Mississippi Roads; Yazoo City... Import Business; CC/"Good Ole Boy" Willie Morris; WW/Archeological Digs in State
Hispanic. Name sprung the name of the show you speak big man you know to say. Camp there's no singer. You know. Yeah. Why. Welcome back to Mississippi roads. I'm your host walk Reisen. And we're coming to you from Yazid city where the delta meets the hills. Yes the city began as a planned community and its location here at the edge of the delta was carefully chosen by Greenwood to floor the half French half indian chief was the son of Jackson's founder Louis look for work.
He received the land as a part of the Treaty of dog Stan and then sold it a few months later to a group of developers. They originally found was laid out on a precise grid and called Manchester. The community became the largest town in the county and was becoming the marketing center of the region. When its citizens one of the new more descriptive name. Since the river was its lifeline they chose Yahoo city as the new name. Now the name Yazid itself is pretty strange sounding and its meaning is still unknown. Some say it means river of death. Others think that it means hunting ground. Nonetheless it comes from the Yahoo Indians the fierce and warlike tribe who live here and mysteriously became extinct around 1740. Guess who said he was the old Confederate Naval Shipyard was located. That and conjunction with the fact that Vicksburg stuff right down here at the other end of the as the river made this the side of a lot of military conflict during the Civil War. A matter of fact one of the
first underwater mines ever used anywhere was used right here in the Amazon River at Yasm city to sink the union ironclad the USS Baron De Kalb and still out here on the river. And I say that in times of war water you can see it. You know where to look. On this edition of This Is It the roads get the streets against the city. Step back in time to revisit one of the city's And the city's most respected writers. Adam Walsh way. To go digging for historic treasure. He has a river runs that not only literally but figuratively too. It runs through Mississippi culture and Mississippi folklore. And commerce. Not a barge traffic up and down the answer to making Mississippi products like cotton and grain and camber to foreign markets. And speak of those foreign markets. In our first segment here let's take a look at some of the treasures imported from elsewhere in the world into Mississippi.
Has. All this merchandise is made by hand It's all hand tool that's all and finished it's all hand fitted. You can have two chairs in the seat from one chair will not sit at the seat to another chair. Unlike many things that are mass produced. So when things come in
you'll be look at two pieces and they are not identical living. Each one has its distinct a row different from the other. And all this stuff. These are all hand carved by. Artisans and Thailand and they are carved from Monkey wood which is a renewable wood so no one's tearing down the rainforest they grow this wood specifically to do these carvings and replant. Our buyer when he travels to India China Indonesia he works with antiquities dealers there they take him around to several smaller villages and townships and he Hansa lacks antique pieces that he comes across. These are generally completely refurbished and sent over to us in India when we go to different parts of the country were the old colonial powers had the big homes and. The value of the villagers will. Sell the old pieces because they don't want to they want new it's the mentality that they would rather have new product and that the old is not good like it is here.
So we buy the old pieces of furniture and then we have craftsman take these pieces and they refurbish and they rebuild them for example the doors may be good but the frame is lousy and it's just it isn't fitting and functioning so they will rework the frame. Keep the doors because for their value and make a good piece of furniture. This piece was made from reclaimed take the iris reclaimed as well it was. It comes actually comes from an old gate or an old fence. It's a TV camera but of course you don't have to use it is one. These are the TV. They're a hundred percent cotton and they actually use these wooden stamps. And stamp the pattern on to the cot. This is done by a craftsman who as a rule that this kind of industry has been in their village or in their community for generations. I think of Indonesia for example it comes from one region in Indonesia where.
One house maybe makes one share or another holds another part of the village makes a certain type of a cabin another one makes a certain type of table and that's all they make and they are brought to gathers or collectors. Who. Bring these pieces together in one warehouses there and then that is exported to different parts of the world. The families that we deal with over there the the production that they do for us provides them with a meaningful way and a means of living that would not really be available to them otherwise if we were not exporting the goods. Our clientele is actually a mix. We sell from an age range of 18 to basically 80. It's actually people who warrant conversational pieces in there who want something a little bit different but you're not going to see you know and everybody smiles your neighbors are going to have it and just people that really want something different.
