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Intersecting tracks, Stumpy Island. Can you decipher?

Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No 426
The River Conceals ~ The River Reveals
Clarksdale, MS ~ Helena, AR ~ Thursday, Sept 14, 2017

When Emmett was killed, we was about the same age... The river conceals stuff, and then reveals… Where life is, death is not.... Where death is, life is not... I would like to wake up... to wake up from the slumber of what we call sleep. (Wadada Leo Smith... keep reading below for live music from WLS on the Tallahatchie River)

Late Mayfly Hatch:

A recent expedition revealed a recent hatch of Mayflies...

Sometimes our paddlers get scared by Mayflies. But Mayflies are the gentlest of creatures, they neither sting nor bite, indeed they don't even eat.

When they land they join their forelegs and pray to the sun.

Mayflies are aquatic insects belonging to the order Ephemeroptera.
This order is part of an ancient group of insects termed the Palaeoptera, which also contains dragonflies and damselflies. Over 3,000 species of mayfly are known worldwide, grouped into over 400 genera in 42 families.
Mayflies are relatively primitive insects and exhibit a number of ancestral traits that were probably present in the first flying insects, such as long tails and wings that do not fold flat over the abdomen. Their immature stages are aquatic fresh water forms (called "naiads" or "nymphs"), whose presence indicates a clean, unpolluted environment. They are unique among insect orders in having a fully winged terrestrial adult stage, the subimago, which moults into a sexually mature adult, the imago. (From Wikipedia)

Trumpet Flowers, President's Island Rip-Rap

Wadada Leo Smith:
The River Conceals, The River Reveals

Recently Quapaw Vicksburg leader Layne Logue guided avante garde jazz trumpet phenom Wadada Leo Smith on the Tallahatchie River in honor of the 62nd anniversary of the lynching of Emmett Till. He is a ntaive of Leland, MS. As Wadada says, "The river conceals and then reveals…"

Defiant and Fearless Elegy for Emmett Till:
NPR article:

Dawn on Prairie Point Towhead, 5th graders begin to awake from their slumber.

Mike Garland: Paddling for the American Cancer Association

On a recent youth trip we hailed long-distance paddler Mike Garland who came to shore and shared stories of his adventurous life with the 5th graders of Jackson Academy.

Mike Garland leaving Montezuma Towhead in the early morning light (paddled into Venice earlier this week!)

In 2015 Mike biked nearly 3,800 miles from his hometown Becker, MN, to the state of Oregon and back. In 2016 he hiked from the Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail -- 2,650 miles. And this year this he is canoeing about 2,350 miles from the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Mike shares the organization’s website ( and its cancer helpline (800-227-2345) to anyone who might need it.

His Facebook page can be found at Mike+You=Cure.

His Twitter account is @Mike_You_Cure.

He also met with nurses and doctors of oncology from California who treat patients as well as a researcher from New Jersey whose work is partially funding by the cancer society.

Leaving Memphis mid-afternoon: the Pyramid reflects sunlight like a mirror

Memphis to Helena:

On a another expedition last week we put in at Memphis with LMRF Board Treasurer Scott Shirey and his college friend Kris Hamel. The 3 day river run from Memphis to Helena is a remarkable journey out of the densest concentration of people and industry along the Lower Mississippi into the wilderness below. Helena is the perfect take-out for an overnight, or long weekend, being 2-3 days downstream, depending on river level.

For more description of this 73-mile stretch of river, go to in particular, here is the intro to Memphis headed downstream:

You don't realize just how massive a buoy is until you stand next to one!

Scott proved to be adept at stern paddling... not surprising... he is a capable leader in whatever he does... Notably with the KIPP Delta schools of Eastern Arkansas, which are some of the top schools in the state. KIPP=Knowledge is Power Program. Climb the Mountain (or Paddle across the River) to the College!

River Scenes from Recent Trips:

Water draining out of Doe Island wetlands during low water.

Canada geese. We have also seen giant flocks of American pelican, and some bald eagles. We saw one sheerwater, which probably was blown off the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Harvey.

An immature bald eagle made perch on this dead cottonwood... until I walked close.

Scott & Kris race butterfly stroke up the back channel of the St. Francis Bar

One of our newest big canoe captains: Lena Von Machui

Carleton College student Timothy Winter-Nelson mentally preparing himself for a big canoe full of 5th graders from Jackson Academy. Good journeys Timmy! We will miss you! Have a good semester back at school! Our Mighty Quapaw paddles are up to you. Kudos on reaching your goal of becoming a big canoe captain. I can't remember anyone who moved through this challenge so smoothly and naturally. You rock the river!

The river conceals, the river reveals: Sand shadows of willow leaves on Josie Harry Bar/Dismal Point... can anyone decipher the story here?

------- This just in from "Cathead" Roger Stolle -------

RED'S LOUNGE (395 Sunflower Ave.)
Wednesdays - Anthony "Big A" Sherrod & Allstars w/Space Cowboy, 8pm
Fri., 9/16 - Terry "Harmonica" Bean, 9pm
Sat., 9/17 - Lucious "Old Man" Spiller Birthday Blues Bash, 9pm!
Sun., 9/18 - Sunday Night Blues TBA, 7pm

Wed., 9/13 - Clarksdale Regulators, 8pm
Thurs., 9/14 - Blues Jam w/Kolbus, 8pm
Fri., 9/15 - Dark Water, 8pm
Sat., 9/16 - The Old Memphis Kings, 8pm

BLUESBERRY CAFE (235 Yazoo Ave.)
Sat., 9/16 - Blues Breakfast w/Jesse Cotton Stone, 10am
Sun., 9/17 - Blues Breakfast w/Watermelon Slim, 10am
Mon., 9/18 - Anthony "Big A" Sherrod, 7:30pm

Open Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm (closed Sun.)
Mon., 9/18 - Movie Night and Q&A w/"Cadillac Records" on DBM Stage, 8pm

ROCK & BLUES MUSEUM (113 E 2nd St.)
Open Fri.-Tues., 10am-5pm (closed Wed. and Thurs.).

LEVON'S BAR & GRILL (232 Sunflower Ave.)
Thurs., 9/14 - Seth Stroud, 8pm
Fri., 9/15 - Gramm Phillips, 8pm
Sat., 9/16 - Mississippi Marshall, 8pm
Sun., 9/17 - Daniel Champagne w/guest Jacqueline Nassar, 3:30pm

HAMBONE GALLERY (111 E. 2nd St.)
Tues., 9/19 - Randy McAllister, 8pm

HOPSON COMMISSARY (001 Commissary Circle)
Mondays - Happy hour w/live music, 6pm
Sat., 9/16 - Trademark, 9:30pm

Singer-songwriter workshop this week.

STONE PONY (226 Delta Ave.)
Fri., 9/15 - Blackwater Trio, 7pm

Thursdays - Meraki hosts market, live music & more, 5pm

COMING SOON: - Sat., 9/23 - Clarksdale Cigar Box Guitar Festival & Builder's Expo,


Roger Stolle
Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art
Celebrating 15 years as Mississippi's Blues Store!

252 Delta Avenue
Clarksdale, Mississippi 38614
662-624-5992 •
"Friend" on Facebook

Check out our latest projects:
- Moonshine & Mojo Hands web TV series
- We Juke Up In Here blues film
- M For Mississippi blues film
- Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale

Until the next Lower Mississippi Dispatch:
Good journeys to y'all!

The cracks of time, rendered in Mississippi Mud


The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation


Final Note - Upcoming Festivals:
~ Clarksdale, MS ~ Helena, AR ~

32nd Annual King Biscuit Festival, Oct 4-7, 2017