During World War I, there were Bond Drives to help our country win the
war. The Bonds were called Liberty Bonds. Papa bought us each a $5
Liberty Bond. They were deposited at the Marine Bank in New Orleans.
Each of us was given a chrome or metal egg about 6 inches long shaped
like an egg -- with slots to save more money whenever we had a nickel or
pennies or a dime to save.
Then the War was over and the soldiers came marching home and they all
came to visit and rejoice at their homecoming (some did not come back).
By the year 1932 we had a bad Depression and the banks were ordered
closed by President Franklin Roosevelt. So our money was tied up until
the bank auditors could get to the financial records of each bank and
declared it solvent and opened for business or ordered closed --
Gradually over a period of years, we'd get little checks from our bank
and the Liberty Bonds. In dribs and drabs we finally recovered all our
money. By that time we had begun robbing our little egg banks -- How
could we do it? We had no keys -- I know what I did was be on the floor
in the long summer -- hold up the egg and pry out a nickel at a time.
When we had enough we could sneak an order to Sears Roebuck and Co. and
order a book -- the books of the West and cowboys. Eventually we had a
collection and we enjoyed reading them over and over. "We" included Nell
and Raymond -- I don't know if Florence squandered her few pennies that
way. When the mail carrier stopped to deliver a book or two we were so
happy and took turns reading them. (I understand Raymond still had a
collection of all the Zane Gray books when he died in October 1993. I
don't know if it was the same worn out books -- or a new collection he
acquired later.) [He died Oct. 14, 1993.]
Most of the houses in Vacherie had front porches, and either back or
side porches on each side of the house. The front porch was a gathering
place for company on Sunday afternoons. In Aunt Marie's days the front
porch was full of chairs and rockers. The men and ladies would come
spend the afternoon.
As a little girl and probably (hopefully) unnoticed I would sit on the
floor by the wall, back of the rockers and listen. I learned a lot of
news that way. The men were dressed in their Sunday clothes with their
ironed shirts and arm bands (garters) on top of the elbow. The ladies
had organdy dresses.
Then we had the side porch to the east where we cleaned the kerosene
lamps on Saturday -- and also the "peau-de-chambres" -- I remember doing
these tasks on cold days -- which made it a doubly unpleasant task.
The other side porch facing west -- is where everybody came in during
the week. Where the towels were washed on Saturdays in a big round tub
with washboard and you had to haul buckets of water from the cistern
faucet. Also on that porch it was a good place to clean vegetables. If
it was mustard greens, Papa wanted Florence to clean them because she did
it so well. It was a place for shucking oysters --- and many other
tasks. It was the place where the little boys got their feet washed at
night before going to bed for the night. I remember Florence doing that.
I remember Florence staying home to do household chores and I remember I
loved to get away from it all and go for adventures along the hot dusty
roads of old South Louisiana.
|Snow the horse
A Narrow Escape!!!
When I was about 4 or 5 years old I was running in the front yard about
halfway between the house and the big fence in the front. Suddenly I
heard our horse Snow start running toward the fence. I fell down flat on
the ground, and the horse skipped over me as he jumped over me to the
road. I remember screaming and everyone came running out of the house
screaming. I don't believe they let Snow in the yard again.
We have a picture of Snow and Papa-- must find it. Snow had been in
the big back yard and saw horses running on the road. He took off in a
gallop to catch up with them...