Taking Liberties With The Past

May 6, 2016 § 2 Comments

I am in the midst of another prolific writing spell. This one is in many ways different from any I’ve ever experienced.

The key difference is that I am making a conscious effort to draw upon my own life and experiences for inspiration. Usually, I get my ideas from the things I see and/or hear around me. Lately, I’ve been getting inspiration from the memories and experiences inside me.

For a few years, I was lucky enough to live and work in Lafayette, Louisiana, at the time primarily an oil town located about three hours west of New Orleans. All these years later, I still have found memories of the food, the music, and of course the people there with whom I worked.

At the time, I was what you might call painfully shy and had a hard time making friends or even having fun. Because of that, my experiences in Lafayette were not as many or as robust as they might otherwise have been.

Still, it was a wonderful place to live and work, and I do have a few special memories from my time there, memories which inspired me to write the following – with the usual writer’s license to embellish and even invent where my own actual memories did not exist or fell short. (Grant Street refers to Grant Street Dance Hall, a place where mostly zydeco bands would come to play and where I once had the thrill and privilege of hearing The Neville Brothers.)

Lafayette

Friday nights on my front porch with an ice-cold beer
Off in the distance, I could hear the sounds of Zydeco
Grant Street bursting at the seams

Every now and then, I think about those nights
Replaying them here in my dreams
After all these years, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette

We’d hop in the car and drive to New Orleans
Dance the night away with the drag queens to the sound of jazz
Echoing ‘cross Jackson Square

Once in a while, I think about those days
And the time that I spent there
All these years later, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette

Living and dying with the price of oil
One week a boom, the next a bust
But I could always smell the crawfish boil
And knew my neighbors were people I could trust

We’d all let the good times roll when the weekend came
Didn’t matter if we knew each other’s name, everyone a friend
Helping hands in times of need

I look back through the years and for a while
Something deep inside is freed
And even now, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette
All these years later, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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§ 2 Responses to Taking Liberties With The Past

  • Anita says:

    Beautiful my friend! Just beautiful! xoxox

  • Appreciate it! I did have to invent a little, being the shy person I was in those days. However, I did get to Grant Street once, and did drive in the middle of the night with some other people to New Orleans. I remember we went through the drive-thru of some fast-food joint to fuel up for the journey. We drove to some club that was actually still laid out like a house (I think the band played in what used to be the living or the dining room.), and then we headed back a few hours later.

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