Tag Archives: Jill Conner Browne

Thursday, March 31, 2016 – ZIPPITY DOO DAH!

Thursday, March 31, 2016 – ZIPPITY DOO DAH!

It time for the 6th ANNUAL FONDREN’S ZIPPITY DOO DAH® WEEKEND, April 1-2, 2016 and SWEET POTATO QUEENS® CONVENTION March 30-April 3, 2016! to benefit the children of Blair Batson Hospital.



That is correct queens. It is Sweet Potato Queen Parade Time in Mississippi.

I hope Elf that you have your Queencentric on and that you and Miss Annie will attend this year. I am not able attend this year, but please know that I plan to have my own personal SPQ weekend beginning tomorrow with my pearls and pajamas party. A little music. A little dancing around the room. A few drinks. That sort of thing. Yes, it is a normal Friday night, but during ZIPPITY DOO DAH it is a pearls and pajama party! Wish The Twins were here from last year.

Pajamas & Pearls Twins (800x600)

Saturday evening, I plan to march up and down the street in my crown and boa and my Rodeo Queen outfit. Should I go with the inflatable crown or the diamond one? I hope those glitter boots from Zappos arrive in time. I plan to do this until I see the first police car.

Me and a Queen

Jenny Lee W. – I AM NOT the Queen in drag.

Sunday perhaps I can talk SPQ Ms. Navasota into a bathrobe brunch. I will take the Abuelos’ diablo shrimp and a very large thermos of bloody Marys to her house. Should we desire mimosas, I could also bring a bottle of champagne and a few drops of orange juice.

Meanwhile – some photos from last year’s Zippity Doo Dah. Thank you Jill Conner Browne, for all that you do for all of us.

Me and Jill (600x800)


SPQ Float (800x600)Cinco Pelo Grande (800x600)


Door decorations

Door Decoration from The Hilton Last Year.

SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 044 (800x600)

Her Royal Highness’ Newest addition to Grit Lit (Literature of the South) is Fat is the New 30 – The Sweet Potato Queens Guide to Coping with the Crappy Parts of Life by Jill Conner Browne.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 – The 2015 Zippity Do Dah Parade

Thursday, April 2, 2015 – The 2015 Zippity Do Dah Parade

I love a parade! Here are a few photos from the 2015 Sweet Potato Queens Zippity Do Dah Parade.

Leslie Gore Tex (Rodeo Queen) and a real Queen headed toward the bus to the parade.SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 016 (800x600)

SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 027The Parade Route – The movie The Help was shot in Jackson.  This street is a major part of the movie.  You is kind. You is smart and you is important. And you is a Queen!

SPQ Float (800x600)

The Official Sweet Potato Queen Float.

SPQ Ohio (800x600)These lovely queens were from Ohio.

SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 026 (800x600)

Check out the majorette boots!

Clydes Dales (800x458)Clydesdales Wagon (800x598)

The fabulous Clydesdales

The Sonic Boom of the South -The Jackson State University Marching Band. Note the banner is carried by Spud Stud.Jackson State Band (800x600)

 Jackson State Jump (800x600)Jackson State Band1 (800x600)

SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 152 (800x600)The Peacock Queens from Natchitoches, Louisiana.  I did not check to see if we were related, but I am sure we are.  Everybody is related to everybody in Louisiana.

SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 128 - Copy

The Butterfly Queens. Great capes!

And Last… Actually this was one of the first pics of the parade, but I saved it for last. Check out the hunk on the right.  I asked him to marry me and he said “Maybe” and threw me some engagement beads.  When I find him again, I will bring him home to look at and KMY and KQ and anybody else can fight over him.

SWEET POTATO QUEENS 2015-03-28 044 (800x600)

That’s about it for the SQP weekend except for my hat from the Big A** Hat Luncheon.  It now becomes my Easter bonnet so you will hear more about it later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Post Big A** Hat Contest

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Post Big A** Hat Contest

Two Thetas and an Alpha Chi Omega meet up in Jackson, Mississippi for lunch on Friday, March 27, 2015. But first,

Holly W., and Kim M., you both had my heart, but my bracket had Maryland and Notre Dame. My women’s final four predictions were correct. And here’s to the Dayton Flyers for giving UConn a gut check.  It was so worth it to see Geno’s face and fumbling for words at half time when you were leading.  Go Flyers!

