John Cofield’s Oxford and Ole Miss: “Swipe Your Card With The Folks You Know”

Courtesy of Jim Hendrix.
Photo courtesy of Jim Hendrix.

If you just like Oxford some, then you probably don’t give it much thought. If you love Oxford and know it is a special place, then you don’t have to think about it much. Because unlike the casual passer-through, you know the men and women with the local store’s keys in their pockets. They are the local Lafayette County business owners, they are us. Actions speak louder than thoughts. Think about the people you know, the ones with kids you know, the ones with parents you know and knew.

Toccopola is in Pontotoc County with part of its heart in Lafayette. Billy Ray, Paula and Shane at Brown’s Dairy are from Yocona and Tula. It takes the whole county supporting the whole county.

Knowing I’ll leave many out, John Currence pays all his property taxes out of his small Oxford office, and not some big corporate gig in Atlanta or Charlotte. Tony Mize is the embodiment of his and our long gone moms and dads, right there at the Beacon. Two Freeland’s still practice law in Oxford, remember that. Richard and Lisa Howorth, Oxford power couple, enough said. Pizza Bob Whiteaker’s kids and grandkids still make a mean stromboli at Pizza Den. Handy Andy vs. Rebel Barn on bar-b-que? Try both and decide!

On November 8th if you got out there and voted with the feeling that above all it was your American duty to the dream, then apply that same love to your hometown. Swipe your card with the folks you know, the local business owners. It is your Oxford duty.


John Cofield is a writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer, Jack Cofield. His grandfather, J.R. “Colonel” Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was the Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well.

Stay tuned for more information on Cofield’s forthcoming book: Oxford, Mississippi ~ The Cofield Collection — a pictorial history book with John’s writing on the history to go along with the photos.

Contact John at

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