At one point the white guy said “You know what’s on the statue of Liberty don’cha? Send me your poor, your ragged, that sort of stuff.” To which the black guy on the left said “I don’ care what it say, all that happen a long time ago and now’s different.” They were discussing the merits of current administrative policy regarding illegal’s from Mexico. During the half hour I was there they covered the oil spill (“If’n it wuz up to me I’da blowed it up myself.”) and pretty much all the current events going on in the world.
Our first stop was at the tiny town of Arcola where old men were falling asleep in their favorite chairs-stools on the sidewalks and it was barely 10:00am. Arcola has a lazy little river flowing through town and old buildings tumble down to the water’s edge. It’s an artist’s town by virtue of the scenery, the subject matter is endless.
My morning ride was not as pleasant as it could be due to my cheap sunglasses sliding down my nose. It allowed the wind to vibrate them causing a semi-blurred effect, most annoying. The first Family Dollar store I came to was in Belzoni where I popped in and bought two pairs and some water. Fifteen bucks total for everything. Not bad. Their selection wasn’t the greatest but at least the nose-sliding thing was gone.
A few years ago I was in Atlanta on business and the factory people invited me out to Lake Lanier for the weekend. While there I was introduced to a local non-native plant that has invaded most of the south. It’s called Kudzu and it’s the most invasive pest I’ve ever seen, even worse than the Ivy we fight all the time at home. Today as I was riding the further east I got the more I saw of it; I’d truly hate to have that stuff get started around our part of the country.
Old abandoned buildings continue to fascinate me and this afternoon I paused to shoot pics of the old Brooksville School. It’s now totally defunct with all the windows busted out and most of the doors ripped off. I wonder whatever happened to the people who built it and why did it become a derelict? It’s no small country school; it’s a really big building with huge wings and must have had room for hundreds of kids in its day. Now it’s just an empty shell full of ghosts…
Macon, MS was one of my way-points and I spent a fair amount of time walking around looking at old shops and the County Courthouse. There’s a neat sign in front of the town’s information center telling about the history of local blues musicians, who they were and where they went. All through the south you’ll find similar stories; it’s a great part of the country for blues fans to visit. Mississippi has a “Blues Commission” that established the Macon sign and others like it throughout the state; there’s even a “Blues road” you can follow to see where the artists lived and worked.