Born on the Bayou

I didn’t sell my soul to the devil at the crossroads in Clarksdale Mississippi like Robert Johnson famously did, but I did get a really good haircut there. The barber was “Commissioner” Orlando Bales and his shop was called Soldier’s Creed.

He painted eagles and flags on the walls instead of having TVs. He said if he had TVs people would just break in and take them. He was impressed because Michelle followed me around with her video camera so therefore I must be a famous man. I tried to live up to that expectation.

That evening we rolled into Jackson, Mississippi and parked in near the co-op in the Fondren District.

Jackson was pretty sleepy, really nothing like the “pepper sprout” Johnny and Roseanne Cash sang about, but everyone there was incredibly nice. Someone invited us to park at his mom’s house.

We met up with Abby from the Center for Southern Jewish Life and she filled us in on the long illustrious history of our tribe in the southland. As we were driving out of town we listened to Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk on repeat. In it he sings “….Jackson Mississippi… got to kiss myself I’m so pretty…” A pretty funny line.

A little later on the road to Zion…

The oil pressure gauge on the bread bus started going nuts. so we pulled off and found a diesel mechanic. He looked stunned when we rolled in. Between the confederate flags and the Trump signs, we knew we were in for an awkward situation.

Fortunately the mechanic’s shop was located on his farm and he had a pond and ducks for our crew to hang out with while he contemplated working on our rig and told us how Donald Trump was the only one who could save the country.

The problem turned out to just be a bad sensor and 4 hours later we were back on the road.

The graffiti in the men’s room in a gas station just south of the Louisiana/Mississippi border spoke volumes on the state of race relations.

As we crossed the bayou, the swollen Mississippi comes rushing toward the sea. The vulnerability of the people living here is stunningly obvious.


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