Check out time at our motel was at 11:00am and our first appointment for the day was scheduled for two hours later. We decided to spend our extra time in the mall. As we were pulling into the parking lot, the lady we were going to meet called to tell us that she would not make it, so we had plenty of time until our next appointment which was not until 3:00pm.

We found some good deals in a men's clothing store. At the checkout, the salesperson asked me to verify my zip code. When I gave my Brooklyn code, the guy behind the counter told us that he too was from New York!

"You see," he said, "I am originally from Westchester County, just north of NYC. But when we moved to Mississippi, we lost contact with the Jewish community. My sister and I live together here, and it was just the other day that we were discussing how we missed having a connection to our Jewish heritage."

He asked his boss for a lunch break and we went out to the parking lot together where he put on tefillin for the first time in his life. We gave him some literature and passed on a pair of Shabbat candles for his sister.

We still had time before our meeting, so we drove there to make sure that we would be able to find the house and zipped into a gas station to use the restroom and purchase some mayo to add to our salad-and-wraps lunch.

As we walked in, a voice called out, "Shalom! The bathroom is in the rear." I thanked the owner of the voice for her help and told her that I also needed some mayo. She replied, "I am not even hassidic and I know that mayo is not kosher!"

After I got the mayo from the shelf, I showed her the symbol on the jar attesting to its kosher status. We then got into a conversation all about being Jewish in Mississippi.

By the time we got out of the gas station, we had to rush to make it to our 3 o'clock appointment. There we met an elderly gentleman who told us all about his colorful and interesting life and purchased a mezuzah for his door.