Jimmy Hall is a man who has had many experiences and acquired many friendships along the pathway of his life. Former football player on a championship Ole Miss team and an eminent stage and television actor, singer, poet and entrepreneur, Hall also has had plenty of great memories — but none as lasting and indelible as with a young man named William Eggleston.
The two met at Ole Miss in the 1960s in the Art School on campus, Hall making his presence known there for the sake of his then girlfriend, Pat McRaney, who was an art major.
The two young men were as different from each other as night and day; Hall having grown up in Tupelo, Miss. from working class family roots and Eggleston the Mississippi Delta area with the rich history of plantation planters in his background. But the two did have a few things in common as their friendship slowly developed; they liked creating their own fun and they both had great dreams for their future.
Hall’s book: William Eggleston and Me, chronicles the two young men as they travel to New York City and make their mark on the Big Apple, then meet up again in the 1990s in Oxford and Memphis to rekindle a bond and a friendship that was forged some thirty years before.
Hall dedicated the book to his children and to his long-time friend William (Bill) Eggleston.
Eggleston went on to become one of the greatest photographers in the world and has been touted as the “Father of Color Photography” and Hall, who had been an Ole Miss National champion football player under Coach Johnny Vaught, went on to become a critically acclaimed actor in New York.
“Bette Midler and I replaced a couple of people at the same time in the rock musical called ‘Salvation,’ Hall said. “She had just left ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ The play ran for about another eight months. I usually did a couple of plays a year in New York.”
Hall also had success as a television actor, appearing in several TV series and a movie.
“I was in ‘Of Mice and Men’ on ABC,” he said, “and ‘Dark Shadows’ and also on the soap opera ‘The Edge of Night’ for about a year.”
These days you’ll find Hall living the warm, sunny life in Santa Monica, California. Now retired and living in an apartment on Ocean Avenue, adjacent to the famous Santa Monica Pier, Hall rides the roller coaster from time to time and enjoys being next door to Chez Jay, a Santa Monica landmark Bar/Restaurant since 1959 alive with stories of the rich and famous.
“I’m currently taking three courses with Santa Monica Emeritus College in singing, piano and writing,” Hall said. “I’m working on a homeless project and until recently I was a member of the Malibu Stage Rep Company. So, I definitely stay busy. From my balcony I can see brand new Tongva Park with its beautiful landscape and water falls. I walk through the park every day to workout at my fitness club, where I’m on the advisory board. I also enjoy the Third Street Promenade with its street people from all over the world and its inspiring street musicians. Santa Monica is a special place.”
Hall has three children, two daughters and a son that are the lights of his life.
“My son, Angel Sedgwick is a Lt. Colonel in the British Intelligence,” Hall said. “My daughter, Kate Hall graduated with honors from CalArts and recently had a show at the Getty L.A. Museum and she’s a drummer in a popular band, The Dunes. My youngest daughter, Brittany Hall is attending Pasadena College studying design and is a manager for Lush Cosmetics. I practice Eckhart Tolle’s spiritual teachings about living in the now and I read HottyToddy.com every day in my email. I’m 77 years old, live alone and am still looking for a girlfriend. Hotty Toddy! Go Rebels!”
To order this amazing man’s book about the lives of two young men from Ole Miss, visit Amazon.com.
Angela Rogalski is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.