Thursday, December 21, 2006
Mississippi author visits
The Friends of the Marshall County Library were pleased to be able to host Robert Dalby, author of “Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly,” at their Dec. 5 Brown Bag program in the meeting room of the Marshall County Library.
Dalby spent his childhood in Natchez, lived for many years in Tupelo, and now resides in Oxford, so he is particularly qualified to create and populate his fictional town of Second Creek, Mississippi. Many residents of Holly Springs might swear he based Second Creek on “The Springs” but he will laughingly assure you that people all over Mississippi have made the same assumption about their town.
Second Creek is a quirky community, and very proud of if. They actively cultivate quirky, hosting, for example, the Miss Delta Floozie pageant. Contestants in this pageant, as well as the townspeople, have long been aware that modesty of attire and a demure goal of “world peace” will get you nowhere in this competition.
Still, the pageant has the ability to surprise and shake up tradition in Second Creek, which is already embarking on some interesting social and merchandising experiments, in the year in which this story takes place.
Many small communities are energetically seeking ways to keep customers “downtown” in the face of the unquestionable lure of the large box stores being built on surrounding interstate highways.
Second Creek is no exception in this regard, and a group of local widow ladies who cheerfully call themselves
The Nitwitts are determined to help the owner of the local Piggly Wiggly build his business back up. The idea they come up with is to have a professional dance instructor, the very handsome Silver Fox Powell Hampton, dance in the grocery store aisles with customers, while box boys gather up their groceries from their lists. The impact this practice has on the town, on the Piggly Wiggly, and on the members of the Nitwitts themselves, make up the elements of the story.
There are love stories and mysteries along the way as well, and the book is a very, very pleasant read.
Dalby’s second volume of the Second Creek series, “Kissing Babies at the Piggly Wiggly” will be released in August, and the Friends of the Marshall County Library have already booked him to speak about it and sign copies at their September 4, 2007, meeting, kicking off the 2007-08 Brown Bag season.
The public is always welcome to attend any Brown Bag program.
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