2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Our American Trilogy

Our American Trilogy

   This is a tribute to our southern people who have blessed the delta with their courage, determination and compassion and for all our generations to come.  The rural Delta is a continuing legacy of a people who are part of a great nation of individuals who are proud of their heritage. We look back and remember them here and look forward to up-coming generations that will always hold God and family in their hearts, embrace the call of hope and progress, acheiving the fruits of hard work and infinite prayers.

Delta Dirt.com   and Delta My Home were established as a way to remember and honor our forefathers who  stayed with the land and fought through the hard times and heart breaks this land often dealt. Most never lived long enough to share in the delta’s wealth.  Their contributions have gone largely unnoticed and unappreciated.  We want  to change that.

   Some ask what is delta dirt? A fair question. If you have to ask you may  never figure it out. In my mind delta dirt represents a sense of place and a  time of reflecting on the hard work, plain living, sweat, wit, grit, and spit  that it took to bring the delta from the hard life it dealt to the prosperous  life it offers today. The old shacks and farm house are now gone leaving no  trace of the past. I still love to walk through the fields on a hot summer day.  I still hear the dinner bell to call the farm hands to dinner. The sounds of children playing, sounds of the old field hollers. I still here the sound of a  lonesome airplane making its way through the sky interupting the silence. Those  sounds are still there and will forever be there for those who are tuned into the delta dirt.

   If you have an appreciation for the delta please join this page and share with us your stories of growing up in the delta. If you are not from the delta but you have an appreciation of the land, its people, their music and their  values we want to hear from you too. Please feel free to add comments and stories and for pictures to be posted,  just send us an email.

–  Billy Henderson


Delta My Home

Delta Dirt.com was established as a way to remember and honor our forefathers  and foremothers who stayed with the land and fought through the hard times and heart breaks this land often dealt. Most never lived long enough to share in the delta’s wealth.  Many of their contributions have gone largely unnoticed and unappreciated.  We want  to change that.

   Some ask what is delta dirt? A fair question. If you have to ask you may never figure it out. In my mind delta dirt represents a sense of place and a  time of reflecting on the hard work, plain living, sweat, wit, grit, and spit  that it took to bring the delta from the hard life it dealt to the prosperous  life it offers today. The old shacks and farm-house are now gone leaving no  trace of the past.

   I still love to walk through the fields on a hot summer…

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Poll Tax


On the Bayou . . . November 1952

by Bonnie Chaney Cooper, PhD

Poll Tax Freeze-Out

     After breakfast and straightening  up in the kitchen, Nora Rose went to the bedroom to change into her Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes. It was election day and she was eager to vote for her favorite General, Dwight D. Eisenhower.                                                                         Nora had five sons who served in World War II. She gave a great deal of credit to GeneralEisenhower for getting all her boys home safely. During the war years, she hung a service flag in her window. It was more like a white banner, bordered in red with a gold fringe at the bottom. In the middle was a blue star signifying an immediate family member serving in the military. The blue star flags were designed and first used for families of servicemen serving in WWI. They became very popular during WWII. Nora never had more than three sons serving in the military at one time, (nor more than three stars on her flag). More importantly, she never had to replace a blue star with a gold one which signified that a son had died in the service of his country.

   Near the end of the war, a convoy of German prisoners passed their home daily on the Stuttgart Highway. They were being moved from the Army-Air base in Stuttgart to different farms to work as day labor. Nora would sit on her front porch shelling peas or snapping beans. “Bet you think you got one of mine, but you didn’t,” she’d speak out loud towards the passing convoy. For this, and for everyday that she didn’t have to sew a gold star over the blue one on her Son’s in Service Flag, she gave thanks to God and to the General.

