I live in Picayune. I do not claim it as my 'hometown' and never will but it has some nice aspects and all-in-all I like living here. It's quiet and peaceful affordable living. The climate is really pleasant, although the summer months can be a bear. I live in a serene neighborhood on a lake and I love my house. I share it with my beautiful wife mistyluc who also happens to be my best friend and greatest travel companion. I’ve lived quite a few places throughout my life but I’m proud to call Mississippi my home. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of problems here too but if you ever spend any time here you’ll see the draw. Life here is at a pace that is ‘lived’ not just experienced and the people are warm and friendly.
Picayune is the largest city in Pearl River County. It has an estimated population of around 20,000, but that is up 100% since the 2000 census. This is because it has become the permanent home for many who relocated from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. It also makes Pearl River County one of the 10 fastest growing counties in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Picayune is about 60 miles from New Orleans and 40 miles from Gulfport, Mississippi. There was some wind damage in Picayune during the storm but no flooding because of its inland location. In fact, the eye of the storm passed over Picayune so my wife and I and our friend Jennifer went out to poke around for an hour or so until the storm resumed. Our house suffered only minor damage during the storm but our friend who stayed with us lost everything she owned as did many of our other friends and family. It was a time when my faith in humanity was reinforced, my faith in my government lost, and my thankfulness for my family cemented.
Picayune gets is name from a Spanish coin with the same name. It is derived from a French Provencal word picaioun, which means ‘small coin.’ The coin was used in Louisiana during Spanish rule and beyond. The name picayune was occasionally used for the U.S. nickel, which was once worth approximately the same as a picayune. The New Orleans newspaper, which at one time cost one of these coins, is named ‘the ‘Times-Picayune.’