Natchitoches residents were pleasantly surprised, and entertained, by a music video named after the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. So the NPJ decided to dig deeper and discover the story behind “Natchitoches, LA” by Nick Holovaty of Evansville, IN.
“It’s been pretty fun to see the local response to it on FB,” said Holovaty. “I’m very glad people seem to like it.”
Nick Holovaty has been a full-time missionary for the last 15 years. He travels a lot, especially between Louisiana and Indiana. He likes to write songs and make music with friends. He’s also written a couple songs about towns with fun names, just because it was fun, including (Arkadelphia and Plain Dealing).
For the last seven years Holovaty has lived in the small, tight-knit neighborhood of Evansville, IN.
“It’s kind of like a small town,” he said. “A lot of my neighbors have been here their whole lives. Some of them are in the Natchitoches video. As I’ve come to know more people, especially folks from small communities, I’ve come to realize there’s something really important here: the relationships, the sense of being rooted in a place, the sense of history and identity, it’s very personal, things happen on a human scale, people help each other out a lot. These are all really good things! It’s worth celebrating! I think a lot of people in our broader society are missing that kind of personal connection with neighbors. Even among younger folks who’ve maybe never experienced it I can tell there’s a nostalgia for it.”
So if Holovaty’s never actually been to Natchitoches, why did he write the song? Mostly just for fun. But on a deeper level he wants to celebrate small towns and communities.
“I hope the song helps Natchitoches stay proud,” he said.
Holovaty’s missionary team (People of Praise Ministries) started a neighborhood elementary school in the poorest neighborhood in Shreveport a few years ago. It’s a private Christian school with about 25 students.
“They actually made a field trip to Natchitoches a couple weeks ago,” said Holovaty. “We’re running the school entirely on donations.”