Thursday, April 12, 2007

Breaking Ground

Any shooter will tell you that ribbon cuttings and ground breakings are the bane of their existence. If more of them were like the one last week, we'd all be clamoring for them.

The groundbreaking was a ceremonial affair for work being done on LA Hwy. 1. This road is the true Energy Corridor for the country, through which nearly 18 percent of the country's oil flows, not to mention more than a few tons of fresh gulf shrimp. I was working a nightside schedule, because I was doing uplinks for the early evening shows. I got there with a comfortable amount of time to set up the truck and enjoy the view.

Fourchon (pronounced FOO-shawn) is nearly identical to Cameron. The buzz of whirling helicopter blades never fades from hearing for long as they carry workers and supplies over the marshes and out to the petroleum platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. This was my first time on this part of the coast, and I enjoyed the smell of the sea breeze and the cry of the gulls, especially since I didn't have to pay attention to the drone of the politicos under the tent.

After a couple hours of speeches the time finally came to put shovel to freshly poured dirt, accompanied by the requisite applause and punctuated by the clicks and pops of shutters and flashes, while the silent lenses of the video cameras fed images to hungry CCDs. But the feeding didn't stop there. The band in the corner of the tent struck up and the boiled crawfish and shrimp began to flow. I managed to polish off a couple pounds of mudbugs between satellite windows, and even brought home a pound of peeled tail meat. Unfortunately I could have any of the free beer to wash down this sumptuous smorgasbord, because I was still on the clock, in company logowear, and had a three hour drive back to Baton Rouge in a van worth more than 100 grand.

I settled for a Coke and a smile.

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