Now onward through the sequins and the glitter.

We did not win the prize for the best Big A** Hat at Sal and Mookey’s (correct spelling this time). However, The Little Bay Sea Queens from Rockport-Fulton, Texas, making their first trip to the SPQ Zippity Do Dah Parade took home the trophy.  There is nothing like a beauty queen from Texas and no man can resist that many at one time. The judge drowned in their beauty.  So congrats to The Little Bay Sea Queens for making all Texas Sweet Potato Queens proud.

Prior to the evening festivities we decided we were in definite need of a refreshing nap.  It could have needed due to being on the road at 6:15 AM that morning to reach Jackson in time for the Big A** Hat Luncheon. Note to Baylor Thetas Alums – I swear N1 was up and ready with the bling a blanging at that hour.  Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot it is Baylor and you don’t swear.  I promise N1 was up at that hour.

However, the need for a nap could have been the bloody Mary that followed the lemon tini.  I thought the Thetas ordered lemon tea, being from Baylor and all, so I said the same for me.  What a pleasant surprise arrived at the table and I think it is illegal in Mississippi to waste alcohol.

Nevertheless, a nap was in order.  But prior to our nap, we decided to take a quick visit to the SPQ store back at The Hilton. It was there we met some lovely people and learned several essential factoids about your first parade. You are a virgin and a SPQ Wannabe. One should note this by holding two fingers like the V for Victory or the peace sign in every picture.  This avoids confusion in subsequent years.  And as they say, whoever “They is,” You always remember your first. This also allows you to meet up with other virgin queen wannabes to compare notes.

Then we learned one must choose a queenly name. I immediately thought of the second song from the musical Cats.

“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn’t just one of your holiday games;

You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.”

Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,

And that is the name that you never will guess;

The name that no human research can discover –

But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. ―

T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats  and Cats

And suddenly I was transformed into Sweet Potato Queen Wannabe Leslie Gore Tex.

After our refreshing nap and a glass of champagne, we all prepared for the evening event – The “Pearls and PJ’s and Pelo Grande – Oversized Hair dos – as always, Size Does Matter!”

Given that I live in the shadow of the George H. W. Bush Library, the pearls I chose for this event were my Barbara Bush look alike pearls from The Dollar Store.  My pjs were my only one shade of gray sweat pants, designed by Nike – the ones that make my butt look good. Thank you, KQ! The evening ensemble was complimented by a faded, maroon, long-sleeved Texas A&M T-shirt from the Junior League garage sale last weekend.

Me and Jill (600x800)

HRH Jill Conner Browne and Leslie Gore Tex

Here are a few pics from the Pelo Grande

Dos Pelo Grande (800x600)QuatroPelo Grande (800x578)Cinco Pelo Grande (800x600)

Here are a couple from the PJ’s and Pearls dance.

The Band (800x591)

Chris Gill & the Sole Shakers! – “You know I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble.”  Once again thank you, KQ. I looked so good shaking it because it all stayed in one place. And when it was shaking there wasn’t a whole lot of shaking going on all over the place like Jell-O. “I got that boom boom that all the boys chase. All the right junk in all the right places.”

Leslie Gore Tex and The Twins – Do tell! I do not know which one of you Tarleton twins is the most handsome!

Pajamas & Pearls Twins (800x600)

Well, that seems to be all of the pictures I have from the dance. Until the other pictures come in, I shall deny everything else.  I do hope the professional photographer captured me and woman doing the full blown Tina Turner dance, including head shakes to Rolling on the River. Thanks again, KQ for those strong legs.

As we were leaving, we caught a couple of The Fifty-Shades of Hay Queens. Wouldn’t Martha Jean’s Fifty Shades of Grey Goose hat look fabulous with these ensembles?

Fifty Shades of Hay (599x800)

We were keenly disappointed to learn from them that we had missed the award winning Little Bay Sea Queens from Rockport-Fulton, Texas doing a fully choreographed number to Abba’s Dancing Queen in the karaoke room.

