Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why now?

My brothers -- Jeff and Walker -- and I spent many summers in the Mississippi Delta with Pa (aka JD), Mom (aka Miss Chris), Willie Belle, Velma Jean, LJ; our cousins Lexie, Lisa & Bill; Plain Mamma, Auntie, Aunt Ann & Uncle Billy; Martha, Hank, Sam, Bart and Sally. 

Lee took this picture in 2008 at 5 Mile Farm. It is so Delta!
We had weenie roasts; helped pick cotton; rode in the back of Pa's truck; shot turtles off the bridge at 5 Mile; went to "The Palce" every day; sat in the sun parlor reading comic books and drinking orange crush in a brown bottle; made daily trips to the Tastee Freeze and Hoovers.

We sang "I see the tanks of Louise" as we got close to town; sang in the choir on Sundays; watched Pa take his seat in the second pew at Church; often held our breath as Mom lead the church hymns; sang "Over Hill Over Dale" as we headed back to Memphis eating left over fried chicken.

To this day, we take some odd back way from Memphis to Louise because Pa shaved 10 minutes off his drive-time by going through Sidon.

We buried Mom & Pa, Willie Belle, Auntie, Uncle Billy and even Daddy in the Delta.

My son Lee never knew the Delta I knew. Sure, he made some trips over the years, but Mom & Pa's house was gone, and they were gone. It was a place to him, but not "The Place", as Pa used to call it.

After Daddy died, I found myself longing to go back "home" -- to his home in the Delta. For about 3 years, I have spent more and more time in what I have learned is called the "Deep Delta". I have developed a love of photography and through that hobby I have begun to see the real beauty of this place -- it's simplicity, character, culture & life.

So now I start a new chapter in the Delta. I have rented a little house in Rolling Fork, MS for an entire year. It's my little piece of the Delta. A base camp, if you will, to learn what it is like to really live there. 

Daddy would be so thrilled, and surprised! After all, I was never supposed to be the one to come back to the Delta!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read about your discoveries and rediscoveries. Seems you already know what it's like to live there; your base camp is to help you relearn or breathe anew what the air is like living there at this time, for the Delta and in your life. How often will you be there? Will you have the leftover fried chicken again and go to church on Sunday to hear the choir and drive the backway home? I look forward to reading all about it.