Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – I’m Going to Jackson!
I’m going to Jackson! And I’m singing the remarkably futuristic sounding words of the June Carter and Johnny Cash duet – “I’m going to Jackson, gonna mess around, look out Jackson town.”
I’m going to Jackson for the Zippity Do Dah Parade!
Beginning today we are going to discuss the two greatest authors from the state of Mississippi. Yes, I understand it is unusual to have authors from that state at all given its high illiteracy rates. I too was unaware that many people in Mississippi could read.
But a few authors do exist. As stated, we will discuss the two greatest. Today we will discuss Ms. Jill Conner Browne and tomorrow we will discuss Mr. William Cuthbert Faulkner. You were expecting John Grisham?
Let’s begin with an introduction off the Internet of Ms. Jill Conner Brown and her minions – The Sweet Potato Queens. The Sweet Potato Queens concept has been explained and made popular by a series of books by Jill Conner Browne, who came up with the idea in 1982. Browne is the author of a number of books which form the backbone of the Sweet Potato Queen movement. She turned a cottage industry into a multi-million dollar industry with donations made to various charities in Mississippi. Boring, boring, boring. Wonder how many times she has heard that introduction?
Let’s start again and do it my way.
Jill Conner Browne was born in Tupelo and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Being birthed in the same town as The Elvi? Well, hell, that there is almost as good as being a native born Texan.
This awesome woman Jill Conner Browne (JCB) and some of her BFF’s in the early 1980’s recognized that we are all sisters and we are all queens of something. So they went out in somebody’s sweet potato farm and ceremonially declared themselves queens and thus became the Sweet Potato Queens (SPQ). I am pretty confident significant amounts of adult beverages were consumed during this process, but I am not 100% certain.
Obviously this JCB was the gifted and talented student for the state of Mississippi that decade because she because she was able to read and write. She wrote all these books to help all of us realize our inner potentials of queenship and to empower us to use them in life.
Her ideas grew into a big ass organization for which she is Her Royal Highness (HRH) of the SPQ Empire. Note to the Wikipedia people – The Sweet Potato Queens are an empire not a movement. The functioning of one’s bowels is a movement.
But HRH and the SPQ made so much money she had to give some away or the government would come after her. So she and the increasing number of Sweet Potato Queens began the Zippity Do Dah parade in Jackson, Mississippi to celebrate being a Queen and to donate to a cause. And Honey, you know we Southern Ladies do love a cause. Her cause is the Baston Children’s Hospital helping the little chirren and chilluns who are sick. Bless their hearts.
She wrote all these books and you should read all of them. Some of them you should read twice.
- Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love (Jan 19, 1999)
- God Save the Sweet Potato Queens (Jan 9, 2001)
- The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner (Jan 7, 2003)
- Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, or Dead (Oct 5, 2004)
- The Sweet Potato Queens’ Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide (Dec 27, 2005)
- The Sweet Potato Queens’ First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn’t Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet (Jan 2, 2007)
- The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit (Jan 1, 2008)
- American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queen’s Guide to Preserving Your Assets (Dec 30, 2008).
I suggest you read the books in order, but you don’t have to. But there is so much fundamental foundational material in Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love it gives you such a good start.
- The True Magic Words Guaranteed to Get Any Man to Do Your Bidding,
- The Five Men You Must Have in Your Life at All Times Men Who May Need Killing,
- Quite Frankly What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes, or Just for Entertainment, and
- The Best Advice Ever Given in the Entire History of the World
I guarantee the true magic words work – even for me. And if my friend KMY would have used them we could gotten a lot more free stuff on that weekend trip last summer. I don’t care, KMY, if your cut-off standard is a full-set of teeth. You know you don’t have to follow through.
Now all SPQ know that going to the Zippity Do Dah Parade is like one of those pilgrimages of a life time like going to Graceland, or any other shrine on your bucket list. And I am headed out to the Zippity Do Day Parade. It promises to be a weekend of fun, food, frolic and sister hood as we move from Friday’s opening Big Ass Hat contest to Sunday’s Bathrobe Brunch. Did I not mention there would be costumes?
This is my first parade, thus making me a parade virgin. Given that I have been to any number of parades before, I must beg to enforce Florence King’s self-rejuvenating virgin concept. I cannot remember exactly what the criteria are. I will need to check my copy of Southern Ladies and South Gentleman. Florence King is from where? There are three great authors from Mississippi? Well, do tell.
For more about Jill Connor Browne, the Sweet Potato Queens, the Baston Children’s Hospital and Florence King visit:
My apologies. Florence King was born in Washington, D. C. However, she had the brilliance to write about Mississippi and the South.