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Where in Mississippi is...Ebenezer?

For our first venture into the world of small town Mississippi, art director Lori Brechtel and I decided we should choose our town according to the theme of this issue. So, with the holiday season approaching, what better place to visit than Ebenezer? Road map in tow, gas tank on "F," and curiosity at its height, Lori and I set out to find Mississippi's namesake for Mr. Scrooge. Traveling west on Highway 14, we kept our eyes peeled for any signs of civilization. We passed "The Little Red Schoolhouse," we passed a few scattered houses, and we passed cotton field after cotton field. Finally, we topped a hill and were greeted by a Coca-Cola banner bearing the salutation, "Welcome to Ebenezer." Neither of us claiming to have an internal compass, we breathed a sigh of relief at this assurance that we were in the right place. Passing under the banner, Lori and I came to a four-way stop sign with a large white structure that appeared to be a gas station on our left. We decided to stop in and see what we could find out about Ebenezer. We joked about walking into the store and casually asking whomever we met, "So, how do you feel about Christmas?" Quickly dismissing that idea--we were pretty sure they'd heard that before--we opted for honesty with a healthy dose of Southern charm instead. The building seemed to be divided in half; one side said "Siddon," and the other side said "Ole Bridge Pottery." The pottery half was dark and locked, but we peered in the windows and discovered that this pottery shop used to be the Ebenezer Post Office! Mr. Billy Siddon, owner of the store occupying the other half of the building, informed us that the post office closed some years ago. The potter, Bubba Barton, houses his studio next door to the old cotton gin a little ways down the road. Mr. Siddon told us that Barton ships his pottery to retailers in Jackson, Meridian, and Memphis, among others. The shop on the premises is his showroom. Linda Archer, the friendly woman with a big smile working behind the counter in Mr. Siddon's store , said she would call Mr. Barton if we wanted to look at his pottery; that's how he gets most of his customers!

Mr. Siddon's store carries everything from plumbing supplies to baby food to hot lunch.

"If I don't have it in the store, you probably don't need it," Mr. Siddon told us.

We finally asked them how they felt about the upcoming holiday season, and Linda graciously told us all about the big Christmas parade in Ebenezer. Mr. Siddon said that he was the only "Bah-Humbug" that didn't participate in the parade; everyone else in the town spends weeks preparing for it. As we were leaving, I asked Mr. Siddon and Linda if there were, by any chance, any Scrooges in Ebenezer. They politely laughed and said, "No," not to their knowledge.

Miles away from the interstate and the nearest Wal-Mart, Ebenezer may not bear any resemblance to that old grouch from Dickens's A Christmas Carol, but it was a refreshing break from the busyness of everyday life for Lori and me, as well as a welcome reminder that folks are the same friendly, helpful folks all across the Hospitality State. Merry Christmas, Ebenezer, we hope we'll have the chance to stop in again soon!
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Article Details
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Author:ELLIS, JENNIFER
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U6MS
Date:Nov 1, 2000
Words:569
Previous Article:Look Who Came to Dinner.
Next Article:Old Waverly's Victorian Christmas.
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