Mama Tried had its beginnings in Alexandria, it only seemed fitting that my monthlong book tour ended in Alexandria, as well. One of the highlights of my Louisiana launch May 31 at Westside Regional Library was visiting with former Town Talk co-workers – Jim Smilie, Angela Wendell Hayes and Jim Butler, the man who hired me in 1980 and truly set the future in motion.
Angela and I grabbed coffee with longtime friends Michael Elliott-Smith and Leslie Elliottsmith. A mural across from the coffee shop served as a perfect backdrop for a photo with these two amazing artists.
I even met some wonderful folks who read my columns back in the ’80s. Talk about a treat!
Angela set a lovely table with goodies from Atwood’s Bakery.
Karen, my “oldest friend in the world,” drove up from Ville Platte. She and I have been buddies since fourth grade at East Leesville Elementary.
Then it was time to travel. First stop: Leesville, where I had my first newspaper job.
From 1980-88, I penned a variety of articles – including country music reviews and a variety of columns about my wild little mama – at The Town Talk.
And, when I’m back “home,” I try to hit as many of my old favorite restaurants as possible. A short list of stops between May 30-June 4 includes Shipley Do-Nuts and The Cottage in Alexandria, Lea’s Lunchroom in Lecompte, Lasyone’s Meat Pies in Natchitoches and a new favorite – Little Big Cup in Arnaudville.
Meat and threes often turned into meat and fours! Plus dessert. Can’t wait to get back home to Louisiana. (After I recover a bit.)