Saturday, July 4, 2015

golden age of catahoula, part 1

THE SHOT: A wide shot of the levee road on a sunny blue summer day. An old pickup truck enters the frame and winds down the levee road, leaving a cloud of dust behind it. It turns onto Highway 96 by Red’s Levee Bar and heads toward the Catahoula bridge.
     Now the camera is in the passenger seat of the pickup truck shooting the driver — me — and the view through the passenger window as we move through Catahoula. The camera takes the viewer on a journey through Catahoula, from the perspective of someone in the passenger seat of an old pickup truck. As we drive past Red’s Levee Bar, the bridge, the park, the lake, Jim’s, the downtown s-curve, St. Rita, the old boat landing near St. Rita, Catahoula Elementary, etc., the camera lingers on those landmarks, establishing a sense of the physical space of the community and its atmosphere as we wind our way through.
     We round the big curve near St. Rita Church, drive past Landry’s and pull into Uncle Allen’s driveway. The title — Picture Catahoula — appears and disappears.

     They say that buried treasure happens only in the world of make-believe, that it’s something that authors dream up to add spice to the plot of their story, but that’s exactly what I found — literally buried treasure. It just wasn’t all in one treasure chest. It was in shoe boxes and envelopes, suitcases and photo albums scattered across Catahoula. And I didn’t unbury it in a single frenzy of shoveling. It took me three years to dig it all up. And the treasures, when I found them, weren’t gleaming jewels or wonderful gold coins — they were wonderful little pieces of paper.