But it was time to hit the hay because Saturday was the Zippity Do Dah Parade.  So until tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2015 – The Sweet Potato Queen Bathrobe Brunch

Monday, March 30, 2015 – The Sweet Potato Queen Bathrobe Brunch

Before we continue with our Sweet Potato Queen (SPQ) trip, please join me as my friend, RL and I share a brief moment of thought regarding the women’s NCAA Tournament – “Notre Dame Sucks.” And now back to the story of our SPQ weekend.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and it was the Bathrobe Brunch. I think that was about the best Palm Sunday service I have been to in my entire 66 years.  Number one, you could wear your bathrobe and number two there was food that would bring the Methodists and Presbyterians to tears it was so good.  And number three, you could eat while the service was going on.

Bathobe Brunch

I had always believed that God has a sense of humor.  I mean, really. Look around your neighborhood.  Heck, look around your family. But now I know He does and He sent it down in the form of Jill Conner Browne (JCB) to share it with all of us.

But first there was music. I always liked the music part of the services. Lord, and I mean that literally, thank you for sending this man and his voice not only to us, but to the world.


When he opened his mouth and songs of praise flew out, that room filled with about a million angels and butterflies all flying around and into your heart. Can I have a Halleluiah! Amen and a Praise It Up!

Of course, it can’t be a churchy kind a thing unless there is an announcement or two. “The Sweet Potato Queen musical will premier in Houston, Texas next March at the Theatre under the Stars.  Dates have not been set. Melissa Etheridge wrote the music…” I quit listening after that because I was blocking out the entire month of March 2016 on my smart phone calendar app to save the date.


Then it was time for the sermon or the talking part.  This was great too because it was short. JCB talked about things like loving and sharing, and giving and helping and all those kind of things you should have learned at home when you were growing up.  If you didn’t, your Mama didn’t raise you right.  But you got a second chance to learn it from the Bible and believing and having faith.

Then she and Randall Wallace, (Zippity Do Dah Parade Marshall and author of Braveheart – yes, that would be the Academy Award winning one, with Mel Gibson) talked about being brave, having heart and treasuring freedom.

Wallace & Browne

It takes courage to make that triad in your life. By this time, everybody is crying with tears of joy, love and happiness. And most of all for the money raised for Baston Children’s Hospital in hopes of providing things sometimes as simple as a  van large enough to allow all of the permanent residents of the hospital to travel at the same time to a park to experience the freedom of being outside on a beautiful day. It is all for the chirren.

Then it was time for the benediction. Now this is where I know and believe that God has not only the greatest power, but also the greatest sense of humor. Remember, these are the Sweet Potato Queens and there are hundreds of us in the ballroom. Queens from all over the United States united in our Sweet Potato Queenships.

Then Jill Conner Browne says “Now let’s stand and sing Never Wear Panties to a Party if you want have real good time.*


I hope your firewalls, filters, virus protections and other cyber condoms are strong because that is gonna pick up a lot cyber crap.

*lyrics by Kacey Jones from the album Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Box of Music.  Amazon.com


Late Sunday Night or early Monday Morning

Late Sunday Night or early Monday Morning

Thankfully, I have safely returned from Jackson, Mississippi and the Sweet Potato Queen (SPQ) 2015 Zippy Do Dah Parade. It is late, but the adrenalin continues to rush through my body after such a fabulous weekend.

There are currently 360 photos downloading from my camera card.  This does not count the number on the other camera card that was on the trip (X) or any of the pics on the phones (3Y). Therefore – 360 + X + 3Y + $100 of photos we purchased from the professional photographer of just the three of us, and then the CD of pictures of everybody else for the whole weekend  equals one big ass bunch of pictures.  How you like that math, Mr. Wax?

So while we are waiting for the first load of 360 Big Ass Bunch of Pictures (BABOP) on my card to down load I will give brief summary of the first few hours of SPQ Day One.   Yeah – like when have you ever known me to brief?

