History Hunts Blog
http://historyhunts-blog.blogspot.com/

Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads
http://oldrrs-blog.blogspot.com/

My Ride Reports
http://my-ride-reports.blogspot.com/

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads
http://lumbermillrrs.blogspot.com/









Monday, July 18, 2016

Mississippi: Wanilla Hooker

Google This: "John Lee Hooker Train  Songs"
I did.
Why?
At first, because this is a very thin ride report and I needed, as a storyteller, some thickener.
The problem with "thickeners" is that they are often very personal in their appeal.
Black Delta Blues may not appeal to you at all and the fact that I'm  beginning this tale with some might not thicken anything but make the whole presentation thinner than before.
Soups on.
What led me to the Mississippi Delta Blues thickening shelf was that the tracks I were pursuing  now end in Hooker, or at least that is what it seems.  But, lately,  "seemin'" ain't been good to me.
This isn't working.
Let me try it straight.
When I  see "Hooker, Mississippi" in print or on a map I think, "John Lee Hooker".  Whatever is in Hooker, Mississippi is connected to John Lee ..... seeming to me.
Hooker was a place four miles from  the railroad that came up from Gulfport and  whose tracks could  take you all the way to Chicago.  Hooker, Mississippi, like John Lee, was connected to Chicago.
Now, let  me check his biography.
Actually he was born near Clarksdale and moved to Detroit in the 1940's.
I liked the other bio better. Let's go with it.
Below is from HERE.
The G&SI RR info found HERE
I will not allow a dirge into old railroad history yet. There's some woman trouble blues to attend to.
Here's a little JLH. Think "The Boogie".  Got that cadence going? 
These are songs written by or sung by John Lee Hooker, yes, mentioning railroads, the whole point of their inclusion. The links are You Tube presentations. I did not get too bogged down looking them up. Others are out there. I did about faint after seeing Carlos Santana and Buddy Guy co-attack "Stormy Monday" which should be the name of this ride report since I ran from a storm on the upper end of the ride and it was Monday. I digress. This is about Hooker and his railroad inclusive songs.
Hey, hey, hey!
I'm leavin', leavin', leavin',
Won't be back no more
Lord, Lord
Lord, Lord
Cuttin' out this morning,
Won't be back no more
Hey!
Hey!
Won't be back no more
My woman told me,
"Hit the road Johnny,
Don't come back no more"
Packed my suitcase,
Went on down the line
I got down, to the station
With suitcase in my hand
The train was leaving
Oh, the train would leave,
the train was leaving
I said, "Hold the train conductor,
I ain't got the time,
Get a ticket, I got money in my hand"
Paid my fare, the train started movin'
Paid my fare, when the train got movin'
Oh, don't stop rollin' 'til the whole state's outta sight
Whole state!
Outta sight
Lord, Lord, Lord
I feel so bad
Hey!
I was sittin' way down inside
I was sittin' there cryin', cryin'
The train was movin', the train was movin'
Conductor told me, said, "Johnny stop cryin', stop cryin'"
Gon' take you 'way from here
Down the line,
Down the line,
Down the line,
Down the line
Woo!
Stop crying, stop crying, stop cryin', stop crying
Takin' you away from here, down the line
Ooh
How Long Blues Leroy Carr, arranged by John Lee Hooker
Standin' at the station when the train come by
Deep down in my heart, baby, feel an achin' pain
How long, oh, baby how long?
Baby how long, baby how long,
Has that evenin' train been gone,
How long, oh, baby how long?
If I could holler like a mountain jack,
I'd go up on the mountain, call my baby back
How long, oh, baby how long?
I could see the green grass,
Growin' up on the hill
But you can't see a green-black drawin' on a,
On a dollar bill
Baby, how long?
Baby how long?
How long, baby how long,
Has that evenin' train been gone?
Baby how long, oh baby how long?
Baby how long, oh baby how long?
