Glasses-wearing man with brown hair, mustache and full beard

Carl Dixon bio

Carl Dean Dixon was born May 17, 1967, to Lily Cavanaugh Dixon and George "Buddy" Dixon in Jackson, Mississippi. Buddy grew to resent the responsibilities of having a wife and child and channeled his unhappiness into alcohol and wife-beating. When Carl was two, his mother packed their few belongings, and they took a bus as far away as she could afford, which turned out to be Oxford, Mississippi.

Lily had no real job skills to support her son and herself. Out of sympathy for her situation, John "Bubba" King hired her as a waitress in his diner, The Red Robin. Carl spent so many afternoons there after school that soon, the diner felt like home to him. Because of his aptitude in math, Carl helped his mother count out the drawer at the end of the day. Over the years, Lily was promoted to manager and eventually became Bubba King's partner in The Red Robin.

Carl earned money working as a waiter, cashier, and bookkeeper at the diner. This early training ground exposed Carl to people from all walks of life and helped him develop his natural sales skills. If Lily sold someone coffee and a sandwich, Carl would be right behind her, talking that customer into pie a la mode for dessert.

At school, Carl struggled in most subjects other than math, and he never had any delusions of college. After high school, he worked as a cashier at the Oxford Chevrolet dealership. If a salesman forgot to mention a particular feature on a car, Carl didn't hesitate to chime in, and before long, Carl became a salesman himself. In 1987, he was promoted to assistant manager, and five years later, Carl was able to buy into a partnership when he was just 25 years old. By 1997, Carl owned the dealership outright.

In 1998, while on a business trip to New Orleans, Carl fell in love with Valentine Delacroix. Carl's friends and neighbors, including his mother, were shocked when he returned home three weeks later with his young bride. Rumors that Valentine had a somewhat sordid career in New Orleans were never confirmed.

Though Valentine was emotionally volatile and vibrant, she frequently suffered from poor health. She and Carl tried for three years to have children. When their daughter, Katherine, finally arrived on March 17, 2001, she was a month premature with a birth weight just under five pounds.

As Kat grew stronger and healthier, Valentine grew weaker. In 2005, Valentine was found dead on her bedroom floor, apparently having overdosed on pain medication. Friends later learned that Valentine had been fighting cancer for many years before she finally succumbed.

After his wife's death, Carl became an even more devoted father. When Kat was five years old, a man attempted to abduct her by offering to show her a puppy in his car. People say Carl broke the man's arm while wrestling his daughter away from him. More recently, Kat's former high school classmates claim Carl "interviewed" his daughter's prospective suitors while calmly cleaning his shotgun.

In 2015, Carl discovered Devlin Beauchamp's BBQ Shack and was wild about the food. He sold Devlin on the two of them going into business together, and Home Plate opened in time for football season that year. It remains one of the most popular restaurants in the county, and some have speculated that Home Plate might franchise nationwide. Devlin's death leaves those plans and the future of Home Plate in limbo.


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