About Our Brother-in-law, Darryl

From past Blog postings, I'm sure you recall seeing Cappy's sister, Maria's family. Darryl is her husband, who is an high school Art teacher. This is Darryl, on the left next to artist George Rodrigue, of the famous "Blue Dog" painting series at the New Orleans Museum of Art last month. It was an exciting experience for Darryl, but we weren't surprised because we know our brother-in-law 'gets around'. We are so proud of him. He's a true gentleman in every sense of the word, which is rare for these days and times, and he has a great sense of humor, as well. No wonder his students love him. Twice he was voted Teacher of the Year. He's got so many irons in the fire, it's hard to tell where to begin.
He and his wife, Maria, also an high school teacher, take his students to Art Gallerys and noted places of interest in Europe every Summer. Last year they went to Paris and London. This year they are traveling to Italy. (They said I should go with them. I suppose I should, but I'd miss Cappy too much, I think. Mayhaps next year when they take another group to France.)
He inspires his students to excellence and several of them have won awards. Recently, one of his students successfully competed in a commercial venture, and was awarded the commision for the drawing and coloring of new Heinz catsup labels which will be on 17 million of their pkgs.
As an artist, Darryl doesn't slack either; a couple of weeks ago he was sporting a new 'blackberry', (hand-held computer thingy for those of you, who aren't aware...geez, where you from? :-P) which he had purchased from the profits from one of his own oil paintings. I think he has a unique style, which makes me want to sit and study his work at length.
He's going to be holding Summer Art Camp this June for kids, ages 7-13, teaching them about the Modern Masters, like Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol and the like, also a 3-D Masters Camp where they will learn about sculptors such as Calder and Nevelson; then have the kids try their hand at creating samples of each of these kinds of Art. I think I'd like to go, too!
Even though he is busy with 'other people's kids', he always has time for his own kids, Ren, who just graduated, and was Senior Prom King, and is in the throes of deciding if he's going to LSU, where he's been accepted, ("Miss") Claire, who is not only pretty, but intelligent, and young Blythe, who is an all around 'hoot'. These kids are sweet, fun, polite and brainy, just like their parents. I'd go on and on about them, but I'm afraid I've already bragged too much already...but Dang! They deserve it!
Last week or so, I went to a showing for Darryl's Art students, who were assigned to find Art in unusual places, and then take photos. This was their first experience in the world of Art, as it relates to the public. He said they were all excited, but didn't know what to expect. Darryl was interviewd on a local television station, so the kids were 'blown away' that so many people actually attended, showed genuine interest in their work, and actually purchased their pictures. It was a fast-paced evening that went far too quickly for most of the kids, I think; they seemed to be really enjoying themselves.(I probably shouldn't say this, but I had my favorites and was impressed that one particular young lady did NO editing of her photos. She said she wanted her work to be 'pure'. I think she's "going somewhere"...she has a wonderful eye for surprising the viewer. As I was studying one of her photos on display, I really liked the composition. It looked like an abstract of some sort, with very interesting colorful details. I began to wonder what 'it' was I was looking at. When I looked at her title, it became obvious...a tail-light on a moss-covered car. Moss growing on a car?? When does that ever happen? How'd she find that?? Her other works were great, as well. Nice job, Karen.)
As I'm writing this, I'm waiting for the umpteenth time for a slideshow I made of this aforementioned evening 'opening' of the students' work, to upload or download on this Blog. I've been fighting with it all week, between everything else I've been doing. It appears that it's just not going to load, so here is a link to YouTube, which did load quickly, with no sass for me. I hope you enjoy. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7J39xRuwAB0


