Golf, gambling and blues: My, how times have changed in the Mississippi Delta
My memories of the Mississippi Delta – in the 35 years I visited my grandparents and the couple of years I lived with them as a kid – are of farmland, trips to the barber shop, the Piggly Wiggly and Fred’s Dollar star.
Now there are retro blues clubs and blues museums in Clarksdale. And just up Highway 61 on the Mississippi River in Tunica are nine major casino hotels, dozens of restaurants and three pretty decent golf courses – Tunica National, River Bend Links, and The Links at Cottonwood.
My, how times have changed. The crossroads where legendary blues artist Robert Johnson supposedly made his deal with the devil are just south of the new sin city of the MidSouth, which I’m told is the third largest gaming destination in the United States.
Golf courses sprouted from cotton fields, and the state of Mississippi is celebrating its blues roots like never before. Now, the good people there want you to come and sit for a spell.
Golfers and other vacationers, to the tune of more than 10 million per year, are finding their way to Tunica, which is just a half hour from the Memphis airport. And now you can even fly commercially right into Tunica. Starting next week, AirTran is flying in and out of the Tunica Airport from Atlanta four days a week, and with casino subsidies, it’s very affordable.
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