Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Other Venice: "The End Of The World" Venice

My eyes almost fell out of my head!

What a sight to behold by this seafood lover! They were some of the largest and most beautiful shrimp I had ever seen! One shrimp must have weighed a half pound alone.

We were in Venice, Louisiana . It must have been at least 20 years ago. We drove as far south as we could go and had stopped at a local seafood market to buy some shrimp to bring back to Mississippi with us.

Venice is thirty miles south of my place of birth, Port Sulfur and Port Sulfur fifty miles south of New Orleans where I spent my formative years.

(Yes, this is moi standing on a levee circa 1956?)

There Is A Reason Venice Is Called "The End Of The World"!

When I was a child I remember it being mostly inhabited by bar rooms, fisherman, oil companies, and my mother's people, aunts, uncles and cousins. Most of them in the bar room business. Daddy, though, worked for the California Company, who later became Standard Oil and even later, Chevron.

In the summer time the temperatures there rise to well over 100 degrees with humidity at 100%. At least it feels that way, anyway. The mosquitoes in late afternoon could eat you alive. The mud from some of the marshes would dry up and form mud cakes on the bottom of your shoes if you didn't watch where you stepped. Oyster shells were often used to make driveways and parking lots.

As you drive south from New Orleans on Hwy 23, the Mississippi River lies to your left and the Gulf of Mexico to your right. Often, while driving down the road you could look up and watch ships passing by on either side, because the area is below sea level.

More hurricanes than I care to remember have destroyed this area and yet the people have always come back, rebuilding their homes, lives and businesses. They are a resilient people. There are good, honest, hard working folks there, who provide much of the seafood we are so fond of.Their very livelihoods are now, once again, at stake. A disaster is looming ahead that they have never had to face before.

Who Is Where?

I turned on the TV tonight, and it was quite surreal watching Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams reporting about the oil spill disaster from Venice, Louisiana. Venice being the closest "town" to the oil spill. I had to smile as I watched them swat at gnats, mosquitoes and bugs as they reported. President Obama was there yesterday, he also, speaking as he wiped warm, humid, wet drizzle off his face.

The whole world is watching this little place, so long ago nicknamed,
"The End of the World".

And as the world watches I will be whispering a prayer, "Lord forgive us, help us and have mercy upon us all ."


Susan said...

Yes, the whole world is watching and going to be watching a lot of things!!!! Love the young girl picture of you :o)

Sonja said...

It IS ironic, isn't it? Who knows what will be 'on the map' in this day and age. There are so many strange things going on in this world... really makes me wonder if we are in the very end times...

Love the picture of you, and I can see the same little face now a little older and no doubt MUCH wiser!! :)

This was so interesting, the way all of your blogs are.

Travis said...

I get a very small taste every day during my commute to work of what it must be like to have water right up in your address. I drive across the SR520 floating bridge from Bellevue to Seattle twice a day. That last few days the water has been really churning due to some fierce storms. When it's really rough, the waves crash across the roadway just like they would across the bow of a boat.

Pretty intense and scary.

But I can only imagine what it must be like to face the prospect of the water surging so far inland during the hurricane a few years ago, and then to face the current oil spill disaster.

Mimi said...

I understand how you feel, it is home to you and such fond memories. It is so sad, that they can not do more to keep it from coming ashore and ruining all this sea life.
The fishermen are so worried about their livlihood, then they are offering to help with the clean up and so far very few are getting hired.
These oil companies have got to figure out what went wrong.
I am saying the same Prayer
Lord, touch these people and let them know how truly wonderful serving you would be!!!

Anonymous said...

My heart cries over this tragedy. I have no words. Praying with you.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I was just in Paulina and Baton Rouge, la - it's such a different lifestyle there- and the FOOD! OH! the food!

GMR, my hb, is from New Orleans *smiling*

Maxine said...

Cute picture of you, Debra. I agree. Pray for the Lord's mercies. It's one of many things we need to pray that prayer about.


I have a daughter who lives in Ocean Springs, Mississippi with her husband and two children. They are still trying to put their life back together after Katrina. For some reason the whole Gulf area seems to have more than its fair share of disasters.

Their two sons (our grandsons) are already hinting they want to come out and live with us in California as soon as they are old enough.

I think they just want to be close to Disneyland and being near grandma and grandpa isn't on their radar screen.

If they live with us they will soon learn that they can't visit Disneyland everyday and will probably soon want to go back home to Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sonja. My husband and I have talked about that ourselves.

Oh, America, fall to your knees!!!

That's some serious shrimp!

Rose said...

Oh Debra that picture of you is so cute. Your smile is the same now as it was then.
We are so in prayer for all who may be affected by the oil spill. We have been to the "end of the world" several times. It is such a unique place. Praying!