Brad of Life

I know it's been awhile since I've posted. As with you, life's been a kaleidoscope. More like a 'collide-Oh-scope' at times. Bunches of stuff going on.
But this is good news: I just learned that our teenaged neighbor, Brad, who was in that terrible car accident and has been comatose for a couple of months, is no longer in a coma proper. He is still not awake, but is rather, in a state of emegence and will be coming home in early June for a little while. He opens his eyes, participates in physical exercise, eats (pureed foods), ...the boy is trying HARD to come back. The doctors are amazed and said that when he's fully awake, he'll be the most physically athletic patient they've had to date. His parents have been by his side this whole time, working diligently with and for him. It seems as if the whole town, and surrounding towns have pulled together in support. Last weekend there was a fundraising benefit and they did "very well". This coming weekend in Thibodaux, there is another drive to raise monies to help with all the expenses accrued by this family emergency. As for our young man, who was once, a scant couple of months ago, at death's door, he is now recuperating, getting stronger and healthier day by day. We are all buoyed by Brad's zeal for his own recovery, even while in the midst of this, the greatest trial of his young life. The family is requesting continued prayers. That we can do.


Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries...or it Will be :-)

Once again I'm borrowing what Cappy wrote someplace else to post here. I guess it's what's going on behind the scenes, and you are privy to that, too. LOL, hardly any secrets here. See, our little town has an online gathering place for local folks, local folks who have moved elsewhere, but want to keep up with the local goings ons, and, I think, for folks who take an interest in the local happenings. Through this "Forum" we have met some very nice folks; intelligent, like Yall, and funnnnnee!!! Because of what happened as a result of meeting some of these folks in our town, Cappy wrote this: When my family asks me, "Why do you live in this particular little town?" I always tell them that it's a wonderful little town and it is full of good people and great neighbors. Well, yall proved me right again. This morning the doorbell rang, and it was a friend bearing a cherry tree." It seems that after I logged off, the good folks from the Forum conspired and one of them, got me a tree. Rousselsa (good ol' boy named Steven; this is his picture) backed his truck in da drive-way this morning at the crack of dawn or... errrrr... more like 8:30 and unloaded a 5 foot tall cherry tree! Proving yet again what a wonderful town full of wonderful people we live in. Thank God I said I was lookin' for a cherry tree and not Pony


Cappy's Mother

Cappy recently wrote something about his Mom that I thought we should post here. She is still beautiful and so sweet. I just love her to pieces and wish we could see her more often. Cappy wrote: "...Mom was an amazing guitarist with a wonderful singing voice. Growing up, as a kid, I was proud to have the coolest mom in town. As she bustled around da kitchen in the lazy afternoons, she always had the radio going, and danced and sang, as she cooked, cleaned, etc. The kitchen always smelled wonderful and usually there was some fresh-baked treat waiting for us kids when we came in from play or school. Our house was a gathering place for kids after school, and many is the time as I walked down the dusty gravel road that led to our house, that the smell of pies or fresh gingerbread came wafting toward me, on the afternoon breeze. In my mind's eye I see Momma standing in the kitchen, apron on, dishrag thrown over one shoulder(ready to swat flies, skeeters, or kids if needed)singing or humming along with the radio. The part that made this 'unusual cool' is that Mom listened to the AM rock station that we kids loved. Friends were always impressed to hear their favorite songs coming out of our kitchen window and hearing my mom singing along with a Simon and Garfunckle tune("The Boxer" was one of her favorites)I often recall the time the Jackson 5's tune called "Ben" came out. Mama loved that song! She'd say,"How sweet that cute lil Jackson boy singing this beautiful song about his love for his friend,Ben". I'd hear her humming it to herself, even when the radio wasn't on, or she'd be out-and-out singing it, word for word to herself, as she worked around in da house. The idea that a little boy thought so much about the friendship with his young pal that he would sing about it, just pleased her so much. I know now that I shouldna aughta dun it, but one day I blurted out,"Momma, dat song's from a movie and da 'Ben' dey singin' about is a big ole RAT. It's a song 'bout a boy and his pet rat, dat eats people when he tells him to". Well, Momma threw a grimace at me that could curdle milk and said,"ma das just dis-gus-tin!!!" and she never sang dat song again. Even so, it didn't deter her from singing around the house, as she had so many other songs to choose from. To this day she still has a wonderful voice, and even surprised Peggy on a recent car ride, when Momma, usually unable to speak much because of several strokes, began singing along word for word with Dr. Hook on our CD player. And Peggy, not a big fan of Dr. Hook, said, "...but Dr. Hook...why Dr. Hook of all things??". Oh yeah, Momma is still cool.
Wasn't that nice, Cappy writing that about his mother? And now you see why we blogged it.
Now...MarkyBear, our 'little' dawg with a warrior's heart figgered he had a good excuse, this time, to bark at the "OOPS Guy", since he, after all, drove directly into our driveway with a special delivery. I'm glad his barking tipped me off, because I wouldn't have wanted my packages to be tossed from the truck, end up in the flowerbed again. See what he 'brung' me!!! Son, Dan and his wife, Jennifer and kiddoes sent me a lime green colander with a glorious bunch of flowers in it. They knew my favorite color is green, and that my favorite meal is any kind of salad, so could definitely use the colander to rinse my lettuces, etc. It's perfect! I LOVE it! (Thanks, kids!)
Son Thom had sent a box of chocolates made with honey, which is the kind of sweetner I always use, instead of sugar. I'd show you a picture of them, but....they were delivered a week early and ...well....But! Do my kids know me or what?! I LOVED 'em. :"->
Son Joe and his wife, Jessica and kids sent me this creamy, dreamy green vase with these gorgeous dark purple centered lilies. Aren't they lovely?
(I think that's what they are...silly me...I should've checked first before posting). Oh migosh, you should smell these things! Breathtakingly beautiful. I just want to keep 'snoofing' them all the time. I LOVE them! (Thanks youse guys!)

