Friday, February 18, 2011

ABEL RAISES CAIN lands in Columbus, MS

Landing in Columbus, MS, this little town is another one that's frozen in time. I am obsessed with old signs and old trains.
I have a feeling this isn't the last of either I'll see. Is this train coming or going, nobody knows for sure.
The old theater on the main drag is something new now, but the old sign still stands proud.
My dad and I end up going to a firehouse-themed restaurant where the floors are sticky and the water runs sideways out of the faucet in the bathroom. On the way out of the ladies room, I notice a framed picture of a shirtless Chippendale's dancer above the door. We dined by a giant blown-up photograph of a bunch of buildings engulfed in flames. Weird.
When I stopped along the highway to take a picture of a "Got Jesus?" billboard, I heard gun shots from across the way. I hurried back to the car. I definitely didn't want to get caught in anyone's crossfire while on tour.
Sadness overwhelms me as we pass a series of clear cut forests and an endless slew of logging trucks filled with fresh timber. I love trees. I hate seeing them cut down, especially for profit. I guess that most folks find the log-filled 18-wheelers along the highway commonplace here. The timber industry is huge in the South and clear cutting is the way of the land, literally. But enough Debbie Downer commentary.
We made it to Backstrom's Bed and Breakfast, a lovely little place I found online. Betty Jo, the owner, claims to be in her 80s, but she looks much younger to me. What's funny is that Betty Jo has been the only person to EVER successfully guess my dad's real age.
He's been lying about how young he is ever since I've known him. I guess it takes one octogenarian to know another. Betty Jo sure had me fooled herself! She is funny and we hit it off immediately.

After we settle in, I check out the place. The front room is filled with interesting goodies from yesteryear.
Just like an art gallery with cathedral ceilings and a mezzanine, the majority of the paintings were created by family members.
Her late husband, Bill, was a talented furniture maker, sculptor and stained glass creator. His work is prominently displayed throughout the house.
At breakfast, Betty Jo was amused by my dad's stories and we had a fun time laughing together. I think that my dad has a switch somewhere inside that goes to "funny mode." Sometimes it's hard to find the "off" switch! I am so happy that we found this little place and met Betty Jo. She's another memorable character on this journey.
I enjoy the backyard view. Even though we're on a busy road (Alabama State Rd. 182), the surrounding wooded area is pretty and filled with the sound of the birds.
Leaving the inn, we were like the Griswolds from Vacation. I forgot to pack the suitcases and left them sitting in the driveway. Fortunately, I stopped to take one last picture of the inn and realized my bimbo move. Good thing that I turned back. I honestly don't know how we would have ever gotten our suitcases back otherwise!

Location:Columbus, MS

No comments: