Report from Louisiana: Stubborn People, Spring Break, and Shreveport Violence

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Last week I was unable to post as I had to drive my son to have his wisdom teeth removed and I failed to get a post together ahead of time to schedule. I appreciate Pete’s patience with me when these things happen. But, let me tell you, my son is the epitome of hard-headed and by, oh….say…..noon last Monday I was complete over this wisdom teeth adventure.

The oral surgeon of course told him no eating solid food for three to five days in order to allow healing and so not to disturb the protective blood clots. Literally nothing I could name for a meal was satisfactory. He wouldn’t listen to any directions, and even wanted to go outside and shoot the basketball literally three hours after the procedure. After reminding him that his post-procedure directions said no exercise or strenuous activity (to control bleeding), he went out anyway.

I was so exasperated by then, I reminded myself that he’s an adult, I left the gauze out for him and told him if he starts to bleed out to call 911. Whatever. People have to make their own mistakes. I left and went to the grocery store and pharmacy.

When I came back, he wasn’t feeling so great but now that we are a week out, everything is back to normal.

Stubborn!

It’s been a big week for me on other fronts: I’ve put in retirement papers and will be leaving the classroom after twenty-five years. I received confirmation and “approval” of my papers this week. I’m already clearing things out of my classroom and emptying files. We are on Spring Break and I’m heading back down to south Louisiana for the week. I need to unplug and recharge for the last nine weeks of school.

I am anxious to get out of Shreveport, not just this week, but after retirement. I don’t know if it is the times in which we live, and perhaps it is this way everywhere, but there is not one single day that goes by in this town when there isn’t a murder or at least a shooting. Every.Single.Day. This past week, some poor guy from Texas was just driving through town on I20 when someone pulled up next to him and started shooting, killing him. To be fair, I don’t know if they knew each other, but good grief. I’m tired of the violence.

We don’t live in a bad neighborhood; we live in an older neighborhood, but it’s considered a good part of town, and I often hear gunshots when I take my dog out at night. They’re usually in the distance, not right near me, and sound travels at night, but it’s enough to make you want to get out of town. When we go to our place down south, we are in the country, basically. It’s a small town of about 1,000 people. You can hear some traffic noise, wildlife or fish splashing in the bayou, church bells on the hour, half hour, and quarter hour, but never gunshots.

Our police force tries, but they are woefully underpaid and outnumbered. It appears to be a losing battle, and our novice, young, Democrat mayor who has higher political ambitions, has no idea how to fix things. It’s time to move on.

At any rate, there you have my random musings for the week. Be safe, be kind, and take care.

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.

2 thoughts on “Report from Louisiana: Stubborn People, Spring Break, and Shreveport Violence

  1. Hello, Pat. I enjoy your random musings. Keep it up. Three responses: Did you get any video of your son under the influence of the pain meds they gave him during the procedure? The Internet is full of clips of teenagers under the influence, most of them hilarious. When our granddaughter got hers out a couple of years ago, it was something to see. Until the meds wore off, that is, and she started hurting for real.

    Second, Congratulations on your impending retirement. You won’t regret it.

    Third, regarding the Shreveport crime situation, might I suggest a visit to the Ace of Spades HQ gun thread on Sunday evenings starting at 6 p.m. Over the last year there has been a major uptick in interest with a lot of first time gun owners, many of them female. An informative and supportive atmosphere from a fellow blog site.

  2. I live in PA in a rural county and while we have very few shootings county wide in the spring, summer and early fall the sound of gunshots is a daily background noise … many folks shoot on their property …

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