Back from vacation and doing my homework

Lil Sis took this photo while celebrating my birthday early on Saturday. The other three ladies are from my graduating class, and some of us even went to elementary school together! Wow!

Well, I’m back from a much-needed four-day break from work.  I rarely ever take off, but it was high time, and I left a message saying “call back on Monday”, which I’ve never done before.  Sometimes my phone rings as late as 10 p.m. with folks wanting a tour, a charter, or a rental, so taking a break from the phone was nice.

This past weekend, I stayed with LilSis and RenRed and soaked up their hospitality. One of the relaxing things we did was watch reruns of Louisiana-based realty TV shows, Swamp PeopleDuck Dynasty, and Cajun Justice. But I just don’t quite see these as typical reality TV.  I mean, they’re nothing like “Candid Camera“, “Survivor“, or “Keeping up with the Kardashians“, right?

Now I’m refreshed and ready to tackle the business at hand, the first of which are a bunch of email inquiries about charter trips.  Seems like a new crop of folks have just seen my episode of Louisiana Outdoor Adventures on The Sportsman Channel and want to come down, which is great!

Secondly, I had an email about the possibility of discussing our opinions of the above-mentioned, Louisiana-based TV shows on the July 21st radio show.   I had no clue I was doing homework while watching those reruns at LilSis’s house.

But now I have a little more homework to do, and I need your help. Well, I want your opinion about these Louisiana TV shows.  To me, they are somewhere between documentary and reality television.  There is some narration and real information, like  a documentary, with the addition of some live action along with some staged footage, like a reality show.  We, the viewers, are left to decide how much of it is “real” and how much of it is “staged”.

Incidentally, more than 5,000 people visited this blog over the past weekend.  Granted, most of them were looking for good fig preserve recipes, but this is an invitation to all those figgy people to share their opinions with us, too.

So, if you watch (or have watched) any of the Louisiana-based TV shows mentioned above, would you please take part in this poll?  If you haven’t seen them, feel free to follow the links and watch an episode or two, then come back here and share your opinion.

[polldaddy poll=6376252]

I look forward to seeing what you think about any or all of these shows, and thanks so much for helping me with my homework!  Also, comments are very welcome, especially if the poll didn’t offer you a choice that tells how you really feel about the shows!

Oh, and happy birthday to me!


(Don Dubuc has a poll up on his website, so feel free to go vote on his also.)

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  1. Happy, Happy Birthday to my Bayou Sister!!!!

    Ok, here is my opinion on the shows…when I first started watching them I started with Swamp People and I thought there was no way it was real. Then we came down there and now I know, yes, it is in fact, a very real way of life that is important not only to the economy, environment and culture of your state but to all of the country. I think a show featuring you and the things you do on a daily basis and the way you see life in the bayou will be different in that it won’t be on such a grand scheme as Duck Dynasty, it won’t focus just on alligators like Swamp People and unless I’ve missed something you won’t be chasing down bad guys and adding in the crime drama.

    You know me, I say go for it. There is only one way to find out if it will work…jump right in there. They can’t eat you, what’s the worst that can happen? You got this! I have my glue gun and bling ready to travel! I am ready to bling the bayou, name the time and I am on my way to bedazzle you some hats, shirts, the boat, etc. LOL!!!

    1. There you go talking about me doing my own show again! I’m working on it sister, I’m working on it. Oh by the way, next week, Animal Planet is coming down to film Bayou Fabio and his gar fishing. That will be interesting, and I’ll let everybody know when it airs. Probably next year. Seems like we are becoming more and more popular down here. Hey, you can do bling, but how are you at selling ad time to sponsors????? 🙂

  2. I wish I could comment on the shows but since I don’t have cable or satellite I haven’t seen any of the shows with the exception of a few clips of Swamp People.

