Jody says goodbye to Jackson and its old dead statues....from chapter Ball of Confusion / Jackson
The sun had begun to go down and we needed to get on the road. I can honestly say I was not sorry to leave. I wanted to put as many miles as I could between us and Jackson. I never wanted to see another Dupree as long as I lived or ever hear the name again. The sky began turning an orange that night. I’d heard somewhere that sunset colors had something to do with the Philippines, but had never bothered to find out why. It was pretty, though, the backdrop. It made you sorry you didn’t have a camera to take a picture with.
I made a big loop and drove slow by the state capital and looked at the statue of the two confederate women comforting the dying rebel soldier. I stopped and took in the bronzed vision, a tribute to their pious ministrations. It made an imprint in my mind’s eye. Before Liz and her Hearts of Camellia ladies could poke their faces into my thoughts, I pushed down on the gas pedal. We drove past the old Capitol Museum where Willie and I had spent so many hours. The long shadow of that old confederate soldier statue cast itself dark over our faces as we made our way along. It meant something different to me now. I looked up there at that old soldier hugging his gun way up there higher than it had a right to be. “Jim Crow,” I said out loud. Willie looked at me with a funny look out of her eye, but she didn’t seem to have anything she wanted to add.
I wanted one more look at Andy Jackson to say my final goodbyes figuratively and literally. That statue represented meanness to me. It could have even been Big Jim posed up there with his shotgun. His kind stood for hatred, cruelty and just plain wrong. It felt good to blast exhaust from the tailpipe all over that old dead man perched up on there with his sword.