Sittin’ On The West Side Of The East Side

Written By Galen White

I’ve had a few instances where I didn’t know my directions. And with that remark, I’m positive many of you are sayin’ I’ve never known which direction I was headed! Allow me to clarify that I’m referrin’ to directions such as north, south, east and west.

The few times I got turned around in the woods were due to me not payin’ attention to my surroundin’s. This episode, however, occurred when I could see for ten to twenty miles in every direction. It was a “no brainer” in figurin’ out which direction was which.

My boss and I traveled to New Orleans a few days ago to attend a transportation symposium. We left Homer headed south, hit I-20 and drove east to Vicksburg, MS. From there, we traveled down Highway 27 to Crystal Springs, MS where I-55 took us south to I-10 and New Orleans. You know, I was quite amazed when I learned that a symposium wasn’t any kin to a Posey or any other kind of flower that I know of.

Anyway, the reception was held on the top floor of the World Trade Center in downtown New Orleans. It was a beautiful evening, spectacular view of New Orleans and surrounding area, clear skies for the most part, and the mighty Mississippi River lookin’ magnificent. All that was ‘interrupted when my boss asked the question, “Which side of the river are we on”?

Well, to me it was obvious. It was 6 PM, and the sun was to my back, so I knew that was west. My left had to be north, my right was south, therefore I had to be facin’ the east. On top of that, we were facin’ east and looking’ across the river. Although I ain’t the sharpest tack in the drawer, it was obvious we were on the west bank.

Then Johnnie asked me, “when did we cross back over the Mississippi River”? I should have said, “Johnnie, just don’t ask too many questions. Take my word for it, we are on the west side.” Well, he insisted that I answer his last question.

Remember, now, that we left Homer and traveled 1-20 to Vicksburg, MS where we crossed the Mississippi River. And after I thought about it, I couldn’t say that we ever crossed it again. So the logical answer was we were on the east bank.

This discussion garnered the attention from others who also thought we were on the west bank. The waiter listened for a moment or two, and then told us that we were actually on the east bank. It was true that we had not re-crossed the river.

Although it made perfectly good sense, it was still difficult to accept solely due to the location of the sun, river, and us. It was true, though, and we were on the east side of the river. I guess you could say we were on the west side of the east side. Folks, when logic stares you in the face and is incorrect, it is hard to believe.


Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.





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