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Tragedy in Cajun Land

Tragedy in Cajun Land


I took a break from my column last week and nobody noticed. Well, maybe a few cooks and homemakers might have noticed they had one less newspaper sheet to wrap shrimp hulls the next day.

There are columns in The Lafourche Gazette which are more substantial like Rev. Todd who can enhance your faith and Mr. Siller who can enhance your financial status. All my columns enhance are memories of by gone eras, events and people. Until this past week, I was sure I knew all about everything in my land of the Cajuns. Tragically I did not!

What has happened to my beloved, gentle, neighbor loving neighbor homeland? In one week and within one mile of my home, Wayne Matherne and Stanley Gisclair were brutally murdered in their homes by an alleged perpetrator who is quoted as “just wanting to kill”.

There were also several cases of arson and kids throwing rocks and bricks through my peaceful neighbors’ and relatives’ windows. Who are their mentors and role models? How could such ideas and thoughts enter such young minds and instill the willingess to carry through such dastardly deeds in an area which is religious and kind and where people had not seen the need to lock their doors for generations?

This is not us or have we been ignoring the riots, anti-police actions, hate groups and gangs emerging in inner cities and refused to believe it could never come here?

Such questions are easy to ask, but where in the darkest corner of anyone’s mind could one even begin to search for the answers.

And then there was the election. Shocking? To some, sure but It was evident that Hillary had the organization, ability, power and money to possibly pull it off, but I also felt an anger in the country crying out for change where the so called “forgotten working class” also had the ability with their vote to bring about a different conclusion.

My advice? To the winner, you have the right to celebrate. Drink a toast, and move on. To the losers, you have the right to be sad. To have a winner, there must be a loser. Today it’s you. Tomorrow it might be them. America is bigger than any election. A nation who was born with a revolution, survived the war of 1821, a civil war, World Wars I and II and other altercations will survive, but Wayne and Stanley will not!

I have a true political story that might give you some insight about human nature.

Nerby Collins was a well-liked bar owner and shrimp dealer who had been elected several times to the Lafourche Parish Police Juror and was doing a good job. But there were some who thought it was time for a change so he encountered strong opposition. It was the same Lafourche “rip bang” “no holds barred” election, without today’s riots and Nerby was eased out of the run off by a small margin. Or so it seemed.

When you won an election in those days, parades were held. The winners waved from the cars and the losers waved back from the porches. They were all friends yesterday and would be again tomorrow so tempers cooled fast. During my years I waved more from porches than from cars.

But “Danger, Mr. Robinson, Danger!” A recount was called for. This was Tuesday, but the parade making fun of and mocking him had been held that Sunday. Big mistake! A few cars had cloth dummies depicting Nerby and hung in effigy in the parade.

The public, who liked Nerby, even though they had just voted him down, was appalled and mad at what they considered an insult and took it out on Nerby’s opponent even though it might have been the work of his supporters and not the candidate who had instigated it.

Never the less, the damage was done. The recount reversed the results and Mr. Collins was back in the runoff where he slaughtered his opponent and went on to serve many more years.

There might be a moral to this story and maybe my readers can figure it out.

Bye now!

Comments are welcomed at: leroymartin1929@gmail.com