CURIOUS DORA: The Borscht Belt – A History of the Jewish Vacationland

CURIOUS DORA: The Borscht Belt – A History of the Jewish Vacationland

Photo: Concord Hotel, Kiamesha Lake, New York – Wikipedia

The Borscht Belt: A History of the Jewish Vacationland

What Is the Borscht Belt?

Granit Hotel Country Club Kerhonkson New York Wikipedia

The Borscht Belt was a region in the Catskill Mountains where many Jewish immigrants settled and started businesses due to its religious tolerance and lack of anti-Semitism. The Catskill hotels served as a place for people to go on their vacations during the summertime and would often serve food that was like what they had at home: such as bagels, pickles, lox, matzo ball soup, blintzes etc.

(Photo: Granit Hotel & Country Club, Kerhonkson, NY-Wikipedia)

The Borscht Belt became very popular in the late 1920s with resorts such as Grossinger’s attracting celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Groucho Marx.* The Borscht Belt was eventually abandoned after many Jews moved away from cities looking for new opportunities.

While it is commonly thought that there are no longer any hotels left in the Catskill Mountain region, there are ruins of one resort still standing: Grossinger’s Resort Hotel, which opened on July 4th, 1925 and closed down on November 30th, 2010 after being sold to new owners.

History of The Borscht Belt

The Borscht Belt began in the late 1800s and peaked in popularity during the 1920s. In recent years, many hotel owners have had to close their doors due to competition from new hotels and new technology. The disappearance of the Borscht Belt can be attributed to a variety of different factors: changing tastes, competition from eCommerce companies like Amazon, improved travel options such as Uber/Lyft/Rideshares, etc.

The Borscht Belt was primarily a place for Jews from Eastern Europe, who came to be entertained and find their own type of leisure there. Tourists came to the Borscht Belt for work, as well as entertainment and leisure.

Grossingers ping pong Liberty New York Wikipedia

The Borscht Belt was a rural area in the United States, which became popular among Jewish farmers and their socialist communities. The “back-to-the-earth communes” as well as political discussions and readings were common activities at some Borscht Belt settlements.

The popularity of the Borscht Belt declined through the 1980s and 1990s, but has seen a resurgence in recent years.

(Photo: Grossinger’s Ping Pong, Liberty, New York – Wikipedia)

The Borscht Belt in Popular Culture

Jews were initially denied access to many resorts due to anti-Semitism before farmers started offering their places as Jewish boarding houses and hotels serving kosher food. The Workmen’s Circle and unions opened resorts in the Catskills to provide respite for workers who were excluded from other areas due to anti-Semitism. The Borscht Belt became a destination of choice by the 1950s thanks to increased economic growth during and after World War II. The development of the entertainment industry allowed for an increase in revenue, allowing it to grow even further throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

While not everyone remembers the specifics of what happened in the Catskills during the height of its popularity, many people know it was once a hugely popular resort area for Jewish people thanks in part to comedians like Jerry Seinfeld who have made references to it over the years. On an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry and George try to come up with a list of new jokes for their stand-up act. One of the jokes they develop is about how there are no more Jewish resorts because “the Borscht Belt dried up.”

The Borscht Belt in Comedy

Nevele lobby Ellenville New York Wikipedia

The humor of the region is known for being rapid-fire and self-deprecating. Typical themes include bad luck and puns. Physical ailments relating to bowels and cramping are also common topics of jokes. The Catskills became a mecca for Jewish comedians and resorts, who found humor in their own culture and lifestyle.

(Photo: Nevele Lobby, Ellenville, New York-Wikipedia)

One of the most famous comedians from the Borscht Belt is Rodney Dangerfield. He got his start at resorts in upstate New York and eventually became one of America’s most beloved comics. His signature line “I don’t get no respect” is still quoted today. His book “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs” pays tribute to this era of comedy.

Why Did the Borscht Belt Decline?

The area’s popularity began to decline in the 1950s due to a decrease in rail service, an increase in air travel, the rise of new leisure destinations and the increasing affordability of hotels. Additionally, anti-Semitism decreased after World War II, so Jews could go to different places for vacationing purposes. Today, many of these resorts have been abandoned and are now home to ghosts and various other paranormal activities.

* Notable Performers (From Wikipedia)

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
Blues In Clarksdale MS: Are You a Blues Fan? Clarksdale, MS Should Be at The Top of Your Blues Bucket List

Blues In Clarksdale MS: Are You a Blues Fan? Clarksdale, MS Should Be at The Top of Your Blues Bucket List

Feature Photo: D. Saparow

Clarksdale, Mississippi is known as the birthplace of the blues. Clarksdale has a rich history and culture that is evident in its music, art, and the town’s ambience.