We're in the dining room now. The specialists are all decision process I'm going to start the fire. So this is from Indonesia. All the bars are the colorless gray and unique I am a nothing is perfect they're all different. They gave us a casual car feeling well this is what we want to when we were entertaining. Now the breakfast snack we have these chairs that are from India. There are. Camels. And now again our comfort is what we were looking for but stylish and unique different. That's what drew us to this type of furniture. And the iron. Went with our new loans type thing here. I don't have a problem grabber from Thailand. Again just another unique piece that may be functional one that. Everybody seems to love and we're all happy with what we've chosen and goes with our attitude and casual come through a unique style and everybody seems to. Be crazy about it. So we're excited we're level down. What the eclectic look growing in importance we offer so many different countries that you can
cross select merchandise from that it will work well together in the room and then you don't have a. Canned or sterile look that would come from a traditional from a cheerful. Happy triangle cultural center and downtown city. 74 years in this building was desert City's Main Street School. Now its use mostly for entertainment now says the museum. And one of the recent additions to the museum by the way is some of the memorabilia favorite son Gerry Klauer. And speaking of famous jazz ruins in our classic this is hippie road segment. Let's meet the real good old boy Willie Morris. First thing I usually do when I return to you as a writer having been away for a long
time is I come out to the cemetery and our special group in the new section and I check the new tombstones to see who's died in my absence so I know I won't you know romp into them walking down Main Street. We practically grew up in. In that cemetery. Oh. And a thriving middle of town and accessible to everyone and it's no accident that the earth is so much a girl boy said in that seventh day. I grew up in a place called Yasmin city. Along the haunting Monie river that winds its way through the Mississippi Delta. It is a land of burnt orange twilights and deep mysteries as old as time itself. Of sudden storms that then prodigious trees into anguish shapes. So. We're kind of Rambo sort of.
So 1940s Brando. Was. After a while I felt this tug on my arm and I looked and I was a very good looking mischievous young man of about 12 years old and he had a lot of vintage World War Two cyclers cap and in the Southern California accent he said Are you really. And I said yeah. He said really where you been we we've been expecting you for three days. And I said. Well who are you. He said I'm really. He was playing me in the movie 12 years old and it was a very strange or eerie feeling to watch them coming some of the scenes with people playing my mother and father long dead. My
grandfather was my grandmother. And then hear the chimes of my childhood. Being played by these Hollywood actors and actresses and it brought back to me you know be stronger in those initial days. I'm just. Saying that dog moved through a box with a southern accent and a famous Broadway doll. It was it was very. Strange but. In a funny way gratifying. It was a deja vu. The most horrendous kind. Every time I return to you as a city no matter where I live and where I've been come down
that Bradley Hill and I'm a wash in memory. I know every tree I have are memories of things that happen on every street corner in every alleyway every nook and cranny. I'm suffused and overcome. With. Memory. Tell you what has changed the most about the Hazara cities is that all the towns in America we grew up avoid fell over to the right. Thank you both. Time of day the pre-television age in a small home plodding plan was. For the time of storytelling. And of playing tricks on each other and I was listening to the older people and entertaining the children. I think that's something that has been
lost. In the south and in the United States along with the poverty and the old Cap'n Jack want to come traipsing around Paula for anybody I don't think he's gonna take it to gun me what ya did with a dildo clean. I do believe there are things beyond our understand that give us the sack. Get in Jack. Jack is that you. Have to believe it truly is calling from the beyond. Well maybe we should take down daddy's picture Mr. Percy to tell him to go someplace else to do his haunted look who come to visit. It's just the boy again sister. That's a good one Willie. You there's your alive you know. There anything. About Goodness gracious me you know in Hollywood is like you have to like to drive an
hour drive to get to like a pond or something even more than that and go horseback riding still on our drive and glad to do all the do all those things and from the Sheraton I am staying at the Sheraton I can only like I can walk down to the Mississippi. Oh. I don't want to stuff here that. Is like in the movie going fishing you. Being with my friends all live. Because the other kids were playing the kids in the movie. Well you know we'd all do a lot of stuff. Or it was in the script. It's not really hard to relate to God. Do you mind. I'm very honored that you're behind me. I reckon it's going to. I reckon this movie is going to be a great one and I thank you for being really your friend really Mars. The star looks like you know.
