Ferriday, Louisiana is the hometown of:
Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Swaggart:
First cousins to one another -- their mothers were sisters
the late Howard K. Smith:
and the beautiful Campbell Brown:
What Ferriday has become should have Jerry Lee kicking out the footlights, Mickey singing the blues, Swaggart praying for Ferriday's redemption, Howard K. rolling over, and Campbell Brown investigating.
Ferriday has become a dump, a cesspool and one of the most notorious speedtraps in Louisiana .. and thus, the United States.
So far this year Ferriday has collected over $400,000 in traffic fines. The mayor seems to be shooting for $1 million before the end of the year -- that's about $840,000 more than the annual average of $160,000 before the present mayor took office.
To some, the new mayor's motto seems to be:
"Put Dignity Back Into Graft"
Mayor Allen's Money Machine
Oh, and Ferriday's population? About 3,700. A pissant of a place on a major route (US 65) to a major tourist attraction -- Natchez, Mississippi.
If you're coming from North Louisiana, you have to pass through Ferriday to get to Natchez. On the other hand, if you're coming to Natchez from South Louisiana, you have to pass through Woodville, MS -- another speedtrap, but nowhere near as bad as Ferriday.
I suppose you could go way out of the way to get to Natchez, but why should anyone need to do that?
I could very easily bypass Ferriday, but I don't. I like to live on the edge. Besides, it's interesting to see a piece of Haiti in the USA. Ah, the sights and smells of Ferriday, Louisiana -- Little Port au Prince!
The extremely low speed limits should be punishment enough. I mean to make anyone drive that slowly (25mph) through such an asshole of a place is sadistic.
Businesses are starting to react to Ferriday's new notoriety. At least one, Imogene's Restaurant, has moved to nearby Vidalia. Imogene says the move was due to lower rent in Vidalia. Well, the atmosphere is much better there, too. Wal-Mart is considering moving, but insists it has nothing to do with Mayor Allen's Money Machine.
Stories abound about drivers who swear they were not speeding and police who refuse to let the accused see the radar reading. Some have even claimed that the Ferriday Police Department are big on racial profiling -- of white people. I don't know about that, but I rarely see anyone but whites pulled over.
Will the Louisiana State Police or Attorney General eventually investigate? I doubt it.
Maybe it's something the U.S. Justice Department will look into. I mean, afterall, if people are being harassed based on race, that does seem to fall within the federal civil rights statutes.
I propose a billboard kinda like this on all roads leading to Ferriday:
Meantime, people should avoid doing business in Ferriday. Don't spend money with the businesses there. If enough people start doing that, then maybe the pain threshold will be reached.
Ferriday actually has potential to be a nice place, but they've chosen to be just another banana republic. I'd be ashamed to call Ferriday home.
Jerry Lee, Mickey, Jimmy, Campbell? Ya'll hear me?