One thing you avoided mentioning is how close, or how far now, I-57 is to town. Before the interstate, ALL of the north and southbound traffic had to go THROUGH Cairo. The first trip my parents took me on across the old bridge, it was still grates, not even a solid floor. And the bridge was so tight that semi’s would frequently click mirrors passing each other. While the residents may talk about the riots from 50 years ago, the opening of the new bridge in 1978 so you could avoid the deathtrap of the old bridge simply made Cairo just like every other small town bypassed by the highway.