Bayou Bridge, Church Saints, Rail Rice
Jimbaux made a pilgrimage to the community of Abbeville on Sunday 21 August 2011 in western southern central Louisiana. Abbeville is a couple dozen miles south-southwest of Lafayette, which is the largest city in Cajun country. Here are some pictures of three varying subjects, but all within a few blocks of each other.
Bridges Are Cool, And So Are Bayous
Bayou Vermillion, or the Vermillion River, passes here on its way from Lafayette to the Gulf of Mexico. Deltaic switching means that this area is no longer part of the Mississippi River delta; actually, I’m not sure that it ever was, but Bayou Teche had made a mess here.
Swinging the camera less than 90 degrees to the north, we see this:
St. Mary Magdelene Church
It’s a Catholic Church right in the middle of town near a town square, the square that, to me, is reminiscent of many parts of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant South (like places I’ve been in Georgia) but seems out of place among the swamps and bayous of the Franco-Iberian-Germanic-Catholic areas of extreme southern Louisiana. Anyway, I’ve just mentioned the square and so much of the town, but I have not pictures of that! Here’s the church:
I was awed.
St. Andrew, Dung-Lac
I had never heard of St. Andrew, Dung-Lac; this page on this Norwegian site gives some information (in English) about him.
The presence of a Vietnamese saint in an otherwise “white people” church surprised me, though it is a result of the fact that Abbeville has a large Vietnamese population — about 5% of the population — many of which work in the seafood industry, especially on shrimp boats.
Many Catholic Vietnamese came to the already-largely-Roman-Catholic southern Louisiana after the Vietnam War in the 1970s.
Rice On The Rails
A few blocks south of the church and the town square is the rice mill, the only remaining railroad customer of any significance on the railroad branchline – owned by the Louisiana & Delta Railway since that company’s inception when it acquired several southern Louisiana branchlines from the Southern Pacific Railway – from New Iberia.
Most of the rice mill is unseen in the picture, as it is behind me across the street; what we see here is one small building. Y’all need to check out this shot of a train coming from Abbeville taken by my whoadie-foamer-photographer The Cajun Porkchop.
On the six-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in the Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama area, I’ll remind you that the Abbeville area seen here suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Rita that came about a month after Katrina. As the East Coast of the US and even Canada has just been battered by Irene, I have plenty to say about this topic, but I’m really spent right now and want to just get this post cranked out. So, this will have to do for now. Enjoy.