JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A new mural in Jackson features the likenesses of Medgar Evers, Thalia Mara, Davis Banner and Eudora Welty.
I have been a fan of Welty for a long time. She’s one of Mississippi’s best writers. Her home in Jackson is open for tour most days.
The house in Jackson was Welty’s home from her teens until her death in 2001. It’s just across the street from Belhaven College on Pinehurst Street. The home is a museum of sorts today. It’s been left much as it was when she lived and wrote there.
The house came to mind the other day when I got a text from a relative. They wanted suggestions of places to take the kids on some day trips around Mississippi. I wrote a list of things from Ship Island to Elvis’ Birthplace, but I didn’t put in the Eudora Welty House because I didn’t know if the kids are readers. And people who are not readers probably wouldn’t know Welty.
Her stories are range from funny to compassionately insightful. I never got to meet Welty. She was one of several Mississippians right here at home that I wish I could have met, buy my friend, Willie Morris, met her. He wrote “My Dog Skip,” in case you need a reminder, and he was greatly influenced by her.
“I once told Eudora that when I first read her short story “The Worn Path,” I was in about the 7th or 8th grade. And I said to myself in some kind of mystical way, ‘I want to be a writer.’ And I told Eudora that years later and she said, ‘Well, I’m glad,’ in her usual warm and courteous way,” said Morris.
Do they still read Eudora Welty in junior high? If not, maybe we ought to throw a story or two in and see who else discovers something life changing about themselves from a character written by the lady who lived on Pinehurst Street in Jackson.
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