My expectations for today weren't very high. It was rainy and cold, I still was a little under the weather, and thought some people might be away for the holiday weekend. But with all that, I still have to be moving east or I'll never get home. If it doesn't stop raining there's going to be a lot of disappointed football fans around here. Leaving Bossier City I stopped and took a few pictures of the Harrah's casino and race track.....it's a big facility on the outskirts of town. Then headed east on Hwy80. Along the way I called Jim Peters from W. Monroe, and invited him to lunch. He was free, so we agreed to meet at a place on Hwy80.
My first stop was in Minden and I wanted to find Bobby Taylor. I met him and his wife Johnette at the Vicksburg Visitor Center during my walk. We've kept in touch since then, and I knew they lived near hwy80. I stopped for gas, and borrowed a local phone directory to look for a number and address. Found it, called and Johnette answered. Bobby was working, but she invited me to stop by. On the way to the house I passed the Minden Culture Farm, and took a few pictures. I found the house, we visited for a while, I took a few pictures, and left a jar of apple butter. She called Bobby who was in Vicksburg, and he decided to meet Jim and me for lunch in W. Monroe.
After leaving Minden, I passed through Arcadia, took a wrong turn, and spent about 10 minutes finding the right route. Then on to Gibsland. I remembered walking through this place.....it was Thanksgiving Day, 2010, cold and rainy, and I was sick. I stopped at a laundromat to wash clothes, get a bite to eat before walking on.....a really miserable day 2 years ago. Today's weather is much the same, except I'm in a car and warm. Gibsland has a lot of Bonnie and Clyde history, and has 2 museums devoted to them. The sign on one of them says it's the "official" museum.
I next stopped in Simsboro at the home of Angela and Charlie Meeds. On November 26 during the walk, I stopped at their house and asked permission to put up the tent in their yard. It was getting dark, and I had about run out of options. They agreed, so I spent the night there. Angela was a little skeptical of having an old man in a tent sleeping in her yard, but Charlie convinced her it was ok. Of course they were surprised to see me back, and we had a good laugh about when I walked through Simsboro. Their daughter was home from school (I didn't meet her because she was sick) but I found out she has a beautiful paint horse and competes in barrel races locally. I took some pictures, left behind some apple butter, and started to leave. Angela asked about the reason for this trip and I replied: "I wanted to show people I was just a normal guy". Charlie's response to that, "well, in some ways". Guess he has a point there.
I was running late for lunch, so no more stops until W. Monroe. We were meeting at a place named Cheniere Shack, right on hwy80. Bobby and Jim were already there, and we had a great lunch and did lots of talking. Jim is an adventurer himself, with many trips to Alaska. This place has so much atmosphere, and I don't remember seeing it during the walk......must not have been open at the time I passed. Catfish is the meal here in LA, and it didn't disappoint. After the meal we talked to the owner about some pictures on the wall. He has a picture of Muhammad Ali (autographed) with the Beatles. We stayed there several hours, and I left them with apple butter and a promise to keep in touch. A nice visit.
My final stop was in Rayville to visit some people at the "Center for Children and Families". Unfortunately, they are away for the holiday, so didn't get to see them. I did meet two people at the Richland Parish Sheriff's Department.....Owen Rockett and Lucille Walker, investigators. We talked for a while, and Lucille invited me to dinner with them, but I'd just finished lunch, and had to move on. It was nice meeting them.
I finally found a Best Western in Delhi, and decided to stop for the evening. I only covered 135 or so miles today, not a lot. The odometer in the car rolled over 5,000 for the trip....with probably 1,000 or more to go. It was a really nice day seeing these people, and I'll get home sometime. Many of the places I've driven through I recognize immediately......one doesn't miss much walking at 3mph. Tomorrow I continue east into Mississippi.
Harrah's racetrack and casino;
One of the animals residing on the culture farm in Minden;
Johnette Taylor and grandchildren Tyler and Cameron. I did my best to get a good picture of them, but kids this age.....well at least you can see their faces if not their eyes;
Bonnie and Clyde Museum in Gibsland;
Angela and Charlie Meeds, Simsboro, LA;
Bobby Taylor and Jim Peters at Cheniere Shack.