New Orleans to Pensacola Beach

I like a party town in the morning, sidewalks cool and just hosed down. Left New Orleans–its golden statue of Jeanne D’Arc, its silver mimes, its architecture of the dead at St. Louis Cemetery (with groups of 3Xs marked all over the voodoo graves), with its Cathedral full of jazz (heard Irwin Mayfield) where I lit fat candles for everyone’s troubles–and drove east.
Three states and their welcome centers: Mississippi with X-mas trees and a fireplace, Alabama with live oaks, Florida with citrus juice and an electric shiatsu chair–$1 for 3 minutes.
I do love oddities–things that don’t belong together, or that do, but only metaphorically. The Rocket Propulsion Center was near the Mississippi welcome center–so the parking lot boasted the trainer of the lunar landing module used by the Apollo missions. And there was a huge model of a rocket made out of Lego.
Saw an ominously tall high water mark by the exit #13 off of highway 10 in Mississippi. Long–miles and miles–of totally empty pure white sand beaches curving around Biloxi. No sign of oil spill. Casinos. Florida and its magical causeways with the fat orange ball of the sun sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. More white sand, palm trees, cold evening, a few strands of X-mas lights, take-out gumbo.
The odd geography one inherits from one’s family–or I did. Florida–a real place but bad (hot, sad old relatives). New Orleans–heard of it, barely on the map. Mississippi, Alabama…not actual places or just mythic places of civil rights struggle but no physical beauty. How a lot of this map is filled in, how it is a palimpset, layers of meaning and imagery.
I do know that in the last thirteen or more years of traveling with Rich I’ve come to love a beach town with palm trees at winter solstice.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

2 thoughts on “New Orleans to Pensacola Beach

  1. Nice picture of the Lego @ The woman behind the counter at the tour/reception center reported that:
    1. the model was constructed in around a day a good 20 years ago by a mix of kids & Lego reps,
    2. it was constructed from approximately 155,000 Lego bricks,
    3. they had to move it to the main campus during Katrina when the tour/reception center was used as a shelter, and
    4. they had to reconstruct the red part after it fell down a year or two ago (didn’t get the gory details as to what caused it to fall down).

  2. I’m definitely in need of some white sand and palm trees! I love all the weird things one finds when traveling! Thanks Miriam!

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