Although I am now a regular visitor to this area surrounding LAFAYETTE, LA, and I still stay in THE BAYOU CABINS, my first visit to this town and area, created the permanent need to return again and again!! This Post will feature many photos of the characters and places that still remain in my mind and heart, and continually gets updated by new, almost equally weird experiences! My first visit was preceded by my usual research and phone inquiries and reservations from California, but I wasn’t prepared for the warm friendliness of most all of the people I met.
THE BAYOU CABINS situated on BAYOU TECHE are very simple wooden cajun cabins, many of them with decks overlooking the Bayou. This is a family owned enterprise: LISA & ROCKY SONNIER operate the dozen or so cabins, along with their BAYOU BOUDIN & CRACKLIN meat processing business, and a small cafe that serves guests and visitors. On my first visit, I arrived in the afternoon, and they showed me to my cabin and gave me a sample plate of their boudin and cracklin. Wonderful!!
Right down the road from Bayou Cabins is the original MULATE’S Cajun Restaurant. There is another one in New Orleans which I’ve never visited. This place is large with nightly live music and an extensive Cajun menu. It turns out that it’s a popular tour bus stop in that it can accommodate large groups. Both female bartender and male server were very friendly and helped me with local bar suggestions.
So directed, I headed down the road about a mile to what looked like a cinder block bunker, and at 9:30 in the evening, JIM’S SHANGRI-LA only had a few cars parked in lot. When I entered, a couple of plus-sized ladies turned toward me and smiled, good! But immediately, at the other end of the bar, their local poor man’s Mickey Gilley in a big white cowboy hat (see photo!) yelled out, “Hey, it’s Osama bin Laden!” He was smiling, so I walked across the room right up to him and said with a smile, “Wrong; been there, done that, back in 1941!” We slapped hands, and I bought him a drink. After that introduction, everyone- about 8 people- wanted to be friends! The young woman, Candace, seated next to me, proceeded to bare her back showing off her tattoo. The owner, Jim Carelock (now deceased), and his nice bartender, Lisa, spent much of the evening conversing with me. The excitement began when two buddies showed up fresh from a winning streak at a local casino. Very amiable, Tommy with the camo hat was a buddy of Candace…shortly, she and Tommy engaged in a friendly game of Indian leg wrestling on the floor (see photos!). Later, Candace and owner, Jim, demonstrated to me their version of ZYDECO dancing that I construed as Dirty Dancing, as I haven’t seen that style performed anywhere since! Slowly, people left the bar until at about a quarter to 2 AM closing, we remaining hardcores were laughing and screaming so loudly that sheriff officers stepped in thinking there might be trouble! Jim assured them that all was well, and when they left, Candace piped up, “You know that young one?…I’d fuck him!!”