This picture is very symbolic for what has happened in Mississippi since Katrina roared ashore. This is what we always called “rainbow barn” on I-55 north of Brookhaven, and one of the “happy spots” we saw on a regular basis.
I have no idea who owns the barn or land. Through their simple act of adding a bit of joy to the side of their barn, they’ve always been a part of my life—and I’m sure of many others in the area. The barn is nowhere near the coast at all—in fact, it’s about 3 hours drive to the northwest of the coast where Katrina struck. This shows how far reaching the destruction was, though. (Click here for a before photo.)
The photo was sent to me by my good friend Joanna who still lives down there, though I’m hoping she didn’t risk her life stopping on I-55 to get the shot. She reminded me that people are still suffering down there in big and small ways as the result of a hurricane from weeks ago! I never thought about tire blowouts increasing from road debris, but I did know that because most there live paycheck to paycheck, even one reduced paycheck or simply paying more for gas starts a snowball effect for so many.
With our media playing “flavors of the week” to sell their product, I know most Americans have forgotten what people are going through. Losing this simple act of joy on I-55 certainly isn’t helping their collective psyche. It breaks my heart, and I’m 1200 miles away!
It sounds so cliche to say that things will get better. We know they will. My mother is a good example of people down there—always finding a way to not let the BS and tragedy of the world keep you down. Mississippians always find a way to get through tough times, and when things get bad, they remember their humanity in helping others. For all the problems Mississippi has always had, they do have the ability to put aside differences and bickering to help out others. (Except for the bloated politicians of course!) Though if it’s only time that can heal the wounds, I’m hoping to find a time machine soon. 🙁