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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mardi Gras in Eunice, Louisiana

Hi Trekkers! Well, pretty tired this evening. Just watched the President's Address and am happy to say he looked and sounded pretty Presidential. We are in a Trump State here in Louisiana, though, today, we met a transplanted Ohioan who is teaching history at the University of Louisiana, Eunice, who is sure Trump will quit before his four years are over because he is a spoiled brat unused to not getting his own way. I refused to take the bait and so the conversation was amicable and as we parted I laughed and said, oh, look, we are still friends. He agreed but said he feels I'm an unusual Trump supporter, that most of the others would not feel friendly toward him at all. God, this is why I think politics is ridiculous. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. As you might remember I had come down with some pretty heavy nasal congestion and was getting nervous that last year's illness was going to plague us once more. However, I am bound and determined it is not going to happen and so yesterday, rather than go to some of the lesser events for Mardi Gras, I chose to stay in bed, watch Viceland, a channel I never heard of, read and otherwise lie low. Learned about Rte 66, the water problems in California, the movement amongst indigenous Hawaiians to get their kingdom back and about an urban Indian reservation in Winnipeg. Took a nap after all that strenuous mental activity and then read my new book about Carnival in Louisiana. Bill made several forays into town--one to the bank for nickels. Another to a big discount store, which buys out inventories of various items and then sells them Dirt Cheap--the name of the store. He had great fun picking out shamrock earrings for me, a 99 cent crazy hat for Betsy and some other stuff I forget. Another trip he went next door and had Mexican for dinner. I really didn't have much of an appetite so ate some cheese, fruit juice and olives for dinner. By bed time he was getting stuffy and that made me nervous. All in all, a pretty restful day, though no pictures to share. Today, we both were feeling much better so off we went to Eunice for the Mardi Gras fun. Met a lady from Church Point who told us to come there the Sunday before Mardi Gras next time--that their courir is traditional--only men. Then there is a children's parade and the ladies have floats and at the end there is a big cook out for everyone. Sounds like fun--will put it in the notes for future reference. The beginning of the day, noon til 3, was spent, people watching, meeting people, listening to Cajun music and eating Cajun food. I've already spoken of the Ohio professor. We also discussed the unusually warm weather this year. He only has had to move his plants indoors twice this year to protect them from frost--usually he has to do that at least a dozen times. He also said the azaleas are at least a month ahead of time for blooming, which is true. They are in bloom in March on our way home, but they are in full bloom now this year. Around 3 ish we moved closer to the curb and struck up a conversation with a young man, there with his 88 year old grandfather, who was dancing up a storm and even taught a lady from Illinois how to dance Cajun style. LOL The young man is in the army, has three more years to go for his retirement --he'll be 38! He is home on leave--his Mom died a couple of weeks ago so he's home with his Dad. Home is Baton Rouge and his cousin was one of the police officers shot several months back. He was in the hospital for six months and is in rehab now--shot in the head and twice in the abdomen while responding to a domestic situation. He said he doesn't consider his redeployment to Afghanistan in three weeks any more dangerous. It will be his 7th deployment. Four months this time. I'd be so worried all the time. The parade was late but despite the sun and heat, the cool breeze and clouds that blocked the sun periodically made the day bearable. The Courir was such fun--so many beautiful horses, a couple donkeys and wonderfully costumed riders. Several with the chickens or roosters gleaned from the neighbors from whom they'd begged meat for the community gumbo. I really don't think the birds they had were truly headed for the pot. At least I don't want to think those lovely creatures were going to be food for the people who hung around. Several of the riders were pretty under the weather, many had beers clutched in their hands and one guy had a small Crown Royale half drunk hanging from his hand. This is a really family friendly Mardi Gras. There is no drunkenness, though beers are available and some are drinking. But it is not a drunken brawl. Newborn infants are more plentiful than college kids. One girl marching in the parade stopped to give beads to the soldier and in her other hand she had a beer in a bottle. A policeman came over and took it out of her hand and dumped it in the street. There was no complaint from her--she knew the rule says no glass containers and he wasn't aggressive or arrogant. It was just a smooth action and off she went. I don't think they said a word to each other but there was no argument either. It's just that kind of day. We sat and waited for the crowd to disperse a bit and then walked back to the car. The A/C sure felt good and it felt good to be home at the end of a really fun day. Hope you enjoy the colorful pix. I thought of taking a video so you could hear the music but they take far too long to upload. Just take my word, it is foot tapping stuff! Tomorrow it is off to Texas. I couldn't seem to find out what time Mass is tomorrow so if the Church looks like something is happening, I'll drop in for Mass and ashes, otherwise, it is onward and Westward, Ho! By the way, excuse the mental blip the other night. As my good friend, Norm, pointed out, I truly do know the difference between rice patties and rice paddies! LOL Good night all. Sleep well. Until we meet again, as old Roy and Dale used to sing. KandB

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