Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Road Trip: Clarksdale, Memphis, Nashville

Here's some photos from the recent Memphis/Nashville trip.

Hick's Tamales. Robert Johnson sang about Mississippi delta tamales. They're not like the Mexican ones, and apparently there's some debate over why they're a favorite food in the delta. I ate three sets, and Hick's (in Clarksdale) were by far the best.

Poster inside Hick's.

The crossroad, Clarksdale.

We came across this by accident. We were driving through Clarksdale looking for liquor - well, I was, Kali Durga doesn't drink. We found a little beer and wine store that appeared to be only licensed to sell 6% alcohol and under, so I bought a gigantic bottle of watered-down blackberry-flavored wine. Coming out of the store we saw the sign, which fails to actually appear in the photo, that marks the crossroad where Robert Johnson, among others, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play guitar. (I probably should have asked Old Nick for the ability to aim a cell phone in the dark.) The site is marked by a cheesy pair of crossed blue guitars and the 61/49 signs for the two roads that crossed there. You see this rune around a lot in these parts. (Just not in my photos.)

Oh, here we are. On the side of this building in the Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, the guitar and numbers. And the unending flatness of the cotton fields.

By the way, I'd like to add that I throw around the story of the crossroads and the devil in the same enthusiastic way I recount the story of the Easter Bunny. I don't actually believe any of it and I don't think you have to in order to enjoy it/be in awe of it. (1)

Grave marker, Clarksdale cemetery. This was a lonely graveyard indeed.

Truck and delta, at the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale.

My shack at the Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale.

(1) Actually I've no idea what the story of the Easter Bunny is. I know he leaves eggs under children's pillows or something. But you get the picture.

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