harvey Johnson the same way too when he was mayor although he was he was only exciting every four years when he became election man so. Like a baseball pitcher. I try to mix it up. You know if you throw a fastball every pitch you're going to last about a week in the league and so my cartoons are even more mean every time sometimes they can be when they need to be but I try to mix up the tongue on the carton and I think a good cartoonist needs to have that kind of range. Marshall's work appears in more papers than just the Clarion-Ledger. He's syndicated to some 400 of the publications throughout the country. But it's the material in Mississippi that he has most enjoyed drawing over the years. Kirk Fordyce number one just because he was not afraid to say what he was thinking at a given point which usually led to things like the Byrd case and so on and so forth and so he was
really a lot of fun. Frank Melton has been unbelievable because sometimes it's hard to out satire satire. You know I mean he's outdo me on that. The legislature through the years has been great. Jackson City Council's been good. Think about it I'm a great subject matter in the 10 years I've been here I've had everything from Katrina to Trent Lott to the Scruggs case now I've had a just an abundance of material. Even though Marshall has been selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize twice. Not everyone is in tune with his wit all the time. Set the scene on the cartoon obviously Kirk's going to heaven and Saint Peter said I had to let him in he threatened. I had about four five phone calls messages cursing me because obviously I did not. Was it respectful to the deceased and then the call was from Pat and she said how much the family love the cartoon and how much a difference it had made and so I called back that people might. Tell one politician
that if they didn't like having cartoons drawn about them because they work for the taxpayers that maybe they ought to go sell cars. But you don't want to get politicians Marshall is publishing books of his cartoons or illustrating children's books for his financial guru because and Dave Ramsey but he enjoys giving back to the community by speaking to adults and children alike. When I read this and I'm going to side down show you one of my greater skills that I've learned since I've had children how to read upside down. My goal in my reason I do that is because once upon a time somebody actually inspired me and if I can inspire one kid then I feel like I've paid my debt. In 2001 Marshall's world was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. It was certainly no laughing matter but it drove me crazy to be honest with you both my parents are cancer survivors cancer to me is a big monster and was a very frightening experience. A few months into it we went to the beach and
we were of course my parents taught me the beach for you know I'm like you guys have skin cancer want to shoot me OK if you want me out of the picture that would be cheaper than a condo about six o'clock I went for a swim this lady was staring at me. And because my Scarne are little kids now in the water and I said oh that shark attack and it happened right where your kids are swimming. She pulled him out of the water and from that point on I said I am not only scared of this anymore I won't be proactive and I'm a laugh and I'm a live my life. And the other thing was a friend of mine here at the paper Keith warned his fantastic guy his father just died of melanoma so you know we're kind of a quasi I support group so we created a foundation in his father's name and started running from the sun which was a race 5 K and basically what it was is just a skin screening and we threw a race around it and when we were on our fifth one now. You know him and his family. We're hoping that more people.
Especially me don't want to go to the doctor. Rather than. Go through the Anthonys free. And buy. Anything suspicious checked. We also have free literature. That we. Were hoping that more people would be aware of. This cancer. To tell someone who never dreamed this much good would come over. But. Will never feel more alive in. The same ways. You know it's funny I came here and I thought I'll be here a couple years. You know obviously I won't be at the New York Times or someplace you know I was cruising. But I've got three Mississippians now I got three little boys who walk around saying daddy hurt my finger here now I mean they're and they're the real thing I was talking with the fellow who was my mentor the guy in Knoxville Tennessee going to Charlie Nano and he's not the fiddle player. But you know Charlie said there's something about he came down here for my art opening because the museum had a
show of my work and he said I saw how those people really loved what you do. AC said you make a difference and you know that's really all that matters in life is being able to get up every night and say you know I'm going to work to make a difference. Don't forget kids when you come to the ham jam arts festival in Philadelphia there's lots of activities designed especially for them here from the inflatable bouncy things to a rock climbing wall to the bungee jump. And we're going to leave you with some sights and sounds. The seventh annual Jam Arts Festival as we part company this week. But let me remind you that if you'd like information about anything that you've seen on the show Contact Us at the NPB online org and search for Mississippi roads. Until next time I walk right so obviously I'm missing you. With.
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- Ham Jam Arts Festival, Peggy's, Williams Brothers Store, Marshall Ramsey Pgm. 2811. Marshall Ramsey, is the editorial cartoonist and a two-time Pulitzer finalist, based in Mississippi.
- Mississippi Roads is a magazine showcasing Mississippi's uniques landmarks, culture, and history.
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