Monday, June 10, 2013

I Remember North Mississippi's Wall Doxey State Park Quite Fondly

     I remember growing up in Memphis, Tenn., in the 1960's and 1970's and how my father used to take my brothers and me camping at Wall Doxey State Park just outside of Holly Springs, Miss., on Highway 7 heading towards Oxford, Miss.  Usually, it would be a short weekend trip and he would pull our camping trailer to the park and we would always have the best time that I remember.  We would fish, swim and even rent the paddle boats they used to offer. I have very fond memories of my weekend there as a kid.
   The park is named after Wall Doxey, a former U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Mississippi. With camping areas, rental cabins, walking trails, a large playground, and camp pavilions, the area offers a welcome opportunity to the weekend camper. A narrow levee surrounds a third of the spring-fed lake which, in its shallows, has cypresses and dense vegetation.  I have been meaning to stop by there for years on my home from Oxford after visiting some friends during our ever so often trips down South from Bowling Green.  Finally, this past weekend we did we did stop and I'm glad I did.  I probably haven't been there since my days as a college student at Ole Miss in the early 80's.  I remember we even had one of our Spring fraternity formals there.  Or at least, I remember some of it. I also remember that I once drove out to Wall Doxey to get away from campus on a beautiful Spring day. I was inspired to write a poem about the park while sitting at a picnic table. I still have a copy of it.
  The park is beautiful as ever.  However, I was a little sad to see that they do not allow swimming anymore and the snack bar/concessions areas are closed.  The man at the guard shack claims that they quit allowing swimming because of insurance purposes.  I asked him if some people had drown recently or something like that.  But he just said "No, it because of insurance purposes."   It was nice to pay Wall Doxey a visit again.  But again, I was left with a little uneasy, haunting feeling about the place that perhaps some people have drowned in the lake recently is the reason that quit allowing swimming.  I suppose it's just my gut, intuition feeling.  I can't help it. Maybe I'm wrong.

1 comment:

  1. My mother was from Holly Springs. We would go visit in the summer & rent a cabin at Wall Doxey. I remember the "high" dive and the slide. I also had my first swim lessons there. I was thinking of visiting and taking my kids. Was googling around, is how I found your post.


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