Acknowledgments
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Acknowledgments First, I offer love and gratitude to Steve Tabak, my partner in life, in music, and all good things. By now, he must know this book almost as well as I do. My deepest thanks go also to our sons, who have grown into wonderful young men. They have followed their own paths—Alec into his own kind of music, Nate into journalism. I like to think their early Cajun-Creole immersion didn’t hurt! I am grateful to my mother, for her support of my music and my writing and for her willingness to let me share parts of her family history. I wish my father could see where the Cajun accordion has taken me: back to writing, an early dream he and I both shared. And I extend very special thanks to Jane Anne Staw, a gifted writing teacher and coach. I don’t believe this book would exist if our paths hadn’t crossed. I am grateful beyond words for her mentoring and friendship. My agent Barbara Braun took a chance on a new writer with an offbeat story to tell. I am thankful for her belief in this project, her wise counsel, and her hard work on behalf of this book. I can’t imagine a better home for my book than the University Press of Mississippi or a better editor than Craig Gill. He took up this project with enthusiasm, and guided me along the path to publication with wisdom and patience. He chose wonderful outside readers : Anne Galjour and Shane Bernard, two gifted Louisiana writers whose close and critical reading strengthened the book. I am deeply grateful to Debbie Self, who provided skilled and sensitive copyediting along with enthusiasm and warm support. I also thank Anne Stascavage and Valerie Jones, along with everyone else at UPM. A few other people deserve special acknowledgment for their role in connection with this book. First is Edward Poullard, brother ix x Acknowledgments of my late friend and accordion mentor Danny Poullard. Early on, Ed read a key chapter in the book and offered a response I still treasure . More recently, he has clarified some details of his family history . Steve and I both thank him for the gift of his music and friendship . Harton Firmin and Freida Fusilier, musician-writer friends, offered helpful feedback and clarification around some of our shared experiences. Joan Letendre and Denise Thompson also read a few chapters and were supportive of my efforts to write about the “old days” in Chicago. Jude Moreau, a Texas Cajun who built my beautiful red accordion, read parts of the manuscript and responded with his usual warmth and enthusiasm. Finally, California friend and ethnomusicologist Mark DeWitt offered encouragement and eventually pointed me in the direction of his own publisher. Radhika Mathur, Randy Kasten, and Margit Stange from my writing group deserve thanks for their support, incisive feedback, and pushing when needed. I am also very grateful to Nancy Day, for her online coaching and support. In some ways, Accordion Dreams is one long thank you—or perhaps a love letter—to the many people who have been a part of my musical world. It is impossible to acknowledge everyone. I don’t even know the names of all the warm-hearted people I have met during my travels to Louisiana. Or everyone from music camp—the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia and Dewey Balfa Camp in Louisiana. So many people have made my feet and spirit dance over many years of listening to Louisiana French music. I’ll begin by thanking my band mates in Sauce Piquante—starting with Steve, my fiddler-husband. We are both grateful to guitarist Robert Richard and bass player Kathy “KP” Price for sharing this adventure with us. I offer special thanks to our son Alec, a recording engineer as well as a musician, who has played such a pivotal role in the production of our upcoming CD. I would also like to acknowledge my teachers, many of whom appear in the pages of this book. I have been privileged to learn from them—formally, at music camps and workshops and classes, and informally, during visits in their homes and my own. First, of course, is the late Danny Poullard. I am also grateful for my time with the late Bois Sec Ardoin, Al Berard, the late Delton Broussard, Acknowledgments xi Jeffrey Broussard, Sheryl Cormier, Jim DeWan, Ginny Hawker, Craig Knudsen, Jesse Legé, the late Eddie LeJeune...