Most of the pictures in this booth were taken over the last seven years while riding through Yazoo County and the Delta with my mama, Sara Henderson. She’s in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, and our drives are her adventures. The first years, we walked around churches and fields talking about the clouds, graves, and Delta sunsets in the photographs. We even did a few interviews for Our Southern Souls.
Mama’s memories have slipped away and she can’t walk anymore. She doesn’t remember my name but smiles at me while I drive, laughing and chattering things I don’t understand. We listen to Elvis, and she usually sings a line or two of “Silent Night.” I hold her hand, talking through favorite memories and thanking her for taking care of me. Every now and then, she says, “I love you, too.”
Mama was a teacher before she married my dad and they started a catfish farm outside of Yazoo City. My brother and I were her students, and she grew us into readers. We loved going to town and checking out armloads of books from Rick’s Memorial Library. Mama used books and trips to show us the world beyond Mississippi.
In her honor, the proceeds from these photographs will buy children’s books for Rick’s Memorial Library. These photos are also my love letters to Yazoo City. It will always be home.