5 Comments

  1. Nancy Broussard

    Your timeline is a bit off, leaves out some important notes.

    The Oil Bust that nearly cleaned our clocks began at the end of 1982, relenting briefly around 1984, and growing deeper and wider in 1985 and 1986. My family lost a business in August of 1985; we were in the ‘oil industry’ and did not know it. When one of the majors strings a service company out 120 days, and the service company is pushing 120 days with you, you can’t pay your vendors. It’s useless for your client to try to collect from the major, because they’ll never do business together again. The oil company will find another hungry vendor.

    My husband started a new business, I got a slave-wage job in tourism. Hotel occupancy was of as much as 95% in early 1986. The pipe salesmen didn’t stop overnight anymore. The region latched on to its culture and capitalized on the attraction it always was. Festival International was born at this time.

    What happened between the recovery, which began in or around 1991-2, and 2015, when the Second Great Oil Bust became evident?

    • Bookscrounger

      Thanks, Nancy.

      I agree with you. The oil bust was bad for a lot of people. My point wasn’t that people weren’t affected, it’s simply that Lafayette continued to grow, despite the pain.

      I’ve changed the date to ‘1980’s’ from 1984; different people tag the beginning of the oil bust at different times.

      Thanks again.

      • Nancy Broussard

        My pleasure. Forgive me, but I sometimes have a painfully accurate memory. Don’t really know how this evolved.

        History is inevitably by altered by those who experience it in different ways. What has had me scratching my head so much over the past three years of the current oil bust is why we did not learn from our previous experience. Isn’t it time we quit bettin the farm on one horse?

        • Bookscrounger

          Well, the leadership has had some success bringing in other businesses. I have been disappointed that we haven’t used the LUS 1Mb/sec fiber to bring in more.

          Oil employees only account for something like 7% of the Lafayette MSA workforce, and that percentage is dwindling as other sectors and the local population grow. But the current oil slump has only reduced the petroleum workforce by about 20-30%, which is only about 2% of total employment.

          That 2%, however, is enough to drag down the entire economy.

  2. I have lived in Lafayette some 25 years now. I am pleased that the economy here is so viable and diversified. I am concerned, however, because my blind and visually impaired friends have told me how truly behind-the-times Lafayette and Louisiana are as relates to the employment of the blind. I know from personal experience, having attended several job fairs, that everyone is wowed by one’s resume, but one never gets the call back for a job interview. Or one is told about that place on St. Mary that helps blind people. Enough said there.

    A friend who moved last March to Minneapolis can’t say enough about how progressive their Rehab agency is and how much support there is for blind people. This support includes sports opportunities. She told me that lots of blind people are employed and she does not expect to have a problem finding a job. A contact in Austin suggested something similar exists in the Texas capital. A contact in Berkeley loves the tandem bike group they have, and a different friend lauds the San Francisco Lighthouse to the skies. Recently, that agency was mentioned on 60 Minutes because of the blind architect. He was sighted, had a brain tumor, lost his sight, and they helped him develop a method to continue working. Friends tell me nothing good about the two Lighthouses in Louisiana. Unlike San Francisco, neither has a blind person in upper management or as director. I am pleased for these friends and contacts, , but wish this formula could be transplanted here.

    Just yesterday, a different blind friend and I had lunch at a sandwich place. He told me how upset he had become attending a major church in town. His point was that people were always polite, but never really friendly. In other words, he might get a ride home, but never an invite to any event the rider was having. In other words, he felt like a pity project. And sadly, having experienced same at several churches, I can very much agree. I have even had people offer to pray over me. For instance, while waiting outside a popular burrito place it happened. While divine assistance is never a bad thing, I might benefit more from a job offer or a friend. Yes, I have had someone pay my meal in that same place and even in a popular pizza restaurant. It was appreciated, but it also makes me feel a bit alien, other. It’s that saying about teaching someone to fish, not giving them a tuna steak.

    You who are reading this may well wonder why I did not pick up and move. I have had several chronic health conditions else I sure would have!

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