Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SxSE: Oxford, Mississippi

The University of Mississippi is almost never called that.  They insist on being referred to as Ole Miss.  The home of the Rebels is located in what has to be one of the two most high-falutin' named towns in the SEC:  Oxford.

♦ Oxford is the 4th closest SEC town to Columbia, 477 miles away (352 air miles).  Ole Miss is in the SEC West Division.

Fun facts about Oxford, MS:
  • Oxford is even smaller than it's Mississippi rival college town of Starkville.  Oxford's 2010 population is listed as 18,916.  The student population runs greater than 16,000.

  • The town was built on land  "ceded " by the Chickasaw in an 1832 treaty.  The founders named it Oxford in hopes of establishing a center of learning.

  • In 1861 the entire student body of Ole Miss left school to join the Confederate Army
Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
Distinguished future Ole Miss alum
♦ There are 2 Chik-fil-a locations in Oxford

Oxpatch (GCS Prank is Here)
Every character needs a stage. For GCSPrank, that stage was a tiny village, wrapped in its myth of literary and historical pedigree. Dropped amidst the emptiness of northern Mississippi, Oxford was irreverently and accurately called Oxpatch, a moniker that framed its attitude and size quite well.
. . .
From oddness to odd comfort to odd distaste, Oxford mutated in my mind. A blanket in the dark, an aquarium during the day; playground in the summer and prison in the winter. I was unimpressed at first sight and unsentimental at the last. Oxford holds its own place in my mind, a curiosity that no longer inspires the need for examination, collecting dust on a mental shelf tucked deep.
♦ Mississippi was the jumping off place for many well known writers, including William Faulker, John Grisham, Willie Morris, Larry Hannah and Larry Brown.  Oxford hosts the annual Oxford Conference for the Book in March, which attracts leading authors from around the world.

♦ The people of Oxford seem to make an inordinately big deal about the fact that they call their town square "The Square".  Which is pretty much what every town calls their square.  It is the center of commercial activity in the town.

Some places to visit before you leave the Ol' 'Oxpatch' (thedmonline.com)
Shots on Faulkner’s Grave.

Pretty self-explanatory.

The rule is go to Faulkner’s grave and pour a shot in a shot glass and toast to good ol’ Faulkner and leave. I don’t know where exactly it originated from but it’s a fun thing to do on a Friday or Saturday.

But warning - now that this article is out, have a DD. I am sure the cops will be looking out for this.
♦ Residents of Oxford and fans of Ole Miss have been accused of having an elitist attitude, comparing themselves to other SEC towns and schools. A few quotes gleaned from the interwebs:
"Ole Miss; Harvard of the South"

"Ole Miss; Where we redshirt Miss Americas"

"Culture versus Agriculture"

"We drive BMW's / You drive tractors"

"We wear polo's / You wear camo"

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