So you can read my books

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I've decided to be kind to your eyes.

A short post.

Hibbs, the cub with no clue, just gave his 'that'll be the day' snicker.

That's enough out of you, fur face.

But on to the topic of today's post :

how time gilds the guilty.

It is the season of our city's second Mardi Gras : Contraband Days. It is based upon a bit of our city's colorful history --

Almost three centuries ago, a notorious and ruthless pirate, Jean Lafitte, fled to this region with his band of buccaneers as enemy ships pursued him on his way west to Galveston, Texas.

Legend has it that Lafitte would hide out along the waterways here in Lake Charles.

Whispers around the campfires have it that his favorite hideout was Contraband Bayou in Lake Charles.

If you set out on your boat upon its silver glass surface at night, it is said you may see his ghost, looking in vain for his lost treasure.

In fact, the bayou got its name from the rumored gold and silver hidden somewhere along its winding length. Hence the name of our festival : Contraband Days.

There was other contraband in Lafitte's ships :


It is rumored that he often sold slaves to Jim Bowie in the waterways of Lake Charles.

As you can imagine, many of our black citizens take an underwhelmed view towards a festival where the contraband might well have been some of their ancestors.

But the Cajun spirit to party hardy is not easily put aside.

So Contraband Days stays as the city's largest festival. The money it adds to the city's pockets is nothing to sneeze at either.

The ghost of Jean Lafitte is probably laughing somewhere tonight in the bayou's billowing mist.


  1. Wow, I've never heard of this. I think you should write a history of your city. You have the unique talent it would require to aptly describe it's colorful qualities......

    Hope your week is good so far :)

  2. Really cool stuff written exceptionally well as always.
    I wish I had know this when I was in the area recently. Contraband Bayou sounds like it would be worth taking a look at

  3. Fascinating, raising a hurricane (do people still drink those) to your city's Contraband Days!

  4. WordsCrafter :
    Ah, readers like happy endings. And there are very few happy ones in the story of my city. Most dreams become nightmares here. Some say there is a curse on this region due to the slave sales and worse in the dark of the nearby swamps.

    CBame13 :
    I just drove the Creole Nature Trail yesterday to bring rare blood to a rural hospital. It is truly a breathtakingly beautiful trip. I think you would have enjoyed the scenery.

    Josh :
    Wasn't that video great? I liked the catchy tune it had, though the subject matter was sad.

    Johanna :
    In New Orleans I know they still drink hurricanes ... and concoctions called zombies. Brrrr. Thanks for the good wishes for Contraband Days (still going on, by the way).

  5. When I was little we had a record with a song about Jean Lafitte on it..

    I like learning historical tid bits. (=

  6. Jo :
    Just think : one day we may end up being a historical tid bit. Thanks for visiting and caring enough to stay and talk, Roland

  7. I've never heard of this legend. I love it! Thank you for sharing it with us. It puts a different spin on the festival.

  8. Heather :
    Thanks for the good words. Yes, the truth does lend depth and perspective to even festivals, doesn't it? Have a great new week, Roland