Blues In Clarksdale MS: A Blues Concert 365 Days a Year

Clarksdale is the birthplace of the blues where live music can be enjoyed most every day. The blues calendar includes everything from small bars to large festivals. It’s no wonder that the birthplace of the blues should have such an active calendar of live music. This Mississippi town offers something for everyone and is worth a visit whether you’re a fan of the blues or not.

Clarksdale, MS is the home of many blues greats that left a lasting impact on American music. Beginning with Son House in the 1930’s, Clarksdale has been a fertile ground for blues musicians. Many other blues greats featured are John Lee Hooker, Junior Parker, Ike Turner, Eddie Boyd and Sam Cook.

Blues Festivals

Clarksdale has a number of annual festivals and it is home to some of the best blues festivals in the nation. The Sunflower River and Blues and Gospel Festival is one notable festival, while Juke Joint Festival focuses on live music from local musicians. The Juke Joint Festival typically occurs in April while the Sunflower River and Blues and Gospel Festival is always in August and the Deep Blues Fest is in October.

For more information on the festivals…

Explore Music Venues

WROX radio station

Clarksdale, MS is well known for its bar and nightclub scene. In fact, some have ranked it among America’s best 100 bars and nightclubs. If nightlife is what you’re after, you won’t be disappointed in Clarksdale.

Blues events on Tuesdays are at Bluesberry Cafe and Hambone Gallery. Wednesdays include a Sean “Bad” Apple show, plus Anthony “Big A” Sherrod and friends at the Hambone Gallery. The public is encouraged to come out for the shows in Clarksdale, as it’s a great time to get acquainted with local artists and musicians.

NOTE: Schedule times and band changes frequently happen-please check with the venues listed for the latest information on upcoming shows before going to the establishment.

Ground Zero Blues Club

Ground Zero

Ground Zero Blues Club is a music venue located in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The club is owned by Morgan Freeman and Bill Luckett, who are both natives of the area. The club was founded in 2001 with the goal of preserving blues music and promoting it to a new generation of fans. The night time is the right time for Mississippi Delta music at Ground Zero, and Clarksdale, MS should be at the top of your blues bucket list.

Wednesday nights host music at 8pm, Thursday-Saturday attract live music from 9pm-2am on Fridays and Saturdays. The kitchen will serve lunch Tues-Sat and dinner Wed-Sat in the evenings.

Website | Facebook | 387 Delta Ave, Clarksdale, MS 38614 | (662) 621-9009

Bluesberry Cafe

The Bluesberry Cafe is one of the top music venues in the area and has been hosting live music for decades. The venue started in 1978 and has continued to grow ever since. The venue is small and intimate which can be an issue when they host bands that have a large fan base, but it also makes for an intimate experience for the blues fans. The Bluesberry Cafe is located in Clarksdale, MS which is about an hour and a half drive from Memphis, TN. This makes it a great weekend trip for music lovers who want to hear some great music.

| Facebook |

The New Roxy

The New Roxy is an open-air music venue in Clarksdale, MS. It hosts events primarily during festival times in April, August, and October. (The New Roxy has a roof, but the main audience area is open air). The New Roxy hosts events primarily during festival times in April, August, and October. Find out about upcoming events on their Facebook page.

Website | 363 Issaquena Avenue, Clarksdale MS 38614 |

Red’s Lounge Blues Joint

Red’s Lounge is a blues joint in Clarksdale, MS. The venue is an old juke house that has been around since the 1970s. It opens on Wednesdays and live music begins at 8pm. On Friday and Saturday, the music starts at 9pm, and on Sunday it begins at 7pm. As with most blues joints, you can expect to pay a cover charge when you enter the establishment. (And it is a cash-only establishment). If you’re looking for some good ole’ blues in an authentic juke joint, Red’s is the place for you!

Website | 398 Sunflower Ave, Clarksdale, MS 38614 | (662) 627-3166

Stan Street’s Hambone Art Gallery

Stan Street’s Hambone Art Gallery is a unique and welcoming space for artists, musicians, and storytellers. It is open daily from 11am until 5pm, with special evening events happening occasionally. The Hambone has been an important part of the Clarksdale community for many years and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Stan Street’s Hambone Art Gallery is a must-see for blues fans visiting Clarksdale, MS. The gallery is open weekly, seven days a week and features the work of local artist Stan Street. Street is a self-taught painter who was heavily influenced by the blues music he grew up listening to in Florida. His portraits of Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and Robert Johnson are stunning and showcase his talent for capturing movement and color.

| Facebook | 111 E 2nd St, Clarksdale, MS 38614 | (662) 253-5586

Shack Up Inn

The Shack Up Inn is a short term rental for travelers. It offers guests the opportunity to stay with the property for an overnight or longer to conduct historical business in the Delta region. The Shack also offers live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm during dinner time. The Shack Up Inn also has live music during festivals. Note that they have a “No Children policy.” For more information, see their website.

| Website | 001 Commissary Circle, Clarksdale, MS 38614 | (662) 624-8329 |

Things to Do in Clarksdale

But there’s more to this town than just great nightlife options. There are also plenty of things to do during the day. Check out The Delta Blues Museum, where you can learn about the history of the blues and the artists who made it famous. Or visit the Delta Blues Alley Cat Cafe, which is dedicated to promoting and preserving blues music. And if you’re looking for a little bit of everything, head over to The Crossroads, where you can find shopping, dining, and entertainment all in one place.

Experience the Crossroads

Crossroads Highway Sign

The Crossroads is referred to as a place where Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil. Robert Johnson was not a skilled guitarist before he met a strange man who played his guitar better than anyone else. After meeting the man, Johnson developed skills with both his guitar playing and harmonica playing. He wrote the song “Me and the Devil Blues” about his time at The Crossroads. There’s no evidence of Johnson ever actually visiting The Crossroads, but rumors persist he did.

Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art

Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art
Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art (D. Saparow)

Roger Stolle, the proprietor of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, came to Clarksdale in 2002. The shop organizes and promotes blues music by hosting live performances and live recordings from local artists.

Richard Stolle has been living in Clarksdale for several years now and enjoys it immensely. Clarksdale was chosen as a location to “circle the wagons” in regards to Delta blues, with a goal of helping it survive and thrive into the future.

| Website | Facebook | 252 Delta Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614 | 662-624-5992 

Museums & Galleries in Clarksdale

The Delta Blues Museum

The Delta Blues Museum is the state’s oldest music museum, and it’s chock-full of fascinating artifacts, like old costumes and instruments. Situated in the historic freight depot, the Delta Blues Museum was established in 1979 by the Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees and has been appointed a Mississippi Landmark Property since 1996. Visitors will find many captivating exhibits here, like the History of the Blues Gallery and BB King’s Lucille guitar. You can also explore interactive displays that allow you to “play” different instruments or watch short films about blues legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

| Website | Facebook | 1 Blues Alley, PO Box 459, Clarksdale, MS 38614 | 662-627-6820

The Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum

The Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum is a historic site that houses four of the bedrooms that were once his home. Tennessee Williams lived with his grandparents in Clarksdale before he became famous. The museum exhibits a significant piece of history, being where Tom “Tennessee” Williams lived as a child after his grandparents moved there from Memphis.

| Website | 106 Sharkey Avenue | Clarksdale, MS | 38614 | Text: 646-465-1578 | OPEN BY APPOINTMENT

The Carnegie Public Library Archeology Collection

The Carnegie Public Library Archeology Collection is a collection of pottery shards, tools and other artifacts from Mississippian mound sites excavated by Clarence Bloomfield Moore between 1900-1902. The library’s purpose is to provide opportunities for information and education. The Clarksdale Library provides a range of services and materials to the people in their community, as well as the region.

| Website | Facebook | 114 Delta Avenue Clarksdale, MS 38614 | 662-624-4461

Places to Eat in Clarksdale

Go to Tripadvisor page for details.

Places to Stay in Clarksdale

Go to Tripadvisor page for details.

RV Parks

RV Parks in Clarksdale, Mississippi

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
RV Full Time Living: Pros and Cons of Full Time Living in a RV

RV Full Time Living: Pros and Cons of Full Time Living in a RV

The idea of living in an RV full time is becoming more and more popular these days. There are a lot of benefits to this lifestyle such as freedom, mobility, and the affordability.

What Is RV Full Time Living?

Depositphotos RV boondocking next to ocean
Depositphotos

RV full time living is a lifestyle choice that many people make for one reason or another. It could be for saving money, retirement, being able to go where they want when they want, or a combination of all three. The choice to live full time in a RV is not an easy one and there are many things that need to be considered before making the leap into this lifestyle. This article will explore some of the reasons people are choosing to live in an RV full time and how they make their full time living lifestyle work.

How to Decide if RV Full Time Living Is for You?

