Tattered Jeans

More than pain: The people of Louisiana can't be defined by an oil disaster


 

Editor's note: Katie Oxford is on the ground and in the boats in Louisiana, reporting from the heart of the Gulf oil spill disaster. This is her 13th and final piece from the scene.
 

Years ago, my mother gave me a small glass. “It’s called an ‘End of the Day’ glass,” she said. Meaning, the glassmaker had taken all the colors of paint he used that particular day — threw them in a vat and produced one last piece. The end result, as you might imagine, was always a surprise and certainly, a one of a kind. 

 

This is how I think of the People of Louisiana. Eclectic. Original. Always, surprising, in a warm way. Like home, on Christmas morning.

 

The people of Louisiana carry Muscle...

The Crosby Chargers, from left: Jacob Billiot, Luke Wheater, Blaize Danos, Fred Hebert and Kirk Foret

And Heart.

Brenda Louviere

Crosses and Humor.

Pride.

Russell Dardar

And more Pride.

Sense of Place.

Rickey Verrett

Color.

Bobby Pitre

 

Some…are just trying to hold ground. Sacred.

Russell Dardar

Blood.

The Toups family, from left: Kitty, Toby, Anson and Rusty

Or no blood ....

Everyone seems kin.

Mr. Hutchinson, left, with Barbara Crochet and Paul Crochet

Carries Soul.

Rickey Verrett

In Louisiana, man and nature work in sync.

“Santos” oyster boat captain with Motivatit Seafoods on Lake Mechant

Sometimes, seamlessly.

Xuan Chen

Birds habitat here.

Boats and streets are personalized, 

And personal.

Even pickled chicken eggs. 

Something can look dark one day,

A different shade the next.

Cracked but still standing.

 

Louisiana is about Light.

Bayou LaFourche

Gifts.

Grace.

Offerings.

Giving back.

 

The people of Louisiana are inside me…as big as the Louisiana outdoors. 

Rickey Verrett