Remembering the Gulf

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Gulf of Mexico
Tags: , , , , , ,

(Warning: This post is totally off my usual topics, but I hope you read it anyway. It’s a very small tribute to the people, culture and wildlife currently under siege in the Gulf of Mexico disaster.)

It’s hard to explain to someone who’s never spent time in Louisiana how incredibly rich, colorful and addictive the place is. I’ve lived all over the country, and have never found anything that can compare.

The time I spent there was in New Orleans (the French Quarter street, above, is near my old home) without a car, so travel outside the city was limited. But it didn’t matter. The qualities that make Louisiana so unforgettable permeate everything. The wonderful people, amazing food, irresistible music, a landscape of indescribable beauty. I’m not a good enough writer to do it justice. For that, you need to read someone like James Lee Burke, whose genius with words captures the essence of Louisiana as few people can.

Or spend a little time listening to the local music. Dixieland is great, and Dr. John is brilliant. But the Zydeco music that originated in the Creole communities long ago is my favorite. It’s hard to describe Zydeco, but if you can listen to it and not jump up and start dancing, get a check up, because there’s something wrong!

Sad to say, there are no good YouTubes of my favorite Zydeco musician, the late, great Boozoo Chavis performing. But here’s one featuring his song, Trail Ride Breakdown, as a soundtrack:

If you want to hear more, search You Tube for Zydeco or Cajun music. But put on your dancing shoes first, because you’re gonna need ’em! And please, send the people and animals of the Gulf good thoughts. If this area is lost, we are all poorer for it.

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