After getting to our campground outside Jackson, Mississippi, Eliza and I went into town to explore. This is the capitol, with repair work being done to protect it “from the elements”. Dan and I had washed the dogs again before Eliza and I left, so I was still in my very grubby clothes, but I figured no big deal because we weren’t going to get out of the car…
We didn’t know that the capitol would be open! They were in session and voting on a bill, so there were people all over and the guard reluctantly let us in. Did he hesitate because I looked so bad?!! Gorgeous old capitol, great history, and we didn’t stay long; too embarrassing.
Eliza and I drove all over town, and other than the capitol, it was like a ghost town. No shopping, no restaurants, no people walking around. Cool old buildings. My favorite was an old Greyhound bus station that an architect is using as his office.
We headed north on a street that looked fun, and boy was it. We stumbled right into a parade being set up, and the street was still open to traffic. People were lining the streets, staking out their places, and many of the older women had on tiara’s and green or purple gloves. WHAT?! I wanted to roll my window down and wave to everyone, but like San Antonio, I didn’t want to embarrass Eliza. (As if I didn’t do that already at the capitol?!) I wanted to pull over and ask someone, but the music was too loud. We saw a sign on the side of a building that said “Sweet Potato Queens” and “Zippity do dah”, so I thought I’d look it up later.
I have very few regrets in life, but missing the Sweet Potato Queen parade is one of them… when I read about it the next day and downloaded her book to listen to, I couldn’t stop laughing. Jill Connor Browne decided in the 1980’s that she was going to be the Sweet Potato Queen, and she’s been creating her hilarious legacy ever since. She’s beyond bawdy, so don’t read it if you are easily offended. There is more than one queen, and they wear outfits in the parade that have changed over the years. Their followers wear tiara’s now, but the queens don’t because they don’t stay on their huge red wigs. I mean, I laughed so hard at one point that I couldn’t breathe. I may fly back for the parade one day in my own “wanna be” costume!