The Delta Bohemian (DB) turned one-year old recently! The “brainless child” of Billy and Madge Marley Howell–Poor William and Magical Madge–the DB was established as an organic expression of how the two see and experience the Mississippi Delta and Clarksdale, Mississippi.
What is The Delta Bohemian?
We consider it a zany, quirky, off-the-wall, always spontaneous, multi-media, literary Internet experience. We have no agenda other than “celebrating constancy and diversity in the Mississippi Delta” and doing so through our unique, though limited perspective.
We do not presume to be “all things to all people,” and while we may appear “full of ourselves,” our intent is to have some fun, make folks think, and to bring attention to one of the “most” unique places in the world—The Mississippi Delta!
We do not cover every Delta event and we pay our way when we do, so we are beholden to no one other than ourselves. Now, “don’t be thinking” we would turn down some tickets, a free meal, some liberal libations, or some ad revenue! We remain open and at your service!
Many conservatives consider us to be too “liberal” in how we “behave” and present our material, and many liberals find us too conservative when presuming to know our intent on a subject we have addressed. Part of the charm of the Mississippi Delta is in the shoulder-rubbing, iron-sharpens-iron reality of dissimilar characters living together in a microcosm of cultural confluence.
Many of our posts are laced with multi-levels of esoteric irony, while others are straightforward reporting or sober, reflective commentaries on subjects or events impacting the Mississippi Delta or dealing with the global, human condition.
Our worldview–individually and corporately–is marbled with conservative raisings, a Judeo-Christian belief system, and a liberal approach to self-expression! Probably just means, “WE CRAZY!”
Who do Madge and Billy think they are?
Madge and Billy found each other late in life. We are both grateful to God for allowing us to “hook up,” and for being matched well enough to enjoy working together while living together—not always a possibility for many couples.
We grew up in the area having only heard one another’s names, moved away for a couple of decades and then came “home” by choice. We essentially met at RUST Restaurant in 2008, where Poor William was bartending and then we married while both working at Madidi Restaurant; Madge managed it and Poor William just ogled her while pouring her drinks.
The “pirate” wedding held at the Clark House in December 2009 somewhat “sealed the deal” as regards “crazy,” and was the likely catalyst for germinating the possibility of The Delta Bohemian! However, it was the picture of Poor William nude in the snow (nothing showing but fat, white meat and some sheer chutzpah) and the accompanying video that put the DB on the map. Not a large map mind you, but a map nonetheless. (Check out Mr. January – A Snow Odyssey post HERE.)
Why Do Poor William and Pontificus Minimus always refer to themselves in the third person singular?
Well, Poor William started that while working at the Clarksdale Press Register as a reporter writing an editorial column under the pen name, Poor William. He did so to mimic politicians and preachers who too often refer to themselves in the third person, as if doing so increases their stature. But, maybe the use of the third person has stuck just a little too closely to Poor William and Pontificus Minimus? Hmm?
What’s Delta Bohemian Duality?
Inherent in the DB is the manifestation of the duality often seen in the human race, seen in our geographical and cultural area, and seen in those who profess faith in a religion or creed. The Delta is laden with duality and the DB wants to explore those dualities: white/black, religious/non-religious, local/visitor, conservative/liberal, private/public, formal/informal, wholesome/gritty, etc.
Locals and tourists can coexist?
We want our local readers to appreciate the strengths, fascination with the Delta, and socio-economic impact visitors from all over the world bring to this area on a daily basis.
Also, we want our visitors to be familiar with and appreciative of the status quo, not-out-of-the-box, local cultures that have contributed demonstrably to the longstanding stability seen in our area. We all have much to offer and much to receive from each other, and the DB wants to be another voice in the Delta.
Who is The Delta Bohemian?
Magical Madge, who writes and collates the weekly “Whatcha Gonna Do” post, is the driving force behind our online rag: taking and then creating cut lines for photos, doing all the technical editing on videos, audio, and layout, and making posts and the website aesthetically pleasing. Poor William just does the “heavy” thinking!
Corinne Vance is a contributor to the DB and writes our Young & Free articles. She writes from the mindset of a young co-ed at Ole Miss University.
John McKee (Mr. Lil John) periodically contributes wry, informative, intelligent articles about farming and life on his Fat Clyde page.
John “Driftwood Johnnie” Ruskey, owner of Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale and Helena, AR, contributes articles and information relative to the “happenings” on river systems in our area and all along the lower Mississippi River. John is often featured on our Guest Bohemian page.
Guest Bohemians occasionally submit articles on subjects that dovetail well with the DB’s purpose or theme for the week.
Where are we heading?
Good question Poor William! During this holiday season, Madge and Poor William will be thinking, rethinking, formulating, and planning for next year’s expression of The Delta Bohemian.
We want to thank our main sponsor, Charles Evans, owner of the Clark House Residential Inn located in downtown Clarksdale who urged and helped us develop this “Delta Bohemian” concept.
We also want to thank Cal Carter with Gulf Shores Condos whose early technical help in creating our website helped make The Delta Bohemian not just a dream but a reality.
And, finally, we want to thank our subscribers and readers: Without you enjoying at least some of what we do we would not and could not continue to do what little bit we do do (should that be one word?).
Our plans will involve ensuring the DB becomes financially viable and that it continues to be dynamic, spontaneous, but non-combustible. Madge doesn’t have enough “magical” to override William’s “poorness!” So, we gotta rake in some more Benjamins this year!
We are designing new t-shirts, posters, hats and other DB products, in addition to pursuing a collaboratively produced periodical print edition. Also, the DB plans to deepen and broaden its roots and ties to the area through several planned marketing and publishing ventures to be launched during 2012.
We want to continue to have a good time, promote Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta, and we would like to be another metaphorical thread in the organic bridge slowly being constructed in the Delta. A bridge with the potential to more completely link similar and dissimilar folks with a common interest: Survival, Progress, and Success for The Mississippi Delta, its residents and those who value it!
God Bless The Mississippi Delta, God Bless The Delta Bohemian and God Bless you, the reader!
P.S. We welcome your suggestions and ideas! Merry Christmas!