A Daiquiri State of Mind

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By Michael Mizell-Nelson, PhD

The following appears in the Spring 2014 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine. Mizell-Nelson writes the “Louisiana Foodways” column for each issue. To read the full Spring 2014 issue online, click here

New Orleans generates most of the attention when discussing the emergence of the frozen daiquiri as a cultural phenomenon, but the college towns of Ruston, Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Hammond all offered mass-produced daiquiris before the Crescent City. Those first locations, in cooperation with Baton Rouge legislation, built the frozen daiquiri culture we now live amidst. Louisiana’s unofficial, but most popular, beverage originated in the northern part of the state better known for another entrepreneurial response to our region’s extreme heat: Coca Cola.

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Walter Isaacson: “My So-Called Writing Life”

Walter Isaacson and Walker Percy in Covington, August 1988
Walter Isaacson (right) and Walker Percy in Covington, August 1988

Walter Isaacson is the 2014 LEH Humanist of the Year. President and CEO of The Aspen Institute and the best-selling author of biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin, Isaacson contributed this autobiographical article to the new issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine. To read the full issue online and view more photos from this article, click here.  To renew your subscription to LCV, click here. The LEH will honor Isaacson at the March 29th Humanities Awards

I once was asked to contribute a piece for a section of the Washington Post called “The Writing Life.” This caused me some consternation. A little secret of many nonfiction writers like me—especially those of us who spring from journalism—is that we don’t quite think of ourselves as true writers, at least not of the sort who get called to reflect upon “the writing life.” At the time, my daughter, with all the wisdom and literary certitude that flowed from being a 13-year-old aspiring novelist, pointed out that I was not a “real writer” at all. I was merely, she said, a journalist and biographer.

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