Nine hundred is small enough to sense a shift in population. When someone new touches down, the people of Delhi notice.
When we first got out of the car four years ago, two guys immediately pulled over. Rob and Talkhead wanted to know who we were.
The next year, I walked into a convenience center at the edge of town. A guy slid over just before the door closed.
"Where you from?"
"Oh, my whole family is from here," I said, chipper and trying to belong.
"No," he said, looking down at my boots, distressed by design, not work. "Where are you from?"
"Well, my mom grew up here. I grew up in West Monroe."
He shook his head.
"I live in Oregon," I finally said.
We’ve been stopped by cops twice — once because they didn’t recognize us and once because they remembered us from the year before.
And best of all, we’ve been stopped by people with stories to tell. Pam Sykes pulled her jeep over, mid-railroad tracks, to ask what we were doing in town. She hasn’t been able to shake us since. And Dequante McDowell, the 19-year-old in today’s video, flagged us down last April as we cruised Chatham Street.
Chatham isn’t Hell Street anymore, he told us. It’s What the Hell Street.