Eric Benson is a journalist living in Austin, Texas. His work has been published in New York, Men's Journal, Bookforum, and Guernica.
Drive east on Main Street in Winnfield, a hollowed-out city of fewer than 5,000 residents set amid the pine and hardwood forests of northern Louisiana, and you’ll pass the Country Cajun Deli, a couple old-fashioned pharmacies, and a series of vacant storefronts in impressive red-brick buildings. Continue over the still-used freight tracks, look directly to your left, and you’ll notice the old L&A rail depot set back from the road. With its shabby green-and-white-striped awnings and wraparound deck, the building looks out of place—like a dockside restaurant beached in the landlocked hill country—and so does the diamond-shaped placard next to it that reads LOUISIANA POLITICAL MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME.