Cofield’s Corner: Remembering Kiamie’s

Published 4:41 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

By John Cofield

Alex Kiamie, Sr. made his way from Lebanon to Oxford in 1952, living his version of the American dream.
He started his diner in today’s Domino’s building on Jackson Avenue and from there, his businesses and
landholdings expanded in all directions. And not one person ever said Kiamie, Sr., was lazy.

Long after he’d made his fortune, it would be 100 degrees in the shade and there’d be Mr. Kiamie out
there pushing an old mower around his properties.

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If he was the head and backbone of the operation, then Miss Mae Helen Flowers was its heart and soul.
For four and half decades Mae Helen worked the counter and kitchen at Kiamie’s. She left this world as one of the most beloved figures ever to multitudes of Oxonians and 45 classes of Ole Miss Rebels.

“Mae Helen was an institution! A landmark of Oxford. She knew everyone’s name even if it had been 20-
30 years since you graduated.” —Samuel Hester, Ole Miss 1970-78

“Not too many people truly deserve to be called a legend, but Mae Helen certainly does. Loved by all and
probably knew more people than anybody in Mississippi.” — Frank Odom

Many a Lafayette County kid thinks of those weekend nights at Kiamie’s as times without a flaw. We
couldn’t wait to get there and we long to go back today.