   Her husband, Tom, appeared to be as dedicated to General Eisenhower as Nora, that is until the day Eisenhower chose which ticket he was going to run on. Both the Democrats and the Republicans wanted to have General Eisenhower head-up their ticket for president. All Tom’s life he was a ‘yeller’dog Democrat; a loyal Southern Democrat who would vote for any candidate who was a Democrat, even if it was an old yellow dog. He and his wife had many an argument over the upcoming election. Nora wore an “I like Ike” button, but she had no success at convincing her husband to cross over party lines and vote for Ike. When Tom came in from feeding the animals that election morning, he stepped lively because it was election day. In 1952, voting was a special day. It was a day to put on one’s Sunday best and meet friends at the voting polls. Tom was on his way to put on his suit and tie when Nora emerged from the bedroom looking as if she was going to a wedding. She wore a hat and gloves that matched her coat and high-heeled shoes.

“Where do you think you are going?,” he asked matter-of-factly.

“To vote,” she answered with a smile, thinking he was joking with her.

“Where is your poll tax ticket?”

“Didn’t you buy me one?” she inquired. Nora didn’t drive. Tom had always taken care of that sort of thing in the past for the both of them. The poll tax was only $2.00.

“I couldn’t buy a poll tax for anyone who was going to vote for Ike.”

   It was cold in northeast Coy this early November day. However, it became a lot colder a the Rose household. Their younger son, J. T. cannot recollect a family argument worse than this one, nor one that lasted longer. All his mother would say to his father for days was, “I told you so.” To Nora, Ike’s winning verified that the way she wanted to vote was indeed the right way. As a matter of fact, for the next eight years she repeatedly informed him, “I told you so!”

   President Eisenhower was re-elected serving as president from 1953 to 1961. Nora had her poll tax receipt for every election thereafter.

   As for the poll tax itself – The Supreme Court ruled that a poll tax was a violation of the 15h Amendment and a method to disenfranchise poor whites and blacks from voting. Perhaps the honorable judges got wind of  Nora’s poll-tax freeze out. In 1964, the 24th amendment was passed that outlawed poll taxes for voting in Federal elections. The last southern states to remove the poll tax as a prerequisite to voting locally were Texas, Alabama, Virginia, followed in 1966 by Mississippi.

   The first poll tax was levied by John of Gaunt in 1377 to raise money for the English to fight the war against France. The price was one shilling, which was a lot in the 14th century. The English word “Poll” originally meant “Head,” as in per-person. The word “poll” became commonly used as a fixed tax applied to voting – thus six centuries later we go to the polls to vote.

   Our thanks to J. T. Rose for sharing a window into an election day with his parents. He is the only remaining sibling in his family. J. T. owned nursing homes in north Arkansas. He is retired, lives in Rogers, and has upon occasion worn a yellow dog button.

Hard Work Plain Living, Sweat, Wit, Grit and Spit


Delta Dirt.com was established as a way to remember and honor our forefathers  and foremothers who stayed with the land and fought through the hard times and heart breaks this land often dealt. Most never lived long enough to share in the delta’s wealth.  Many of their contributions have gone largely unnoticed and unappreciated.  We want  to change that.

   Some ask what is delta dirt? A fair question. If you have to ask you may never figure it out. In my mind delta dirt represents a sense of place and a  time of reflecting on the hard work, plain living, sweat, wit, grit, and spit  that it took to bring the delta from the hard life it dealt to the prosperous  life it offers today. The old shacks and farm-house are now gone leaving no  trace of the past.

   I still love to walk through the fields on a hot summer day.  I still hear the dinner bell to call the farm hands to dinner. The sounds of  children playing, sounds of the old field hollers.

 I still hear the sound of a  lonesome airplane making its way through the sky interrupting the silence. Those  sounds are still there and will forever be there for those who are tuned into the delta dirt.

   If you have an appreciation for the delta please join this page and share with us your stories of growing up in the delta. If you are not from the delta  but you have a love of the land, its people, their music and their  values; we want to hear from you too.

                                            Ten Miles East of Jones by Billy Henderson

©
2011