Two old men sat on the steps at an old country store I stopped at many years ago.
I was traveling through Mississippi for my job at the time and decided I wanted a nice cold drink.
It was hot and sultry, a lot like it has been here over the past few weeks.
As I walked up the steps I spoke to the two fellows. Just the usual, “Hey, how are you doing?” type of comment.
Both of them spoke back with something about the heat and I went inside and bought me one of those big “gully washer” drinks that were popular at the time.
It was cold, too. There is just something about a cold drink bought in one of those country stores that is refreshing on a hot August day.
A barn fan was set up on the porch and the two older gentlemen were sitting in such a way as to catch some of the breeze as it blew across the porch on the front of the store.
A few straight chairs were scattered around the porch and I decided to take a few minutes and enjoy the breeze the fan was generating.
I still had about 100 miles left to drive and I was tired of being cooped up in the car, so I wanted to sit a spell.
As I sat down in one of the chairs, the older-looking man spoke to me.
“Traveling through?” he asked.
I told him I was, and then he asked where was I going.
“To Yazoo City,” I said.
We sat and talked for a few minutes and I found out the two men were brothers. One called himself Junior and the other said his name was Silas.
“Why you going to Yazoo City on this highway?” Junior asked.
I told him I had driven over from Evergreen and had been looking at the map and thought this was the quickest way.
“No, no, this would be the longest way,” Silas said.
Then Junior and Silas started to argue about the best way to Yazoo City.
Finally they decided on the best route for me to take to Yazoo City.
“There is a short cut that’ll cut 20 miles off your driving,” Junior finally told me.
“See that road on the other side of the highway there,” Silas said.
The two then gave me directions from the store to Yazoo City.
“That’s Richer Road,” they said as they pointed across the highway.
I was to drive down Richer Road until I saw a water tower on the right hand side of the road. That is not where I was to turn, however, it would be just past
the old dairy that burned down about five years ago where I needed to make a right.
That was Sherry Road and it would dead end at Wise Road where I was to turn left.
I listened to the two old men give me directions that included turning at a fallen tree, a dried up creek bed and an abandoned farm house.
I was very polite and thanked them for their help and got back on the road and followed the map.
You see, I had already gotten caught in one of those short cut directions before and spent three hours in the middle of nowhere trying to find my way back.