Acadiana Profile August-September 2020

Page 1


Two state parks bookend Toledo Bend Lake and offer cabins, cottages, RV spots and campsites.


Annual Healthy Acadiana and Hospitals List Section

aug/sept VO LUM E 39 NUM B E R 0 4


A Little Extra 8 NOTE DE L’EDITEUR


News Briefs 12 LES ARTISTE

Lake Charles artist Bill Illes trains his brush on the natural world 14 LA MAISON

Lafayette creatives breathe new life into a home designed by renowned artist Robert Rauschenberg 18 DE LA CUISINE

Change it up with rich and flavorful salmon paired with simple sides


Buck & Johnny’s cooling cucumber cocktail brings an easily imitable potion to end-ofsummer socials 44 LETTRES D’AMOUR

A young writer from Michigan is ‘adopted’ by a Louisiana oil woman and begins to understand the true spirit of the region’s people 46 PLUS ÇA CHANGE

Lafayette artists Syd Horn and Olivia Perillo make multidimensional magic 48 EN FRANÇAIS, S’IL VOUS PLAÎT

Les traditions matrimoniales en Acadiana


The Great Lakes of Acadiana It’s summer and we’re still avoiding each other. Thank goodness for the endless outdoor opportunities located throughout South Louisiana.


Healthy Acadiana Medical innovations, health trends, tips and annual hospital listing




Learn French

What aspect of regional culture would be included in your dream wedding?

International and Regional Magazine Association


Winner Magazine of the Year


Managing Editor Melanie Warner Spencer


Copy Editor Liz Clearman

example: Je t’aime. Veux-tu m’epouser ? translation: I love you. Will you marry me?


The Cajun wedding tradition of “jumping the broom” harkens back to the days of slavery. Enslaved African Americans, deprived of the right to legally marry, found other methods to represent their union. Hopping hand-in-hand over a broom symbolized the beginning of a shared homelife and therefore the couple’s ties to each other. Jumping the broom gradually swept into Cajun culture because, historically, many Cajuns didn’t have the means, accessibility to a church or available wedding officiants for a legal ceremony, so they jumped a broom to show their devotion until they could make the marriage official. Today, jumping the broom is as much a part of every Cajun wedding as the gown and the gumbo.

Gold Overall Art Direction

Associate Editor Ashley McLellan

(v.) to marry.

Art Director Sarah George Lead Photographer Danley Romero I actually had my dream wedding in April! I married my wonderful husband on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We had a lovely reception at the Gulf Shores Activity Center with our close family and friends, and it was catered by The Crazy Cajun. The Crazy Cajun’s owner is a Carencro native, so you know the food was authentic. Claire Sargent Muñoz

Web Editor Kelly Massicot Editorial Intern Alice Phillips A DV E RTISING

Sales Manager Rebecca Taylor (337) 298-4424 / (337) 235-7919 Ext. 230 RENA I SSA NC E PU BLS H I NG

Since I already had my dream wedding 21 years ago, I’ll go with what I would do differently if I did it all over again. My dream would be, instead of a formal affair, to have a simple, casual ceremony, surrounded by loved ones and, for the reception, to have a crawfish boil and Cajun dancing. Melanie Spencer


Manager Emily Andras Designer Rosa Balaguer C IRC U LATIO N

Subscriptions Claire Sargent Muñoz Distribution John Holzer A DMIN ISTRATIO N

Office Manager Mallary Wolfe Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne For subscriptions call 877-221-3512

Gold Photo Series Silver Photographer of the Year Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year Bronze Illustration Bronze Cover 2018

Gold Overall Art Direction Gold Magazine Photographer Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Gold Food Feature

Coordinator Abbie Dugruise P RO D U C TIO N

Gold Art Direction Single Story

Gold Department

As an event coordinator, I am so excited to coordinate my own wedding one day— hopefully sooner rather than later! My dream wedding would take place in New Orleans, with all of our family, friends and loved ones from Houma and Thibodaux by our sides. Lots of dancing, delicious cocktails and Cajun cuisine would also be on the agenda. Abbie Dugruise

Silver Magazine Writer of the Year Silver Hed & Dek Silver Photo Series Bronze Portrait Series Bronze Reader Service Article Bronze Travel Package 2017

Gold Overall Art Direction Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Gold Food Feature Silver Cover Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year 2016

Gold Overall Art Direction

1 1 0 V E T E R A N S B LV D . S U I T E 1 2 3 . M E TA I R I E , L A 7 0 0 0 5 . 5 0 4 - 8 2 8 - 1 3 8 0 . 8 7 7 - 2 2 1 - 3 5 1 2 1 2 8 D E M A N A D E . S U I T E 1 0 4 . L A FAY E T T E , L A 7 0 5 0 3 . 3 3 7 - 2 3 5 - 7 9 1 9 E X T. 2 3 0 Acadiana Profile (ISSN 0001-4397) is published bimonthly with a special issue in September by Renaissance Publishing LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 and 128 Demanade, Suite 104, Lafayette, LA 70503 (337) 235-7919 ext. 230. Subscription rate: One year $10; Foreign Subscriptions vary. Periodicals postage paid at Lafayette, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Acadiana Profile, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2020 Renaissance Publishing LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Acadiana Profile is registered. Acadiana Profile is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Acadiana Profile are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

Gold Magazine Photographer of the Year Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Silver Photo Series Bronze Magazine Writer of the Year Bronze Portrait Series



Each year, I look forward to pulling together this issue. The past four years, we’ve focused it on recreation for our big feature and one of my personal hobbies is finding new, creative, fun and exciting things to do. Some years, we look to the outdoors for paddling or hunting adventures. Other years, we create an entertaining story, like our award-winning 2018 crawfish boil feature. With the COVID-19 pandemic still hitting hard across the United States, and unfortunately here at home, too, outdoors was the hands down winner. For this summer’s installment of our recreation feature, we are exploring Acadiana’s “great lakes” and the boundless fun things to do — such as camping, boating, swimming and hiking — that are right on our doorstep. Getting outside is one of the few low-risk activities we can all do right now and we are taking advantage of it in full. This also happens to be our annual hospitals list, which includes stories about intriguing medical technologies being used (and in some cases developed) in the region, as well as news and tips designed to help all of us stay healthy and fit. There has never been a more important time to focus on our health than now, so we hope that this feature is not only interesting, but also helpful as we all navigate this bizarre pandemic reality in which we are living. In June, my husband Mark and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. Usually, we go on a whirlwind road trip across the South, making our way up to Kentucky to visit family. Last year, we hit Birmingham, Alabama, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee and, on the way home, Asheville, North Carolina. The year prior, we went coastal, with stops in Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. We had our sights set on a return to Savannah this year, but the pandemic put a hold on that idea. Instead, we staycationed right here in Louisiana at a cabin in the forest. Our no-contact week was spent hiking, sipping beverages around the firepit, wading in the creek, reading on the porch and just relaxing. It proved that with the right planning and precautions, we can all get the R&R we need and I can’t think of a better way to do it than spending time on a lake. This is not the summer any of us had planned, but we’re finding safe and clever ways to get the respite and recreation we need by getting outside. Stay safe and healthy, everyone, and have a great summer. Cheers,

