Striking young woman with long dark curly hair

Cherie Atkinson

On August 13, 1988, Cherie Brophy was born to Dale Magby and Autumn Brophy of Oxford, Mississippi. Both 18 years old and unmarried at the time of Cherie's birth, Dale and Autumn were not ready to be parents but declined to give Cherie up for adoption.

Dale stocked shelves at a local supermarket, and Autumn looked after her little girl in her parents' home. In just a few months, Dale tired of fatherhood and disappeared, leaving Autumn to raise Cherie alone. Autumn couldn't count on her parents either since the strain of having another mouth to feed was a major factor in her parents' divorce in 1990.

At first, Autumn and her mother, Corrine, kept their heads above water by babysitting for Oxford families. The Brophy "daycare" ended in 2004 when word got out that one of the children in their care brought home a baggie of "candy" from the Brophys' cocaine stash. Neighbors argued over whether the stash belonged to Autumn, Corrine, Cherie, or one of the men that frequented the house. The police couldn't definitively identify the source of the drugs, so none of the Brophys were charged with a crime. The incident hardly made the Yoknapatawpha High School grapevine since Cherie's classmates had long heard about the Brophys' habits. Despite a slate of D's and F's, Cherie managed to graduate from YHS in 2006.

Autumn and her daughter went to work as servers at The Roadhouse bar and grill in 2007. Cherie disliked the work but loved the tips she earned from flirting with the customers, married or single. Over time, these tips bankrolled Cherie's growing drug habit. From ecstasy to methamphetamine to cocaine, if a drug was in vogue, Cherie would try it. Frustrated that Cherie would come to work late or strung out, Roadhouse bar manager Will Sands fired her in 2013.

Cherie immediately applied to be a server at The Rebel Yell bar, whose backroom "private bar" had become notorious for reputed drug dealing, nude dancing, and prostitution. Not surprisingly, Cherie became the private bar's "main server."

In 2017, real estate mogul Glenn Atkinson and his friend Neal Caine visited the Yell's private bar and met Cherie. Taken in by her charms and the sad story of her drug addiction, Glenn took Cherie under his wing and paid for her rehab. Even though Glenn was twice Cherie's age, they were engaged within months of their first meeting.

The people of Oxford never could say for sure if Glenn's newlywed wife loved him more than his money, but there was no doubt that she doted on Glenn in public. He would return the public displays of affection of his little "sun spark" to the dismay of his friends.

Three years into his marriage, Glenn Atkinson died of a heart attack. The largest portion of the Atkinson estate was placed in a trust for his grieving wife on the condition that she never return to a life of drugs. After Glenn's death, Cherie also assumed his seat on the board of the Yoknapatawpha Players acting troupe.

 

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