Report from Louisiana: More Loose Thoughts

Readability

Report from Louisiana: More Loose Thoughts

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!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreve­port and is the author of Cane River Bohemia. Fol­low her on Insta­gram @patbecker25.

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!

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25.