I had been asked to speak at a rap conference in Greenwood,Mississippi, and the weather in Memphis was horrible, but I headed out anyway, and after I got past Grenada, it was nicer in the Delta.
When I got to Greenwood, I had some extra time before I was supposed to be at the conference, so I stopped at a downtown bookstore called Turnrow Books, and immediately found two books about school integration in the Mississippi Delta, so I purchased those and then walked down the street to get a latte from the Mockingbird Bakery only to find that it had closed (or at least the little cafe had). I soon learned that the bread could still be purchased in the Viking Range shop, and that coffee was available on the second floor of the bookstore I had just come from, so I walked back over there and got a latte, then drove a couple of blocks west to the Confederate Memorial Building where the conference was taking place.
A lot of Shreveport artists were there, one group from Rochester, New York that I had met in Albany, Georgia, Kilo from New Orleans and Razzen Kane from Jackson, Mississippi.
After I spoke, it began to rain, and I decided to leave, grab a dinner and head back to Memphis. Outside the building were some older people that were part of a family reunion going on in another part of the building, and they were outside doing the “stanky leg” dance that I had thought only the young people were into. The dancers in the parking lot had recommended a restaurant called Webster’s Food and Drink, north of the river across the bridge, so I drove there and had a delicious filet mignon dinner.
When I came back outside, however, the rain had begun to come down in buckets, and I got drenched getting to my car. Worse, large black, tornadic-looking clouds were hanging all over the western horizon. I drove over to Dunkin Donuts for a latte, and while I was there, I downloaded an app into my iPhone for realtime weather radar and forecasts. Knowing what to expect, I decided to drive back through Grenada and up I-55, and although the weather was bad at times, I made it all right. (May 9, 2009)