Living in an RV full time can be a great way to see the country and have freedom, but it’s not for everyone. The first step is figuring out if you even want to live full time in an RV.

There are three options: camping on private property, camping on public land, (e.g. boondocking) or living in a campground. Each of these options has its own challenges and benefits, so it’s important to consider them before deciding which option is best for you. For example, if you need to be near electrical hookups and water sources all the time, then living in a campground may not be the best choice. Or if you want to spend every night under the stars, camping on public land, (boondocking) might be more your style.

Once you’ve decided which option is best for you, there are still some key factors to consider before making the leap into full time RV living. How often will you be off the grid? Do you need access to amenities like showers and laundry facilities? How much privacy do you want? These are just a few of the things that will help determine what type of RVing is right for you.

What You Need to Know Before Starting RV Full Time Living

There are some things you need to know before making the leap. One of the most important is that you’ll need to have a good amount saved up, since RVs aren’t cheap. You’ll also need to drastically downsize your belongings, as there isn’t much storage space in an RV.

Starting a virtual business is a great way to achieve freedom. You can set your own hours and work from anywhere you want as long as you have an internet connection. The key is to do as much work as possible while spending only enough time on it that makes sense for the family. This will allow you to have more control over your life and spend more time with your loved ones.

Also, think about your lifestyle and whether it’s something that can adjust to living in close quarters with family or friends. If everyone involved is on board and ready for the change, then RV full time living can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Pros of RV Full Time Living

Your Home is Where You Park it
Your Home is Where You Park it
  • There are many pros to living full time in an RV. For starters, it can be a great way to reduce stress and live a more simple life. You’ll also find that traveling full time is a great way to maximize your time. Plus, living on the road is an excellent way to explore different cultures and experience new things firsthand.
  • One of the biggest advantages to living full time in an RV is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining a home or paying rent/mortgage. Most RVs are much cheaper than a house and a RV has all the amenities that most people need. They have a bathroom, kitchen, beds and storage areas. It is much cheaper to live in an RV than it is to rent or own a home. This can be a huge money saver for those who are living on a fixed income.
  • You’ll also have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. If you need to move somewhere quickly, or if you want to take an impromptu trip, you can do that with ease. And if you decide later on that you don’t like where you are, simply pack up and hit the road again. If you are boondocking, you don’t have to worry about making reservations or planning in advance. You can just go!
  • There are many places that are great for full time RV living. The best places are those that have warm weather and low cost of living. Florida, Texas, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona are all great choices for full time RV living.
  • You are more in touch with nature – Many people have been so busy working and living their lives that they forget about the natural beauty of the world around them. RV full time living allows you to see this beauty on a daily basis.
  • You can make new friends. RV full time living gives you the opportunity to meet people that are like minded and share your interests. This is an excellent way to make new friends.
  • You are more self reliant RV full time living allows you to be less dependent on the system and other people.

Cons of RV Full Time Living

It’s not all sunshine and roses when it comes to living full time in an RV.

  • On the con side, you have to get rid of most of your personal property. You can’t just take everything with you on the road, so you have to figure out what to do with it. You can keep it in storage, sell it, give it away or throw it away.
  • If you are traveling with others, you’ll lose some of your privacy—especially if you’re living in a small van or small RV.
  • You’ll also be away from family and friends. If you’re close to your family and friends, this can be an enormous drawback.
  • You’ll have to deal with the weather, which can be difficult if you live in an area that gets extreme winter weather or hot summers.
  • There is a sense of freedom that comes with RV living, but also a lack of stability and permanence.
  • Pets can be a big hassle. They require a lot of equipment, food, and toys.
  • You give up some of the comforts of home, like a consistent shower and stable internet connection.
  • It may be difficult to find places that allow overnight parking. In some areas, it is illegal to park overnight in certain places. If you are going to be traveling a lot, this could make life difficult for you.
  • Finding friends and community along our travels- something that’s not always easy when moving around constantly. But through online resources and by being proactive in your search, you’ll be able to find a great group of people that we now consider family.
  • You need to have a mailing address and driver’s license in one state, and you must pay taxes on your RV even if it’s your primary residence.

What Do Full Time RVers Use for An Address?

When living full time in an RV, you’ll need to have a permanent address. A mailing address is typically required for insurance, taxes, licensing, and other purposes. Many people choose to use a mail forwarding service. This is a service that will scan your mail for you and send it to a new address of your choice, without taking months to approve or rejecting you later on. This is the best way to maintain a domicile while living in an RV full time.