That. There was something in the very air of a small town in the deep south something spooked up and romantic which did funny things to the imagination. Of its bright and resourceful boys and I believe this hidden employments has something to do also with the sudden sense of fantasy. And the absurd. We had to work our imaginations out on something. And the less one sphere. The better. For the witch's grave is notorious in the delta. I was brought up on the story of the witch and I told him in good old boy and it's absolutely true. This terrible woman and the damned mother will save her. Perhaps all the women. In the United States and certainly in this city. Have cockle burs more iron bread on hand people and as the
city hated her so much they didn't even give her a name except. The witch or the hag. And in 1884. She died in quicksand down value as the river had just before her head went under the quick Siam and she died she said I hate you. RJ already term. Partial return and on May the 20th 19 0 4 war and burn down the whole town of the Azure city. Now this was 1894. Well people I asked. And I really laughed at her throughout but just to be safe when they buried her here. Like put these strong chain links around her grave so that she could not escape when people forgot about her in the long seasons came and we're hearing as you city and in Mississippi people forgot all of a sudden on that very day in my of 19 0 4 Florida started
down here. In the wise class. And it caught on and it spread and it burned most of the tie on. Then people remembered what the old woman had said that she was going to burn down the town and after they put the fire out it took about three four days for the this big flour to be put out. Then the sheriff and some people came out here to the witch's grave. And the chain links had been broken and that was when they knew that she had escaped broken those strong chain links. Gone into tyo and burned the whole thing down. And that is a true story. Oh you mean the spitter Willie. Clarence. I you know I'd like to ask where is this really true and really wow and. Now. How is your dad was really really calling Oakley
do electrics wise spirit or Clarence I'd say. How does having you know was a finding a song for you Harry still is theirs and small. Children. Are kind of obsessed with. You know the literal truth. The first question I ask. Is. Is everything in this book true. And. I always try to respond honestly Joe and I say yes and read everything in this book is absolutely true. But as Mark Twain once said Sometimes you gotta lie to tell the truth. I had to do was let alone to grow. One day when I was a much older boy I left jazzy on a bus and I knew I would never return there live again. I knew also that my boyhood was over.
Although I now live hundreds of miles away from the old town. It's its streets so mines are like a map of my consciousness in the morning light reflects itself on the same fences in trees and fields of those Jeff Wysong of those saddles. I feel like you'd be right there now girl fall over again. And 12 o'clock was so at the sawmill sends out a loud bellow echoing up the street to the bends. In there. River. For good ole boy is someone who will never let should die out. Who is brave. And imaginative. And intensely loyal no matter what happens. A good ole boy will go through thick and thin with you. As these good ole boys did with me on that terrible night at the Haunted Clark mansion many years ago. Munch had Billy Rhoads hangi big boy. I now they're probably get wrapping a dead rat.
