In Baton Rouge we visited the LSU Primitives Museum, which is actually mostly an outdoor complex with actual buildings from the early 1800′s. They had homes, outhouses (Even a 4 holes!), slave quarters, a blacksmith shop, a church, a barn, a post office and a general store. It was pretty humbling to see how basically they lived and compare it to our neighborhoods today.
We aren’t sure who Uncle Jack was, but we thought the statue way pretty cool.
We crossed the Mississippi and entered the State of Mississippi. We decided on one of their scenic byways that runs right along the Gulf Coast. We found an RV park right at beach level, right on the beach. We then drove down Beach Blvd to visit the beach towns. Well…..they had been destroyed by Catrina. Every block had more leveled lots with only foundations than standing structures. The second day the wind started to pick up and there was a warning that there would be two foot waves. Well…..we decided to go inland and we left!!
We returned to Louisiana and went to New Orleans 2 days earlier than planned for. But it was good to get here because there are so many things to see and do an it is nice to just sit in one place for a while. So far we have explored the French Quarter, including Bourbon Street, took a tour of Fayette Cemetery and the Garden District. For any of you that have read Anne Rice’s books, the neighborhoods are just as enchanting as she describes. We saw the houses of Sandra Bullocks, The Peyton family, Nick Cage, Anne Rice and the house where Benjamin Button was filmed. Then we went shopping on Magazine street. Last night for dinner we met my Cousin, Bill and he took us to a wonderful local restaurant followed by a local hole in the wall called the Candlelight Room where we got to see the Tremme Brass Band. It was unlike anything I have ever done before and it was wonderful. Today we are off to tour the plantations and then dinner and another music cub with Bill. Good times for sure.
During our tour of the Lafayette Cemetery we learned about the different kind of sites:
First there are the leased sites. As long as your estate or your future family pays the annual fee it is yours. If however the bill is not paid, they remove your name and push your decayed remains off the shelf in the back into the bottom trough and oblivion. This is where the expression giving someone the shaft came from because the space at the back of the shelf was called the shaft.
The second option was the condo. Here you shared the outside structure with others but you had your own home!
The last option was the Mansion! With this option your family has its very own house. They range in price form $200,000.00 to millions! If you buy this option, you can place up to 14 remains in the site. As you noticed, all are encased in cement and above ground. In New Orleans they learned early that if you tried to bury in the ground, they always came back to visit you in April when the rains came. While talking about the Mansions, our tour guide explained that when the Garden District was built some of the big mansions were used for prostitution. Well the prostitutes in the not so fancy areas were getting mad about loosing all their business to the fancy houses so they began to use fishing lines to snag the hats off men headed toward the fancy houses and thus they became know as the “hookers”!
This is a sideways view of the inside off all of them. If you turned this 90 degrees to the left it would be standing up. The top shelf was for the most recent dead. The bottom part with the bars was for the second person and the trough below the bars was where decomposed remains where “shafted” to!
Here are some of the homes we saw in the garden District.
This home was used to film Benjamin Button
This was Anne Rice’s home and the home she based her Mayfair witch books around.
The whole neighborhood which was blocks and blocks all looked like this. Really amazing.