The Stuff I Can't Make Up

December 2, 2017

THE STUFF I CAN'T MAKE UP

(from Find it in Fondren)

 

 

Story by Sherry Lucas.
Photography by Paul Wolf (Find it in Fondren

 

Even on a relaxed Sunday afternoon, kicked back in the office at his Fondren home, there’s a hint of a story about Julian Rankin.

 

A clue’s in the cap. Carolina Mudcats. Is it the Carolina? The catfish? Both?

 

At the Mississippi Museum of Art since 2010, Rankin put a storytelling grace note on his role there.

 

He grew up in Oxford and, armed with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he first joined their ranks as PR coordinator.

He molded the job to suit the skills and interests of a man raised in the midst of Larry Brown and Bill Ferris, 100 yards from William Faulkner’s grave.

 

As a kid, Willie Morris pulled a dollar out of his ear. In a later letter reminding Morris of the trick, the author fulfilled Rankin’s request for a pic, adding the note, “To Julian, who has a gold mine in his ears.”

 

It’s one Rankin continues to mine. He’s now director of the museum’s new Center for Art and Public Exchange, funded by a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant.

 

Continue reading at FinditinFondren.com.

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