Driving the scenic route from our home in central Arkansas down Highway 65, Youngest-daughter was asleep in the back seat and The Momma-woman had her nose buried in her iPhone when I passed an odd town limits sign. I mumbled, "I must have seen that wrong. I thought it said 'Transylvania.'" Momma-woman looked up and gave me one of her quizzical looks. "I must have misread that sign," I said. "I could have sworn it said we're in Transylvania." "As in dark castles and foreboding forests and vampires?" asked my wife. "Yeah, what you said."
|Transylvania Elementary School|
After passing several modest, but apparently occupied houses along the highway, I spotted a school building; a long abandoned elementary school surrounded by weeds with rusting, derelict playground equipment in a corner of the fenced-in property. And sure enough, over the front door it said, "Transylvania Elementary School." Stopping to take a look into the windows revealed children's desks laying on their sides in disarray, abandoned school books strewn about the floors, holes in the walls and ceiling tiles hanging and fallen.
|Rusting playground equipment where laughing |
children used to play.
We stopped to take a few pictures and drove around for a while. The whole time there, we never saw another person except for the drivers of 3 or 4 cars which whizzed past on Highway 65. None of them looked at us, none of them waved; just drove on down the road with eyes straight ahead. Strange. It was quiet. It was a bit eerie. I wondered what happened to the residents we weren't seeing. What happened to the school children? There was nobody around to ask.
|Transylvania water tower|
I'm not afraid of much in this world, but snakes, vampires and electricity would be at the very top of my short "fraidy-cat" list so, with the sun beginning to set, with visions of who or what comes out after the sun goes down, I made the decision that we too should quickly drive on down the road. Just, you know, because New Orleans was waiting for us.