Niece1 (N1) and I traveled safely to Shreveport on Thursday and stopped for the night. Friday we drove onward to Jackson.  As soon as we crossed the Mississippi state line, I fetl dumr aredie.  I think my IQ dropped almost 14 points in the first mile.

But we arrived at The Hilton in Jackson in plenty of time to prepare for the Big Ass Hat Luncheon and Contest. We had just pulled under the porta chasee (fancy, French sounding name  for a  porch) of The Hilton when a giant suburban carrying four women, with the back filled to the top, a packed luggage on rack on top and hauling a small trailer, with a their SPQ chapter logo painted on the side, pulled in behinds us. N1 and I both said “Oooh, we’re gonna need a lot more clothes and we are waaaayyy under dressed.” But as the third member of our group waiting for us in the hotel says “Sometimes life should be led like a cavalry charge” and off we went. After a quick champagne toast to celebrate our arrival our group of three was complete.

Shortly after arriving and getting settled, a woman burst into our room and exclaimed, “Damn I got so drunk last night, I forgot to take my zanax.”  The third member of our group introduced us to her friend, Martha Jean.  Martha Jean then put her big ass hat on her head to show us.  It was a lamp shade called Fifty Shades of Gray Goose so aptly named she said because  “This book is so bad,  it made me want to drink so much I would put a lamp shade on my head.”  I had no idea who she was, but I liked her immediately.

Then after further extensive oohing and aahing over the fabulous head gear so graciously made for by member three of our group JP, we quickly donned our headgear and were off to Sal and Mooky’s. Please note:  Our Big Ass Hats will receive posts dedicated exclusively to their design and creation.

Well, it appears the first Big Ass Bunch of Pictures have downloaded.

So, deny it until there are pictures. Take a look.


Her Royal Highness – Jill Conner Browne

50 Shades of Gray (800x600)

Martha Jean being interviewed by TV media

Peacokc Queens (800x600)

The Peacock Queens

A Rose (600x800)

A rose by another name would smell so sweet.

Big Ass Hat (800x600)

Me and N1

Well, more tomorrow and the rest of the week and maybe to tax day.  I must go cream my face. Night or morning or whatever.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – Jackson!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – Jackson!

Today we continue our discussion of the two greatest authors from Mississippi. Since I learned that Florence King is not truly from the state, we are back to two greats. Yesterday we talked about Jill Conner Browne and today we will discuss William Cuthbert Faulkner. Tell me Cuthbert is not a family name.

Since I have to prepare for going to the Zippity Do Dah Parade, and everybody has heard of William Faulkner, I am going to skip the discussion and draw a chart showing the comparison and contrast between Jill Conner Browne and William Cuthbert Faulkner.  I know that comparing and contrasting those two is like apples and oranges, oil and water, or any other dichotomous elements resulting from extreme differentiating social factors. Sorry did not realize my doctor hat was still on for that last part.

William Cuthbert Faulkner v Jill Conner Browne


William Cuthbert Faulkner (WCF) Jill Conner Browne (JCB)
Born and raised in Mississippi Born and raised in Mississippi
Writes about The South Writes about The South
WCF wrote in not easy to read, and even more difficult to comprehend long, convoluted, passages in a circular writing style with sentences that sometimes ran together creating giant run on sentences, that could go on for pages like this one. JCB writes simple, easy to read and easy to understand sentences like this one.
Reading level for his works – nerdy American Literature majors and really smart people who like to read about The South. Reading level for her works – Mississippi state reading standard.  Note: “We’re not Mississippi!”
Laugh out loud only you when finally recognize just how dark the humor lies in As I Lay Dying. Laugh out loud – early and often.
Creates a host of crazy characters representing the essence of Southern culture. Creates host of crazy characters representing the essence of Southern culture.  FYI – we call it Southern Hospitality.
Had a mustache Probably has a mustache, but waxes
Is required reading for high school.  Oh the sound and the fury the chillren make when it is assigned. Should be required reading for everyone.  It would explain a lot.


Count down to the Zippity Do Dah is now T minus 2 and counting.  I must go work on my queen wave.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – I’m Going to Jackson!

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.

Chapters include:

  • 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: