Friday, May 30, 2014


There is the grandmother who went fishing with her son, a man in Friendship, MS sitting alone.
The photograph of the bungee jumping is just so (if I used ellipsis) wow.

It is a collection of photos, which, I think must be seen on paper, because, with the exception of only a few, Betty has cared and created and chose to exhibit this work from the field to the print. She either shoots with a Holga,a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex or a Hasselblad on a 12 exposure roll of 120mm film. The film is then processed in Betty's darkroom.

I still can't believe I held one.

Eudora Welty wrote a short story called A Worn Path which some say she used to describe how a writer works. The path to Betty's darkroom is quite worn as well.

So here is a secret I shared with Betty, but I want to tell you too. Mississippi has long grown tired of people who search for how this state could have not changed as a result of past shame. What I tried to explain or beg in someway was please don't make this about color or race or any other tiredoldoutofdate Mississippi story which is simply wrong.

And Betty's work is anything but that.

Here we'll end the coffee shop visit with a link and a quote and some inspiration to those of us who are in Mississippi here and now.

The background of most of the stories is a small town in Mississippi, the author's native State. However, there is nothing particularly regional about them. They could in a way happen anywhere, though certainly not to any one. For the mood and atmosphere of each story form a close unity with its specific characters.

Today I am grateful for those who show us how much they love people, because their work inspires us.

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