[Slowhand] Have you ever been to Tutwilier, MS ?

Bill Mann olesouth_bill at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 26 12:08:19 EST 2008

I'm looking for a show of hands of people who have been to Tutwiler, MS only to drive past the prison, and come to the center of town where the Blues was
"found" at the railroad crossing.

And say to themselves - Wow, we traveled all this way from the four corners of the earth to be here only to find a run down little town. Which is hanging on by the threads of cotton farmers and the local prison. Who'd want to teach prisoners how to play the blues ? It's a thankless job, sort of like drug rehabs which have gotten into this business and are transforming the inmates into rehabilitated people. It's tough, work and some guys/gals just want to play the system... But, as the first time around they think it's a joke.

Much like how Clapton felt, in terms of his book.
He got straight, but talked himself back into it. Thankfully not heroin.
But, no doubt that guy needs to constantly remain in check, and surround himself with solid people who won't even question his integrity.

Well, I have this friend and old black master blues man, about 72 years old who's played at the White House who's been teaching the young folks in the Delta how to play the music.. principally the guitar.

Well, he wants to buy a building in his town for $22k which is a lot of dough, for a town which has fallen on hard times, very hard times. I proposed to him about getting with the railroad, with state involvement and having the old depot which is beyond repair to a certain degree (gut it) and/or replace it with the Swan Lake, MS Depot which sits idly in South Brazil, MS in great shape, just across the street from railroad tracks. It's all wooden, but can always be replaced.

My thinking is relocate the depot with one that's is structurally sound - unless the other one can be updated... All cost dependent. And put at one end a music training center (much like the one in Clarksdale, MS), which he use to be affiliated with but apparently he was over ruled and purged out of the process which he started years. If he hadn't donated his time so generously, nothing would have came about. I'm still questioning on why he gave up on going to Clarksdale, perhaps they thought he was getting a bit too old and they were like phasing him out, by treating him like shit. Ironically, isn't that the sign of greatness when a blues man becomes so old he become legendary. He's definately a resource, like BB King is to Indianola, MS.

No doubt put in the depot some great photos of blues men & women in the waiting area of the Amtrak Train Station. Which, Ironically, one has to drive to fifty more miles to Greenville, MS or 80 to Memphis, pretty much off the beaten path for real Blues purist if there were to take Amtrak.

Even if Amtrak never stopped there. A depot is a national treasure.
Chambers of Commerce and local civic organizations can be located in the building. No doubt, a fence should be errected to keep the kids away from the train tracks, for safety reasons. Hmm. That huge vacant lot across the street really looks like a great place to put a park, but all those old foundations must come up and land shaped and planted with grass seed.

Too bad Eric Clapton doesn't read this message board or does he. I wonder if he could contact BB King and rationalize with this guy about putting something in.

Course, maybe he's just bored. He wants to help out the local kids, there sits an empty church in Tutwiler where one can go and about 300 yards away there's a city park where in which in the summer time it looks like there are drug dealings going on... Lots of kids standing around with nothing better to do - than hang out and maybe sell some drugs.

Losers use drugs & booze to find themselves, only in the company of more losers !

Clapton probably didn't know this starting out, nor did others.

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