From the NY Times, an article on rebuilding the Ocean Springs bridge, and other Mississippi news.
But officials on one side of the bridge — those in Biloxi — favor a large, multilane structure that can accommodate casino workers and the new horde of gamblers. On the other side, in Ocean Springs, officials want to restore the four-lane drawbridge that once spanned the bay, hoping to keep their French-colonized, tree-lined town the definition of quaint.
That's why Ocean Springs has Tat-O-Nuts, and a soul, and Biloxi has casinos and strip malls. Personally, I put a curse on Biloxi when they tore down the Fiesta bar, which was the subject of quite a few road trips. You remember: Fiesta...at the Fiesta!
Officials from Biloxi and Gulfport, robbed by the hurricane of their fishing docks and antebellum homes and emboldened by new legislation that permits gambling on land, believe their cities' futures lie in rows of casinos, high-rise condominiums and a new multilane bridge. Officials deride the idea of trolleys replacing cars on busy roadways and suggest that such ideas are preferred by people who come from, as they say here, "away."
Pass Christian, once a haven for retirees and people with second homes, is now warily weighing offers from the condominium developers it once avoided, as all the town's businesses have been swept away, leaving its coffers empty.
I agree with that assessment of Biloxi, but I don't know if I buy it for Gulfport. Biloxi will grasp absolutely anything that can mean money for somebody, but Gulfport hasn't historically been pimped out that easily.
The Pass was always fiercely independent, especially in the aftermath of Camille, but if this is true, then they're just another anonymous suburb of casinoland.
And Bay St. Louis and Waveland were always fun places on the fringes of the Biloxi bustle.
Pretty much, all that is now going to be sold to the highest bidder.
But then, that's the continuance of the deal with the Devil that the coast made when they said OK to casinos. You knew it was just a matter of time before they moved inland...and Katrina simply made that convenient and opportunistic.
I know 3 teachers that quit their jobs to become blackjack dealers. What does that say about society?
It says that money is all that matters...and that's quite a whiplash to the conservative roots of Mississippi. But hey, who needs education, since all the local people move away to find jobs, and the coast becomes repopulated with divorcees from Barstow or Jean or Winnemucca who have "sperience" in spinning roulette wheels. Yeah, they'll have the same value system as you, cher.
The days of bonfires at the beach in Pass Christian are gone, as are the days of cheap beers on the waterfront in a Bay St. Louis shack.
All hail progress.
You can have it. I want my coast back.