Sunday, November 6, 2011

Angelle's Whiskey River

Terry and I had been to Whiskey River the last time we were in Louisiana. The place is a dive bar located on the edge of a swamp in Henderson. We exited off the rural road and climbed a steep dirt road up an embankment over a levee. Dust rose creating a cloud behind us. The bar was a ramshackle place with a crude dance hall built with exposed beams and plywood. Five dollars at the door got us a wrist band. The band was doing a sound check. I sat at a bar at the back of the dance hall. When I started the sketch the place was almost empty but by the time I finished the place was packed wall to wall with people. The beers flowed. When the sketch was done I decided to drop my bag of art supplies off in the rental car.

Walking back to the bar a fellow stumbled towards me. His eyes were bloodshot. He had already had too much to drink. I shook his hand as he welcomed me. "You are going to have the time of your life buddy." he said. I smiled thanked him and went inside. The band was called Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie. Terry was on the sidelines of the dance floor swaying to the Cajun beat. I tapped her on the shoulder and we made our way out on the dance floor. We couldn't help but bump into other couples. People were twirling, stomping and dipping to the beat. The accordion twisted its notes in a frenzy. A musician with a washboard on his chest scraped his spoons in quick and fluid wrist movements.

Terry and I did a dance move we learned at a folk festival once. We held hands and I twirled her keeping our grip until our arms formed a graceful knot. We then spun to untangle ourselves and we went the other way. The fellow from the parking lot was dancing up a storm. He was suddenly all balance as he gripped a girl close. These folks all knew how to dance. The plywood floor was pounding and swaying. A sign on a ceiling beam read, "No parking on the dance floor."

Terry and I danced to the point of exhaustion. She confessed that this was her favorite place in the universe. Outside the light dimmed and the silver blue green hanging moss grew dark. We ordered some food from a food truck out in the parking lot. The lady inside got every order wrong but it didn't matter I would have eaten anything. Mosquitoes the size of humming birds buzzed around us. When the music and dancing ended, we drove back towards our hotel getting lost on the rural roads.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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