PGC king serves with pride

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 10, 2000

Ashton James never imagined he would be serving as king of the Confederte Pageant.

&uot;I always enjoyed the Confederate Pageant when I was growing up,&uot; said James. &uot;My sisters and brother are also very involved. But I had never really thought about the possibility that I might be king.&uot;

Serving as the king for the Confederate Pageant involves more than most people realize, and James knew he would have to take that into account when he was asked to serve.

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&uot;My mom called me one day at school, out of the blue, and asked me if I would be interested in serving,&uot; James said. &uot;I had to think for a minute about all my school work, but in the end I was excited about doing it and am proud that I was asked to do this.&uot;

James a 1997 graduate of Cathedral High School is presently attending Milsaps College in Jackson.

&uot;I’m in school a little closer than a lot of royalty, I am driving back and forth,&uot; James said. &uot;It hasn’t been to bad and a good thing is that I have been able to attend all the Pilgrimage events.&uot;

He is majoring in business and political science, plans to remain at Milsaps and receive his MBA and then plans to attend law school. This summer he will be taking business courses in England, France and Italy.

While at Milsaps James has joined Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the Circle K Service Organization and has been on both the Dean’s list and the President’s list. He is a member of Milsaps Major Production, the Milsaps Players Theater group which is currently performing &uot;Twelfth Night,&uot; and is currently an executive board member of the Inter-Fraternal Council.

James is a member of St. Mary Basilica and Milsaps Catholic Youth Organization. He works with Habitat for Humanity in Jackson and also with the public school system in its LEAD program as a tutor. For the past five summers he has performed mission work in Saltillo, Mexico.

In his free time James enjoys hunting, snow skiing and fishing.

His previous pageant participation includes Big Maypole, Polka, the Wedding of Jefferson Davis, Soiree and the American Flag Bearer.

While reigning as king James will be wearing a Confederate general’s uniform made of wool gabardine, which was tailored by V.V. Van Court of New Orleans. The coat of Confederate gray has a military collar and gold bouillon wreaths with three stars in the center. It has gold satin epaulets with gold fringe on the shoulders. The sleeves are accented with a 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 of a matching gray gabardine and are accented by gold braided stripes. The antique Civil War saber that he will carry was crafted in New Orleans and is a gift from his grandparents, Don and Jean Farrar. The hilt and guard are made of polished brass. The grip on the handle is covered with black leather, wire wrapped and has a gold tassel. The scabbard features trail and drag rings which are used to attach it to the sword sling.

Ashton is the son of Lynn F. James of Natchez and Roy James of Baton Rouge, La. He has two sisters, Kelly, 18, and Caroline, 11, and one brother, Connor, 16. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Farrar of Natchez and Mrs. Roy James and the late Roy James of Waterproof, La.