Frank and I went to Mississippi to visit my birth family. I hadn’t been there for nine years. Part of that was because my Mom died in 1999, and it was hard for me to still have a birth mother alive in Natchez, even though I’d visited her three times. I decided it had been long enough and I should visit her while there’s still time (she’s eighty-five). And this time I was going with a partner.

We landed in Jackson on Thursday and spent the day and night with my sister Joyce. She lives in Brandon and isn’t that fond of Jackson, but we went for a tour anyway, first to the dam, then around to a few sights.

We stopped at the Eudora Welty house (one of America’s and Truman Capote’s favorite writers). I’ve never read Welty, and when I searched for her in the Kindle store they only had biographies. I’ll have to try Amazon, since I would like to read her stories.

That night we had dinner at Tico’s, a comfortable steakhouse in Ridgeland. Then we drove to Vicksburg to play the slots at the Ameristar casino.

All in all I was glad to be back. My earliest roots are Southern – though I left when I was two years old. The dichotomy in Mississippi is still very black and white, but I think that’s because there aren’t a lot of other minorities there. Some Hispanics doing construction work and the like, but primarily the same dynamic of white and black that has existed for decades still does.

Next stop was Natchez, where most of my family is. It was unseasonably hot, so they all told us, but Frank likes the heat. It’s why I would only visit in the spring or fall, but that’s how I feel about New York, too.

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