Social Changes

By Aaron Galmiche, Photo Editor

While the communities of Louisiana’s Bayou Region are on their way to recovery, an unexpected scar has been left, not on the towns, but on the people within them. From abandoned hangouts to lost local traditions, many of Louisiana’s residents now look back fondly on the way things used to be.

“We’ve physically recovered but it’s clear we’ve got a kind of ‘new normal’ going on” says Luling resident Joseph Brunette, when looking back at the time he and his friends, as well as many other of the town’s residents, shared before Hurricane Ida passed.

“The best moments in Luling were in a parking lot at 2 a.m.,” says Brunette. “We’d go out of town as a celebration once in a while but, once Ida hit, we all got used to going a couple towns over to hang out and you don’t see those local moments anymore.”

Brunette also claimed that many towns, such as Hahnville and Boutte, have gone through similar changes, and expressed a degree of sadness.

“Being able to share that time without having to plan was what made it special and I hope it comes back someday,” he says.

Elsewhere, in Lafitte, a local business was lost in the storm, taking part of the bond it helped its community form with it.

Ms. Effie’s Sandwiches, which has been serving sandwiches to the people of Lafitte and the surrounding areas for years, was once an often overlooked part of Lafitte, but is now missed by its patrons for the bond it helped create.

“When you go fishing, you bring sandwiches and if they weren’t yours they were Effie’s,” says David “Buddy” Trosclair, a fisherman and frequent visitor of Lafitte. “Effie’s was small but everyone knows a Lafittian who knows Effie’s so it was something small we all related over.”

The sandwiches themselves are still available to the community, now being distributed at Joe’s Landing and Tewelde’s Family Market, but the bond they carried seems to have been lessened.

“The sandwiches are the same but it feels like the tradition isn’t there,” says Trosclair.

While small social changes like these have undoubtedly affected many other Bayou Region towns, many people, like Brunette, who claims “It’s not something we can focus on fixing, but time will either get things right or we’ll learn to live with it,” are hopeful that the culture of their towns will make a full recovery.