I got lucky enough to snag a last minute invite to a Fourth of July celebration that included one of my all-time bucket list items. When I was young, my parents were too strict to let me go on a Tickfaw River junket on the Fourth of July, and I moved away before I ever got a chance to do it. But, over the years I’ve heard people tell stories about Tin Lizzy’s and the Prop Stop Inn. My imagination ran wild as to what those places would be like, and I’ve been itching to get invited on a junket to experience them. My old college pal, Ray, and his wife, Donna, were nice enough to include me in their celebration yesterday. They live on the Tickfaw, and, when he said we’d take the boat out for a ride in the afternoon after lunch, I knew exactly what that meant. SCORE!!!
I watched the weather all week, and it was looking a bit dicey, but Saturday morning it was looking good. I packed up Ashok and we hauled ass. That’s Livingston Parish lingo for driving as fast as you can – within the speed limit, of course. Livingston Parish will further be mentioned as ‘the LP” as it’s known by residents. I could describe the LP to you, but I think that you will figure it out by the time I get done with this blog. Pictures are worth a thousand words.
You sure this junket is safe?
We arrived at Ray and Donna’s home right before lunchtime, and Ray’s family began arriving shortly after. I had a great time talking with his parents, his sister Anita and blowing bubbles with his granddaughter Josie. The men were cooking up all kinds of meat including some venison wrapped in jalapeños, cream cheese and bacon.
Ashok made new friends!
And Mr. Ray even threw her a treat!
And we got to swing…
And then we got to get in the boat…..
This is better than a kayak, Momma. I’m just sayin’.
I got Mr. Ray looking cool as the boat captain…
But then he thought he’d look cooler with sunglasses….
And then he remembered his bald head….
It was actually a perfect day as the rain had cooled everything off, and the overcast skies made it feel like a spring day in South Louisiana. The Tickfaw was lovely. It was an amazing combination of Louisiana swamp and river, and she pulled off the look perfectly.
Ashok and I just enjoyed the ride.
We arrived at the Prop Stop Inn in short order. Boat traffic was not as busy as I would have expected, but they said that the earlier storm seemed to have put a dent in the July 4th crowds. A bit of a crowd was already at the Prop Stop, and I was excited to de-board and see what I’d been missing all of these years.
It was crowded. Everybody told me it would have been a lot worse if it hadn’t rained, but there was definitely a party going on. One of Ray’s friends mentioned that the Prop Stop is the biggest seller of Bacardi Rum in the entire south … or was it the entire country … or maybe even world? I can’t remember, but they sell a lot of Bacardi in their signature drink, The Worm Bucket. It’s some lethal combination of juices and booze served in a styrofoam worm bucket with a gummy worm swimming around in the mix. Since I don’t drink, I didn’t get to try one, but they didn’t seem to miss my business anyway.
The Prop Stop Inn is only accessible by boat, so it’s a little outside bar set in the middle of the natural swamp on the banks of the muddy Tickfaw River. There is a front bar where a band was located, a bar in the middle with restrooms, and a deck out back where they hold water balloon and hula hoop contests. But, the obvious shining star is the Tickfaw River. It was nicer than I thought. I thought it would be a hole-in-the-wall, but I thought it was very tastefully done. The bandstand on the deck out back sits under a huge whiskey barrel attached to a rope. Atop it is a pump for water, and my friends told me that the water is usually running, and you pull the rope and soak whomever is standing beneath it. That wasn’t going on yesterday, but it sounds like a fitting activity for a place like this.
There was a lot of flag-hugging going on a the Prop Stop Inn…
Right after we got there, I ran into one of my teammates and a coworker from work.
We all hung out for a little bit, and they indulged in some worm buckets until it got time for us to leave. We had a house party to attend to finish off the day.
He owns the boat, Momma?
Do you have a boat?
So we hung around at the house party until dark when the fireworks started and then floated around chatting with friends until way past our bedtime. It was an amazing day and a very Happy Fourth of July for me and my girl. I hope yours was awesome, and you should join me next year at the Prop Stop. Please bring your boat as we don’t have one. Although Ashok seems to be working hard to find a resource.