  3. Hey, if watching those shows was homework, does that mean you can write off the trip? Happy Birthday!

    1. Yes, except I didn’t realize I was doing homework for the radio show and I used my personal money. Sheesh. I knew something was nagging at me! Did I keep receipts? I hope so. Did you do the poll?

  4. I live in southeast Texas so am familiar with the Cajun way of life & I love the Cajun TV shows. That smoothe Cajun accent is music to my ears, I just love listening to them talk. And I love seeing how these people carry on centuries old traditions in their lives & work. Fascinating to me.

    1. Hey, that sounds good! Welcome to the bayou, Donnakay! So, did you do the poll? If so, thanks a bunch for taking the time! How did you find me and are you a regular reader now?

  5. Not everyone who is reading this post is voting!! PLEASE VOTE! I cannot see individual votes, only the results that you see. So, please let me know what you think!!! PLEASE?

  6. Happy Birthday BW!! Not sure how I found your blog or you, but did so just last week in fact but am sure glad I did. I did take the poll. I think I was looking for a recipe for mockstrawberry/ fig jam. Anyway, Being a transplant to Cajun Country 24-25 years ago, picked Venice of all places to start my life in Louisiana, It is truly a different weay of life here. People who watch the shows would probably think alot of it is staged but for the most part it is all very real, although they may have had to go back and reshoot it. For me the most real one is Swap People, they show the way of life as for some it still exists today. I would hope that one day that I and my son could make a trip to your neck of this awesome state and maybe get a fishing trip and or tour with you. My son who was born in Louisiana is proud to be called Cajun!! We are proud to be here in Cajun Country! Michelle L

    1. Hi Michele! Welcome to the bayou and thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s great hearing how people find this little blog and end up becoming part of this fun family! I hope that you and your son can come down. We can do a combo trip for him, and it will be fun. October through January is a good time. Specks are inland and it’s not hot! Please keep in touch and thanks for the great comment and birthday wishes! BW

  7. They all seem to me to be good clean and fun to watch and Happy Birthday from the Jolly family!!

  8. Happy Birthday. Hope you’re able to get together with all of your family to celebrate.
    I voted earlier, but was unable to wish you H.B. because my computer crashed AGAIN!

  9. Hope you are having a Wonderful Birthday!

    I attend National Conferences in the US four times a year and I am always asked at the conferences if I know any of the Swamp People. They knew more about the show than I did at that time. They all know I am from LA and PROUD of it! Several of them come to LA a couple times a year to go fishing with me. They always say there
    is NOTHING like fishing in LA.

    I can speak about the Swamp People, and I believe that they do show the REAL reality of how the gator season takes place. These guys and ladies are HARD working people and truly show their skills of hunting for gators.

    I have talked with several people that live across the US and they often comment on how they met some of the Swamp People and how much they enjoyed meeting them and that they are a positive influence for the State of LA.

    Glad to see that the show let Liz and Kristi become a team to hunt too. So many women in LA, such as you, do actually work the land and other resources that our beautiful state has to offer. In a lot of other states women are not so fortunate to be able to do this. Keep up the great work that you do to help put LA in such a positive refection of our people and resources.

    As for the other reality shows, I have not followed them. Best of LUCK to YOU and your future endeavors! People really enjoy your passion and enjoyment of LA and what LA has to offer.

    1. Thanks so much for this great comment, Sherry. We’ve met almost all the swamp people up close and personal, and they have all been very nice, especially the Gator Queen. My son has all the photos autographed, framed, and hanging on his bedroom wall. They are, as you say, genuinely hard working folks. You mentioned that you don’t follow the reality TV shows, does that mean you haven’t seen any of the 3 shows? Just wondering. Thanks again so much for your kind words, and I am having a wonderful birthday! BW

  10. Happy Birthday! Good gosh – 5,000 page views? You need to stop guiding and start giving blog lessons!

    I’ve seen some Swamp People – I’ll check out one or two others tonight and come back to vote. If Mom were still here she’d be giving a thumbs up – she thought Swamp People was the best.

