Saturday, December 10, 2005

offtopic: There's a There There...

offTopic

Ok, so it's not about fiber or Lafayette. So sue me.

Every so often I'm reminded why it is that Lafayette (and by extension fiber for Lafayette) are worth fighting for. There's something about the people and the place. And I can be reminded of what it is even when reading a story about New Orleans.

Chris Rose tells us why he loves New Orleans. It isn't so different as you might think from why we love Lafayette... and the similarities are not limited to the smell of burning cane or Sonny Landrieth.

It opens:

When I moved to New Orleans 21 years ago, I was -- to coin a contemporary phrase -- all in. I loved it from the minute I smelled that burning sugar cane spilling from the Celotex factory across the river, a sweet stink I have always found oddly sexy...

At some JazzFest...you, know, like Festival International... :-)

So we were up at the big stage -- Acura, or whatever it was called then -- and the crowd was too thick and we were trying to get through it and away from it when Sonny Landreth came on.

Have you ever heard this guy? He's making the whole thing up: the riffs, the chords, the notes. I'm no musical scholar, but I think he invented some things. I don't know if there is a specific genre to tag on his music, but it is primeval rock 'n' roll of the first element, a lowdown, fuzz-busting romp in the swamp. And we stopped to dig it.

And I looked down, and there, in the stroller, this beautiful child who had basically remained still and expressionless for the duration of her life -- as newborns are wont to do -- well, she started to move. To wiggle. And I swear to God, she smiled. For the first time.

I was awash. A Eureka moment: What a GREAT place to raise kids. All this funk, the eccentricity, this otherness. Kind of like college, I thought: so much to learn outside of the classroom.

It was a great afternoon. In a very small way, I was changed. As time went on, Kelly and I talked less and less about moving away and we had two more kids and we haven't discussed it in years and that's that.

And that's, that. And that ain't Sonny, or Jambalaya, or Clifton.... Nor the Jazz Fest, or Festival International, or the Boudin Festival....Nor New Orleans or Lafayette or Breaux Bridge...

There's a there there. And that's what the kids need.

And that's why we all stay...

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