Roberts Cove German Fest / October 2016
Yours Truly in a Swamp
|German Flags on Unity Day / Wikipedia|
Roberts Cove German Festival
in Roberts Cove, Louisiana. You Laugh? It might tickle the lederhosen off a real German, but this is the best ~ albeit somewhat zany ~ German Festival in the USA that I have ever attended.
There is beer, singing, Alpine horns (Alphorn), yodeling, white marble graves of original settlers decorated with bright German flags, and hot spicy (normally mild veal with a hint of nutmeg) Bratwurst sausages. These had Tabasco Sauce added.
Technically it was a Germanfest, not an Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the German harvest / Munich Bier (beer) festival starting in September and ending the first weekend of October.
German immigrants were few to French Louisiana, but those who came left their mark. Notably there were the Germans lured over by the Scotsman, John Law. They are said to have fed the early indolent folk of New Orleans from their productive farms along the Côte des Allemands (French for German Coast) around present day Bayou des Allemands (Bayou of the Germans).
Hurricanes, floods and the collapse of John Law's Mississippi Company ~ and monetary schemes (he invented paper money) ~ scattered this settlement. And New Orleanians took further to eating seafood, sugar, rice, and game.
|Bayou des Allemands / Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Some of Law's Germans resettled near Lafayette, Louisiana at today's prosperous rice-growing town of Roberts Cove.
Crossing Bayou des Allemands aboard Amtrak out of New Orleans we saw des Allemands boys moon ole Train #1, The Sunset Limited.
|Amtrak over water / Courtesy of Amtrak|
"Some things change, some things don't," L. A. Norma said. "Boys mooning trains is still with us, but now its integrated. Rosa Parks would be proud."
It is sad my Mother and her Sisters never talked with their Grandparents.
We all lived in our turn in a village named Ullin, after early settlers or, as my Father erroneously argued, the daughter of the Polish Count Casimir Pulaski. Pulaski perished in the Battle of Savannah during the American Revolution ~ young and childless.
My Father's nickname was "Porky." He was vaguely defined as Danish/Norwegian and he did not like the idea of his village being named for Germans. Besides, descendants of the Ullins still lived there and he did not much like them.
"Germans are pig-headed," he would moan. "I should know, I married one!"
My Father must have won the Ullin argument because the resident family named Ullin dropped one "l" from their spelling, and took to pronouncing their name as though an umlaut had sprouted above the Ü.
The man said, "Down the road."
"Is your name German?" I asked.
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|Alpine Horns (Alphorn)|
Leonard Earl Johnson
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