Hobo Blues Lyrics
When I first started hoboing, hoboing, boy
I took a freight train to be my friend, oh Lord
You know I hobo'd, hobo'd, hobo'd, hobo'd
Hobo'd a long, long way from home, oh Lord
You know my mother she followed me that morning,
Me that morning, that morning
She followed me down to the yard, oh Lord
She said my son he's gone, he's gone, he's gone, he's gone
Yes, he's gone in the world somewhere
You know I left my dear old mother,
Dear old mother, dear old mother
She was on her knees a-crying, oh Lord
You know I hobo'd, hobo'd, hobo'd, hobo'd
Hobo'd a long, long way from home, oh Lord
 I Done Somebody Wrong
The bell just toned, my baby done caught that train and gone.
Yes, the bell just toned, my baby done caught that train and gone.
It's all my fault, I must have done somebody wrong.
Oh yeah.
Everything that happened, you know I am to blame.
Everything that's happened, you know I am to blame.
I'm gonna find me a doctor, maybe my luck will change.
Oh yeah.
My mother told me these days would surely come,
But, I wouldn't listen to her,
Said, "I gotta have some fun."
Ahh, I musta did somebody wrong.
Uh, it's all my fault, I musta did somebody wrong. You might have heard the Allman Bros sing that one. BTW {I live that song} The Peavine RR then caught my attention. The "Delta" was the main stage for much of Mississippi's blues performers.. Clarksdale, the actual home base for a young John Lee, is very near Rosedale, the terminus for the  Peavine.
US 61 ... You know about Highway 61. There's been some blues down US 49, too. Maps below, etc, from the Mississippi Blues Commission.
The Peavine Branch was officially the Kimball Lake Branch. 
Above is the Y&MV No.74 which ran those rails.
At this point connecting my little ride with all that blues became irrelevant.  The music and the railroads are so intertwined that I could have spent hours exploring, which I did.  You have to ride it out sometimes.  The following few paragraphs are examples of how I plagiarized my way to a college degree.
 The Peavine was originally a two narrow-gauge railroad. run by individuals in Boyle.  It was bought  by the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Company (Y&MV) in the late 1890's.
The line ran from Dockery Plantation, ten miles west to Boyle, where it met the main Y&MV, locally known as the "Yellow Dog which ran to Cleveland and beyond. "Peavine" was commonly used for railways that meandered and resembled the vines of the pea plant.
 The  Peavine Branch of the Yellow Dog met the Memphis to Vicksburg mainline at Rosedale, mentioned below. . From the late 1890s through the 1930s, the "Peavine" branch provided the region with transportation. Charley Patton made the branch famous through his popular recording of  "Pea Vine Blues."
Pea Vine Blues /Charlie PattonI think I heard the Pea Vine when it blowed I think I heard the Pea Vine when it blowed It blow just like my rider gettin' on board Well, the levee sinkin', you know I, baby... (spoken: Baby, you know I can't stay!) The levee is sinkin', Lord, you know I cannot... I'm goin' up the country*, mama, in a few more days Yes, you know it, she know it, she know you done done me wrong Yes, you know it, you know it, you know you done done me wrong Yes, you know it, you know it, you know you done done me wrong Yes, I cried last night and I ain't gonna cry anymore I cried last night an' I, I ain't gonna cry anymore 'Cause the good book tells us you've got to reap just what you sow Stop your way o' livin' an' you won't... (spoken: You won't have to cry no more, baby!) Stop your way o' livin' an' you won't have to cry anymore Stop your way o' livin' an' you won't have to cry anymore I think I heard the Pea Vine when it blowed I think I heard Pea Vine when it blowed She blowed just like she wasn't gonna blow no more You will notice more stolen blues lines in the songs below.Led Zeppelin was great at stealing stuff.  The Lemon Song is one.
From Wiki:
The railroad - or its predecessor, the Yazoo Delta Railway (Moorhead to Ruleville) - appears in a number of blues songs as the Yellow Dog Railroad. According W. C. Handy, locals assigned the words "Yellow Dog" to the letters Y.D. on the freight trains that they saw.[1] The Mississippi Blues Commission placed a historic marker at the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad depot site in Rosedale, Mississippi, designating it as a site on the Mississippi Blues Trail. The marker commemorates the original lyrics of legendary blues artist Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside Blues" which traced the route of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad which ran south from Friars Point to Rosedale among other stops, including Vicksburg and north to Memphis. The marker emphasizes a common theme of blues songs of riding on the railroad, which is seen as a metaphor for escape
 Robert Johnson's Traveling Riverside BluesA group called "Cream" stole parts of  this one. Ok, I'll be kinder, they preserved it.
