Report from Louisiana: Loose Thoughts

By: Pat Austin

Some loose, random thoughts this week:

Books: Finally, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles comes out this week!  I had the privilege of receiving an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) las year and I just loved this book. If you enjoy historical fiction at all, put this one on your list.

Navigating dual timelines, Miss Charles weaves an engaging plot between two characters, Odile and Lily. Set in both WWII Paris and 1980s Froid, Montana, we are drawn into both their stories knowing they will soon combine, and they do in a beautiful way.

Odile begins a new job as a librarian at The American Library in Paris at the onset of WWII, and her narrative is peppered with Dewey Decimal references which could have been very odd and distracting but is in fact absolutely charming. As the employees of the library work to protect their books, and themselves, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, it is interesting to note that many of the characters in this novel are real people and many of the events also all to real.

This is a novel for all book lovers, library lovers, history lovers, and anyone who wants to get lost between the pages of an interesting story for a few hours.

Also out this month, but I have not yet read, is Kristen Hannah’s The Four Winds, set in the dustbowl. I have it on hold at the library.

Covid Recovery: I’ve done a lot of reading over the past ten days because I’m too fatigued to do anything else. Steve and I are both moving past our Covid symptoms but the ongoing fatigue is staggering. I feel lucky and grateful that neither of us has the terrible congestion and lung symptoms, no high fever either, but man this fatigue….I can’t get past it. I’m still off work; planning to return to the classroom on Wednesday, but it will be very low energy for the time being.

Mardi Gras:  As you probably know, there are no parades or big celebrations for Mardi Gras this year which is really strange. But, have you seen the float houses in New Orleans!? They are so cool…people are putting the floats artists to work making props and decorations for their homes, dressing their houses up like giant floats! Some of them even play music like the real floats. Go online and check those out if you get a chance!

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is doubling down on the Covid restrictions in these last two weeks of Mardi Gras season. She’s closing all bars and certain streets. Large gatherings are strictly forbidden. Tourists are discouraged.

Strange times.

Super Bowl: did you watch? We just had it on for background noise. I watched the Puppy Bowl. I’m just ready for baseball season.

Y’all have a good week!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

What the Cheney Vote Told Us about Jan 6th

I’ve been reading Patrick Byrne’s account of How DJT Lost the White House. Of what I read so far Chapter 3 was both the most hopeful and depressing as it became clear that it was the goal of those close to Trump to get him out quickly and if that meant keeping solid evidence of fraud away from the American public that was fine with them.

As you read that piece you have the feeling that if they were just able to follow though to get past the gatekeepers that they managed to get past once before things might have been different.

However the vote of Lynne Cheney told me much.

Cheney has drawn a primary challenger and there can be no doubt that at least one Trump surrogate, perhaps even the President himself will show up to campaign against her in 2022. Nor is there any doubt that the swamp will do all they can to dilute the challenge, perhaps by financing multiple challengers or pushing one with either a dark secret or owned by the swamp but that really doesn’t matter.

What matters is the message and the message is this, that enough members of the GOP in congress were part of the Swamp that if on Jan 6th the vote came to the house with undeniable proof of the Democrats stealing the election two things would have been clear.

  1. Wyoming would have gone for Biden because Lynne Cheney is the only house rep.
  2. If the Democrats needed another state there would be enough swamp people willing to give them their votes for the rewards offered

That is the reason why it’s been imperative for people to chase God and belief out of both the schools and the public square. When a person considers the reality of death implications of eternity they are more able to resist the rewards of corruption even those which can make an entire family comfortable.

I have no doubt at all in my mind that if things went to the house there would be just enough GOP members of the house willing to provide the votes put Joe Biden where he is today.

It would have been a crushing thing to see and not having to see it is the only bright spot in the events that took place.