Monday, August 4, 2008

Sentimental Journey

WHEN? Thursday · July 31 through Sunday · August 3

WHERE? Alabama and Mississippi · find us on the map

WHY? To visit with family, particularly its newest member

We've taken sentimental journeys on a number of occasions. Once, when on one such journey, I learned that I had been born in the back of a service station. Mind you, I was an adult at the time. First I'd heard of it.

It seems my father worked at the service station and he and my mother lived in the back of the place. The gas station was torn down long ago, and the post office makes no deliveries to my birthplace address.

Our most recent sentimental journey took place when we took a trip to see our first great grandchild. Maggie was not very aware of who I was, but I was very aware of similarities that took place a little over 20 years ago. Back then, we were amazed at what good parents our first grandchild's parents were, and history has repeated itself with that grandchild and her husband being great parents for Maggie.

Our trip was pleasant and free of heavy traffic. We got on Highway 45 in Mobile, then switched to Highway 78 at Tupelo, Mississippi for the remainder of the drive into Olive Branch. We went through lots of rural countryside and many small towns.

  • Wendell's trivia: Vinegar Bend, Alabama is the home of Wilmer David Mizell, a major league pitcher who played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburg Pirates, and the New York Mets. While playing in the major leagues, he became known as Vinegar Bend Mizell. He also went on to serve three terms as a U.S. congressman from North Carolina between 1969 and 1975.
  • Typical rural sights: Tree farms, chicken farms, fields of soybeans, corn, hay bales, pastures of grazing livestock, even friends stopped at an intersection visiting with each other from their cars. Some areas were covered with thick forests, and we saw kudzu sculptures several times along the way where the plant was taking over everything in sight.

    Photo credit: flickr member rkeithstewart

  • We drove across the Tallahachie Bridge (over the Tallahachie River). Remember? That's what Billy Joe MacAllister jumped from, according to the song.
  • Since Quitman is known for its peaches, we couldn't resist stopping at Mathis Peaches & Produce to purchase a bunch.

    Quitman peaches

  • Mississippi industries: Mossy Oak and Duke Pecan Company in West Point; a large large RV Center in Aberdeen; United Furniture Industries and Dykes Industries in Okolona. It seems like it was the Tupelo area where we saw Hunter Douglas and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. By far, the biggest industry we drove by was the new Toyota plant near Tupelo in Union County.
  • Besides being the largest city we drove past, Tupelo has at least two sights they were advertising on billboards for tourists: The birthplace of Elvis Presley and an Antique Car Museum.
  • Two good restaurants served as lunch stops for us:
    Westside Bar-B-Que in New Albany going up, and
    Olive Garden Italian restaurant in Meridian coming back.

Another recent sentimental blog post:

A Special Sentimental Letter

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like yall made the most of every mile!

    Reminder to Daddy that hoarding those stamps just might be profitable after all: Kerby earned a lifetime membership to the Tupelo Automobile Museum after donating a Nineteen-Twenty-something road map several years ago.