Jackson County's "Simple Life" Takes The National Spotlight - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/01/04

Jackson County's "Simple Life" Takes The National Spotlight

Some Jackson County residents were introduced to millions of Americans Wednesday night on the FOX reality show "The Simple Life ." The episode documented Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's stay with a Latimer family. It also featured some of the people they met and the places they worked.

The day after Renee's Quality Meats made its national television debut, the deli was swamped with people. Owner Renee Patout says many were new faces.

"Everybody was coming to see and scope it out today. They're in here looking around. It's interesting," Patout said.

On the show, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have to earn money to pay for their trip across America. Patout and his son put the socialites to work in the kitchen making a Cajun sausage called Boudin. But, that's not all they made.

Patout says Paris and Nicky made a mess.

"Just a little bit, of course we prompted it. We turned the pumps up very high so that when they were making the boudin it would blow out the casings and stuff and make a mess and it worked," Patout said.

"We watched it. We laughed. We had a lot of people down here enjoying it. We didn't really know what we were in for."

Byron Lamey didn't know what he was in for either. He's a volunteer firefighter in Latimer. Lamey made it onto the show when his department loaned a fire truck for a calendar photo shoot.

His short time in the spotlight brought plenty of phone calls from friends. They all wanted to know what Paris and Nicky really like.

"Paris she was pretty much laid back, she was ordinary. Nicole, she was crazy. She pretty much got what she deserved with the fire extinguisher and stuff," Lamey said.

With their brief shot of fame over, it's back to the real simple life of living in South Mississippi.

"It was very unique. I tell you what, we really did enjoy it," Patout said.

Renee Patout says his food isn't the only thing getting more attention since the show aired. He says this morning a man in Denver called him about ordering some of the T-shirts his employees were wearing in the show.

by Josh Ridgdell

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