Daddy’s DealPosted: February 3, 2008
I made Daddy’s Deal on Superbowl Sunday morning, a recipe from Southern Sideboards that is much like a baked pancake. Melt 1/2 cup butter (I can’t bear this much!) in a baking dish. Mix 1 cup flour, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and pour over the butter. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Serve with confectioner’s sugar or syrup, pure maple, of course. It’s a longtime favorite. I made it when my kids were little. A bit of nostalgia here.
I don’t know why they call it Daddy’s Deal, though.
On Superbowl Sunday, as I pull for Eli and the Giants, I can’t help but think about his daddy and an article I got from an old classmate via email a few days ago. Eddie sent “The Hometown Archie Once Knew Is No More” by Billy Turner, staff writer for the Times Picayune. Drew, Mississippi, is Archie Manning’s hometown. The story is a bleak reminder of how “times and towns change.” Unfortunately, towns all over the Mississippi Delta have dried up, boarded up downtown storefronts, and now sit in sad decay. “At one point, Drew had more cotton gins than any town in America. Now, there’s one. There’s some corn, some beans, but mostly, there’s no business.”
Mama taught school in Drew for 30 years, and I went with her for part of elementary and junior high. I was in Archie’s class. I took piano lessons from Mrs. Showers right after him. Now, I like to tell the story of how in seventh grade, someone told Archie I liked him. He came up to me and said, “I don’t like no girls.”
He did like baseball and football, though, and played on the high school team when he was eleven or twelve.
Mama saw the changes come to Drew, when “desegregation fought its way into town 40 years ago at the high school, and almost immediately the town’s white residents headed to North Sunflower Academy, re-creating segregation in another form. Today, the high school where Archie Manning walked the halls, where he first scrambled out of trouble on the football field, where he learned to bat left-handed, is made up of 90 percent African-American students. Residents said ‘they’ do what they do and ‘we’ do what we do.”
Drew, back in the day, was a perfect piece of Americana with one main street that had a drugstore with a soda fountain and a nice dress shop — Frehling’s, where many of my dresses came from — and a bank where Mama borrowed money for me to go to Europe. The high school, a few blocks from downtown, had tall shade trees out front and sat in the middle of a neighborhood of nice old houses. A bit of nostalgia here. But that place no longer exists.
The “football stadium is symbolic of that change. It once was filled as Manning was rolling out right and either passing or galloping down the field. This season the stands were nearly empty on Friday nights, and the team needs new equipment, players said.”
I was last through there about three years ago, and it was sad to see it run down and to remember it as it was.