Here I am down in Cajun country enjoying my first batch of boiled crawfish in about 7 years. "An' yah, Cher, ...dem's cra-vees is sumtin man, whas reely delishus for shore, I done gar-on-teed you dat." I lived in Southwest Lousiana for over 20 years and a big piece of my heart is down here with the frogs, gators and skeeters. Right now I'm staying with one of my best friends from Sulphur High School,...Jim Hopkins and his wife, Beatrice. I could go on for 14 hours about Jim and Bea, but to keep it short...they have been great. Jim is a lawyer here in Sulphur and we have talked about everything from VietNam to the mysteries of the universe to the secession of Texas. And Bea, a teacher of the highest caliber, has just plugged her ears and let us ramble.
This is also the world of Elton Louviere. Elton is an extraordinary artist whose talents extend beyond the known universe and his accomplishments, awards, and recognition reach from here to Orlando. Elton is also an old friend and my mentor. Aside from my mother, Elton has given me more inspiration on my art endeavors through life than anyone else on the planet.
We moved to Lake Charles from Houston in 1958, a year after hurricane Audrey had scourged the area. Father, Mom and I lived in a beautiful old two story house on Hodges street. Three houses down there was a young man who had started a sign painting company...Louviere Signs. I was 13 at the time, and was allowed to go visit "Mr. Louviere" from time to time. Elton was probably 8 or 9 years my senior, and I was absolutely hypnotized by the incredibly beautiful and professional signwork that flowed from hands through the marvelous Langnickel and french quill brushes. What I remember most of those earlier days was his kindness and patience to a snotty nosed kid like me that most people would have run off in a heartbeat. I was a good spectator, though, because I could sit and watch his mastery in silent awe. After we moved to Sulphur, I had no contact with Elton until about 15 years or so later when I had a part-time job (full-time at the Post Office then), with Roy Loup's Highway Signs in Maplewood. Elton was the main sign painter for Roy, and was in the last stages of sign work...preparing to venture into the realm of full-time wildlife and bayou/marsh landscapes...his true love. He is now one of the South's most respected artists. Elton, I thank you and salute you. And I urge those that read this to visit his site.....www.LouviereFineArt.com/gallery
Tomorrow, it is off to Anacoco Lake for a few days. I'm giving the white perch fair warning. I will be going with two of the most special friends any person could ever be blessed to have. My brother-in-law Glen and his wife Wendy. The next post will be about those two and a tie-in with Every Photo Tells A Story. And I'll post that one later today, or very early in the morning.
Take care for now....your buddy in the bayou..........James
Blog thought: A little prayer plaque I had in my office: "Dear Lord, help me be the kind of person my dogs think I am."