In Other News by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry

Arrive, Strive and Thrive BROUSSARD, WEST MONROE

Misfits Dine and Drink recently opened in Broussard’s former Antlers Steakhouse. The family-friendly Italian eatery has specialty cocktails and music (misfitsdineanddrink. com). Another great spot offering live music in an open-air patio is Trapp’s, which recently reopened (replacing Hook and Boil). Founder Joey Trappey owns the original Trapp’s in West Monroe (


Celebrated Chef Returns After serving as Executive Chef at top New Orleans restaurants, Nathan Richard has returned to his native Thibodaux to head the new Cuvée Wine Bar and Bistro in Acadia Plantation, serving seasonal specials paired with creative libations. An adjunct professor at the John Folse Culinary Institute and a volunteer fireman, Chef Richard was crowned the 2019 King of American Seafood (

Free Sweet Stuff

Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor 504-830-1380 •

Get more Acadiana Profile at and by following us on Instagram and Facebook.



LAFAYETTE John Panaro, owner of Lafayette’s Panaro Food Innovations, unveiled his new powdered versions of Sweet Smart vegan liquid sweetener. It comes in three flavors: original, passion fruit and sweet heat and contains natural antioxidants (

Be sure to call ahead for COVID-19-related closures before visiting any of the places listed.

NO UVEL L ES DE VI L L ES by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry

Profits of Patience LAFAYETTE, NEW IBERIA

Blue Dog patrons were saddened to learn of the bistro’s surprise July closing after 20 years, but the owners say it may be temporary. New Iberia’s beloved Preservation Bar & Grill (formerly Clementine) also closed briefly, but reopened at a new location after merging with Beau Soleil Café a few blocks away. After Paul Schexnayder finished the new mural, Preservation closed for a health-related hiatus, then reopened recently with new cocktails and music ( preservation.method).


Raise Your Paw and Say “Arf!” Six four-legged trained deputies recently took their oath of office in Terrebonne Parish: Venerable K9s Oti, Grimm, Hoss, Jager, Karma and Charon acknowledged their oath (read by newly-elected Sheriff Tim Soignet) with punctilious barking. “They are fully commissioned as deputies and do the same work as us, but their senses are 750 times stronger,” he said.

All in a Dog’s Name

Ground Zero Lafayette Have you ever tried a chamango or mangonada? It’s a tropical sorbet bursting with sweet, salty and spicy flavors from Zero Degrees. Making its debut in Lafayette, the thriving Asian-Hispanic fusion chain from California brings the ube milkshake, fancy slushes, Thai milk tea, Vietnamese coffee, garlic noodles, carne asada fries, and Mexican street corn to Lafayette (



Be sure to call ahead for COVID19-related closures before visiting any of the places listed.

CARENCRO Bailey’s Cigar Room recently opened in Carencro. The handsome lounge has deep leather chairs, a large TV, free WiFi, a humidor, refreshments and assorted cigars. The owners named the shop Bailey’s after their 12-yearold dog because “Bailey is as loyal and welcoming as any best friend, and she sits by our side for most of our smokes” (

P H OTO : FA C E B O O K . C O M / Z E R O D E G R E E S C O



Organized Chaos Lake Charles artist Bill Illes trains his brush on the natural world by John R. Kemp

John Muir, the famed Scottish-American

naturalist and “Father of the National Parks,” once wrote that only in the wilderness could he find his soul. Like Muir, artist Bill Iles turns to the swamps and forests of Southwest Louisiana as a refuge of beauty and serenity in a chaotic and troubled world. “I don’t paint what you see in nature because nature is too confusing,” says Iles, who lives in Lake Charles with his long-time partner and fellow artist Amanda Hext. “I’m trying to present some underlying sense of order to a world of disorder. I find great solace in nature and the woodlands and swamps around where I have spent most of my life.” As a result, his landscapes are more impressions than reality, even allegories of his own personal journey. Born in 1943 in Dry Creek, Iles is an accomplished painter who taught art at McNeese State University in Lake Charles for over 30 years. His work, which has won numerous awards, has appeared in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions at art galleries in Louisiana and Texas. Accolades aside, Iles’ paintings are soul-cleansing expressions of an earlier time and place. “When I go out in the swamps around Lake Charles,” Iles says, “I just spend time looking and taking in the feeling of the woodlands. I fully realize that nature is a harsh world with an underlying survival of the fittest world, but I have no great desire to paint that world. I am more interested in creating scenes that are places of light and harmony.” To create these visual illusions, Iles uses sketches and photographs to “flush out the nuances” of plant life found in the landscape. With brushes and paints, he then plays with light and shadows and contrasting colors, textures and brush strokes to create visual tensions to force viewers’ eyes deep into his imaginary forests. Muted beech trees in the foreground of his paintings act almost as barriers that viewers much breach before emerging into the bright sunlight. “I sort of invent the painting as I work,” he says. “I have often found myself lost in the painting just as in nature you can be lost in the woods. As I’m working, I am in touch with a lifetime of memories of the woods. I find myself creating my own version of the world or my idealistic vision of my world.”



To see more of his work visit

To remind him of that “idealistic vision,” a passage from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” hangs on his studio wall, “The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and to know the place for the first time.” With each painting, Iles returns to that place for the first time. n



Artists’ Residency Lafayette creatives breathe new life into a home designed by renowned artist Robert Rauschenberg by Marie Elizabeth Oliver photos by Haylei Smith

Celebrated as one of the most influential artists

of the 20th century, Robert Rauschenberg left an indelible mark on the world through his boundary-pushing creative work. Although his collections are carefully curated in some of the world’s most prestigious museums, one of his earliest pieces can be found nestled in a neighborhood near the Cajundome — a modest home he designed for his parents in the late 1940s. The house stayed in his family until 2013, when a couple of young artists (and expectant parents), Kirstin and David Hebert, wooed Rauschenberg’s sister into accepting their bid to purchase the property. Kirstin recalls sending her “this long text about how it was so



much more than a house ... that we would be living in a piece of his art, and that we wanted to grow our family here.” Since then, the Heberts — now a family of four — have painstakingly remodeled the home in the spirit of the artist, marrying their modern family’s needs with their appreciation for the home as an architectural relic. The couple hired Zaunbrecher Design to help reenvision the facade, including a statement-making carport and bold accent colors. Kirstin says their guiding principle has been to think like Rauschenberg. “If he would have designed the house today, what would he have wanted the house to be like?” says Kirstin.

