For various reasons I have not posted lately but a book I just finished reading has inspired me to get back to earth and moving again.
Improbably, it started about 2 ½ years ago when we were invited to a Preservation Yazoo cocktail party. Preservation Yazoo is an off shoot of the Yazoo Historical society with the emphasis on the houses dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that survived the great fire of 1904. It was held at one of the houses in town in the late spring and even had a jazz combo in the backyard garden. I just checked as I thought I had the blog up and running then but for whatever reason I did not do a post about the event.
When the mosquitoes drove us indoors at dusk I was in the library and started up a conversation with a man from England, Richard Grant, who came to Yazoo City by way of Arizona and NYC. He was (and is) a writer who came to Mississippi to write about life down here. I took away from our conversation that his book project was about how story telling turned into an art form down here and influenced American literature through the works of Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor and the playwright Tennessee Williams. I told him about my blog and he feigned interest so I gave him one of calling cards.
Just this past May his project became a book about a plantation named Pluto that is in the middle of the Delta that an unmarried couple from NYC move into and the adventures that ensue. He delves into the blues music that the Brits came to appreciate long before we did and its evolution into rock’n roll.
What I found intriguing is the many things I have written about are in his book: fire ants, snakes, how fast everything grows (especially weeds in the garden), the basic goodness of the people (which was a big surprise to ultra liberals from Manhattan) and many other things. He is even handed in his approach and explanation of race relations in terms of its complexity and just how much better it is here than many other places in our country and around the world.
All in all, a good read and pretty funny, too.