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    Delta Blues: Greenville and Indianola

    July 12, 2016

    This morning I awoke around 6:30, and I was exploring downtown by 7:30. 

     

    All I had to do was jump on 82 to arrive into downtown Greenville.  

     

    Signs for another casino follow me into the town square.  

     

    Damn those casinos.

     

    I find a place to park on Walnut street and walk up to a levee.  

     

    The picture above shows Lake Ferguson which separates Mississippi from Arkansas.  

     

    I get back on the bike and begin to drive around on Main Street and Broadway Street.  

     

    Not much going on here.  

     

    More of the same.  

     

    Empty buildings.

     

    For sale signs.

     

    Fortunately, the dilapidation is not nearly as bad as in Vicksburg.

     

    I'm sure there's a Delta Blues song written -- somewhere -- about these vacant small towns along the Mississippi.  

    I park, and I check my phone for a place to have breakfast.

     

    Shoney's?

     

    No.

     

    Denny's? 

     

    No.

     

    Jim's Cafe?

     

    Yes!  

     

    I walk in and step back in time.   

     

    Literally:  1909.  

     

    Sort of.  The decor is not from the era, but some of the photos and smells take you back in time.    

     

    Unbeknownst to me, Alton Brown stopped by this place along his Food Network tour of the Mississippi River.  

     

    I meet a new waitress, Heaven.  

     

    It's her first day on the job.  (Why didn't I ask about her name?)     

     

    Heaven is a tiny, young woman about 90 pounds.  She asks me where I am from and when I tell her about my journey, her eyes light up.  

     

    Her dream:  buy a camper and travel the country, too.

     

    She has the truck to haul the camper.

     

    I encourage her to make that dream happen.  

     

    Sadly, she also shares Greenville's blues.

     

    Ten-years ago, the town was bustling.  

     

    Now, not much to speak of.

     

    When I pay my check, I meet the new family owner -- Katherine; it may be -- Catherine.  

     

    She offers helpful advice on where to go and what to see; she also shares all the amazing people she has met who have come through the area. People canoeing the Mississippi River and people from as far away as France and Asia.

     

    She asks me to sign her visitor book; I do.   

     

    Next stop:  Indianola.

     

    The B.B. King Museum

     

    The drive to Indianola on 82 was not much different from the previous days.  

    It is farm country out here: rural, fertile, and flat.  

     

    I did enjoy hearing and seeing the crop dusters spraying the fields.

     

    It's not a sight you see everyday.  

     

    At least, not where I'm from.  

     

    B.B. King's Museum was easy to find thanks to the signage along the way. My "take aways" from the museum experience were just as much about the man as about life.  

     

    Not to mention a lesson in history, too.  

     

    Rather than giving you my own interpretation, I'm going to encourage you to come out here and learn how B.B. King approached his own existence.

     

    I will share this:  the blues is about loving, living, and laughing.  

    On my way back to Greenville, I stopped by the local Cypress Preserve Trust.  

     

    I had seen a sign for it right off of 82 and wondered what it was.  

     

    Apparently, wetland depressions (known as sloughs) can be found anywhere; however, this one happens to be in an urban setting.  A group of local citizens opted to protect this cypress slough and offer it as a public space.  As I ventured around, I have a Jean Lafitte flashback.

     

    These photos have been untouched.  

     

    After my contemplative B.B. King and cypress tree experiences, I head into the real world:  the grocery store.

     

    At Kroger, I pick up some salads before heading back to the campground. Of course, I devour them in the parking lot since there is no point in hauling food back on a hot motorcycle.  Meanwhile, I thought about that wonderfully cold shower which awaited me upon my return to Warfield Park.

     

    Because I did not get back until past 7 p.m., I had just enough time to take a shower and head into my tent.  

     

    Today, I spent a long day out in a couple of towns and on the highway, so my tiredness came on pretty quickly.

     

    Tomorrow's goal:  Clarksdale.

     

    Do I have a place to stay?  

     

    Not yet.

    Until we meet again, my friend.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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