What will wash up tomorrow?Published 12:01am Wednesday, August 15, 2012
It’s not news to any local resident that our community’s biggest, most interesting highway is full of trash.
Yet, it’s still fascinating to see what might wash up next.
With Mississippi River levels about to dip to 8-feet-something on the Natchez gauge, the water is as low as anyone can remember in recent years. It’s likely to get lower into September, forecasters say.
With more bank and less water, stories of yesterday are resurfacing more frequently.
Just seven months ago, local residents got a kick out of news that an RV had simply rolled down the boat ramp at Silver Street and right into the river.
Where did it go? How far will it go? Will they get it out?
No answers could be provided last winter.
But patience and low water changed things several weeks ago, when the top of the RV started poking up not too far from where it went under.
The motorhome hadn’t found its way to New Orleans after all; it had simply become stuck in the mud beneath The Briars.
Last week, workers from Jason’s Body Shop, a local towing company, and Vidalia Dock and Storage wrestled with the vehicle for hours before finally pulling it up at the request of the owner’s insurance company.
Just a week later, another vehicle became visible on the Vidalia side of our river.
This time, the vehicle was smaller, but the story bigger.
The Chevy Malibu, which couldn’t be retrieved on the first try, had been missing for four years.
It, too, stayed close to home and didn’t follow the current downriver.
The car’s owner reported it missing to local police in 2008.
The story of how it went from the driver’s possession to the muddy Mississippi is surely a good one, but likely a tale we’ll never know.
If you’ve lived along the river for long, you know pulling mysterious things as big as buses out of the water isn’t all that unusual.
Sometimes the vehicles even come up with dead bodies — or just bones — inside.
But those who work and play on the Mississippi probably know best just what kind of odd things can wash up.
An online blog created by a fisherman to our north encouraged submissions from other fisherman about exactly what they’d seen.
The best things on the list included:
-A boat dock
-A dead pig; a dead cow
-A man in an inner tube (alive, thankfully)
-Halloween candy bucket full of candy
-Seven softballs in a group, all marked University of Nebraska-Omaha
As the water drops, no one knows what exactly our river may bring us.
At least one other local vehicle — a work truck — remains unaccounted for after it went into the river a few months back at the foot of Roth Hill near the casino construction.
But beyond that, the mystery of what passes our front door daily will reveal itself only if and when it chooses.
We can only be careful spectators.
Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.