Monday, April 18, 2005

A trip to St. Francisville

I woke up Sunday morning after a night of not partying too hard. Mr. Lee Cox had a two day party last weekend and his band, the Terror of the Sea, was supposed to play on Saturday night 'cept the po-pos showed up around 10 pm and gave him a friendly court summons for violating the noise ordinance. They were only doing a sound check, and everyone at the party was in a depressed mood when I arrived around 11.

But I'm digressing. So I woke up around noon to hear the melodic sound of some guy getting knocked out on this boxing game my 'mates friends brought over. I walked into the living room aggravated, looking at the mess of the two guys who slept here all weekend. I stumbled over to the kitchen and opened the cabinet hoping to grab cup for some chocolate milk. Would you believe that not only were there no clean cups, but there was nothing clean that you could drink out of besides a wine glass! And not a clean spoon in sight either. So that's when I began my journey to St. Francisville. A little town only about 30 minutes away from Baton Rouge, I was hoping it would give me some relief of life with everyone in Baton Rouge.

And it sure did. My first contact in St. Francisville was with this very friendly black guy pulling a wagon down the middle of a highway of stopped traffic selling Frito Lays and some cold ones to anyone with a buck or two. He told me I was waiting in line to get on the ferry to cross the Mississippi--something I didn't want to do. So out of nowhere he steps in front of the oncoming traffic getting off the ferry and tells me to turn around right in the road waving me goodbye with, "God bless you and your kin".

My second stop was trying to get to Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. Twenty minutes of driving down a fun one lane road with signs telling me the next bridge was washed out (none were), and then finally making it to the refuge only to discover that it was flooded this time of year. That's what a guy and his son told me. They drive their Jeep as far down the road as they can each weekend and fish. I forgot to ask if they ever caught anything, but I'm not much of a fisherman.

My next stop was Apton Villa Gardens. The villa doesn't exist any more (it burned down in 1964 if I remember right), but the gardens are still there. The place was pretty eerie and not that well maintained. I had to write a $5 check that had been in my wallet for several months because I didn't have any cash. As I was leaving at the 4:30 pm closing time, there were several people running an electrical fence around the property. They told me they do it every night and take it down every morning so the deer don't get into the garden. I left right then, afraid that I might somehow get caught in the fence.

When you don't have any cash or checks, haven't eaten since you got up, are way out in the middle of nowhere, and the sun is low in the sky, it's time to go home. And that's what I did.

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