Tandem, An American Love Story

Richard’s Lounge
After dinner, we all loaded up in the tour van and drove to Richard’s Lounge, a Zydeco place. Richard’s (Reeshard’s) is the kind of place in Louisiana they call a gun and knife club. At the door, they search you for a gun or a knife. If you don’t have one, they give you one.

I should have been prepared for something spectacular when our whole group pulled out earplugs. They had been to a Zydeco place the night before. Wow. The band made most rock bands sound quiet by comparison. My ears hurt. It felt like the sound waves were re-arranging my internal organs. It was like getting slammed by a thunderclap every half second. Loved it.

It took us awhile to learn to do something resembling hip hop. It must not have looked too bad, they didn’t throw us out. The thing you have to know about this music is that Cajun is White and Zydeco is Black. Zydeco probably owes more to Reggae than to Cajun, but I could hear both influences.

Someone at Fred’s told Claire that Black people knew better than to come into Fred’s. We didn’t feel unwelcome in Richard’s, but we were a very distinct minority. I was not at all sorry to see the big Black deputy sheriff, walking around patting his Billy-club, keeping a close eye.

After another day riding with the tour group, we circled back to Mamou to pick up our absentee ballots and vote. It was the last day we could get them postmarked so they would count. Some of the people with the tour group were surprised that we would spend an extra day and 50 miles just to vote. We always vote. That way we can honestly complain about the stupid government.

We wanted to get some stuff at Fred’s but found it is only open on Saturday mornings now. We checked in a gift shop and the clerk called Fred’s owner, Sue. She left her job and came to open up for us so we could buy a hat and bumper-sticker to send the Peytons in Huntington.

Next night, at a campground, were adopted by the cutest little cat. Before long she was snuggled up with us getting her tummy rubbed. She was the most relaxed cat I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately she relaxed a little too much, and started letting some smelly kitty farts. Somebody done feed dat cat rotted boudin! (Boudin {booddan} is a spicy hot mixture of pork and rice in a sheep’s intestine — oh my, wonderful stuff.)


Tandem, An American Love Story — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the memories, and the update on your own adventures. That last few days back to Sequim was bitter-sweet after more than a year on the road. We’ve never been the same; a good thing.

  2. What a marvelous and beautifully descriptive article about a simply amazing woman – Karen Landis. I’ve had had the serendipitous experience to create and nurture a friendship with Karen after I underwent a hip replacement and three hip fractures and realized I needed to request the local “Meals on Wheels” service. And of course, if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Karen serves the Chino Valley community two days a week by delivering meals to people in my circumstance.
    I loved Karen the first moment I met her. And when we started chatting I knew I had met a soul mate. I’ve been looking all my life for a role model, a hero, an amazing example of humankind. I don’t know if she realizes what an outstanding example she is of a strong, independent, intelligent, talented woman. Sometimes as women, we have a dentency to undervalue ourselves. But Karen, I want you to know you are the real deal. You are just so beautiful in your authenticity. And I a so appreciative of the value you have added to our environment by caring for the land and the animals under your watchful care. Your abilities and strength simply boggle my mind. And thank you for your loving service to me these past four months. You rock girl!

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