Carl Dean Dixon was born May 17, 1962, 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 offered her a job as a waitress in his Oxford 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 made extra money for himself by 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.
Though Carl excelled in math, he struggled in most other subjects, and he never had any delusions of college. After high school, he went to work as a cashier at the Oxford Chevrolet dealership. If a salesman forgot to mention a particular feature on a car, Carl wouldn't hesitate to chime in, and before long, Carl became a salesman himself. In 1982, 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 1992, Carl owned the dealership outright.
In 1993, 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 just three weeks later with his young bride. There were rumors that Valentine had a somewhat sordid career in New Orleans, but no one ever presented any proof.
Though Valentine was an emotionally volatile and vibrant woman, she frequently suffered poor health. She and Carl tried for years to have children, which they both desperately wanted. After three years, they had a daughter, Katherine, on March 17, 1996, though she was a month premature with a birth weight just under five pounds.
As Kat grew stronger and healthier, Valentine grew weaker and her health suffered. In 2000, Valentine was found dead on her bedroom floor, apparently having taken an overdose of pain medication. It was later revealed that Valentine had cancer and had fought the disease for many years before finally giving in to it.
After his wife's death, Carl became an even more devoted father than he had been. 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 attacked the man and broke his arm in the process of wrestling his daughter away from him. More recently, Kat's former high school classmates claim Carl would "interview" prospective suitors for his daughter while calmly cleaning his shotgun.
In 2010, 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. In fact, there's been speculation that Home Plate might franchise nationwide, but Devlin's untimely demise leaves those plans and the future of Home Plate in limbo.