Columbus, Miss. (Day 83)

I’ll remember Stop #52 of our boat journey mostly for the reminder that history matters — the history of a friendship and the history of a nation.

Pam Warnken and I met decades ago, as Navy officers. One year, when I was recovering from “break-up blues,” she invited me to Columbus and persuaded me to join her in 1800s dress-up to act as tour guide for an historical home. She knew I needed a distraction. She also knew the history, and she knows it still.

Pam picked us up at the marina, drove us to multiple stores, and then gave us a windshield tour of the fabulous Antebellum (pre-Civil War) homes. We ended with a stop at the Friendship Cemetery — I love that it’s called that now — where Southern women decorated the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers who were buried there. They did this just one year after the Civil War ended. What a gesture of reconciliation, by the side that lost! Imagine if we had more of that spirit in our nation today. (It was called Decoration Day, the origin of what we now call Memorial Day.)

Thank you, Pam, for a most welcome distraction from boat maintenance and laundry and trip planning.

By the way, our 2nd night at Columbus Marina was interrupted by a most peculiar sound. Tap-tap-tap-tap, on the bottom of the boat, loud enough to wake me. I woke up Jeff, because any unusual sound concerns me. “It’s fish,” he said. Huh? Apparently they like to feed on algae that grows on the bottom of boats. Huh. It sounded like they were having a feast. It’s a good thing we can’t see the bottom of our boat. Photos and captions below.

This cemetery in Columbus, Miss. claims to own the origins to Decoration Day, which became Memorial Day — but some other towns do, too. We know, at least, that it also started here.
This is a famous headstone in Friendship Cemetery. Kind of says it all, about the impact of a Civil War.
This is the home where Pam and I acted as tour guides, all decked out in 1800s dress. It was fun.
Doesn’t this old home look ready for Hallowe’en? We saw so many beautiful homes, most kept up better than this, but the light wasn’t right for good pictures.
We had a fabulous dinner out.
Jeff took advantage of 2 nights in port to do maintenance in the boat’s bowels. He’s amazing at mechanical stuff, and sometimes I want to watch and learn — but usually, when he pulls up the floorboards, I grab the cat and leave. I sometimes feel bad that I don’t know what he knows, but then again, the other way around also applies. I do my part to keep the boat going down-river….
I took Boo off the boat while Jeff was doing maintenance. She doesn’t normally get her walk until dark, so she was a little spooked.

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