the blog of jewelry designer

July 18, 2013


“Make voyages. Attempt them. There's nothing else.”
- Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

 Some of my most special travel experiences happen organically.  They sort of evolve, just as life does.  "Hey, why don't we go..." kind of thing.  That's what took me deep into the heart of the south in July - it was to visit my boyfriend's hometown, for the first time.  

Columbus, Mississippi is the epitome of a genteel southern delta town.  Self-aware in its way - almost like it knows that if you've found your way there, you really want to be there.  There must be millions of towns like it across the US.  There are so many lives lived and stories told in these small towns - we only get to hear them if our own story intersects with theirs.  

Indeed, Columbus has a very rich story.  It was a "hospital town" during the Civil War.  Thousands of soldiers from both sides of the conflict were buried in the town's somberly named Friendship Cemetery (check out this beautiful You Tube video about Columbus' Civil War history).  

Columbus was also birthplace of playwright Tennessee Williams, who set almost all of his incredible plays to the rhythm of the fading south.  I have no doubt he is channeling his own hometown as he writes.

Tennessee Williams was born in this house in 1911

Tennessee Williams captured the human character like few others.  His respect for imperfection, and the way he draws his characters into a fight for dignity, are admirable and yet, tragic.  Think about The Glass Menagerie.  And Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  A Streetcar Named Desire.  Williams himself has been quoted as saying that leaving Columbus was a sort of goodbye to his carefree boyhood, and the point at which he began to turn inward, and write.

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1958

Paul Newman directed Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich and Karen Allen in The Glass Menagerie in 1987

Amazing Victorian and Antebellum homes still stand, as museums and private homes, all around town - preserving and continuing Columbus' rich stories.  We visited Rosedale House whose details are incredible, both architecturally and as a still life of how life was in its day.

Rosedale House, built in 1856

A mother-of-pearl footed compote at Rosedale House

The staircase at Rosedale House

The famous stories aside.  On Independence Day 2013, Columbus Mississippi was a story of family, and getting to know some very special people as they live life in their corner of the world.  The fireworks were homegrown and quite magnificent, as was the experience.  What a privilege to be part of such a story.  

Feel Beautiful,

Quite by coincidence, on our return to Dallas, Tommy found and sent me this quote from Tennessee Williams.  I posted it last week as my Friday Quote on Facebook.  Dignity: it's at the center of all of our stories.    

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