Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

May 2012 archive

Ltd. Originals

Jewelry is meant to tell a story. What impression does a necklace, earrings, and baubles give when meeting someone new for a first time? Well, y’all know when you see pearls that you’re beholding a real lady. And looking fabulous shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag. Ltd. Originals is designing some of the prettiest pieces this side of the Mason Dixon line. When Lila T. Duke isn’t teaching English to middle school students, she loves to create jewelry designs. And this young Southern belle knows how to keep pretty on a budget. All of the Ltd. Originals are reasonably priced, ranging from $18-$58 (and that’s her most expensive necklace made from freshwater pearls!)

Perhaps much of Mrs. Duke’s artwork is inspired by her home town of Savannah. This jewelry collection is handmade with love by LTD herself. To purchase your own custom jewelry direct from Savannah to your door step, check out Ltd. Originals Etsy Store.

Atlanta’s Titanic Survivor

Lily May Peel was born in Atlanta shortly following the Civil War in 1876. This woman had Southern gumption in her veins, as she would be one of the 700 survivors of The Titanic. Miss Peel met Jacques Futrelle, a native Georgian from Pike County, when they were both teenagers and aspiring writers. Jacques was working to make name for himself at The Atlanta Journal then cut his journalism chops reporting for The Boston Post. Alas, he missed Lily May and moved back home to the South. The couple married on July 17, 1895, in Lily’s parents’ Atlanta home on Hilliard Street. They were both 20. Jacques went back to work at The Atlanta Journal to start the newspaper’s first sports desk. After much success, the couple headed north together where Jacques wrote for The New York Herald. He also had a penchant for plays and short stories.

Lily May and Jacques built a house together in Scituate, Mass., which they affectionately called “Stepping Stones”. The couple lived a happy life with their two children, Virginia and Jacques, Jr. a.k.a. John. In the early 1900s Jacques, Sr. took on a position writing for The Boston American while penning fictional stories in his spare time. He created the concept of The Thinking Machine which became a 42-part series published from 1905 to 1912. Lily May also made a name for herself writing articles for magazines and even a few novels. Her most notable work The Secretary of Frivolous Affairs remained on the best-seller for six years.

Jacques and Lily May Futrelle in one of the only photos the couple took together.

In early 1912, Lily May and Jacques traveled to Europe where they were both well-received by society. Virginia and John were 16 and 14, respectively, when their parents went overseas. The children were left home in Massachusetts. Jacques celebrated his last birthday at a party in London the night before The Titanic sailed. He was 37 years old, Lily May was 36, and the couple stayed up all night partying. Instead of sleeping, they packed up their baggage and headed for South Hampton. It’s believed they took either the 9:30 a.m. or (most likely) the 11:30 a.m. train which contained other First Class passengers. On board in the ships’ luxurious accommodations, the Futrelles enjoyed the company of other wealthy socialites including the Astors, the Strauss family (founders of Macy’s department stores) and the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown. A lavish dinner party was thrown on The Titanic’s final night to celebrate the success of Commodore Edward J. Smith, The Titanic’s captain who promised his family he’d retire after the maiden voyage of the ship. The Futrelles shared a meal with Broadway producer Henry Harris and his wife Renee. After the dinner party ended, Lily May retired to their First Class stateroom and Jacques enjoyed himself in The Smoking Room. When the ship ran against the icebergs, Jacques quickly rushed to their chambers to rouse Lilly May and get them to the lifeboats.

Lily May would publish a two-part feature for The Boston Post on April 21 and 22, 1912, just a week after the tragedy. As the tiny boats were loaded, Lily May staunchly refused to be separated from her husband. She wrote, Jacques shouted “For God’s sake go. It’s your last chance, go!” as one of them had to survive for the sake of their children. A crew member would force her into the lifeboat, which was only filled with 14 people and had room for 65. “I didn’t want to leave Jacques,” she wrote. “But he assured me there would be enough boats for all and that he would be rescued later.”

The last time Lily May saw Jacques was sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette with John Jacob Astor looking out over the Atlantic facing their icy inevitability.

Lily May Peel Futrelle coming off The Carpathia

If Jacques had not perished on The Titanic he would have been one of the most formidable Southern writers in American literature, if not the world. Lily May continued to live out her days at Stepping Stones. Every year on April 14, the anniversary of her husband’s death, she would toss a bouquet of flowers into the Atlantic Ocean. Lily May lived to be 91 and is buried in an unmarked grave.

