Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Mississippi Delta 16: Highway 1

Highway 1 is the westernmost highway in the Mississippi Delta, running along the mainline levee in some places and connecting small farming towns as it traces its lonely path from a junction with US 49 south of Tunica through Greenville and south on towards Onward.  This will be a short tour going from north to south.

It is quiet near Rena Lara, about an hour north of Greenville.  Even on a Saturday evening, there is little traffic.  Summer must be blazing hot.

The day had been gloomy and overcast, with snow flurries.  But just at dusk, the sun burst through and illuminated this odd little taco stand with an burst of  brilliance.  This was at the junction with Alligator-Hillhouse Road.
Proceed south, and you reach Beulah.  It is really quiet there, and this handsome St. Peters MB Church is on a side road.  The day I stopped, a gent told me the bell came from an old steamboat.  This photograph is a scan of a Kodachrome 25 slide taken with a Leica camera.
We will stop in Benoit in a future article.  Just a bit north of Greenville is a cluster of houses called Lamont.  This small church was on the east side of Hwy 1.
We will also leave Greenville for a future article.  Highway 1 leading south out of town is the "strip," with gasoline stations, shops, fast food poison emporiums, and miscellaneous buildings. There is really not much of interest to see except for the occasional shed.
About 10 miles south of Greenville, some deserted farm worker houses still stand. This one has the classic shotgun shack proportions.




This cottage must have been in use within a decade before I photographed it in 2005.  Was the child who owned this bicycle sad to lose it?

Finally, just off 1 on Hwy 14, west of Rolling Fork, is this old store. It has been empty since the mid-1990s, when  I first started driving this way.  This temporarily ends our tour of the Delta. Greenville and Rolling Fork will be the subjects of future articles.  (March 2014 update: the store is gone.)

The black and white photographs were scans of Kodak Panatomic-X film, shot through a Fuji GW690II 6x9 medium format camera.  I developed the Panatomic film in Agfa Rodinol developer at 1:50 dilution.  I processed the 2013 digital photographs with Photo Ninja software.

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