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Biloxi Here I Am

A city of casinos

semi-overcast 92 °F

Hi Y'all, in 'southern-speak';

The weather is very hot and very humid, typical of June on the gulf coast of Mississippi. As I drove out of FL into AL I noticed the names of places becoming for "Frenchie", displaying the influence of their French culture as I approached MS. As you recall, The Treaty of Paris (1763), ending the 7 years war between Great Britain & France, required that all territories in North America owned by the French be relinquished to the British. England, thereupon, purged all French-speaking citizens from Acadia in the northeast territories of Quebec, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, etc. These people tearfully left for France-owned Louisiana to escape persecution. A sad story. They settled into MS & LA and their influence remains today. Subsequent to that event in 1803 US President Thomas Jefferson purchased from France a vast land now known as the 'Louisiana Territory' and commissioned explorers Lewis & Clark to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean. Another history lesson for later!

Biloxi, located directly on the MS gulf coast has a pop. of about 300K. Since Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 26, 2005 the coastal communities have recovered from the complete devastation of the storm, estimated at $30 Billion. It has taken 10 years for nearly everything is fresh and new. Biloxi is an entertainment destination boasting 12 casinos along with countless restaurants, scores of golf courses, etc. My destination was the Biloxi Elks Lodge. To my surprise the Lodge is located on Beach Blvd. directly across from the beautiful white sand beach of Biloxi. Beach Blvd. has a string of former mansions lining the street with old southern oak trees in their front yards. Very impressive. The Lodge building has a large paved parking lot behind with RV sites ringing the perimeter. An old cemetery is adjacent to the east and north behind the property. I happen to be the only RV here presently but understand that the sites are busy during the winter months.

Now for a couple 'human interest' stories. Hereafter, I will refer to them as "Brothel & Bars" or 'Br&Ba' stories to shorten it up! My Mother would scold be, I know. Anyway, when I arrived I was met & assisted in the parking lot by the club maintenance man, Keith. An old southern gentleman he took me under his wing. After setting up in my designated spot I was invited into the Club to register and to have a cold one 'on the house'. I took a cold shower before going in for I was drenched in sweat from the heat & humidity. Keith was there at the bar by himself waiting for me to show up. His stories started. He told me that the Lodge was formerly a local funeral home, hence the location and the large parking lot. The former owner and his wife lived next door in the house they now rent out for parties, receptions, etc. In the lodge the 'ball room' is where the chapel and caskets were kept. Katrina's hurricane surge flooded the building with about a foot of water so the interior had to be gutted due to the damage. The former owners sold their funeral home business upon retirement but kept the real estate which was later purchased by the Lodge. Keith claims that the ghosts of the former owners still occupy their home. I looked for them during the night but they didn't come to visit me in the MH! Last night was 'steak dinner and dance' night at the club. Without a partner to dance with I chose to eat at the bar where I met a couple of 'locals'. Randy & Colleen politely informed me that I was mispronouncing "Biloxi", an indicator that I was a visitor not a native. Another fellow sitting to my right gave me his life history. The details included wedding the same woman twice with divorce in between and siring children from 3 other women along the way. Busy fellow! When the Country & Western band started I retired to my MH quarters. Tomorrow I plan to explore the town and maybe drop a few bucks at one of the casinos.

Posted by dixter 05:18 Archived in USA Tagged biloxi

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