Famous Mississippians turned into Halloween heads

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -  What do BB King, William Faulkner and Tammy Wynett have in common?They're all famous people from Mississippi and they've all been turned into Halloween heads.

This week, fourth graders at Gorenflo Elementary School in Biloxi decorated 39 pumpkins as part of a research project called "Famous Mississippians."

Maniah Burbridge's subject was Leontyne Price.

"She wears a lot of scarves, and I put a scarf on her head," Maniah explained. "Sometimes she wears a lot of glasses, so I put some sunglasses on. When I heard her sing on the Internet, I was, 'Wow, I didn't know she could sing this good.' And she's a very beautiful lady."

Connor Lipscomb was assigned Kiln quarterback Brett Favre.

"He flew an airplane to Minnesota and then he was on the Green Bay Packers for a long time," said Connor.  "I was excited because I know him a lot and he's my favorite Mississippian."

Among the famous faces:  Author Eudora Welty, astronaut Fred Haise, the king himself  -- Elvis Presley, and the man with the legendary voice -- James Earl Jones.

The students had to write a report and create a time line of their subject's life, along with little known facts, like this one about Bo Diddley.

"His real name is Ellas Bates," said Erinn Williams. "His nickname was 'The Originator.'"

It doesn't matter if the pumpkins don't look exactly like the real person.  What's important is that the children appreciate the stars in their own state and feel proud to be a Mississippian.

Next week, the students will watch a performance called "Mission Mississippi" to learn more about their home state.

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