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  • Nicole J. Burton

King of the Blues

I thought I'd spend an hour at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola but two and half hours later, I told the cashier in the gift shop, "You didn't say you were going to take me hostage!" Of course, B.B., who is buried outside the museum, lived to age 90 and had a full, varied life beginning with working the Delta fields and eventually traveling the world as King of the Blues. This fabulous museum is expanding and by fall will include inside B.B.'s tour bus and Rolls Royce, and an outdoor meditation garden with lyrics and quotes. There's a community room where a video was playing for Black History Month and the Gentry High School had hung a terrific art show. The painting in the photo is entitled "The Lady Flag" by Tykeria Stovall. Down the street at Betty's Kitchen, I ate a plate of local fried catfish, okra, and broccoli. Mike Campbell, the proprietor (Betty was in the kitchen), showed me the signatures of well-wishers from around the world who'd signed the walls. He's hoping Mike Espy running for Senate will win in the fall. Espy expanded the international market for farmed catfish that benefitted the state greatly, though the industry's fallen off in past years. Several people had mentioned their support of Espy, who was Clinton's Secretary of Agriculture and a Congressman before that. Mike asked me who I supported for President and I said Warner though I'd vote for any Democrat. He said he supports Biden because, "He's been there, in the White House, he knows the drill."

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