Deep In Mississippi

Mississippi State Flag

Mississippi State Flag

My memory not being as razor sharp as it used to be requires me every now and then, to write it down.  I carry in my pocket a small notepad which I use to make notes to myself as the day progresses.  Also have a small pocket recorder about the size of pack of smokes that comes in handy.

Being a prolific story teller I am constantly thinking about a new story for Creative Endeavors and these are two of the things that I use to ensure that my ideas get channeled towards the site.  I also have “business cards” with my logo, address (site) and email and I leave them with my tips at restaurants and here and there.  I do as much as I can to make sure the word gets out, as they say, “whatever works.”

So I am sitting at Jimmy’s Egg the other morning and we are having breakfast, a friend and I, and I get this idea for this story, so I pull out my notepad and I start writing in it.  Then it happens, I cannot for the life of me, figure out how it is that you spell M-i-s-s-is-s-i-p-p-i which was irritating the fizz out of me.

The old brain simply locks up from time to time, and there isn’t much I can do about it.  My kid calls this phenomenon “Brain Farts” for some strange reason ….. His turn is coming … We all get our turn.  Once you turn fifty … Look out!

We all have at this stage in life, “Senior Moments” as my wife calls them. Speaking of senior moments, you hear about the lady that called up the newspaper and demanded to know where her Sunday Paper might be?  The irate customer loudly demanded, wanting to know about her missing Sunday Edition.

Ma’am” said the employee of the newspaper, “today is Saturday … The Sunday Paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on Sunday.” The was quite a long pause on the other end of the telephone and she was heard to mutter …… Well Harold that explains why no one was in church today.”

What was it I was talking about?

Oh yeah, I look at my buddy and I say …  “How do you spell Mississippi?” and he says to me, “The river or the state?”

I need to get some new friends.

One of the things I hate about traveling is you eventually have to stop somewhere and do laundry.  This is one of those unfortunate things you are required to deal with when you are on the road, locating a laundry and doing a load of dirty clothes.  Laundry is … a fact of life.


One hot sultry summer day we found ourselves in this predicament in the Deep South, a small town in Mississippi.  We stopped and parked, got out the laundry bag, which seemed to be exploding with dirty clothes and headed down to a small coin operated laundry on this little main street.  Just a little obscure little town, much like all the towns in the Deep South that time has been frozen and often forgotten.

This place was so small, the City Hall was the top floor of the local Dairy Queen.  No rush hour, no hurry, no worry, nice little park in the center of town.  One of those “its a wonderful life kind of places.”

The laundry was nothing out of the ordinary and not a whole lot of folks inside, we got our stuff out, and commenced to doing the chores.  One lady was in there doing her wash, and she had these two small dinkers with her, beautiful little girls.

Giggling and having a good time, they were a handful to be sure.

As they came around I would smile real big, reach out and touch them, generally speaking “was just having a good time of it all” playing with these little girls.  I hate laundry chores with a passion, and if I can play with the kids, instead of doing laundry.  Well, that is simply a no-brainer, so I went for it.

Then as it happened, the smallest of the two girls, extended her arms for me to pick her up.  As small children will do from time to time.

Not giving it a second thought, I swooped her up into my arms and exclaimed, “You are so dog-gone beautiful girl, I am gonna take you home with me!”  She in turn rewarded me with a loud raucous belly laugh and a huge #3 washtub smile.

Then I noticed that her mother was staring at me strangely and she was crying.  I immediately put the child down and said to her, “Oh, I am so terribly sorry.  I was just playing with her.  I didn’t mean to upset you.”

She looked at me and said, “Where are you people from?”

So I said, “Oklahoma, Okie City.  Why?”

And she said, “No white man from around here, ever picked up one of my babies and said they was beautiful.”

Hard to believe that something like that still persists in this day and age.  But it does.  You can make a difference, start today, change one heart at a time.


4 thoughts on “Deep In Mississippi

  1. Our family had moved from Santa Ana, CA, back to Atlanta in 1957 —

    Around 1959 or so, I remember running ahead of my parents to a water fountain in a local discount store, only to be jerked away before I could get my drink of water. Mom directed me ten feet away to the “white” fountain.

    I remember separate cafeterias (two serving lines, two identical dining rooms separated by stainless steel rails) served “whites” and “coloreds” at the Georgia State Farmers’ Market back then.

    We had separate restroom facilities back then but they let all of us check out at the same cash register.

    Go figure.
    It’s a different world today, changed and yet still, very much the same in some areas of the country.


  2. Yep, its still alive and well. Sadly to say.. I recently was in Alabama Costco store. I watched as a mom set her three kids down on the stools and went to the window to get pizza and soda for the kids. You noticed the kids as they were so well behaved and nicely dressed. They sat patiently and the mom kept a watchful eye. Sure enough the little one
    slipped off the stool and cracked his head on the floor.
    I bolted from my seat and grabbed him up so fast his mom was shocked to turn around and find this ole’ white lady holding her young black son who was crying. I thought he was justified to be crying as he hit the concrete floor with his head. He did not seem to be afraid of me picking him up. But his mom looked shocked.. As she walked forward I did not know what to expect from her. She directed her words to the older child who was suppose to be watching his younger brother. I promply spoke up and told her the kids were not fooling around it was the slick parka he was wearing caused him to hit the floor when all he did was turn to look at his mom. She allowed me to hold her son while she went back to get the pizza for the kids. Then she promptly took him form my arms with a stern look at her kids. I assured her again they had been behaving them selves and it was just a accident and I hoped he had no serious injury. Which he did not appear to . She seemed to glare at me for short time. Just before we left, she saw we were clearing the table. She walked over with a big smile and said Thank You.. Once again I felt the pain of prejudices that concerned her but the love of a mother won over and her childs safety was more imporant and as mothers we shared a common bond. No matter what color I was I cared about her child just as I would my own.
    Once again God’s light came shining thru.
    Nice very nice, are you getting out of the house more? You need to exercise girl. Glad you stopped by.


  3. I can only imagine what the world would be like if we could/would only teach our children love instead of hate. And I truly believe hate is a taught emotion.

    Here is a version of my favorite Christmas carol, Little Drummer Boy. This one is Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

    Children see what they see (and they are really watching everything that you do all of the time) and I have to agree, I believe all of this stuff, starts in the home first. Then it moves to the schools and the street, but they get it at home first.

    And they usually get it from “Older American’s” not the youngest. I sincerely believe that. I believe they get more detrimental instruction from Grandparents than parents, but that is just my take on it. But you are right, voluntarily or involuntarily, they are “taught” the negative values, long before they actually experience them for themselves.

    On the video thing? I dunno, maybe it is me, but when they do that, mix the new with the old, I find it a little creepy. Like Elvis Presley singing with his daughter. But that is just me, it is a new take on a mechanical Christmas song that gets in your head and lives there for the entire day, I will admit that. How is the weather in Truckee?


  4. It is cold in Sacramento (35 when I got up at 7 AM, which is really cold for us!). Supposed to be a storm moving in which means lots of new snow up the mountain. I think the forecasters may be right this time, lots of very dark clouds moving in.
    I googled Bing Crosby and found that video is actually from a Christmas special he did in 1977, and David Bowie was his guest. I agree “new” recordings of living people singing with the departed is a bit creepy.
    We are due for some freezing rain/ice/drizzle …. whatever, it is not going to be fun. Today Creative Endeavors starts Christmas Week (s) a new pardody each and every day until Christmas. The first one, 12 Days of Layoffs, is up now.


Comments are closed.