When we went through the Rural Life Museum they had some Funeral Carriages (which I had seen before) and also an exhibit of coffins including ones of Cast Iron. This is what the sign inside the horse-drawn hearse said:
Cast Iron Coffins, 1850's
The Fisk Metallic Burial Case was patented in 1848 by New Yorker A.D. Fisk. Early mummiform styles like this one show the influence of Egyptomania in Victorian society. Cast iron coffins were manufactured by the thousands in 17 different styles until the 1880's and have been recovered in 20 states, including California. Newspaper advertisements for the metallic burial cases boasted that they were "air tight and indestructible..for preserving the mortal remains of the departed for an indefinite period of time above or underground." The coffins were especially popular during the Civil War in order to transport fallen soldiers home for interment. Notable nineteenth-century politicians John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Stephen Douglas were also laid to rest in metallic burial cases.
The Rural Life Museum's three coffins were exhumed from a family tomb in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Thiboudaux, Louisiana in 1992 by a team of experts working with Louisiana State University. The individuals buried inside were wealthy Acadians Celeste Leontine Gaudet Lacaperre (1824-1852); her sister Clemence Elizabeth Gaudet Tucker Evans (1821-1857) and Clemence's son Daniel Pennington Wade Tucker (1836-1852). Unlike most of the metallic burial cases recovered, these had remained intact since interment, so that the clothing, jewelry and flowers inside were well preserved and the bodies themselves (now reburied) had become mummified. Three xxx of the coffins' contents are held by...
Throughout the winter, the Mississippi Queen, American Queen, and the Delta Queen make regular stops on their 3 to 6 day trips up the Mississippi River from New Orleans. Except for holidays, the wharf is a busy place when the boats are in town.
After living here in Louisiana for about 18 months I've come to realize how important it is for people here to be addressed as "sir" or "ma'am" or in some form of respectful address.
It's also very common to address someone with a prefix of "Miss" or "Mr." before their FIRST name if you use it.
i.e: I would be called "Miss Angie" by people who are familiar with my first name, my husband would be addressed as "Mr. Paul".
It took a while to get used to it but now I like it---it has a gentle, respectful sound to it.
Baton Rouge may very well be the US sport-aholic capital. Everything revolves around the athletes, the teams, and the sports fan. Roads are closed, traffic diverted, business hours changed all in the sake of game availability. Its a sight to behold. There are numerous sports websites devoted to the teams; the official one being: http://www.lsusports.net/
Football is the main game here, but the baseball team and track teams may be even better. The track teams (men and women) have won 26 National Championships since 1986!! Baseball won 5 out of ten years in the 90's and 00's. Football finally won its first championship since before I was born...
OF COURSE they would do this when I am overseas and not able to watch a single friggin' game!!
Even the off-season is not an off-season as the entire city tracks recruiting and other LSU squads like softball and gymnastics.
Not everyone in Louisiana knows French or lives in the swamp. Baton Rougians speak suprisingly accent-less American English, especailly compared to New Orleanians (they sound like New Yorkers) or to North Louisianians (they just sound country).
A couple of tips regarding dining...these are based on my experience with out-of-town guests...
You usually leave payment at your table at restaurants.
Grits are a breakfast food. You can't just have one (I know someone who, when ordering breakfast added, 'and one grit, please). It's like a grain.
If you hear someone ask you if you want 'bold' crawfish or shrimp, they are saying boiled. Say yes.
We here in Louisiana are of a friendly nature. We NEVER meet a stranger! People you have never met before will say hello to you as you walk by them on the street, in the store, where ever! Some will even start up a conversation with you! So dont be surprised if you find your self talking to a complete stranger and he talks to you like he has known you for years!