If your man gets personal, Want you to have your fun. If your man gets personal, Want you to have your fun. Well, come on back to Friar's Point, mama, Barrelhouse all night long. I got womens in Vicksburg, Clean on into Tennessee. I got womens in Vicksburg, Clean on into Tennessee. But my Friar's Point rider, now, Hops all over me. I ain't gonna state no color but Her front teeth is crowned with gold. I ain't gonna state no color but Her front teeth is crowned with gold. She got a mortgage on my body, Lord, A lien on my soul. Well, I'm going down to Rosedale, Rider by my side. Lord, I'm going down to Rosedale, Rider by my side. Well, we can still barrelhouse, babe, On the riverside. You can squeeze my lemon till Juice run down my leg. You can squeeze my lemon till Juice run down my leg. That's what I'm talking about! But I'll be going back to Friar's Point, mama, Rocking to my head.
Peavine by John Lee Hooker
Well, I thought I heard that pea vine when she blow
Well, I thought I heard that pea vine when she blow
You know it blow just like it ain't gonna blow no more
I'm gonna catch my pony boys, saddle up my black mare, oh, yeah
I'm gonna catch my pony boys; gonna saddle up my black mare
I'm gonna find my baby--she's in the world somewhere
I ain't got no money, boys--I can't ride the train
I ain't got no money, boys--I can't ride that train
But I thought I heard this mornin' that pea vine when she blow
Carryin' my baby 'way, carryin' my baby 'way
Carryin' my baby 'way, carryin' my baby 'way
Carryin' my baby 'way
You know it blow just like
Ain't gonna bring my baby back no more
I'm gonna catch my pony, boys
Gonna saddle up my black mare
I'm gonna leave you joggin'
Joggin' on away from here ... No! You have to hear this one from Hooker and Heat. That's Canned Heat playing backup. It has that steam engine beat. It is a great one.
 Rollin' Blues
John Lee Hooker
 Yes, I rolled, baby
Rolled all night long
 Lord, I rolled this mornin'
 Didn't know right from wrong
Lord, I know my baby
 She gonna jump an' shout
Lord, I know my little woman
She gonna jump an shout
When my train roll up
And I'll come walkin' out
Been a long time
 Lord, I know my woman
She gonna jump an' shout
Lord, I know my little woman
She gonna jump an' shout
When that train roll up
And I'll come walkin' out, hey
And you never blow the whistle now
Fireman rung the bell
And you never blow the whistle now
Fireman rung the bell
Lord, I didn't have time
Tell my baby, fare you well
OK, here we go with the big TIE TOGETHER. The Gulf and Ship Island had a depot at Silver Creek, 4 miles from Hooker.
The Mississippi Central actually went by Hooker. It was probably a flag stop.
The Mississippi Central Railroad ran to Natchez.
So did the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley
I have no idea what my thesis was. Wait .... Maybe ... John Lee could do gigs in Hooker if he wanted. But, he wanted the heck out of Mississippi. Detroit was a prime destination. Ted Nugent and others live there. Too bad it's gone bankrupt.
 So, John Lee Hooker probably didn't have to walk four miles from Hooker to Silver Creek to catch the train. Rails ran through Hooker.
Here's the tale about my attempt to reach Hooker, not the home of John Lee, but where I think the remnants of the old Mississippi Central RR now end. Last time through Hooker I saw no rails. I'd have to check again. Any excuse to go out the country is just all right with me now mama. Into Mississippi, you have to put yourself into that place.
My Map Below. Yellow was my proposed route, always too ambitious. Green represents my tracks (bread crumbs) Pea Green are where I actually followed the proposal. The actual mileage difference between the two was less than a half mile. There were a lot of highways in the proposal. Reality contained few, poetic to a degree.
