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The Artist and the Farmer — 24 Comments

  1. Excellent story my friend! It is sad that almost everything we do in southern Louisiana brings us back to conversations about our quickly disappearing landscape. One day farmers may not be able to plant where they once did (actually that’s already happened in some places.) One day we may not be able to watch majestic birds swoop from their perches to catch some dinner from the marsh (actually that’s already happened in some places.) One day we may not be able to see brightly colored crab corks dotting the paths to our favorite fishing holes (actually that’s already happened in some places.) One day we may pass camps by boat where we used to pass full-time residences by car (actually that’s already happened in some places.) One day we might travel through open water where camps once stood (actually that’s already happened in some places.) Unfortunately the possibility of that “one day” seems to be approaching more quickly all the time like a sad ending to a fairy tale gone wrong. But I guess it’s important to remember that the ending of this fairy tale has yet to be written. If we the people of the United States decide to work together, we can write a beautiful tale for south Louisiana that has no end. Funny how such a complex issue comes down to a simple two letter word.

  2. Sad to say, but I’ve seen so many subdivisions go up where sugarcane once grew. In most of these cases, it wasn’t because of a hurricane or drought. It was simply “the next generation” not wanting to be a farmer. So when mom and dad retired or died, the generations old family land and all the equipment was sold.
    About mazes or labyrinths…If you find yourself hopelessly lost in one, don’t panic… use a fire fighting technique to get out. It may take longer to get out, but you will get out. Put your right arm out making contact with the “wall” and walk with your hand making continuous contact. You will find your way out, whether it’s a smoke filled room. a corn or sugarcane maze.
    Oh yeah, I don’t think it was the the “soulful flute music” or the “sounds of the rustling cane mixed with the sugar rush from the cane juice” that gave you that magical feeling. I think it was the Rum. LOL!

    • My daddy always told me about the right hand to the wall. So the second time I went through, I finally got a chance to test the theory. And of course, I set you up for the rum comment! Can’t slip anything poetic by you, can I?

  3. Bravo! Loved reading this. Sure wish I could have gone along with you, especially after seeing that picture of the yummy cane sugar drinks! (Was that rum by any chance from the Old New Orleans rum distillery? We almost went on a tour there on our anniversary trip!)

  4. Termite gets all the babes….. I be pouting. Is that like our bogus corn mazes up here that are just huge advertising signs in space.

    BTW I liked this little story.

  5. I enjoyed the article and loved the photos. Makes me remember trips to the cane fields and the syrup shed when I was a kid. We always came home with several 1/2 gal. jars of fresh syrup and several pieces of fresh cane to peel and chew. Those fields are gone now to my knowledge. The last time I saw the syrup shed, it had collapsed. So sad to lose traditions.

    I tried to keep the tradition of fresh cane alive for my kids as they were growing up by purchasing it at the market for them. I saw some in the grocery store but, it was so dried out. I would love to have some fresh to run thru my juicer.

  6. What a great story! I’ll bet the maze was a fun place to be. This story would be great to include iin that book you should write about your life on the bayou.

  7. One of my favorite traditions during cane harvesting time started when I was a kid is to peel the cane with a knife and cut it in bite size chunks and just chew it like bubble gum for a few seconds. My kids and grandkids love it!

    • Most of the cane grown now is not the “chewing” kind we had as kids. I spent a lot of time sitting on the back steps peeling and chewing myself. I haven’t had any in years, but that may change in the near future. I’m going to make a stop at the produce stands in the area and see if they have some cane. I know I’ve seen it there in the past, but I don’t know if it was for sale or for decoration. If I find some, I’m going to get the grandchildren, fill them up on sugar cane (juice) and then send them home. They (8 of them) are rowdy enough when they are together, I don’t think I could take them very long on a sugar high!

  8. beautiful, beautiful post. Sad or no, your ending is truth. such is also the dilemma of the mountain people–mountaintop removal to get the coal and the money from it (which promptly leaves the state with the rich corporate types who don’t live here), or beautiful green mountains that invite visitors to our state and protect our fragile environment? there seems to be no middle ground.

  9. This was just beatiful, Wendy. From the title to the ending – an enjoyable read, although sad as you said.

    By the way, I think the cane/lime/rum juice extravaganza is happening on the evening of the 12th is it not?

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