Hundreds enjoy downtown Jazz and Java

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 5, 2006

Several hundred people circulated through the peaceful melodiesin Railroad Park Tuesday to capture a bit of that old timey feelingand relax during Jazz and Java At Noon.

Charlie Evans and the Dixie Land Band provided the smooth jazzwhile members of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce’s Retirement Committee provided the java.

“It brought back the South to me and memories of the coast. Itbrought a smile to my face,” said Gerri’e Hamm, who movedpermanently to Brookhaven in the last few months after HurricaneKatrina destroyed her home in Pass Christian.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It was an old-fashioned touch that made Brookhaven feel morelike home, she said.

“I was going to be in town on business and said I’ve got to godo that,” she said. “It’s time to start smiling and enjoying lifeagain.”

One of the subtle goals of the event was to reach out andidentify new residents like Hamm, said retirement committee memberSheila Porch.

“It was a real success,” she said. “We got a lot of names.”

Among them was James and Rosemarie Kellar. The couple moved toBrookhaven 11 months ago after living in Houston, Texas, for 37years.

“It’s nice to go to an event in town where you don’t have thebig crowd to fight,” said Rosemarie Kellar. “This kind of thingjust doesn’t happen anymore. It’s like a scene from a movie withthe train pulling into a nice sleepy town with folks sitting in thepark listening to music.”

Hamm also said the train pulling into the depot during the eventadded an element of timelessness to the event.

“That was the perfect touch,” she said. “Everyone lovestrains.”

Porch said she was asked several times when the next event wouldbe.

“We’re planning it now,” she said. “It’s just the beginning ofmore to come. We want to hold one event a month throughout thesummer.”

Terry Lofton, of Brookhaven, said he was looking forward tofuture events.

“I really enjoyed this,” he said. “I wish they could have moreof them. I would come.”