Not too long ago, someone said to me, “You always were a little off-center.” Later that day I was going to be driving a tractor and was dressed for the part in patched work pants and a rumpled cotton shirt. Though attire is what evoked the comment and his tone friendly, I suspect the fellow’s assessment wasn’t limited to my sartorial choices.
The sparrows here are insistent, expectant. Before I can get the laptop out of its case, two of them are at my feet looking up.
The West Point/Clay County Arts Council presents “Juke Joint,” a collection of Birney Imes’ photographs of Mississippi juke joints and related images.
My friend Axel called from Germany the other day. When I told him I was going to be interviewing Mack Banks later in the week, he threw out a quote from one of Mack’s X-rated songs and asked me if I still had the album he gave me years ago.
When our almost 8-year-old grandson, Benjamin, announces he’s ready to go to Dudy Noble, he initiates a time-honored sequence of events. He goes and gets a metal bat and a small cloth bag containing six to 10 worn-out tennis balls, and I begin looking for my shoes.
When it started raining I walked down off the railroad tracks through briars into a dense stand of sweet gum. This will be just fine. Just like the deer I had seen near the trestle would likely do, I’ll wait out the storm here under the trees.
By 10 o’clock Tuesday morning Bobby Ray had almost finished picking up storm debris in his yard on Tabernacle Road when neighbor Ricky Ward showed up. The two are old friends, their friendship rooted in their shared passion for dirt-track racing.
Maybe there is something to that old saying, “The good guys wear white hats.”
Tuesday morning I turned on the radio and was greeted by the news of Pete Seeger’s death. “Impossible,” I thought, stunned.
Thirty-five years ago this month Blewett Thomas invited me to ride over to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to visit the bluesman Johnny Shines. The day before Blewett had met Axel Kustner, a German blues enthusiast, who was visiting their mutual friend, Big Joe Williams in Crawford.