St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

Last weekend the weather was slightly less hot and humid than it had been for the past 10 days or so, so I went out shooting. I really don’t want to spend the entire summer cooped up indoors, so if we get the occasional weekend that isn’t totally unbearable–or raining, we get most of our rain in the summer here–I’m going to go somewhere. When Mom and I were cleaning out Granny’s apartment (before she died, when she was in the nursing home), I found a guidebook for Acadiana, which is comprised of 22 of the 64 parishes of Louisiana, stretching east to Cameron Parish and the Texas border, west to Lafourche Parish, and as far north as Ayoyelles Parish.  (We live basically smack in the middle of it.) I’ve bookmarked about 2 dozen pages, so I shouldn’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

Saturday I explored a little bit of St. Landry Parish, which is about an hour north of us. I’ve been there a couple of times, but mostly just to antique, and once to go to Evangeline Downs in Opelousas. Some of the parishes are tiny, or are basically just one town or city and some surrounding rural areas, but St. Landry is both fairly large and contains several towns and communities. In fact, it’s probably going to take at least another trip before I see everything that I want to. I like the area because it’s a little hilly, and reminds me a bit of the Bay Area. I miss the hills and mountains sometimes.

First I went to Arnaudville, which for the past several years has become something of an arts center for the area. There are several galleries and a lot of south Louisiana artists have studios there, and there’s even a place where people can take art classes. I mostly saw painting and sculpture, not much photography. But I did find some abandoned buildings to photograph!

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Lots of black-eyed Susans blooming this year.

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You see a lot of these rusty old arrow signs in the country around here. A lot of people run businesses out of their homes (or barns) in the rural south. I always wonder what they used to advertise.

As I was leaving town I saw a sign for Leonville, less than 10 miles away. Leonville is in my book, it’s a historic town that was founded by free people of color before the Civil War. Alas, there isn’t much to the town itself, other than a couple of gas stations and a convenience store, so I used the rest of my film up on the church and cemetery.

St. Leo the Great church

Interesting details on the stained glass.

I was too close to the town of Washington and my favorite antiques mall (the one inside the old schoolhouse) to resist swinging by, but I didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without. There was a pretty big stash of old Kodaks and Anscos in the gym, but most of them were pretty beat up.

There were a couple of Baby Brownies, but they were both broken. Even if I never use the camera due to the difficulty in obtaining 127 film (there’s one company in Croatia that still makes it, and a few boutique sellers who wrap their own onto salvaged spools and custom-made backing paper), I’d still want it to work.

There was a Kodak Tourist that was in perfect condition, but I don’t really need another 620 folding camera. Still, it was marked down from $45 to $30… and I actually don’t currently have a 620 folding camera, I sold my Foldex 20. I might give it a home if it’s still there next time I go.

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