I’m going to Biloxi today. It’s Memorial Day weekend, so I expect the beaches will be busier than usual – unless it rains.
But this year probably will be a little different.
Sure there will be the usual people soaking up the sun, playing in the sand and getting sunburned. There will be the weekend casino dwellers. Yep. All the hotel rooms are booked to capacity and shows are sold out. That will pretty much be the same.
What makes this year different is the many people who have invaded Gulf Coast towns because of the oil spill. Scientists, all sorts of officials, volunteers and gawkers. The holiday meant to remember and honor lives lost for country will be all but forgotten in the wake of the massive amounts of oil pouring into the Gulf.
Another difference is the smell. I’ve heard from friends who live along the Mississippi Coast that there is a pervasive smell of oil. It is everywhere. So even if you can’t see it, you can smell it. I can’t wait to experience it for myself.
So what am I going to do while I’m there? I plan to spend a little more time on the beach. Maybe draw in enough of the oil smell to bring it back with me. Maybe I’ll talk to some of the people who live there and see what they’re thinking about oil.
It’s got to be a worry on everybody’s minds. The Mississippi Coast – like New Orleans – is still in recovery from Hurricane Katrina. The oil spill is going to set that recovery back.
I still plan to have a good time while I’m there, but I also want to get a better perspective on the oil spill from the people who will have to live with it for a long time to come.