Harmonious use

Harmony on the river

Fishing under the bridge

Fish and fishing enthusiasts alike seem to prefer the shady waters under the US Highway 79 bridge north of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In the background is a Bunge Corporation grain terminal for barge loading. A lot of corn, wheat, soybeans and other small grains pass through here.

When you stop and think, these scenes are a testimonial of harmonious use: recreation, transportation, and river commerce, plus it ain’t bad to look at either. Watching the river run by is a very relaxing and thought-stimulating activity which requires precious few foot pounds of kinetic energy expenditure.

We began this harmonious exploration on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. Most discerning individuals find it illuminating to check out this page for more pictures and information. Join this illustrious group by clicking here and you will be whisked away to the Photo of the Week page. We’ll wait here while you peruse what you find.

Bridge over the Arkansas River

A few feet upstream from the previous picture. You can see the water line on the bridge supports which give you an idea of the river at its angry stage.

I was under the US Highway 79 bridge north of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, sheltering my person from 100 degree plus heat and utterly ridiculous humidity. I was there laying in wait to spring a Nikon ambush on the MV Gerald Majors of which my nephew is a member of the crew. This came at the request of my younger brother who is decent sort and rightly deserved a positive response to his heartfelt askance.

Around the bend

The Gerald Majors has just negotiated a serious bend in the river and is headed west to the bridge where I am lurking. The long lens compresses the background. For local friends, the plume and structure above the treeline to the right is the Evergreen Packaging plant.

It seemed like the boat would never get there, mainly because I arrived at the ambush site way to early. Note that is very convenient and expedient to transfer blame for the long wait to the boat. But the waiting complaint is a moot point now since the soothing waters of the river pointed my little pea brain in the direction of harmonious use … and I desperately needed a subject. The wait was a blessing camouflaged as a pain in the keaster. Nothing new there.

under the bridge

The Gerald Majors is handily heading upstream and is negotiating the channel under the bridge. Just a few miles north, she will negotiate a lock, and then another, and then another. You get the drift. If my guess is right she will pass through 10 locks on her trip to Russellville, Arkansas.

Out the other side

The Gerald Majors on the west side of the bridge with no scrapes or bruises.

The MV Gerald Majors is the newest vessel in the Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company fleet which includes other towboats, dredges and other river work vessels. See a video of the Gerald Majors wheel house here. And a loading video here.

Parkdale Baptist Church

Parkdale Baptist Church, Parkdale, Arkansas. Nice.

Meanwhile, meandering around the Delta, I happened across the attractive Parkdale Baptist Church at Parkdale, Arkansas. I’m not certain of the age of the well cared for structure, but it has siding which was popularly applied in the late 40s and early 50s. Yes, it’s the A-word, asbestos. In this case, however, by most expert’s guess, it is benign being encapsulated with several layers of paint on the outside and inner walls on the inside. As long as it is not disturbed, most agree that it’s OK.

Remember, be harmonious!


See all of the Grist and Corndancer pictures larger and better in our weekly high resolution gallery plus more boat pictures and an old Delta store gone to seed. Click here to see the gallery.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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