Baton Rouge, a Tribute

“You don’t know a good thing until it is gone.”

I’ve heard people say that before. Usually they’re distressed country singers or hipsters looking for traction on Instagram. It seems to be grounded in some pretty sound logic, though.

Basically, don’t overlook something that is right in front of you. Don’t take things for granted.

That seems right.

As I’ve been abroad, in Asia, I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’ve met people and I’ve bowed to them. I’ve tried new things and I’ve reveled in curiosity. It’s been a unique experience just as it has been an amazing one. But, to both reference and tie in the aforementioned quotation, it is hard not to think about life back home. Being away from something doesn’t mean you have to miss it, or take to gloom, but it does make you appreciate what you may not have before.

Baton Rouge has been my home for the last 8 years. It has become part of my fabric. It is where I went to school and where I bought a home. I say “y’all”. I’ve been dumped by over three different Baton Rouge natives. I still go to Tigerland. It is a part of me. It always will be.

15,000 miles away, in another hemisphere in another culture, I see Baton Rouge. That doesn’t upset me nor does it detract from my time spent here. It just makes me happy. There are many reasons why.

A tribute, to the Red Stick:

(A basic translation, if you’re not from Baton Rouge)

lsu poem.jpg

It is a pantheon of concrete and steel

Referring to Walkons Bar and Bistro (Burbank location). Here, under the construct of concrete and steel, and basic stucco design, the whole family can enjoy themselves. Little Timmy can play on the hoop shoot while mom and dad inebriate on the back patio, reminiscing.

It is a city that rises

1913, City Bar, and Boudreaux and Thibodeaux all have second floor access.

Defiantly in the delta alongside the father of waters

The best baseball bat on the market has an “M” on the barrel, denoting Marucci product. Their warehouse and offices are located in Baton Rouge, which is adjacent, maybe even defiantly, the Mississippi River. Kyle Ourso is an integral cog in that organization, optimizing product and player relations.

It is the humidity of autumn evenings that drapes stately oaks and broad magnolias

Freds. On game days, in the Fall, when the air is sultry and your judgement compromised, go to Freds. Don’t go on the Thursday or Fridays before, if you are no longer a student.

It is haunted and it is loud

13th Gate is scary. Great spot for an ice-breaking first date or a fun night with friends if you’ve been drinking.

It is Halloween night and Cannon blasts

Great athletes form the foundation of this great city. Players like Mikie Mahtook, Micah Gibbs, Jared Mitchell, and Billy Ray Cannon have all had big Halloween nights.

It is a Louisiana gumbo of humanity that cheers its Tigers to victory

If you are lucky enough to be part of “the squad”, or you’re a soft 8 or better, on game day you will receive an invite to the Ochinko Family Tailgate. It is a medley of friendship, libation, and girls ages 19 – 31. We bask in short-story, laughter, and innuendo. Sometimes gumbo is served.

And destroys the dreams of invading foes

(continued) Bring a good attitude or we will ask you to leave.

Chance of Rain is never

Metaphors are good. I didn’t return to Seattle after college because of the increased prevalence of skinny jeans and youth who protest. Baton Rouge is positivity, love, and hard-work. A gumbo, if you will.

It is the cathedral of college football and worship happens here

The LSU Baseball brotherhood is something that stays with you for the rest of your life. It is not exclusive to those who were actually good, but a thread bound by those who care. Also a nice bullet to put on a resume.

When the sun finds its home in the Western sky

From a terrace overlooking the Mississippi, the L’Auberge Casino now offers a breathtaking sunset view. On nights when downtown, or Ivars, is slow, we take it to the Casino. Lots of talent in the back bar.

It is a field of glory for sure…

Alex Box, obv.

But so much more than that it is a sacred place

I laid my roots in Baton Rouge, a city of fun and a people of friendly disposition. It is here I call home. I also just bought a home. The countertops are expensive Italian Quartz and appliances are stainless.

And it is Saturday night in Death Valley

Watching the Tigers play, in Death Valley, under the stars and under the influence, is like nothing else.

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