Friday, May 15, 2009

Rolling on the river

Got to review Tim Gautreaux's The Missing for the Phoenix. Really enjoyed it. Can verify that it is dead-on about life on riverboats, too, in a way. While we were in New Orleans, we took a ride down the Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez (last of the paddlewheels) and got to chatting with a lovely gentleman of about, oh, 80 or so. Tall, craggy looking, handsome belt buckle depicting a horse, and a Cajun accent you could slice with a knife, you. He started telling me how when he was younger, he and his buddies used to go out on the riverboats to hear the music, dance, and drink. We had some good times, he told me, although he did stop drinking once he "got the DUI." (He only had to pick up trash for four days, though.) Kept pointing out sites on the riverbank where one or another relative lived, or had lived, so I finally asked if he was from around New Orleans (his accent placed him squarely in the state). "Oh no," he said. "I'm from Thibodeaux!" Another world

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