Wednesday, August 03, 2005

On Assignment: Ridgeland, Mississippi-Day Three

"Return to Sender" by Wes Aldridge

Well, it was a helluva hot one in Mississippi today. I didn't catch the temp, but if I were to guess, I think it was somewhere between "sweltering" and "boiling." It seriously probably was about 92-degrees, but Delta Bottom humidity is another monster all together. It was a fun, good day for photography, heat aside.

So, I was hunting for shots along the Natchez Trace Parkway to go along with this open-ended feature story I am assigned. Little bitter about exactly how "open-ended" this feature assignment is, but anyhow. I saw this sight and started laughing and immediately pulled off in someone's gravel driveway. I hadn't seen something like this since highschool. It was a row of white mailboxes smashed to a pulp. One thought: rednecks in pickup trucks with wooden baseball bats. Yessir, these poor mailboxes were the victim of some good ol' boys on a drunken midnight bashing spree.

I love it. I felt back at home again!

Then, I did a double-take and noticed something that made the scene even more sweet. One of the mailboxes had been put back on its post, with the side smashed in, held together with, yup, you guessed it... DUCT TAPE.

Ha. Double Ha. I almost peed myself. Is life too frickin' funny or what? Standing there on a rural Deep South backroad, I saw some of the greatest stereotypes of redneck mayhem fulfilled. The only thing missing was an old country fellow standing there in his Liberty overalls and John Deere cap, with a can of Budweiser in one hand and a shotgun in the other resting softly on his shoulder.

And he would say, "Son, what in theeeee hell are you a doin' standin' thur lookin' at my bursted up mailbox, hmm? What say ya?"

And I would reply, "Just soaking in a classic Mississippi day, my friend... just soakin' it in and loving every second of it."