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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


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


  1. Interesting trailer on Lafitte. I know little of New Orleans history.

    Pirates hold a fascination for many, and other location tell of pirate treasure (Florida). We visited the Atocha find in Key West and saw 15th century gold.

    I don't think I've heard of Contraband Days before. Interesting local news.

  2. I never knew the history of Contraband Days.
    Is Hibbs still snickering?

  3. D.G.:
    New Orleans has a colorful history with scoundrel heroes and villains with hearts of gold (or at least gold pieces of eight!)

    I would have liked to have seen that 15th century gold.

    Never heard of CONTRABAND DAYS? The mayor just had his reality check bounce! :-)

    There are hundreds of colorful, haunted legends in this city. And yes, Hibbs is still snickering: I afford him no end of amusement! He's currently courteously cleaning out my last honey jar! He says it's to safeguard my waistline.

  4. your city is so rich in history! i need to read up on it. jim bowie, huh? not that i was a fan of his. just interesting. so was finding out about l. frank baum...

    give Hibbs a good scratch between his ears for me. if you go out to celebrate, stay away from the bayou!

  5. Interesting. Loved the mystery of his disappearance.


  6. Words Crafter:
    Yes, both New Orleans and Lake Charles have mysterious legends attached to them. Jim Bowie is a major character in THE RIVAL where Alice and Victor are hurled into 1834 New Orleans -- so is a young Edgar Allan Poe who vies with Victor for Alice's affections!

    Hibbs is always appreciative of a scratch behind the ears! And a blood courier has scant time to celebrate bringing blood to all those who celebrated unwisely!

    Yes, Jean Lafitte ended as all good legends should -- mysteriously. :-)