Early on Saturday, I departed with friends Kevin and Alicia to observe some Cajuns in their natural habitat. First we went to the Zydeco brunch in Breaux Bridge, which was amazing. Not the brunch so much, because due to a crazy mix-up we never had any food: it was the dancing. It was more than the dancing, really.
While the three of us agreed the band wasn't music we would listen to on purpose at home, they were part of something larger here, and I couldn't think of a more rocking show I'd been to all year. The dance floor was packed with revelers, the floor pulsed with their steps in time, and it wasn't yet noon. Here's the thing: collectively it seemed there was something more in the room than just sounds and people moving in time. Like, isn't this the transcendent feeling you want from a musical performance or any kind of mass gathering, really that hardly ever happens? Yes.
I hope I'm not overstating the Zydeco brunch, but I wouldn't want to understate it either.
Most of the dancers were older than us thirty-somethings, and Alicia and I pointed out our favorite cute olds to each other: the lanky dude with longer white hair who looked like he should be in a Western, the compact but energetic smaller guy with the cap. An unexpected discovery for me was the dance floor probably had a higher percentage of interracial couples than Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (which is much higher than average). We also enjoyed the guy dancing the hardest, whose T-shirt read THE PARTY HAS ARRIVED.
Oh! And I got to hear some real Cajuns talking. What they said, only they can know for sure.
Southern Louisiana has again proven to have fun olds. I marveled watching them: so often in this country, old age is tragic. This might be a good place to move if you want to avoid that "death's waiting room" stage.
Departing from our brunchless brunch, we found this sleepy-eyed girl with a yip yip dog I would normally dislike, but awww won't you just look at this girl!
Next stop was the Festival Acadiens et Creoles in Lafayette.
Again, youngs and olds were out in full force. I think for most of my adult life I've mostly hung around people within ten years of my age. Here it tends to range all over the place.
There was more live music, and more dancers, these ones (including some from brunch) not so concentrated in one place so it wasn't so moving, though it was touching that they weren't stopped by a little rain.
The other two main elements of this festival were food and mud.
The food here did not disappoint. I had a French spinach bread bowl and some of Alicia's bread pudding. Kevin & Leesh will have to remind me what they had in this photo. I'm guessing that's gator and frog on a stick there.
Attention: Everything pictured below is trademarked, so don't even think about it.
This girl was so ridiculously cute she can cause even the least maternally inclined to have stirrings. I just wanted to keep tugging her little pigtail curls and have them spring back into shape. I only did it once though, so as not to be creepy.
Looking back at my photos from Saturday, it seemed the olds and the youngs were ruling the day. We tried posing for some good pictures on this playground turtle with ZZ Top beards made of Spanish moss...
But without trying and without props these kids did it better.
Again, maybe pose for a little Facebook photo?
No, this one's kind of better again, isn't it.
Maybe that day the best we could hope for was to coexist with them.