“Memory is the golden bridge
That keeps our hearts in touch
With all the long-past yesterdays
And things we loved so much.”
—Georgia B. Adams,
Quoted in book titled Memories of Time Past
In my previous post titled “Delta Addenda, Etc., Part II” I interjected two subjects relating to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the South and Celtic “thin places,” especially my own Southeast Arkansas “thin/then places,” still special and sacred to me from my long ago youth.
In the preceding post titled “Delta Addenda, Etc., Part I” I examined several items about the Mississippi River Delta and related topics such as its disappearing plantation and cotton culture and recent winter storms that covered its ubiquitous cypress trees in a rare coating of ice and snow.
In this third post in that series I return to that first theme of items relating to the Mississippi River Delta, but including some items about the South in general.
First are three “addenda to the addenda” that I received from Joe Dempsey, Gayle Harper, and Pat Scavo after publishing Part I of the Delta Addenda post. They have to do with Joe’s visit to modern-day Lake Dick, featured in the first part, an update on Gayle’s book about her journey down the Mississippi River, and a new Southern Web site sent to me by Pat titled “The Bitter Southerner.”
These are followed by other Southern topics such as a map from Paul Talmadge of the eleven distinctive regions of the United States and a review from Pat of the sequel to the famed Southern novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
Next, there is a link to a must-see site sent to me by my cousin Kay Barrett Bell titled “10 Old School Southern Rules to Abide By in the Present.” On that subject, on March 24, Pat Scavo sent me a link to the Natchez, Mississippi, Spring Pilgrimage with many photos of Southern Belles, Beaux, and mansions.
Finally, I offer an addenda and conclusion on the subject and primary theme of the entire post and blog about the importance of “gathering up the fragments of our lives so that nothing may be lost.”
This post is long but I hope you will at least scroll down through it and read the parts that interest you. (Note: To magnify the photos, simply click on each one as you view it.)
Addendum Post on Lake Dick, Arkansas, Project
and Photographic Trip Up the Mississippi Delta
“Woosht Ida knowed yu wuz gon discus Lake Dick.”
—Joe Dempsey’s response to my March 5 post
titled “Delta Addenda, Etc., Part I”
“We discover a place where you can still get
an RC Cola and a Moon Pie,
and we have a shot of the Ground Zero Blues Club
at Clarksdale, Mississippi.”
—Joe Dempsey, “The Lake Dick Project,”
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,
September 27, 2009
As you can see by the title and quotes above, after publishing the current post titled “Delta Addenda, Etc., Part I,” I received a very brief email response to it from Joe Dempsey, my longtime friend, Ouachita Baptist College classmate, and designer of this blog.
To that brief response Joe added a link to his Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind post published on September 27, 2009. That post begins with his visit to the Depression-era Lake Dick cooperative farm project site featured in my post. He then continues his narrative with a photographic journey from Lake Village, Arkansas, twenty-five miles below our hometown of McGehee, Arkansas. From there he crosses the Mississippi River and proceeds up the other side of the “Father of Waters” through the heart of the Mississippi Delta.
As I promised Joe, here is that link to a fascinating look not only at the present-day state of the Lake Dick area but at other sites in both the Arkansas and Mississippi Deltas.
To follow Joe on this enjoyable and enlightening “sentimental journey” into both the long ago past and the near past, click on the title of the post, “The Lake Dick Project/The Towering Past.”
Update on Book about
Trip down the Mississippi River
“I’ve just been notified that Roadtrip with a Raindrop: 90 Days Along the Mississippi is a FINALIST in the competition for Foreword Review’s INDIEFAB ‘Book of the Year’ Award!”
—Author Gayle Harper in March 18 email announcement
about her upcoming book award
As noted in the quote above, Gayle Harper’s book about her voyage down the Mississippi River has been nominated as a finalist in a “Book of the Year Award.” I reviewed this book and provided more information about it and Gayle in an earlier post titled “You Might Be from the Country, If . . . Part II.” To read that post, click on the title.
