My First Oxford Visit

I started thinking today about the first time I visited Oxford. I had to pause for a moment, actually, to remember when it actually occurred (my Mom helped me remember, I admit it).

It was March of 1988. My junior year, high school spring break. Amazingly 20 years ago.. oye. I had narrowed my college choices down at that point, and Ole Miss was in the top three. When we decided to drop by for a visit, USM was so close, we opted to fly into Jackson so we could visit both campus’.

Hattiesburg was the first stop.

As we initially entered the city, every available open space was plastered with ‘Favre for Heisman’, ‘Favre for Heisman’ signs. Wallpapering the city. To which my Mom and I said, “who’s Fav-rah?”.

We were looking for ‘it’, though. That small spark that initially connects you to a city. In a way, that’s what we were hunting for.

Hattiesburg was nice, though. We canvassed the streets. We toured the campus. And we agreed it was a great place. But, it wasn’t ‘it’.

So we retreated, and headed north to Oxford.

As we entered the city, I initially – and vividly – remember the majestic presence of all those oak trees. On the campus. In the city. In the neighborhoods. All over. Their canopy. ‘Wow’ is what I remember. And I hadn’t even seen campus yet.

I went on the tours, visited the dorms, checked out the classrooms.

The Grove, Vaught-Hemingway, Barnard Observatory, …. just the history of it all…

It, was it.

The town. The college. It was what I was looking for.

That’s how I came to love Oxford…

So…do you remember your first visit?

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