American forces

Restless pirate still haunting Hop Hollow ?

By Bob Crivello

The annual family bonfire and cookout was loads of fun - riding four wheelers, playing chase the ace, cooking hot dogs and eating chili, good folksy conversations and tall tales. 

And then, after darkness had settled in, we took our walk in the woods, with flashlights casting eerie shadows from creepy vines and old snags from dead trees that lined the trail.

This year, there was no one in the woods to scare us. There were no grave markers, spider webs or snakes hanging from trees. 

We laughed and joked about that old tale of the ghost of Jean Lafitte who roamed the woods at this time of the year.

We are now much older and can't be scared anymore, and Jean Lafitte, that's just a lot of baloney. But maybe we shouldn't have been so loud! Maybe, just maybe, our voices carried a little too far in the woods and were heard by someone who was not invited to the party. 

We all know the story of Jean Lafitte, that old pirate from New Orleans who was enlisted by General Andrew Jackson to help the American forces against the British in the Battle of New Orleans in 1812.

After the war, this scalawag and his band returned to their old ways and set up a colony of privateers and made the mistake of attacking some American ships.