As soon as I can get out of my jammies and hit the road, I’m headed home today. I’m going to stay over the weekend with my brother Sammy and his family. My parents and my sister are going to meet me on Saturday, and we’re headed to the Watson Gumbo CookOff. I’ve never actually been to a Gumbo Cookoff. I’ve been to a BBQ Cookoff in Memphis. The Memphis in May one is phenomenal. But, I don’t think this will be the same thing.
I haven’t been to Watson since my parents moved away, and I can’t remember how long ago that was, but it’s been awhile. I’ve heard Watson has changed and grown up into a quite a little town. I even heard rumors of a Starbucks being there, but I’ll have to believe that when I see it. I know there’s a Daiquiri place (a Louisiana favorite) because that’s where the Gumbo Cookoff is being held. When I lived there, there was Live Oak Hardware, Live Oak Supermarket, Live Oak High School and Elementary, a pizza place and a chicken place. I’m sure there were a few other things, but that’s my recollection of what there was to do. The class of 1979 had 69 graduates, and we were the largest class ever in 1979. I hear it’s a much larger school now.
As kids we hung out in parking lots and partied. I always think about that when I go to other small towns and see the gatherings of kids in parking lots. I remember riding around, driving up to a parking lot, jumping out for a bit and socializing and then driving to another parking lot to see who was there. Most weekend evenings were like that. We burned gas, drove around to different parking lots, drank a little beer (that was before drunk driving became a major crime), smoked and every now and then, got kissed. It was all pretty innocent, really. I can’t remember high crime ever really happening and not too many people every really got drunk. That may have been because we drank Little Millers. I don’t know that you could get drunk on those. I feel sad for country kids these days with gas being so high. We used to take $3, fill up a tank and be good for the night. Maybe they stay at one parking lot instead of having a variety of locations.
So, here we are…all growed up now…and we’re going to spend the day hanging out at another parking lot….at Double D Daiquiri’s…for a gumbo cookoff. I was invited on Facebook and was considering it. I really decided to go when I was personally invited by my friend Barry whom I haven’t seen since he stopped by my house on one of his drives around town in 1979. I remember his little blue car. We lived on a circular road, so a lot of people drove by, honked their horn and said hi. That’s just what we did in the country. Anyway, Barry said there would be a hundred people there that I hadn’t seen in years. Cool! I don’t know if even knew 100 people back then, but I’m game. I’ll be thrilled to find out about the local lore and what’s happened there in the last 30 something years….and to sample almost 50 flavors of gumbo. Stay tuned for the story and pics…Have a good weekend.