The original, enclosed kitchen was at the top of the Heberts’ refresh list. The couple modernized the space with a walk-in pantry, open shelves and a sleek, quartzcovered island.

Inspired by Rauschenberg, Kirstin created a focal point in the living room using vintage magazine clippings and memorabilia that celebrates their family life. “I know Bob is right here,” says Kristin. “He loves this. He would be happy about what we’ve done with this house.”

ARCHITECT Tanya and Gil Zaunbrecher, Zaunbrecher Design, CONTRACTOR Raul and Maria Echevarria, Bayou Painting & Renovation Services LLC,


David built the kitchen’s open shelves that serve as both functional storage and a focal point for Kirstin to display her ever-growing plant collection.



(below) A new bedroom suite addition gave the Heberts an opportunity to add their own stamp on the home, but they were careful to adhere to Rauschenberg’s original vision. (top right) Kristin designed their bathroom from scratch, with the goal of creating an open, tranquil space where the couple could unwind. (bottom right) With its midcentury, California vibe, the home has always attracted spectators on a street filled with more traditional ranches and cottages. “Even to this day people look at it like that,” says Kristin. “It doesn’t exactly belong in this neighborhood, but it never did.”

The Heberts, who have taken on many of the projects themselves, say the renovation process is still ongoing and has brought unexpected twists and turns. They recently retiled their shower in preparation for a Lifetime movie to film in their master bathroom. However, there are certain imperfections they have embraced as part of the home’s character. For example, the living room’s picture window lets in a draft, but was such a significant part of the original design, they couldn’t bear to replace it. “Each stair step has a different height,” laughs Kirstin. “Your muscle memory just learns it.” As photographers, the Heberts have been creatively moved since inhabiting the space. Kirstin, who also paints, found particular inspiration in Rauschenberg’s “Combines.” After inheriting an extensive collection of David’s parents’ National Geographics, she has begun her own collage series. One of her canvases now occupies the same nail hole above the fireplace where a Rauschenberg painting once hung. n AC ADIANAPROFILE.COM 17


Here is a version of Peach Melba, which was created in 1892 or 1893 by renowned French Chef Auguste Escoffier at The Savoy hotel, London, to honor the Australian soprano Nellie Melba.

Savory Salmon Change it up with rich and flavorful salmon paired with simple sides by Marcelle Bienvenu photo & styling by Eugenia Uhl

Redfish, speckled trout, flounder and red

snapper — longtime Louisiana favorites — are getting harder and harder to come by unless you have the luxury of either catching them yourself or have friends who share their bounty with you. Like most of the local population, I’ve had to find substitutions to satisfy my “fish” tooth. For a while I turned to tuna and now I’ve become a salmon fan. It’s meaty and flavorful and it’s commonly sold as a whole side or in fillets. Poached, grilled, or broiled, then brushed with any number of sauces, it’s appearing more and more on restaurant menus. Because of the richness of the fish, I find that side dishes can be simple, like boiled new potatoes flecked with minced flat-leaf parsley from my garden, buttered carrots glazed with a bit of honey and mint, steamed fresh asparagus or green beans also go well with the pearly pink flesh. As a first course, I recommend tomatoes Provençale, which are not too heavy or rich. n




Tomatoes Provençale Make your own bread crumbs. Tear up four or five slices of stale or day-old bread of any kind and put in a food processor or electric blender. Pulse several times. If you don’t use it all, the bread crumbs can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container.

Select tomatoes that are not over-ripe so they can stand up well during baking. M AKES 4 SERVINGS


medium, ripe tomatoes


tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing

⅓ cup bread crumbs 1 flat anchovy fillet, rinsed, patted dry and minced 1 teaspoon minced garlic ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese ⅓ cup minced parsley 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

salt and black pepper


Cut off top third from each tomato and discard. Scoop out seeds with small spoon. Brush outside of tomatoes with olive oil.


Put tomatoes, cut sides up, on a lightly oiled shallow baking pan. Season inside tomatoes with salt and pepper. Bake at 325 F for about 20 minutes. Remove and invert over paper towels and let drain about 15 minutes.


In small bowl, toss bread crumbs, anchovy, garlic, Parmesan, parsley, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Divide equally and stuff into tomatoes. Sprinkle with three tablespoons olive oil. Return tomatoes to shallow baking pan and broil about four inches from heat for about two to three minutes, or until the topping is crisp and golden brown.

Brushed with lemon and lime juice, or complemented with fresh herbs like dill and parsley, salmon is ideal for a late summer repast.



Peach Melba

In a large skillet combine 1½ cups sugar, ¾ cup water and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract over medium heat. Stir until sugar is melted and mixture has thickened to a thin syrup. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Place 4 mediumsize peaches, peeled, seeded and halved in a single layer in syrup and cook gently until slightly soft and tender. Baste fruit with syrup while cooking. Using a spatula, carefully remove peaches and drain on a wire rack.

Puree 1 pint fresh raspberries with 1 tablespoon Kirsch or raspberry liqueur in a blender or food processor. Work sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add confectioners’ sugar to taste. Refrigerate until well chilled before serving.

To serve, place each peach half (hollow side down) over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Spoon sauce over each peach and sprinkle with toasted almond slices.

Broiled Salmon with Citrus Juice Here are just a few tidbits for cooking salmon. I like the flavor grilling imparts, but I prefer baking or broiling salmon because I find that sometimes my salmon sticks to the grill and can easily be overcooked, but you can experiment to find your favorite method. MAKES 4 SERVINGS

3 tablespoons butter, melted 2 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire marinade sauce for chicken 4 salmon fillets (with skin), about 6 to 8 ounces each salt, cayenne and freshly ground black pepper to taste PREHEAT oven to 400 F. COMBINE butter, oil, lemon and lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Place fillets in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle half of the sauce evenly over the fillets. Combine salt, cayenne and black pepper and sprinkle over fillets. BAKE for about 10 minutes if you like the fish to be buttery rare; 2 minutes longer if you want the fish firmer. Drizzle with the remaining butter sauce before serving. This is great to serve on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.




