Roughneck. In this excerpt, the third chapter of the book, Adkins shares memories of his early days in Louisiana.
I Came Here to Live: Growing Up in Sarepta
I grew up in a town where tough was a cigarette and a souped-up car on a county road. — “I Came Here to Live” (from Dangerous Man)
I grew up in Sarepta, Louisiana. Population 924. Three years ago, they finally replaced the flashing red and yellow light with a brand-new traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 371 and Highway 2. Sarepta is located about forty miles northeast of Shreveport and ten miles south of the Arkansas line. The next-closest town is Springhill, population 5,000, seven miles north up Highway 371 (as a matter of fact, I was born in the hospital there). Sarepta is a “dry” town, so to this day, you still have to drive to Springhill to buy any alcohol.
Geographically and culturally, Louisiana can be cut up into three different slices. The northwest corner of the state is a North Texas-type environment where the economy is based on oil, timber and cattle. Northeast Louisiana is river bottom, a lot like Mississippi and southeastern Arkansas, with lots of farming and agriculture. Southern Louisiana is Cajun-influenced, with cities like New Orleans, New Iberia, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge. (Other Louisiana natives may disagree, but don’t pay any attention to them.)
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