Teddy, a Turtle and Spud

When dinner’s over, the leftovers go into the refrigerator, or perhap to the garbage or compost pile.  When the sewing project’s done, the scraps may be set aside for quilting, or they may be thrown away.  Now and then, after I’ve pruned the plants, I wonder – should I toss the trimmings, or start yet another pot of green-and-growing-something I have no room to maintain?

In a world so consumed with worries about “not enough”, it’s ironic that there’s often excess all around, a surplus of “this” or “that” we don’t know how to handle. Life is filled with excess: scraps of memory, leftover bits of time, a surplus of meaning here and there. Even vacations sometimes surprise us.  We come home, we unpack, and suddenly in the bottom of the bag we discover a few little extras we nearly forgot.  This re-discovery can be as pleasurable as the initial encounter, and just as important for our longer-term enjoyment of a holiday.

Fancy buttons, butter curls, or a clutch of fresh flowers aren’t necessary for a good life, and it isn’t necessary for us to recall every detail of a trip in order to enjoy the larger sweep of memory.  On the other hand, even the tiniest details of life are much like the magician’s scarf.  Tug on one corner where it peeks from a pocket, and you can pull and pull forever as the languid reach of an afternoon, the receptivity of small towns and the  colorful accidents of history flutter and drift around you.

I tugged on one of those unique “details” today, remembering my recent trip to Mississippi.  On the way I passed through  San Augustine, Texas.  Bounded on the west by Nacogdoches and on the east by Natchitoches, Louisiana, it’s a small town surrounded by reservoirs and connected for 300 years by El Camino Real.  It may be known best for the historic Mission DoloresMission Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de los Ais, first established in 1717 along Ayish Bayou.  Like so many towns along El Camino Real, it has its share of historic sites, beautiful homes and proud citizens. It also has one of the coolest police stations I’ve ever seen.

 Under normal circumstances, I’d have noticed the building and driven on. But I was on vacation, with no specific destination and no schedule to keep. Making a U-turn, I drove back to the station, remembering to signal as I crossed traffic in case someone was watching, and pulled up next to the baby blue-trimmed corrugated steel building. I pulled out my camera, walked around to the front and pushed open the door. The Chief of Police and a woman were standing inside, chatting.

“Hi,” I said, as the Chief looked me over. “I was just passing through town, and saw your building. I was wondering if you’d mind me taking some photos.” Both of them burst out laughing. “Shoot away,” the Chief grinned. The woman didn’t even look up from her paperwork. “Don’t you think that’s a poor choice of words?”  “Ah, shoot,” he said.  As I began to wonder exactly what the Chief spent his days thinking about, he looked at me and added, “Too bad you can’t get our best feature into your photos.”  “What’s that?”,  I asked.  “We finally got the roof fixed so it doesn’t leak.”

Back outside, I was in the process of photographing the cactus in the front window when the door opened. It was the woman, with something in her hand. “Here,” she said. “If you’re wanting pictures of those cactus and such, you’ll probably want a picture of Spud. He’s our police mascot.”

Spud was one of the prettiest guinea pigs I’ve seen. He’s named Spud because he’s just about the size of a nice, big Idaho baking potato, and his job is to keep up morale around the station. He didn’t exactly smile for the camera, but he didn’t wiggle or put up a fuss, either, and he raised my morale a notch or two right then and there.

Apart from Spud, an unfortunate encounter with a fire ant mound in a graveyard and a few dead armadillos along the highways, I didn’t see any more evidence of wildlife until the next day, north of Vicksburg.  Edging along the Delta National Forest on Highway 61, I glanced up to see this cautionary sign. 

An hour later, chatting with the folks at Teal’s Onward Store south of Rolling Fork, I’d learned black bears do frequent the area, that President Teddy Roosevelt’s refusal to shoot one during a 1902 hunting trip had led to the birth of the Teddy Bear, and that in the great American tradition of playing the hand you’re dealt, the Onward Store has become a shrine to the intriguing combination of President Roosevelt and McKinley Morganfield, the blues guitarist now known as Muddy Waters.

