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Visitor hopes to make Mississippi new home

MONTICELLO — A love of history drew a Welsh gentleman into thearms of a Lawrence County family, and now a love of Mississippidrives his desire to stay here.

David Adams, a native of Heath, Wales, met Jayess native MaryRutland on the Internet more than a year ago. She introduced him toher husband, Conley, and they “talked” briefly. E-mails and lettersfollowed, and they became pen pals.

Adams said he told them about Wales, and they told him aboutMississippi. They also traded information on one of Adams’ hobbies– the Civil War.

Adams said he has a great interest in the “American Civil War”and has twice visited the South, South Carolina and Florida,researching it. It is the origin of the conflict that interests himthe most, he said, not the actual battles.

“I’ve been studying about the American Civil War and thoughtthat one day I would like to come here and research it more,” hesaid.

He told the Rutlands that he was thinking of making another tripto the South for this purpose, and Mary invited him to stay in thisarea. He is residing at the Inez Hotel in Brookhaven.

“I told him I thought the best thing he could do would be tostay in Brookhaven because he would be around friends,” Mary said.”We travel with him whenever we can. My kids and I have taken himand showed him around the state. This has all been a great bigadventure for him.”

The Rutlands have taken Adams to see all of the Civil War sitesin the state and have even traveled to a few outside of the state,such as the ones at New Orleans. Adams said the memorialbattlefield at Vicksburg and a trip down the Mississippi River werethe most enjoyable and memorable.

“They’ve been marvelous,” Adams said of the Rutlands. “They’vebeen really helpful — making sure I don’t need anything and soforth. All the people I’ve met here have been nice. People can’t doenough here to help you.”

Mississippi, he said, is not at all like they are taught inschool.

“When I do go back, I will tell other Welsh about my experienceshere and invite them to come,” he said. “Most Welsh believeMississippi is still like it was (portrayed) in ‘MississippiBurning.’ I haven’t seen any racism at all since I’ve beenhere.”

Adams said that misperception of the state begins with theirlessons in school. He said his own research of the Civil War haschanged his perceptions of its origin.

“We were told when I was in school that it was all about slaveryand what I’ve seen for myself was that it had nothing to do withslavery,” he said. “The South was doing quite well for itself andthe North, I think, grew jealous of it and decided to put it in itsplace, so to speak.”

The Welsh private detective said he likes the state so much, infact, that he is trying to find work here.

“I would like to stay permanently if I could,” he said. “I’vebeen to other states before and this is the finest I’ve beento.”

Adams would like to remain in the Brookhaven area, but he willmove if he must. He wants to remain in Mississippi, however.

Mary said her most memorable event since his arrival on Aug. 19was that “from the time he stepped off the plane he’s been a goodfriend and a perfect gentleman. On the Internet people can tell youanything, but he’s been true to his word. He’s been dignified,friendly, polite — the perfect gentleman.”

Mary said Adams has been regularly attending Topeka BaptistChurch with her family and has taken a real interest in it. Duringhis stay he has spoken to several churches and schools.

Some of their funniest moments come about because of culturaldifferences, she said. Most become apparent when preparing mealsbecause Adams enjoys cooking and, according to Mary, is quite agood cook.

“One night we were trying to decide what to cook and he pops offthat ‘A joint would be good.’ We were stunned,” Mary said. “We alllaughed when we discovered the Welsh call a beef roast with thebone a joint.”

Another incident Mary said brought a laugh was when he asked fora fishslice — a spatula.

Adams will return to Wales Oct. 19.

“I feel like he’ll come back to visit again, but I don’t knowthat,” Mary said. “I surely will be sorry to see him go.”