In the Path of the Storms: Bayou La Batre, Coden, and the by Frye Gaillard

By Frye Gaillard

The Gulf Coast villages of Bayou los angeles Batre and Coden are of Alabama’s such a lot distinct, with roots going again to the French settlements of the 18th century. For generations, the proud population of those groups have extracted their modest livings from the ocean, sustained via a lesson passed down through the years— that offering for the desires of one’s kinfolk is the single real degree of good fortune. however the global has replaced vastly for them. an international financial system of upper fuel costs and inexpensive imported seafood has threatened the lifeblood of the realm. And lately a rash of hurricanes, culminating with typhoon Katrina, has battered the hopes and desires of those Bayou towns. But they've got identified challenging occasions and big adjustments sooner than. within the Nineteen Seventies, refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos flooded into the world and inside of many years made up a 3rd of the neighborhood inhabitants. 3 Buddhist temples quickly took their areas one of the Catholic, Baptist, and Pentecostal church buildings that predominated, and for a time different ethnic teams coexisted in one of those uneasy peace. yet now they're studying to drag jointly in an doubtful fight to rebuild their communities. In the trail of the Storms is a strong portrait in phrases and images of a distinct and unforgettable position. it's a tale of culture, and forces of swap, and the epic fight of those Gulf Coast groups to outlive and thrive.

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Additional info for In the Path of the Storms: Bayou La Batre, Coden, and the Alabama Coast

Example text

First thing you know, that Indian was gone,” declared Chick Sprinkle, who was telling the story. ’ ” Such stories inevitably produced a good laugh, but sometimes the conversation turned serious — when they talked, for example, about the pride the old-timers took in their work — how they always kept their oyster boats clean, and how some of the young people couldn’t be bothered. In this treasure trove of Mr. Floyd’s oral archives, they kept alive the values and memories of the Bayou, celebrating — without any premeditation or contrivance — an old and increasingly threatened way of life.

Those were bittersweet days in Bayou La Batre, when segregation was still a fact of daily life. There had been a time, when Crate West and the others first came from Mississippi, that blacks who were working anywhere in the town knew they needed to be home before sundown. Things were better by the 1950s, especially, it seemed, along Midway Street, where black and white families lived side by side, their children playing and growing up together. And as Nancy McCall remembered it later, there was even an integrated baseball team.

First thing you know, that Indian was gone,” declared Chick Sprinkle, who was telling the story. ’ ” Such stories inevitably produced a good laugh, but sometimes the conversation turned serious — when they talked, for example, about the pride the old-timers took in their work — how they always kept their oyster boats clean, and how some of the young people couldn’t be bothered. In this treasure trove of Mr. Floyd’s oral archives, they kept alive the values and memories of the Bayou, celebrating — without any premeditation or contrivance — an old and increasingly threatened way of life.

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