So, what is it like to be the Executive Director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust, you ask? Well, most days it looks a lot like any other job, I imagine-emails, bookkeeping, databases (ugh), with the occasional grant to write or public hearing to attend. But my job also gives me the opportunity to get out, travel our state and visit with people who are working to save the places that matter.
Last Thursday, I started my day in Jackson, meeting with folks to figure out how to link the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s Lowry House into the city’s sewer system. Thanks to Baptist Hospital, it looks like we will not have to build an outhouse! Then it was off to beautiful Yazoo City for lunch with MHT board member Sarah Sheffield. Just before I arrived, Sarah had received a shipment of paint for her upcoming neighborhood painting project. Over homemade ice cream and coconut cake, Sarah and I visited about how to strengthen MHT’s advocacy efforts, the ongoing restoration of the Pugh Blundell House and how much fun it is to live in a house with a history.
After getting back to Jackson, I stopped by former MHT Executive Director Stella Gray Sykes’s stately historic home for delicious pimento cheese, a glass of wine and a chat about the upcoming 10 Most event at the Cedars on Thursday, November 14 (get your tickets at http://www.mississippiheritage.com), while enjoying an impromptu gymnastics demonstration. Over dinner, Marilynn Jones, Director of the Manship House Museum, and I strategized about the many wonderful opportunities to partner on educational outreach programs for the Manship House and its neighbor, the Lowry House.
After a leisurely breakfast at the lovely Old Capitol Inn, it was off to the charming historic town of Clinton for the MHT executive committee meeting. The folks at 303 Jefferson made us feel right at home as we talked preservation while enjoying gumbo, blackened grouper and giant burgers. After a too-brief stop in Pentimento Books, it was back to Jackson to wander under the magnificent trees at the Cedars with Kay Holloway and talk about our party plans for 10 Most. Now a popular venue for events and art exhibitions, this once-endangered historic treasure is the perfect place to come together on November 14 and talk about how we can save the special places that will be named as the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2013-2014. Yes, being Executive Director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust certainly has its perks!
Categories: Historic Preservation