In Pursuit of Simplicity Buck & Johnny’s cooling cucumber cocktail brings an easily imitable potion to end-of-summer socials by Lisa LeBlanc-Berry photo by Romero & Romero

While the swimsuits and shorelines

Suitable for porch swing of summer vanish with the Sept. 22 autumn romances and lazy starlit eveequinox, Acadiana’s cooling cocktails prevail nings, the Garden Tini seduces with with the lingering heat. Soaring tempera- simple elegance. It’s an easy triumph tures invariably converge with the onset of for aspiring mixologists who maintain fall, when fields of sugar cane reach harvest a preference for home bars as safe havens heights along country roads and pecan trees for creative escapism. render nuts destined for cane syrup pies. For those who prefer to step out for When crisp cucumbers can still cocktails, the popular Breaux Bridge be gleaned from gardens until the haven serves expertly crafted end of September, they can trigger drinks, combined with Chef 100 Berard St. an urge for an easy Garden Tini. Savoy’s irresistible gumbos and Breaux Bridge Created at Buck & Johnny’s, Cajun-Italian specials. Although 337-442-6630 the lime-laced libation ampli- the famous zydeco breakfasts fied by Cajun spices demonhave yet to return (per Phase strates how some of the simplest II), Raymond says that they mancocktails are the most enduring. aged to persevere throughout the “It’s a smooth, refreshing drink that tastes pandemic. like a fresh cucumber salad, with a jalapeño“We never closed,” she says. “We’re now seasoned rim for extra flavor,” says newly open for dine-in service.” appointed general manager Rhonda Branch, “We learned to embrace new concepts the former bar manager and daughter-in- including curbside service, which we still law of managing partner and owner Coatney offer, and free deliveries within 10 miles,” Raymond. says Branch. The jalapeño seasoning that garnishes the Check out the evolving special offers, rim is Buck & Johnny’s Cajun Flair (sold at devised as participants of Mange St. Martin the restaurant or shipped), created by award- ending Sept. 30 ( n winning Chef Tony Savoy.



Garden Tini Chill a martini glass. Blend 3 ounces Three Olives cucumber lime vodka, 1 ounce simple syrup, splash of sweet and sour and ½ a fresh lime, juiced in a cocktail shaker with ice, then shake. Dip the rim of the chilled martini glass in fresh lime juice, then roll it in Buck & Johnny’s Jalapeño Cajun Flair seasoning. Strain contents from shaker into the prepared glass, garnish with a twist of lime and serve ice cold.



Thank goodness for the endless outdoor opportunities located throughout South Louisiana. Take lakes, for instance, great bodies of water that provide excellent fishing, boating, swimming and birding. Not to mention they’re cool and refreshing should you wish to dive in.

THE GREAT LAKES OF ACADIANA South Louisiana is swimming in lakes, pun intended, from the bass fishing heaven of Toledo Bend to sailing at Cypremort Point, from the egret and spoonbill rookeries of Lake Martin to the music festival at Lake Arthur.¶ Scott Hanchey knows the lure of water. He has been getting people on lakes for 12 years as owner of Hippie Outfitters in Hackberry. He picks up visitors at Lake Charles casinos and shows them the beauty of Cypremort Southwest Louisiana, delivering them back to their accommodations with ice chests full of trout, redfish and flounder.¶ “My favorites are Calcasieu Lake, Sabine Lake and Prien Lake,” Hanchey said.¶ What’s your ideal lake experience? Check out our list of South Louisiana waterways to discover it.

SAILING Arguably the best place to sail in South Louisiana is Lake Pontchartrain skirting New Orleans, with its several yacht clubs and marinas and an expansive body of water conducive to both recreational outings and competitions. ¶ Lake Charles and New Iberia also have yacht clubs for sailing on Lake Charles and Vermilion Bay respectively. Both offer racing events, have open memberships and are affordable.



Lake Martin LOCATED ONLY 15 MINUTES from the hubbub of Lafayette,

Lake Martin allows visitors to leave stress behind and immerse into nature. There are boat launches for paddlers and fishermen, plus there is a hiking path around the lake’s perimeter. The Nature Conservancy operates a portion of the lake that contains a bird rookery and nature center and has installed a boardwalk where visitors can safety view wildlife.




Yes, both at the lake and through Pack & Paddle outfitters of Lafayette.

No, there are gators about.

Yes, but boaters must not venture into the bird rookeries.

To the northeast of Morgan City lies the massive Lake Palourde. It stretches into three parishes by waters from Lake Verret and Grassy Lake. There are two excellent ways to access the lake — Victor Guarisco Lake End Park and Brownell Memorial Park. ¶ Swimming, bank or pier fishing, boating and RV and tent camping are available at Lake End Park, along with a marina that offers monthly and yearly rental rates for 47 slips. ¶ More of a lakeside retreat in nature, the 9.5-acre Brownell Memorial Park includes a selection of flowering and native plants and the 106-foot carillon with 61 bronze bells that ring out melodies. Boat Rentals No, but a boat ramp is available at Lake End Park. Swimming A sandy beach gets people in the water at Lake End Park. Fishing Fishing is allowed from the Lake End wharf.

Year-round, Louisiana boasts of numerous bird species and unique wildlife such as alligators and black bears. In the spring and fall migratory birds fly through, stopping at lakes and other water sources for nourishment after a long haul from Central and South America.

Lake Arthur, for instance, skirts the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, which attracts many colorful bird species, in addition to waterfowl in the fall. “We connect the Flyway-Byway with the Creole Nature Trail,” said Marion Fox, president and CEO of Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission. “The animals and wildlife are phenomenal.” Places to spot migratory bird species include: Lake Martin with its bird rookeries overseen by the Nature Conservancy; The Creole Nature Trail and the lakes nearby, which include Calcasieu Lake, Prien Lake and Grand Lake; Bald eagles nesting along Lake Verret, Toledo Bend and Lake Palourde; and Cypremort Point State Park with its unique bird species and waterfowl, plus deer, black bear and red foxes.


Lake Charles/North Beach LIKELY THE MOST ACCESSIBLE LAKE AND BEACH in the state, Lake Charles can be enjoyed right off Interstate 10 in the town of the same name. Sailing with the Lake Charles Yacht Club, paddle boarding, swimming off the sandy beach, volleyball and boating are some of the many activities enjoyed here. For racing enthusiasts, the Pro Watercross National Championships will take place Aug. 8-9 on Lake Charles.

It appears one waterway south of the 210 Bridge in Lake Charles but Prien Lake includes Indian Bay on its eastern shore, which is where visitors will find Prien Lake Park. Whether you enjoy the waters or simply relax beneath the trees while watching boats slip by, the 29-acre park is a great way to spend an afternoon. There are walking paths, picnic areas, SprayGround water park and an amphitheater where Movies Under the Stars are shown during non-pandemic times. Stay for dusk, for the sun sets immediately across the lake.