One more 'country' not heard from yet, but it's still early.
...And Cappy...he said we could do whatever I like for Mother's Day. It's too good to be true that he's home with me for Mother's Day. I just look forward to snuggling up with him and watching a movie on tv, and a croquet game out in the yard. He set it up tonight and we tried playing, and were thrilled that Andrew, one of our little neighborhood boys joined us. He'd never played it before, so we had the pleasure of teaching him. He was kind of flailing the mallet around, which got MarkyBear on guard, lest he'd have to run out there and protect Cappy and me from the pint-sized 'intruder' . We all had fun batting the balls around the yard til the skeeters drove us in the house. Now, I think I'll win tomorrow; it is after all Mother's Day. Aw, heck, I've already won. I'm so happy I just can't stand it. I've got my loved ones close to my heart. ...And may you all have a Blest day, as well.

Eagles Everywhere

I know yall probally get tired of me and my Eagle pictures, but I can't help it. My heart swells with pride every time I come around a bend in a bayou and spot one of these big majestic birds in the top of a tree. It thrills me beyond description to know that after years of struggle, the symbol of our country once again calls Lousiana's bayou country, 'home'. It was a long struggle back from the ravages of the insecticide DDT but Thank God, it has finally dissapated to the point where all big birds of prey are making a roaring come back in our state.


The Painting Crew

While at work last hitch, tied up to an oil production platform, I commented to the dock man," Geez, you got a full crew of rail setters there". Without battin' an eye he said, " Yea das da paint crew". I laughed knowing what he meant, well, from the evidence the seaguls leave on our barge. 'Case yall don't know what he was refering to click the pictures and notice the white coating on the pipes and hand rails below them. Course I aint puttin my hands on em.


Spring BBQ

Peg and I are really starting to enjoy our patio as it begins to take on its Spring splendor. My green thumbed Sweetie slowly turns it into a wonderful patio where we do most all of our entertaining and relaxing through the Summer and into Fall. Yall sit back, grab a cool one and join us.


