Christian B. Garrison, 78

Published 8:17 am Sunday, July 5, 2020

Christian B. Garrison,78,  died July 2, at his home in Winston-Salem, NC. Born in Monroe, LA, on Feb. 14, 1942, Christian grew up in Batesville, where everyone knew him as “Chris.”

Even before graduating from Ole Miss, Chris helped to create, in 1962, the Panola Playhouse, in Sardis, and he acted in and directed many of its early plays. A multi-faceted artist, author, and film director, Chris’s 1969 film “Blues Maker,” about the great blues musician Mississippi Fred McDowell, won the Cine Golden Eagle award in Washington, D.C., and was shown in the Venice, Italy film festival. It still is available on the Internet.

During his career, Chris held jobs as a director in Mississippi Public Television in Jackson, and as a film-maker, first at Ole Miss, and then at the University of Georgia-Athens, after which he returned to head the Mississippi Film Commission in Jackson. Moving to Cincinnati, he directed a local gallery, wrote, and made art.

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In film, he worked both sides of the camera, as screenwriter, actor, technician, and director. His publications were also varied, including both books and plays. His series of children’s books won particularly high praise. His gritty mystery novels, “Snake Doctor” and its sequel, “Paragon Man,” explored Southern Noir.

Chris is survived by his wife, Patricia, as well as by his former wife, Martha Frances Taylor Garrison, of Como; his daughter, Anne Walton Garrison of Memphis; his son, William Christian Garrison of Senatobia; his sister, Gail Garrison McNeill of Winston-Salem; and two nephews.

Memorials may be sent to the Arhoolie Foundation,10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA.

A celebration of Chris’s life will take place at a later date.