After the same breakfast as yesterday again at the Rest Haven, I steered the Shark up route 6 to route 55 with the plan to stop in Como on the way to Senatobia in order to find the gravesite of Mississippi Fred McDowell. Como's so small it didn't even have a stoplight, but it did have Blues Trail markers for both Fred and fife master Otha Turner. Fred's mentioned that he was buried north of town at Hammond Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Hammond Hill Road, but the young guy at the gas station where I asked didn't know where it was. Just for shits'n'giggles, I decided to head up route 51, which parallels the larger, four lane route 55 up to Senatobia. Went a little ways looking for Hammond Hill Road, but when I crossed into the next county it seemed that I was on the wrong side of the north end of Como. So I decided to turn around and head back to check out the other side of town. Picked a random side road in which to pull a u-turn and, lo and behold, there was a sign for Hammond Hill M.B. Church that wasn't visible from the direction I'd been headed.
That road ended at a T intersection, but there were no more signs specifying a direction to the church. Made another random decision and headed right (The first sign said "keep right", right?). About a mile down, tucked next to a crossroad between pine and sweetgum woods on one side and empty fields on the other, was Hammond Hill M.B., with the cemetery on the hill across the street. I always get a hell of a kick out of such serendipitous discoveries.
Hammond Hill cemetery had many of the same style of home-made headstones I'd seen yesterday at Charley Patton's gravesite, in addition to newer ones on which much more money has obviously been spent.
|Photo from thefrontlinemusic.com|
Back on the way towards Tennessee, the empty roads I'd become used to began to fill up with more and more traffic. By the time I got to Nashville, it was well after dark, I was hungry, tired, and pissed off at being challenged on the highway by assholes in SUVs. Much as I was looking forward to the plans I had for N'ville, couldn't help but wish I was back down in the Delta at the Shack Up Inn, listening to that cold wind blow outside the windows.
Complete set of photos from this trip, here.