‘More characters per capita’

The holiday season is over and a new year has begun! In the last month I had plenty of out-of-town family and friends stop by or stay. And while we enjoyed a bowl or two of gumbo, talk in our house invariably turned to our great south Louisiana culture and the food and friendships found here. Loved ones who have moved away—whether permanently or temporarily—long for the joie de vivre that we experience as we move from one celebration to another. Where else in the world do people redecorate their Christmas wreaths, garland and trees for Mardi Gras and keep them up until the end of February?

Our Louisiana ex-pats know us and love us, so it’s an easy sell. It is a greater challenge to describe what makes us so special to those who aren’t familiar with Louisiana. At a recent gathering with a group of creative types, people from the area attempted to explain the unique melting pot that is south Louisiana to consultants who hailed from points north and east. “We have more characters per capita,” said a man in our group. I wholeheartedly agree.

In south Louisiana, characters abound. The little town of Ferriday—with a population just under 4,000—claims to have produced more famous people per square mile than any other American small town. Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart are among the more well-known.

Charlie Cole—featured on our cover this month—hails from the small town of Greensburg. Usually one to fly under the radar, Charlie opens up with inRegister Editor Ashley Sexton Gordon and shares his adventures, projects and plans for the future with readers. It’s inspiring to know that so many interesting people live around us and make south Louisiana a better place to live. It’s a good reminder that there is truly no place like home.