Piece of Me: A Visit to Britney Spears's Hometown

 

“Is this even a museum?” I thought out loud. The small, deteriorating house looked uninviting. As we parked on the crammed side street in this low-income Southern town, I doubted we were in the right place. My dad pointed to a square sign taped to the door. I had to squint to read the faded blue font. But it was a bright pink cut out of my once-favorite teen idol that answered my question. We had arrived at the Britney Spears Museum in Kentwood, Louisiana.

Yes, this place is real- it’s even part of the larger Kentwood Historical & Cultural Museum. Yes, this was an actual stop on our road trip. And yes, it was amazing.

Kentwood, with a population of about 2,200 doesn’t have much going for it. The boarded up gas station and run down businesses create a ghost-town feeling. The only place that seemed open, a café called “Nonags,” was set up in the front section of a house. When I asked to use the bathroom I was directed through the living room and into the laundry room.

I was both excited and skeptical of what the museum would hold as we headed up the crumbling concrete steps. A larger woman in her late fifties opened the door with a smile and introduced herself as Joy. For the next thirty minutes, she led us through four rooms filled with everything from Spears’s records to state costumes to family photos. In the back room, behind a glass wall was Brittney’s childhood bedroom preserved just as she would have left it.

As I departed from the museum, sparkly souvenir pend in hand, I could have been happier. I live for these off the beaten path adventures. Kentwood happened to be on our way to New Orleans, but I honestly would have gone out of my way to visit. Because it is the trips like these that stand out in my memory more than the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, and the Golden Gate Bridge combined.