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Update on the Legacy Wall and Retreating Dangers

Hi, y’all. I’ve been writing, and that has taken my eyes off posting. Time for an update.

Legacy Wall Unveiling

Yesterday, we attended the Legacy Wall unveiling ceremony at Jackson State University. Because of our support of the English Department’s creative writing program, Tom and I got our names on the wall. I am so grateful to the Department Chair, Dr. Ebony Lumumba, and Professors McInnis and Dr. RaShell Smith-Spears for being so welcoming of our support.

The ceremony had speeches, of course. But the words really resonated with me. I’ve been thinking of this journey so conceptually—I want to help get voices into the future that countervail those of my ancestors. To have the Morris name on a legacy wall to that effort… But I’ve been focusing on the wrong legacy. This is about the students, beginning the journey of their lives. And we have been allowed to be part of that legacy.

Tom and Ellen pointing to our names on the JSU Legacy Wall

Memphis Update

What else? We are settling into the new condo in Memphis. We are back downtown in our old stomping grounds where we can walk to coffeeshops, restaurants, bars, and, most amazing, re-done Tom Lee Park. It has an otter slide. We have a four-year-old grandson. It’s in our front yard. Need I say more?

A photo of the redone Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis

Salt Wedge Update

Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, it appears the salt wedge danger is receding. (What–you didn’t know about the advancing salt wedge? It’s a truth of life: we never know the right things to worry about.) What the linked article does NOT talk about is the man-made cause of the danger: the extreme dredging of the river to allow bigger and bigger ships to use the port of New Orleans always ushers in the salt. The Army Corps of Engineers has known for decades the dredging threatens the NOLA water supply. But our US Senator, Bill Cassidy, basically shrugged. Such is the price of progress, he said.

Writing Update

I have just about decided that IN THE NAME OF MISSISSIPPI is my Portrait of Dorian Gray. I work on it, weaving my latest learnings into it, but I never finish it. Not a product, more of a life companion. Even so, this latest focus of revisions is the first time I’ve felt the story come together in a definite shape. When you get to the end, it feels inevitable, like a smooth shaped ball of tangles. I will resume querying..wish me luck.

Jackson State University creative writing, JSU Legacy Wall, New Orleans Salt Wedge, Salt Wedge, Tom Lee Park

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