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Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi River’

Some of my ancestors crossed the Mississippi River before there were bridges.  They crossed with covered wagons, pregnant wives, children, horses, and livestock.  I think I could have managed crossing the Ohio River; but no, I would have settled for some spot in Illinois.

I still find it a thrill to cross the great river, or to watch it do its slow thing on a hot afternoon.  When it floods I am left without words.  If I am asked where I grew up, I say in southern Missouri near the Mississippi River, which I feel is everything anyone needs to know.

Naturally I thought I knew a good deal about the river, but Lee Sandlin knows a lot more and shares it in Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild.  The book is a pleasure to read, serious and silly, factual and frivolous, languid and swift.  You’ll want a long cruise down the river when you finish reading the book.

Sandlin’s assertion that the Mississippi is no longer a natural river but rather is a man-made drainage, transportation, and sewage disposal system may be true, but never count out the power of nature to take its turn now and then in both small and very large ways.  It is captive but not trained.  Charles Marlin

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