No, but the park offers a boat and canoe ramp. Paddle boarding is popular here. SWIMMING




Lake Area Adventures offers kayak and boat rentals and River Rat Rental rents jet skis. Bord du Lac Marina on the eastern shore offers slips.

A sandy beach is located at North Beach, just off I-10.

Accessible via boat ramp.


Head south from Henderson down the Levee Road that holds the Atchafalaya Basin in place during high waters and visitors will discover Lake Fausse Pointe State Park. Swimming and boating happens on Dauterive Lake just before the state park gates but Lake Fausse Point State Park assembles cabins, hiking trails, fishing spots and a splash playground for a lakefront getaway.


There’s a good size beach within the park. FISHING

Look for croaker, redfish, specks, flounder and black drum.

BOAT RENTALS Flat-bottomed boats, canoes and kayaks may be rented at the park visitors’ center, which includes a boat launch.

CALCASIEU LAKE (BIG LAKE) Further south of Lake Charles in Cameron Parish is Calcasieu Lake, known to locals as Big Lake. The brackish waters produce great fishing, including catching brown and white shrimp. A rare pink bottlenose dolphin has been spotted in its waters as well, lovingly named “Pinky” by residents. ¶ On its western shore lies the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, one of the top places in the country for birding and fishing. Boat Rentals Davis Hebert’s Marina will get you and your boat or canoe on the water. Swimming Head southwest to Holly Beach for white sand beaches on the Gulf. Fishing In addition to the kind with fins (redfish, speckled trout and flounder), visitors will nab crabs and shrimp.

SWIMMING Not recommended since it’s marshland with gators and snakes, but visitors swim on Dauterive Lake.


B E ACHES Most people think Gulf of Mexico when mentioning beaches, but there are several sandy entrances to water at South Louisiana lakes.¶ In central Louisiana, Indian Creek Recreation Area inside Alexander State Forest offers three beach areas on the 2,250-acre, clear water Indian Creek Lake and South Toledo Bend State Park has established a beach on Toledo Bend Lake.¶ Cypremort Point State Park includes a man-made beach on Vermilion Bay.

Toledo Bend State Parks

Two state parks bookend Toledo Bend lake and offer cabins, cottages, RV spots and campsites.

South Toledo Bend State Park includes bald eagle spotting on its numerous nature trails, an Interpretive Center and a two-lane boat ramp area to get you on the water. North Toledo Bend State Park incorporates hiking trails in its 900-plus acres, plus a boat launch with a double ramp and a fish cleaning station.



South Toledo Bend State Park has beaches and North Toledo Bend State Park a swimming pool that’s open through Labor Day.


EC OTOURS Grosse Savanne owns 50,000 acres for hunting and fishing outside Lake Charles but guides lead nature enthusiasts through restored wetlands where a wide variety of birds and wildlife can be found. Nesting birds such as white-faced ibis and egrets, alligators and waterfowl are in abundance here. ¶ Pack & Paddle outfitters in Lafayette offers guided kayak tours of Lake Martin, plus a Kayak 101 instruction class on the lake.

Cypremort Point


No, but boat launches for motor boats and sailboats available.


There’s a man-made beach on Vermilion Bay, just don’t expect Destin quality sand.


100-foot fishing pier and a fish cleaning station on site.



Cypremort Point rests along the shores of Vermilion Bay, which is technically not a lake.

But the massive waterway that links to the Gulf of Mexico offers the same amenities — fishing, beaches and boating. Cabins allow for overnight stays so fire up the grill with your fresh catch. Vermilion Bay is also one of the few places to sail in Acadiana.

Be sure to call ahead for COVID19-related closures before visiting any of the places listed.




There’s a reason Bassmaster Magazine named Toledo Bend Lake the number one bass fishing lake in the nation for two years in a row. In June, fishermen brought in 35 lunker bass over 10 pounds and more than 1,000 in the Toledo Bend program ranging from 10 pounds to 15.33 pounds, said Linda Curtis-Sparks, executive director of the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission. Accommodations run the gamut, from Cypress Bend Golf Resort and Wildwood Resort to rugged cabins. ¶ “Guides are busy, fishing is good,” Curtis-Sparks said. Boat Rentals Yes, visit for information. Swimming Public beaches are located at Cypress Bend Park, San Miguel Park, Pleasure Point, the Sabine River Authority Tourist Center and South Toledo Bend State Park. Fishing Of course! Look for catfish, bream and white perch in addition to largemouth bass.



Another body of water connected to the Creole Nature Trail is Grand Lake, a massive lake close to Lake Arthur with its northwestern section part of the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge.

No, but public boat ramps are located under the Highway 14 bridge and on the Monlezun Canal.

SWIMMING Lake Arthur Park and Boardwalk in the center of town offers a small beach and picnic tables.




Boat and bank fishing in Lacassine Pool, Streeter’s Area and refuge waters are permitted March 15 through Oct. 15.

Lake Arthur THE MERMENTAU RIVER flows southward and forms the

1-mile-wide Lake Arthur that extends 9 miles long. A small town borders the lake but nearby are acres of marshlands and the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge where duck hunting and birding are the rage. Boats can dock at the marina behind the Regatta Louisiana Seafood and Steakhouse restaurant. The wharf not only connects to the restaurant and downtown but a walkway that leads to Lake Arthur Park and Boardwalk. The Saturday before Labor Day (this year only; normally scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend), everyone moves offshore for the Rock the Dock festival where folks tie up their boats and party. “We’ll have everything on the water,” said Marion Fox, president and CEO of Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission. “You can walk the lake on boats.”

Locals know it for great fishing, America recognizes Lake Verret for its role in the History Channel’s “Swamp People.” Many of the “Swamp People” cast hail from its northern town of Pierre Part, a launching post for those who want to get on the water. But it’s not just for alligator hunting and sac-a-lait. Bald eagles are known to nest in the cypress trees surrounding the lake.

BOAT RENTALS Miss Sandy Houseboat Rental offers guided daytime tours of both Lake Verret and Lake Palourde.

FISHING Bass and perch can be found in the lake but catfish prefer the deeper waters of the Mermentau.

SWIMMING Not unless you want to swim with gators.

FISHING Largemouth bass, catfish and crappie are popular fish caught here.