Thibodaux La. Fireman's Fair

Sunday after recoupin' from Jazz Fest, Peggy and I were not sure if we wanted to go to the Fair in Thibodaux or not. Boy are we glad we did! Once we got there, backpack and leopard-skinned lounge chairs in tow, we had the best of times. The fair was wonderful, and reminded us of the carnivals of our youth. We rode the ferris wheel and Peggy got her usual candied apple. We walked around like a couple kids gawkin' at all the sights of the midway and slowly wandered towards the grand stand to pick a spot for the afternoon performances. Here's a slide show of our trip through the fair. Hope ya not skeered o' heights; or like my Dad usta say, "skeered o' sudden stops".
We stretched out da chairs, grabbed us a prime spot for music watchin' with some dancin' room in front of us, and I went off in search for some tickets for buyin' beer and stuff. I made a silly mistake: judging from the ticket prices listed for beer and food and drinks, havin' just come from Jazz Fest, I assumed the tickets were a doller apiece. I mean I just paid 4 bucks a beer yesterday right?? I forgot that we were in the country, though, and this was a fund-raiser fair for a fire dept., not a big city thang. The tickets were only worth 50 cents each. I thought the gal gave me a big stack of 'em and a funny look when I fished out 24 dollers and said give me some tickets. Well, auuugghhhhhh shucks!! I wound up with way more beer to drink than I planned, but have no fear I was almost up to the task. I shared a few of 'em with folks sitting by, and by the end of the show, 10 beers later I was "aaaaaiieeeee"-ing with the best of them.
While we waited for our 'long-legged' lady, our favorite female star, Marcia Ball, to rise and light up the night, we listened to the Wet Willy Band, who warmed up the stage for her. They were fantastic, and we caught a little bit of them on this slideshow, just ahead of our Marcia Ball's performance.
I just can't say enough 'bout Marcia Ball. If yall not familiar with her music this is her singin' on this slideshow.She is the best singer/songwriter/piano player to come outa da South in a very long time. Her newest CD "Peace, Love, and BBQ" is amazin' and if some of the songs 'bout post-Katrina South don't choke ya up, then ya aint got a heart. We bought a copy there, since it's about the only CD of her's we didn't have. She visited with us after the show and even autographed the CD for us. (There was NOOOO way that could have ever happened with the HUGE crowds over there in New Orleans this last week, where we had gone to see her.) We even turned her on to our Blog and told her the Listerene 'trick' to keep da skeeters out o' da house. (Spraying it around the entry-ways.) You really need to "hot-foot" it to ya favorite music store and get ya a dozen or so, of this hard workin' local gal's CD's.


Jazzfest 2008 Slide Show

Here's some of our jazzfest pictures set to a Kermit Ruffins tune.

Our Wonderful Day, Jazzfest 2008

We got to New Orleans with no trouble, parked in our usual spot on the River, caught a cab to the fair-grounds and walked in, amazed at how easy it was: no traffic, a convenient parking place and a very friendly cab driver, who took us straight to the gate. Luggin' our 'infamous' leopard-skinned lounge chairs and da back-pack, we went in the gate and headed straight for the food court. The festival is often referred to as "a Food Fest with back-ground music", and for good reason. Many of the finest restaurants and caterers in the area have booths at the festival and like most regulars, I have my favorites that I go back to, year after year. 'Course I am always willin' to try new things. One of the best ways to see what's good is watch what the folks around ya are eating and ask 'em, how it is. If I see three or four people carrying the same thing, I ask em what it is, and how they like it. The answer is usually always the same, though: "Wonderful!" I opted for 2 of my favorites: Natchitoches meat pies, and a soft-shelled crab po-boy. They were as always..... you guesed it.. "Wonderful"! We moved over to the Gentilly stage and set up shop in our favorite spots on a 'hill', half way between the beer booths and the bathrooms. We got there for the last couple songs by: Lil' Nathan Williams Jr. & the Zydeco Big Timers. They were a very good high energy Zydeco band that had us in da fest mood in no time. We people watched and soaked up the sun as the storm clouds lifted, and waited for Charmaine Nevelle to take da stage. I must admit I was impressed. I remember Charmaine from back in the day, when she was a skinny kid crashin' open mike nights, trying to get heard. She has really aged well and come a long way since back when we referred to her as "Screamin' Charmaine". Her voice has matured, become full deep and soulful, especially during the song, "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans". It tells about growing up in the City, in simpler times, when folks gathered on the front porches to visit, cook, pass the evening with friends and family, and the sound of music could be heard from everywhere. Truly it was those times that inspired the knick-name da Big Easy, and while Charmaine sang, we began to feel the return of that spirit which, for the most part, has been absent since Katrina. We really enjoyed her show. Next up was Henry Butler, and he left us in awe, as always. This guy is a Lousiana legend in his own time, and Peg and I strongly recommend ya hear him, if ya can. It was a great show!

