Home #002: Cameron by Boyce Upholt

Glen Allen,  Mississippi

Glen Allen,  Mississippi

Cameron, 46, Land developer & manager

I had to grow up a little bit to know what [home] meant. The whole Delta is like a small town—there’s always a connection. People want to foster that.

When Cameron was a boy, he was eager to get out of the Delta. But while he was in college his mother moved back into his family's old plantation, and as an adult he would find visiting that land provided a sense of peace and quiet amid the stresses of the working world.

He credits his "momma" with teaching himself the meaning of home. But then he cuts himself off. "It's just hard to think about all she meant in my life without tearing up a little over the fact that she's gone now," he says.

Home has always meant sanctuary, that would be my first word. Especially this place. When I’ve been away from here—this was always home, no matter where I was. And it was always a sanctuary.

Now he lives in that plantation home, built by his great-grandfather on the first homesite in Washington County, Cameron leases his row crop land to a big farming operation, but runs the smaller scale farming on the land: beekeeping, sunflower plots, and other plants intended to attract birds and wildlife. He offers luxury hunting tours to clients from around the country, and is always considering new ways to show off the home he loves.

Waking up, it’s so great to hear the birds outside. That’s a luxury—it’s a gift even folks who come here don’t always realize. It’s a gift.

You can read more about Cameron in the next issue of Delta Magazine, or check out the website for Esperanza Outdoors.

Home #001: Marisela by Boyce Upholt

Greenville, Mississippi    Photo credit:  Rory Doyle

Greenville, Mississippi

Photo credit: Rory Doyle

Marisela, 50, Restauranteur

Home is where you go when you’re tired. I’m glad I’m home.

In 1992, Marisela immigrated to Texas from Mexico; her then-husband, father of her three children, was already working in the States. Ten years later, she came to Mississippi to be near her sister.

It was a change and a challenge, she told me, speaking through a translator. Back then, Marisela would rarely see anyone else of Mexican descentmaybe once every three weeks at Walmart. But now in rural Mississippi the Hispanic population is large enough that many medical offices employ translators.

In December, Marisela and her current "esposo" opened a restaurant, La Sierrita, thatunlike most Mexican restaurants in the areaserves traditional Mexican tacos. It's a hit. Despite no advertising and a highway storefront that is hard to spot even when you know right where to look, La Sierrita is already packed for dinner every nightwith diners of every race.

She's proud of what she's built, clearly. But she also has fond memories of spending holidays at her grandparents' house in Mexico.

Here it’s not the same—we don’t get together as often. Just Christmas, New Years. The first years were different. When I first came [to the U.S.] all my kids were all together. Now my oldest is in Texas.