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A Friday Evening in Jackson, Tennessee

I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner in Brownsville, so I headed out Highway 70 from Bartlett, and stopped in Mason, Tennessee to see if there were any announcements about upcoming events now that the pandemic seemed to be waning. To my surprise, there were several events coming up, including a retirement party for the Zodiac A’s, the local softball team in Mason for 35 years, and a community gospel concert at Fredonia Missionary Baptist Church. The biggest event coming was the July 4 Mason Community Family Reunion sponsored by the southern soul artist Terry Wright, for which I had already pre-purchased tickets.

However, in Brownsville, I could not reach my friend on the phone, and after driving around the town for a half hour or so, I headed on to Jackson, Tennessee. First, I drove by Reggie’s Bar-B-Que to pick up some bags of their pork rinds, which are unique and unlike any other brand, and then I headed from the east end of town toward downtown. Along Whitehall Street, I came to an old and seemingly-abandoned motel which seemed frozen in time. I decided to stop and photograph it, and to my surprise, an elderly couple came out of one of the rooms, so apparently the motel wasn’t quite as abandoned as it seemed.

Downtown, I pulled up to the Blacksmith Bar and Grill, and, faced with the prospect of eating dinner by myself, I posted a message to any of my Jackson friends on Facebook to meet me up at the restaurant. To my surprise, one of my friends from Huntsville responded, Codie G, who was in town doing contract work for the U.S. Army. We had a decent time catching up with one another over dinner, and then, resisting the temptation to run by Green Frog Coffee, I hit the road back to Bartlett.


  1. Chelius H. Carter

    That was unexpected. The “ZODIAC A’s” in Mason, TN????

    Back in the 1970s, I worked for Millington Telephone Company, who owned the Mason exchange and for several years, was singly responsible for keeping Mason and Stanton in contact with the world. I got to know EVERY PLACE in that extremely rural corner of West Tennessee.

    I remember being amused by a clubhouse on the beyond the northwestern edge of Mason – out near Old Trinity Church; the clubhouse had a homemade baseball field and backstop with a crudely hand-painted sign on the exterior: “ZODIAC A’s.”

    I have not thought about that in over 40 years.

    Chelius H. Carter

    1. admin

      You should check out Zodiac Park now. It has been greatly improved and expanded over the past year, with a permanent outdoor stage, and a greatly expanded snack bar with a covered dining area. On July 4, bluesman Terry Wright who is from Fayette County just outside of Mason held a large blues show there. Unfortunately, it was a track show, and I left early. When there are no musicians, I lose interest quickly.

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