Hospital Listing ACADIA PARISH Acadia General. 1305 Crowley Rayne Highway, Crowley. 337-783-3222 ALLEN PARISH Allen Parish Hospital. 108 Sixth Ave., Kinder. 337-738-2527 Oakdale Community Hospital. 130 N. Hospital Drive, Oakdale. oakdalecommunityhospital. 318-335-3700 ASCENSION PARISH

Healthy Acadiana Medical innovations, health trends, tips and annual hospital listing


cadiana is filled with history, culture and places that exude small-town charm, but the region is also full of talented physicians employing cutting-edge technology in state-of-the-art hospital facilities. Whether you’re suffering from orthopedic problems, heart disease, cancer or any other ailment, Acadiana’s doctors and hospitals are at the forefront of medical care. Local doctors are using the newest technology to do things like kee replacement surgery that is so precise, patients are able to leave the hospital the next day, are walking without assitance within a month and resuming normal activities within three to four months. New techniques and innovation are also available to treat patients with ailments like

critical limb ischemia (a severe blockage of the arteries in the lower extremities), offering an alternative to limb removal. Wound care innovations and COVID-19 treatments are also all being created and tested right here in the region, but local doctors and researchers. Patients never want to go to the hospital. No one visits the doctor for fun. There will always be a level of anxiety and apprehension involved. But with all of the gifted physicians in Acadiana using the latest in surgical techniques and medical technology, the outlook is much brighter even for patients facing life’s most serious health problems. Now more than ever, patients can walk into hospitals with a feeling of hope for the future.


Our Lady of the Lake Ascension. (formerly St. Elizabeth Hospital). 1125 W. Hwy., 30, Gonzales. our-lady-of-the-lakeascension. 225-647-5000 ASSUMPTION PARISH Assumption Community Hospital. 135 Highway 402, Napoleonville. assumption-communityhospital. 985-369-3600 Christus St. Patrick Hospital. 524 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, Lake Charles. 337-436-2511 Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. 1701 Oak Park Blvd., Lake Charles. 337-494-3000 West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. 701 Cypress St., Sulphur. 337-527-7034 EVANGELINE PARISH Mercy Regional Medical Center. 800 E. Main St., Ville Platte. 337-363-5684 Savoy Medical Center. 801 Poinciana Ave., Mamou. 337-468-5261 IBERIA PARISH Iberia Medical Center. 2315 E. Main St., New Iberia. 337-364-0441 Jennings American Legion Hospital. 1634 Elton Road, Jennings. jalh. com. 337-616-7000


Healthy Acadiana



Technological Precision

Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine designed a synthetic protein that acts as a decoy to intercept and neutralize the COVID-19 virus before it causes infection. Clinical trials will begin soon with the possibility of the drug being available in the fall if all goes well with the trials.


atients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee have historically faced a dilemma: how much pain and lack of mobility should they endure before getting a knee replacement? Fortunately, new advances in knee replacement technology offered by the ROSA (Robotic Surgical Assistant) Knee System make the procedure more precise than ever. Dr. Malcolm Stubbs, an orthopedic surgeon at Lafayette Bone and Joint Clinic, is proud to offer his patients the benefits of this new technology. Dr. Stubbs said one of the most important aspects of knee replacement surgery is getting the best alignment for the new knee. Every person’s individual anatomy is different, so if you do the procedure the same way for two different people, you could get very different results. “You want the soft tissue to be balanced,” said Dr. Stubbs. “You don’t want the knee to be too loose or too tight.” With the new procedure, doctors take 2D X-rays of the knee then use them to create 3D models of the knee before surgery. It gives surgeons a more exact road map before they begin operating. They have a predictive model of implant balance and placement before they make a single cut. This method is not only precise; it’s also cheaper than using MRIs. Just because the R in ROSA stands for “robotic” does not mean the surgery is performed by robots. The doctor is controlling a robotic arm that makes the cuts. “The robot is not taking the place of your surgeon,” said Dr. Stubbs. “The robot is assisting your surgeon.” Dr. Stubbs said most patients will spend one night in the hospital after the surgery. They will be able to walk with a walker before leaving the hospital. Within a month, they will be walking without assistance. Within three to four months, they will be able to resume normal activities. Born in Pride, Dr. Stubbs has helped patients for 20 years as a surgeon. His career includes a stint at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi as the staff orthopedic surgeon and another as the chief resident in orthopedic surgery at LSU. Through the years, his patients have kept the work exciting and meaningful for him. “The most rewarding things for me are the smiles on the faces of my patients when they are able to be free of pain and get their quality of life back. They are so appreciative and it’s the best feeling ever,” said Dr. Stubbs.



TECHNICAL SPECS The ROSA offers surgeons many helpful features. The system allows for soft-tissue balancing and femoral rotation. The softtissue balancing keeps the joint aligned while flexing and extending. The balance is an important factor in the implant’s durability. The ROSA enables physicians to make adjustments during the operation with realtime data updates of the patient’s anatomy. The system also provides quantifiable data to better analyze surgical decisions to achieve improved outcomes.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RECOVERY LINE PROVIDES A SYMPATHETIC EAR FOR LOUISIANIANS IN CRISIS 2020 has been a stressful year to say the least. If you feel you are on the verge of a mental health crisis, you can call the Louisiana Department of Health’s new Behavior Health Behavioral Outreach Line at 1-833-3331132. Trained specialists and clinicians are available 24/7.


Healthy Acadiana ST. JAMES PARISH St. James Parish Hospital. 1645 Lutcher Ave., Lutcher. 225-869-5512 ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH Ochsner Health Center – River Parishes. 502 Rue de Santé, LaPlace. ochsner. org/locations/ochsnerhealth-center-riverparishes. 985-652-3500 LAFAYETTE PARISH Our Lady of Lourdes Heart Hospital. 1105 Kaliste Saloom Road,. Lafayette. 337-470-1000 Lafayette General Medical Center. 1214 Coolidge St., Lafayette. 337-289-7991 Lafayette General Surgical Hospital. 1000 W. Pinhook Road, Lafayette. location/lafayettegeneral-surgical-hospital. 337-289-8095 Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital. 1101 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette. lafayettesurgical. com. 337-769-4100 Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. 4801 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette. lourdesrmc. com. 337-470-2000 Park Place Surgical Hospital. 4811 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette. 337-237-8119 Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital. 2810 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette. lafayettegeneral. com/location/lafayettegeneral-orthopaedichospital. 337-981 -2949 University Hospital. 2390 W. Congress St., Lafayette. location/university-hospitalclinics. 337-261-6000 Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital. 4600 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette. our-lady-of-lourdeswomens-childrenshospital. 337-470-5500



