The 20 Best Small Towns in America from Smithsonianmag.com | #20: Oxford, MS
"Named in honor of the British university, Oxford prides itself on being an intellectual oasis, home of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). William Faulkner, who grew up in Oxford and modeled his fictional Yoknapatawpha County on his home, is everywhere. His family house, Rowan Oak, offers tours and showcases Faulkner’s liquor cabinet, including his metal mint julep cup. J.E. Neilson’s department store on the town square has a framed note from the cantankerous author responding to an overdue bill statement. The literary legacy has led to a renaissance of independent bookstores, including the Mississippi landmark Square Books, which showcases the state’s most famous writers, including Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams and John Grisham. Two annual conferences, the spring Oxford Conference for the Book and July’s Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, bring even more writers to town. The other arts are far from neglected; the Oxford Film and Music Festivals in February, plus the town’s proximity to Memphis and Nashville, keep Oxford on the circuit for popular and cutting-edge productions and performers. — AS"
I love/miss Oxford. I will be heading back soon for the Annual Double Decker Arts & Music Festival.
After finals in Oxford, the students would leave and the town would slow to a crawl. The Square’s Christmas lights would sparkle and invite the remaining citizens to enjoy a night on the town. It is peaceful, its is beautiful and it is my favorite time to be in that quirky little town in northern Mississippi.
“Be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid. Ain’t nothing in the woods going to hurt you unless you corner it, or it smells that you are afraid. A bear or a deer, too, has got to be scared of a coward the same as a brave man has got to be.”
— William Faulkner, an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career. He is primarily known and acclaimed for his novels and short stories, many of which are set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, a setting Faulkner created based on Lafayette County, where he spent most of his childhood.