Close to Nowhere

Interesting character

Marjorie Harriett Tyson died last week. Perhaps she was Holly Springs’ most interesting personality.

About 10 or so years ago, she moved from Holly Springs down to my neck of the woods on Hwy. 310.

Most Holly Springs citizens didn’t call her friend, even though she knew everyone and everyone knew her.

I can’t count the times her little car would zoom through a stop sign or out of a side street, full of barking hounds, and nearly crash into me or someone else.

She had too many black and white hounds to count and way more than one person needed.

If you inadvertently walked past her car in Carlisle’s parking lot, you generally got scared to death by her dogs lunging at the windows and barking ferociously.

Harriett had peacocks also at one point. I think that was the first I heard of her -- we ran a photo of her peacocks on the back loading dock of the Sears store on the square.

Harriett grew up on a large plantation near Mt. Pleasant. At some point, she moved away and worked for a while in New York City, as a book editor I think.

She told me a story about going to the opera in New York and her seat was next to Jackie Kennedy Onassis. I hope it was a true story, as I was really impressed.

Harriett was married for a while in New York to Robert Palmer, music critic for the magazine Rolling Stone. He wrote a book about Delta blues, “Deep Blues” and dedicated it to his wife, Harriett.

I bought a copy of the book after Harriett told me about it.

She used to come visit me and talk a while. She often said she was surprised to find someone with a brain living in rural, backwoods Mississippi. I never replied to that, as everyone I knew living on Hwy. 310 had quite nice brains.

When Harriett lived in Holly Springs, she often rode around on her riding lawn mower to visit neighbors. After she moved to the country, a couple times she came the two miles or so to my house on  her riding mower.

Harriett was quite a character and not an endearing one. She tried to borrow money from a lot of people and often abused the term friend. But...

She was extremely bright and we had some fun conversations. Still, she really got on my nerves sometimes.

And yet, the world and Holly Springs are lesser with her passing.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388

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