March 10, 2013
There are two Cajun Villages nearby but the Vermillion Ville, a Cajun/Creole Heritage and Folklife Park has a Saturday afternoon jam, every Saturday. Greats like August Broussard, Ray Landrey and others I don’t know their names take time to help young students learn their great music. August is tutoring Darrien, above. We ran into them when we entered the park.
The park has about 12 buildings along the river in a beautiful park setting that show the Cajun/Creole way of life on a self-guided tour. Cajun houses tend to be small. People spent most of their time outside.
Most of them have stairs leading up to an attic.
The wattle and twig built fireplace heated the house and provided a place to cook.
In hot sweltering Louisiana, a family may have an outside kitchen, with their garden by the door.
A docent demonstrated cooking in a fireplace with a black pot.
The finished dish, grits and grenelles, I think is the name of the dish. It is beef and vegetables in a roux served with yellow corn grits. No tomatoes. She mentioned that most Cajun recipes do not use tomatoes except for a court bouillon.
At the school-house, where a sign on the blackboard reads, “I will not speak French in the classroom or on school grounds.” A fiddler entertained us and a big contingent of French speakers from Canada, some were unfamiliar with the punishment and edict that tried to force Acadians (Cajuns) to speak only English. He was a humorous old gent named Merlin Fontenot, two months away age 90.
The Vermillion Ville Park is beautiful and we visited about 12 buildings. While Cajun families lived in small house right on the bayou, more affluent Creoles had fancier houses and furnishings.
Regardless of whether they were Creole or Cajun, furnishings were most often home-made like this beautiful cradle.
Trundle beds with mosquito netting for Louisiana summer nights.
And this rather amazing home-made device. A fan you could operate from bed until your arm fell off, or you fell asleep.
A piece of fancier furniture.
It didin’t matter how fancy you lived, when it was cold, you wore a heavy long cloak.
And you still had to light the candles everyday. (Above converted to electric lamps.)
You still had to pull yourself across the bayou with a hand pulled ferry.
There was church on Sunday, work, family and music. Fish in the bayou and herbs in the garden. The park tells its story and we enjoyed it very much.
In the church, a docent was making rosaries from “natural beads.” Joabs tears. The seeds are picked green, they already have a hole to string them. They need no coloring or preservative.
The finished product.
There is a good French restaurant on the grounds and before going to the jam, I enjoyed a last bowl of gumbo before heading for home.
These two young boys and other older players were learning from the greats. It was fantastic, but we’ve had signal problems on and off all morning. We drive to Baton Rouge today, so I’ll finish blogging the jam tomorrow. I got some good video as well.
January 20, 2012
Arriving in Yuma yesterday was exciting because it’s the start of a new adventure. We spent a lazy kind of morning, reading and staying warm. The desert gets cold at night and nips in the early morning. The time change was only an hour but I’m disoriented in my second kitchen and it takes a day to change gears.
In the afternoon, it was shorts and T-shirt weather. Jim moved the bikes down, put air in the tires, oiled the chains and painted out the name of my “new” bike. It belonged to my son-in-law and I couldn’t wait to ride it. I did six laps of the park and remembered I shouldn’t over-do things, as is my habit. Decided to cut it short and ride a bit farther each day.
After dinner we set out for a walk just in time to see the sun setting behind a bush.
I’m back to using a Cannon which I think has truer colors than the Sonys we purchased. So part of this picture scene is a curiosity to see the difference between Jim’s colors and mine. But, HE is the better photographer and takes more time with his shots.
We chuckled at the campers boondocking on BLM land just across the fence from the park. They are parking free while inside the fence it costs $40 a night. Normally we would be boondocking but we got a special deal- free! The fence seems confining in the wide open spaces of the desert.
August 19, 2010
Smethport was a nice town, friendly and pretty with a good sized lake and park.
A huge flock of Canadian Geese make this lake their home. Above is a small portion of the lake and a small portion of the flock.
I walked around the lake on Goose Chasing Trail, appropriately enough. I saw along this wall of greenery on the trail many berry bushes and a huge plop of bear scat. Not a place to walk at night. The park had ball fields, several childrens playgrounds, tennis courts, a skate board area; You can fish and kayak, and sail boats and swim here. A huge barbeque area for group affairs plus many strategically located more private picnic areas with benches. I crossed two bridges over the water. For a small population of about 19,000 people, it was commendable. If I were to chose a place to live in Pennsylvania, this might be it.
Down the road apiece was this figure attached to a hunt and bait shop. Methinks the area is a great hunting, fishing and skiing area, judging from the mountainous terrain of the Allegheny Mountains. And, the main grocery here had better prices compared to what we were paying for items in Ivoryton and Dartmouth.
Yesterday, I attempted to get a picture of a snowmobile crossing sign and missed several of them. But, I finally succeeded after three tries on this stretch of road headed for Ashtabula.
Our journey was somewhat eventful in that a truck turning right pulled within inches of us at a stop light, then backed up and made the narrow turn. I was so transfixed I didn’t get his picture. Likewise when we came to a very narrow underpass. This one, pictured below, was lower than normal, but not so narrow. The transportation department gave plenty of warning that it was coming up. Twelve feet seven inches. The motor home is Eleven feet two inches.
Then, we stopped for lunch and a stretch at Union City and wondered what all the yellow ribbons were for? Maybe vets? Maybe cancer awareness? Its a local thing.
Signs we saw, but not in time to get a picture:
HOME OF FLAMETHROWER BURGERS
(That was Conneaut)
BLIND PERSON AREA
(On cape cod, we saw a DEAF CHILD sign.)
BUCKLE UP ITS YOUR LIFE ITS OUR LAW
SOULSHINES BETTER THAN A SHOESHINE
WORLDS STRONGEST REDNECK
That last one really has me curious. We saw it in three places in two small towns???
Life on the road is fun even whizzing by. We made it to Ashtabula.