Open Letter to the Rebel Fan on HWY 6W in Pontotoc

road_strpeAs a photographer, I’m always subconsciously looking for subjects that would make a great shot. The less traveled roads in Mississippi lend themselves to some gems. Shots that are unusual or speak to life in a rural Southern town – such as an orange autumn sunset melting above a barn; an intersection filled with political signs during election season; a rusted out car, tractor or truck; any variety of religious signs like “Get Right With God,” “Jesus Is King,” or “He is Risen,” reminding one they are squarely in the Bible Belt.

The latter category is the way I originally categorized this shot :


A 6X4 foot voice of the Religious Right. I passed this sign many times while cutting through Pontotoc on my way to Starkville, Columbus or Tuscaloosa. It took a while for me to realize I was mistaken, though. This sign may have no religious context at all.

This epiphany took me back perhaps five years to a time when I was visiting Washington D.C. around the Christmas holidays. Some friends of mine decided to hit the bars in some now-forgotten trendy area. D.C. was beautiful. Streets were lit up and decorated with Christmas lights. Businesses were celebrating the years end with office parties and folks were mingling the streets in high spirits and a little more dressed up than normal. In walks this guy who I thought had taken it a little too far. Decked out in an all red ensemble from pants to blazer, this guy stood out. Between the red turtle neck that accentuated his belly and man boobs, the white belt and matching white patent leather Cousin Eddie shoes, I found myself shaking my head. “What is this guy thinking?? He can’t be for real.” Of course, I had to go talk to this clown.

At some point during the conversation, I “got it.” This guy was amusing himself at the expense of others… and himself. I found it quite admirable for him to be conducting this little experiment of his. He was a living conversation piece; an homage to Andy Kaufman.

So too is this “religious fanatic” taking advantage of the lack of codes or covenants on the back roads of Pontotoc County. This guy is not a religious fanatic at all but a true Rebel fan with Kaufmanesque sensibilities.

By all respectable national publications, our beloved Ole Miss Rebels are a solidly with the top 10. My friend in Pontotoc realizes that come January 7, 2010, at 8 PM, the Rebels may be playing for a National Championship in Pasadena, CA. Hell IS real… and it’s about to freeze over. He asks…”am I ready?” To that I can only answer, ” Hell yes!!! Damn Right!!!… ”


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