Blurred Shades of Green

There were no bars on my phone and the Avett Brothers were blaring from my SUV’s speakers. The rural Mississippi countryside whisked by me, blurring the various shades of green. God prefers a two lane road. The Devil prefers a two-lane road with traffic. Today was heaven-sent. It was just me and the road with no tractors or log trucks in sight. My foot pressed down on the accelerator; my speedometer teased the speed limit sign that I had just passed.

I was on my secret shortcut to the Neshoba County Fair. The line leaving Leake County welcomed me to Neshoba with orange dirt. Neshoba is a county that has produced some of Mississippi’s most frightening history. It also is the home of some of the nicest people I know. In the past 20 years, I’ve discovered this one simple truth –nothing is ever simple in Mississippi. As I turned right down another country road; I heading toward the dust-covered parking lot. It would be the 20th year of political speeches I’ve covered. I knew the drill: I’d catch up on political gossip and see people I haven’t seen in 365 years.

Like the blurred countryside, time has passed quickly.

That same rapidly moving time didn’t allow me to spend my normal amount of time this year. But I caught up with Dan, my editor and friend from Conroe, Texas days. I visited with Kate, who’s a master lemon cake maker and the daughter of one of the finest men I know. Billy and Martha welcomed me into their cabin once again. I listened to the speeches, had a few pictures taken with fans and then headed back home.

The Avett Brothers were blaring once again as I left the Fair behind in a cloud of red dust. The song ‘The Once and Future Carpenter’ sonically wrapped itself around me.

I smiled as these lyrics played:

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me, And when I lose my direction I’ll look up to the sky.
And when the black dress drags upon the ground, I’ll be ready to surrender, and remember
We’re all in this together.
If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die.


About Marshall Ramsey