Wednesday, October 22, 2014


With a signal so weak, I couldn’t finish a blog on Monday.  I turned my Prius in for repair, FINALLY. It was another full day devoted to getting my car fixed after the accident of June 12th. I fought to have my Prius fixed instead of totaled, and after a long process, fraught with hang-ups, (as in the body shopped scheduled to fix it went out of business,) it was delivered to the capable hands of C&C Body Shop in Sonora. While there, we had to wait to pick up a rental car, a silver KIA that fits in my garage.

We went out to lunch in Sonora and when I got home I didn’t feel like cooking. We decided to veg in front of the television with some food and turned on a program called Swamp People. It was an old program series that played from 6:00 to 9:00 and most of it was about Cajun alligator hunters. Having visited that part of the country, having met a couple of alligator hunters, the memories flowed. Those were really exciting times.  We ate a lot of alligator meat in Southern Louisiana, mostly sausage, but we were never part of a hunt. After watching the Swamp People, I felt like I went alligator hunting.
I got so excited, I had to replay my alligator pictures. A different camera, no editing done, so I selected a few pics from the album.
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We took an alligator sighting tour boat into the swamps. The boats in the program and this one are flat bottomed affairs, built by Cajuns for alligator hunting.
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We spotted this big one.
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It was unafraid and the boat didn’t get too close.
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Then we saw this big bull, the guide called him. The broad head is a giveaway.
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I got a second shot of this big bull.  I took two shots of  small gators buried deep in the shallow swamp grasses, but  I had to look three times at my own photos to pick them out. They were well camouflaged, so I didn’t download the pictures. Alligators are fearless and fast. Basically the king predator of the swamps. Their only enemy is man.
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This is a better picture of the type of flat boats the hunters use, though the sides are a bit steeper. This group is fishing for something, but not alligators.
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A picture of a picture of “Mary,"  feeding an alligator to demonstrate to the tour what they look like. She owned the company at one time.  It is too dangerous to “chum” alligators and the company quit the practice. The picture didn’t say if this event was at an alligator farm or in the wild. Alligator skin is more valuable than the meat.
Dirty Miller cookin'

Near Little Chenier, we met a real alligator hunter who goes by the name of Dirty Miller. We were looking for the town of Little Chenier, or remnants of it. It was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. Up against a choice, where the pavement ended,  a gravel road in front of us, without knowing where it came out, we stopped. We turned around in Miller’s driveway and he hollered at us to “com’on, dinner will be ready in a half an hour.”  Miller is the epitome of Southern hospitality and a real character.
Wiped out by Katrina, Miller built a large shed on the spot where his house once stood. It was flooded by Rita and he showed us the water line on the walls of his shed.  In that pot was a big stew and we joined him and his friends for a Sunday afternoon dinner and listened raptly to alligator hunting stories and many other tales.  He had pictures of Donald Trump and some other notables, (I no longer remember the names,)  people he took alligator hunting. We ended up spending the night.  Dirty Miller and his girl friend cooked us a giant omelet for breakfast the next morning with shrimp, crawfish, crab and alligator sausage. One of our favorite, memorable stops in Louisiana.

This is a picture of a picture of Dirty Miller’s grandson sitting on a gator he killed. I’m savoring the memories again through my pictures. My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures of this fascinating guy and his friends.

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