In The 'Velvet Ditch': HuffPost's Listen To America Tour Goes To Mississippi

Jenna Amatulli

HuffPost is driving across the country for our Listen to America road trip. We’ll be visiting 25 cities along the way.

“Listen to America: A HuffPost Road Trip” made its third stop in Oxford, Mississippi, a city rich in charm, literature, and history. Oxford is the home of the famed Ole Miss, acclaimed authors William Faulkner and John Grisham, and a vivacious music scene.

While in Oxford, HuffPost organized an event in the city’s geographic and cultural center, known locally as “the square.” We listened to the stories of locals in Off Square Books, ate at Ajax, and learned what makes Oxford work from Mayor Robyn Tannehill, and journalist Curtis Wilkie. 

There’s a phrase that crops up all over Mississippi, particularly in Oxford, that describes life there as a “velvet ditch.” A local business owner tells us the expression means “a comfortable place that’s hard to leave.”

Suffice to say, we found ourselves deep in the velvet ditch and not in any rush to leave. Take a look at our time there for yourself:

Check out if we’re coming to your town here.

 

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The HuffPost tour bus rolls into Oxford, Mississippi, on Sept. 15, 2017, as part of "Listen To America: A HuffPost Road Trip." The outlet will visit more than 20 cities on its tour across the country.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The HuffPost Tour bus pulls up in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse on it's visit to Oxford, Mississippi.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

People surround the HuffPost tour bus during the visit to Oxford, Mississippi.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Sam Levine interviews Julia Tatum while her dog Bentley sits on the couch with them inside the HuffPost tour bus.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Bentley the dog visits HuffPost bus while in Oxford, Mississippi.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

B.C. Crawford speaks with Jenna Amatulli during an interview in the Off Square Books store.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Barbie Gates, a pet nanny, takes some dogs for a ride in the back of her Volkswagon Beetle.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The front of the William Faulkner House in Oxford, Mississippi.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

One of the typewriters of William Faulkner in Rowan Oak also known as the William Faulkner House.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The phone William Faulkner received word on that he had won the Nobel Prize.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The outline of a book written on the walls in the William Faulkner House.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The William Faulkner House grounds.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

A detail of weathered wood on corner of a barn on The William Faulkner House property.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Hillary Frey introduces journalist Curtis Wilkie, who will interview Mayor Robyn Tannehill during the "What Makes Oxford Work" event at the Off Square Books store in Oxford.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Journalist Curtis Wilkie asks questions of Mayor Robyn Tannehill.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Mayor Robyn Tannehill answers audience questions at the Off Square Books store in Oxford.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Journalist Curtis Wilkie listens to questions posed by audience members.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

The audience listens as journalist Curtis Wilkie speaks with Mayor Robyn Tannehill.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

HuffPost leaves Oxford, Mississippi, with the setting sun headed for Memphis, Tennessee.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.