Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scrappers in Memphis

Brian here. See, to talk about Memphis, you have to talk about the Mississippi Delta.

We used our day off to check in on Clarksdale, MS, where Otis, one of the 2 stars of Scrappers, was born and raised (as were Son House, Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, Tennessee Williams, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Nate Dogg -- the list goes on).

Otis traces his self-reliant worldview to shining shoes and mowing lawns in Clarksdale starting from age 8, saving up a stash to hitchhike north at age 13, in 1949. He wasn't the only one who left around then.

We visited Otis' childhood home, a 2-house brick compound built by his grandmother, Willie Mae Turner, on the corner of Page and Peacock Aves. One of the 2 houses remained:

Only a pile of bricks (which were for sale) was left from the other house.

When we ask Otis why he hasn't visited Clarksdale more often, he usually says, "have you been to Mississippi?" Well, while we were hanging around the neighborhood, we met a gentleman with a much more positive view of the Delta:

Paul Clark: Clarksdale, Mississippi from scrap movie on Vimeo.

Thanks for kickin it with us, Mr. Tall Paul Clark. If Paul is right, Otis is going to have a change of heart, and come home to roost in Clarksdale before too long.

Our screening in Memphis, the last of our Southern Circuit, was excellent. Thanks, Memphis! (And thanks, Cindi, Cindi, and Jon!)

And thanks, South! (And thanks, Teresa, Allison, Jimy, Alan, and South Arts!) We hope to see you again some day...