Check out this video for more details on what is involved in choosing a domicile:

How to Make the Most of Your RV Full Time Journey

Living in an RV full time can be a great experience. Here are a few tips:

  1. Make a budget and stick to it. This is especially important if you’re trying to save money while on the road.
  2. Find ways to make money while traveling. There are many opportunities for those who are willing to work hard – teaching English online, freelance writing and editing, offer website design, etc.
  3. Stay connected with friends and family back home. Technology makes this easier than ever before using Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.
  4. Explore your surroundings. Hit the beaches, go hiking or camping, visit museums and other tourist attractions—the possibilities are endless.

How Do I Save up To Pay Cash for An RV?

There are many ways to save up for a large purchase, like an RV. Here are some tips:

  1. Plan ahead and save up in advance of the time when you’ll need to buy your RV. This will help you avoid taking on a lot of debt.
  2. Make sure you have enough money for the RV and all of its maintenance costs, including gas, insurance, registration fees and repairs.
  3. Choose a smaller RV if you are on a budget. Smaller RVs cost less to buy and maintain, as well as being cheaper to insure.
  4. Look for used RVs if you can’t afford a new one. You can find used RVs at RV dealers, as well as through online classified ads or websites like Craigslist and eBay.
  5. Get the RV inspected by a professional before buying it, so that you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
  6. Buy an RV that is ready to use as soon as you buy it. This means buying a towable, van, or motorhome with everything included, like a bed, bathroom and kitchen equipment.
  7. Get the RV insured before you use it and make sure that the insurance covers any damage or theft.
  8. Get a copy of the RV’s manual, so that you know how everything works before you start using it.

Why Do People Quit Full Time RVing?

There are many reasons people quit RVing. One of the most common is that they don’t have a lot of money to start with, so it’s often difficult for them to afford a RV, gasoline and all of the other expenses that go along with full time RVing.

A lot of people who want to try RVing think they need to buy a big, expensive Class A motorhome. That’s not necessarily true. The cost of a large motorhome can be prohibitive, particularly for someone just starting out in RVing.

Rent an RV before you buy one. This will give you the opportunity to try out different types of RVs and see which ones are most comfortable for you. You’ll also get a sense of what kind of RV lifestyle is right for you.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of benefits to full time RV living. Some people enjoy the freedom and flexibility it offers, while others find it less stressful than traditional home life. However, there are also some disadvantages, such as reduced social interaction. If you are considering this type of lifestyle, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill cranes have been around since the Eocene period, making them one of the oldest living bird species in the world. They are also one of the most widespread, with a range that extends from Alaska to Central America. The Sandhill Crane of North America has not changed in ten million years, indicating their importance and resilience as a species.

All About Sand Cranes in Nebraska

An estimated 200,000 Sandhill Cranes visit Nebraska every year during their migration period. They are most commonly seen in the Platte River Valley and surrounding areas of Nebraska. The Platte River in Nebraska is one of the best places in the world to view Sandhill Cranes during their annual migration. The peak viewing times are usually around dawn and sunset when the cranes are most active. However, it is important to note that there is a very short time frame—usually only a few weeks—during which you can see this amazing spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes are a beautiful and majestic sight to behold. They can be found all over the world, but there is something truly special about witnessing their migration in Nebraska. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Sandhill Cranes, including where to find them and when to see them. You’ll also learn a bit about their history and how they have evolved over time.

Sandhill Cranes Behavior

The Sandhill Crane is a long-legged bird that is known for its large size and for the red crown on its head. They are herbivorous birds that feed mainly on seeds, fruits, and other plant material. They often feed with their bills down to the ground as they root around for seeds and other foods. During migration, they feed on Sorghum.

In addition, sand cranes have a variety of vocalizations that vary depending on the situation. For example, when they are alarmed, sand cranes emit a loud squawk. Additionally, mating pairs will perform an elaborate dance to strengthen their bond and signal to other males that they are taken. In the summer breeding grounds, sand cranes will build nests together and share incubation duties.

Sandhill cranes4
Sandhill Crane

Where to Go

If you want to see some Sandhill Cranes in the Spring, head to Nebraska! There are a number of great locations in Nebraska to view Sandhill Cranes during their migration. Some popular viewing spots include the Plautz Viewing Platform and Fort Kearny Bridge. Visitors can also enjoy good views from pull-offs along the highways. For the best experience, try to visit around sunrise or sunset when the cranes are most active.

To get the latest information on viewing the cranes, be sure to stop at the Kearney Visitors Bureau before heading out into the field.

