What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cop Cars, Coffins, and Trees, Oh My!

Cop Cars, Coffins, and Trees, Oh My!

After the bands quit playing--yes there were two stages with live bands rotating for hours on end pleasing the thousands of celebrants at Bridge Fest--and we finally stopped dancing sometime thereafter, I took a ride with friends and family over the bridge. The old bridge had been a straight bridge connecting Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian (pronounced: chris-chee-anne). The new one is curvy and arches rather high at one point. Without many street lights erected on the bridge just yet, the vista was gorgeous as we looked to the right and saw the railroad bridge that had been rebuilt in the weeks following Katrina. To the left were the lights from the Dow Chemical plant nearby.

As we exited the bridge, we entered a part of the Pass previously closed off to anyone but the property owners. Turning right at the first street, we went about a block and parked. A ghost town. The marina where boat owners dry docked their precious gems still stood, though Katrina had gutted its insides. On the ground, seventeen boats all piled up against one another from the storm remained as reminders of the vicious disaster that swept through this tiny beach town destroying everything in its path.

Kelly, a high school friend of my brother’s, wanted to show me a church in Pass Christian just up the road on Highway 90. With the beach to our right, he whipped his vehicle left into what ended up being no road at all. The usual demarcations—road signs and landmarks—no longer exist.

Driving up a ways, he pointed to a couple of big majestic trees that had survived Katrina. The trees looked a bit worn from the storm’s experience. He said, “See those trees? When I came down here a few days after the storm, cop cars were sitting in them.”

“In the trees?” I asked incredulously. “Yep. Two of ‘em,” he replied matter of factly though knowing how unbelievable it would be to imagine it. I suppose far less so than to actually come upon the surreal scene as he was trying to make it to his parents’ home.

Kelly then proceeded to drive to the church a few blocks away that he wanted to show me. The church faced the beach and sat off the highway by about a block. It had obviously already been gutted, and new construction begun. Kelly swept his hand to indicate where the crypts from the graveyard nearby had been busted up in the hurricane. The coffins were all over the place he told me, and fortunately, none of the bodies had emerged from them. As I imagined such a scene, I just thought, “Oh my!”

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