Jackson, MS

After Oxford, Jackson.  All I previously knew about Jackson came from that Johnny Cash song “I’m Going to Jackson” in which a man tells his wife, whom he married all too quickly,  that he’s headed to Jackson to party hardy and mess around.  She calls his bluff.  The song may actually be about Jackson, TN. Either way, my expectations were high.

We stayed with Carl.  Carl is from Kentucky and nutty.  After 30 minutes with Carl, we knew most of his life story.  He knew far less about us.  He’s a political reporter and bongo-player and southern liberal who does a mean Haley Barber (the Mississippi GOP Governor) impression.  Unusually cold temperatures froze and broke the Jackson pipes, hindering Carl’s ability to uphold his guarantee that we would never have a better time in the South than we would with him in Jackson.  The bbq joint was shuttered and so was a highly-raved about (by Carl) blues bar.  We caught an open-mic, though, and Carl bongo-jammed under the pseudonym Nasty Funk with a harmonica playing photographer and the graying and sarcastic, guitar-toting host. They covered The Weight.  Good enough.

Before leaving Jackson, we accompanied Carl to the Mississippi state house to watch the state assembly debate whatever it was they were debating that day.  The floor opened with a rather lengthy prayer thanking Jesus for all that be.  Separation of Church and State issues aside, watching these old representatives go at it (the ones that weren’t tapping away on their blackberries), I sort of wished to be a legislator.  The chairs look comfy, at least.

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