Monday, July 7, 2008

The Dead Zone...

It was dark, nearly 10:00 P.M., and we were driving through the backwoods of Louisiana. The directions I had gotten earlier would have been perfect...in the bright light of day. We took the exit of off I-12 East to 55 North heading to Pine Grove. A 'ways up the road' later we exited towards Amite (pronounced Ay-meet). I was expecting it to be a few miles from the interstate. Twenty minutes later we pull over into a gravel lot in front of a dilapidated building that later we found was actually inhabited.

I'm calling for new directions as we are lost. The signal is weak, but I get through. "Mama? Can you hear me? We passed the casinos on the right, think we've gone too far." Static and crackling is heard then her voice comes over, "You'll go through two caution lights, and you'll see the town of Pine Grove (which consists of a very small convenient store and a Napa Auto parts at an intersection--nothing else!) "Then you'll come up on a black church on the left, take the next blacktop after that and..." more static then the line goes dead. No signal.

Okay, so we're close, we know what to look for at least and I'm hoping the roads will start to look familiar since there's no sign at the entrance to their road. I tell my husband, who is driving at the time, to go through two caution lights and look for the black church. "A black church at night?" (this gets hilarious). "Yes, smart ass, it will have lights on it."

Now all of you are thinking the same thing my husband was thinking because none of you are from the 'deep South'. Mind you I grew up in a time of segregation where even to this day black and white is more than just a color. Bobby was was looking for literally a church painted black, when I had meant the church that the black community attends. Yes, I know 'black' may not be the politically correct term, but back home it is what it is. So needless to say we passed it without realizing.

We had been on the road for nearly twelve hours with a talkative nine year old and a teething 6 month old. We were ready to be at our destination eleven hours ago! There is no phone signal what-so-ever. Those people you see on TV with the Verizon network? Yeah, those fuckers left us high and dry on that dark road. We go through not two , but three caution lights, then we pass a fence line, saw a stop sign at the end of a road with no street sign, and saw a little white house on the corner that looked familiar. Bobby flipped a 180 in the middle of the road and we took our chances. Down the black top, nothing but the truck lights to light the way, a right onto a gravel road...a bit further, we see the NO TRASSPASSING sign and take left onto another gravel/dirt road, and then we see a gravel/grass driveway. We turn in, and peeking out from behind the quadrillion trees we see it...a light! It was the new house all lit up like a beacon on the sea. Finally we made it!

The twenty minutes before we hit the dead zone was the last communication we had with the outside world all weekend. No phones worked out there, and no computer (thanks to mother natures attack on their satellite dish). Can you hear me now?

1 comment:

leslie rae said...

I was also thinking a church painted black....