Mississippi River

Mississippi River | New Orleans, LA | 2016

He claims a bench on the levee behind the French Market because that’s where the big boats swing-in close to make the sharp turn upriver. At this moment, a tug with barges chugs to beat the current. Bones creaky, he stands and faces the imposing highway bridge, gathers breath low in his gut and intones the opening bars of the classic show tune “Old Man River.” His baritone, almost a growl, matches the low rumble of churning engines. The man can sing, that’s for sure. Tourists applaud, toss dollars in his hat. He reclaims his spot on the bench, lights up a Camel, then squints downriver for his next partner in song. No ships yet. “Waiting, yes I’m waiting,” he says to the black water.