Our journey through the heart of America continued as we left Enterprise, Alabama, and made our way to Clinton, Mississippi. We had connected with a talented blacksmith named Derek Melton through Instagram prior to our trip, and little did we know that this encounter would lead to an wholesome experience. Derek and his welcoming family not only offered us a place to stay but also shared with us their love for their community and their passion for craftsmanship.
As we arrived in Clinton around 10 pm, weary from our journey, we were greeted with open arms by Derek, his wife Cindy, and their children Cameron and Caeley. Their beautiful family home instantly made us feel at home (being so far from home), and we spent the evening engaging in delightful conversations, getting to know each other better. Little did we know that the night held a surprise in store for us, as thunderstorms and a tornado watch unfolded.
The following morning, we woke up to a delicious breakfast prepared by Cindy. Energized and ready for the day, we made our way to Derek's workshop, nestled in their open garden. With the workshop doors open, we set up our Nomono Sound Capsule and delved into an engaging conversation with Derek, capturing his journey as a blacksmith. The tranquil spring day provided the perfect backdrop for a meaningful discussion about craftsmanship and the art of metalwork.
After the podcast, Derek and Cindy took us on a tour of their vibrant community. Our first stop was a high school baseball game, where we witnessed the lively atmosphere and the deep-rooted love for the sport that defines many southern towns. It was a truly authentic experience, immersing ourselves in the local culture.
Next, we had the privilege of visiting Clinton MS College, where Cindy worked as a teacher. The campus left us in awe, showcasing the dedication to education and the nurturing environment provided by the institution. It was inspiring to witness the impact Cindy and her colleagues had on shaping the future of young minds.
As the afternoon unfolded, we continued our journey of exploration, culminating in a delightful dinner experience. Derek and his family introduced us to the flavors of the South, and we relished the opportunity to taste catfish for the very first time - it was tasty!
As we bid farewell to Clinton, we expressed our deep gratitude to Derek, Cindy, Cameron, and Caeley for their incredible generosity and warm hospitality. Our time spent with them not only allowed us to gain insights into Derek's life as a blacksmith but also deepened our appreciation for the vibrant community of Clinton and the Southern way of life. Huge thanks to Derek for making a coffee scoop for us! It’s absolutely incredible and we use it daily!
Our visit to Clinton, Mississippi, proved to be an unforgettable chapter in our journey. From the moment we were welcomed into the Melton family's home to the enriching experiences we shared, we were reminded of the power of connection and the beauty of Southern hospitality. The memories we made, the stories we heard, and the bonds we forged will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
As we invite you to join us on our YouTube channel to listen to the captivating podcast with Derek, we hope that you, too, will feel inspired by the artistry of blacksmithing and the sense of community that thrives in Clinton, Mississippi.