I’ll be stopping for a few days in New Orleans in early March, living on the edge of the French Quarter before taking The City of New Orleansto Chicago. If I can manage it (it’s a couple of hours west of NOLO), I’m going to visit New Iberia, LA, home of one of my favorite authors, and my favorite Southern author, James Lee Burke. They’ve made a couple of movies from his books, but I could only find one trailer, based on “In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead.”
A few quotes.
“In the alluvial sweep of the land, I thought I could see the past and the present and the future all at once, as though time were not sequential in nature but took place without a beginning or an end, like a flash of green light rippling outward from the center of creation, not unlike a dream inside the mind of God.”
― James Lee Burke
“Sometimes he comes to me in my dreams, and I wonder if ironically all our stories were written on his skin back there in Texas City in 1947. Or maybe that’s just poetic illusion purchased by time. But even in the middle of an Indian summer’s day, when the sugarcane is beaten with purple and gold light in the fields and the sun is both warm and cool on your skin at the same time, when I know that the earth is a fine place after all, I have to mourn just a moment for those people of years ago who lived lives they did not choose, who carried burdens that were not their own, whose invisible scars were as private as the scarlet beads of Sister Roberta’s rosary wrapped across the back of her small hand, as bright as drops of blood ringed round the souls of little people.”
― James Lee Burke, Jesus Out to Sea
More at the link.
I remember him. He was sitting in the heat on the dock waiting for the ferry to Okracoke, Island in the Outer Banks, NC. It was probably sometime in '72 or '73. He'd driven nearly 12 hours straight and was so tired he couldn't understand the accents of the natives there. I wonder whatever happened to him? I heard a rumor that he married a skinny Irish girl and they settled down somewhere, had a couple of boys, got old. He put on a few pounds. She's still got the girlish shape that caught his eye all those years ago. He probably still has that shirt, though, and still wishes he looked like this. The idiot.
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