Mother’s Day weekend, the boys treated me with a trip to the Delta for some fun at McCarty Pottery (more about that later!). Since we were in Merigold, it only seemed right to run out to Po’ Monkey’s and take some daylight pics.
Some time when the boys are staying with Mimi and Papa and just the two of us are back this way, Av really-really-really wants to make it on a Thursday night because we happened to have heard that one of the signs inside reads, “This is a high-class place. Act respectable.” which is exactly what Av’s expository writing teacher, Mr. Stegner at Indian Springs, had on a sign above the blackboard (which you know isn’t good grammar but that’s exactly what made it so clever).
And for whatever reason, that beautiful connection of words and worlds between Po’ Monkey’s and Indian Springs makes Av happy.
The Mississippi Blues Trail installed a historic marker here that reads, “The rural juke joint played an integral role in the development of the blues, offering a distinctly secular space for people to socialize, dance, and forget their everyday troubles. While many such jukes once dotted the cotton fields of the Delta countryside, Po’ Monkey’s was one of the relatively few to survive into the 21st century. Initially frequented by locals, Po’ Monkey’s became a destination point for blues tourists from around the world during the 1990s.”
The NY Times did a piece about it in 2007, and Annie Leibovitz included her photograph in her American Music book.
Each year, there’s a Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale (we’ve been to it — nice), and the 2012 dates are April 12-15.