Where the River Meets the Road

If you’ve ever looked out over its muddy waters and stared into the expanse of churning, charging current before you, it’s pretty darn easy to understand why they call the Mississippi “mighty.” And if you’ve ever seen the devastating effects of a Mississippi River unleashed, you’ll understand, too, how that’s actually a bit of an…

Read More

Hometown: Helena-West Helena

Arkansas flattens in the east. The landscape tugs tight to the earth; the sky grows bigger as fields disappear into the always-distant horizon. This is the Arkansas Delta, which roughly covers the eastern third of the state and is home to some of the world’s best soil, deposited over thousands of years by the Mississippi…

Read More

Delta Dawn

In the ancient alluvial soil of the Delta, soybeans grow sturdy as cypress trunks. Cotton, too—and rice, wheat, corn and peaches, among other things. For eons, the Mississippi has fed that soil, and that soil has nurtured the land, producing some of the world’s most fertile fields for farming. That land has seen both prosperity…

Read More

May Best Bites

Catfish plate Lassis Inn, Little Rock Not that you would, but heading to this classic Little Rock eatery without sampling the catfish—a Delta classic—would be akin to foodie sacrilege. The owner serves farm-raised fillets, fried fresh to order, with cold beer on the side. Just remember what the sign says: No dancing. (518 E. 27th…

Read More

First Taste: Porcellino’s Craft Butcher

[maxgallery name=”porcellinos-memphis”] It’s not easy waiting for the first plates to arrive at your table when you’re staring at a meat counter glowing just beyond your date’s head. Especially when that meat counter is as well stocked as the one at Memphis’ Porcellino’s Craft Butcher, stuffed to the brim with sausage, chops and a steak…

Read More

These Deep Delta Roots

When I was growing up in Tuckerman, the world was both small and huge. I remember climbing trees with my neighbor from across the street—the deep grooves in the mimosas’ trunks made them easy for our short legs to climb, and the give in their branches seemed to hold our little bodies in the air.…

Read More

Plans to Thrive

The lonesome stretch of U.S. Highway 49 between Brinkley and Helena is so void of cars that I wish the speed limit was more than a modest 55 so I could take advantage of this empty two-lane road. Instead, I set my cruise control to make sure I don’t inadvertently speed through towns I imagine…

Read More

“It’s Where I Became a Person”

It was always home. No matter how much had changed since photographer Aaron Turner had left—the family members who’d fled for greener pastures, the businesses that had closed—with the composite of experiences made and felt there, it couldn’t have been considered anything else. And so, as he’s returned to the Delta to take photos, he’s…

Read More

Raising the Sultana

Seven miles after taking coal near Memphis, the Sultana glided northward on dark currents. The hundreds of Civil War POWs on board were only days away from official discharging in Ohio and, in the early morning hours of April 27, 1865, no doubt dreamt of home. The fury of Virginian and Tennessean battlefields, the groans…

Read More

Portrait of an Arrival

It was warm, made warmer by so many people, and many people in the standing-room-only crowd had resorted to using the programs as fans. Crowded into a window-lined room on the campus of Hendrix College in Conway, there were a great many faculty members and students and alumni in town for the weekend, various styles…

Read More

Posts navigation