|Rosedale, a very small settlement on the River Road. The Memorial Park is overgrown and the Country Club has long gone. No Mar-A-Lago here.|
The few settlements we passed through on the way were small and obviously really struggling. Most of the farmers have gone.The farms have been consolidated and are now owned by corporations and run by managers. Mechanisation has totally taken over the work of literally tens of thousands of cottonpickers.
One government solution to the plight of these small settlements is to give them a correctional facility-a prison -to provide local employment. So you find small prisons in the most out of the way places which must be very difficult for visitors. But the prisons are just a band-aid solution . These small settlements have no viable future. The world has changed.
A short by chance diversion off the River Road mid morning took us to Roy's Store -which seemed to stock everything and which provided a snack from their grill. Roy's Store is on Lake Washington and is over 100 years in business and is one of the last surviving country stores in Mississippi.
|Adrienne,the cook at Roy's Store. My personal favourite photo from the roadtrip.|
|Roy's Store-they stock everything it seems.|
|In 100 years you tend to fill the place up|
|Dining at Roy's Store|
|From Roy's Store|
Some of the locals were very enthusiastic about their local elections which were being held that day. I had a good chat with this crowd below and they were really friendly and enthusiastic. It is not all bad news.
|Local elections in Clarksdale|
|Miss Del's General Store, Delta Street Clarksdale|
|Deaks. Music sold here -and cold beer-Clarksdale|
After a good lunch in Clarkdale we headed on to the university town of Oxford-not a very original name for a university town-in Mississippi- home of Ol' Miss-the University of Mississippi.There we stayed at a really excellent hotel - the Graduate-with a great rooftop bar looking down the main street.
Oxford was a real surprise. It seems misplaced -such a contrast to so many places we had passed through. It has bookshops and so many places to eat and no boarded up shops. However it seems very dependant on the university and it must be very quiet out of term time.
|Oxford from the rooftop bar of the Graduate Hotel|