Born in Rolling Fork in 1915,  Muddy Waters surely heard the tales of The Great Bear Hunt while growing up in Clarksdale. Far more than simple sportsmanship toward the bear would have made the story interesting to him.  Roosevelt was accompanied on his trip by African American Holt Collier, known at the time as the best bear man in the Delta. Born into slavery, Collier was a crack shot with unrivaled knowledge of the land, and had served as a Confederate Scout for General Nathan Bedford Forrest during the Civil War. It was Collier who tracked the bear Roosevelt refused to shoot, and the most famous cartoon at the time made clear the President’s acceptance and honorable treatment of Collier was at least as noteworthy as his unwillingness to engage in a killing of a creature that was no sport at all.

“Drawing the Line in Mississippi”
Clifford Berryman cartoon published in the November 71, 1902 edition of  “The Washington Post”
The phrase “drawing the line” commonly was understood to be a double entendre, referring not only to the bear hunt, but also to the current state of race relations.

Entranced by the mementos and history showcased by the Onward Store, I might have returned for a second visit had I not decided to move a little west and follow the River Road on my journey south.  Here, the land holds sway, its own history defined by the course of the Mississippi.   At Mound Landing, the Levee failed in the disastrous flood of 1927.  Old Prentiss, established as the seat of Bolivar County in 1852 and burned by the Federals in 1863, was entombed by a flood in 1865 before reappearing during a 1954 drought.  Reading the history, it seems area houses always were falling into the River, including one at Doro Plantation, established in the early 1850s by Charles Clark, Confederate General and wartime Governor of Mississippi (1863-1865).

Turning toward the River at the Highway 1 marker for Doro Plantation, I passed the small cemetery where General Clark and his family lies buried, then wound around through agricultural land, past a small house flying the Confederate flag and along the edge of an exquisite old pecan orchard to the Levee. The roads were beautifully maintained, so “up” it was to the top, and then down again to the whorling,  inexorable flow of the River.  After dabbling a bit at the water’s edge, I drove back to the top of the Levee and thoughtlessly followed its road until I noticed a dark spot moving along in front of me.  I hadn’t seen another vehicle for miles, so I stopped the car and got out to take a look.  Not smart enough to keep my shadow to myself, I let it fall across the creature making its way across the road.  My new little friend “turtled” on me immediately, pulling into his shell and giving me a once-over that would have made San Augustine’s police chief proud.

“Hey”, I said, getting down on my hands and knees to address the turtle more directly.  “Why don’t you poke your head out of that shell and let me take your picture?”   There was no response.   I thought perhaps a more formal introduction might help.  “My name’s Linda.  What’s yours?”   Silence.  “All right”, I said.  “Since you won’t tell me your name, I’m going to call you Doro, because that’s where I found you.  And, I’m going to make a portrait of you anyway.”  It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to get down to turtle-level to take a photo, but it worked out.  It’s even harder to read the expression in a turtle’s eyes, but he seemed not to be nervous at all – only resigned to this brief interruption of his afternoon stroll.

Finally, my photograph in hand and feeling the conversation had reached its natural conclusion, I stood up and brushed the twigs and mud off my knees. Back at the car, I leaned against the door and watched as Doro, once again enjoying full sunlight and sensing no particular threat, tentatively extended his nose, his head and then his feet from his shell. If he’d looked around he would have seen me, and if I’d moved he might have felt my presence, but he didn’t look and I didn’t move, so off he went, toward the grass that was his original destination.

His world was large, he was small and slow, but he was a determined critter. As he trundled off the levee road and into the thatch of wildflowers, I watched him disappear, overcome with delight.  Just like a certain guinea pig, he’d raised my morale a notch or two, right there on the levee. With a glance toward the horizon, I took my cue from the turtle and opened the door of my own traveling shell.  “Onward,” I thought.  “Onward.”

Doro’s Levee


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23 thoughts on “Teddy, a Turtle and Spud

  1. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve linked to this post from Small Town Snapshot Sunday. Great post!

    We’re looking for more participants, so I hope you will join us next week!


    What a lovely idea. Small towns can appear on a big stage through the internet, and they deserve to be showcased.

    Thanks so much for the link. I can’t guarantee I’ll be there every week, as my subjects vary pretty widely, but I’ll surely keep you in mind, post when it’s appropriate and stop by to enjoy what others have to say!


  2. I absolutely adore your photo of the store! I fantasize about driving through the south and dust bowl states, photographing things like that in black and white. It’ll remain a fantasy, though, because I really don’t care for that part of the country.

