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November 09, 2010


Bill Ives

great post - just tweeted it

Paul aka pt at large

Thanks, Bill. I welcome comments from your audience.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Glad to read that you've made another pilgrimage to your adopted homeland.

rosemary st clergy

Paul--thank you so much for the lovely article on Opelousas and our French Friday event. you perfectly described our "joie de vivre"!

Gloria Nye, LSU AgCenter

Really a sweet article, lots of truth, and fun to read too. Come back to Opelousas soon! -As you probably know, we do this (almost) every weekend.

Paul aka pt at large

Nothing better than hearing from someone from Opelousas who says that I got the feeling of French Friday right. Your "joie de vivre" is certainly contagious...got a case of it myself.
Thanks for your comment.

Paul aka pt at large

That's the amazing thing about southwest Louisiana. I check the http://www.arnb.org/ site every time I visit.

It's sort of an exquisite triage system to have to decide which great music/dance option I'll go to on any given night. And weekends, good lordy.

One Saturday I went to Breaux Bridge - Cafe des Amis in the morning, Plaquemine to a fair with Floyd Brown playing in the afternoon, and Whiskey River in Henderson for a fund raiser for wetlands with Bonsoir Catin in the evening.

I'll check out the goings on in Opelousas next time I visit.
Gloria, three quick Qs.

Would you give me an example of the 'lots of truth' you referred to in my story?
What part of the LSU AgCtr do you work with?
How did you find my blog?
I'll appreciate any response you're able to send.
Many thanks.


Hi Paul,

Here's another event source (especially trail ride dances) for you: http://zydecoevents.com/louisianazydeco.html

I'm located in the Opelousas / St. Landry LSU AgCenter Office. We're part of the national Cooperative Extension Service. In other states, we're called "County Extension Agents." Here in LA we're Parish Extension Agents. I got my bachelors @ CA State College @ Sonoma, my masters @ Purdue, and my PhD @ LSU! Geaux Tigers! I'm a financial resource management specialist. I was working on-campus in Baton Rouge until after Katrina, and then a position opened up in Opelousas and here I am.

I found your blog thanks to a link sent out by Opelousas Tourism, which I forwarded to my friends, Sue and Scott Rohner, the shrimp and grits cooks!

Examples of "lots of truth" in your story:
Lawn chairs stowed in the hallway or trunk -yes, mine is.
Dancers come in all sizes, shapes, colors, outfits, and all have their particular style - absolutely, I say this all the time.
They're proud of their French & Creole cultures - amen to that.
They enjoy each other's company - tru dat!
Both cultures come together and enjoy themselves - every time.
All sorts of racial configurations...have a good time - yes we do.

As an academic gypsy, I've lived in Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Delaware, Florida, California, Nevada & Louisiana. My husband and I (both white) raised 2 sons (both white) who are both married to black women, so my grandchildren are bi-racial. Our daughter is adopted, she's black, and she was married to a white man. In LA, it really doesn't matter. I was one of those dancers out there that Friday night, having a good time. I'm also honored to be seen dancing on the Opelousas zydeco wall mural, right above the picture of Queen Ida. I teach a beginning zydeco dance class for the City of Opelousas Parks & Recreation Dept. on the 1st Tues. of each month, 6-7 p.m. at North City Park. The next class is 12/7. I attend the Zydeco Ballers dance and exercise class on Thurs. nights, a really good workout. I'm usually the only white person there and the black kids hug me, dance with me, and make me feel right at home. I've owned 13 houses and lived lots of places, but no place has ever felt as much like "HOME" as Opelousas.

Best wishes, thanks for the great article, and "Come Back Soon!"

Paul aka pt at large

What a terrific and helpful response, Gloria.
Among other things, the first response ever from an 'academic gypsy'!
Thanks for sending to the Rohners.
I really appreciated your "lots of truth" response. I feel those examples every time I come down there and wanted to write about them and will keep on writing about them. Very satisfying to know that my observations are on target ( chuckled at "true dat").

I know with certainty how you can call Opelousas HOME after sampling just about every region in the USA. I feel so at home when Im down there. It's the most unique area I've ever visited - I've felt those qualities of friendliness and openness all the way from New Orleans to Lafayette.
You and your husband are blessed with quite a family, thank you so much for sharing.
I can say with certainty I will come back soon.


Good morning, Paul. BTW, that's my son's name too. It's all my truth, so you can post whatever you want. One correction though, my wonderful husband, who was the dean of agriculture at the University of Delaware, died in 2002. We had both been at LSU prior to going to the University of Delaware, so I wanted to come "home" to LSU after he died. I never felt at "home" at Purdue or University of Delaware. The people there acted so different, so not welcoming or accepting. It sure isn't like that here, especially not in St. Landry Parish. Everybody here hugs, and that is a blessing for this widow. I looked at that mural photo again and I'm dancing above and to the left of Queen Ida, with a local man from Leonville named Albert Kennerson. FYI and hugs, Gloria

Paul aka pt at large

Good Morning back to you, Gloria,
First of all, sad to hear of your husband's death in 2002. From my own experience, I understand how 'at home' you feel in Opelousas in St Landry Parish and why it became important for you to return there after he died.

I'll start paying attention to parishes on my next trip - French Friday in Opelousas might have been my first foray into St Landry Parish. I feel very welcome in Lafayette Parish where I spend lots of time dancing and listening to music. The people are friendly, engaging, easy to sit down with.
Would you say this is a common trait amongst the parishes in SW Louisiana?

I see you up there on the mural - would that be you in the brown top dancing with Albert in the white shirt?
A good ol cajun hug back to you

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