M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-humpback, humpback-I.
That was the old jump rope call and the way I used to remember (and still do) how to spell Mississippi. It comes to mind every time I cross the border into the Magnolia State.
During my childhood I spent more than a few summers piling into my late grandfather's Chevy Impala along with my mother, brother, grandmother, sometimes my uncle and later my toddler sisters hitting I-10 east to make that 7 hour run to Jackson.
My Mississippi roots run deep on my mom's side of the family. My great grandmother lived there before we moved her to Houston due to concerns over her health in the early 80's. We'd take the time while we were in Jackson visiting her to make the run up US 49 to visit my relatives in Yazoo City, Greenwood and Itta Bena as well.
While the state has a less than pleasant historical reputation in terms of contentiously violent race relations and the anti TBLG hostility aimed at Juin Baize and Constance McMillen, the fact remains that some of the roots of my family tree are here.
Besides that, there are some positive things that have come out of Mississippi.
Name one you say? The blues and BB King for starters. This is also the home state of Oprah Winfrey.
Nevertheless, Polar and I are still going to travel as expeditiously as possible to put the state in our rear view mirror until it's tome for my Mississippi relatives to host our next family reunion.