How a sculpture that was displayed at the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans ended up rusting in a field near Basile, LA, is a mystery.
“The sculpture is dedicated to the humanitarian contributions these bars made to America’s prosperity” (information pamphlet).
The sculpture was all but lost when a teacher in LaVergne’s home town of Basile, LA, took it home. She died before she could get it into a community arts center collection.
About five years ago, we traveled from New Roads to St. Francisville, LA, in routine fashion, except for the twelve-minute segment during which we enjoyed the ride on the St. Francisville ferry (see our November 14, 2008 entry).
I enjoyed James Fox-Smith’s account of how the ferry’s schedule influenced both dining schedules and driving abilities:
“The stretch of Louisiana Highway 981 runs along the west bank of the Mississippi River in Pointe Coupee Parish doesn’t look like a place for wild driving. Twisty and sinuous, the little two-lane road leads travelers through a landscape of ragged pastoral beauty…. Before 2011, to drive one segment of Highway 981 on a Friday or Saturday night was to take your life in your hands. Twice an hour the section known as Ferry Road would be witness to lunatic driving maneuvers as overfed St. Francisville-area gourmands of questionable sobriety committed felony-level speeding offenses in their attempts to catch the ferry home.
“For many an east-bank chowhound this was part of the adventure—the drive time from the parking lots of New Roads restaurants to the ferry landing would have been known to the second; and it wouldn’t be unusual for the conversation over dessert…to involve arguments about the speed that would be needed if another round of after-dinner drinks was to be squeezed in…. (A)nd many’s the fine evening (that has been) brought to a screeching halt at the New Roads ferry landing with a carload of West Feliciana diners all pointing finger at each other as the lights of the ferry recede into the river mist….
In contrast to the artistry of the bridge are some engineering facts:
The drive over the 2.44 mile bridge (1,583' main span) was certainly quicker and more convenient, with no waiting period, but there was something about the ferry and the Mississippi that I missed.