Updated: Oct 16, 2019
Fish fries are a south Louisiana tradition where family’s gather eating fried fish, potato salad, hush puppies and home-made tartar sauce (mayonnaise, onions., and pickles). We drink beer and play old time country music on FM radio and catch up on what's happening in each other's lives. The corn meal battered fried fish is delicious and you can't get it as good in a restaurant like what you get at somebody’s house.
In assisting Joshua Smith gathering models and finding shooting locations, I really didn't find a fish fry or the hour and a half drive to Angie, Louisiana to get to it fun or somewhere I wanted to be. Tuesday night I decided I couldn't let my friend Josh down.
After our critiques from Tuesday's shoot, we took a caravan to Angie. When we finally got there and stopped at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store to pee, it dawned on me why I didn't want to be there-it was too close to my own life experience and where I came from. I decided to make the best of the day, to embrace the assignment and find out what I would learn from the day.
When we drove up to our host's camp, the fish was frying in the iron pot full of hot grease. My new cosmopolitan photography friends were excited over meeting real life "swamp people." It took all of about five minutes and two beers before we all fell in love with each other and the experience. We Louisianians are a proud hard working people who take great pride in what we do. Bruce was frying his fish and was ready for us to get there and to show us his beautiful property.
Josh met Bruce and Debra while dating Daniel, the prodigal son who didn‘t realize his friend's and parents would bond. I remembered what it was like mixing my world of friends and family.
Growing up, I was always attracted to the female energy. I didn't want to fish or hunt. I wanted to read my books, watch my tv shows and listen to my music. Right away my energy focused on Debra's friend wearing her lovely collection of turquoise rings and bracelets who told me she was a basket weaver and a drumming spiritualist.
My daddy worked for Crown Zellerbach. When he told me he worked for Crown Zellerbach, my heart melted. I hadn’t heard those words in many years. My father worked for them without missing a day for twenty years. Such an endearing man, he showed us his house with his wood burning stove and a collection of cast iron pots. It felt like being transported back to my Grandma Blanche's house on Sunday mornings in Centerville eating her delicious homemade cathead biscuits that she made in her iron skillet with pork drip-ins she kept in a jar on the stove. We ate them while they were hot with butter and homemade jam. Just like my daddy he kept his collection of guns in a gun cabinet.
The most magical moment of the day and probably the week was a boat ride that Bruce took us on. The weather had cooled off and we got to our destination in the bend of the river, Bruce turned the boat off and we listened to the elks in the distance making noises.