From the Editor

I grew up with a cotton field behind my house and the greens of the Clarksdale Country Club across the street. My brother, Trey, and I spent our summer days riding our bikes up the street to the club’s swimming pool and running barefoot between the rows of cotton, sending clouds of flour-fine Mississippi Delta topsoil into the air behind us.

The significance of being raised on an actual physical line dividing these symbols of Southern commerce and society was lost on me at the time. In the years since, I’ve noticed that it’s odd juxtapositions like these — antebellum homes and juke joints, William Faulkner novels and SEC football — that make us such an intriguing and colorful people.

Take our summer issue’s leading man, Dan Penn. In his trucker hat and overalls, Dan appears to be exactly what he portrays on the surface, a mechanic from a small town in Alabama. How likely is it that a youth spent running the back roads of Lamar County would segue into a storied career in music? Yet, in Dan, the muse of rhythm and blues found a lifelong partner.

You just never know what extraordinary talents and experiences lay beneath your neighbor’s familiar façade. With each new issue we hope to continue sharing with you stories of the people and the pastimes that make our corner of the South a fascinating place to live.

We were delighted by the enthusiastic and positive response the premiere issue of Catfish Alley received. Many of our readers let us know via email, Facebook posts and in person that they are as excited about this new community showcase as we are. Please continue to let us know what you think. To submit comments, event information or story ideas, please email them to

Stacy Clark, editor in chief