1007 2nd Ave, Kearney, NE 68847

(308) 237-3178 | visitkearney.org |

Download the Kearney Visitors Bureau brochure.

Photo by Dora Saparow

Why Do Sandhill Cranes Stop in Nebraska?

Sandhill cranes migrate south to warmer climates in the winter, but they often stop in Nebraska on their way. There are a few reasons why these big birds might choose to stay in Nebraska for a while.

First, the weather here is milder than other states they might fly over on their way to Mexico or Florida. The cranes can rest and refuel without having to worry about extreme temperatures or bad weather.

Second, there is plenty of food available for them in Nebraska. There is a lot of corn grown in this state, and it is one of the crane’s favorite foods. They also need to drink water, and there are many rivers and lakes in Nebraska where they can find what they need.

The third reason why Sandhill Cranes stop in Nebraska is because it is a good place to rest. These birds travel long distances, and sometimes they need a break from their journey. Plus, the weather is usually mild, so it is a comfortable place for them to stay for a while.

Sandhill Cranes stop in Nebraska because there are other birds here that they like to associate with. Herons, egrets, and bitterns are all common sights in the state, and the sound of the Great Blue Heron’s call is unmistakable. When Sandhill Cranes hear this noise, they know that it’s safe to stay here for a while.

Finally, the people of Nebraska are very welcoming to Sandhill Cranes. There are lots of places where you can see these beautiful birds up close, and many people enjoy watching them migrate. So if you’re ever driving through Nebraska in the wintertime, keep your eyes peeled for Sandhill Cranes! You might be lucky enough to see hundreds of them gathered together near a river or lake.

Sandhill cranes2
Sandhill cranes

Viewing Etiquette

When viewing Sandhill Cranes, it is important to remember that safety is a top priority. This means being aware of your surroundings and the impact your behavior may have on both other viewers and the birds themselves. Remember to always keep a safe distance from the animals and never attempt to touch or feed them.

To avoid disturbing other wildlife enthusiasts and the birds themselves, you should observe the following:

1. Use binoculars or a spotting scope to get a closer look at Sandhill Cranes.

2. Be aware of your surroundings, and never walk directly towards cranes.

3. Please do not use flash photography or make loud noises that may startle the birds and cause them to flush (take flight).

4. If you are in a car, do not stop directly in front of the birds. Instead, pull off to the side of the road and turn off your engine.

5. Please stay on marked trails so that you don’t trample the vegetation.

6. Please remain in your car during all crane viewing, or use a spotting scope to get closer views of cranes. (This is for your safety and for the safety of the birds.)

7. Please do not feed the cranes or any other wildlife. This can harm them, and it will also cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.

8. Please do not chase the cranes or otherwise disturb them.

The Future of Sandhill Cranes

The Sandhill Crane is the most numerous of the world’s crane species. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, marshes, prairies, and agricultural fields. Their populations have been increasing at an annual rate of five percent per year since mid-1960’s. This makes them one of the great wildlife conservation success stories.

While the Sandhill Crane migration is a wonder to behold, there are concerns about the future of the subpopulations. The populations in Mississippi, Florida and Cuba have not fared as well and could be in danger due to habitat loss, disease or other threats.

Yes, Sandhill Cranes are an important part of the ecosystem. However, with the cranes heavily using agricultural areas, there could be increasing conflicts with farmers. In order to help mitigate any such conflicts, the International Crane Foundation (ICF) has started a project that demonstrates the value of cranes and their importance in local communities. This will hopefully show how crucial they are to the ecosystem and help keep these beautiful creatures around for many years to come.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
Juke Joints: An In-depth History, From the Past to the Present

Juke Joints: An In-depth History, From the Past to the Present

Blues music is a traditional American music genre that originated in the Deep South. The blues evolved from spirituals, work songs, and folk music. It is typically characterized by its soulful sound and lyrics that often tell stories of heartache and pain.

I’d like to say that I was a born and raised a juke joint fan. But if your name is not Willie Dixon, you might have more trouble believing this than anything else I could tell you about myself. In my opinion, one of the best things about jukes is their ability to create an atmosphere where it feels simultaneously like time stands still and yet constantly passing by at warp speed around us all—a paradoxical feeling borne from the tensional sounds produced during these most unlikely of places.


Note: Sadly, many of the Blues juke joints, the REAL juke joints, have closed down. I’ve done my best to verify whether or not a juke joint is closed or open. However, if you plan to visit any of the jukes listed on this page, please, do your research first! And if you do find an error, please let me know so I can update this post. -Dora

What Is a Juke Joint?

