Bust dedication honors former Natchitoches mayor

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Kevin’s Gallery

The Cane River National Heritage Area, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission and the Natchitoches Historic Foundation unveiled a bronze bust of Bobby DeBlieux at the City Park amphitheater on Nov. 10. His two daughters Dene’ DeBlieux Mathies and Cammie DeBlieux Davis and son-in-law David came in from Baton Rouge to attend the event.

“Everyone has a story about Bobby,” said Payne Williams. “Whether you served on a board with him, were involved in politics with him, or you had a drink with him.”

City Park is a fitting place for this bust because Bobby loved working with kids. The Park has undergone a significant renovation and it’s a great place for families to hang out, rent the pavilion for events, watch outdoor movies and more.

Bobby didn’t like a lot of attention and he liked to do things behind the scenes. In 1973 he initiated the process for the establishment of a historic district in downtown Natchitoches.

He was once quoted as saying, “In Natchitoches we believe everything can be restored.”

Larry Crowder is the artist and creative force behind the memorials to influential people from the City’s past. He first created a bust of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis in 1986, and then a bust of Dr. John Sibley in 2015. Crowder lives in Texas so it takes him 14 hours to get to Natchitoches. He’s been coming to the City of Lights since the 1980s so he feels like Natchitoches is his second home.

“It’s an honor to be able to do these busts for the City,” he said. “My wife and I cherish every opportunity we have to come here.”

The NHF unveiled another memorial (an iron chair) to Bobby in the garden behind its office on Second Street during a reception that followed the dedication ceremony.