The first weekend in May is always a big one in the Memphis area. It is the start of the month-long Memphis in May festival, and for those of us in the cotton business, it generally signals the start of planting in small communities all around. But this year, the stormy weather threw us a curve that undid months of planning.
Sure, I was disappointed to miss Alison Krauss–a concert I had looked forward to for a while–but for Bob Walker and hundreds of other farmers, the storm and subsequent flooding meant major setbacks far more serious than a rained-out music festival.
Already knowing Bob’s family was fine, I hesitated calling to ask how things were on the farm knowing it would likely be bad. We all knew the most important things were okay — family and neighbors were healthy. It’s a realization made so much more personal a few years ago when an employee of the farm was killed when a tornado hit.
After flash floods hit hard for 36 hours or so, the sun came out Sunday, and some even went to the music fest for a while, but miles away, Bob was surveying what the water had done to his fields of corn and to the fields he had hoped to plant in the coming days. We agreed I’d check back a little later.