The origins of juke joints may be traced back to the community room that was occasionally built on plantations. These rooms were used for a variety of purposes, such as holding church services or dances, and they eventually became known as juke joints. Juke joints gained in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, and they continued to thrive into the present day.

Juke joints are typically characterized by their unrefined atmosphere and the fact that they are off the beaten path. They often have live music and serve alcohol. A juke joint is typically a small hole-in-the-wall building that often has a porch.

Juke joint, also called a jook joint, it is an African-American term for a type of bar where live music is performed. It was originally used to describe a place where musicians would gather to play and practice, but the term is now applied more broadly to any establishment that hosts live music. The word juke can be traced back to the West African word jukari, which means “to dance.”

If you’ve never been to a juke joint, then I hope this guide will be able to help you have your first experience doing so, if only vicariously, through these unique sounds.

Clarksdale Juke Joint Festival, Clarksdale, Mississippi

(STATUS: Ongoing)

The Clarksdale Juke Joint Festival is a three-day music festival that celebrates the music of the Great Depression era. The festival takes place in Clarksdale, Mississippi and features different stages with performances throughout the day. There is also a variety of food and drink vendors available, as well as arts and crafts booths.

The event takes place in different venues around town with free music during the day and an entrance wristband required for night performances. Vendors open at 8am on Saturday morning, and the festival concludes on Sunday with a series of related events around town.

Tickets are $25 but pre-event tickets are discounted to $20. In order to attend any of the nighttime music venues, you must have a wristband.

Bradfordville Blues Club

(STATUS: Open)

The Bradfordville Blues Club is a unique experience for music fans. It is a one room cinder block juke-joint that has hosted important Blues acts over the years. A hidden place in Tallahassee, the Club is open on Friday and Saturday nights for those who are looking for a good time. Ice-cold bottled beers and wine are for sale, and the music is hot! Follow the torches to find The Club under the stars. The intimate setting and passionate fans create an unforgettable experience for those who visit.

Upon entering Bradford Blues Club, you might feel as if you have stepped back in time to an era of speakeasies, juke joints and honky-tonks. It is one of the last remaining authentic juke joints from the Great Depression era. It has been in operation since 1933, and it is still going strong today. The club has a rich history, and it is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.

The Bradfordville Blues Club is notable for being one of the last remaining venues from the “chitlin’ circuit,” an informal network of black-owned nightclubs that were popular during the Great Depression. The club has hosted performances by legends like B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Etta James, Pinetop Perkins, Honey Boy Edwards, Big-Eye Willy Smith, Bob Margolis, Charlie Musselwhite, Guitar Shorty, Little Milton and many more. There’s no doubt that the Bradford Blues Club is a must-visit for anyone who loves Blues music.

Red’s Lounge, Clarksdale, Mississippi

(STATUS: Open)

Reds is an authentic juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It’s been around for decades and is one of the best-known clubs in Clarksdale. It is a small, funky and intimate venue that features live music most every night of the week. What ties everyone together at Reds Lounge is a love for real blues. It is one of the few places left in the area that showcases live music from some of the best musicians in the region. The cover charge is small and there is no food (but you can bring your own) as they only serve beer.

398 Sunflower Ave, Clarksdale, Mississippi, +1-662-627-3166

Website: Reds Lounge

Teddy’s Juke Joint, Zachary, Louisiana

(STATUS: Open)

As soon as you walk through the door of Teddy’s Juke Joint, you feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. This little shotgun house has been transformed into an authentic Louisiana Juke Joint, complete with old photographs, bar signs, license plates, and relics from the past on the walls.

Teddy and his wife Nancy have been running this joint for over 40 years and it’s a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike. The music is one of the main attractions here – it’s a great place to listen to blues. The club books world famous Blues acts 2-4 nights per week and classic spins the rest of the time. One visit to Teddy’s will feel warmth and hospitality by the staff.

Gip’s Place – Bessemer, Alabama

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Gip’s Place is a night spot in Bessemer that brings people together to play music. It was started by Henry “Gip” Gipson in 1952 as a way for musicians to get together and play music. Today, it is still going strong and offers a place for people of all ages to come and listen to music. It is a place for people to come and remember the good times, as well as enjoy some great music. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.

Henry “Gip” Gipson passed away at the age of 99. He was a legend in the juke joint, having been there for decades. He was a kind and loving soul, compassionate but also stern when he needed to be.

