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Monday, February 18, 2008

My Town Monday

One of my blogosphere friends, Travis, recently came up with the idea of My Town Monday. Although I don't know lots about my town, as I just moved here about a year and a half ago, I thought it was a good idea & have decided to participate.

I live in Abita Springs, Louisiana, about 50 miles north-northeast of New Orleans. The image above is our town logo. Abita Springs was originally a Choctaw village. "Abita" comes from the Choctaw word for fountain or water source; "ibetap." Now it's a quaint, predominantly caucasian town of about 2,000. Part of the movie "Yellow Handkerchief" was filmed here last year.
The local brewing company produces a variety of beers using the local spring water. They also give tours on the weekend, at which you can sample a wide variety of their brews. They also run a restaurant in town, but personally I think they should stick to beer.
Although Abita Springs was part of hundreds of million acres of longleaf pine forests that once blanketed most of the southeast U.S., over 97% of that forest has been lost to logging interests (including the pine tar industry.) The Nature Conservancy is preserving some acreage close to our home.
I work at the town's library, which is smaller than my house (which isn't particularly large.) Our patrons & my coworkers are great. I love my job & I love living here in Abita Springs.

26 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

I've actually been through Abita Springs. Used to ahve family in Slidell and I spent a lot of time in the area. I'm also A huge Saints fan so I hear commercials for Abita Springs water during the radio broadcasts on my satellite radio.

Thanks for helping me with this.

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; Anytime. It's a good idea! (Charles & I even found Abita beer in a bar in NYC.)

WordVixen said...

Ack! I love small towns! The town I grew up in had a population of about 13,000 and I thought that was much too large for my taste.

Lana Gramlich said...

Wordvixen; We actually live 5 miles outside of town, so we're really in the boonies. I love it. :)

Travis said...

When I first came to Washington in the fall of 2004, I used the computers at the small public library in the little town of Castle Rock. And I did a bit of volunteer work there too.

I always thought it was terrible that the library couldn't afford to be open more than 30 hours a week, and that the librarian had to work a part time job on the side just to make ends meet.

I hope your small town library isn't struggling to keep its doors open.

Brave Astronaut said...

Oh, Beeeeerrrrr. I still remember some of that good Abita from when I was there last.

Am glad to hear you are working in the library. It's a good field. :)

Patti said...

any place with a brewery is a place for me....

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; Not struggling at all. Our funding was recently renewed for another 15 years, actually. As for the pay, I work part-time & have no problem covering my mortgage. :)

BA; I love it (the beer & the library! *L*)

Patti; My mother would have agreed with you. <:\

Rob said...

I love Abita Springs, love the Brew Pub, love the new traffic circle, and have even been to the library but only to drop books in the night deposit.

Demon Hunter said...

Very interesting town, Lana.

"97% of that forest has been lost to logging interests" Are you kidding me? I live in a rural area as well. I remember passing by a wooded area that has been completely stripped. It made me want to vomit at what they had done to those beautiful trees...

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

What a lovely place, Lana; really like your cute library. Didn't grasp you were as far outside New Orleans as that, or that it was only 2k size. Great post and thanks for the fascinating links!

Erik Donald France said...

AWESOME! Spring water is near the top of good amenities. Library, brewery, pine stands. . . kudos . . .

Lana Gramlich said...

Rob; The traffic circle really has been a boon.

DH; Unfortunately I'm not kidding. This gov't page (in the "links" on my sidebar,) gives more info on the problem. According to them, "The longleaf pine ecosystem once covered a reported 90 million acres in the Southeastern United States. Today, less that three million acres remain (over 97% decline), mostly in the Coastal Plains of the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas." I'm with you--it's sickening. Even now most of the remaining stands of this forest are not protected. Acres upon acres of it are being felled even in our area even now. After Katrina a lot of people (including us,) moved to this area & unfortunately, where money flows, trees gotta go. <:(

Julie; Glad to share! There are more links in my sidebar, if you're interested.

Charles Gramlich said...

I grew up in a town pretty close in size to Abita Springs. Love it, although it seems small now.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

What a neat description of your new
"home town".
Sounds like quaint little Newmarket,Ontario, where the library was in a portable during renovations.

But then the carpetbaggers and the contractors came in and ringed the town with subdivisions...I am learning to speak Italian. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; It's a nice place to live, all around.

Charles; SOOO much better than Metairie!

Ivan; Unfortunately there's a lot more development going on in our whole area since Katrina, too. Fortunately Abita Springs has a lot of historical buildings & such, so they're protective of our little town, itself.
Good luck w/the Italian, though! ;)

Lisa said...

It looks like such a nice town, Lana. I'm sure my husband would love to visit the brewery. :)

I hope you had a great weekend. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Lisa; It's a sweet little town, yes. I had a great weekend, thanks. You?

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Lana,

I so envy your librarian job! That was one of the things I wanted to be and always thought would be wonderful. Being around books is like heaven. Your town sounds great -- I do love Louisiana, small and big cities alike!

Miladysa said...

Fascinating post.

I love the town logo - I do not think I have seen a nicer one!

Terrible to hear about the trees :[

Larry said...

I like small towns.-I often go on fishing cvacations in Maine and New Hampshire in towns with populations of a few hundred.
I take it the food isn't that great at the restaurant.

Chris said...

Abita Springs sounds like a wonderful place to live. I think living in a smaller town has many advantages...I work 45 hors a week and struggle with our mortgage! That sucks! Being located by a major city is expensive!

The Anti-Wife said...

It sounds like a lovely town.

ChristineEldin said...

I also love small towns. Your town logo is beautiful!

This is a great idea. I'll do the Monday town post when we get back to the States in June (if Travis is still doing it)

Your town has a lot of elements which would serve as a nice backdrop for a story. Just saying....

:-)

Ello said...

Hey Lana, nice write up! And your library is so very cute! Also, I looked at the Nature Conservancy page and I saw that same pretty walkway that Charles featured on his blog awhile back. I thought that was cool. So I love small towns - although I could never live in one. When you have a chance, maybe you can post some pictures of town? That would be cool!

Lana Gramlich said...

Michelle; Working at the library is the cat's @$$. Many of my past jobs were pretty stressful. This one is about as non-stressful as it gets. And as you say...BOOKS!!!

Miladysa; I like the logo, too (& almost physically hurt when I see more & more local acres of longleaf pines cleared.)

Larry; The Northeast US is beautiful, particularly in Autumn. No, the restaurant's not very good. Bearable, yes. Good, no. The best restaurant in Abita Springs is probably Mama D's Pizza (who may have the best garlic bread w/cheese I've ever tasted.)

Chris; Although I was raised just outside of NYC, I've been a "country girl" since I lived in Canada. The smaller the town, the better. If I could live in the middle of hundreds of acres of forest, I would. We refer to our home as "the Hermitage" for a reason. *LOL* I really lucked out on the house. Got a great place at a wonderful price. I count that blessing every day.

Anti-wife; It truly is. Tune in this coming Monday for more info!

Christine; I haven't even gotten into the more eccentric elements of our town yet. Stay tuned. *L* I'd love to hear about where you live, too. I hope you participate on your ret'n. :)

Ello; Thank you! I'll try to post some pix of Abita Springs with this upcoming Monday's "My Town Monday" post. I don't have any at present, but will try to take some through this week.

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