By Mickey Howley
Spring is here, at least in theory and that means folks travel a bit more. Mississippi has 13 welcome centers through out the state. Most are where an interstate highway enters the state and naturally their main purpose is to welcome visitors coming to Mississippi from out of state. But you don’t have to be a non-Mississippian to stop in, they’ll happily serve everyone a cup of coffee and it is a great way to find out about what is going on in towns around the state.
And if you are rolling through the Delta, stop in at Mississippi Tourism’s Delma Furniss Welcome Center near Lula right at the intersection of US 61 and US 49. There is a small but very interesting exhibit at the center. When the land was cleared to build the center, buried in the soil were many artifacts left by the first Mississippians. There had been a small Native American settlement—perhaps it was a seasonal place to camp but clear evidence shows it was used over thousands of years—on that spot. What was found were some very delicate and intricately designed clay pots, just shards of broken pots left and stone tools and tips used for cutting and hunting. What was found was essentially the trash that had not decomposed. The pots were broken and the stone tools were no longer sharp. All in all not much hard trash for several thousand years of human use.
That can’t be said today. We generate lots of trash. Trash that does not easily decompose. Paper, plastic, glass, metal, and chemicals—you name it and we throw it away. And most of it goes to landfills, where it collects in huge mountain-like piles. Much of that material could be re-cycled. And there are costs for not doing that. It costs to collect and haul it out to the landfill—the guys, trucks, and fuel. It costs to put it in the landfill—they charge for the space. It costs for new materials to be made—the paper, plastic, glass, and metal. And it just makes good sense to not waste natural resources by using them only once. Many larger communities and larger businesses are already re-cycling, they can do that because there is, in this case, an efficiency of scale. Here in Water Valley an initial re-cycling will begin soon for downtown businesses with the help of Borg Warner and Water Valley Main Street. It is a small, but important start on saving our trash from being a burden on the future.
Mark on your calendar for the evening of Friday April 11. Galleries on Main Street will be open with new art and opening receptions. Bozarts new show is “Things to Come” a science fiction based show featuring Thomas Grosskopf and Bill Warren. At Yalo Studio new work by Tim Kerr, an innovative artist and a well-known musician, opens up. All from 6 to 9 p.m. and promises to be a great spring night to be out on the town in downtown Water Valley.