Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Day six in Vicks (burg)

I like Vicksburg; my foot started to feel better on the Vicksburg National Military Park Tour (I recommend it, if you haven't been: it's very moving, and large scale--actually surrounding the town just where the Yankee besiegers and Confederate defenders did at the time); The people there are very friendly--it's the first place I'd say I'd encountered true Southern friendliness--and industrious. And I did one of my favorite things to do in a strange city--got my hair cut. And I got my picture taken with the barber (shamelessly allowing her to believe that the haircut was so good, I was gonna show the photo to my barber at home).
It's a picturesque city with still many very magnificent plantation houses kept up, but what they really know how to do is cemeteries. On top of all the memorials to fallen officers which simply are absolutely everywhere in town, the graveyards just poke themselves out at you, ironically demanding your attention where the graves themselves, row upon row, are individually so humble and nondescript--the private not just the military graves. The whole town's a memento mori--but more: a testament to courageous, anonymous and thankless death. We flatter ourselves that people will remember us when we're gone. Not for long, buddy, not for long.

There are some run down parts of Vicksburg and some people hurting, but nothing like the degradation in Memphis (especially in the South). Pray for the people of Memphis. ( I was gonna write, "they need hope... and change" but that would be insensitive of me).
Fruit only idea died after seeing "Solly's Hot Tamales" on Washington Street and admirably resisting temptation only to discover I've been heading down Washington in the wrong direction. I defy anyone to drive past Solly's Hot Tamales est 1939 twice. The tamales are twice as good and half again as Abe's in Clarksdale.
Driving through Port Gibson the main thoroughfare corresponding to highway 61 is known as Church street (as in "Save Church Street") and it is literally lined with churches, one after another First Baptist, Second Presbyterian, Third Methodist, Second Baptist, Third Presbyterian, Second Methodist, First Episcopalian, First Methodist--I couldn't figure out why the Methodists rans in the opposite direction to everyone else.
You DO know I'm just making most of this stuff up, right
Update August 8: I only just noticed now that the enormous couple of sunburnt whales I met on the Vicksburg Park tour and kepts running into (not literally, I should point out to those who know it's a driving tour) at the many points of interest, who said they were from Louisiana and who told me each time we met to "be careful" in New Orleans--were in fact angels.
So... I apologize for being so unobservant and slow.

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I'd be a blackguard and a cad, if I weren't so ineffectual. The less said "About Me", the better.