Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lafayette LA

Found the following info online....great history and info!

Introduction to Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette is located in the southern central part of Louisiana, at the intersection of Highways 10 and 49. It is the fourth largest city in Louisiana and is the only major city in Louisiana that has grown in population since the year 2000. Lafayette resides in an area called Acadiana, which is known as the Cajun Heartland, and is the unofficial Cajun Capitol of the south. Lafayette lies 15 miles west of the Atchafalaya Basin and 35 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and is surrounded by bayous, swamps and marshes along with forests and prairies. The city got its name in 1844 when it was named after the French Marquis de Lafayette.

Lafayette has a history almost as colorful as the history of the state of Louisiana, which actually was governed by 10 different flags from the period of time beginning 1541 until 1803 when it became a possession of the United States. The rich French heritage of Lafayette was mainly due to "Le Grand Derangement" in 1755. That year, thousands of French Canadians were forced from their homes because they refused to renounce their Catholic religion for the Anglican Church and pledge allegiance to the British flag. More than half of the Acadians lost their lives as their homes and crops were burned by the British and they floundered at sea. Most of the survivors ended up in Louisiana after the King of Spain allowed them to settle in South Louisiana. They eventually ended up in the areas around Lafayette, where they could raise their own crops and fish and trap according to their traditions. Thus, the Cajun culture was born. Interestingly, the word Cajun originated when the French of noble ancestry would call the Acadians "le Cadiens", dropping the "A". Later, the Americans who could not pronounce "Cadien" shortened the term and just called them "Cajuns". These Cajun people were known for their unique culture. They are deeply religious, hard working but enthusiastic and fun people. Their food, spicy and flavorful, became famous throughout the country and still is a favorite among the visitors of the "Bayou Country".

In 1803, Louisiana had become a part of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with Napoleon because of the region's importance to the trade and security of the American mid-west. Much of the produce of the mid-west traveled down the Mississippi River so this area became vital for America. The fertility of the land in this region gave rise to important crops such as sugar and cotton, making the planters of Lafayette some of the richest in America. After the Civil War, sulfur was discovered in 1869 and oil was discovered in 1901. Now Louisiana has become one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas in the country.

Lafayette Points of Interest

Lafayette has a strong tourism industry, attracted by the wonderful Cajun food of this region. It has more restaurants per capita of any city in the entire area. The city has a thriving arts community, consisting of theatre, visual arts, and especially music. Cajun music is a combination of bluegrass and French with a little European folk music thrown in. Almost every weekend, there is a music, dance or street festival and the city is known for its great Mardi Gras celebrations when Lafayette explodes with color and wild costumes.

Because of its year-long warm climate, Lafayette is known as "The Sportsman's Paradise". The bayous and swamps are great places for canoe rides and the fishing is very popular. In addition, there are championship golf courses nearby and lots of hiking and biking trails to explore. The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns is the team name of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1960, the name referred only to the football team which was formerly called the Bulldogs, but now the name refers to all the sports of the university, including basketball and baseball. And, since 2003, Lafayette is home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, its semi pro football team.

Lafayette has a diversified and interesting college life. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the largest campus within the eight-campus University of the Louisiana System and the second largest university in Louisiana. It is recognized mostly for its excellence in computer science and its graduate courses in environmental biology. In addition, Lafayette is home to the South Louisiana Community College and the Louisiana Technical College at Lafayette.

Located only 135 miles from New Orleans, Lafayette is a popular destination for tourists looking for the flavor of New Orleans; the food, music and festivals rival its famous neighbor and the warm climate is perfect for a relaxing southern vacation. As the Cajuns say, ""Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez", or "Let the Good Times Roll!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Treat Everyone with Respect

I read the article below and it saddens me to know that we have people in this society who do not stop to help the elderly nor speak to the elderly (or anyone for that matter) with the respect that they (we) all deserve. Remember that no matter how your day is going or how much in a rush you may be in, your smile or kind words will lift some one's spirits and will have a domino effect. You never know who you are speaking to. We shouldn't adjust our common manners according to some one's age, color or social status. But I see it happen everyday. There is a place for everyone in society and blue collared jobs are just as important as white collared jobs. We need all types of people and workers to make this country run well. We also need each other and need to be treated with respect, we are all in this together.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Throwback to 1956

The following information was extracted from a column written by Floyd Knott published in the Teche News:

Sayings from 1956:

"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for ten dollars."

"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit smoking. Twenty cents a pack is ridiculous"

"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $1,000 will only buy a used one."

"I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open a whole lot of foreign business."

"When I first started driving, who would have thought that gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon?"

"Did you hear that the post office is thinking about charging seven cents just to mail a letter?"

"If they raise the minimum wage to $1, no one will be able to hire outside help at the store."

"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the president."

"No one can afford to be sick anymore. At $15 a day in the hospital it's too rich for my blood."

"If they think I'll pay 30 cents for a haircut, forget it"

"I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more ever since they let Clark Gable say "damn" in Gone with the Wind."

"The drive in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. they even say some fellows they call astronauts are preparing for it down in Texas."

"I never thought I'd see the day when all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."

"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where some married women have to work to make ends meet. It won't be long before young couples are going to have hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work. "

"Thank goodness I won't live to see they day when the government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to govern."

I would love to hear any thoughts/comments. Which is your favorite? I wonder what those people would have thought if someone told them THEN what it's like NOW.