Craig Cummings Music


He Had A Reason To Get Back To Lake Charles…

Just got back from a trip to New Orleans. Rented a car and drove to Lake Charles, LA for the day. It’s a sleepy town. The downtown area isn’t much except for a 20 story (more or less) Capital One building and a few square blocks of stores, restaurants, and the like. The marina area is nicely designed for a brief visit but it doesn’t exactly make you feel like you could spend much time there. The Pujo St. Cafe has good food and a friendly bartender. Try the fried oyster appetizer.

I got around town and checked out the beach on Lake Charles that borders I-10 and then drove to Shell Beach Dr. where the mansions are located. Now this is an area where a person could stretch out and get comfortable. Big houses, big lawns, big trees, and the houses that border the lake also have mini houses that sit on stilts out in the water, accessible by long piers. Most of these mini houses also have small “garages” that house speed boats. Old money…

Lucinda Williams wrote a song about Lake Charles…it is my favorite song of all of the songs she has written, and that is saying a lot considering that I like it more than Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, Essence, Right In Time, Ventura, and Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings. The Lake Charles song is about a guy who loves the town so much that he wants to return there to die (“Did an angel whisper in your ear/And hold you close/Take away your fears/In those long last moments.”)

Lake Charles is a beautiful little place in western Louisiana. It’s kind of like many other little (and larger) towns throughout the country. What makes it special? I guess the memories one associates with it. The guy in Lucinda’s song had enough of a connection to Lake Charles that he wanted to be there when he drew his last breath. I feel you.

I grew up in Baltimore. It’s grimy – like New Orleans. But I have a connection to it. I’m not planning to experience my “long last moment” anytime soon. But, when that time comes, I think I’ll have a reason to get back…

I should have born in the south. I have a southern soul. Baltimore is much more of a southern town than people think…but it’s not Texas or Louisiana. OK, I’m rambling now.

What I’m trying to say is I visited Lake Charles and I loved it’s charm. I can understand why one who was born there or lived there for some time might want to be there when it really counts. Baltimore, like Lake Charles, has it’s charm. So, if I never get back to Lake Charles again, spending my long last moments in Baltimore wouldn’t be too bad.

It’s more of a southern town than people realize…