McKinney ready to reign over pageant

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 13, 2000

Robert Ryan McKinney has been participating in the Confederate Pageant since he was 3 years old. And even though many of those years he doesn’t remember the Pageant his mother says he went willingly.

&uot;He just always fell asleep before we got there,&uot; laughed McKinney’s mother, Dianne Jordan. &uot;Through the years as he got older he participated regularly in the Pageant.&uot;

&uot;It has always been a fun time of the year for me,&uot; McKinney said. &uot;My friends were always around and involved in it also.&uot;

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Explaining his role this year as king for the Natchez Garden Club has been a little more difficult.

&uot;My friends in Natchez understand that this is an honor for me and family, and they know how much is involved in it,&uot; McKinney said. &uot;On the other hand my college friends are not quite clear on how this works. I have invited them to come to Natchez and be a part of this with me.&uot;

&uot;There’s no telling how many people he has invited,&uot; laughed Jordan. &uot;One thing about Ryan is that he never meets a stranger. Wherever we go, he knows people and has people to talk to.&uot;

From a being a 3 year old in Little Maypole McKinney continued his participation in various tableauxs such as Big Maypole, Raising of the Flag, a groomsman in the Wedding of Jefferson Davis, Polka, Soiree, the lead in Soiree and in the Confederate Court.

He is a 1996 graduate of Cathedral High School.

McKinney is presently attending the University of Mississippi where he is majoring in business management and is anticipating graduating in May. At Ole Miss he is active in many organizations. He is the sponsor chairman for Ducks Unlimited and is a member of the business school advisory board, Wall Street South investment club, United Way and Relay for Life. He is serving as the director of sales and marketing of Ole Miss and Company and is director of special programs and projects for the Society of Human Resource Management. McKinney is employed with Caterpillar Industries where he works in their Human Resource and Safety Department.

McKinney is member of St. Mary Basilica.

His hobbies include hunting, fishing, golfing, working out and riding mountain bikes.

McKinney will be wearing a Confederate general’s uniform of wool gabardine tailored by V.V. Vancourt of New Orleans, for B.J. Guido, the 1993 king for the Natchez Garden Club.

The coat of confederate gray has a military collar and gold boullion wreaths with three stars in the center. It features gold satin epaulets with gold fringe on the shoulders. The sleeves are accented with fleur de lis of four stripes of gold soutache braid, representing the rank of general. The sash is of gold satin with fringe and the belt is also a gold braided fabric. The pants are confederate blue accented by gold braided stripes.

Completing his uniform is a Confederate Calvary officers sword. This style is known as a &uot;Shelby&uot; sword, named after General &uot;Joe&uot; Shelby, who carried this type and is well known for never surrendering during the Civil War. The 33-inch carbon steel blade engraved with &uot;CSA&uot; is encased in a 40.5-inch metal scabbard with black finish and brass furniture. The brass handle is engraved with &uot;CS&uot; and the leather handle is wrapped with twisted brass wire. The sword was a gift from his queen, Paige Carlton.

McKinney is also the son of Robert McKinney of Natchez, and he has a sister, Paige McKinney, 19. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. W. Thuruston Jones and the late Mr. and Mrs. Pete McKinney of Natchez.

King McKinney and his queen Paige Carlton began their reign over the Confederate Pageant Friday night.