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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Doucet’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

I continue to be the worst mother-of-the-bride. This time I laughed until I cried.

My daughter Katherine is planning to get married next fall. She has put me in charge of music. She wanted her father and me to choose a band that we would enjoy dancing to. This is very thoughtful of her because she appreciates that we are Zydeco/ Cajun band snobs experts.

I, too, love classical music and especially the violin. My grandmother for whom I was named was a violinist. Even though I never met her or heard her play, I feel a chill on my spine when I hear a violin solo.

In both the Cajun and Zydeco traditions, the violin, called the fiddle, is a prominent instrument. One of my favorite Cajun musicians is Michael Doucet of Beau Soliel. He is also one of my favorite people ever since I taught his son 18 or so years ago.

borrowed from Facebook

borrowed from Facebook

Michael Doucet is fairly famous in the music world. He’s won a few grammies. He’s recorded umpteen albums. He performs at local festivals, but also on stages all over the world. Garrison Keillor has dubbed Beau Soliel “the best Cajun band in the world.”

I decided on a whim to send Michael Doucet a Facebook message expressing my sincere wish that he would be available to play for the ceremony. Even though I feel he is a friend, I was nervous about asking such a famous musician to play for our little wedding.

A day or so later, I got a response, “Well you have certainly given me enough notice.” Hmm, I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. He hadn’t said yes or no. I just didn’t respond.

The other night on the way home from the movie, I checked my Facebook messenger on my phone. Still feeling weird about his response, I decided to look at it again. It was then that I realized I had messaged Michael Dardant, not Michael Doucet.

You know how FB predicts who you are writing a message to? I’m sure that’s what happened. I typed in Michael D and clicked on the first name that came up. Duh! (head thump!)

Michael Dardant

Michael Dardant may be planning what he will do for Katherine’s wedding. Apparently he has done a wedding before. I have written about him here on this blog. He’s Magic Mike, the world famous MAGICIAN!

I sent Katherine a text, “How would you feel about having a magician at your wedding?”

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Photo by Cajun Byrd on flickr.

Photo by Cajun Byrd on flickr.

The heat is on. Temperatures are reaching well into the 90’s with heat indexes of 100+. Humidity thickens the air. And yet, the party still goes on.

Last weekend my husband and I drove an hour north through fields of sugarcane and soybeans, past ancient live oaks along the ridge of the Bayou Teche. We were driving to see one of our favorite Cajun fiddlers, Michael Doucet, who was playing with 3 other musicians at Bayou Teche Brewery in Arnaudville.

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I’ve known Michael since I taught his son, Ezra, in third grade. (If my calculations are right, it’s been 17 years.) Michael has always been charming and welcoming, even though he’s gotten quite famous. This day was no different.

There was a slight breeze. When it blew, we raised our arms like cormorants. We danced a two-step and a waltz and drank a beer fresh from the brewery.

I was transported back in time…
when the coolest place was on the porch
where musicians played in the late afternoon,
and the cicadas joined the fiddle tune,
when family was mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, Parran, Nanny, and the neighbors next door.

Michael and his friends captured that front-porch-family feeling with their music.

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

A selfie with my friend Sarah as we eat beignets at Festival Acadiens.

A selfie with my friend Sarah as we eat beignets at Festival Acadiens.

This was a weekend to embrace the culture of South Louisiana, along with the crazy heat. I’m not sure if we set records, but the temperatures were blazing while my husband and I introduced friends from Houston to the music and food of our home town. Two festivals complete with Cajun and Zydeco music, gumbo, beignets, and shrimp po-boys. We danced (and ate) all weekend. Our favorite bands are BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and Geno Delafose and the French Rockin Boogie. Family was part of the fun, two daughters, a sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and a niece.

I have been going to these festivals for years, but dancing has only been part of them for the last three and a half. Dancing makes all the difference. I feel like I am part of the music, not just a by-stander listener. I am sore and tired, but the kind of sore and tired when you have done something vigorous, life-giving, like hiking or completing a marathon. The music is still playing in my mind.

Maggie, Katherine, and niece Claire pose at the Gumbo Cookoff.

Maggie, Katherine, and niece Claire pose at the Gumbo Cookoff.

I made a video about dancing this weekend. My husband is the handsome dancer. Be warned: there is one clip where the music comes on suddenly loud.

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