As a child, I befriended the perfect friend for me in this entire state of Louisiana – Lilli(th) Black. Her parents were Craig & Linda Black. Her brother is Random (younger).
I have so many memories with Lilli. We were friends throughout school. I grew up going to the Houmas House (they lived in a small house on the grounds that now has since become an official guesthouse for visitors). Mr. Black was the “keeper” of the Houmas House grounds. He did all the dirty work. Landscaping, fixin’s, and all that – and in the midst – he continued to do what he did best – create magical artworks! I just loved being around it all. Lilli was a messy girl. Her room was always messy, and I loved it because I was a messy boy too. My parents would make me clean my room, whereas Lilli’s seemed to not ever tell her to – but looking back – they had no room to talk! Their house was FULL of stuff lined up on the walls, under shelves, on the stairs…… stuff being paintings, sculptures, cats, cigarettes, photos, antiques, paintbrushes, dust…… it was all just so wonderful.
Lilli and I would run around on the grounds. We would walk down the railroad tracks. We would play right on the levee and collect driftwood from the Mississippi River. It was all wonderful, indeed!
Lilli just came home a few weeks ago and I am always glad to get to see her! She now resides in Colorado (has been for the last 6 years…I think) so doesn’t get to come down often back to Louisiana. She invited me to go back to check out her father’s new art gallery/store on the grounds so of course – I jumped at the chance to go. The Houmas House is so different from what it was during our days playing on the grounds but it’s absolutely goregous. There has been alot of landscape work done, and new additons (restaurant, wedding/event location, gift shop….) – which was what gave me the idea of doing my birthday lunch there three weekends ago. It was so nice!
I always loved Mr. Craig’s work. I always felt naughty looking at it. Boobs, Dick, Ass, Mardi Gras, Sex, Love, Lust…. it all screamed at me as a child and as an adult – it still does, but of course – it’s beautiful work and I appreciate it in a different light now. He spends many, many, many hours on different paintings, sculptures, and runs the groundswork (still) @ The Houmas House. I definitely recommend you go check out his work AND the Houmas House!