I drove west eighty-five miles to Jackson, the state capital, through rolling terrain, pine forests, and flooded fields. I'm staying downtown in the old King Edward Hotel, now the Hilton Garden Inn, where the white leaders used to wheel and deal in the fancy lobby. I'm glad it was restored; Jackson looks as if preservationists and developers have running street fights, with the the developers getting in most of the licks. The photo is the nearby Mayflower Cafe, a seafood restaurant where I ate dinner; red snapper with Comeback Sauce, a local specialty (sorry, beautiful big-lipped fish, I forgot I wasn't going to eat you anymore). I attended Friday night services at Beth Israel Congregation. During Freedom Summer 1964, their Rabbi Nussbaum drove 300 miles round trip to minister weekly to the Freedom Riders and COFO volunteers imprisoned at Parchman Penitentiary. Diane, a congregant, knew some of the women who'd participated in the women's civil rights project I'm researching and gave me some contacts. Lovely choir at services and the Sh'ma, Mi'kamocha, and Amidah are all the familiar same.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!