    I think I’ve seen too many movies. :D


    Maybe we could work a deal here – I’ll take this part of the country, and you can have the grits. All of them. Sugared, buttered, fried or plopped in a bowl plain, they’re all yours. I tried, I really did. But I’m going to live a grits-less life.

    I do know what you mean about feeling a certain part of the country just isn’t congenial. But I must say I’ve been surprised again by the variety that can be found on such a short trip. There’s the Mississippi Delta and the Louisiana Delta. There’s Delta blues, and North Mississippi Hill Country blues, -and who knew there were bluesmen in Arkansas? A lot of folks, probably, but not me. Always more to learn!

    I may mess with that photo a bit for you :-)


  3. Lovely post. Very interesting. Will show Henry the picture of Doro when he wakes tomorrow morning – he should be impressed!


    It’s only fair, as I told Doro all about Henry and the life he leads, including that wonderful Easter stroll. Cats and dogs are one thing, but there’s something unutterably special about establishing a connection with a creature so different from us. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, as I certainly have enjoyed your posts about Henry and probably was more sensitive to the turtle because of them.


  4. Now, see, us d—d Yankees always thought that aborted bear hunt happened a tad further North. Thanks, for starters, for the history lesson (including the mission and El Camino Real). Love the police station and the guinea pig! Think I received a similar look from a toad not long ago… Wonderful, as always, to share your journey with you.


    I was completely astonished to walk into the Onward Store and discover the history, and the Teddy bears. The “watch out for bears” highway sign was very, very close to the store. I’m still trying to find someone to give me a straight answer to the big question – did the highway department put up that sign, or the tourist board? I thought it very strange the only other “bear crossing” sign I saw the whole trip was on the Courthouse square in Rolling Fork – and you can bet that isn’t prime bear territory!

    I not only love the police station now, but the sheriff’s department, too. I wasn’t certain I’d heard right about how Spud got his name, so I called over the San Augustine. As it turns out, phone calls to the police are transferred over to the Sheriff’s department on the weekend, so I had the chance to talk with a person in that office. Apparently, everyone in town knows and loves Spud, and is more than willing to share his history with just anyone who calls up!

    Speaking of sharing – want to share that toad story? :-)


  5. You don’t have to ask me twice to take your grits. If there are any left from breakfast, they’ll go into the fridge to be sliced in evening and eaten cold with a whisper of sugar. (You can have my sweet tea!)

    Can’t wait to see the tinkered photo. And yep, there are blues all through the south. If you’re not familiar with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, you might love their stuff. They’re both dead now but their music lives on. And probably will for many, many decades to come.


    Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee I did know from my first go-around with the blues, decades ago in college. Those were the days we obssessed over the Lomax recordings – Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy and others. (Interesting new bit of knowledge for me: when Big Bill Broonzy played Carnegie Hall in 1938, he was a fill-in for Robert Johnson, recently murdered.) I now consider getting rid of the Martin 12-string I was given (given!) during that time period the third most stupid act of my life.

    Anticipate a photo in the middling future ;-)Linda

  6. Oh, I don’t know. I expect a courthouse would in fact be prime “bear” territory (remember “Smokey and the Bandit”? I have seen too many movies!)…As for the toad, keep your eye on the window, ma’am, he’s comin’…

    ds ~

    I’m just fascinated – you’re the fifth person who’s either emailed or posted a variation on the “I’ve seen too many movies” theme after reading this post. I’ve never gotten that comment before. I haven’t a clue what it means, but it’s intriguing. What I will confess is that I’ve never seen “Smokey and the Bandit” – now that you mention it, a bear sign at the Courthouse is even funnier. But I’ll still bet it’s there because of the history with Roosevelt.

    I’ll wait patiently for the toad.


  7. That Carnegie Hall factoid is a fabulous bit of trivia! Thanks!

    We love collecting trivia around here. For one thing, unlike salt and pepper sets or ceramic figurines, you don’t have to dust it!


  8. I LOVE your writing, Linda, and am delighted to have found you through my sister, Ruth, through whom you found me. It’s such a small world after all! :)


    How nice of you to stop by, and thanks for the kind words. I’ve been stopping by your blog for some time, and enjoy it tremendously. I’ll never be an every day poster (or even every other day, to tell the truth) but I try to have something new every 4-5 days. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but I do hope you’ll enjoy my explorations.

