The Petro Brothers

“Ya’ here to look or to buy?…” …barked Bud Petro from the porch of George Rodrigue’s Jefferson Street gallery.  From a rocking chair, he watched the Esso station he owned with his brother Norman, while monitoring and, according to George, “scaring away” potential Rodrigue collectors. “I couldn’t tell him to leave,” laughed George.  “He wasContinue reading “The Petro Brothers”

Cora’s Restaurant and CODOFIL

In 1968 attorney and former Louisiana State Senator and U.S. Representative Jimmy Domengeaux* (1907-1988) of Lafayette founded the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, known as CODOFIL. Impressed with the initiative, Louisiana Governor John McKeithen pushed through a bill that granted the organization the necessary state credentials. (pictured:  In 1912 Louisiana Governor HallContinue reading “Cora’s Restaurant and CODOFIL”

King Marion

For sixty-five years, the Krewe of Louisianians, comprised of the seven congressional districts of the State of Louisiana, has hosted a private Mardi Gras for 5,000 people in Washington, D.C.  The three-day celebration includes the best examples of Louisiana’s food and music, while honoring its young women as princesses and festival queens.  The Mardi GrasContinue reading “King Marion”

A Cajun in Carmel

Blue Dog artist George Rodrigue finds inspiration on the Monterey Peninsula- It was twenty-two years ago that artist George Rodrigue (b. 1944) opened his gallery in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  One of only two locations* in the country, the artist-owned Rodrigue Studio operates the same way today as it did years ago.  Despite Rodrigue’s increasing fame, heContinue reading “A Cajun in Carmel”

Louisiana Legends

Between 1990 and 1993 artist George Rodrigue painted sixteen portraits on three canvases of Living Legends for Louisiana Public Broadcasting.  The 1990 honorees and Rodrigue’s tribute painting launched an LPB tradition continuing today. All proceeds from posters of the three paintings benefited LPB’s television programming. “At the gala,” recalls Rodrigue, “each nominee gave a shortContinue reading “Louisiana Legends”

Read Me the Blues

I’ve loved libraries from the time I was a kid.  During the mid-1970s I worked at the library at New Heights Elementary School in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for extra credit, and it was there that I discovered James Michener and, at age ten, read Hawaii, a book that shocked me to my young, innocent core,Continue reading “Read Me the Blues”

Washington Blue Dog (and the Blue Dog Democrats)

In 1992 George Rodrigue painted Washington Blue Dog, a tribute to the United States of America’s capitol, Washington, DC.  The painting is one of his most famous.  Its prints hang in the offices of Blue Dog Democrats and their affiliates, an obvious choice for the group.  The original oil on canvas (48×60 inches), owned byContinue reading “Washington Blue Dog (and the Blue Dog Democrats)”

All Hail King George

George Rodrigue makes a great King.  I hear it every year as we attend the Washington D.C. Mardi Gras, where he ruled in 1994 and still commands regal respect. (pictured, It’s Good to be the King, 1994, acrylic on canvas) This royal interest started in his childhood, in the late 1940s.  George’s first memory, inContinue reading “All Hail King George”

Rodrigue on the Red River

George Rodrigue has a long history with Shreveport, a northern Louisiana city oftentimes dismissed by southern Louisiana as ‘east Texas.’  As a child, Rodrigue’s own family, in fact, ignored this important part of Louisiana’s culture: “Growing up in New Iberia,” says George Rodrigue, “our travel plans meant east to New Orleans or Biloxi, or westContinue reading “Rodrigue on the Red River”

Expectations in Baton Rouge

I’ve pondered how to write about this past weekend without turning my blog into a society page of party pics from the Louisiana State University Museum of Art’s opening for “Blue Dogs and Cajuns on the River.”  But it seems there’s no way around it.  Everyone was there, snapping photographs, posing for TV cameras, and eatingContinue reading “Expectations in Baton Rouge”