Slabbed remembers Katrina Plus 5: Determination Billows Along Mississippi Road. By Ben Montgomery of the Tampa

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

KILN, Miss. – Along Highway 603, Bruno’s Bar, with the spray-painted rebel flag on the concrete-block wall out front, is closed. So is the Cajun Connection, the Broke Spoke and just about every other dive on this stretch of sleepy Mississippi country road touched and tangled by Hurricane Katrina.

Even the catfish are belly-up in the farm ponds.

But rising above cattle fields and swampland and this ruined, rugged little town is Roddie Bilbo’s bedsheet tribute to the spirit of the people of Kiln. The effortless homage hangs from power lines, stretched taught with two bottles of spring water, for all of Highway 603 to see.

They do. Folks honk or whistle when they pass, a half-dozen of them by the hour. There goes a family in a Chevrolet Suburban stopping to take a picture. There’s a “woo-hoo!” from a pickup window.

“See, that’s what it does to people,” says Bilbo, eating jambalaya and green beans in his driveway a few nights ago. “It’s been like that since I put it up.” Continue reading “Slabbed remembers Katrina Plus 5: Determination Billows Along Mississippi Road. By Ben Montgomery of the Tampa”