    If only there was a saint we could bury upside down to aid in blog production!


  9. Reading your blog is simply pure joy.

    But I have to object. Guinea pigs are never pretty or cute or whatever. They are just hairy fuzzballs. :-)

    The turtle at least stopped (what else should it do).
    Butterflies open their wings to the sun and I come diving with a camera and – of course – places them in shadow and they fly.


    I was thinking yesterday about shadows. Doro’s response to my shadow – and your butterflies’ response to yours – reminds me of bird behavior I’ve seen when there’s a hawk around, or baby ducks when a herring gull is flying. They “duck and cover” immediately – the shadow itself is the warning that something dangerous is lurking. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the dangerous things in our world cast a shadow, too, so we could take evasive action? Or maybe they do, and we just aren’t as sensitive as the creatures.

    As for Spud, and his Guinea pig friends – ok. But they’re pretty, cute hairy fuzzballs!

    It’s always a pleasure to have you visit ~ I thought about you when I was writing this. Dialogue, you know….


  10. “the colorful accidents of history flutter and drift around you”

    I love thinking of it that way. You draw beautiful word pictures for us, Linda.

    I understand exactly why you stopped and took the photo of the police station. We took a drive up to the mountains one day a few years ago. As we turned a corner, a blue house that had been turned into a country store suddenly appeared. Flags were flying from the porch, and quilts were cheerfully thrown over the railings. It was so unexpected. There was nothing to do but stop and “shoot” a few pictures. I still have that memory fragment – a fall day, perfect temperatures, blue skies, and time on my hands.


    One of my new favorite quotations is from Henri Cartier-Bresson, whom I’m just getting to know. He said, “You just have to live, and then life will give you photographs.”

    His concept of “the decisive moment” is so rich and evocative. The blue police station, the blue house with the quilts – they’ll never be again as we saw them then, and the experience that frames them – that day, the skies – are the “extras” that are given to the photographer, like little grace notes.

    Now. Let’s figure out how to get a little more “time on our hands”.


  11. Oh, I’m so glad you took us on this part of your journey! I especially loved Spud and the wonderful people you met at that charming police station — but oh, the tale you weave!

    I know you hear this from us all the time, but your writing on subjects like this really belongs in print and to a bigger audience of readers. I know you have lots on your plate and sending out queries takes gobs of time, but I hope you’re keeping these as a series to share. Travel mags are the ideal choice, but who knows? Lots of opportunities!


    I hesitated, not certain anyone else would be interested in my “critters” – but I did so much enjoy meeting them, and thought their story deserved to be told, too.

    I’m absolutely hanging on to all my posts, double backed-up and as safe as I can make them. I just don’t know what to do with them. It took me a while to begin this blog, because the blog world seemed like a big, black hole. I didn’t have a clue where to start. I feel the same way about publishing. I keep saying, “We’ll see.” Which is laziness, I suppose, mixed with a little anxiety. But we’ll see….


  12. As you read at DS’s, I stared at a squirrel for some time yesterday. Oh I needed it, a break from the world of paper and questions, and I remembered Wendell Berry’s poem (which you noted on my sidebar) and also an Osho meditation I’d read, and I knew I needed just to observe and let the things around me speak. I would love to take a road trip right now, on a road like that. I have next week off – maybe I should go, as I did two falls ago up around our mitten. These reconnections with nature, with people (whom we don’t know), with the road, with history and memories, are rejuvenating. I need it.


    It took me just a moment – mitten? But now I understand. What beautiful country you surely have there, and I can understand how alluring it must be on its own, quite apart from the natural human need for refreshment.

    Much of the appeal of road travel for me is that you get life whole, in all its rich complexity. It’s natural for us to keep narrowing our focus in order to do what we’re called to do – I like to think of travel as resetting my psychic aperture, to let all the light of what “is” come streaming in.

    I love that you understand about the possibliity of “reconnecting” with people we don’t even know. That is completely possible. I made two u-turns this trip. One took me to the police station and Spud, the other to a black man watering his new rose garden at his home along the highway. I not only received an answer to my specific question, I got a terrific oral history of his family’s life in Bolivar county, and his grandfather’s role in things when the levee failed at Mound Landing. It was extraordinary, and when I go back, I’ll be prepared with a rose bush for his garden, and a few more questions!


