He is as big as Eli Manning, perhaps bigger than Tom Brady, Woody Allen, and any Broadway show. His face is plastered on the side of city bus after city bus. Telephone booths on the corner of city streets don posters with his image. Corner windows on fancy Madison Avenue shops hold his image.
Down around Pierre Part, just southwest of White Castle, he's just a hometown boy and businessman. But up in the Big Apple Troy Landry is a big television star, the king of sorts of the History Channel series “Swamp People”. With his Louisiana charm and quickly becoming famous call “Chut’em”, Landry is one hot number up in New York City.
The History Channel’s series has made the swamps of Louisiana quite a big novelty up in the Big Apple, where the closest most people come to a gator is the Urban Legend of alligators in the NYC sewer system. Some believe Bigfoot lures around the mountain ranges and woods not too many miles away from America’s biggest and most self-involved city. But it Troy Landry and “Dem’ big gators in Louisiana, cher!” that have charmed and charmed.
With all the positive publicity for our state, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne saw an opportunity to promote it even more. He approached and asked and got good responses from both NYC and Louisiana lovers of the Atchafalaya Basin.
Gene Seneca of Grosse Tete was one three gentlemen and artists from Iberville Parish who volunteered to take part in what became a special swamp exhibit at the noted Chelsea Market in New York City.
Gene, who is the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Ambassador, jumped at the opportunity to share the culture and heritage of the Basin. The son of a former Bayou Chene resident, Seneca was joined by two other artisans from the parish: Henry Neubig and Henry Watson. The trio, amid a small replica of a swamp, demonstrated their wood crafting and painting skills for the NYC audiences.
“It was a small Louisiana indoor swamp right there in the market area filled with live alligators and turtles, and moss draped cypress trees.
The make believe swamp was set up by the History Channel, and, of course, that brought in the likes of Troy Landry and the “Swamp People” during the ten-day event in early February.
“It was an immense hit. I ended up talking to thousands of people who were interested in life in the swamps. I like to tell stories as much as I like to do my wood crafting and It was great to share things with the people. I really enjoyed doing the Louisiana Exhibit at Disney World’s Epcot Center in Orlando, but the trip to New York was even bigger for me,” commented Seneca, who praised Neubig and Watson as “wonderful artisans and representatives of our state.”
Page 2 of 2 - Lt. Gov. Dardenne was on hand to kick off the Chelsea Market event and present one of Gene’s hand carved cypress paddles to Troy Landry. Troy accepted the paddle on behalf of the entire cast of The Swamp People.
“Troy has been a great ambassador for the Basin and so have all the members of the show like Junior and his family from Bayou Sorrell. Listen, the History Channel show is big in New York,” commented Seneca.
Gene walked several blocks each day from his hotel to the Chelsea Market for the exhibit. All he saw were posters of Troy Landry.
“The History Channel really promoted the new season of the show and let me tell you, the people can in droves to see our work, the show’s cast members, and to see the exhibit,” noted Seneca.