The Delta

People of the Delta who grew up when cotton was king and the days were long and lazy in the South well remember the phenomenon that took place. It changed. Dramatically. The old ways began to die. Ways that had remained the same for decades. The South had been evolving in the same direction since the birth of the Nation, but when the tide turned, not many of us could identify with the change.

My daddy didn't leave the Delta until he retired from farming. He saw the changes coming, but he never saw its demise. Watching it go down would have been devastating to one of its greatest fans. He had given his strength and energy to a place he loved—the Southland.

By the time the late fifties rolled around, my interest was not the surreptitious exodus out Fourth Street to Highway 61 North toward Memphis, for I knew nothing of it. Nor was it neighboring Tunica and the casinos, not yet a twinkle in Mississippi's eye. It was those oak-shaded streets—West Second, Catalpa, School, and Oakhurst Drive. It was Alan's and Powers' and Shankerman's department stores. And oh, yes, Westbrook's Drive-In, where we sat in our cars eating hamburgers and listening to our favorite fifties' tunes. But far beyond that, it was a dusty road, some mimosa trees, and a long green trail that led to the Indian Mound and true love already sparked from a tune by Clarksdale's own Sam Cooke called Darling, You Send Me.

From Chapter 1, House Not Made With Hands

Jane Bennett Gaddy
Trinity, FL


  1. My day is not complete if I haven't checked out Wanda's blog. Hugh


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