  13. Really nice writing and storytelling of your adventure. It’s a lot to read, online though (thats just me, talking!). Maybe if you broke it up into parts, it would be better. Each section is a story unto itself!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to comment. In the context of writing about my recent Mississippi trip, I decided these three characters belonged together as the “wild life” post – tongue firmly in cheek where Spud is concerned, of course. It’s pretty wild that a police department would have a Guinea pig mascot, but that’s a different issue.

    As for length – well, perhaps. I rarely go beyond 1500 words because of my own concerns with length, and sometimes run much shorter. But for good or for ill, I think of myself not so much as a blogger as a writer who uses a blogging platform. In that situation, my challenge is to write so well that people want to read to the end – like those books we’ve all read that we “just can’t put down”. That’s a pretty high bar, but I’ll keep at it!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the stories!


  14. Hi, Linda,

    What a fun and engaging article, and your pictures are delightful! Good job! I’ll look forward to reading more.

    Carol Buchanan

    Hi, Carol,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The entire experience was fun, and one of the things I’ve discovered is that writing about it simply extends the pleasure.
    When I left, I thought I would return and write about the Blues festival. I certainly didn’t expect to have a dozen posts in front of me, like a bunch of kids all waving wildly and shouting, “Write ME first!” “No, ME!”

    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by, and congratulations again on winning this year’s Spur Award for best first novel!


  15. Love the Doro lifestyle… takes its own sweet time… amazed too at the autonomy the little creature can assert. Beautiful pictures, beautiful stories here. I’ve come back several times and read your post section by section. I look forward to more travel writing in the future. Where to next?


    Doro, of course, is constrained to slowness by his nature – while we’ve got a choice. That’s why I’m still mulling over the slow blogging movement. I’ll get there and write about that eventually. I suppose it’s only right that it should be taking me a while. Maybe we could make Doro the slow bloggers’ mascot!

    The best photos are still to come. Now, I’m being forced to learn about my camera and photo processing to do some of the things I want to do – but be patient. Like Doro, I’m creeping along….


  16. A great picture of the woman holding Spud at the police station – what fun, and how cool that she participated in your quest for station pictures!

    So many lines in this one that resonate or delight… and then the cartoon of Roosevelt and Collier, a wonderful inclusion. I’d also quite forgotten about the “founding” of the teddy bear.

    You’re not finished, are you, telling us about your trip? Oh, I hope not! Looking forward to more…


    Fun surely was the operative word on this trip, in so many ways, and the best memories all involve times when something quite unexpected happened. Certainly, when I stopped to take a photo of the police station I didn’t expect to be immortalizing an especially good-looking Guinea pig named Spud!

    This was my second trip into “new territory” since I started blogging a year ago, and it confirmed for me something I suspected on my first trip. The same rule applies to travel and blogging (which is, of course, just a different kind of travel). If you are interested and respectful, people will share their lives with you – just as the lady brought Spud out to meet us. Discretion never hurts, either. Sometimes, it’s better to leave the camera in the car.

    Next up – Mississippi Monets, just as soon as I can get the danged thing put together!


  17. That is remarkable about the rose man. I’ve been shy to photograph people I don’t know (and even ones I do), yet it is the people “out there” who make our communities interesting, their stories – essential actually. People tend to be pretty open it seems, from what I hear – like the rose man. I mean, I would be if someone came up to me and started talking. I often feel handicapped as a woman, that I don’t have the same freedom as a man – to come and go, to be out alone, etc.

    Sometimes having a camera provides a license; sometimes it makes people suspicious.


    Ah – I’d forgotten about your last comment, but that’s exactly the point I made to oh, above. Sometimes, it’s better to keep the camera tucked away, and asking permission is always in order. Sometimes people do say no, and that’s ok, too. I have a photo of the “rose man”, but the mistake I made was not asking his permission to use it – I won’t post pics of people who haven’t given specific permission. There’s so much learning that needs to happen, and when it comes to photography, the mechanics of the camera is the least of it!

