Cajuns Wonder If Gulf Spill Is Last Straw

Many plan to stay till the bitter end, if need be
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Suggested by WhatTha.
Posted Jul 19, 2010 2:40 PM CDT
Oil soaked reeds are seen at sunset along the Louisiana coast at the Mississippi River delta south of Venice, La. Thursday, May 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – The sultry, salty soul of Louisiana's Cajun culture is inextricably bound to the rhythm of the waters of the Gulf: The sea provides plentiful food, work, and a lifestyle that has endured since the Cajuns settled there in the 1700s. But the sea has also been quick to punish, and the threat of hurricanes and floods is constant. Nevertheless, it's only now, with the dark fingers of the Gulf oil spill slowly strangling their way of life, that Louisiana's Cajuns must ask themselves if the time has finally arrived that they must leave.

It's a wrenching decision, reports the New York Times, and many are opting to go down with the ship. One out-of-work shrimper spends his days on odd jobs and anti-anxiety meds, while his wife is so distressed that she recently forgot his 50th birthday. "Thank God there isn't a loaded gun in this house," she told him the other night. Yet, “I ain’t going nowhere,” she says. “I might have to die right here, but I’m not leaving."

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