2012 August

SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN A MISSISSIPPI JUKE

Posted by | The road | 2 Comments

In grad school I was working on a poetry manuscript about the Mississippi Delta Blues. Two roadtrips from Virginia rolled me through Memphis, Clarksdale, Ruleville, Mound Bayou, Cleveland, Rosedale, on down to Jackson. I left change at Sonnyboy Williamson’s grave, sat in the gas chamber at Parchman State Pen and walked the grounds of Dockery Farms and the Peavine Railroad. I visited Charlie Patton’s granddaughter, Rose, sat for a sweltering Mississippi hour with a tenant of the Riverside Hotel where Bessie Smith died, bought a glass bottle of Coca-Cola in the town where Robert Johnson was supposedly poisoned (and died), and stood 150 yards out in a completely silent field of blessedly high cotton.

And I went, twice, to a small juke in Merigold.

A quarter-mile up the road from the blacktop turn-off, Po’Monkey’s was a patchwork-and-tin heartbeat hunkered down and leaning against an evening-blue-ink sky. Twenty five cars parked in their own hurried and lazy dusty order. The night air a heavy kiss following a sweet, close exhale. Cold beer in cans. Music as timeless and sweaty and soul-wrenching as you’d expect. Po’Monkey himself, sharp in a suit and tie and hat and cigarred smile. Purveyor of the day’s fine, fine respite.

Almost ten years later, I find this very cool article in Garden & Gun.

Happy birthday, Mr. Seaberry.

 

FILM PROJECT: A DELIBERATE LIFE

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We’re going back to Idaho.

By “we” I mean Grant Taylor and me, plus a few others. To say that last year’s trip was a profound experience for us would be a bit of an understatement. The 10 days we spent fly fishing across the southern half of the state (you can read all about them starting here) marked a significant shift in each of our lives, having both just started out on new career paths.

Idaho, and the people that shared their time, stories and home waters with us, helped us see that our lives and this world are larger and more far-reaching than the routines we had become too comfortable with. In the end, we found that we all share essentially the same story – of taking risk and following our passions. Living life deliberately.

So, with special thanks to our gracious hosts – Rebecca Garlock (Outdooress and Outdoor Blogger Network), Colby Hackbarth (Kast Extreme Fishing Gear) and Ross Slayton – we’re going back the first week in September and we’re shooting a film to capture those stories. And fish, of course.

Special thanks also to Matt White and Dustin Lutt – our other two partners in shooting the film.

I’m proud to present the initial statement of intent for the project – A Deliberate Life: