Oxford, MS to Clarksdale, MS
The Graduate Hotel in Oxford — the only hotel I know of that plays The Smiths over its sound system. And has a pink-floored elevator.
I went to Big Bad Breakfast. Diner but a bit precious, in a good way.
The South has soul and style. It’s deeply American. Mississippi is my favorite southern state so far. I love how the state worships its great musicians and writers.
Stopped at a Waffle House. My first time ever at one. It was not good.
At around 1 PM I crossed the Tallahatchie bridge. I’m in the Delta now. And it’s June 5, only two days after the song (“Ode to Billie Joe”) took place.
Said Bobbie Gentry of her megahit:
“The story of Billie Joe has two underlying themes. First, the illustration of a group of people’s reactions to the life and death of Billie Joe, and its subsequent effect on their lives. Second, the obvious gap between the girl and her mother, when both women experience a common loss (first, Billie Joe and, later, Papa), and yet Mama and the girl are unable to recognize their mutual loss or share their grief.” (Source: once again, Wikipedia)
Bobbie Gentry has been retired and out of public view since 1981.
Got to Clarksdale, a town that claims to have live music 365 nights a year. The small downtown seemed empty, but as I later learned, there’s a lot going on. Downtown has many historical markers and signs commemorating musicians.
I like the Travelers Hotel lobby. The Travelers is a super-funky boutique hotel with some high-tech touches.
No television in the room. Bravo! No clock either.
Walked over to the Delta Blues Museum and viewed its vast collections.
Spent a good deal of time sitting in my hotel lobby, natural light pouring in the front windows.
To a restaurant called Hooker Grocer. Loved the atmosphere, so laid back and relaxed. Missing Mary Beth, I bet she would love this place.
This is sophisticated food in the guise of a homey joint. Pimento cheese rice balls were amazing. My entree was tuna, just OK, though its vegetables (Hoppin’ John) were good.