Thursday, August 2

On the Road with the SFA

Our oral historian, Amy C. Evans, is a woman of many talents. She's possibly the best listener ever, as evidenced by the hundreds of oral histories she's collected for us over the past decade. She takes fantastic photos to accompany those oral histories, and the characters she meets often inspire her delightfully quirky paintings, in which she juxtaposes totemic Southern foods—from oysters to bacon—with allusions to Southern literature, music, iconic consumer products (hello, pink foam hair curlers!) and pop culture.

In recent years, Amy has started sharing her craft with others by training a growing cohort of young oral historians. Today, she and oral history intern Sara Wood are collecting stories, taking photos, and taking a sweet bite out of the Mississippi Delta.

Feast your eyes on the highlights of their trip today:

They shot out of Oxford early this morning to catch the pie-making at Chamoun's Rest Haven in Clarksdale. (Click the link for Amy's 2010 oral history with Mr. Chafik Chamoun, part of the Delta Lebanese oral history project.)

Dorothy Cotten stirs the custard for the Rest Haven's coconut pie as she records an oral history with Sara
Filling the shells for a chocolate pie
Amy says the highlight of her day was getting splattered with this perfectly fluffy meringue!
Rest Haven pies in the oven...
...and finally ready to eat! 
Of course, they had to take one for the road. 

A little Global South action for lunch: tuna tacos from the Oxbow in Clarksdale

Next, Amy and Sara checked in on some of the speakers and hosts for the Delta Divertissement, which precedes our annual symposium.
Fill 'er up: near Dockery Farms, outside of Cleveland, MS: cotton plantation and cradle of the blues
Outside Po' Monkey's, Willie Seaberry's legendary juke joint near Merigold
No word yet on whether Amy and Sara saved any pie for the rest of us. We'll find out tomorrow.