The T-Bois Storyscenes_tbois_blues_fest_jm_032015_001

”T-Bois”, a Cajun French word meaning ‘lil Woods’, is the name of the farm that has been in my mother’s family for over 100 years. Through the years The land was used primarily for farming cattle, with a crawfish pond scattered here or there, but no one lived on this beautiful stretch of land. In 1983 my Father, Ted, built a house at T-Bois, and my family and I made the move to ”the back” as we call it.  It wasn’t long before he began taking advantage of the blessings that come from the land here at T-Bois. He’d originally gotten into the crawfish business, but after several years decided to try a new and very different endeavor… alligator farming. At the time, there was no blueprint for building or running such a farm. But after years of trial and error learning, my dad and his brother were able to turn the T-bois Gator farm into a successful business. Now, 25 years later, several members of my family have moved to T-Bois. Aunts, uncles, cousins… it has truly become a home to our entire family. While the alligator business has transitioned to a different phase, the majority of the original alligators are still on the property today! The fondest memories of my childhood were made in this Louisiana swamp wonderland during the years i spent hunting, fishing, picking blackberries, catching crawfish, and engaging in other general cajun mischief with my twin brother, Mark. 

One of my favorite memories of T-Bois spans back to the mid-80’s, when the crawfish business was in full swing. Back then, every spring my parents would throw this huge Good Friday crawfish boil. I can remember hundreds of family members and friends coming over and enjoying the crawfish and other fruits that T-Bois had provided for us. Sadly, As time passed and folks moved on or away, the Good Friday crawfish boils became a thing of the past. Then, in the 90’s my Uncle Paul Robichaux, my cousins from both sides of the family, Nicole and Michelle – from the(Robichaux side, and Chad and Paul -(from the Falgout side, who were all great friends, started having similar parties to the ones my dad used to. while at work one day my Uncle Paul was telling a few of his fellow employees about this party full of great music, great food and great friends. One of his co-worker interrupted, in our unmistakeable Cajun accent, “mais, y’all havin y’all selves a pallooza huh?” It was at that moment that T-Bois Polluzza was born! This ”Polluzza” was primarily just a crawfish boil/bonfire/campout event with either good music being played by radio or sometimes a random musician would show up with a guitar. T-bois polluza went on through the years with different friends showing up but always having the core group of family members in attendance. Then, once again, after several years of difficulty coordinating schedules and whatnot, the party had lost steam. Mark and I had moved away from Bayou Lafourche after high school for college and work. We had stints living in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and other cities on the Gulf Coast. Eventually, however, the road led us to New Orleans. almost immediately after moving there we both found ourselves completely engulfed in The Big Easy’s music and culture. It became just as much of a part of us as the bayou we grew up on. It was then that I decided to give T-Bois Polluzza one more push!

i wanted to recapture the spirit of the crawfish boils my parents threw, so The first year under my watch saw the party return to Good Friday. two of my very best friends, T-Mel Ledet and his brother Heath, along with a few other close friends, worked tirelessly for several weeks in advance to make the new T-Bois Polluzza as special as it could be. We had a huge crawfish boil along with other seafood and cajun grub, but the main addition was adding plugged in live music. We brought in a musician who was resurrecting his career in a very similar way to the way we were resurrecting T-Bois… Mr. Anders Osborne. We also brought in a new-to-thescene musician who was just building a career here in South Louisiana, Colin Lake. I’ve seen these two musicians’ careers blossom and grow to amazing new heights in the last few years, and I hope T-Bois Blues Fest can follow suit.

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This event is only possible because of a few tremendous groups of people. First and foremost my Mother Ruth and her amazing family for opening up their farmland to new faces and friends each year. Secondly, my Father Ted, who puts in countless hours grooming the grounds, catching and cleaning catfish for us to eat, catching the crawfish in a Cajun pirogue by himself -using a push pole, not an engine-, but most importantly, just allowing us to come to this land and make ourselves at home. And last, but certainly not least, my unbelievable friends. through the years I’ve been amazingly blessed to be able to surround myself with this wonderful group of folks who give up so much of their spare time to make this such a special event. Words cannot express how grateful I am to everyone for making the past few years so successful, and for making a personal dream of mine a reality. I believe I speak for everyone when I say we will continue to make T-Bois a special and truly unique experience for years to come.​

 

-Alligator Mike

Here are a few images of “The People” at T-Bois Blues Festival 2014. Many more images and musical slideshow from T-Bois can be seen at http://www.nativeorleanian.org/tbois_blues_fest_2014 All Rights Reserved ©2005-2013 Jerry Moran Native Orleanian LLC