Swashbucklers from a Southern Swamp, or, How an Ignorant Gardener Struck Gold

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The price couldn’t be beat.  I plunked down $2.50 for an unlabeled long-leafed bulb plant of some kind at a Houston Garden Center.  I took it home, put it in a pot, and plunked my new acquisition down on my new deck to see what it would do.  What it did was stay green.

And that was all.

Green is well enough, so I let my mystery plant be.  Occasionally I watered it.  A visiting friend from Louisiana, however, informed me that my long-leafed acquisition was a Louisiana iris, a flower that likes to grow in swamps.  It would not bloom until the springtime, she added. Continue reading

Where’s Your Allegiance? A Louisiana Boy in Texas

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I am not a Texan, but I’ve lived in Texas for the last two years. Even after two years, these Texans continue to surprise me. Last night at our city’s Fourth of July celebration, I was once again reminded that I am a stranger living in a strange land.

At the celebration, a military guard presented the flags so that we could pledge allegiance before we demonstrated our patriotism through witnessing a pyrotechnic display. This was all well and good.

I felt very American at that moment. I was standing in a minor-league baseball park with my children, looking upon Old Glory as we listened to a young lady belt out “The Star-Spangled Banner.” What could be more American than baseball parks, the flag, and a family dressed in red, white, and blue? I along with a few thousand compatriots pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. But then things got weird.

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