What can YOU say in six sentences?
Since I was old enough to sit on a cushioned booster board and still endure the embarrassment of the barber pumping the chair even higher in order to earn his two bucks, seeing a striped pole outside a barbershop has spurred synapsual arousal.
Never mind that poring over the dog-eared pages of the shop’s Field & Stream magazines might have subliminally fueled an…Continue
My sister, four cousins and I -- 12 of us, if you count our pint-sized reflections in the water -- were fishing off the pier that summer day when Clifford’s little Zebco reel let out a squeal like an exasperated Lucille Ball.
We all gasped when the 8-year-old, not able to crank the reel because he needed both hands just to hold on for dear life, began swaying with the…Continue
Before turning in that night, I taped the elaborate drawing of a fox crouched beside a telephone pole to my window so that Terrell would see it in his flashlight’s beam. Twelve-year-old entrepreneurs, we had a trapline in the woods surrounding the nearby coal mine.
My business partner and I rode our bicycles and checked the dozen or so sets -- a few leg-hold traps and some homemade…Continue
Children and dogs ran from Frank Hubbard like he was the boogeyman come to eat them. With merely a look, the man could make babies bawl, corn stalks wilt and grown men suddenly remember they’d forgotten a honey-do back home.
Everyone except Carmichael and me gave grumpy Frank a wide berth, which deprived them of his conspiratorial smile and raucous laugh.…Continue
When I entered the little cabin, worried that I’d find sickle-shaped toenails floating in some kind of Cajun roux, the smell of freshly pulled pork was like a mother’s kiss to a scraped knee.
After introductions and handshakes, the first of four generations of Newton men picked up a red plastic plate loaded with bits of smoked deer sausage, long toothpicks and a cup of the family’s own…Continue
Arthur Carmichael was born when vets were survivors of war and pets lived and died according to God’s will and whatever was on the shelves at Hyche’s Grocery. A woman’s place was in the kitchen, and a dog’s was either under the porch or on the trail of a buck.
The old man loved Warrior, his deer-chasing redbone, but not so much that you’d notice, beyond the collection of brown bottles…Continue
Fully aware that brochures are chiseled by men and not by immaculate inscription, Cecil and I drove Hwy. 31 through St. Martinville last week in search of “the most photographed tree in the world.” Having already composed a title for the tale I wanted to write, I was hell-bent on walking where Longfellow hadn’t.
The symbolism is what mattered, never mind that the tree was actually the…Continue
Swollen with a 40-year-old New Englander’s fertile imaginings and written to satiate his drive to mimic Homer’s meter, “Evangeline” began as a protracted and historical love story based on a third-hand anecdote from a land as foreign to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as Merle Norman is to the Taliban.
The poet-professor never set foot in Louisiana, let alone Acadiana. He never saw crawfish mounds or cypress knees jutting…Continue