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Monday, March 10, 2008

My Town Monday

Welcome (back) to Abita Springs, Louisiana!

Here's a picture of a map of the Tammany Trace from last week's post (click for larger image.) Although I alluded to historical houses last week too, they'll have to wait, as I haven't had time for the photocopies & pictures I need to get. It's surprising, sometimes, how busy our little library can get!

The "most eccentric museum in Louisiana" is here in our little town. The "UCM Museum/Abita Mystery House" ("UCM" is pronounced "you see 'em,") was created by local artist, John Prebble. I suspect that the building it's housed in (an old gas station with the antique pumps still outside,) is one of Abita Springs' historical buildings. What can be said of this museum besides "what the hell was that???" (I mean that in the good way.) It's reminiscent of a junk store that's had its items organized into various scenes &/or designs, with some truly "out there" displays & constructions that defy categorization (including a UFO that's crashed into an airstream trailer.) It's a cheap thrill that shouldn't be missed.
My favorite part of the UCM Museum is the gift shop, where you can pick up such novelty items as Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson & Marie Antoinette action figures, jawbone knives, Mother Theresa soap (guaranteed to wash away those stubborn mortal sins,) & the obligatory alligator heads found at any southern Louisianian gift shop/truck stop/souvenier store.

Later today I'll be heading over to the Berkeley Gallery & Studio to drop off a few paintings for a "meet the artists" reception I'll be attending there later this week. The building it's housed in is over 100 years old & used to be a tuberculosis hospital. Some consider it haunted.

Our town hall (not far from the roundabout pictured last week,) is the main social center of town. Home to the Abita Springs Opry & occassional cajun dances (with instruction available beforehand,) I regret admitting that we have yet to check either of those out.
One annual event in Abita Springs is coming up on March 29th; the "whole town garage sale," which is precisely as described, from what I understand (you guessed it--I haven't checked this out yet, either, but I certainly intend to this year.)
The fact that we haven't fully investigated our town's events (after having lived here for almost 2 years now,) is but a testament to our love of our home in the woods (which we half-jokingly refer to as "The Hermitage.")

"My Town Monday" is the brainchild of Travis Erwin. Visit his blog to view entries from all over.
Click the "My Town Monday" label below for previous posts about Abita Springs.


ChristineEldin said...

The town I come from has a similar yearly Garage Sale. It's really a trash swap, but hey, it's a lot of fun!!!

Your reception sounds fun! Hoping you'll blog about it!!


Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

lol - the museum sounds a right laugh, and your last painting (with all of them) looks up to book cover or illustration standard.

Thanks for your comment on mine. I've got the impression from various places that 'blogger blues' have been widespread of late, and it seems worse with photo related stuff.

Think it's one of the reasons I've been hacking around with blogs trying to make it 'work'; what should be efficient isn't!

Otherwise I was quite happy with blogger, and wouldn't have thought of shifting.

Erik Donald France said...

This sounds like a great town for artists of all types.

The only "Trace" I've deliberately traveled along was the Natchez Trace, and this seems similar. It's all fascinating.

Dave Coulter said...

Is the Tammany Trace like the Natchez Trace? I worked with a woman who visited the NT and really liked it!

Debbielou said...

Love the sound of the gift shop and the Mother Theresa soap !

Charles Gramlich said...

About all I can say is "yeah ha!"

Travis Erwin said...

Sounds cool. As you know from my recent posts I like stuff like this. Hope we see some pictures from your meet the artist reception.

Lana Gramlich said...

Christine; I love me some garage sales. Haven't been to one in years, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

Julie; I just hope blogger's working on some kind of fix, as I don't want to start all over again elsewhere!

Erik; It is a good place for artists. At least it has huge potential for such.

Dave; I know nothing about the NT, but our trace was originally an old, Indian trail that was first converted to a railway & finally became our trace. There's more info about it at the homepage (which I've linked up there.)

Debbilou; It's priceless & hysterical, truly!

Charles; Nice being back in the country, eh? ;)

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; I think you'd really get a kick out of the UCM Museum. I'm not sure I'll be bringing my camera to the reception, but I may blog about it.

Josephine Damian said...

Lana: great post - your paint quite the vivid word picture.

What I wanna see most is that UFO!

There's something out there. If only more people believed.

If only I had some of that Mother Tersa soap back in the day when I was a Bad Girl since it's "guaranteed to wash away those stubborn mortal sins."

I wonder if they have a Thomas Paine action figure in the little museum in my home town? Cause now I want one!

Enjoy the exhibit and reception!

Lana Gramlich said...

Josephine; Thanks! You can call the UCM Museum (their phone number is on their webpage, which I've linked up in the post.) They actually might have a Thomas Paine action figure...If anyone does, it's them. *LOL*

Marvin said...

Abita Springs sounds like a neat little town.

Good luck on your upcoming artist's reception.

Lana Gramlich said...

Marvin; Thanks! :) This is a quaint & funky little town.

Natural Woman said...

You're posts are so full of info. I love reading them and the facts that you put out there. I just went on a trip from reading your blog. Thanks I needed that. The UCM sounds quite interesting. Organized junk? I might lose my mind and start cleaning up the place.

Barrie said...

Hey, I want to go to one of those Cajun dances with instructions ahead of time!

david mcmahon said...

I like the sound of the gift shop!

Lana Gramlich said...

Natural Woman; Thank you! I don't know that you'd start cleaning up the's so truly overwhelming you wouldn't know where to start! *L*

Barrie; Yes...that sounds like it could be fun. :)

David; The gift shop is SUCH a hoot! I love having access to such odd novelties.

oldmanlincoln said...

I did enjoy my visit today and read your post which I also enjoyed and then visited the art in the gallery and read some about the town.

I came to thank you for your frequent visits to my bird blog.

Ello said...

Most eccentric museum! Too cool!

And your story - oh my gosh! I had to vote for you, it won hands down! Poor Lana!

Lana Gramlich said...

Lincoln; Glad you've enjoyed your visit to Abita Springs. Always a pleasure to visit your blog, as well. :)

Ello; If you ever get out this way, you must visit the UCM Museum.
Thanks for the vote! Now you know why I no longer drink. *LOL*

The Anti-Wife said...

Love your post and the UCM museum is my kind of place. Thanks for posting.

Lana Gramlich said...

Anti-wife; Thank YOU. :)

Travis said...

There seems to be lots to do around your little area.

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; Indeed there is. Just the other day auditions were held for an upcoming talent show related to a Smithsonian presentation that will be held here in town over the next couple of months.

Britta Coleman said...

Great post. Makes me want to visit and take those cajun dance classes!

Lana Gramlich said...

Britta; Thank you. I think I'll take advantage myself, next time they hold one!

WordVixen said...

Mother Theresa soap- I love it! It gives a whole new meaning to "Cleanliness is next to Godliness".

Lana Gramlich said...

Wordvixen; I love it, too! I nearly busted a gut laughing when I saw it!

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