    Just for kicks, you can check out what the health care lobbyists are up to in Washington, D.C. I believe I know where we could get us some alligator bait. 😉

  11. Ahoy! What a fantastic photo that is at top – props to Lil’ Sis for capturing such fine ladies in such a joyful moment!

    Thus far we’ve seen – and enjoyed – all but “Duck Dynasty” (which title always makes me think o’ “Duck Dogers in The 24th and a Half Century”). The shows are certainly entertaining and (though we have a head start on folk not actually from the Bayou) quite educational.
    Folk have had their whines about “only showing a certain kind o’ folk in the area” (clearly not the case as there is a WIDE variation on folk in all shows)…one complained she wouldn’t watch (Swamp People) because they kill Gators – the QM explained that watching would explain why/how/how many/how often – that is was an important part o’ hundreds o’ years o’ culture and balance in the Bayou.

    We always have a chuckle on any o’ these shows that use “subtitles for the rest o’ ye” for folks that (to us at least) seem perfectly understandable. It’s not usually the accent or the dialect that makes folk hard to follow, it’s the mumbling!

    It’s an easy way to show how things work in Louisiana, how families survive, “human stories” – the good, the bad, the “what were they thinking” moments. Sure – some folk won’t take it seriously and understand any better than they do now, but they’ll WATCH. Some folk will see it and develop a new understanding o’ the challenges in saving a world o’ culture and the wetlands that support it. Others still will be infused with a new sense o’ adventure and want to see it for themselves; which ultimately is a very good thing…nothing like seeing it first hand to really learn and appreciate one o’ the most diverse, cultural, beautiful areas in The Americas!

    As someone said (referring to the natural wonders around us): “It’s amazing we’re not more amazed!”

    1. It is absolutely amazing that we’re not more amazed! And if folks can watch Swamp People and not find at least some small amazing thing, then someone take their pulse, quick! You’ve made the effort to come down and see the diversity of the folks here. You’ve entrenched yourselves in the life both in the bayou and in the city, and have given back to us in the process. I hope more folks come down, and I honestly think that all these reality shows based in Louisiana will drive tourists down here to check us out, first hand. And that, my friend, will be very good for business, too! Thanks for the (as always) awesome comments! BW

      1. We love our “second home” and the extended family that comes with it – the folks who really pay attention will too.
        BTW, did anyone happen to recognize the charming S. Louisiana voice that introduces “Cajun Justice”?

        A note to folks who may not yet understand, not everyone in S. Louisiana is Cajun (it’s a “catch phrase” to alert viewers to where the show takes place).
        While many – if not most – o’ the very first settlers (ie. those not indigenous to the region like the Houma, Choctaw, Chitimacha, Atakapa Fist Nations) were in fact French directly or a bit later Les Acadiens (from what is now Quebec & Atlantic Canada). This is where a lot o’ the cultural traditions and language comes from – and accents as thick as pea soup. Mix these folk, their language and culture with the Houma and later every other nation that came through S. Louisiana; willingly or otherwise – and the Gumbo, she get thick, cher!

        For example, Det. Lt. Terry Daigre (“Cajun Justice”) has an accent that’s very New Orleans City – and a dead ringer, soundalike, for a mate o’ ours in the NOPD. Everyone’s favourite Cajun Papa, Troy (“Choot ’em!”) from Swamp People, would be completely at home in the Eastern Parishes o’ Quebec, Canada.

        For anyone who doesn’t get the shows on cable or satellite, but still has access to decent internet, ye can usually see episodes o’ all these shows online. For example: (complete with a Cajun Glossary).

        1. Yes, I know who it is. His initials are TB, and he is a musician/singer/songwriter/performer!!!!! I’ll let others listen closely and take a guess, too! (By the way, I’m always highly insulted when people say I sound like I’m from Mississippi or Alabama. I’m from LOUISIANA, people. My original accent is from North Louisiana, albeit a metropolitan one, now salted with a little French, a tiny bit o’Cajun, and peppered with Houma. I’m just all mixed up now, I guess!

