There must be something in the water in Holly Bluff. And I am not talking about the flood waters that are swallowing up the rural community.
I say that because there are some good people in Holly Bluff. I am honored to say that my best friend was raised there. And her family treats me like one of their own.
She should be proud to say she is from the soil of Holly Bluff because I spent Wednesday afternoon out there documenting the backwater flood, and I admit that I am kind of jealous I am not from there.
The Holly Bluff community welcomed me in their arms like I was a returning daughter of the Delta gem. I was offered water and something to eat. I was taken around by Mr. Glen Reams, fire chief of the Holly Bluff Volunteer Fire Department. I was invited into homes and given a glimpse into the lives that people have built out there.
By the end of the day, I was laughing at jokes with local residents. They are still full of humor and laughter even as the flood waters move in.
That community reminded me of why people choose to live and create their lives in tight-knit communities. I feel the same way about my current stomping ground, the Pea Ridge community.
Call us country folks, rural people, whatever. I call it “good people.”
I was born and raised in Natchez, a beautiful place with history, bluffs and memories. When I fell in love with a Yazoo boy and knew I would be uprooted from all I knew, my first emotion was fear.
I was afraid of joining a community I knew nothing about. I didn’t know the street names, the backroads, the family histories and so on. When my husband Jason would meet with his friends he grew up with, I kind of felt out of place as they laughed about stories about people and places I knew nothing about.
Eleven years later, I am a Yazooan. I work in Yazoo City. I live off of Myrleville Road. I play on Fletcher’s Chapel Road. And I breathe Yazoo County.
I know her backroads now and can get you clear across the county without getting on a main road. I know people and their families. My children are running in the same hills their Daddy did years ago. And my name appears across a newspaper that has history here.
And that same level of pride and love for my own community can be found in Holly Bluff. Her people love her, and they want you to love her too.
I plan to continue my flood coverage of the area until the waters return to normal. Their stories and their faces should serve as reminders of what it means to be a part of a community. They help each other out. They laugh together. They build together. And they cry together.
Whether it’s an invite to the annual Holly Bluff Festival or quick cruise through town, her people are willing to brag on their small community. And they have every right to do so.
They are going to survive this flood, and they will do it together like they always have.
And as I drove off from Holly Bluff with the waters in my rear-view window, I could see the sky where the sun broke through. And the crest finally broke.