According to Gayle:
“The winners will be announced in June at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference to be held in San Francisco. Keep your fingers crossed, my friends . . . but, whatever happens, I am humbled and honored to have it included as a Finalist!”
Finally, after recommending that the reader visit the Author Facebook Page, Gayle concludes with this appeal:
“AND, while you’re on the website, if you haven’t seen the new Book Trailer yet—it’s a quick, fun, lively sampling of the spirit of Roadtrip With A Raindrop. It’s also available on You Tube. Please do share it with anyone you like!”
To visit Gayle’s Web site, click here.
Bitter Southerner Web Site
“I am busy reading about the ‘best’ gas station food
in the Delta starting with some I know
and some I do not know!”
—Pat Scavo sharing new Southern Web site
in email dated March 5, 2015
On March 5, my 1956 McGehee High School classmate Patsy McDermott (now Pat Scavo of Hot Springs, Arkansas) sent me a link to a new Southern Web site her husband Phil had discovered titled “The Bitter Southerner.”
Later that same day Patsy Mc wrote that she was busy reading an entry on that site titled “My Southern Education” and expressed the hope that I would soon take time to read it—and indeed everything on the site. It can be reached by clicking on the title above.
Let me know what you think!
Note: Speaking of the Mississippi side of the Delta, on March 12 Pat sent me the following photo of the cotton gin at Dahomey Plantation from about 1900. To learn more about Dahomey Plantation, which is now up for sale for $20 million, click here or Google Dahomey Plantation.
“Where Do You Live?”
“Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.”
—Reid Wilson, “Which of the American nations do you live in?”
On January 31, 2015, Paul Talmadge sent me an interesting email tiled titled “Where Do You Live?”
As shown below, that email included a link to a site which includes a map of the United States divided into eleven distinct regions. (To view the regions more clearly, click on the map.)
You will note that while Northeastern Oklahoma where I have lived for the past thirty-eight years is part of the Greater Appalachia region, Southeast Arkansas where I was born and raised is in the Deep South region. This important distinction serves as the basis of my entire blog about “My Oklahomian Exile from The Holy Land” which includes all aspects of lifestyle, culture, and language.
To Kill a Mockingbird
“. . . even now the book [To Kill a Mockingbird]
sells 1 million copies a year . . .”
— Sam Tanenhaus, Tulsa World, February 22, 2015
On February 3 Pat sent me an email titled “Something to Look Forward To” with a link to an online report about the publication of the second novel by Harper Lee, the author of the best-selling Southern novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
In the report, written by Maddie Drum of Huffington Post, the reporter had this to say about the event:
“Harper Lee, the author of the beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, will publish a second book this summer. Go Set a Watchman was completed in the 1950s, but set aside by the writer, who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for the only novel she ever published.”
To read the actual report, click here.
A second article titled “Why ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ remains relevant today” by Sam Tanenhaus appeared on the Opinion Page of the Tulsa World on February 22, 2015. According to the writer:
“. . . even now . . . the book sells 1 million copies a year—holding its own against each season’s biggest releases and yielding its author an annual royalty of about $1.7 million. It’s been translated into 40 languages. One British survey ranked [it] 65th among all-time bestsellers.”
10 Old School Southern Rules
“There are rules upon rules in the South. Some spoken and some unspoken. It can be hard to keep up with all of them, and depending on where you live in the South . . . , you might adhere to some rules more than others. Here’s a list of some old school Southern rules you may not know or have forgotten.”
—Jenny Bradley, “10 Old School Southern Rules
to Abide by in the Present,”
Country Outfitter, July 1, 2014
On March 3, 2015, my cousin Kay Barrett Bell, a native of Selma/McGehee, Arkansas, sent me an online link to an interesting site titled “10 Old School Southern Rules to Abide by in the Present.” (To read these rules, click on the title.)
Some of these tongue-in-cheek “rules” you may have seen or heard before, and some may even be considered outdated by some people’s loose standards of Southern etiquette. But they are worth a revisit, especially since the author of this blog post, an obvious Mississippi resident who comments on each rule, claims to be a fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks! Woooo pig, sooooeeey!
