Published on May 8th, 2016 | by Rafael Alvarez0
The Great Magnolia Vagabond No. 11: Mississippi Meat Man
I took some criticism for this bit of travelogue. Not for participating–after all, the Meat Man was giving away advice and pork chops in the front yard of a house that may or may not have been his–but apparently for the way in which I shared my host’s enthusiasm. At least one fellow champion of the blues and the 20th state in the Union thought I had unduly embarrassed an obviously drunk, addled–and to-this-day, anonymous–man.
But it didn’t feel that way as it happened and I reported the moment precisely as it happened.
It was spring of 2012–right about this time of year, the week Levon Helm died–and I was sleeping in the truck and cruising Clarksdale en-route to Tinseltown with the taste of pig meat on my mind. It was too early for the jukes to open so I just started taking lefts and rights through streets named Choctaw and Catalpa. Soon, I saw smoke rising and followed it to the corner of Denison & Edmondson, where a middle-aged man tended a rickety, heavily rusted grill.
Like a suburban punk chasing contraband at the strip mall, I asked: “You selling?”
Nope, he was sharing
“Come on,” he said, welcoming me into the yard with the best Southern hospitality, minus flatware and utensils. “What you want?”