Downtown Karla Brown Stumbles Over Journal Entry On First Trip To Natchez – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper



NATCHEZ – Karla Brown’s story of discovering Natchez, now her home, is a fascinating one that begins in 2003.

As a child growing up in Scio, Oregon, Brown suffered from daily seizures and at one point in her life was taking 21 medications a day to help control them.

The day after graduating from high school in 1981, Brown underwent brain surgery at Seattle University Hospital, which was a success and changed his life. She hasn’t had a seizure since.

Brown set out to travel the country to celebrate his 20 years crisis free. During her trip from Seattle to Washington, DC, she visited Natchez.

This week, she shared with us her diary entry of her visit here from March 17-19, 2003, on her walk across the country, which amounts to a love letter to the people of Natchez and County of Adams.

Brown returned to Natchez in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and worked in a temporary job for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In 2006, she moved to Alaska and began working on the Klondike Express, which offers day cruises to visit the glaciers of Alaska.

In 2013, Brown returned to Natchez and opened her business, Downtown Karla Brown, 512 Franklin St., inside the consignment store, which is a shuttle and tour service.

She said she still loved Natchez, even though she admits she has the travel bug.

“I would like to have a motorhome one day and hit the road. This is how I want to retire, ”said Brown.

The letter:

Natchez, Mississippi, March 17-19, 2003

I had a great time in Natchez, a very historic town along the Mississippi River. A friend I had met in Jackson, MS, had made some contacts for me in advance, and through her I ended up contacting Nancy, the CEO of Natchez Children’s Home. Nancy had made many contacts for me and had set up a place for me to stay, and several speaking engagements.

While I was there in Natchez, I stayed in a big, big, big old house owned by one of the board members of the children’s home. (Kathy B.’s mother’s house) This house was HUGE, and I was the only one there.
Joanne got off Jackson and spent a day with me. While I was there I was able to give a talk at the Senior Center, another at the Children’s Home, one at a Lions reunion, another at Trinity Episcopal School, and again at Trinity Episcopal School. ‘an evening religious service. The Lions club donated to the Epilepsy Foundation and one of its members owns a sporting goods store. He told me to come and get a free pair of shoes, which I did with pleasure and gratitude.

Another member of the Maison des enfants board of directors owns a Taco Bell and he gave me $ 20 in free Taco Bell gift certificates. It also got Joanne and I free entry to the Historic Natchez Pageant, a play that takes you back in time through Natchez’s past history. The contest was a big play, and I especially enjoyed seeing it. Also, while I was in Natchez, the director of Churches Chicken (on MLK Dr) told me that I could come and eat there for free as often as I wanted.

Another time, as I was walking through a part of town called “Under the Hill,” a reporter I had visited that morning walked past me, then backed up, backed up and me. said to “jump in”. She then transported me to the restaurant that she and her husband own and fed me for lunch!

And while I was there Joe Mitchell, director of development at the children’s home, made sure all of my needs were met and took me everywhere to all these meetings. As you can see the people of Natchez were extremely hospitable and catered for every conceivable need. Natchez will always be one of my favorite places just because of all the great people I have met there. Natchez, a city with a great history, great people and genuine southern hospitality. I was so lucky to be there!

While I was there, the director of the Senior Center made contact with a church in Sibley, the next town I was heading to. As I was about to leave the phone rang and it was Linda, a lady who overheard me speaking at church. She said that she and her mother owned a restaurant that I would pass by that day and should stop there for lunch. “Mammy’s Cupboard” is a restaurant shaped like Aunt Jemimah’s syrup bottle. The dome of the restaurant is the Lady’s Skirt – a huge statue built in 1940 that is a beloved landmark on Highway 61 south of Natchez. Linda and her mom Doris served me a wonderful roast pork loin dinner with muscadine glaze, garden rice, southern green beans, salad and cornbread with broccoli, sweet tea , then finished it off with a large piece of pie. I especially enjoyed visiting Linda, Doris and their staff, and as I walked out the door they handed me an envelope with $ 40 in it. When I arrived at the Rehoboth Church of God in the Church of Christ in Sibley, Pastor Elijah Lewis Sr. had left a note on the table, a basket full of fresh fruit and bottles of water waiting for me.

The people here are so nice!


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