Partial to Home: A rainy night in Columbus

 

Birney Imes

 

 

Hoverin' by my suitcase 

 

Tryin' to find a warm place to spend the night 

 

A heavy rain a fallin' 

 

Seems I hear your voice callin' 

 

"It's all right" 

 

 

 

A rainy night in Georgia 

 

A rainy night in Georgia 

 

I believe it's rainin' all over the world 

 

 

 

-- Brook Benton 

 

 

 

Late Thursday afternoon I went for a walk in the rain. 

 

By the time I hit Main Street it had been raining a couple of hours. The deluge would go on until around 6 the following morning, 3-1/2 inches worth, according to the NOAA* website. 

 

Water slushed through downtown streets, and in the near-dark, Christmas decorations twinkled in shop windows. Nice, this time between Christmas and New Year's when most of us run at half speed, basking in the aura of the holidays. 

 

Some businesses close. Some folks take to the woods. Earlier in the week, I ran into James Morgan who works with Charlie Dalke. When asked what projects he and the doctor had going on, he said, "Staying out of the woods. Deer hunters." 

 

At Third I turned towards the soccer complex. It had been a while since I'd visited the park, and I'd not seen up-close the terrific new playground built back in the summer with help from the Junior Auxiliary. Check out the cool, cushy composite material under the swings. 

 

A couple years ago, after getting permission from Parks and Rec, MUW biology professor Paul Mack and I put up three bluebird houses in the park. I brushed out the nests and left them open to allow rain to rinse them out, freshening them up for new tenants in the spring. 

 

The rainfall had transformed Moore's Creek into a rushing torrent. Dispatch readers of a certain vintage will remember when the paper regularly featured photos of smiling anglers posing with their monster catfish and trophy bass. Invariably they were caught in Moore's Creek. Or so it was claimed. 

 

In those days the creek was not much more than a ditch discharging into the Tombigbee just downstream from Ruben's and a popular swimming hole with a steel cable swing.  

 

Entranced by the creek's rushing water, I followed it until it disappeared into a thickly vegetated area behind The Little Dooey. From there it runs north behind La Familia Tienda, a Mexican grocery in the building that used to house Jimmy Andrews' package store. Next to the market a woman in a small trailer cooks delicious tacos. You have to place your order and pay in the store (try the beef tongue), then you give a slip of paper with your order to the lady in the trailer. 

 

The creek crosses Highway 45 between the taco stand and H&R Agri-Power. On the east side of 45, the stream vanishes into a thick woods. After doing battle with the privet to get a closer look, I turned and headed for downtown in the dark. 

 

Later, continuing my explorations on GoogleEarth -- Moore's Creek parallels the 82 bypass, crosses 18th just west of Cracker Barrel, goes under Willowbrook Drive behind Joe Cook, crosses Bluecutt and has as its source Pennington Lakes. 

 

The rain continued to fall unabated and downtown, freshly bathed, sparkled. 

 

Soaked to the bone, I headed home, happy to have a warm place to spend the night. 

 

*National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

 

Birney Imes ([email protected]) is the former publisher of The Dispatch. 

 

 

Birney Imes III is the immediate past publisher of The Dispatch.

 

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