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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Wonderful New Iberia Day 9

Well, Mardi Gras is in full swing in Acadiana. Beads everywhere you look and the green, gold and purple! Bakery signs urge us to order our King Cakes now. Almost when down to the market in Jeanerette to get the little individual ones but will wait and pop into a bakery somewhere along the road. After breakfast we headed into town--first stop- KonRico rice mill company store. I picked up some pecan oil and yellow rice mix for Barb and Bill picked up some things for Betsy and a shot glass for Jeff. I also picked up two MG scarves to wear in Eunice for the celebration. As usual we spent over an hour chatting with the ladies who work there. Madame LaBiche was not there today, but she was yesterday. This is the second year we've missed her. One of the ladies gave us our tour of the mill over six years ago and we remembered her and she us, for it was on that visit that a cat scared us out of one of our nine lives when, in the midst of the lady's talk, it jumped suddenly out of a paper bag and stunned us all! We shared a laugh about it once more. One of the other ladies visits her daughter in Massachusetts ever Fall and has gone to NYS, Maine, NH and all around Mass but she has not gone to Vt. She plans on going this year. She found the website for Morse's sugar shack in Montpelier--Bill knows the Morses--and receives the monthly newsletter that Burr puts out. She is dying to go there. We told her to come up 7 to Rutland and cut up or up to Burlington and cut over but return on Rt 100. She is interested in antique places and Warren and Waitsfield and that whole valley is perfect and then she winds up on Killington. We had an extra Vt and its attractions map in the car so we gave it to her. She circled Post Mills on the map and took our names. Told her to drop a line and let us know where she explored. Having finished our Vt ambassador duties there we continued to Books on the Teche. I always buy my next installment of David Robicheaux novels from the store in the town where James Lee Burke grew up. We usually visit with the owners of the store but they were not there today-instead a teacher who has worked Saturdays there for 23 years was working and her Dad was sitting off to the side. He comes and spends Sat with her. He is 83 years young and grew up in New Iberia. He and I huddled in a corner talking about the town and its history, people who live or lived there, the buildings and their history. Of course, we also spoke of JLB and Victor's Cafeteria which is where his hero often has his morning coffee. This gentleman goes there every Wed morning from 9-10 where a table is set aside for veterans to visit and drink coffee. He looks forward to it each week and says he has met people he never would have known otherwise--they drink coffee and tell lies, he says. He also spoke of Blue Dog artist, George Rodrigue. I always think of him as being from New Orleans but he is also from New Iberia and went to school with my new friend. One time when several of them were together a fellow said to Rodrigue do you remember those sketches you used to whip off and hand to us. So many got crumbled up and thrown away! My friend has one of the earliest Rodrigue that he bought for $29 !! Imagine. Our conversation just flowed from so many topics and it was wonderful. I have finally found out what happened to Hadrian. There is a building on a side street called The Hadrian and built into its fa├žade is a half moon glass dome 180 degrees round off the building and at least 12 ft high. It is glassed roofed and has segmented curved glass panes. When we first came to New Iberia there was a beautiful statue of the Emperor Hadrian in this display case. I loved that this little town had this unique sculpture and looked at it each time we came. Several years ago, I wss distressed to see that the statue was gone and the case stood empty. No one I asked about it seemed to know what I was talking about or, if they knew the statue, they had no idea what happened to it. Well, the property was purchased by a bank and the stockholders decided they didn't want the statue so they sold it to New Orleans. My friend is so distressed by it. He says they should have donated it to the Museum or to New Iberia but they wanted the money, so off it went. The lovely domed niche looks so sad and empty now. Well, while he and I had been chatting, his daughter and Bill were talking as well. They tired of their interaction sooner than we did but when we looked at the time it was 12:15 and he was going to be home for lunch at noon. So, our gathering broke up and we hoped to meet again another time. He said he is there every Saturday so who knows? I picked up three books--the Robicheaux and the first installment of JLB's newer series set in Texas. I also picked up a book written by a local author--another thing I do each year. This one is laugh out loud funny--written by a woman who grew up in New Iberia and from the story is of the same vintage as I, which makes it even more enjoyable. We returned to our room and read before heading over to Abbeville and Shucks. Bill had a BOWL of etouffe and a dozen raw oysters with sweet tea. I, having learned through experience that my eyes are bigger than my belly, opted for a CUP--which is the size of the bowls I use for cereal!--and a dozen oysters and sweet tea. Totally stuffed we are back in the room, about to watch TV. I also have to do my nails in MG colors for tomorrow. Just a quick note on the jewelry from GB: The blue set has Czech glass buttons as well as antique metal buttons. The necklace is very long. The ring is sterling silver set with an antique silver button. These buttons come from the mid to late 19th C. The other bracelet is made of a 1900 French steel shoe buckle, adorned with an antique button and there is another antique button dangling from the lobster claw clasp. I think the blue set has become my favorite piece from them though I love my entire collection which I've acquired through the years. Well, off to do my nails and see if there is anything worth watching on TV--if not, having finished The Paris Winter this afternoon, I have three new books from which to choose. Signing off for now--looking forward to Eunice and the country Mardi Gras over the next few days. Take care The Valley Vagabonds KandB

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