  12. I watch all of the listed shows. “Duck Dynasty” seems like it’s more staged than the others, in my opinion. I watch “Swamp People” all the time (even reruns). I voted but I wanted to vote for three out of the four.

    I do have a question about “Swamp People”: Am I the only one who notices Troy wearing the same faded blue shirt with red and white stripes on every episode? Does he have a drawer full of them or does he wash (or not!) the same shirt every night?

    Over the weekend a lady came in to the store where I work asking if we had strawberry jello. She said she was making fig preserves using a new recipe she got off the Internet. She told me she just started reading a blog that had the recipe…something from a woman in south La. Yep, Your blog! I was so pleased, surprised and proud that I told her you are my dear Cuzzy!! Couldn’t help myself, you see.

    I wait with baited (lol!) breath for your radio show. I’ve watched your TV show at every airing, all four times, with Wednesday night the last showing to date.

    We, who are in your fan club, want you to have a TV show to rival all others currently on. To show how it’s really done! Bayou Woman style.

    1. Wow! Really? Was the woman just amazed that you knew the blog? And then to find out we are cousins? That is just a crazy wonderfully cool story!!! I’ve heard that Troy has to wear the same shirt so they can mix and max the footage. Take shots from a previous day’s shooting and plug it in. If you will notice, the others wear the same thing all the time, too. I think he only had ONE of those shirts, and now it is almost thread bare! Looks like it has holes in the front now. Oh, if dreams come true, I will definitely have the BWA show!!! Let’s shoot for 2013? Can’t wait to see you, Cuzzie!

  13. Happy Birthday! Glad to see you took a few days off. Love me some Swamp People. Haven’t seen the other shows.
    Radio & TV. Guess I can say “I knew you when”.

    1. Okay, Fishnduck, come out of the woodwork and tell me your real name! I think you post on La. Sportsman under that name, don’t you? Yes, you knew me then, and you know me now!!!! Nothing’s changed, lol! Except that I’m just getting fatter (and the camera makes me even fatter!)

            1. Oh my gosh, ALLEN out of the blue!!! Don’t be hurt–M.R. is a friend of mine who is friends with the guys on Duck Dynasty, so I thought he was messing with me. I sent you a message on FB through the store right before 4th of July. Did you get it? It’s so great to hear from you. Time for an email!!!!

              1. Way over due. Will make the time. Hoping to dodge the rain in the morning and fish. Awesometrout catching this spring and summer. Will fill in details in email. Till then my now famous friend.

  14. Happy Birthday BW. I took the poll but there was no button for part real and part fake and all fun. lol. Get YOUR show up !!!! Ahhh well I love my Louisiana!!!! From the gulf through the marshes to the attchafalya basin to the rice and cane and soy fields. This is my home!!!!!

    1. And what a wonderful amazing home it is! Congrats on your highly popular Acadianna is Home Facebook page. Thanks for the birthday wishes. There will be another poll when this one has given me enough information, and I will take the suggestions here under consideration. The show isn’t until the 21st, so I have time to gather more information. I am working on the show, I really am.

  15. An old High School friend, now an actor and radio host on WWL actually has a studio in the city where he teaches Cajun speech to actors coming to film in the state. It’s really hard to teach I assume, because actors don’t do too well at learning. He always said that was why even with the state’s lucrative deals for film makers little was done here, it’s the language barrier. LOL

    As to the shows, the ones I have watched are entertaining, in most cases reminding me of some past adventure, or friend, or mishap. But Lima Bean as a sheriff’s deputy (I don’t remember that shows name), or Cajun Justice, seem like an extreme stretch for my poor little brain to believe. Besides there are already too many cop shows and the Cajun ones don’t have that catchy “Bad Boys” tune. The guy in Baton Rouge, the AK-47 distributor, I would rather watch the grass grow.

