St. Charles man celebrates 100 years

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006


Staff Reporter

LULING-It’s the celebration of the century for Clarence Nelson, a resident of the Luling Living Center. Nelson turned 100 on Saturday.

Nelson was surrounded by family and friends on Friday at his birthday bash held in the commons area of the Luling Living Center.

Nurses and staff were on hand to serve punch, cake, Swedish meatballs and sandwiches at the party.

Music by the James Rivers Movement was the highlight of the celebration. The band performed a great set that included a mix of jazz, blues and gospel music, Nelson’s favorite genre. Residents listened appreciatively and some even got up to dance.

Nelson is the stepfather of Richard Dimes and the grandfather to Richard’s three surviving daughters Charlotte Dimes Carter, Wanda Dimes Swein and Denise Dimes Goles and has five great-grandchildren. He was married to Rosalee Nelson until her death in 1991.

&#8220He has been my father since I was six years old, and he has always been a very soft-spoken man” said Dimes.

&#8220We moved to the projects in 1942 where he met my mother and they were married soon after,” Dimes said.

Wanda Dimes Swein remembers her grandfather as always being a sharp and snazzy dresser.

&#8220He would always wear a suit and hat to work and carried an umbrella wherever he went,” she remembers.

&#8220My father worked at a corner shoe store for 50 years in the middle of the central business district in New Orleans, Dimes said.

Evelyn Banks, a longtime friend of Nelson, said he enjoys bingo, gospel music and attending church. Nelson is a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ama.

Many of Nelson’s family members remember him as an outdoorsman when he was not at work.

&#8220He would take weekend trips to go fishing and sometimes I would go along and fish with him along the banks of the river. When he wasn’t fishing he liked to hunt for game,” said Dimes.

&#8220He would come home with alligator, wild game, deer, almost anything you can hunt and we would cook it up for supper,” he said.

&#8220He hunted rabbit a lot. He seemed to always be bringing home a rabbit of two for supper when we were young,” Swein said.

&#8220Dad was never into politics nor was he a veteran, but he is a good man who took good care of his family, said Dimes.