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tombarnes

The Mississippi Delta

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It was always said that the Mississippi Delta began in the lobby of the Peabody in Memphis and ended at Catfish Row in Vicksburg. For the purposes of this forum, I suggest leaving Tunica discussion elsewhere.

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From the Commercial Appeal....

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/travel...4403183,00.html

A bit of a puff piece to be sure, but there's no doubt that Viking Corp. chairman Fred Carl and his company have done wonders for downtown Greenwood. The Hotel Irving has been transformed into the Alluvian, with interiors designed by Forrest-Perkins. It's a remarkable hotel for such a small town. Carl and his cohorts haven't stopped there. The gradual transformation of downtown Greenwood continues, bit by bit.

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Fred Carl's establishing Viking Co. in Greenwood and his efforts to improve the city and area made a NPR special on the MS Delta back in in the summer, don't remember if it was a national piece or just local WKNO Memphis, I think national though. It was very informative and gave me alot of respect for Fred Carl and Viking Co., of whom I had not heard of before then or the great things they were doing to sustain Greenwood and improve the lives of the citizens of region. Really awesome stuff Mr. Carl and Viking do down there.

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I believe Viking has a store and/or some sort of culinary outlet on Main St. in Memphis.

I certainly hope the Delta's able to keep going ahead with its cultural/musical tourism industry. Beyond that, it would be even better if the area attracted some really high-end jobs like an auto-plant or a pharmaceutical facility. I think something along those lines was mentioned in some thread about a "super-site" in Tunica.

But something further down south from the Tunica/Memphis area would be a bigger help to the Delta.

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Tunica is a much more likely location for something like that. One never knows, of couse, but I think it would be far more likely to happen near Memphis.

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^It's a shame that many of the culturally rich and unique parts of the country are the poorest--the Delta, South Louisiana, Appalachia. But there's some old saying along the lines of "the harder people are stepped on, the braver they sing."

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The Delta has certainly given us much in the way of music, literature and even photography. William Eggleston's photographs of the Delta offer remarkable insight into the culture.

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Another Casino for Greenville?

While this announcement for another small casino seems surprising, the other two casinos under development don't appear to be going anywhere. While it's good to see some sort of development happening in Greenville, I don't see a dinky casino as being much of a bonus for the city. If a casino is to do any real good for the local economy, it ought to come with a host of amenities and an attractive hotel. I don't see any of these things in this project.

The Delta Democrat Times

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More for Downtown Greenwood!

Fred Carl, the CEO of Viking Range, isn't stopping with the Alluvian in downtown Greenwood. Plans include a new test kitchen for Viking, an art gallery featuring Mississippi artists and more apartments. It's remarkable to see what one man and one company can do for a small city. I wish more people had the vision and determination of Fred Carl.

The Clarion Ledger

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Good for Greenwood. I am glad somebody has enough vision to make use of the vacant buildings. So many smaller towns in the delta region have so many vacant buildings. It's kind of sad. I hope evrything works out .

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Civil Rights Landmark to be Restored

The Bryant Store in the tiny hamlet of Money will be restored, partially with federal grants. The most recent pictures of the store show it in a near state of collapse, so I wonder if the building will have to be completely reconstructed. In any event, it's important to restore these landmarks of the civil rights struggle.

The Sun Herald

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For whatever it's worth, I was born in Clarksdale, MS and lived the first 12+ years of my life (1963 to 1976) in Cleveland, MS before moving to Waynesboro, MS. And that's where I lived until I graduated from MSU, got married, lived a few months in Long Beach, MS and then ended up here in Tallahassee, FL (via Columbus, GA and Monticello, FL) since 1987. I have plenty of Delta memories.

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I as well was born in Clarksdale,MS...but later moved to Memphis,TN... moved to Atlanta,GA....and most likely will end up in Nashville,TN...by August.....although I miss that small town I would never move back. I go back on occasions because my granny still lives there. Hopefully that Interstate will bring more business to the Birthplace of the Blues..

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The Mississippi Delta- A Grim Assessment in the Washington Post

An article today in the Washington Post offers a grim assessment of the future of many small towns in the Mississippi Delta. Many factors are involved, but the inequities of agriculture subsidies vs. development grants from the Department of Agriculture play a large part in the story. Towns such as Shelby, once the center of a farming community, are mere husks of their former selves. Agricultural machinery tends not to need as many services as actual agricultural workers. Much of the flight has already occurred, but more may be in store for an area which has not yet found a substitute for agriculture as an economic foundation. The gambling palaces of Tunica and the nascent boom in the northern fringes of the Delta near Memphis do not speak for the region as a whole. While indoor golf courses and shopping concourses planned for Tunica may help one corner of the Delta, the vast majority of the area is still crying out for a solution. Soultions are not easy- especially in an area where education has been abysmal.

What to do? An auto plant would be nifty, but the glaring example of another Delta community, Marion, Arkansas, does not portend a bright future for the many counties south of Memphis and Tunica. Thoughts anyone?

The Washington Post

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I as well was born in Clarksdale,MS...but later moved to Memphis,TN... moved to Atlanta,GA....and most likely will end up in Nashville,TN...by August.....although I miss that small town I would never move back. I go back on occasions because my granny still lives there. Hopefully that Interstate will bring more business to the Birthplace of the Blues..

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Tombarnes--

I read that Post article as well.. It's really sad, and I don't know what could turn the Delta around.

Though I was born and raised in Memphis, most of my childhood memories of the Delta (and I'm well into middle-age) centered in the Arkansas Delta rather than Mississippi. As a kid, we used to travel frequently to Newport AR to visit relatives. There were probably a dozen or so small towns of 1000 or so pop. along the way which were pretty active in the late fifties and sixties--movie theatres, restaurants, etc. I was in that neck of the woods two years ago, and most of those towns now have nothing, not even a gas station. Around Newport, years ago there were little country stores along dirt roads and downtown Newport (pop. 7500) even had a Penney's. That's all gone.

The Mississippi Delta had a rare cultural mix for the rural south--a fairly large Jewish presence in the towns, and relatively large numbers of Chinese and Italians as well.

I now live in the north Iowa/southern Minnesota area. Most little towns of above 5000 or so pop seem to be holding on. Under 5000 and they look a lot like the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta small towns do nowadays. I guess a difference is that up here there was never any plantation style agriculture and most of the farms were family farms, though that's changing with corporate farming.

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