What did the Romans ever do for us?

Everyone knows that the Romans specialised is building straight roads for efficient travel.  Well compared to the state of Mississippi it is clear they suffered from a distinct lack of ambition.  Want to see how to build straight roads that seemingly go on for ever?  Then come here.  And its not just the highways, they are everywhere.  Boring? No!  Just set the cruise control, sit back and enjoy the ride – luxury.  Naturally falling a sleep might create a few issues.  However to para phrase Spike Milligan “driving’s not dangerous, crashing’s dangerous” ho ho!  Oh yes, and how about a few roundabouts folks to avoid having to stop every 2 minutes (gross exaggeration to just make the point) for traffic lights that aways seem to favour the minor road flow.

Yesterday was a funny, slightly frustrating old day.  Once again, apart from the BB King Museum, where we met Helen on reception a retired science teacher and old friend of BB’s, there was zero knowledge or interest from the locals and in a few cases no marker on the supposed spot.  This meant in some instances we drove miles to find nothing in particular.  I guess that The Blues Foundation, who are responsible for placing these markers, needs permission from land owners which won’t always be forthcoming.  Nevertheless this won’t prevent me from sending them a stiff note (commonly know as “Smithy’) asking why they don’t at least point this out on their website.

Spare a thought for Linda, despite going down with a bad cold and sore throat (blame BA’s air-con – ‘allegedly’ just in case their lawyers are reading this) she bravely faced the road with me yesterday (seriously, what does she want??).  My only tiny issue is that it affected her singing voice so that our two part harmonies were slightly out!

And so to the day….

Onwards to the town of Indianola (sounds like a fizzy drink produced in Bombay?)

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B.B. King.  Surely everyone has heard of him?  Sadly died 3 years ago aged 89.  This museum was created in 2008 at the cost of $16m and is a fine example of how it should be done.  BB, look him up on Wikipedia, it’s a true rags to riches story, influenced many of the modern greats.  Eric Clapton calls him the grand master.  Oddly he’s never been a favourite of mine.  Each to his own I guess?  Nevertheless this visit was long anticipated and it didn’t disappoint
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In his youth BB actually worked in the building which now houses his museum stacking bales of cotton.  I wonder if he could get his mind around that? ( rhetorical – please!!!)
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One of his old tour busses.  Reminds me of my youth playing in soul and rock bands.  Mind you, our tour bus was a clapped out Bedford van!  (look Smithy – different Tee Shirt!)
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Inside where BB once worked. Clearly all spruced up now. Each year he would hold a dinner here for all his local friends and family.  After he died, he was laid in state in this room.
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BB is buried outside.  There are plans to enclose this area soon.  Thanks again to Helen on reception who regaled us with loads of personal stories about BB.  Apparently he never forgot his roots and was a kind and humble man till the end.  He was onstage a few days before he died.

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Albert King ‘The Velvet Buldozer’ best know for his song ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’. One of the Three Kings – BB, Albert & Freddie.  Joe Bonamassa celebrated them in a dedicated concert recently.

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The Club Ebony.  An iconic venue for the lovers of blues.  Now owned by BB’s museum company.  Sadly not open when we visited and the meanies had drawn the curtains so that peeking inside was denied us!
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This, I think, is where BB King was born in Berclair.  We had to drive down a dusty track for about two miles to get there – scary stuff.  This was a cotton plantation when he was born and the area would have been covered in workers shacks.  As there is no marker we had to take a guess to the actual spot.  BB’s father left them when he was very young and his mother died in her early 20’s when BB was only 9 or 10 years old.  He lived all alone for the next 4 years until he was taken in by a white farming family – obviously quite a thing in those days.  BB said that the owner called him son and not boy which he always appreciated. (put the hankies away!)
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We turned right here ‘down the dusty track’ – good name for a song eh?
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Here we searched for the birth place of Eddie Jones, better know as ‘Guitar Slim’ – but to no avail.
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Here he is again for a second posting.  Well it is RJ.  In a previous blog I said that no one knows where he was buried.  Well the fine town of Greenwood begs to differ.  Here they say he might have been buried! I don’t wish to bicker, but I might have been born with exceptionally good looks!  Oh well, perhaps it is true then?!
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Lets play………find the R.J.
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Located in the middle of nowhere.  I do hope he was laid to rest here as its a beautiful and peaceful spot.
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I mentioned the Romanesque roads earlier.  This map plots all the places we are trying to visit in the Delta.  Therefore ours is more of a zigzag road.  It’s just a shame that all these legends didn’t have the foresight to be brought up in roughly the same region along ether side of the same road.  Note for all future icons.

Today, Wednesday (one week down, four to go) we are headed towards Clarksdale.  Lots of really interesting places en route.  Can’t wait.  Linda spent 50 bucks (on 4 products – I was in the wrong business) on medicines from CVC’s yesterday.  After such extravagance  I’m just hoping that Linda is able to hit those top ‘C”s today.  Had a good day y’all………………..

 

 

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