Vicksburg ,where General Grant finally got the Rebels to surrender in 1865, was a parkland of history and memorials to the Civil War. The locals still feel the loss and there are often a few comments that let you know that the wounds are not healed.
After the history we had a great steak at the Battlefields Inn with some local bikers with Harley tassles and badges and later while the famous local Jazzman did his thing I had a very formal stroll around the dance floor with a “red-neck”. Many of the locals call themselves red-necks and all have given me a different version of what it means to them.
The ride the following day was preceeded by a visit to a local church with a “southern choir” and we were welcomed to it typical southern hospitality by the big congregation and a bike riding Pastor Mike who declared with the crowd that they loved bikers and wished us safe travels. The physical expressiveness of the multicultural audience was a sight to savour.
Oh and the karaoke? It was like something out of “Days of our Lives”. A seedy bar, locals stamping out on partners who dared glance at others, singers spitting the dummy as their date for the night danced with another, and amongst all that, the nasel-laden renditions of satin sheets, tears, wasted days and wasted nights was as morbid as you could wish for. That’s the South!
Thunder and big rain were just ahead of us as we headed along the Mississippi. At one stage we came across roads that appeared to be covered in shreaded lettuce, and then we noticed the heaps of big hail. We were relieved that we had missed the storm that had torn the leaves from trees and blown them over houses and cars, creating a surreal green landscape.