By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – My post here last week was one of random thoughts and musings and that’s what I have for you again this week, if you’ll indulge me.
On Blogging: It’s been a few years now that Pete asked me to join his crew and contribute to this space and in all that time I don’t think I’d need two hands to count the comments my posts have received. Is anyone out there? Is anyone reading this? I often try to bring you news from my part of the country, Louisiana, and goodness knows we have a raucous political climate down here, but my posts have become less and less about politics. This has been true on my own blog as well. There is a lot about my state that needs to be fixed but there is a lot to love also. I’ve been trying to share that lately and I’ve written a lot about education lately because that’s my field. Do you guys read any of this? I’m just wondering.
On Reading: What are you reading? I’ve always been a reader and am always in a book, but since starting this Classroom Library Project I have been reading some of the books people have donated to our library. I just finished 1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose which originally was a series of columns in the Times-Picayune following Hurricane Katrina. It’s a haunting book and it took me right back to those terrible days after the storm. Here in Shreveport, of course, we didn’t get the storm but we got plenty of fallout. Our schools and communities, like so many across the country, took in refugees from the storm; my husband was still in law enforcement at the time and was part of two different excursions to the area following both Katrina and Rita to help out. Chris Rose’s book is beautifully written and is accompanied by heartbreaking photos. Check it out.
On Aretha Franklin: Speaking of NOLA, the Times-Picayune has video of a Second Line through Treme following the announcement of the passing of Aretha Franklin. Louisiana loved Aretha who was a staple at NOLA’s Jazzfest.
On the Times-Picayune: And speaking of the Times-Picayune, The Hayride has a post about the decline of that iconic newspaper and its attempt to stay relevant in a challenging news acquisition environment. I hate to see that paper go down because there is so much great history associated with it and there were so many really great writers that came out of that proving ground: William Faulkner, Hamilton Basso, Lyle Saxon, to name a few. The 1920s were the true glory days there and if you’re at all interested in that you should pick up Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s by John Shelton Reed.
On Louisiana: And finally, it’s almost fall in Louisiana which means festival season! This past weekend was the Shrimp Festival in Delcambre. In September we have The Sugar Cane festival in New Iberia to look forward to and the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival in Shreveport and the Red River Revel. In Louisiana we have festivals for almost everything, including crawfish, mayhaws, seafood, corn, peaches, zydeco, meatpies, tamales, gumbo, andouille, pigs, cracklins, Christmas, and of course poke salad. I’m not kidding. Here’s a list. Any excuse for a party.
Have a good work week, folks, and say something every now and then so I know you are there!