From the January 2010 magazine.

Delta king

The boy who could get anything he wanted ends up broke, alone and in prison

THE MISSISSIPPI Delta where I grew up is a place known for lavish lifestyles, farming, fun and parties. I was born in 1957 to parents who I never knew; I was adopted by a couple who always gave me anything I wanted or needed. I learned at an early age how to manipulate my way into getting anything I wanted, including fixes to change the way I felt.

I started getting headaches after getting kicked in the head by my dad's big red Tennessee Walking Horse when I was 6. Having a headache was a reason to get a shot of a narcotic painkiller, which led me to the euphoria that I craved. Soon I began drinking with a cousin, who is now dead from this disease. The tractor drivers who worked on the farm would buy me beer, wine or whiskey. I hid it in various places around the shop and on the farm and was high on alcohol almost every day. Eventually, I was able to get out of the house with some older cousins or their friends and party on the weekends.

-- DON C.

Kosciusko, Miss.

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