April 10: I am asked to judge at a lemonade tasting. Lemonade Day is a program for children to learn the art of business via a lemonade stand, and the tasting event precedes it. Various tots arrive with jars and their mothers, and TV 3′s Marcelle Fontenot, Blaise Zuschlag, and I begin. The first contestant has made watermelon lemonade and the male judge loves it, maybe because with the addition of alcohol it would make a great cocktail. Many cups later, an Egyptian boy blows away the competition with his mint-infused concoction. We announce our results and at least one small entrepreneur cries and has to be carried out.
April 11: Evangeline Downs hosts A Night at the Races with Jake Delhomme, courtesy of the Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Celebration committee. Couples have paid a couple of hundred to hang out with Jake and EvD doesn’t disappoint. Neither does Jake. I remember the Firefighter’s Ball where I observed a lady stroking a Jake-autographed football jersey up for auction. I decide not to tell him that story.
I get a distress call from designer Raoul Blanco, who is several hours late. “We are lost. Is that event in Opelousas?” I learn there is an Evangeline Downs Races n’ Aces betting parlor in St. Martinville and SIRI doesn’t know the difference. Unfortunately, neither does Raoul. “I walk in and they look at me kind of funny.”
Raoul is dressed expensively in head-to-toe black and sporting a diamond earring. Nobody at the betting parlor strokes his jacket.