Sad News in today:
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Sid Graves, library supporter, dies at home

By DAVID OWENS, Staff Writer January 12, 2005

An influential part of the Clarksdale community, Sidney Foster Graves Jr. passed away Jan. 8, 2005 at his residence in Hattiesburg. 
Graves served as director of the Southern Mississippi Regional Library in Columbia and the Carnegie Public Library in Clarksdale.
He also served as past president of the Mississippi Library Association.
Connie Webster of the Carnegie Public Library said the library is eternally grateful for Graves' support.
"The main thing Sid did for the library and for Clarksdale happened when we were not funded for an entire year," she said. "Sid saw that the library operated as it should."
Webster said the library kept its same hours and same employees.
"Sid got out and raised the money to keep us open," she said. "It was certainly a major offering."
Graves was also the founder of the Delta Blues Museum and is credited with the formation of the Tennessee Williams Festival.
Delta Blues Museum Director Shelley Ritter said she knew Graves since she was in college.
"I met Sid when I was a graduate student at the Center for Southern Studies at Ole Miss," she said. "He was a really good guy."
Ritter said Graves was there to open the Delta Blues Museum on Jan. 30, 1979.
"He had the vision to found the blues museum," she said. "He recognized that blues tourism was a viable part of the community.
"Sid will be missed," Ritter said. "We appreciate all he did for the blues museum."
Kappi Allen, Coahoma County tourism manager, also recognized the significance of Graves' achievements.
"If not for Sid Graves, there would be no blues museum," she said. "The city of Clarksdale owes a huge debt of gratitude to this man who followed his passion and helped to create what we have today.
"He helped to create tourism as we have it today," Allen said.
State Rep. John Mayo said Graves' contributions cannot be measured.
"I was mayor when Sid really got the blues museum off the ground," he said. "A lot of people may claim their contribution to blues museum, but Sid's contribution is boundless.
"He saw the vision for the blues museum for Clarksdale and the Delta," Mayo said. "Where the blues msueum is now was his vision."
Graves received a number of awards during his lifetime including the Keeping the Blues Alive Award, the Early Wright Award and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.


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