Thursday, February 13, 2014

Whiskey River


Terry and I had been to Angelle's Whiskey River once before. When we returned to Louisiana this is the one place Terry wanted to share with her niece Claire Brown. This Cajun dive bar can only be found by driving over a dirt road over the levee. Terry's iPhone apple maps sent us in a round about way through trailer park suburbs. Finding the dirt road was tricky because it forked back making it impossible to see the sign from behind. There was a five dollar cover but the band played tirelessly hour after hour.

Whiskey River is a ramshackle place built on stilts right next to the river.  The floor is just plywood planks and the place shutters when everyone is dancing. The band ironically was the same group Terry and I danced to last time we were there, called "Gene Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie." This weekly Cajun dance hall was once again packed. The dance floor was always full for every dance number. Older gentlemen in cowboy hats knew every Cajun dance move and the whisked a new woman around the dance floor for every number. Terry danced with several men who spun her ceaselessly as I did this quick sketch. For some dances, everyone knew to dance in sweeping circles clockwise.

Men lined up to dance with Claire and one asked her for her number, but she has a boyfriend. When the sketch was done, I joined Terry on the dance floor until we were both exhausted. Huge fans cross ventilated the dance floor but with so many heated bodies the place was hot despite the cold temperature outside. The dance floor would always empty the second the band stopped playing. Terry was the one person who wanted to remain on the dance floor waiting for the next song to begin. She loves Cajun music. We even had a Cajun band perform at our wedding. My family seemed confused by all the dancing but Terry's family danced the whole time.

By the time we left we smelled like cheap beer and cigarette smoke. The fans kept the air breathable but the smoke seeped it's way deep into our jackets. Claire offered to wash our winter jackets at her place and the next day we smelled squeaky clean.


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