By roaming around in my hot on the trail of law breakers and that's what I like about this. Thug. This quiet area out south of downtown is known as Bell Road Bell Road used to be the major highway that connected as a city with Vicksburg and they say the way the road got its name is in tight places maybe like this one back here that they hung bells so that the wagon drivers could ring them to light travels up they had know that they were on their way. Evidently some of these places were too tight for wagons to pass. Side by side. Well next in Walt's way we go looking at the past of the state of Mississippi in an unusual way. Let's dig up a little bit of it. And later in life you began to wonder about what you might have done for a career if you hadn't been so determined to do what you became great. If I had wound up doing what I do my day
dream careers drift toward a couple of destinations I'd have loved to have been a geologist because I see where land formations have been created and worn down and I wonder how they got there. And the other profession I would like to have followed archaeology of course I'm probably more attracted to the archaeology of Indiana Jones movies are finding lost cities and lost arcs and lost civilizations more than the long hard hours of the real thing. And actually think about it archaeologist or like the geologist with his rocks trying to find out how we got to be like we are. Well it's got groomed not to say it's its devil who would give the date of an early archaic somewhere around I don't know I say about seventy five hundred years ago. Now you may not think archaeologist would have a lot of material to work with in Mississippi. Not like in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. Well that's true. You won't find any buried gold left over from the civilizations of the most ancient dwellers who walk our woods and
lived in prehistoric Mississippi. But they were a fascinating people. Most all of us have seen arrowheads found in Mississippi fields and have walked on Indian Mounds. But there are patterns in their rock tools the way they were shaped and from what materials they were made that puts them into families dates efforts during which they were created. So that's martial. Stamp probably rhyme optional so that if you find one of these out your back yard you would know that some one of the marks will culture past this way at least once and that was some few thousand years ago. And if you find enough of these artifacts in large enough concentration then you can deduce that maybe they not only passed this way but maybe lived here and finding other concentrations of similar objects in other areas of the state of the region can become the beginnings of a road map of where these people moved about. And from that you can begin to think about what they may have eaten while they were here. If they hunt. Did they farm. Each type way of making their living will have a bearing on how large
population could be supported and during what times of the year. And what do we need to know these things. Well curiosity if nothing else. But it goes beyond that. You know we're just the latest people to inhabit this particular plot of earth. And I know we feel like our culture will last forever now that we've laid understates. But I figure the folks whose pieces of pottery and arrow heads we find felt the same way about the permanence of their world. What happen to them. Well you might want to know so it won't happen to us. You know we've all come to pass in a sense. Thousand years from now somebody will be wondering about us how we lived and what we ate and how we made a living. And they'll wonder what we wondered about. And you know one more artifact that future archaeologist will have that we don't videotape. What you're watching right now. Maybe a thousand years from now somebody will pick up this exact piece of video and we'll glean from it some heretofore forgotten fact about our society. Well probably not but it could happen should make all of us who
work in this medium strive to be very careful about what we say we're leaving behind a record of everyday life that someone may sift through at a later date and form hypotheses from. And that sort of brings me back to where I started daydreaming about doing something else for a living. It was too late for me to become a geologist or an archaeologist. That's the cool thing about life that by and large by the time when we finally come to realize and believe that we honestly have the capacity within us to become whatever we want to become it's too late in life to do so. So you do it as a hobby. And it's all the more fun because it's not what you gain your livelihood from. And therefore never becomes work. So I'll be satisfied doing my stories about them the geologist and the archaeologist. I mean after all that's what we all are storytellers. Geologist telling the stories of the Rocks of Ages in archaeologist telling the stories of the people who walked on them and me getting to take my camera and tell stories about
their storytelling. There are a lot of historic sites around the city area Indian Mounds. Some Civil War sites. Then there's this. Architecture. This is the handsome City's historic district. And it encompasses not only buildings downtown but also from homes back on the hill over here and at the time that this district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places this was the it was just a single placement ever at one time up until then. It carries you back to the era of grace and charm and style in architecture. And it's a great place for us to part company I guess. This brings us to the end of the show. I want rice and. I'll be seeing you on Mississippi roads. Oh.
- Mississippi Roads
- Yazoo City... Import Business; CC/"Good Ole Boy" Willie Morris; WW/Archeological Digs in State
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- SERIES: Mississippi Roads TIME: 28:07 No. 2206 TITLE: Yazoo City..Import Business; CC/"Good Ole Boy" Willie Morris; WW/Archeological Digs in State
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