Usually my timing is pretty good on happenings in my life, but it seemed that streak was over.

        My second night in Clarksdale was looking to be identical to my first. I had asked around and there wasn’t much more happening than the previous evening.

        There was going to be a musician at Ground Zero Blues Club, so I figured I would get some dinner and then head over there.

        The restaurant Madidi is an upscale eatery partly owned by actor, Morgan Freeman.

        Freeman is one of the few actors I truly admire and he was in one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption.

        There is a line in that movie that has become my mantra. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” It is a sentence that resonates with me. I catch myself saying it frequently.

        So I figured I would patronize the restaurant as a small thank you for his work that has not only entertained me, but change my life.

        I had no clue he was in town and when I heard his voice a few tables over, I couldn’t believe it. I had my camera with me and asked the waitress if he would come over to my table.
 

        He graciously did. I was stunned, but tried to play it as cool as possible. He really is a nice man and was interested in my trip. We talked for a few minutes and took a picture and I let him get back to his dinner, thanking him profusely for his time.

        After dinner I went to the Ground Zero, the blues club he owns with business partner, Bill Luckett. There was a lone man with a guitar playing and I sat outside with some local kids talking.
   

        We discussed the renovation of the area and how people are coming to visit. The two men, who were in their early to mid 20s, talked about how the town is getting more activity, but they both still wanted to leave.

        I had one more stop to make before turning in and I hopped on the bike and shot down Sunflower Avenue to Red’s.

        Red’s is an original juke joint, where as Ground Zero is a club. A juke joint is usually a small, dingy box of a room with home made decorations, bottled beer and great music.

        The only one in the place tonight was Red himself, a middle-aged black man with a quick smile. He was watching baseball and only the light from the television and a small lamp behind the bar illuminated his place.


Red's Juke Joint.

        We sat and talked about music and all the acts he has had in his place.

        “I’ve been doing this too damn long to remember,” Red said.

        I was bummed I wasn’t going to be around Saturday because he was having a little jam at his place with three bands and it sounded fantastic.

        But with all the people I met and the fun I had, I know that I’ll be back soon.