More Grandpa Davey Speaks
A Path with a Heart
A Stop at Willoughby
Can't Captue It
Invest in Yourself
Killing Me Softly
Leave it to Beaver
Lost in the Grand Canyon
Mind Over Temperature
Mother of all Storms
No Sense at All
Not Shadow People
Squirt Gets Run Over
The Cheapest Medicine
The Golden Calf
Ticket to Freedom
Two Types of Girls
Vaya Con Dios
Where's the Beef?
Worst Case Scenario
Killing Me Softly (aka Haunted Honeymoon)
recall the surreal scene of driving through wind blown sand coming
from the beach while we both silently pondered the permanence of
what we had just done. The
silence was interrupted only by the
buffeting wind and the sound of Chicago III on the
player. This was our wedding night and following the reception, we
were going to honeymoon on the Gulf Coast.
Driving from Gulfport through Biloxi, Sweet Mom and I passed
numerous motels all displaying, Welcome Mississippi Bankers
Convention and No Vacancy signs. With the coast running out we had little hope of finding a
room. At the very end of Biloxi, near the bridge to Ocean Springs,
we discovered our last chance, the Tradewinds Hotel. A stately
building from a bygone era, the Tradewinds is where we at last found
Settling in for the night, we were startled by the door to the
adjoining room rattling as if someone was trying to enter. After the
rattling stopped, we heard no signs of occupancy. We checked from
the hall and there was no sound and no light from under the door.
The following morning, we left our room. Passing the ground floor
restaurant, we observed only a single family eating breakfast.
Strangely, other than the nearly empty restaurant, I have no
recollection of the events of most of that day. In the evening, we
went to a
seafood restaurant where I dined on an awful stuffed
flounder. Returning to our 4th or 5th floor room, we realized that
we had seen no other guests.
That night, we decided to explore this grand hotel. We first
discovered that be it day or late at night, the same operator
staffed the elevator. Upon entering this conveyance, we would be
greeted with “and how are you this evening?” by this man every time.
It seems possible that he was also the desk clerk.
After a full day, we realized that we had seen no other guests or
even housekeeping staff. We explored the empty ballroom. On the
second floor was a strange windowed room that appeared as an empty
hospital nursery. Next to the nursery was a public bathroom with
Roaming the empty halls, we did hear two men conversing behind a
closed door. Floor to floor and hall to hall, we traveled until we
heard a sound from behind a closed door. It was the voice of a
parrot squawking “Get out of here, get out of here”. Continuing
along, we encountered an elevator with open doors. Often I remember
it as open to an empty shaft, but actually I believe the car was
there, filled with stored televisions.
In order to avoid the strange man in the other elevator, we decided
to take the stairs to our room. Upon entering the stairwell, the
faint sounds of Roberta Flack’s song “Killing Me Softly” wafted up
from some distant location. Following the music to the ground floor,
we discovered a red velvet lounge. Though elegant, the dimly lit
lounge was occupied by only the bartender, one woman, and a jukebox.
Well after midnight and not quite sure what to make of our
surroundings, we heeded the parrots warning and we
got out of there.
Over the years, we have occasionally passed the Tradewinds to make
sure it actually existed. Once we took the grand tour. Everything
was the same. Roaming the ballroom and empty halls, it is
inconceivable to me that we took no pictures. Perhaps this was some
sort of manifestation that allowed no photographs. Our last
pilgrimage found the building finally closed. I presume this
mysterious hotel was finally destroyed, as were the surrounding
structures, by Katrina.
To this day “Killing Me Softly” remains Our Song.