Saturday, February 3, 2018
Y’ all know I don’t post this often, but we took so many pictures in The Frog Capital of the World yesterday, I gave it its own post so you wouldn’t miss out on any of these delightful creatures. I’m fairly certain we’ve all been to a city or town where the sidewalks are festooned with one animal or another, then later auctioned off to raise money. We saw elk in Elkton, Maryland, and moose in Anchorage, Alaska, among others. But here in tiny Rayne,Texas, there are over 35 concrete frogs all over town. And the best part? Most are painted to look like the employees of the business they are seated in front of. Before I reveal the pics, I want to tell you how the town got it’s nickname.
Obviously, they’ve got a bunch of frogs. But, the story goes that “in the 1880s businessman Jacques Weil and his brothers were in Rayne and were sampling frog legs. They were so impressed by how good they were, they figured it could be a profitable industry. The brothers started selling frog legs to a high end restaurant in New York called Sardi’s, who put the delicacy on the menu as “Frog Legs from Rayne, Louisiana. Frog Capital of the World”. Rayne took that ball and ran with it, and rightly so. Rayne’s frog legs were so popular they were actually sold in Paris. At that time, if you ate frog legs anywhere in the world, chances were they came from Rayne!”
And now as promised –
WELCOME TO RAYNE
CPA FROG – says “Nothing in life is certain but croakin’ and taxes”
DRY CLEANER FROG (even his eyes are white)
RAYNE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT FROG
MADAME CRAPPEAUX – FLOWER SHOP FROG – (If you have the time or inclination, google the word “crappeaux”)
RUBY – GIFT SHOP FROG
HIGH SCHOOL FROG – “GO WOLVES”
FATHER JOE – PRIEST FROG
I’ve saved Father Joe for last because he’s a great segue for the next and last part of this post. There is one more oddity in Rayne –
WRONG WAY CATHOLIC CEMETERY
Father Joe Frog sits in front of the beautiful St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. Next to the church is the St. Joseph’s Cemetery, dubbed “Wrong Way”. Tim and I were both raised Catholic, but neither of us had ever heard of this tradition. It is said that when people are buried, the grave must have an east-west orientation. Why? “Some of the earliest solar based religions buried their dead facing east in order to face the “rising sun” and “the new day”, as did the pagans.” The Christian tradition of east-west facing burials “is more firmly rooted in biblical text and the belief that Christ will come from the east at the time of the resurrection, thus the dead would rise up to face him. There are several scriptural references to this. Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
Although Christians are traditionally buried facing east, clergy members are generally buried facing west. The belief behind this is that when the dead are risen, clergy will rise facing their congregations, ready to lead once again. (Guess they thought all kinds of things back in the day). Today, many cemeteries have broken away from this tradition for practical reasons, such as cost, space and easier layout. Although not all modern cemeteries follow such traditions, north – south facing cemeteries do exist and trigger curiosity of people today.
The proof of the pudding…
We’re headed to a Chili Cook-Off and Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns concert. And, later today, the “Mardi Gras ‘Parada’ of the Krewe of Carnivale en Rio” Lafayette, Acadia Parish, Louisiana.