Oxford, Mississippi has to be one of the coolest towns I’ve ever gone to for a conference. Wait a minute – make that “hottest” towns – because Oxford was VERY hot, like I’m-not-sure-how-much-longer-I-can-breathe-the-air hot. But at the same time it was cool as in a beautiful, quaint town.
Ole’ Miss is located in Oxford – in fact, they named the town Oxford after the English University hoping that would encourage the Mississippi where-should-our-university-be planners to choose THEIR town. The name worked and the entire town is very much Ole’ Miss crazy.
Downtown is centered around the courthouse square. The square is lined with shops and restaurants in historic buildings. Many of the shops had ice water and cups out front to quench the thirst of the people walking by.
The church was a block or so off the square and in itself, quite historic!
I’ve already said Faulkner lived in Oxford. John Grisham and Eli Manning also have homes there as do a lot of other authors, artists, etc.
We had just gotten out of our car when a lady walked up to us and asked if we were looking for a parking place. We told her we were looking for a place to get iced tea … and she proceeded to walk with us and give us a partial tour of the town and tell us her life story … which we thought was kind of funny. (Her story wasn’t funny, just that she attached herself to us – that was funny.) But considering what happened a few weeks later (another blog post) this lady’s friendliness was just a blip on the screen of life.
Oxford has been voted one of the best 100 towns in America by USA today and I would agree with that – not that I’ve been in every town, but this was full of history, of quaintness, of charm … and with all the university students – had an upbeat vibe.
And besides all that – Michael Scarbrough was born there.