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DAY 24

IN A TRAILER PARK IN SHREVEPORT


It’s so damn hot. Most of the buildings and stores don’t have any windows or shops to protect themselves against the heat; the closed curtained and almost non-existent windows make me it difficult to really identify places. I’m really in a strange land. In what seems to be a transition zone between the stated culture of Southern Louisiana and what I hope to be the magic triangle of the Blues, I get busy to ensure that I get to meet people living in “trailer parks”.

For once, I set aside chance encounters, and since I have no contacts that can help me here, I decided to push destiny a little. I dutifully sit on the desk of my hotel room and begin calling all permanent campsites on the outskirts of the city.

Quickly, a warm and courageous voice agrees to receive me. He’s from this place, as is the rest of his family. He inherited the business. There is a lot of land not too far from the periphery of the city. The land is covered with mobile bungalows that aren’t luxurious looking, but seem to be well maintained. I’ve seen much worse along the road, but those probably are not looking for too much publicity.

He greets me with his wife in the bungalow that serves both as their home and office. They are willing to help me. They work on trying to connect me with the most cordial of their tenants to see if they accept that I meet with them and film their evening meal.

She’s Irish. She came to Texas only a few years ago to join him. They met through the Internet. She tells me about her childhood in Northern Ireland. English tanks, constant tension, her house destroyed by a bomb destined for the station next door. Lowering her voice, she says that only his love keeps her here. The general atmosphere, the racial division in particular, reminds her too much of her childhood in Ireland; she’s reminded of Belfast, like a nightmare.