    I’d never traveled extensively until I lived in West Africa. Those were the years of the European vacations, and trips to places like Freetown. When I left Africa, I traveled for six weeks with the goal of meeting a friend in England. In those pre-email, pre-cell phone, pre-GPS, pre-everything days, it was pretty easy. He left in a jeep to cross the Sahara, and I headed up the West African coast, and we agreed to meet at a certain date “under the clock in Victoria Station”. And we did. That pretty much took care of my travel anxiety, although I didn’t realize it for a while.

    Later, I traveled back to West Africa, and began making substantial road trips in this country, all by myself. There was that little incident with the broken timing belt in the Trans-Pecos, but I had water and time, and it all worked out. It’s no wonder I don’t get all excited about our travel “gadgets” like cell phones and GPS. Contrary to what some people believe, I know that we can survive without them!


  18. The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2009: True Stories From Around the World / edited by Lucy McCauley. Palo Alto, Calif: Travelers’ Tales, c2009

    Your work would fit right in, Linda. I have so enjoyed taking this trip with you – which is what good travel writing is all about. If you’ve not read it, the above mentioned book is wonderful, and I think you would enjoy it.

    (We are facing a challenge keeping wolves protected in Wisconsin. Teddy Roosevelt, we need your help!)

    The “tiniest detail” you have recounted here was a lovely ride – thanks, Linda.


    I do enjoy travel writing, and have thoroughly enjoyed these first attempts to do some myself. One of the best parts of taking people along for the journey by writing about it is that you can fit so many folks into the car! Thanks, too, for the book recommendation. I’ll give it a look.

    For some reason, I’m surprised at your comment about the Wisconsin wolves. I assumption was that they enjoyed protection nearly everywhere – but perhaps not. One of our biggest problems here is habitat loss to “developers”. It wouldn’t irk me quite so much were it not for the fact that so many new strip malls and such are standing empty not only for months, but for years.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to have you come along!


  19. What a great cop shop. And that turtle. . . either he is one sleepy critter or that’s his mean, 1000 yard, Clint Eastwood stare. I think the latter.


    I think you’re exactly right, re: the turtle stare. The way he was moving when I spotted him, he wasn’t sleepy, and he wasn’t sleepy when I took that photo. Just enormously annoyed.

    As for the “cop shop” – I’d forgotten about that phrase. It’s a perfect description of the casual, small-town operations, though. Those police departments aren’t inferior, just different, and obviously a lot more fun!


  20. How fascinating! I have a vague recollection of knowing that the teddy bear had something to do with Roosevelt, but I certainly didn’t know that part of the story. Having grown up with a teddy bear..named, appropriately, Teddy…it makes me smile to hear that story. I still have my bear, by the way, well-loved as he is. I just saw him in a box in the basement the other day and started feeling like maybe he needs to come back upstairs and spend time with the family!

    Love the police station part of your tale. It is so real, if that makes any sense. Not stereotyped or fake, just real people doing a real job. So glad you shared the pics with us.


    Like you, I had that “vague recollection” – and somehow I’d assumed that the events took place in Canada, or Montana, or somewhere “wild”. Apparently the Delta itself was pretty wild in those days, and good hunting territory. It’s easy for us to forget that only a hundred years ago, this country looked quite different than it does today.

    I never had a Teddy – Raggedy Ann lived with me – but I’ve been through the experience you speak of, looking at her and thinking, “You really need to get out of that box.” I even implored my aunt for a new pinafore and set of knickers for her, and got them, in the same white dotted Swiss as the original.

    What you say about the police station makes perfect sense. There was no pretension, no self-importance, no embarassment… just a couple of folks responsible for keeping order saying, “Hey! Want to see our Guinea pig mascot?” What could be better, except maybe having a bottled Mountain Dew to go with the whole thing?


  21. well.. before going to sleep and dreaming about purple cows, I thought i’d throw in some mississippi delta images as well. surely the cow will be grazing in my old stomping grounds!
    great post that took me home to the delta!

    1. Z,

      There’s no better stomping grounds. I could spend the rest of my life in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi and be happy. Good people, good food, good music. What’s not to like? (Lots of history and good writing, too – a little lagniappe!)

      If you ever get back, give a holler. It’s a lot easier to get to MS than Central and South America!


      1. so very true.. maybe i can swing a few days loitering around Houston before I head to the Delta or on my way back to the equator! not sure when my next trip will be; i’m waiting on a more perm. visa….


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