Week Fourteen | Morganza, LA to St. Gabriel, LA: the next 200 miles

1pm, Thursday, October 15, 2019

Morganza, New Roads, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, St. Gabriel

LANDSCAPE | River Controls

Dams, levees and control structures constrain the natural rhythm of the river to bend it to human will. An engineering achievement on a massive scale, protecting farms and cities, regulating flow and providing reliable shipping corridors – but at what cost and for how long?

COMMUNITY | Race and Ethnicity along the River

Where does the North end and the South begin? The river paints that picture in black and white, a tale of historic racial and ethnic divides that persists to this day.

VOICE | Anne Butler

Author and seventh generation owner of the Butler Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Voice gathered on the afternoon of October 17, 2019 sitting on the front porch.

VOICE | Donna Saurage

Board member and shareholder of Louisiana’s well known Community Coffee—both she and the coffee a fixture of Southern culture and flavor. Voice gathered on the afternoon of October 19, 2019 at Community’s Baton Rouge headquarters.

ENCOUNTER | Mayor Lionel Johnson

Long-time educator in Iberville Parish turned mayor of St. Gabriel, Louisiana since 2011, now also a leader amongst mayors along the Mississippi River. Voice gathered on the morning of October 21, 2019 at St. Gabriel City Hall.

It’s clear we are deep into Louisiana now—back home if you will—because the voices joining us at this week’s Zoom felt somehow more familiar and the virtual hugs more frequent. Also, too, there was a general banding together against the shared threat of this recently daunting hurricane season through the dialogue before and after me and Tom’s sharing out. It was a good group and gathering to be sure. But so is every week!

We ran long with so much rich material to cover, and people graciously stayed with us to the end. Thanks to Scott Hemmerling, Amy Wold, Donna Saurage, Paul Arrigo, Renee Chatelain, Robyn Merrick and Eli Guillory in Baton Rouge, LA for joining in. Also so glad to have Layne Logue zooming over from Vicksburg, Brian Costello from New Roads, Carla Rivet from Morganza, and Councilman Ronald Grace from St. Gabriel! Such a broad swath of river voices!

Only two more weeks of our standard itineraries before the “one river” discussion on November 5. We hope you will join us then and any week leading up to it. Do check back the weeks before this for previous reflections on community and landscape, and all the voices we’ve performed so far… only 513 or so to go!