Wednesday, July 23, 2008
What is Great About America
It has been a while since I toured southern Louisiana. I wrote a blog here sometime back about my travels in Cajun country and a little of the history of the special people in this special part of the good ole USA. The more I come here the more I like it and appreciate the Cajun heritage.
Tonight I find myself in Lafayette right in the heartland of Cajun Country. I actually flew in here on Monday and spent a night in Morgan City, the next night in New Orleans and tonight here before I hop on a plane and head home in the AM. And there have been many stops in between.
We started this morning at Café Du Monde in the famous French Quarters of New Orleans, pronounced Nawlins. I have been to Nawlins many times and I always make a stop to get a few of the very delicious Beignet’s (pronounced Ben yah). I found that early Wednesday morning’s in the middle of July are not nearly as busy at the Café as they are on New Year’s Eve. I even had time to pose with one of the Vietnamese (or Korean) Beignet waitresses.
We ended up tonight at the world famous Cajun restaurant called Prejean’s (pronounced prey jone – with the emphasis on jone). The Cajun band pictured below that was playing tonight is called “The Medicare Express.” These guys are enjoying the moment and I can tell you I enjoyed the moment with them.
My wife will be proud and shocked to know I ordered a cup of Smoked Duck & Andouille Gumbo. Andouille is pronounced ahndewy, in case you want to know. After I finished the spicy gumbo I found out that “ahndewy” is a type of sausage that is made up of the small intestine of a pig being inserted in the large intestine, then seasoned and cooked. When the Cajuns were exiled here they could not afford to waste any food so they created Andouille.
It was delicious but I must say I did not have time to stop to turn the television on when I rushed in my hotel room tonight, if you know what I mean.
I continue to be amazed at the people who make up this great country. For most of my life I only hung around folks that were like me and had the same basic background as me. But my business career has afforded me in the past 10 years not only the opportunity to travel to many different parts of the country but also the opportunity to get to know the folks who live there.
You can visit the places and hear all the accents and see the difference. But when you get to know the folks you learn so much more and appreciate the people so much more.
One lesson I have learned is that people in different parts of the country are different than me. We talk differently, we have different heritages, we enjoy different kinds of food and the way it is seasoned. There is no doubt that is true.
But in most ways we are exactly the same.
And that, my friend, is what is great about America.