I had an opportunity a couple days ago to visit the River Wall along Water Street that parallels the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I had ventured down through the River Wall and up to the river’s edge to see the bridge in the distance. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative and fog lay heavy on the river bed. The beautiful Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge was all but obscured due to the fog and only its upright pillar was visible. Disappointed, I had turned and walked back across Water Street and I turned back and saw this woman holding the red umbrella, the only pop of color in a very dismal scene. Through the wonders of Photoshop, I was able to edit the original photo to one I felt was more pleasing. (Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photo.)
The river wall itself is comprised of 24 panels covering nearly 18,000 square feet of the 15-foot high flood wall. It illustrates the history of the area beginning with the Native Americans who inhabited the area between 900 and 1200. Each panel tells a story of the history of the Cape Girardeau area. The paintings are in a style similar to that of painter Thomas Hart Benton. (Pamela Selbert, Chicago Tribune, November 18, 2007). The mural was painted by Chicago artist Thomas Melvin, in collaboration with several local artists, and was dedicated at a public ceremony on July 7, 2005.