The true identity of Natchez, Mississippi lies not in its antebellum past, but in a modern mix of colorful characters and locals.
The more steps I walk here, though, I realize the scenery merely serves as backdrop. The true fabric of Natchez is woven with her people, stitched by her personalities. They are Natchez. They are the town’s claim-stakers, pledging fierce loyalty. A few recently arrived to sow new seeds. Most live root-bound by previous generations. All are gracious hosts who love telling fascinating stories to total strangers. They are like players taking center stage in a production called Natchez. Enter the wizened, comedic shoe shiner; the bartender who resembles Robert E. Lee; or the dapper antiques magnate, for starters. Ask one question of any resident, especially the ones I encountered, and find yourself pulled into the show. Give yourself over to Natchez. When she calls you to return, you’ll be sure to answer.