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Atchafalaya Houseboat on PBS and DVD

By September 1, 2008

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Atchafalaya Houseboat presents a beautiful journey through the Louisiana backwater swamps, as celebrated local author Gwen Carpenter Roland returns to the secluded spot where she and her companion, Calvin Voisin, hand built the houseboat in which they lived for several years.

That was thirty years ago, and the couple, reunited for the first time since they went their separate ways, rediscovers the quiet joy of being on the river and the places, now reclaimed by naure, where they tilled the soil for the food that sustained them. Their life in the swamp was far removed from the stresses of society, and just drifting with them as they follow the flow of their memories gives you a sense of peace, and of nature's abundance.

Their recollections become intriguing visions as the exquisite stills provided by world renown photographer CC Lockwood, who visited and photographed the reclusive couple often, are incorporated into the film.

The half hour documentary was produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting and is being aired on PBS stations around the nation. If you miss the broadcast, you can order the film on DVD And, Gwen Carpenter Roland has also written a book about her life in the Atchafalaya Basin.

(PHOTO: Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin on their houseboat. Courtesy CC Lockwood)


September 21, 2008 at 6:44 pm
(1) Cherie Dupre says:

Lord, how I long for those days and nights. There were truly, stars on the water.In the 70′s, the bayous and swamps still offered easy living, without the intrusion of government. But, that, my cher, is long gone.

October 2, 2008 at 6:52 pm
(2) hillcountrymom says:

saw the program on PBS last night for the first time. Oh, how I wish that I could have that experience. It might be a little more difficult at 52 (my age now) than it would have been at 20 or even 30, but I believe that I would try to have a go at it. The only thing that scares me is the SNAKES!!!

October 17, 2009 at 10:00 pm
(3) angelasteimle says:

i loved this story, was it all documented by gwen? she is gorgeous now and then! very inspirational.

October 4, 2010 at 10:03 am
(4) Beverly says:

What an amazing experience. Gwen brings with her a sense of peace that seems to have been born in that experience. Loved it.

December 18, 2011 at 9:57 am
(5) Dave W. Ferguson says:

Great storey! To go back in time to when things were at peace. I was thirty when that was made an reflexs my feelings at that time. Fergie The Scot

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