Mother, Friend Anne and I hit the Thebes Courthouse just before sunset, just in time to watch a slow freight rumble across the railroad bridge.
Sky kept changing
Every time we would start to get into the car to leave, the sunset would change color or shape.
Courthouse has spectacular view
We didn’t see the famous “green flash” when the sun disappeared, but we didn’t feel cheated. Here are photos I’ve taken of and from the courthouse over the years.
Most of lowland Thebes was covered with Mississippi River floodwaters this spring. I noticed in the fading daylight that the roads had been graded and there was a big pile of mud off to the side of them, so I assumed they were clear when I drove toward the river.
Big mistake. A brief downpour had turned the mud on the road to something slicker than ice. I knew I couldn’t stop or I’d never get going again, so I tried to keep it slow and straight until I got to a point where I had to make a right turn. I was able to kick it around, but about 75 feet down that road, the car went into a slow-speed skid.
I used all the techniques I had learned over years of winter driving. At the last second, I cut the wheels to the left and tried to use the front wheel drive to pull me out of the slide, but we ended up bumping up against the curb, which stopped us.
I give my passengers credit. Unlike Friend Jan, who would have been pounding on the dash and screaming, “We’re all gonna die!!!” Anne sat stoically and braced herself for the impact. Mother said she’d have screamed, but she was busy biting down on a pillow to keep from doing it.
We exited Thebes no worse for wear, but it took me three bucks in the car wash the next day to get all the mud off.