Editor’s note we would like to thank the following source’s for helping us tell the story of how a Southern girl survived The Titanic: http://www.allatsea.co.za/futrelle.htm; http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/lily-may-futrelle.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Futrelle

High Road Creamery

Today we celebrate a sweet success with ice cream. High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbets proprietor Keith Schroeder founded the company in Halloween of 2010. Pretty Southern was lucky to catch up for an interview on the local ice cream label’s launch into grocery stores (including Whole Foods in the Southeast and most recently at The Fresh Market) plus how taking the High Road represents the values of the Southland.

Why did you choose to start an ice cream company?
As a chef, customers always seemed to love the ice creams and sorbets I made, and there seemed to be an emerging taste for adult-driven flavors. I always thought ice cream was a brilliant product – It’s structurally complex. It also happens to be challenging to make really really well. And, on a very personal level, I love ice cream, ices, sorbets, frozen things…

Chef & owner Keith Schroeder

What’s the inspiration behind the name? It was inspired by a moment when I told myself it was time to depart the corporate hotel world. I had to take the “High Road.” The second I said that out loud in my car, the song “The High Road” by the Broken Bells came on the radio. I had goosebumps. The rest is history.

How many flavors have y’all concocted? What are your favorites? We’ve developed well over a 100 flavors at this point. Personal favorites are the Limoncello Sorbet and the Brown Butter Praline.

Which flavors will be available at The Fresh Market? Bourbon Burnt Sugar, French Toast, and Vanilla Fleur de Sel.

Where else can folks sample your ice cream? Whole Foods throughout the South, The Fresh Market, or come down to check out our factory. We give free tours and tastings on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Making sweet treats at High Road Creamery's factory.

Around Atlanta, High Road ice cream is available at Boxcar Grocer, Grant Park Coffee Shop, Cacao Atlanta, Roswell Provisions, and MetroFresh at Botanical Gardens plus many recognized restaurants and hotels throughout the city.


How would you define a Southerner in the 21st century?
Anyone that honors and respects the heritage and fabric of the South – its people, its dialects, its ingredients, and its intellect (which many outside the region miss wholly) is worthy of being recognized as a Southerner (as long as they stay).

How is High Road representative of Southern ideals? The South, and Georgia in particular, is an incredible place to launch a small business. Real relationships are forged. People still say “Yes ma’am,” and “Yes sir.” Real hospitality is critical to preserve.

How would you define a lady ? She knows who she is, states it clearly, and oozes class. Same thing goes for a gentleman.

For more information on High Road creamery, check out their website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Mississippi Gift Company

Check out some of the sweetest gifts the South has ever given. Mississippi Gift Company (based out of historic Greenwood, Miss.) has gift boxes, tins and towers for your candies, cookies, jellies, jams, preserves and more. Locally grown berries, nuts. Need an idea for Mother’s Day? The Mississippi Gift Company has got y’all covered. This basket includes everything to make mom feel special on her day: Peppermint Snaps, Cheese Straws, Chocolate Covered Pecans, a flower shaped lotion bar, a Soap by the Slice, and a luxurious Sugar Blossom Body wash. For Father’s Day, get Daddy a Mississippi Grill’n Bucket complete with Daddy’s BBQ sauce, Daddy’s BBQ Rub, Shapley’s Seasoning and Fit To Eat Sauce. Any time you want to treat someone special, pick up a custom-made gift basket in the shape of Mississippi.

Salad dressings, salsas, pickles, plus mixes for soups, breads and other concoctions. It’s a pretty present and tasty too. No more of the same old shortbread and cheese straws manufactured in a factory. Mississippi Gift Company uses family recipes for their tasty treats.

Want to give something non-edible? The site offers jewelry, candles, books, posters, or even a bale of cotton straight out of Mississippi’s fields. Cookbooks from generations of the Southerners, bookmarks, calendars and stationary — how about that y’all. Giving someone a set of thank you notes in the fabulous gift basket you send them! That way they have no excuse not to write you. Every time the recipient uses their new letterhead, they’ll remember how awesome you are for using Mississippi Gift Company!

These gift sets contain items handcrafted by more than 150 Mississippi gourmet food companies, entrepreneurs and artists. Since they opened their doors in 1993 they have searched Mississippi to bring y’all the best their state has to offer. The Mississippi Gift Company now carries over 750 food and gift items hat exclusively specializes in products made in Mississippi. A state known for its cotton even made candles in the shape of a cotton boll.

For more information, shop The Mississippi Gift Company’s catalog, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. And if you ever want to make us happy here at Pretty Southern, now y’all know these are a few of our favoite things!