Tour de Jackson

Old Jackson City Auditorium; Lamar Life Tower in the background

“One advantage that Jackson had over Greenwood was the various shows and productions which came to the Auditorium. Mama took us to hear John Philip Sousa’s band and to the Passion Play and other performances. There were some big parades, and when I was in third grade my teacher chose me to ride in one of them. I don’t even remeber what kind of parade it was. I was just excited about getting to ride down Capitol Street in a parade.

A circus parade (definitely not Sara's parade) down Capitol Street; Governor's Mansion would be on the right, and old First National Bank and Deposit Guaranty buildings are seen in the distance.

“Tiny had gotten a bicycle before we moved to Jackson, and it was painted and handed down to me. I learned to ride and immediately headed down the sidewalk and up a hill to try out my skill. I started down the hill and gained momentum as I went. I panicked when I realized that I did not know how to put the brakes on fast enough on that steep hill. There in front of me lay Robinson Street. I didn’t stop until I landed at the foot of the Matthews’ hill across the street, very thankful that no cars had been coming. That episode was used several times when we had to write stories about exciting experiences we had had since I really didn’t have too many exciting experiences.”Sara was never noted for coordination, and I am grateful, as she was, that a teen-driven roadster wasn’t buzzing down Robinson Road as she careened across to Matthews’ Hill. She got another bike in her 50’s and rode it around North Greenwood for exercise, until Daddy decided it was dangerous and made her park it. One of my favorite photos from that time is of Sara on her bike, in her usual dress, tooling up the driveway with her great-niece Beth. She looks like she’s having a blast, and I’m assuming she finally learned how to put on the brakes.

Sara and a later bike, 1941.

About sec040121

Hello....I'm in possession of a priceless collection of memoirs and memorabilia left by my mother, Sara Evans Criss. She was a native and lifelong (88 years!) devotee of our small town, who covered this peculiar and volatile corner of the world for 30 years as the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Greenwood bureau chief, a job that started out with debutantes and high school football and wound up spang in the midst of one of the twentieth century's most enduring social upheavals. This blog is dedicated to her memory and the legacy she left behind, both for her family and her community.
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