Would an (at least honorary) Arkie of the Covenant lie about such an important subject as good Southern manners?
Nevah, honey chile, jus’ nevah!
Now by-by, y’all . . . til’ nex’ time!
PS After I had composed this post on March 24 Pay Scavo sent me a link to the Natchez (MS) Spring Pilgrimage held from March 7 to April 7, 2015. To learn more about the pilgrimage, click here and see the link in the Sources section below.
Addenda and Conclusion
“Your posts are the epitome of
southern scholarship among other things. . . .
Some of the greatest things ever written
have been written in exile. . . .
[Your] exile is the root of your genius!”
—Paul Talmadge in emails to Jimmy Peacock
on March 6 and 15
“Gathering up the fragments of the events in our lives helps us to put the proper closure to things that really matter to us. No matter what happens to us, big or small, miraculous or plain, may we remember to ‘gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’”
—Mark Bossuti-Jones, author of the daily entry for March 15
based on John 6:12 NRSV in the Episcopal devotional Forward Day By Day
Whether Paul Talmadge’s comments about my “southern scholarship” and “exile [as] the root of [my] genius” are true or not, the quote from Mark Bossuti-Jones from the Episcopal daily devotional Forward Day By Day on the importance of “gather[ing] up the fragments of the events in our lives” is certainly true!
In fact, that is precisely what I have been trying to do over the past thirty-eight years of my “Oklahomian exile,” and especially over the past four years since I began not only to “gather up the fragments of the events in my life” but also to preserve them in this blog “so that nothing may be lost.”
As a Chickasaw cultural historian says in an Oklahoma TV ad for his tribe and his work in restoring and preserving its heritage: “I am trying to preserve the past for the sake of the future.”
May you also begin (or continue) to “gather up the fragments of your own life” and find some way or place to preserve them for the sake of future generations “so that nothing may be lost.”
The photos of the Lake Dick water tower, the RC and Moon Pie, and the Ground Zero Blues Club were taken from Joe Dempsey’s Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind post for September 27, 2009, at: http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photo100119/photo111.html
The link to my earlier post titled “You Might Be from the Country, If . . . Part II” was taken from:
The three photos of Gayle Harper, her book, and the Mississippi River were taken from her March 18 press release at: https://www.facebook.com/GayleHarper.MississippiRiver
The Facebook link to Gayle Harper’s book about her voyage down the Mississippi River was taken from:
The link to Gayle Harper’s Web site was taken from:
The photo titled “Gone With the Wind & My Southern Education” was taken from a link sent to me by Pat Scavo on March 5 from the Web site “The Bitter Southerner” at:
The photo of the 1900 Dahomey Plantation cotton gin was sent to me on March 12 by Pat Scavo. More about Dahomey Plantation, which is up for sale, can be found at:
The photo of the map from the site titled “Which of the 11 American nations do you live in?” by Reid Wilson was sent to me by Paul Tamaldge on January 31, 2015, and was taken from:
The report about the publication of Harper Lee’s second novel after To Kill a Mockingbird was sent to me by Pat Scavo and was taken from:
The photo of the cover of the first edition of the book To Kill a Mockingbird was taken from:
The Tulsa World Online article titled “Why ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ remains relevant today” was taken from the following link on February 22, 2015:
The “10 Old School Southern Rules to Abide By in the Present” was sent to me by my cousin Kay Barrett Bell on March 3, 2015, and taken from:
The photo of the Natchez, MS, Spring Pilgrimage was sent to me by Pat Scavo and taken from:
The quote about gathering up the fragments of our lives was written by Mark Bossuti-Jones, author of the daily entry for March 15 in the Episcopal devotional Forward Day By Day. Copyright 2015. Used by permission. www.forwardmovement.org
The photo of the cover of the Forward By Day was taken from: Forward Day By Day: February/March/April issue. Copyright 2015. Used by permission. www.forwardmovement.org