Day 3: December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas
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Natchez Under the Hill, MS Just before I left home, a package arrived from my grandsons near Seattle. Inside were presents, pictures, and ornaments. Two of the ornaments I hung on my tree at home (Which is just about the same size as this one.) and the one with the boys' picture, I brought along. I originally hung it on the fireplace mantle but when I noticed the little tree, I knew that's where it belonged.

Natchez Under the Hill, MS Natchez Under the Hill, MS Natchez Under the Hill, MS The day was cloudy and wet although I don't know that it ever got around to actually raining. I walked around downtown Natchez for quite awhile and took quite a few pictures but pictures of closed buildings under overcast skies aren't all that interesting and did not seem worth the effort to post them. The few pictures on this page all involve the Under The Hill Saloon.

In case anyone doesn't know, Natchez Under the Hill was once a pretty wild and wooly place. It's the place where many Kaintucks ended their boat trips and, even those who went on to New Orleans were likely to spend some time here before starting home on the Natchez Trace. Stories abound about the fun these fellows would have in the taverns and brothels that the fine folks on top of the hill looked on in distain. Once there were four or five streets running through Natchez Under the Hill but the river and a hillside collapse have reduced that to just one that has any life. You can still gamble here but you have to get on board the "Isle of Capri" to do it. The brothels are gone, or at least well hidden, but there is still a tavern. There's also a restaurant, the "Magnolia Grill" that I heard good things about but I've not seen open.

Natchez Under the Hill, MS Natchez Under the Hill, MS The building has been around since the 1830s so its got some character. There's a TV in a room in back and an electronic dart board. The "patio" area is pretty cool and there's a foosball table in the middle room. The walls are lined with stuff including some great pictures of the "good old days" On top of that, the place has a urinal the likes of which I've never seen. I had to take a picture but, since even new and spotless urinals aren't all that attractive and this one is neither, I've tucked it away here.

Natchez Under the Hill, MS Natchez Under the Hill, MS Natchez Under the Hill, MS Natchez Under the Hill, MS Of course, a place with all that character has to have a few characters, too. Actually it has some very nice characters. The first picture was actually taken on Christmas Eve. I failed to get the drummer's name but that's Julie on guitar. Katrina forced her out of New Orleans but she thinks the move is probably permanent. She lives in the country about an hour's drive from Natchez and like "waking up to crickets instead of sirens". It was Beth who took my reservation over the telephone and she supplied me with a few Shiner Bocks once I got here. I missed getting a picture of Lee, who served up a few of those Shiners on Christmas Eve. Andre (Who I inexplicably called Rick for more than a day.) owns the place. Someone told me that his is just about the only Under the Hill place left that isn't owned by some guy with the intent to gentrify. I'm among those who think he ought to just stay up on the hill where he belongs. The last shot is of J.D. I wish I had taken it when he first arrived. With a snazzy cowboy hat and a dark jacket, the look was extremely dapper.

Christmas in a strange city is, itself, kind of strange but if you can find a bar full of friendly folks and a casino with a tolerable buffet, you'll do alright. BTW, the tree in today's background stands in an intersection in downtown Natchez.

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