A memorable weekend in Grand Isle

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I’ve been to Grand Isle three
times in my life. The first time was about 30 years ago to speak at the school, and three years ago I was asked to speak at the school’s annual sports banquet. As we were driving out of the town that night, I turned to Jeanne and said, “If you want
to see Grand Isle again, I suggest you turn around and look, because
I don’t think we will ever be
As usual, I was wrong again. This past weekend, we spent Friday and Saturday in Grand Isle.
Our youngest grandson, Kameron, plays basketball on the St. Charles Catholic High School team, and
they were invited to play in the “Hoops on the Isle” tournament. The tournament was the idea of Grand Isle’s basketball coach, Denny Wright.  
It was the first “Hoops on the Isle” tournament with only four teams participating — the host school, Grand Isle, Crescent City, Ascension Catholic and St. Charles. My intention of a quiet couple of days watching a few basketball games was interrupted by the hospitality and goodwill of the island’s residents. The friendly, fun-loving people who made the tournament a success allowed Jeanne and I to have one the most enjoyable and memorable weekends ever.  
It all started shortly after our arrival at the gym. Chris Hernandez, who I met a year ago in LaPlace at a Grand Isle and St. Charles basketball game, together with his wife, Ranel, and his brother-in-law, Floyd Lasseigne, and wife, Julie, made
not only us but every visitor feel special.  
From the ladies who collected at the door to everyone who worked in the hospitality room, the people who cooked the meals and Mayor David Camardelle, we experienced people working together, having fun, being servants and, most of all, enjoying their roles, which allowed others to forget about everything and seize the moment, making the most of each other’s company.
If laughter is the best medicine, Jeanne and I overdosed this weekend. Chris and Floyd, together with their friend, David, kept us entertained and laughing continuously.    
Chris and Floyd refer to themselves as “The Swamp Eaters,” (both overweight and proud of it). They made a Christmas card with a picture of themselves and said that they are in the process of making a calendar for 2014. They really have a dream of a reality show and will call it “Swamp Eaters.” I pray that never happens.
Spending two days and a night in Grand Isle and meeting people like Cher Billiot, whose son, Cyrus, played for Grand Isle and Liz, Lanika, Sharon and Kathy Funk, a transplanted New Yorker who assisted in the hospitality room, made Jeanne and I realize what enjoying life is all about.
May God bless Grand Isle and all of His special people!
If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477, or email hkeller@comcast.net.