Ivory Joe Taylor

Continuing our journey through the cabin scenarios, we learn a little about Ivory Joe Taylor. This is Carol’s fictionalized manager of the Sugar Shack. The cabin itself was brought in from the Brazos River bottom. The bedside photo depicts the cabin as it once was when sharecropper families resided in it.

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Here is the story of Ivory Joe Taylor as fictionalized by Carol Conlee.

Ivory Joe Taylor had a love. First it was music and then it was Sadie…until Sadie left with Jasper Wallace. Jasper had come into her life on the wave of a fine man’s cologne and with a promise of better lives ahead for the both of them. Sadie with her slurry tones of sad songs and Jasper with his high style and new money, spoke of a promised chance in Memphis, at a club on the river. Known for its “traffic” she could be discovered there. Sadie only had to hear what wasn’t said in order to pack her bags. The delta soon became history for Ivory Joe’s woman-of-little-patience.

So, Sadie left with Jasper in a sputtering black automobile, leaving a trail of dust that hung in the air for days. Ivory Joe watched time go by so invisibly…as if nothing had really happened…but in truth, all he could think of was that when Sadie left all the clocks in all of the world should have stopped. She was gone. Gone for good.

She’d been gone so long that nothing but the blues would do. He cried with his guitar most every night until the sounds took on a sad, grieving tone all it’s own. A “juke joint” held open its arms and Ivory Joe held onto the friends that opened a door to that underground world of both pleasure and pain. Sure, there was his music, but somehow…in spite of the fact that life hadn’t been fair at all, if a mad did have “the gift” women would follow those notes and that music and the juke joint could become the center of a small rural universe. A rural social club in the lonely, unlit country.

So…on an offer, Ivory Joe agreed to manage the club…The Sugar Shack. Stiff at first, then easy as traveling lady singers began to stroke and pet and coo. He was resistant to their cunning manipulations of his very fragile state, but soon with a reliable well-known bootlegger, some money coming in, and word of mouth bringing in patrons from as far away as across the river, Ivory Joe found his calling. He’d created an Eden…forget about needing a red apple, the “Eves” were anxious and willing to shed their skins and clothes for a chance at a “better” kind of life in a juke joint where time stood still and gin flowed.

In fact, most of the assorted women that came in and out of Ivory Joe’s life were only trolling the place for a cure to their painful isolation and loneliness and that burning female need to be cultivated and sought after. Ivory Joe did little to pursue the women’s desire, but by being caught up in the blues and doing a slow, steady dance with prosperity, he held an invisible magnet that pulled in their outrageous solicitation. And…eventually as the nights grew long and the music died down, one by one and night after night, he would hold onto each of those songbirds, eventually taking each into the serious and soulful interior of his very red room and into his very red bed.

And as their long dance of love built up the heat inside that Manager’s office, no matter the pleasure, the only thing Ivory Joe could think of as the lights flickered on those very red walls, was the one woman the he couldn’t have. The sharp red lipstick she wore would never leave his mind. All he could ever see was Sadie. And she was gone. Gone for good.

Sugar Shack is our October “cabin of the month” which means you can reserve it online for a weekday evening stay (Sunday-Thursday) at a special rate. Many guests enjoy the bluesy feel of this cabin.

 

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