I headed North to Baton Rouge and pay my yearly memorial thought to the place on the capital steps where Huey Long was assassinated. Spent some time with friends and headed west to Eunice. La. That's where Marc Savoy has his highly regarded accordion shop and music store.
Marc was out in the swamp hunting with the three Cormier Brothers and M. Cormier. M. Thibideaux was building an addition to the Accordion building shop. I hung out with him trying to help.
He spoke mostly Cajun French but tried to help me as I'm limited but not fluent. "Hey dere da four by twice please."
I'd bring over some 2 x 4"s.
We spent the afternoon laughing and jabbering away understanding about half of the other bright eyed conversation. Madame Thibideaux came by with lunch for him and there was extra I could chomp on. She didn't speak any English, so I got a immersion course in Cajun. I used to do okay in France or Montreal but I only got to the Bayou maybe once a year.
Marc and the three Cormier Brothers returned from the swamp poopered and throwing dead things in the back of the truck. the brothers were almost identical: Rectangular large happy fellas that wouldn't know the English language if it came up and bit'em on the ass.
We got along super from the get go.
M. Cormier was last seen sitting, drinking on a log, singing to the alligators. No self respecting alligator would bother a guy like him who was as loaded as his gun.
Marc tried a new accordion design while I helped M. Thibideaux pick-up for the day. Marc is integral in the Louisiana Playboys, the music was not bad if not pretty fair, just flat-out damn great!
One time I saw him on a Tee-Vee show, "Sunday Morning". They did an okay piece about Louisiana political stuff and showed some of the folks in the store playing and singing. These folks couldn't care less for politics. just to work, sing and play and go out in the swamp and shoot or hook stuff.
After dark we headed out to the Cormier's for a big Gumbo. Marc and his wife took one truck and the Cormier Brothers and me squashed into another, older truck's cab. Three square, large crew-cut laughing guys babbling in faster Cajun French than I could fully grasp.
It doesn't get much better than this.
After about fifteen minutes on a pot-holed two lane, (Huey would have fixed it toot sweet!) we turn off onto a muddy, rutted drive to the house. It was about a three mile bumpity-bumpity to the house. The ruts could have swallowed maybe two of the brothers. The yellow twin beams of light were off both sides.
All of a sudden Rodney pulls a gun from the rack, leans out the window and blows away an alligator.
The little yellow beams went out.
I bet changing a flat tire out here has an extra touch of excitement.
M. Cormier had walked back through the bayou home. Madame Cormier was stirring a big pot of gumbo. The boys chopped-up and threw a bunch of dead mammals and fish into the cauldron. I got a big hug from her and she tried to talk slower so I had a chance to understand. Large round lady with a face that rests in an easy simple smile.
The kitchen was furnished with second -hand restaurant booths. Three of those corner booths along the wall. Toward the back wall was a slight little man smoking and saying "Hi", to me.
M. Cormier was the most lovable scrawny old guy I've ever met.
He motioned me over to sit next to him in the old three sided restaurant booth. With a wispy quiet voice he talks to me. All I could make out was welcome to his house and his jabbing Marc in the ribs calling,"Chicken Fukaire!". Marc responded in kind. The old man started singing tunes I hadn't heard and couldn't keep up with them through heavily accented Cajun.
After a few lines Madame Cormier strides over from the stove and whups her husband up-side the head with the wooden ladle she'd been using to stir the gumbo.
She hadn't wiped it off before the whup, but did before it went back into the gumbo.
He was singing me naughty old Cajun songs.
His head dropped down for a moment then his raspy laugh started. "Hee, Hee, Hee."
Then he started back into the song.
The scene continued about three times. M. Cormier must have brainbone slivers.
Then supper was ready.
The food was for the Gods. We chowed down, moved to the long living room and burped and belched and farted with great amusement. Then began to pick up instruments.
The Thibideaux's played, the Brothers, M. Cormier and Madame. I hung quiet on the mandolin. All led by one of the best Cajun players there is. And most giving. Marc Savoy was out in the bayou with friend and neighbors sharing food, music and Bon Temps!
Around three or so in the morning Marc's wife figures the best thing is to hit town. We all climb into the trucks. Madame Thibideaux vows to teach me how to dance like a Cajun. I suggest perhaps her husband might leave his gun somewhere else.
Long tables. No one speaking English, families, friends, for all their lives/ well, not yet.) The joint is rocking. A Cajun speaking Hank Williams is really hitting the tunes.
The load of us pack a table, get beverages and Madame Thibideaux hauls me out to the dance floor.
With my big clumpy work boots. I might not ought to be out here.
It didn't take long for that to be right. I suggested her husband go get the gun. She was so sweet as I tromped on her feet.
The next stop on that swing was to Corpus Christi.
For more venomous reptiles and
carniverous luggage head back to Freestone...