Thursday, March 25, 2010

Louisiana History Session 5

Last evening at the Broadmoor Library, Dr. Gary Joiner discussed the "Great Flood of 1927" and how it changed the politics of Louisiana. He referred to John Barry's "Rising Tide", one of the 10 best books he ever read. I'm about half through the book and do find the history and the cast of characters involved in the taming of the Mississippi River absorbing. New info to me, given by Dr. Joiner last pm, were that this flood led to the Dust Bowl, to the elevation of Herbert Hoover as a national figure, and to the election of Huey Long. Joiner's descriptions of the high water in Shreveport, in Mansfield were site specific and astounding.
There was a large audience for this event, but even if you missed it, do come to next Wednesday's final session about Earl Long, Wednesday, March 31, at 5 pm, Broadmoor Library.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Houston Adventure

Saturday, Mar. 13, Bonnie, Ira and I accompanied our Seabrook family to Moody Gardens in Galveston for a cheer competition. We were amazed at the hordes of people, probably parents and relatives, attending, the skill of the competitiors, the passion of the audience and the ear shattering noise level. We all wore team shirts in support of grand daughter Kate's UC Phantoms. Until recently, I didn't know that cheerleading was now a "sport". I found it interesting, but wonder about the participants' safety and the beauty pageant aspect that creeps in. It was a fun adventure.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

RELIC Session 3

Dr. Joiner's lecture re slavery kept the audience spellbound. He began the session by talking about the divine right of kings, mercantilism and its connection to slavery.
We'd all read all or part of Solomon Northrup's "Twelve Years a Slave" and felt that it was a great book. Dr. Joiner noted that it was published by Wm. Garrison, the famed Abolitionist, was a best seller for 4 years until Uncle Tom's Cabin was published, and that though Solomon Northrup was shanghied in Washington D.C., he was fortunate to have experienced his slavery in LA rather than any other state. LA had the Code Noire that spelled out somewhat more humane treatment for slaves and that from documents of the period, we know that those enslaved in LA fared better than those in Harrison County, TX, etal.
When I learned that Maspero's in New Orleans was originally a slave pen, I remembered the very different slave pen I visited in Zanzibar. Whereas Maspero's room is above ground, has huge beams and good headroom, the one in Zanzibar was below ground level, had just 2 tiny windows, a low ceiling that made me feel constrained as I walked in and I very swiftly left the oppressive place.
The above video contains the first 2-3 minutes of Dr. Joiner's lecture. Next Wednesday at 5 pm, Dr. Joiner will be speaking about the Civil War. The book we're reading is "The Civil War Memories of Capt. Wm. J. Seymour: Reminiscences of a LA Tiger". Hope you join the group.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Broadmoor Library:Dr. G. Joiner

Last evening at the Broadmoor Library, Dr. Gary Joiner delivered Lecture 2 in the "Perspectives on the Pelican State" series. We'd been assigned to read several chapters in Brasseaux, "The Founding of New Arcadia", and I found the information re Acadian Settlement patterns interesting. Dr. Joiner first defined Creole and Cajun, then explained how both groups came to Louisiana, their land settlement preferences and why. Though his explanation of the different land measurement systems employed by the English, the French and the Spanish, was more than I really wanted to know, I found the rest of his lecture worth my full attention.
These sessions are free to the public and will continue at 5pm, each Wednesday through Mar. 31, at the Broadmoor Library. This video provides a glimpse of Dr. Joiner's talk.