Remember the past, embrace the future

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I was born September 21, 1934. As I was walking early Monday morning, I began reminiscing about how much God has blessed me in my 75 years.

I remember growing up in Reserve on West sixth Street with my brother and two sisters. I remember starting school at St. Peter’s in 1940 and

the tuition was 50 cents a month,

if you could afford it. My dad worked at Godchaux Sugars, and during grinding season, they would employ between 1,200 to 1,300 people. His house note was $10.00 a

month. When my mother was

very sick in 1947, he couldn’t afford that, so the banker, Mr. C. I. James, told him to pay when he could.

On the last day of school in May of that same year, I remember Sister Mary Evangelist telling me that if my mother hadn’t been so sick, she would have failed me.

I remember growing up with no telephone, air conditioning or automobile. The only recreation the neighborhood kids had was organized by my dad.

Also, I remember Reserve being more populated than LaPlace. We had two movie

theaters and a swimming pool. At that time, Leon Godchaux High School was for the whites and Fifth Ward High School was for the blacks.

I remember skipping school,

going back of the levee and swimming in a pond we called Star Beach.

I remember joining the Boy Scouts and quitting after my first camp-out in Ponchatoula. I realized early that cooking my own food and sleeping in a tent wasn’t my idea of a good time.

I remember getting my Aunt Denise to sign a report card that I had “doctored up.”

I remember joining the Navy

for four years, because the girl I

had a crush on didn’t feel the same about me. I also remember arriving my first day in the Navy at 3:30

a.m. in San Diego and a Chief Petty Officer waking me up at 4:30 a.m. Believe me, it wasn’t the same

way my mother woke me up!

I remember the first night I had guard duty from midnight to 4 a.m. My ship, the U.S.S. Saufley 465, was in Boston. It was a long four hours. It was snowing and I remember

the tears I shed as I walked back

and fourth with a M1 rifle and no shells.

My years in the Navy included three months of boot camp and 45 months on the ship. It was a great experience – some good and some bad. I occasionall, think of the friendships I developed while in the Navy.

When I was discharged in 1957, I recall that north of the Airline Highway in LaPlace, there was no development, except for old Highway 51, and Belle Point Plantation.

As I look back, it was a good time in my life, but today is a new time. A big change, yes, but an exciting time to live. I thank God for my early years in Reserve and am looking forward to the exciting times in which we now live.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, e-mail: