Jerel Levanway is a ghost. At least if he’s doing his job he is. The 38 year old film industry freelancer is the assistant location manager for Hollywood’s latest block buster, ‘The Help’, opening nationwide today. The tedious ‘behind the scenes’ details are what you see in the scenes and Levanway had a hand in making sure the process ran smoothly. “I spent hours in the City permit office”, he said, “doing ‘creative math.’” It’s those calculations that led to pieces of the film being left behind. “The businesses wanted the signs, and it really makes that part of Fondren look authentic.”
When the production came to town last fall, local ties, Levanway said, helped to set the stage. “Tate (Taylor) and Brunson (Green) – director and producer – are both from here and knew what they wanted”, he said. “The locations were spelled out in the book and we didn’t have to find a Brent’s”. But working with Fondren businesses to Continue reading “Levanway ‘Helps’ Bring Fondren to Film” »
This summer, Sal & Mookie’s has enjoyed working with an amazing crop of college age kids who have been slinging New York pizza, scooping ice cream treats & making great tips while doing it. Starting in mid-August, the Fondren restaurant will lose many of these talented servers, and will need to find replacements. If you know someone who you think would excel in ther environment, then please, send them to Sal & Mookie’s. They will be hiring talented DAY service staff. This means a 10:00 a.m. start for the lunch shift. An application can be downloaded by clicking here. Applicants can arrange a job interview by contacting JC@SalandMookies.com.
What do you do when Hollywood comes calling? If you are William Wallace Salon and S Moak Salon in Fondren, you ask ‘when and where do you want me’?! That was the opportunity presented to Suzanne Moak and Eddie Outlaw over the weekend as the cast of The Help came to Jackson for a benefit screening in Madison. Outlaw said this ten hour day was a ‘flattering’ experience made possible by word of mouth. “A client of Suzanne’s is a friend of (The Help Director) Tate Taylor and they were looking for a team”, he said. Outlaw’s cast included Justin McPherson and Amber Waller, while Moak had Paul Prine and Dustin King. King’s job of makeup and eyelashes was the one Outlaw said “allowed him to have a hand in helping each of the stars get ready”. Continue reading “Fondren Salons Enjoy ‘Brush’ With Fame” »
Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center, Tougaloo College
Fondren architectural firm Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. took home four design awards from two independent juries, the Mississippi chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Brick Industry Southeast, during the AIA Mississippi annual convention in Sandestin, FL. The AIA Mississippi jury was led by architect R. Allen Eskew, FAIA, principal of nationally renowned New Orleans firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. The Jury awarded two merit and two honor awards from forty entries across the state. Continue reading “Duvall Decker Projects Garner Design Awards” »
wall mural at Walker's Drive-In
If art is meant to inspire, then surely Fondren has inspired artists aplenty. We are blessed with a bounty of galleries that feature works of art from local, regional and world-renowned artists. In fact, if collecting art is your thing, you need only spend one afternoon here to choose from the most affordable works to those of the more exclusive price range. Fostering up-and-coming artists has long been a claim to fame for us, but we also provide a home for established artists as well. There’s an abundance of Continue reading “Look No Further: Fondren’s It!” »
Earlier this month, country legend Willie Nelson played Jackson. We kept seeing Twitter and Facebook posts about a cake from Fondren’s own Campbell’s Bakery. We asked owner Mitchell Moore what it was all about and how it came to be…
Miss 103 is celebrating their 30 year anniversary all year long and the culmination was the Willie Nelson concert. They contacted us about giving away cake to first 1,000 people through the door (at the Jackson Convention Complex the night of the show.) Of course we said “yeah,” and in exchange, they’re doing ads for us. So they (Miss 103) said “we can’t guarantee it, but it’s a possibility that if you can also do a special cake for Willie, you can meet him and have your picture made with him.” We tried really hard to make sure it was a ‘Cake Boss’ type of cake, like the TLC reality show, ya know, heavy, everything edible, kind of 3D style. So Continue reading “Tradition Meets Legend: A Cake for Willie” »
The next time you are in a new city, hoping the GPS will guide your way, thank Dr. David L. Powe. In fact, his keen sense of direction could likely get you anywhere – and everywhere. The Chief Administrative Officer of University of Mississippi Medical Center in Fondren is retired – sort of – and is part of a leadership team responsible for the direction of Mississippi’s $1.3 billion city.
At the Young Professional Alliance of Jackson monthly luncheon yesterday, Continue reading “UMMC CAO Gives Direction New Meaning” »
Left, meet right. And somewhere in between, you meet Elizabeth Robinson. The co-owner of Professional Staffing Group and a glass artist says between her third floor office and her basement glass studio, she utilizes her left brain and right brain skills and they “meet at the glass house on the first floor.” She is of course referring to her retail location in Fondren Corner, and says she is unlike the typical artist. “I’m a math person,” she says, “and it comes out in my glass.” She’s also a musician. Robinson was a ‘fence-climbing’ small town girl who played drums and strings at the W in Columbus and put herself through college with a tune or two. She says she interprets her artistic work mathematically and rhythmically. ‘I could dance to this’ someone once told her of her method for creating beautiful breakables like pieces she makes from single ‘blanks.’ “Each person who receives a piece is woven back to another.” Continue reading “Living in Glass Houses: Meet Elizabeth Robinson” »
Stuck. It’s a miserable place for a creative and for Fondren artist Jason Moore, the gestation period may be over. It was nine months ago that the 29 year old Yazoo City native left his nine to five to pursue his passion. “I had gone as long as I could go in that world,” he says, “and drawing was something I always liked.” Graduating from Ole Miss with an English and classics education, Moore says he became physically ill in the day to day grind. With his girlfriend Holly Jackson’s encouragement, he set out to pursue a passion that had been inside since childhood. Moore won a Yazoo City art contest as a 12 year old and the prize was a week long art camp in Jackson. Seventeen years later, pen and watercolor are his tools of the trade, and a natural stress reliever. Jackson, a copywriter, says she sees Jason happier, healthier and more whole as a full time artist. Continue reading “Nine Months to Rebirth: Meet Jason Moore” »
Before and after: it’s his favorite part of the job. Don Egdorf is the Upper Ninth Ward New Orleans native who says his own apartment is living proof of his “work as a hobby” mentality. The 57 year old serves as building superintendent for Peters Development Corporation, overseeing nearly a dozen properties, four of those in Fondren. Spending his junior high years at Gulf Coast Military Academy, Egdorf says he was misunderstood. “I was bored,” he tells us, “and got labeled as falling behind. Today, they’d put me in the gifted class.” And they certainly couldn’t call him bored anymore. His busy job is making sure everything gets done. It’s also his biggest challenge. “Coordinating people,” he says, “can be tricky.”
But it is a remodel that gets his juices flowing. Like his basement apartment in Fondren Corner. With built in fish tanks, a hot tub, and a maze of rooms, Egdorf is always hard at work on the ‘next project.’ He called it a ‘useless warehouse’ before, but now dares to call it ‘one of the nicest apartments in Fondren.’ When Egdorf is not building or coordinating, he’s spending time with the people he loves – like his kids, and complete strangers. “I walk up to people in Rooster’s or Basil’s,” he says, “and just start a conversation. You can do that here. It’s different than anywhere else in Jackson.”