Innovating Techniques


n a medical career spanning 40 years, Dr. David Allie has always prided himself on being on the cutting edge of medical technology and procedures. He is currently working on several exciting new developments at the Allie and Patlola Center in Lafayette. Dr. Allie is the founder of the Louisiana Cardiovascular & Limb Salvage Cener, whose offices are in the Allie and Patlola Medical Center. He has made a career out of diagnosing and treating heart and peripheral vascular disease, including venous diseases. He helps save the limbs of people suffering from ailments like critical limb ischemia (a severe blockage of the arteries in the lower extremities). This is an important service in a state like Louisiana, which has high rates of diabetes, vascular disease and limb amputation. At the moment, Dr. Allie is working on modifying a molecule to create a new anti-pathogen for external wound care treatment that will kill all viruses and bacteria. This will save limbs from infection, which can in turn save people from needing to get a limb amputated. Dr. Allie expects FDA approval on this treatment soon. Dr. Allie said the same molecule that is being modified for the wound care treatment is being examined as a possible treatment for COVID-19 because of its antiviral properties. He said if the treatment is approved it would be used as a nasal spray. He is very optimistic about its prospects. “We believe this could be the first FDA-approved preventive treatment for COVID-19,” said Dr. Allie. Another innovation Dr. Allie is working on is the Vesper DUO Venous Stent System, which will improve circulation and increase the chances of salvaging a limb. The stent is currently in its first clinical trial. Venous stents are relatively new compared to arterial stents, so the techniques are still evolving. Dr. Allie said this new treatment will be an important leap forward, offering patients a stent with more flexibility and strength that is catered to individual veins. The latter is an important point because individual veins are different on individual patients. A gifted athlete, Dr. Allie was a third baseman and shortstop for Marshall University’s baseball team. When he was accepted into medical school in 1976, he was the first physical education major to receive such an honor. When asked what keeps the work fresh for him, he said innovation. The ability to always be searching for and finding new treatments remains a thrill. “I’m blessed. I’m lucky. God’s been good to me,” said Dr. Allie.


LOCATION INNOVATION Dr. Allie takes tremendous pride in the Allie and Patlola Medical Center, which opened on Dec. 26, 2019. He views the center itself as an innovation because it’s a 40,000-square-foot facility that houses doctors’ offices, an acute surgery center, a stent center, and a wound care center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It has 20 physicians and 150 employees under one roof in a center that is the first in the world of its kind.


Healthy Acadiana LAFOURCHE PARISH Lady of the Sea General Hospital. 200 W. 134th Place, Cut Off. 985-632-6401 Ochsner St. Anne Hospital. 4608 Highway 1, Raceland. locations/ochsner-stanne. 985-537-6841 Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. 602 N. Acadia Road, Thibodaux. 985-447-5500 ST. CHARLES PARISH St. Charles Parish Hospital. 1057 Paul Maillard Road, Luling. locations/st-charles-parishhospital. 985-785-6242 ST. LANDRY PARISH Opelousas General Health System. 539 E. Prudhomme St., Opelousas. 337-948-3011 ST. MARTIN PARISH


Here Comes the Sun Acadianians can’t stay out of the sun completely, so here are a few ways to be safe


ccording to the Skin Cancer Foundation (, over 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. How can you best protect your skin when enjoying outdoor activities in the summer sun? The simplest tip is to avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. But it’s unreasonable to think that Acadianians cancompletely avoid the sun in that time frame — enter sunscreen. This is true even if you suspect you won’t be outside long enough to get a sunburn. The American Cancer Society ( recommends using a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection, meaning it guards against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, but UVA rays cause skin cancer and premature aging.



The American Cancer Society also says you should pick a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. SPF 30 filters out about 97% of UVB rays (compared to 93% for SPF 15). No sunscreen, however, will offer complete protection. If you’re going swimming, remember that “water resistant” does not equal “waterproof.” You should reapply sunscreen every two hours in any outdoor setting, but you should reapply it more often if you have been in the water. Sunscreen can rub off while you are toweling yourself dry. Lastly, check the expiration date before using sunscreen. Most will last two to three years, but if it’s a bottle that has been sitting in your bathroom for a while, make sure it has not expired. Expired sunscreens will not work as well.

St. Martin Hospital. 210 Champagne Blvd., Breaux Bridge. lafayettegeneral. com/location/st-martinhospital. 337-332-2178 ST. MARY PARISH Franklin Foundation Hospital. 1097 Northwest Blvd., Franklin. 337-828-0760 Ochsner St. Mary. 1125 Marguerite St., Morgan City. 985-384-2200 TERREBONNE PARISH Physicians Medical Center. 218 Corporate Drive, Houma. 985- 853-1390 Terrebonne General Medical Center. 8166 Main St., Houma. 985-873-4141 VERMILION PARISH Abbeville General Hospital. 118 N. Hospital Drive, Abbeville. 337-893-5466 Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital. 1310 W. 7th St., Kaplan. lafayettegeneral. com/our_facilities/ main_facilities/abrom_ kaplan_memorial_hospital. 337-643-8300


L ETTR ES D’AMO U R Penned by a different author in every issue

Outside In

know about mine. She couldn’t help but be maternal. She’d ask what I’m eating, who I’m seeing, what I’m doing to better myself. When A young writer from Michigan is ‘adopted’ by a Louisiana oil woman my answers were unsatisfactory, Maillet offered wisdom and solutions. And yeah, since I was and begins to understand the true spirit of the region’s people a know-it-all 30 year old, I rolled my eyes at most of her responses. But she never stopped by Will Kalec illustration by Christina Brown trying to help. That’s just her way. The crazy thing is, Maillet admitted her openness and giving nature burned her in the past, but it never caused her to close up or change. To To me, the spirit of Acadiana — an ideal whose products were and are still used in with an everlasting shelf-life, immune from her, that was just the cost of doing business. domestic and international drilling. And she the region’s rapid change and growth — is What’s beautiful about Maillet’s attitude is did so with multiple dogs running around the encapsulated within this tiny woman of faith office, eschewing business handshakes for hugs, that the more time I spent in Acadiana, the whose spicy vocabulary gives her plenty to and making a bunch of money in the process. more I learn this openness to outsiders is the repent on Sundays. rule around here, not the exception. I saw that So the spirit of Acadiana is about taking My own mother referred to her as my same caring when I went Cameron Parish to an unorthodox approach toward capitalistic “Louisiana Mom.” chronicle life after Hurricane Rita. Residents ventures? Everyone else knows her as Bonnie Maillet. whose livelihoods were literally Actually, no. Despite casting an unimposing shadow swept away wanted to make sure I Maillet’s most endearing thanks to her slight 5-foot-nothing frame, quality — a quality shared by was comfortable and taken care of William Kalec is the Maillet is an entrepreneurial titan in the first. You see it in local dancehalls so many people in this region — of Development rough-and-tumble Louisiana oilfield. Leaning when townspeople extend a hand remains her willingness to accept, Head at Morningstar on her gut instincts, feelings, trust in others to obvious wallflower tourists, welcome and nurture outsiders. In Entertainment, a and faith more than you probably should, Maillet’s case, I was that outsider. asking them to dance. Los Angeles-based television production Maillet blazed a previously unmarked path for The spirit of Acadiana isn’t Born in Michigan and educated company, and works about andouille, or alligators, females in this line of work in the 1970s — a out East, I was assigned to write as a producer for or accordions, or any other historic feat she downplays because this was Maillet’s memoirs in 2009 — a DirecTV’s NFL Redzone never about making history. This was about stock photo printed in a travel Channel. From 2007job that on the surface I assumed 2011 he was a fulltime building a multimillion-dollar business that brochure. No, the true essence would be strictly business. writer and editor for felt like a family … which is what Maillet did. of this special place is our insisNot the case. Acadiana Profile. He For multiple decades, Maillet headed Boytence that you come experience Each time I went to talk about remains a regular senblue, an oilfield fluid additives company her life, Maillet always wanted to contributor to this day. all these things with us. n 44


