I hopped off the Southern Crescent from UVA, hurried to my Great Aunt Bolling Spalding’s funeral and fell in with other embarrassed latecomers walking behind her casket at the cathedral door. A distinguished, somehow familiar gentleman nodded. At the cemetery, my father introduced: “Meet your cousin, Walker Percy.”
“Chris is a student and newspaper editor,” dad said. Walker surveyed me, offering, “You eastern Southerners should see the western South. It’s much different. I can introduce you to the Hodding Carter family at the Delta Democrat-Times.” I drove out the next week. Thus began my love of the Mississippi Delta. And Walker Percy.