Greenwood Soul Mate — Dr. Mary Carol Miller
What is “soul?” For us, soul is that special something each person brings to their community, forming a colorful tapestry of stories, talents, cultural experiences and more. Greenwood’s tapestry is composed of dozens of unique individuals who are why the city is the epitome of its mantra – “Delta Spirit, Southern Soul”. Their rich stories and deep connections to the region’s food, music, and history make us who we are as a town and a wonderful place to visit. These are Greenwood’s “Soul Mates.”
Today’s Soul Mate is Dr. Mary Carol Miller, a cultural historian widely known as the expert on anything and everything Greenwood. Inspired by her upbringing in our beautiful town, Dr. Miller has spent her life authoring numerous articles and as many as 14 books on the historic architecture found throughout Greenwood and the entire state of Mississippi. Although she no longer lives here, she’ll always consider Greenwood “home base.”
Dr. Mary Carol Miller has been everywhere from Jackson, Mississippi to Tupelo to as far as Glasgow in Scotland, but no matter where she’s traveled, one thing has always stayed the same: the stories she tells people from all around the world to visit Greenwood, MS.
It’s a call to action near and dear to her heart, as Dr. Miller truly believes there is something here for everyone. From foodies to music lovers, art enthusiasts to history buffs, to those who simply enjoy the great outdoors — with the entire town’s laidback attitude — it’s easy to “find your beat” in Greenwood.
If there was anything she could say to convince people to come to Greenwood, it would be:
For anyone who wants a place with the deepest of traditions and lots of neighbors who can color outside the lines, it’s ideal. There is a creative spirit and a willingness to ‘live and let live,’ which encourages free spirits and a touch of devil-may-care.
We couldn’t agree more. It’s immediately apparent from how highly and enthusiastically Dr. Miller speaks of Greenwood that she has a deep, multigenerational attachment to our town and its unique history.
The stories are endless and often extraordinary, and the three of us felt like they needed to be preserved in some fashion. So, in a nutshell, we have captured moments in time from one very special place for our friends, families and future generations to enjoy.
Although Dr. Miller didn’t initially plan on becoming a writer, despite her mother being a revered newspaper reporter and her sister being a novelist, she eventually felt compelled to the craft through her ever-present fascination with historic architecture that she’s held ever since she was a teenager.
I traveled around Mississippi and discovered more and more ‘untold tales’ about the buildings we all take for granted or have forgotten over the years.
Writing became her way of expressing her love for these structures and communicating this appreciation to others in the hopes that they would feel the same way.
The most rewarding part of what I do is seeing someone immersed in one of my books and feeling like I’ve brightened their day and expanded their awareness of this very special state and town we call home. If my work makes an impact on someone who goes on to salvage an endangered structure or memorialize one already lost, all the better.
It’s this writing that allows Dr. Miller to discuss her favorite aspects of Greenwood so passionately: from the landscape of the Delta, with the Yazoo River “slicing right through the heart of the town,” to the people, whom she describes as endlessly unique and full of stories that defy imagination.
What does “soul” mean to Dr. Miller? To her, it’s looking into each person’s individual passions, talents and quirks and celebrating whatever that may be. Soul is an awareness that each person’s inner light makes up part of a community’s tapestry. Greenwood’s soul is a colorful one sewn throughout its culture, landscape, families, and community relationships that echo across the town’s history. It’s why if Dr. Miller could describe Greenwood in a single word, it would be “unforgettable.”
A soulmate is a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament or a person with whom one has a strong affinity, shared values and tastes, and often a romantic bond. We can’t think of a more apt description of Dr. Mary Carol Miller’s connection to Greenwood, and the community’s feelings in return.