There is Larry Brown, and there is the rest of them. The Oxford Greats, that continue to this day, to arrive on the Square. They “get Oxford”, before they know Oxford got them. But Larry didn’t have to get anything.
William Faulkner is the king, no doubt. But had he been raised on his native soil, then Bill Beckwith would be living south of New Albany in Ecru, not Oxford and Taylor. And there are the Oxford Greats from all points south.
Willie and Barry strolled in via Yazoo City and Meridian, with a drink in one hand and a pen in the other. Tom Franklin came to Oxford for a short stay, 15 years ago. And there is a cast of supporting greats and semi-greats. All former Ole Miss students, now artists, painters, poets, photographers, writers and bohemians. They fell deeply in love with a town’s vibe. They fell for Larry Brown’s native soil.
His bloodline runs deep in Lafayette County. His grandparents are buried there and his grandchildren are playing there now. And there I believe lies the magic. When Larry Brown knew his time had come and his words burned up the page, it was real Lafayette County. And it could only come from an Oxford boy.
Now Larry and “Joe” are coming back home. If Oxford is in your blood, if you, too, have family resting in Lafayette soil, then you owe it to no one other than yourself to go see just how far this Oxford boy has come, and gone. His Oxford star is still rising.
“Joe” will be opening this Friday, at Oxford Commons on Hwy 7. Show times are Friday – Thursday at 1:30, 4:35, 7:15, 9:55pm.
John Cofield is a hottytoddy.com writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer Jack Cofield. His grandfather, “Col.” J. R. Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org