Kids bein' kids, frolicked in the mud behind us, as we waited for Marcia Ball to take the stage. The usual thing happened to Peggy: the "giant" showed up. That's her term for the folks that usually get in front of her when she tries to watch a show, concert, or movie, no matter how early we get there to get good seats. This time the 'giant' showed up in the guise of a big haired kid, flanked by 2 lawn chairs with canopys. All day the lawn chairs were innocuous, but right before the big event that we had waited for all day, suddenly they sprouted canopies. She commented it would happen earlier, sat there and waited, and sure enough by the time Marcia took the stage, this was her view. My view of course, was "Giant free" and unobstructed. I add this picture for Cousin Larry, to let him know he shoulda aughta been there, with us. Marcia Ball is one of our favorite singer/songwriter/musicians, and if ya not familiar with her, we strongly suggest ya give her a listen. This soulful queen of the piano is one of the hardest-working women in show business and a real joy to behold. After a few songs from Marcia, we packed up and made our way around the race track towards the Acura stage to claim a spot for Jimmy Buffett. Even though we got there over an hour early, the best we could do was a very long way from the stage. The place was filled to the brim with "parrot heads" (fans of Jimmy Buffett). It didn't matter though, the sound system was set up well, they had huge screens set up, and everybody in the park sang along with their favorites. I guess I'm a sentimental ole fool, but as I stood there realizing that ya never know if ya gonna see him again( neither one of us are gettin' any younger) I couldn't help but shed a few tears of joy when he sang "A Pirate Looks at 40". That song has always spoken to my soul. Well, after that, we started walking around the track towards the gate, and let Jimmy sing us towards the exit, and the inevitable 'snake-line' of folks tryin' to get a cab, bus, shuttle or anything. We shared a cab with half a dozen other joyful 'festivalers'. We eventually got back to our car, stopped for gas and a 6-pack of Abita beer, then sang our way home, safe and happy, slightly sunburnt, but thankful to the Lord for a truly glorious day.


Off To Jazz Fest

I took this picture of'n da internet this morning. The caption read: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." What with the thunderstorms it appears that this will be our motto today.


Da Catfish are Jumpin'

Caught dis lil catfish off'n da stern of the boat the other day. We didn't have a scale, but I'd say he was close to 20 lbs. All's I know for sure is that he fed 4 grown men lunch, three of us supper and there was still some left to feed da fishies when we did da dishes.

Cappy is Home!!!

It was a long month on the boat, and I'm thrilled to be back in my sweet wife's arms. The hitch was full of problems and started off wrong with a trip to the shipyard for repairs; something that I really dread. I hate being marooned on blocks, out of the water, and besides, shipyards are a mess. It always takes several days of cleaning up to recover from a dry-docking. The hitch, as always, slowly crawled but punctuated by the occasional beautiful sunrise, only to be out-done by glorious sunsets, both beautiful in their own way. Spring has definitely sprung, and the swamps and marshes have taken on a plush tropical green look. As you can see, the big ol' gators are out again prowling along the bank for meals and mates. I'm not sure what this one was lookin' for, but he happily chomped down some chicken scraps I threw to him. As always I took a few pictures while at work and thought I'd start yall off with these. More to come later.