Home » Gate Guarding » That’s What I’m Talkin About!

That’s What I’m Talkin About!

If you’re a gate guard in Louisiana, you know what I’m talkin about!

If you’ve spent much time on the Louisiana bayou or if you watch the History Channel, you know what I’m talkin about. The problem was, I was a gate guard in Texas and I didn’t know what anyone was talking about and now I know why.

The majority of the guys on Lantern 16, our initiation rig, were from Louisiana. They sounded just like Troy in this video except you need to add some chew to listen around.



And they thought I had a Canadian accent? Really? I’m not even from northern Iowa. πŸ˜€

No wonder all that time I spent listening to CD’s on How to Speak Cowboy and reading hints on deciphering a southern drawl didn’t help a bit. I’m such a Yankee, I didn’t even know that you could travel just one state to the east and be in both an entirely different world and hear an entirely different dialect. Add to that, the guys who weren’t from LA were from Texas and Mississippi. Carrying on a conversation was like channel surfing each time a different truck came in.

If I’d watched Swamp People, even once, before we took our first job I might have known what the guys were saying! Until I happened to catch an episode last fall, I had no idea that it wasn’t the southern drawl that had me stumped, it was Cajun.

It also explains why our time with 16 was so different from any other group we’ve been with since they went back to Louisiana in June. The guys were always proudly proclaiming how they could live off the land, and clearly they could … and do.

They caught wild hogs night after night right outside my window. They hung the snare on this branch.


It was weeks before I found out why the pigs were squealing all night long. I thought that was just what they did in Texas.:D



The guys would skin the hogs and cook them and cheerfully share their bounty with us. They hunted squirrel and rabbit and quail. They also shared tarantulas and snakes and scorpions and frogs and anything else they could catch πŸ™‚ (Just for show and tell, not to eat)




We expect to be in this business for quite a few more years, and I’m sure we’ll work with a lot of fine folks. I’m also sure we’ll never meet any guys quite like these bayou guys. When they said we were family, they meant it.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about! πŸ˜€

16 thoughts on “That’s What I’m Talkin About!

  1. Debbie. your blog is a daily read for the both of us, my wife and I enjoy it very much and appreciate the good job and the thought which you put into each article.
    While working for Conoco in the Middle East I worked with many men fro La, they are hard workers and boy can they COOK!!!!! I think they have the best food in the world. Hope you guys get a gate real soon.


    • Tom – Hello and thanks for the kind words! You’re so right about the cooking! Wild hog is a little wild (gamey) for me, but they way Jimmy seasoned it was amazing! Those guys were great cooks and so much fun – and yes, they worked really hard.
      They took a lot of pride in what they did. We had one drilling team that had been together for years and years. They were truly a ‘band of brothers’.
      You must have some amazing stories. Let me know if you’d like to share any of them here – or if you have a blog I can list!

  2. Hey Debbie, are you two still hangin’ around, waiting for a gate? If so, I hope you get a gate soon!
    We will be leaving our gate in just under two weeks and heading west. I saw your post where you talked about staying at La Quinta. We do too! As a matter of fact, we have reservations in the San Antonio area on the 26th as we have to get work done on both our gray water and black water tanks. Lovely.

    Sure hope we can meet you two some time.

    • Hi Sue!
      Tank troubles? πŸ˜›
      New gate next week – or so we’re told! πŸ˜€
      We’d love to meet you, too!
      Safe travels to San Antonio and beyond!

  3. That’s What I’m Talkin About!,,Your stories just keep me coming back for more. Sure glad that you did not put Fork in the closet it makes my day. Hope that you are getting ready to get back to the gate guarding business,,,Looks like they are going to Frac the three holes here on the Schwope they brought in Frac pipes and part of the Frac Equipment over the past couple of days . So maybe we will get to stay here till May 1 when we plan to head back to Georgia.

    • Luke – LOL! You keep me writing, my friend. Every time I think I’ll just set this puppy aside, you pop by with kind words and make me want to take another run at it.
      Wow! The Schwope Ranch has sure been job security, hasn’t it?
      We’ve been ready and waiting for a couple of weeks now. Looks like next week is the ticket!

  4. I am such a fan of Troy’s that I won’t let Debbie delete his swamp adventures from the DVR. Troy’s deep garble sing-song dialect has me in its sway for sure! My son was a trucker and he kept telling me that if I ever went to LA, I’d just love the people there. Probably we’re related since I come from some southern hill-billy stock that no one could quite pin down. I really want to go alligator hunting. Just don’t forget the bait and give me the rifle, OK? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

    • A fan? πŸ˜€
      Oh Heidi, I would say that’s a bit of an understatement. The woman who watches zero TV, watches Swamp People every night as a bedtime story.
      Yah! Yah! Yah! Yah!
      Henry’s heard you holler Chot ‘Em Lizbeth so many times, he doesn’t even leap out of his bed any more! πŸ˜€

  5. Okay, Sis–to clarify about my last comment, which you said “surprised” you: I LOVE vicariously being with you on your adventures. But that’s why I love the blog world–I can do a whole lot of vicarious living. Don’t get my shoes dirty, don’t have to sweat, or eat weird foods–I can sit here and gasp, as I read your stories, and laugh, and admire you all to heck! Though I’m half-Cajun, I’m so far removed that I’m sure your new friends wouldn’t recognize me as a coon-ass cousin. Sending you big hugs, and prayers (just in case). God bless you!!

    • Always glad to have you take the trip with dry feet and a turkey in the oven!
      (that could be an entire story)
      Oh yes, the food – have you eaten alligator? It’s interesting. They guys on the rig also ate rattlesnakes and armadillos (although they said the armadillos were hardly worth the work! πŸ˜‰
      Love from you’re completely non-Cajun, non-southern, non Canadian friend,

  6. The guys we have here that are from Louisana are just sweethearts. We met a couple when we were working over at Ratcliff who are from LA. We have remained friends for quite a few years. My all time favorite thing to do was to sit around a campfire and listen to their stories of growing up out in the boonies of Louisana. Wonderful people.

    • Jill – They can tell some stories can’t they? For a long time, I thought they were pulling my leg – but eventually I learned that at least 85% of theie tales were true! πŸ˜‰

  7. Poo, my comment went away. OK, quickly … the piggies — that scares me. Canadian … lord we sure have a few dialects left in the US. North and Deep South πŸ˜‰ love to you !! πŸ™‚ melis

    • Hello melis – add y’all semi-regularly to my conversations hasn’t really seemed to blend me in any. πŸ˜‰
      The pigs were less scary in the yard than on the fence posts!

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