By now, most of you have watched the most-watched show in the history of the History Channel, “Swamp People”. If you haven’t, then tune in this Thursday at 8:00 Central Time. These alligator hunters have become local heroes and are just about as real as they come.
Miah’s target swamp person yesterday was Troy Landry, from Pierre Part, LA. He’s a veteran alligator trapper with personality plus. Let’s call him the Sweetheart of the Swamp People, because he seems to be everyone’s favorite.
That was evident when we pulled into park in a huge grocery store parking lot, packed full of vehicles. The line was already out the front door and around the end of the building. I put Miah out and told him to get a place in line while I parked the car illegally. There literally was nowhere to park.
After parking the car and checking on him, I asked the lady behind him to keep an eye on him while I went inside to see what the plan was. And oh my goodness, there looked to be a thousand people in a serpentine line that wound its way through the bakery, around produce, up and down six isles all the way to the back of the store where Troy was rumored to be signing autographs and posing for pics. I asked a store employee and a couple women in the line what the procedure was, and nobody knew. There was really no organization.
I went back outside and reported to Miah and the lady in line that there was no way all those people could get to see Troy in three hours. It was so hot waiting in the sun, Miah’s head was already producing sweat droplets the size of raindrops.
It’s hard for Miah to understand that things don’t always work out as planned, and when he has his mind set on something, he’s not that willing to flex. Even so, there was no way I was waiting in that heat for our turn to see Troy. But, I did have another plan in mind. Dotter had tipped me off that morning that more Swamp People were appearing downtown.
ME: “Who is the lady who shoots for Troy?”
MIAH: “Lizbet,” he said with his head down in disappointment.
ME: “Well, I heard that she might be downtown. Would you like to go see her?”
MIAH: “Lizbet? Me?”
ME: “Yeah, buddy, let’s go find her!”
MIAH: Not wanting to seem too anxious, he sighed, dropped his shoulders and said, “All right,” as he exhaled heavily.
I talked to him along the way of the other Swamp People he might get to see there. He had already met several of them, but I thought he might want to see them again.
The first one on the list was Liz, The Gator Queen, jokingly known to Troy as “Tee-Liz”!
We heard a rumor that when Troy was finished at the grocery store at 2 p.m. he was heading downtown where we were. Miah overheard the conversation and perked up at the mention of Troy. By this time, it was only noon, so I diverted his attention with the offer of a cold drink.
Then, we walked around looking at all the booths while I steered him toward a couple more of his heroes.
This time, it was father and son team, R.J. and J. Paul from Houma. They are Houma Indians and hunt alligators not far from where we live. Don’t you just love R. J.’s braid? We go to the same salon!!!
He already has an autographed photo of these guys–Dotter took him to meet them a couple weeks ago at Buffalo Wild Wings, but I wanted a pic of him with them.
We moseyed on down the way, and I surprised him with a stop at the tent of Trapper Joe and Trigger Tommy. They are the first Swamp People he met last month, and he already has their signed photo. However, he was wearing his visor, just like Tommy’s, and I asked him if he wanted them to sign it. Oh yes, indeed he did!
Along the way, we stopped at the Art Gecko tent of my artist friend, Dot-tee. She gave Miah a tile painted with her signature Pink Alligator. That pink alligator is going to make her famous!
They were out of fried alligator, a big disappoint to my inflexible son, but when he read the word “alligator” on another sign advertising “Alligator Sauce Piquant”, he was sold. The man served him a big bowl full and told him if he liked it, to come back for free refills!
Food and drink in hand, we settled on a bench in the courtyard near the stage to watch none other than our own MuzicMan of the Voodoo Bayou Band. Even though the sun was brutal, the oak trees shaded us while a gentle breeze kept us from totally burning up.
After the concert was over, Miah was ready to go find Troy. It was 2 p.m. and time for his grocery store visit to end. I asked at the information tent where he was going to be set up, and they had no idea. They told me to go ask the Gator Queen. When I asked at her tent, they said they had no idea either. So, we parked ourselves on a curb where we could see all three entrances where he might come through.
Two hours later, we heard a rumor that Troy had just left the grocery store and was headed to the hospital, where his son’s wife was in labor and about to give birth. Miah was not happy to hear those words. Finally, around 5 p.m., I convinced him that Troy wasn’t coming and bribed him with a trip to the drive-through for a cheeseburger in order to convince him to leave.
I visited Troy’s Face Book page this morning and read that he stayed an extra two hours at the grocery store event. And from there he went straight to the hospital to meet his new grandson.
In the courtyard yesterday, I ran into my cousin who said she had watched Troy in the store, taking his time with each person, hugging them, putting his arm around them, posing, laughing, smiling, joking. No wonder it took an extra two hours!
Miah ended up having a good day, even though he didn’t get to see Troy. I was a bad momma and forgot the sunscreen, so now he has a “visor” tan on his bald head, poor darling. Now, if I could just figure out how to get him a visit with Troy, the Alligator Bandit, his Swamp People collection will be complete!
Power to the Swamp People!