A tinnie, chockas with evacuees, stalled in Giles street in the flow of the fourth street river. The force of the river smashed it into a light pole. The light fell just missing the occupants. When the dinghy flipped and everyone went under the festive mood immediately evaporated.
Clearly built without the aid of an architect, Po' Monkey's Lounge crazy structure sat in the middle of a cotton field — a mile and a half off Highway 61.
So what are the connections between Baptists, blood and billboards? Bob Gosford explores the backroads and dusty doctrinal tracts of southern Baptist theology to find out.
"The next challenge will be to reach the White River. A route will have to be scouted through the briars, snake-infested woods and alligator swamps. The explorers will then manually portage all of their gear and canoes from the Arkansas River to the White River, a process that might require one long dirty day."
"The Big Muddy" follows centuries of human efforts to conceptualize this landscape of mud as a place with firm barriers between water and land, and then make these conceptions reality. A few examples: early French explorers repeatedly failed to locate the mouth of the Mississippi out of an inability to imagine a vast, multi-channeled delta. Rice, and then indigo, tobacco, and sugar encouraged settlers to drain, divide, and levee the landscape.
There are certain moments on the River that shine more brightly than others. When they happen, they’re sharp like dreams. It’s like the energy of the earth surges, rises from its core, and lights up something very small. Ditches, low fogs, rocks, and other unremarkable things become geysers of this glow.
Margaret’s Grocery and Market is almost indescribable – it is at once evidence of an incredibly fertile imagination, a religious shrine, a jumble of thoughts and musings on the nature and power of religion and a work of architectural art. More than anything it is a validation of the freedom of expression in the built environment that is so apparent as you drive around the south – you can build just about anything, anywhere and anyhow here.
The real story, however, is what this is doing to the Mississippi river basin. Thankfully, we are protected by the best levees in the Valley (northern Delta counties), which did not even fail in 1927 (Cleveland hasn't been flooded by the River since 1903!), so unless there is an earthquake, we should be all right.
Gaining Ground is focussed on the lower Mississippi delta, but strikes me that this approach may have broader application - particularly in an Australian context where we have a seemingly endless struggle trying to work out how we are going to manage major economic and ecological assets like the Murray/Darling river systems.
Michael Loyd Young, documents the 150 miles of Highway 61, the famed blacktop road snaking from Memphis, TN down to Greenville, MS. At the halfway point, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, sits Clarksdale, MS, the city considered the birthplace of the blues and the location of Robert Johnson’s famed “Cross Road Blues” intersection of Highway 61 and 49. The Delta has been home to blues legends such as Charley Patton, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Cadillac John Nolden, B.B. King, T-Model Ford, Mississippi Slim, Big Jack Johnson, and Willie King, among countless others whose music has become the glue that holds these communities together as they struggle to survive.