Junior’s Place, Chulahoma, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Junior’s Place, a juke joint bought by Kimbrough around 1992 and operated after his death by his sons until it burned down on April 6, 2000. The Black Keys have covered Kimbrough in their 2002 debut album, with “Do the Rump”, and with “Everywhere I Go” on their second record, Thickfreakness. In 2005, they contributed a “My Mind is Ramblin'” cover to the Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough tribute album.

Wild Bill’s Memphis, Tennessee

(STATUS: Open)

Wild Bill’s Memphis is a museum and juke joint is in the historic Vollintine Evergreen district of Memphis, Tennessee. The venue has been open for over 25 years and has been a breeding ground for Blues artists. It is considered a bucket list destination for tourists who are looking for an authentic blues experience in a dive bar atmosphere. The Juke Joint All Stars Band is a Las Vegas style blues show that features some of the best authentic blues musicians in the Mid-South.

Roque’s Blues Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Roque’s Blues Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana Blues Hall has been a staple in the community for almost 60 years. It is known for its music and culture. However, the juke joint is now closed.

  • 235 Carver Avenue, Natchitoches, Louisiana +1 318-238-5565 235
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Bubba’s Juke Joint, Melrose, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Bubba’s was a popular juke joint in Louisiana that played an important role in the development of blues music. Bubba’s was located in Melrose, Louisiana. It was one of the few places that black and white people could gather to enjoy blues music.

Bubba was born in Louisiana on April 20, 1926. He grew up in a small town called Melrose, where he learned to love music at an early age. In the early 1940s, he opened his own juke joint called Bubba’s in Melrose, Louisiana. It featured music by Fats Domino, Little Richard and other famous artists.

bubbas juke joint 3410 louisiana state highway 484 natchez natchitoches parish 2
Bubbas Juke Joint

Besides music, Bubba’s served as a site for informal business dealings. For instance, workers would go to Bubba’s to collect their paychecks after hours. This was likely because the regular workplace was not always a safe or comfortable space for African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

Unfortunately, Bubba’s Juke Joint was recently destroyed without notice after being forced to sell at a Sheriff’s auction. The legacy of Bubba’s is unfortunately lost, as the new owner has no connection to the Metoyer family who ran the juke joint.

The Blue Front Cafe

(Open – Check Blues shows schedule)

The Blue Front Café is a historic old juke joint made of cinder block in Bentonia, Mississippi. It was built in the 1930s and became a popular spot for music lovers. The café is also mentioned on the Mississippi Blues Trail as an important place for blues music.

The Holmes family opened the Blue Front during the Jim Crow period. They sold house-stilled corn liquor (to blacks and whites) during Prohibition and welcomed all the Delta blues artists of the day: Sonny Boy, Percy Smith and Jack Owens among them. Blue Front is an iconic venue on the Mississippi Blues Trail. Stop by the cinder-block juke joint to look around, sign the guest book and see what’s doing.

The Blue Front Cafe was a popular spot for live music in the early days of Arkansas. The cafe was often called a “juke joint” because of the spontaneous and unannounced nature of the music performances. It was not unusual for local musicians to stop by and play, and some of the most famous names in blues and jazz have performed at the Blue Front. Musicians like Bud Spires, Son Johnson, Bobby Batton, Alonzo (Lonzy) Wilkerson, and Cleo Pullman all played at the Blue Front Cafe.

The Blues are played here only once in a while now, but you can check their Facebook page for updates on upcoming shows.

  • 107 E Railroad Ave, Bentonia, MS 39040 (662) 528-1900
  • Website:: Blue Front Cafe

ZZ’s, Ferriday, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

The Meeting Place, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

The Disco 86 (Annie Mae’s Cafe), Waterproof, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Do Drop Inn in Shelby, Mississippi

(STATUS: ????)

Po’ Monkey’s, Merigold, Mississippi

(STATUS; Permanently Closed)

Po’ Monkey’s was a rural juke joint that offered an escape from everyday troubles. While many of these blues jukes once dotted the Delta countryside, only few have survived into the 21st century. Po’ Monkey’s was opened in 1963 by Willie Seaberry. Willie Seaberry died in 2016.

The Flowing Fountain, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

G.G. Lounge, Winterville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Studio 51, Durant, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

W.D.’s Lounge, St. Joseph, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Gully’s Alley Inn, Moorhead, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

B & B Quick Mart, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Boss Hall’s, Leland, Mississippi (STATUS: Permanently Closed)

The Walnut Street Bait Shop, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Robert “Bilbo” Walker’s Wonderlight City

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

  • MORE INFO: Robert “Bilbo” Walker Jr. (February 19, 1937—November 29, 2017)

Little Blue’s Caffa, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1