I lived a majority of the first ¼ century of life in South West Louisiana.
Even though I am not a Cajun, I do have traditions and ideals I learned in Cajun households. I spoke with a Cajun accent for most of my first 25 years and I still say some things in the accent because they just don’t mean the same thing without it. The first time one hears “Cajunese”, those who are not lucky enough to have spent any time down Lafayette way, it had to be repeated and explained. That’s okay, it’s part of the charm.
So, I have a deep love for my old stomping grounds. I’ve lived in Broussard, Abbeville and Lafayette. I’ve bar hopped in Breaux Bridge, St Martinville, Mamou, Catahoula, Intracoastal City. I started first grade in Lafayette and graduated there, too. I go back every two or three years. I always go to the St Martin De Tours church. Drive by my old homesteads on St Pierre St and John Wayne Dr.
Katrina hit me hard, emotionally. We took hurricane refugees into our Casino Hotel, as did all the other casinos in the area. We set up computers at our bell desk so that they could file their FEMA claims online. I worked, telling them where to find things, help them use the computer is they needed, gave directions to Wal-Marts. Most of the people that visited during my shift were from Plaquemine and Metairie and many of them had homes underwater. They were in disbelief. They were still too shocked to grieve, it was still new. Let me also acknowledge the damage and loss in my home state of Mississippi.
Rita was even worse for me cos it actually affected areas where I had lived, loved, partied and dined. Also Rita hit Lake Charles harder and that is where my BBF Van and many of her progeny are.
Now there’s this oil spill tragedy. I haven’t followed the story a lot, but I don’t have to see media footage to know that it is tragic.
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about a flood in Louisiana in 1927, but it also fits recent water catastrophes.
Thanks for the idea. Deanna.