Monday, July 14, 2008

The Money Shot

Just back from the family reunion in Shreveport. Well, with so many special moments in a week and a period of hanging out with the entire Broussard clan (minus one, sorry Heather), why does this photo define the experience? It was very late on the evening after visiting Vermillionville in Lafayette (with a 4-hour drive still ahead) and dropping in on the Ancelet cousins and exposing my wife and kids to serious Cajun reality via an evening of eating crawfish and dancing to the Louisiana Rhythm Devils and listening to deep BS storytelling (thanks Barry) and family history (thanks Mary Caroline) that we decided to visit the hamlet of Broussard, La. We drove through looking for something with the Broussard name on it to pose beside and I found a tourist kiosk near a Starbucks. I paused in the road and asked Biz to check it out for good signage. Cop-conscious Daniel noted that it was a bad idea to pause in the road. What harm could it do at such a late hour with no other cars on the road, asked I. Daniel remained nervous and sure enough, blue lights burst behind us. The cop emerged from his cruiser and I pulled out my license and prepared for the routine. The cop asked Elizabeth, who had returned from the kiosk, to stand "here" in the road while he "ran" my license. I explained what we were up to and he seemed to get it, but protocol took precedence. Finally he returned the license and told us to move along. Daniel piped up, "I told him to park out of the road." The cop said I should have listened to him (ironic?). Just as we were all about to leave I leaned out the window and said, "Hey, last time we were in Broussard the police chief invited us into the station and gave us a 'Town of Broussard' video (true story). Can we just take a photo by your car?" The cop frowned and said they discouraged that, since they didn't like such photos turning up on the Internet. Then, probably realizing he'd just rousted some harmless tourists, he added, "I'm doing a walk-through of that Starbucks. I'll just do my business and you do yours." He pulled into the Starbucks parking lot and walked up to the door. Some employee tried to head him off, saying that they were closing, but he insisted that he "walk through" the place. Jemi and I knew this was our window of opportunity and we told Eleanor, Biz and Daniel to quickly pose by the cop car. This is the photo that resulted. Charming and revealing on so many levels. The Broussards do Broussard, La.. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.