ERROL CASTENS: Remember buying drugs from Oxford's mayor?

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Your Oxford roots are deep if you … … know why a 4-way intersection is called “3-Way.” … don’t look puzzled when someone talks about circling the Square (which is actually a heptagon).
… bought ice, not a condo, at the Ice House.
… tried to impress a date at Ruby Chinese by using chopsticks.
… dropped in for the lunch special at Isiah’s Busy Bee.
… sipped a lemonade at Corndog 7 during a break from shopping.
… have eaten more sandwiches at Checquer’s than at Checkers.
… breakfasted on grits at Smitty’s long before shrimp pushed grits onto supper menus.
… can remember going years without seeing a deer in town.
… shopped for cornflakes and canned goods at Mid-Town.
… bought plumbing or a prescription on the Square.
… slept off a drinking spree or bought a quart of chicken salad where residents now pay their taxes.
… called on John Leslie at City Hall or at his drugstore.
… bought an oil filter on the corner of Lamar and University.
… got a lawnmower fixed where now they fix lattes.
… remember when Shoney’s was the first thing off the highway.
… bought a couch from Shine Morgan.
… lived at the Big House.
… lay on a blanket at Avent Park to watch the Independence Day fireworks.
… drove on the 1200 block of Madison Avenue.
… bought an engagement ring at Elliott’s.
… remember when there was no Oxford Conference for the Book, Double Decker Festival, Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference – or Square Books.
… remember when the J.D. Williams Library faced the Lyceum.
… had a mailbox at the Federal Courthouse.
… ever made a last-minute dash to Walmart before it closed for the night.
… watched a movie or played miniature golf at Eastgate Shopping Center.
… remember when “18” was a jersey number, not a speed limit.
… ate cheesecake at the Hoka.
… know that the Gin’s name referred to bales, not bottles.
… remember when “going to the Library” had no connotations of beverages.
… have never pronounced the county “LAH-fay-ETTE” or the river “Yuh-KOH-nuh.”
… skated where Sunday School meets now.
… have ever had a phone number starting with 234.
… ever tailgated – with an actual, honest-to-goodness tailgate – in the Grove.
… drove to the Pontotoc County line on a two-lane highway.
… knew Larry Brown when he was a firefighter.
… cringed when you met another vehicle under the railroad overpass.
… have seen the End of the World.
Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens has lived only 21 years in Oxford. Contact him at

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