Jackson County's craving for Tato Nuts was satisfied the same day Haley Barbour satisfied his political dream.
Jack Fallo was one of the shop's first customers of 2004. "I believe it's an important day, yes," he said.
Fallo enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, and some tasty inauguration day chatter with his buddy James Little. The topic -- the new governor. "He really has the state's interests at heart," said Little. "So yes, I think he'll make a big difference."
Fallo actually voted for Ronnie Musgrove in November's general election. But he's been impressed with Barbour's moves since then. "So far, he's making commendable steps," he said between sips of coffee. "And if he does what he says he's going to do, I'm all for it."
Just then, Stephanie Taliancich and her son Travis walked into the Tato Nut Shop. In between bites, Mom said Haley Barbour would be a positive attribute for Mississippi. "I hope that a lot of people realize that it's a new beginning for our state," the Latimer woman said. "I think he's going to bring a lot. I think Ronnie Musgrove did a good job, but I think he came to a standstill with what he could do. And I think he's going to push it a little further."
Tom Ehrensing was also at the tato nut's 2004 reopening. "I think he'll make some changes," he said of the new governor. "I think this state, with his connections, should put us in a little better light in the rest of the world, or at least the USA."
Back at the table near the door, Jack Fallo said he hoped Governor Barbour would do very well. "I think Mississippi needs a new start," he said, "I really do." The state got that start at the precise moment a dozen tato nuts were boxed and sold.