Moving on to the second part of our The Myrtles: Inspiration, History and Mystery adventure, we pick up with our party of three filling the afternoon hours taking in local points of interest while counting down the time to The Myrtles Mystery Tour portion of our trip to St. Francisville, Louisiana. This story takes place fifteen years ago, right around the time I opened Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors. As you can imagine, antique shopping was high on the list of things to do, see and buy. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love antiquing. Dave the Builder gets into it, and being the fabulous parents we are we know how to
bribe entertain our son while antiquing and attending auctions. We trekked the streets and shops of downtown St. Francisville until we could trek no more. New Roads, here we come!
In a glowing review of highlights and attractions not to be missed was the story of Miss Emily. Miss Emily was a local woman who worked the queue of vehicles waiting to board the ferry selling parched peanuts, homemade pralines and soft drinks from a large basket. I love it! Sitting in line waiting to drive onto the ferry goes better with an ice cold Coke, salty peanuts and a homemade praline. We continued our afternoon nosh aboard the ferry as we crossed the Mississippi River. This unique mode of transportation is now closed. In the name of progress and moving on up, the ferry has been replaced by the John James Audubon Bridge. I’m glad we got the chance take a ride on it before it did.
New Roads did not disappoint. I didn’t know what I was expecting in return from this small town, but it delivered lagniappe in a big way. We found our way to the main part of town and hit up several antique shops. The first shop (sorry, I can’t remember the name of any of the shops) specialized in clocks and vintage walking sticks. Dave the Builder was in his height of glory. We were welcomed into the shop by an older gentleman who was the owner and a lovely, lovely older lady whose greeting came in the form of my kind of question, “champagne or fruit punch?”
Our son put in his request for the fruit punch. I guess she could tell I was a little apprehensive about their comfort level with him in the shop with a goblet full of bright red fruit punch. I knew this kid was raised in and around the biz and the dos and don’ts in shops and showrooms, but I also knew she was not privy to this pertinent piece of information. This lovely and wise woman handled the situation with such grace and tact. She invited him to follow her to the butler’s pantry to help fix the drinks and slip a cookie or two. She realized right quick she had made a new friend. Gosh, what a great memory! We sipped, shopped and scored two of the most unique antique walking sticks. I wish I had them both today, but I sold them to a client the following week. Oh well, the memory is more valuable to me than the walking sticks could ever be.
We found a couple of other shops and enjoyed the local fare before heading back via ferry to St. Francisville. The timing was just right as it was barking up on sunset and coffee time. We crossed another suggested stop off our list by visiting The Magnolia Cafe. This place is right up our alley- an unpretentious do drop inn heavy on casual fun, food and drink.
It was about that time to head out for the Myrtles Mystery Tour. We drove up the winding driveway of The Myrtles, and the setting and timing could not have been better to set the mood and the tone for a mystery tour. The above image says it better than I can. We claimed three of the large rocking chairs on the veranda and pondered what was to come. While the crowd and the anticipation built, certain imaginations showed signs of running away with the night. Miss Hester, our tour guide for the evening, casually opened the front door at precisely 7:00 pm and invited the crowd of about twenty to come right on in. Talk about playing to an attentive and crowded room! We all gathered together in the foyer with wide eyes and listening ears. This is where things begin to get interesting.