Page 158. " It will be a great plantation "

If Paul decides to build his plantation in Houma, it will not be the first.

The Southdown Plantation House was built in 1859 by William Minor, a sugar planter. The original house was one-story and the second was added in 1893. This plantation proved to be vital during the 1900s with its sugar crop. Now, the Southdown Plantation is a museum and cultural center.

The Ardoyne Plantation was built in 1894. This plantation is not opened to the public because it is privately owned. Little history is known about the Ardoyne house.



Southdown Plantation Website


Page 159. " hunched over a large bowl of crawfish "

Crawfish are also known commonly as crayfish or crawdads. Crawfish are commonly eaten all over the world but the vast majority are harvested in Louisiana, making them a common food there. Before they are eaten, crawfish are boiled alive in a large pot and seasoned. It is also common for crawfish to be mixed with vegetables and other meats.

Public DomainCrawfish




Page 169. " had come from St. Martinville and had made stops "

Ruby's bus has just come from St. Martinville which isabout 2 hours north of Houma. In 2000, St. Martinville's population was almost 7,000 people. St. Martinville was once occupied by Native Americans. It was settled by Europeans in 1699. The first group of Acadians from Nova Scotia arrived in 1765.


Google Maps: St. Martinville to Houma




Page 170. " going to the wet grave too "

GNU Free Documentation LicenseCemeteries - Credit: Urban

New Orleans is referred to as the wet grave because of its above-ground cemeteries. New Orleans is below sea level and the water table is too high for bodies to be buried below ground. It was unhealthy to continue burying bodies belowe ground. This is also a common practice in France and Spain. It is likely that this is the reason it continues to be so popular today.


Cities of the Dead

Page 170. " honey it's Mardi Gras "

Mardi Gras, which translates to Fat Tuesday in French, is a Carnival celebration. Though Mardi Gras is celebrated worldwide, it is very popular in New Orleans.  The celebration consists of parades and then parties in the French Quarter. Bourbon Street is the street with the most activity. Mardi Gras is tied to Catholic Lent.


Wikipedia: New Orleans Mardi Gras



Page 171. " It's gris-gris "

When Ruby's new friend gives her gris-gris, she is giving her a good luck charm. It is generally made up of a small bag filled with herbs, oils, bones, or anything that might ward off evil. Gris-gris is a part of voodoo culture.

Page 175. " my first audition in a nightclub on Bourbon Street "
Bourbon Street
Public DomainBourbon Street - Credit: Justin Watts

Bourbon Street is the most well-known street in the French Quarter. Bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops are popular there. Bourbon Street also attracts a large gay crowd and is home to bars and strip clubs catering to this niche.


Wikipedia: Bourbon Street