OXFORD, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the death of world famed Mississippi author William Faulkner. More than 23,000 people a year, from all over the world, still visit his Oxford home.
Ole Miss students were reading one of Faulkner's novels aloud at Rowan Oak to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
Faulkner bought the house in 1932 but was not well known in Mississippi until he won the Nobel Prize in 1949 and his novel "Intruder in the Dust" was filmed in Oxford.
"People started to see him as, gosh this is William Faulkner and he has won the Nobel Prize" said Rowan Oak curator Bill Griffith. "People were coming all the way here from California, to make movies about the books that he is writing."
Dr. Ed Meek, retired vice chancellor of Ole Miss, for whom the school of journalism is named, knew Faulkner and took the last pictures of him, just days before his death.
"He created reality" said Meek. "What he had was reality and what we knew was not reality in the white people, the middle class. He wrote about the real Mississippi as it was, and put it in perspective and I think that was his genius."
I once met Faulkner in Oxford on the square, where there is a statue of him sitting on a bench in front of city hall. That was in 1950 when I was eleven years old.
He said "nice to meet you son."