Author Archives: sec040121

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.

Are You Ready?

Here’s Brownie Criss, all dressed up and ready for an early 1960s Ole Miss weekend. Like everyone else in our family, her fall Saturdays revolved around that little ear plug in Russell’s left ear, snaking down to a Philco or … Continue reading

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Bungalow Dreams

And another happy birthday to my grandfather, Howard Evans, who would be 120 years old today. In that picture above, he’s about 26 and climbing the corporate ladder with Proctor & Gamble’s Buckeye Cottonseed Oil industry. Within 2 years, he … Continue reading

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Still Fooling Around

Sara on the left with two buddies in Jackson, around 1936 Another April 1st rolls around, and this one would be Sara’s 93rd birthday. Hard to believe it’s been almost a century since the third of Jessie and Howard’s stair-step … Continue reading

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Thunderbird

Happy 97th birthday to my father, Russell Criss. He’s a cocksure 25 years old in that picture above, ready to serve his country as a medic in the 45th Infantry. The next few years would be spent in a hell … Continue reading

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Heart of my Heart

Sara loved holidays. Even those that weren’t really holidays. Valentine’s Day was a perfect excuse to roll out teacake dough, made with just the right amount of red food coloring to turn it a soft pastel pink. She had heart-shaped … Continue reading

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Snow Day

Our recent brush with snow and ice in Greenwood brings back memories of wintry weather on East Adams. It seemed that every year there was at least one truly useful snow event, although I’m sure my recall is faulty. Oh, … Continue reading

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Greatest Generation

The words written above the pictures say it all. Russell was spending one last day in Greenwood with Sara and the Evans family before he was shipped overseas. 26 years old, scared to death, desperate for a chance to live … Continue reading

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From Durant to the Delta

On a sunny October Thursday in 1913, it looks like all of Greenwood has gathered on the Courthouse lawn to watch the unveiling of the Confederate Monument. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, spearheaded by the inexhaustible Lizzie George Henderson, … Continue reading

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Under Siege

As another July 4th rolls around, this seemed like an appropriate photo to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Siege and Battle of Vicksburg. The picture was taken (undoubtedly by Sara) on what looks like a summer’s day, 1960 or … Continue reading

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The Man I Never Knew

Another 28th day of June has rolled around, intensely hot and humid, as I am sure almost all of these days have been since that one in 1894. 119 of them, to be exact. It must have been a scorcher … Continue reading

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