There were a few comments around town back in January when I published a story in Lagniappe about how local government deals with trash.
In mid-March, I noticed that a large crew of workers, complete with vehicles, was meticulously cleaning the area from the intersection of College and Common to the intersection of Prien Lake and Common. They spent three days doing the job. It appeared to me that they were working hard. At any rate, after three days, all the litter was gone and the whole area looked clean and neat.
In less than a week, the streets, sidewalks and grassy areas were all covered with trash again.
My Humongous Arts Fail
I’m always pushing the arts in Southwest Louisiana. So I’m sure you can imagine that I really wanted to kick myself when I realized that I missed the biggest SWLA arts event of this year or any other year.
That’s right. On March 19, Lafayette’s Heymann Center hosted The Price Is Right — the arts program that first introduced me to Glenn Gould, Jacqueline du Pré and Shostakovich.
I wonder whether the program still works the way it did when I was five. Does the can of beans cost 42 cents or 48 cents? Oh, mercy — those words still throw me into a delirium of excitement.
‘Recreate — Remember — DeRidder’
An exhibit that will run through July at the Beauregard Museum at 120 Washington St. in downtown DeRidder will explore the history and signage of historic DeRidder and Beauregard Parish.
Those of you who appreciate the architecture of the past will enjoy the exhibit of black and white photographs of such once-upon-a-time landmarks as Uptown News Service and Reichley’s Bakery.
Joey Governale of Governale Signs will have restored or made replicas of some of the signs that went with these historic places. For more info, call 436-8148.
Diary Of A Deadbeat Mom
Sulphur author Leigh Anne LeDoux has just published an autobiography titled Diary of a Deadbeat Mom: The Road to Reclaiming Motherhood.
Her book starts with what seems like a positive childhood, with LeDoux enjoying academic and athletic accomplishments. She then tells of her years of fighting drug addiction and her struggle to “reclaim motherhood.” She says (and accurately so) that she “shares the details of what actually goes on in the deadbeat mom’s mind.”
LeDoux wants to be able to help addicted moms become real mothers again and provide relief and insight to the parents of addicted mothers who have taken on the task of doing the biological mother’s job.
If you’ve ever wanted to understand the mindset of a person who’s gone through this experience, this book will enable you to do it.
I plowed through this book faster than any other self-published book I’ve read. So I imagine I’ll be writing a review of some sort in coming issues. Until then, get more information at diaryofadeadbeatmom.com.
Back To The Days Of Box Forts
My thanks to the Alexandria Museum of the Arts for letting me know that a teenager is not too old to build a box fort. I was quite fond of this diversion when I was child. I built my biggest box fort in the guest room, and believe me, it filled the space. Inside my fort, I created mazes, hiding places and “secret rooms.”
But I guess at a certain point, I must have decided that the activity had become a little childish for a youth of my age, and it was time for me to move on to appropriate prepubescent activities, like building models, watching Saturday afternoon wrestling and throwing a football back and forth in the pitch dark.
But AMOA is taking the position that if we loved a particular activity when we were children, we need not give it up just because we get older. They put it like this: “Did you ever enjoy playing with the box more than the present that came in it? Admit it, you loved it. The bigger the box, the better! This year … we’ll be creating and tricking out our own box forts!”
This is all in reference to the Muse Box Fort Building Workshop, which will take place at the museum on May 4, 9 am to 2 pm. You can be as old as 21 and still get in on this. You can register at the Arts Council of Central Louisiana website or call 318-443-4718.
Louisiana Coast Gets On The New Yorker’s Radar
In the 20 years I’ve lived here, I’ve heard on a regular basis that erosion costs the state of Louisiana a football field’s worth of land every day. Well, that story has now made it to very high places — namely, the pages of The New Yorker magazine.
The April 1, 2019 issue contains a story by Elizabeth Kolbert titled “The Control of Nature: Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast.”
The lead-in to Kolbert’s story runs: “The state loses a football field’s worth of land every hour and a half. Now engineers are in a race to prevent it from sinking into oblivion.” (I can see, of course, that Kolbert says we lose a football field every 1 1/2 hour. I don’t know whether I erred in remembering the time period of the erosion as one day or whether that time period has decreased by 22 1/2 hours in the last 20 years.)
One of the big highlights of the story is two maps that are placed side by side. One shows Southeast Louisiana as it’s routinely depicted in maps. The map right next to it shows Southeast Louisiana as it really is right now: vast expanses of water with tiny islands scattered here and there. You’d never know you were looking at maps of the same place. If you haven’t yet been shocked by the prospect of rising water, these maps might be the trick. As someone who’s seen CBS videos of affluent Miami residents walking out of upscale apartments and sloshing through three inches of ocean water to get to their cars, I’m a little harder to shock. Read the story at newyorker.com.