You get in the car and thirty-five miles later we meet Willie.
He's standing in a dark parking lot, leaning against a brick wall, smoking a cigarette.
Two camera bags, two tripods are standing on the ground next to him.
There he is, I say.
I tell you to get in the back as soon as we stop.
Willie walks to the car, shakes your hand and introduces himself. You do the same.
You get in the back and Willie wants to know where to put his equipment.
I already popped the trunk, I say.
I face him, look at his thin face and grab one of his hands with both of mine.
It's so good to see you, Willie.
You too, Shea.
You been good?
Yep. Yep. Got a lot going on.
I bet you do. What are we doing tonight?
It's Garry's birthday. Duwayne gonna be there or that what he said. We'll see.
You'll like it.
I'm sure I will. I point at you, That guy back there has a fondness for Kimbrough so it'd be good if he got to see Duwayne doing his thing.
You never know 'bout that man.
I know he's dangerous.
You got that right.
I put the car in gear, Tell me which way.
Before long we're on curvy roads which carry only local traffic.
Willie does have so much going on. He tells us about it on the drive.
Everybody wants and has a piece of Willie, and I ask about his daughters.
She's a teenager now. He lights up when he talks about her and tells me about the one that's all grown.
You got a stop sign coming up, he says. Take a right.
Okay. What about the juke joint festival? You going?
Yeah. I'll be there. Don't know who else is going right now.
Garry's 'bout outgrown us, hadn't he? Didn't he get a Grammy nomination?
Ain't that something? He's done real good.
I take the right on a straight road where trees block out the moon.
Little Joe, how's he?
Ah, he's good. He might be there. It might be too late for him depending on if he got a nap today. He's a cat, I tell ya.
You know he's my love, Willie, just the thought of him makes me smile.
I know. I know. Like I said, he's a cat. There it is, Willie points to a grey building up on the left.
There are no signs marking the place, just two lights on either side of the door revealing three men holding brown paper bags.
The parking lot is gravel and Willie tells me where to place the car.
We park, I pop the trunk and we get out.
As Willie and I are getting our camera equipment you touch my elbow.
I look at you. You look nervous.
It's okay. You're gonna love it. Stick with me. I'm sticking with Willie.
Grateful for Willie.
To be continued.