sibilles-grocAt the intersection of State Highways 343 and 356, somewhere roughly between Church Point and Coulee Croche (Cankton) in the middle of nowhere in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, one comes upon the country village of Bristol.  I had seen road markers for Bristol along other country roads I’ve traveled in the almost thirty years I’ve lived in this part of Acadiana, and while I thought I had explored just about every backroad extant between Eunice, and Lafayette, this was a new one.

My discovery of the road to Bristol owes to the marvel of GPS technology.    For a business errand in Carencro, just north of Lafayette, I programmed in that “shortest possible route” feature and did exactly as the device dictated.  I even traversed a gravel road or two as I adventurously bore variations of east and southeast in the most direct route to Carencro.  What irony that the high-tech gadget abetted the discovery of such quaint treasures on this obscure backroad!

What caught my eye as I came upon Bristol was this classic country grocery store, an obvious relic from past generations, situated at the cross roads.  I passed the grocery at first, for I came upon it abruptly, but I uturned as soon as I could because I knew this was the subject for a photo and a  blog.  It’s taken me a couple of months to get to it, but tonight as I looked through the photos for some worthy idea, the photo jumped right out at me.

I enter this post with the same curiosity I had a year or so ago when I blogged Octave Fontenot’s grocery in the Prairie Ronde community no more than twenty miles north of Bristol.  Who were the Sibille Brothers?  Is the family still around?  How long has the store been closed?  What did Bristol look like in 1963 when this store likely ran a hopping business?  I wish they’d have been open this day, for I’d have stopped by for a coke and a snack, even though I wasn’t hungry,  just to get a peek inside and meet the folks.

Alas, our rural wayside places are disappearing.  Unquestionably, part of this blog’s mission is to preserve memories of rural places and traditions that are so connected to our culture and our heritage.  May we always  feel a connection to the simple and mundane places of our past!  mapdata