For anyone who didn't have the opportunity to grow up in Westport, I'll be the first to tell you that it moves a little slower than its neighboring towns and cities.

Some call it "cow country," and that needs no explanation, since it is a right-to-farm community that at one point had more dairy farms than anywhere else in the state. Westport is home to some of the wisest people and a destination for traveling summer bird tourists, better known as "skukes."

As a kid, Sundays were the best. Thinking back, it was always sunny out and the time to leave the house to go to church was exactly 9:05 a.m. every time, and not a minute later. The routine went as follows: the family piles into the car and as Dad backs out of the driveway, he would always stop to grab the Sunday paper. Remember when it was as thick as a phone book?

It was the "funnies" for me, that's what I looked forward to every week on the drive to St. John the Baptist Parish. Give me some Garfield and Peanuts over TikToks any day of the week. It was an even better day if silly putty was involved.

After church, the rat race to Butler's Donuts or Lees Market commenced. Boxes of pastries and coffee were picked up before heading over to see the grandparents. They lived on a small farm off of Adamsville Road on a private drive, so there was plenty of space to run around and play. The second those Sunday Mass shoes slipped off and were traded in for the muddy Nikes, it was go-time. After a donut or two, of course.

The eight-minute drive home felt like an eternity knowing that my bike was waiting for me, ready to go anywhere I wanted within the town, as long as I wore my helmet. With my cassette tape player in my back pocket and my dingy headphones tucked beneath my helmet, I was in my own world and the backroads took me everywhere.

Fast-forward to today where I currently live in the middle of the city, missing my hometown. Sundays around here aren't bad, they're just not the same. Going for a Sunday drive involves traffic and to me, it always smells like asphalt as opposed to the sweet scent of manure and cornfields (it's an acquired smell). It's high energy when I'm looking to relax and enjoy the Lord's day without hearing the sounds of cut-off mufflers, revved engines, and aftermarket stereo systems.

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All it takes is a long, narrow backroad that's surrounded by colorful foliage and open green fields to recenter my roots. Add in a 70-degree day with the windows rolled down on a sun-soaked afternoon as the cherry on top of the ice cream cone you just picked up from Wood's, and it's blissful, sweet, welcoming – exactly how I view this town.

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

Like any town, it's never perfect, but a Sunday in Westport is a glorious sensation above all. Love where you live and everywhere you go will remind you of where you came from. For me, that's Westport, and although I'll return someday, I still have some exploring to do. Time is never promised, but Sundays will always be there.

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