Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Runnin' the Delta: It's a Little Delta Roadtrip

It's a Little Delta Roadtrip.....

It's a sultry, summer, Saturday morning and I'm running over to Marks, running twenty minutes east on still two-lane Highway 6 from Clarksdale, for a little Eggs Benedict brunch (homemade Hollandaise of course) with champagne and jazz and the artsy movie  "The Grand Budapest Hotel" at a friend's.....  

Delta Roadtrip

Vintage fine china and crystal in the foreground,
a vintage Chambers range, nearly like my Grandmother Nanny's,
WITH iron skillets, in the background,
the perfect scene is set for a Sunday Delta brunch

Brunch is NEVER complete without music.
I always love a little Jazz brunch.
Daddy took me to see Ray Charles at the Blue Room on New Orleans'
Roosevelt Hotel when I was about thirteen.
I wore a formal gown and felt glamorously grown up.

Home made Hollandaise in Motion!

I loved this artsy movie full of layered imagery, fabulously designed sets, and details

Voila! The most delicious brunch is served!

It's a little Delta Roadtrip. 

Most mornings these days I run to Helena from Clarksdale on Highway 1, and then in the evenings I run back from Helena to Clarksdale. 

Where Highway 1 begins, just east of the Mississippi River bridge and Helena.
I adore the cow on the pole.

I love the many old churches and buildings along Highway 1 between
Clarksdale and Helena.
I really do enjoy this little roadtrip nearly every day.

Just as I turn for Clarksdale onto Highway 1.
The flat Delta land ALWAYS makes my heart soar.

It's a little Delta Roadtrip.....  

When I was growing up on the Coldwater River between Lambert and Marks in Quitman County Mississippi, we were always running somewhere.  "Let's run over to Clarksdale and get some new shoes," my grandmother would say, late in the summer when it was time to get ready for school.  And to sweeten the trip even more, she would add,  "And we will go see a show at the Paramount while we're there."

And I did love going to movies here with my grandmother Nanny.
I always got popcorn, a coke, milk duds for starters,
 AND THEN a cherry drink with Jordan Almonds for Round 2!

It was a Delta Roadtrip!
The boards that covered the old marquee were removed not too long ago.
I hope to go in at some point.

It's a little Delta Roadtrip.....

"I've got to run over to Helena and pick up some parts," I heard my farming daddy say what seemed like a million times.

My very handsome and very beloved Daddy, a true Delta gentleman farmer
who loved the land and the cotton.
He is standing in his beloved cotton. 

One of Daddy's oldest pickers.
I believe it is a two-row.
There was always a need for parts,
 which precipitated a Delta Roadtrip.

"Let's run down to Greenwood and eat at Lusco's tonight or maybe Polles' in Clarksdale," my mother, who back then lived to dine out, would often say. 

We ran down to Greenwood to eat at Lusco's.
And of course went to a gallery and a book signing.
It was a lil' Delta Roadtrip!

Celebrating birthdays with some of my very favorite Delta folks at Lusco's.
The private rooms are the best!

Checking out at Lusco's
We were about to run back to Clarksdale.

It's a little Delta Roadtrip.....

To get everything done we had to make a lot of roadtrips here, there, and everywhere around the Delta.  We were exposed to lots of food, art, music, and literature all over the Delta. 

That part of living in the Delta hasn't really changed. Roadtrips were and are integral to Delta life. Every day is an adventure of sorts, full of the tastes, textures, sounds and images of different Delta towns.  

Soon I won't be running along Highway 1 every day. I will be installed on Cherry Street in downtown Helena, but I know many days I will be running somewhere for something, probably for food, or art, or music. Lots of days I will  probably run to Clarksdale.  

The Maven is working on a studio in Helena on historic
downtown Cherry Street.  Maven West?
I recently hosted the Delta Ducky Derby here to benefit
the Phillips County Humane Society.
Helena's Malco is directly across the street.

I confess, I LOVE candles!
And of course the faux bois bench!
(See more about my love of faux bois HERE)

Did you know that Helena and Clarksdale are now officially sister cities?  Our Helena Mayor Jay Hollowell and Clarksdale's Mayor Bill Luckett recently made the announcement in Helena.  

Mayor Luckett took a little 
Delta Roadtrip.....

Mayor Bill Luckett of Clarksdale and Mayor Jay Hollowell of Helena
at the Americana Music Triangle launch in Helena discussing the new
Sister City Relationship between the two towns.
They are under my "watchful eye", as Mayor Luckett calls it.

And here we are again a few weeks later at Helena's Delta Cultural Center
at the official press conference
 to announce the Sister City relationship.
The Delta art of Tim Jacob is in the background.

From Left: Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett, Katie Harrington of the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, ME, Doug Friedlander Director of the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce, Kappi Allen Director of Clarksdale Tourism, Chris Ritchey incoming Director of the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce, Riverman John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company, Madge Marley Howell and Billy Howell of The Delta Bohemian, Lindy and Will Howell, Helena Mayor Jay Hollowell

The Helena and Clarksdale Mayors on the Mississippi River  

And joined by me and Kappi.
It was SO windy!!!!

It all excites me to my core. I hope you will join me in Helena AND Clarksdale for the first official sister city event, Delta Roadtrip on October 2 and 3, a celebration of authentic Mississippi River Delta art, music, food, literature, and culture. We will be running back and forth on Highway 1. 

We will have a Friday evening and Saturday all day long mix of food, music, art, and culture in the Delta.  The Delta has always has been a mecca for such, and I'm hoping it always will be. Please join us as we celebrate all that is authentically Delta.....

Take a little Delta Roadtrip with me.... 

I was just about to run to Greenwood with Madge
on ANOTHER little Delta Roadtrip!

Our official Delta Roadtrip logo is a painting by
Clarksdale artist and musician Stan Street of Hambone Gallery.

Stay tuned for more details.....

Clarksdale and Helena are proud to be on the Gold Record Road
of the Americana Music Triangle.

Delta Roadtrip is proud to be a part of Bridging the Blues.


  1. And don't forget the most excellent TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FESTIVAL happening the VERY same weekend in Clarksdale. The Saturday afternoon Porch Plays will make a perfect addition to your Delta Roadtrip. Nancy Foley, Clarksdale Returnee

  2. OOPS! Forgot to add this:


  3. Hello
    really enjoy reading and cannot wait to get back. i use to only come during Biscuit, but enjoy Helena/Clarksdale even without the Festival. First time i went down there, when i was heading home I asked a friend for a plastic bag..........he asked what for......i replied, I left part of me here (tent city), and im taking part of it home with me...that was several years ago, and it STILL has me..............

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