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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rootless: Letting Go

November 24: What I have below is my first draft. Since I wrote it, I took back the hat. And some of the coozies. 



Getting ready for my move at the end of the month.

Letting go of some things are easy, like the saucepot I bought second-hand years ago, which takes forever to heat up its contents on an electric stove. Enough! Out you go.

The 20 coozies I've collected this year. Easy come, easy go. Plastic parade cups, ditto.

I tried to find a reason to keep some of my Mardi Gras bead collection, and I feel a little wrench about letting them go, but groups recycle beads here and I like the idea that my beads will get re-thrown and caught by another happy reveler.

Can you believe I've carted around a plug-in electric burner for longer than my daughter has been alive? I can't even think of when I've used it last. Time for it to go. Irrational, but this hurts a little.

I'm releasing a hat. 



 A couple of reference books will go.

I already donated back three of the chairs I bought from the local Habitat for Humanity's Re-Store.

A box of clothes for Goodwill stands by.


 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Louisiana: Plaisance: The Step-n-Strut Trail Ride


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


One of my goals for Louisiana was to go on (the term "go on" being open to interpretation) a trail ride. Not just any trail ride. A zydeco trail ride. A Creole trail ride.

I had my chance with the Step-n-Strut Trail Ride in Plaisance.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


To set the stage about the trail rides in Southwest Louisiana:  

Below is a lil diamond of a video about Creole riders by documentarian Tabitha Denholm:




A companion article she wrote is here.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.



Cajun filmmaker Connie Castille created a lush documentary about the Cajun and Creole history with horses in her two-hour movie, T-Galop. You can watch the documentary in its entirety on Louisiana Public Television here.
2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


There was lots going on at the Step-n-Strut's home base


Food


Below is a man with a vertical griller/smoker that he made:

2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


This man was cooking up some pork steaks early on, preparing for sale a little later.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


Pig tails. Squeak.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


Foot care

Look at this horse's beautiful tail:


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


There was more than one way to do the trail ride


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.




2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


Coming back


It was pretty to watch the tired riders and horses return as the sun was sinking. The light and the dust made a lovely backdrop.

2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


2014 Step-n-Strut Trail Ride, Plaisance, Louisiana.


Videos

I took several videos. I really like this one because it has everything in a short piece - pretty horses, cantering horses, dancing, good music, a trailer with not only a port-a-potty but a full-size grill and a big sound system.



Here is a 13+ minute video of the trail ride rolling out. It has drama and flair and flash. It shows the various ways one can participate on the ride. There's even a bit of an altercation.

Here is a short-short with a lot of drama. Some poor dude is missing his jeans. One can only wonder at the story there.

Rolling out #3 is pretty jumpy, but it's short and it gives a good idea at the huge number of horses and riders participating on the ride.

Rolling out #4 shows fun on both trailers and horses.



A slide show here:


#30



Oh, yeah, and there was live music, too. This is South Louisiana, after all.




Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Louisiana: Plaisance: 2635 at Sunset

2635 Highway 167, near Plaisance, Louisiana.
  

Just as the sun was preparing for setting, I drove by a cluster of irresistibly-picturesque buildings on Highway 167, outside of Plaisance.

Plaisance is in St. Landry Parish, northwest of Opelousas and southeast of Ville Platte. 

The feed store photos are here.

Today is about #2635, which is next to the feed store.


2635 Highway 167, near Plaisance, Louisiana.



A cultural informant told me that the giant numbers on these buildings are for emergency responders.

Put your shades on for this next pic. 

2635 Highway 167, near Plaisance, Louisiana.





Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lafayette: Lafayette: Scenes from Festivals de Acadiens et Creoles, #4

I listened to Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys play. Watched the dancers. Tapped my toes. Slapped my hand on my thigh.

But then all of a sudden I heard the transcendent quality of the fiddle playing. Magnificent.





Here's a 2006 video of Kevin Wimmer (the fiddler in my video above) playing Fiddlesticks with another musician at a Roots festival in Tennesee: 



And here he is with his other band, Red Stick Ramblers, in a 2008 performance in Connecticut:




Speaking of Connecticut, I met an accordionist at the festival, Bill, who lives in Connecticut - who loves Cajun and Zydeco music, and who has been coming to the festival for eight years. He comes on the train.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Louisiana: Plaisance: The Feed Store


Allen Joubert's Feed Store, Plaisance, Louisiana

Driving on Highway 167, just outside Plaisance, as the sun was setting on the first day of standard time, I saw the feed store.

Allen Joubert's Feed Store, Plaisance, Louisiana

Felt good to get out of the car and take some snaps of a building like this. Very New Mexico-ish thing for me to do.


Allen Joubert's Feed Store, Plaisance, Louisiana


Allen Joubert's Feed Store, Plaisance, Louisiana





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lafayette: UL Homecoming Parade


UL Homecoming Parade 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana.


November 1 was the UL Homecoming Parade. Oh, right, there was also a game and other stuff, but I'm all about the parade.

UL Homecoming Parade 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana.


Even the Pope was there.

UL Homecoming Parade 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana.


And, as always, Louisianans really know how to make a parade up nice.

UL Homecoming Parade 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana.

OK, well, I was standing in front of the UL Alumni Center.

Marching bands. My favorite part of a parade. 

UL Homecoming Parade 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana.

 Here's a video from the Opelousas High School Marching Band:




And from the Franklin High School Band. It makes me smile to see how the drummer smiles at :34.



Oh, those drummers.

UL Homecoming Parade 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana.


A slide show:

#30



 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Louisiana: Opelousas: A Holy Ghost Party


Men of Vision, 2014 Holy Ghost Catholic Church Creole Festival, Opelousas, Louisiana

So. Halloween. Not being a trick-or-treater or wear-a-costume sort of gal, my annual strategy is to get out of the house on Halloween and hide out til the littles have completed their rounds.

In Lafayette, it being a party kind of place and Halloween being on a Friday this year, you would surmise correctly if you thought that most getaways included dressing up.

But then I saw the perfect place to go - the 22nd Annual Holy Ghost Catholic Church Creole Festival. The festival is the first weekend in November, beginning on Friday. Gospel music on Friday night.

Here's a video from St. Landry's Parish, focusing on Holy Ghost women making potato pies for the 2011 festival:




I got to hear different styles of gospel music at the church: 
  • Rap
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • and I guess what I'd call the traditional gospel style

Here's a gospel rap song called "Having a Holy Ghost Party," performed at the concert Friday night:

 


And one of the songs from the Mount Olive Baptist Church Men's Chorus:




And from three women whose group name I forget:




There was even a performance of liturgical dance by the youth, and at first, I thought, aha, this is a new idea for me, but wait .... liturgical dance is just a fancy way of talking about sacred dance, which has been practiced in many cultures for eons.


2014 Holy Ghost Catholic Church Creole Festival, Opelousas, Louisiana


Sheesh, didn't I just spend a year in New Mexico, where traditions of sacred dance are carefully protected and handed down through the present generations?
 

2014 Holy Ghost Catholic Church Creole Festival, Opelousas, Louisiana

 
It was a perfect way to spend All Saints Eve.


Men of Vision, 2014 Holy Ghost Catholic Church Creole Festival, Opelousas, Louisiana