Here we go: The Wilmer Quickstop This is going to be brief.
Headin' on up.
 Not out of La. yet. 1hr.15mins. into the ride. I don't think I'd gone 30 miles
 Almost
The La. / Miss. Line:  Disputed highway so no one fixes it.
The new side...
 The old side.
 Log mill
A blurred interpretation of my actual movements.
 MS Highway 27. I could not stand it for long.
Just long enough to get me to Tylertown
Whose depot was this, the Fernwood's or the GMO's?
 I should have stopped at this place. Only after seeing the picture did I see what was inside.
The machine to the rear prepares your stuff for "mini storage".
Leaving Tylertown.
 Near Hebert, Mississippi.
 Either the Head Start or ...
 It actually spoke to me.
 I wanted to get over to MS 587, the Pearl River Mountain Road, aka The Red Bluff Road.
Why go to Colorado?
Mr. Black Cloud .... Where you fo?
Looking at the old GMO.
More looking follows. White Bluff is and was, it seems, an important place. The off road riding business was no where in sight. Must gone bust. OK, stand where you are and turn to your right.
Keep going.
Looking north toward Monticello.
Looking east. The road goes down to the river.
Now we are back looking south. If you are dizzy, we can wait a moment. I am.
I did want to go through the ties.  There could be date nails. No, Lawantra, not the purple ones you paste on.
Spikes, yee ha. No, I didn't take one fearing they were bait for a security camera.
That line looks like one of my rides.
My favorite little house is still standing among the guardian Oaks at. White Bluff. I've take pictures of this place for 12 years. I almost considered staying in it as the weather was getting back
I made a run for it hoping I could make it to Monticello before it crashed on me.
This is looking south. The hint of an incline is real.
Looking north.
Interesting house. It was near the rails. I suspect it was a school. Maybe not. Not enough windows.
Another place.
Buck Wilson had his name on everything.
Crossing the tracks going into Monticello.
Leaving town on OLD Hwy. 27.  Everything on this road has changed except for the old farm house.
I'm not even going to try to explain Wanilla. If you can keep a sense of direction while in this place you are more a man than I . I'll give it a try. The highway above (MS 27) runs north and south. That is looking north. I turned right off it into Wanilla and crossed the tracks at the top of the "diamond". Below is that crossing. North is to the left. Those rails, the old NOGN, (maybe) end up a ways. They once went to Jackson.(maybe)
There were cars up it the last time I was here.
This is looking south. To the left {east) is the big mill at Ferguson. To the right {west} are the rails to Brookhaven. East and west were the Mississippi Central Railroad. (How am I doin' Virgil?)
Ok, see the little building? It is on the east side. That side goes across the Pearl River on an old bridge to the plant at Ferguson I visited last time. There was a CN tug there.  OK, the next one is tough. The little shed is in the south east corner of the old diamond. I was inside the diamond looking west toward Brookhaven.
Below: Looking east.South is to the right. (Rails to Bogalusa, Straight to Ferguson Mill, left to storage on abandoned rails to Jackson)
Now how did I get turned around. Oh!! It was hundred degrees and I'd ridden 100 miles and I felt like I was 100.
 Now the  little building (south east corner) is on the right. Where are  you looking? I did go out the Hooker road and black clouds scarred me off. I hit US 84 west. It was horrible.
Until I found ....
and I left that.
I took a break here in the only shade I could find.
I made a point to go through Homesville. It was a place on the F&G RR. I saw nothing that looked like a right of way, but I was fried.
Then I remembered the two ....
I climbed up in the tree  house and took a nap.
I was still in Mississippi above 98. I was still far from base camp.
I had to take this road to see if I'd stall in the curves.
I joined the cows for a swim.
Wait, what is that?
Joy to the World.
I was hooked up. I hadn't made it to Hooker but I was now on wonderful La. 450, a biker's dream road. I still had a little spunk left in me and kinda let the dogs out.
I couldn't show you the curves, tee hee. I stopped for gas. I couldn't pass up .09c a gallon. The pump is slow or my tank is empty. I'll get back with you after I get her filled up.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.