Mississippi Moments Podcast

Mississippi Moments, a weekly radio program airing on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is a partnership between the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and MPB.

The Podcasts

Bill Barnes of Jackson joined the Coast Guard the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. In this episode, he recalls his time in the Pacific spent aboard a Patrol boat. Barnes also describes the process of arming and testing the new craft before heading out to sea.

After serving two years in the Pacific Theater, Barnes returned stateside for a new duty: helping develop rescue methods still used by the Coast Guard today.

Podcast Extra

At the beginning of the war, the Coast Guard didn’t have enough uniforms, weapons or even beds for the influx of new recruits.

Barnes recalls going to extremes to try and keep warm.


Direct download: MSM_439.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 4:59 PM

Gene Stork, of Moss Point, began working as a commercial fisherman in 1954. In this episode he recalls being part of a “mother boat” crew and how they worked together to catch fish.

He also discusses how Coastal fishermen would try to avoid catching redfish over a certain size because the larger fish are the egg layers. Stork feels the increased popularity of blackened redfish in Louisiana led to overfishing.

Stork learned how to fish for flounder through years of experience.  He remembers wading for miles through the shallow waters of the Gulf trying to catch the elusive fish.

In a Podcast Extra, Stork talks about how during the winter months, his attention turned from fish to oysters.  He describes how he gathered oysters and how he and his wife would clean and shuck them by the gallon.


Direct download: MSM_438.mp3
Category:Gulf Coast history -- posted at: 6:15 PM

The BP Oil Spill of 2010 generated stress and financial hardships throughout the Gulf Coast fishing industry. In this episode, Daniel Nguyen of the Mary, Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation discusses how that stress affected the Vietnamese Fishing Community.

After the BP Oil Spill, Congressman Joseph Cao formed a rapid response team to assist the Vietnamese fishing community. Team member Tuan Nguyen recalls those hectic days of community service and the cities they visited.

While BP hired many out-of-work fishermen to assist with the clean-up following the oil spill of 2010, some Vietnamese fishermen were left out due to the language barrier. Peter Nguyen explains how he assisted those fishermen to find work during the recovery.

Podcast Extra:

Tuan Nguyen recounts with pride, the ways the rapid response team assisted, not only the Vietnamese community during the months following the oil spill, but the entire Gulf Coast.


Direct download: MSM_437.mp3
Category:Gulf Coast history -- posted at: 7:44 PM

On April 20th, 2010, an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, in the Gulf of Mexico, led to the largest crude oil spill in history. In this episode, commercial fisherman Peter Floyd recalls being confident that the Gulf Coast would survive. Joe Jewell of the Mississippi Dept. of Marine resources discusses the “triple threat” faced by Coastal fishermen.

After Hurricane Katrina, Crab fisherman Louie Lipps opened his own seafood restaurant in Frenier, Louisiana.  Five years later, the BP oil spill brought a whole new set of challenges to the Gulf Coast seafood industry. Lipps remembers how his business was affected.

Podcast Extra

According to Peter Floyd, optimism is trait inherent in all successful fishermen.  He feels that dire predictions in the media did more harm to the seafood industry than the spill itself.


Direct download: MSM_436.mp3
Category:Gulf Coast history -- posted at: 4:09 PM

For decades the Illinois Central Rail Road Maintenance Shop was one of the largest employers in McComb. In this episode, Ray Ward remembers signing on as a shop apprentice back in 1953. Ward recalls working in the car shop and the assembly line-like manner they used to rebuild the cars.

In order to save money and improve safety, Illionois Central offered cash rewards for employee suggestions at its McComb Maintenance Shop. Ward describes how the program worked and some suggestions he made for his job.

Podcast Bonus: When he wasn’t working, Ward loved riding horses.  He relates how one late night ride turned into a practical joke on his co-workers.


Direct download: MSM_435.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 1:29 PM

MPB is currently conducting their Spring funding drive during which time there will be no Mississippi Moments aired. New episodes of Ray Ward discussing his years with the McComb railroad maintenance shop will begin airing the week of April 20th and the podcast will drop that morning. Thank you!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:19 PM

Prior to the development of passenger jet planes, Americans travelled by train. 

In this episode, Sam Page remembers when the Panama Limited came through Summit, Mississippi for the first time.

Years later, as ticket agent for the Illinois Central station in McComb, MS, Sam Page recalls being a very busy man selling tickets to destinations near and far. He discusses how many Mississippians rode The City of New Orleans to visit family members in Chicago, St. Louis and other northern cities.

The streamlined passenger train known as the Green Diamond ran from Chicago to St. Louis until 1947, when it was moved to Mississippi and renamed the Miss Lou.

Sam Page reminisces about riding the Miss Lou from McComb to New Orleans.

PODCAST EXTRA: Page discusses his time with the railroad and the people who depended on the trains for transportation like legendary baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean.

 PHOTO: The Illinois Central Green Diamond later moved to Jackson, MS and renamed the Miss Lou.

Direct download: MSM_434.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 3:21 PM

Before there was Whole Foods, there was wild foods. As a young man, Alonzo Brandon of Port Gibson, hunted in order to help feed his family. In this episode he describes how he would outsmart the squirrels that tried to hide from him.

After working all day, Alonzo Brandon would often go coon hunting. He recalls waiting until dawn some nights for a treed coon to finally come down.  He also discusses his weapon of choice, the 22 caliber rifle. 

Brandon’s family raised hogs as an additional source of protein.  In this podcast extra, he remembers how the hogs would also hunt to supplement their diets.


Direct download: MSM_433.mp3
Category:foodways -- posted at: 3:22 PM

Dan McDaniel grew up in Bude, Mississippi. In this episode, he discusses why the town’s barbershop was central to the lives of so many. He also recalls the sawmill work whistle and the men walking home for lunch.

 Today, most of us take indoor plumbing for granted.  McDaniel remembers when plumbing was a luxury.

Because lumber was transported by train, all sawmill towns were connected by rail. McDaniel explains that back then, passenger trains were the most common way to travel.

Photo Credit: Gil Hoffman Collection

Direct download: MSM_432.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 4:37 PM

Family history is our personal connection to the past. In this week's episode, Ethel Patton D’Anjou of Claiborne County tells the story of her great grandfather’s escape from slavery. She also shares the tale of how her great grandmother, a native American was spared from the Trail of Tears by her birth parents and ended up in Mound Bayou.

PODCAST EXTRA: Alcorn University was founded in 1871 to educate the descendants of former slaves. Ethel Patton D’Anjou recounts her grandparent’s decision to come to Alcorn and open their own business. She hopes that her family’s history continues to provide inspiration for generations to come.


Direct download: MSM_431.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 3:13 PM