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Natural Storytellers

force, have created a fertile terrain for the film industry. Advances in technology have put the tools for shooting and editing into the hands of those who may not have had the means to procure them otherwise. Coupled with an Lafayette artists Syd Horn opening towards the Francophone world, more and Olivia Perillo make and more young cinéastes are exploring the questions of local identity in a global environmultidimensional magic ment and transforming the culture along the way. The time is ripe for a new generation to by David cheramie emerge, like Lafayette natives Syd Horn and photo by Romero & Romero Olivia Perillo, who pull their inspiration from the spiritual realm and the natural world. Syd and Olivia approach their work from multiple directions, but like a Venn diagram Music and cuisine are the main pillars of overlapping influences, they create an inner of our culture in South Louisiana. There is no space where the magical and the real meet. lack of opportunity to learn the chords and Artists in other disciplines as well — music, lyrics to “La Porte en Arrière” or a recipe for photography, painting — they chose film as a shrimp creole. There are however many other multidimensional way to document the spirits ways to express the rhythms, colors and sounds of women with varying cultural backgrounds of Acadiana. South Louisiana has been the set- in full spectrums of sound and color. Their ting for movies almost since the beginning of first collaboration, a five-minute short called the Seventh Art. Later, Louisiana filmmakers “Migration,” tells the story of three women like Pat Mire and Glen Pitre offered us a cin- from three different continents and who speak ematic image of our lives and our stories. Tax three different languages, exploring the notion credits for movies and TV shows, along with of home and where it lies. Appropriately, this our picturesque landscapes and talented work- work was the result of 10 days of filming in



South Louisiana during a workshop sponsored by a non-profit organization from Québec. That experience sparked a desire to go further and seek out new avenues of collaboration with local and international organizations supporting the arts. That drive led them to their current project, a feature-length film titled “Intention,” which deals with women who practice healing arts from various disciplines. Traditional healers are known as “traiteurs” of course, but also the healing power of art, poetry, cooking and other forms of creation not usually associated with health and well-being are featured. “Intention” promises to be an evaluation of the delicate balance between nature, language, culture and tradition, and their relevance in the modern world. The role of women in the future of the state is central to this undertaking as well. “We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else where music and food aren’t dominating elements of bringing people together.” These young women have plans to continue telling stories and creating art informed by a sense of community and the connections created between people and nature. Wherever that journey may take them, Acadiana has supplied them with the roots necessary to branch out. n



Sauter le balai et la danse de l’argent Les traditions matrimoniales en Acadiana par David Cheramie illustration par Jane Sanders



Chaque culture célèbre le mariage à

sa façon et l’Acadiana ne fait pas exception. Nos traditions matrimoniales témoignent d’un grand sens de cohésion communautaire. Par exemple, on peut estimer la grandeur de la fête dans une unité de mesure un peu hétéroclite : la pirogue. Pour un petit mariage intime avec seulement quelques invités, on n’a besoin que d’une pirogue remplie de glace et de bière pour étancher leur soif. Un mariage plus grand nécessite deux pirogues. Mais pour les fastes qui font venir les marraines, les parrains, les cousins, les mémères et les pépères et même

des gens dont on n’est pas trop sûr des liens de parenté, il faut trois grandes pirogues pleines de breuvage pour adulte. J’ai même entendu dire que parfois les jeunes enfants prenaient quelques bouteilles à l’insu des adultes, mais ce sont des rumeurs dont je n’ai aucune connaissance directe. Sauter le balai, une tradition normalement associée avec la communauté For an english afro-américaine, est aussi translation connue parmi la populavisit tion cadienne, mais à un moindre degré. Du temps de l’esclavage, les propriétaires ne reconnaissaient pas le mariage parmi les gens asservis. Entre eux, malgré l’interdiction, les unions de couples étaient reconnues par une cérémonie qui consistait à marcher ou à sauter par-dessus un balai. Après la Guerre de Sécession, le mariage entre Noirs était reconnu et la tradition est tombée en désuétude. Ce n’était qu’avec la célèbre série télévisée « Racines » que la pratique est revenue à la mode. Le balai joue un autre rôle dans les mariages en Louisiane de sud. Si un frère ou une sœur aîné-e n’est pas encore marié-e lors du mariage de son cadet, il ou elle doit danser avec un balai, souvent pieds-nus de préférence. Le charivari est sans doute une tradition dont on parle beaucoup mais qu’on ne fait plus. Autrefois, quand la mortalité des femmes en couche était plus élevée et l’espérance de vie en général était plus faible, le veuvage était commun. Le remariage était souvent le moment où toute la communauté jugeait si c’était approprié ou pas. Si elle trouvait qu’il y avait un trop grand écart d’âge entre les mariés ou si c’était le deuxième mariage aux deux, tout le voisinage arrivait chez les nouveaux mariés en faisant un vacarme pas possible autour de la maison jusqu’à ce qu’on soit invité à boire du café et à manger du gâteau. Comme on peut imaginer, la soirée ne se terminait pas toujours bien. Petit à petit, la pratique s’est perdue. Enfin, la tradition la plus emblématique est la danse de l’argent. Les invités, avant de danser avec la mariée, doivent épingler des billets de banque à son voile. L’image d’une jeune femme avec des centaines de piastres sur elle est aussi iconique que la mousse espagnole et les alligators. Dans un esprit égalitaire, on peut aussi voir de nos jours le smoking du marié se couvrir d’images de Thomas Jefferson et de Benjamin Franklin. Un mariage en Acadiana réunit plus qu’un couple. Il resserre les liens qui nous unissent tous. n