    What’s that phrase, literary license? I see most of the other shows as having enough proper speech, scenery, situations and other knowns to be at lease plausible. Do I believe it all? Here I refer to Mr. Franklin, “Believe nothing you hear and only half that you see”. Its entertainment, it’s better that watching who’s going to be a star or the last one dancing or how do I get home from this desert island. Well for me anyway.

    I must agree that all those narled and yellow teeth do seem an insult but at the same time there are a lot of folks here, especially in these geographic areas or jobs which they would match or fit right in with. So if you get a guest appearance, I suggest pulling a few front teeth and pulling your hair back in either pigtails or braids. Do you have any old long flour-sack bloomers you could wear under your dress? The type bloomers that come down to your knees? Maybe a pipe could be your trade mark… no no I have it, because it’s Louisiana how about some of those old smoking vines or jar snuff.

    I live here, South Louisiana, I have been crabbing and gator hunting near Pecan Island many many moons ago. Yes mostly as a kid while visiting in Kaplan. I have been duck, deer, squirrel, quail, dove, rabbit, ‘coon, and pig hunting and a few more I probably shouldn’t list.

    These shows remind me of hunting camps, BBQ’s, New Year’s Eves, opening and closing days, and some pretty wild folks I still consider pretty good friends. They bring back forgotten now fond memories. As you know, it was your photography BW which first drew me to return to your sight as well as tell others about it. As I grew and moved (16 states and 5 countries), it was in a different direction than the river, but like all those others who have webs between their toes I came back home in the end. Louisiana is much like California, really…… It’s a completely different attitude towards life. Here people don’t live to work, they work only so they can enjoy life. Could there be a more perfect way to live? Families when I was young would bring their kids to the dancehall/bar with them on Friday/Saturday night. After the jambalaya, beer and soda pop and nonsense, they’d put the kids down on the opposited end of the dance floor from the band on quilts. Kids sooner or later would dooze off and the the adults would laugh and dance the night away. I have been there, both on and off the quilts…LOL

    BTW Happy Happy B-Day, seems you were 29 last year though. Hmmmmm…..

    5K hits? Wow that’s a long way from coffee scoops! Although I use mine daily!! Congratulations BW. That’s a whole washtub fulla friends.

    Oh and Michelle, if you have been here 25 years you are no longer a transplant, you are now adopted. Didn’t you receive the paperwork in the mail? It should change your tax status too!

    1. Wow! Your comment just says it all. I’m thinking maybe I should ask your permission to use that as part of an upcoming post. So very well said. I’ve read it three times and enjoyed it more each time. Thank you a bunch (of green onions) for taking the time to write this, Goldie. It means so much coming from someone who has the deep, rich history of having grown up and worked here that you have. I’m sure all who read it will be as appreciative as I am. Thanks for accepting both Michelle and I as adopted. I’ve not been here too much longer than she–about 35 years, over half my life. So that means 29 came and went a long time ago : ) But who’s counting anyway! My oldest son asked me yesterday how old I am now, and I said, “I really don’t care to know, son!” To which he said, “I’ve lost track too, Mamma, but it doesn’t matter does it?” No, son, it’s all in how you live each day that really matters, leaving a trail of more good days than bad behind you. Thanks, Goldie.

  16. Happy Birthday!!
    I have watched the Swamp People shows and I really enjoyed them. I figured some of it was probably staged or exagerated but, not all of it. There is enough truth and fact in it to be able to learn and enjoy. And, I did vote.

  17. Well there you go, I am only slightly familiar with TV these days.
    Happy birthday, too.
    Got a mess of sacaulait to clean every day now.

    Figs are showing up at stores fresh and cotton ball like not anything I’d consider food.

  18. oh more than a few of my acquaintance sincerely believe that you have gators crawling over every square inch of land mass in entire state.