topic Miscellaneous Memories

WRITER May Reulet Gravois funerals in Vacherie

   When someone died in Vacherie in the long ago, since we had no telephones, the message was sent to everyone by word of mouth or by a passing merchant.

   When the time of the funeral was decided, someone would go to the local publishing company and get them to print a notice giving the approximate time of the funeral. The notice was on thick paper and had a black border. It never gave an exact time. The notice would read "between 10 and 11" or "between 3 and 4".

   I think the reason was because some people had to walk, others went by carriage, and some even probably on horseback, and a few by automobiles.

topic tobacco

Nonc Tetin Nonc Jean Aunt Marie

   Nonc Tetin and Nonc Jean liked to chew tobacco. After much enjoyment of the tobacco juice there would come a time when it was time to spit. Therefore, there were spittoons provided on each side of the fireplace at a convenient distance for the aim of the uncles, and there it went.

   Sometimes Aunt Marie said a few words but nobody paid her any mind for that. After all, if the uncles needed to spit here were the cuspidors right close by. If it were warm weather ,and everyone was out on the front porch, they had all the great outdoors to spit at.

   Every once in a great while, I would meet up with Nonc Tetin on the side porch and he had a piece of inner tube in one hand and a big needle and some thread in the other. I knew what he was going to ask me to do. He needed a new tobacco pouch and the wanted me to stitch the sides and bottom to make a pouch for his tobacco. Which I gladly did for him. Then he would put the pouch in his shirt pocket and be pleased with the whole thing. I was glad I had done something for him.

topic funeral

Vic's funeral

   The day of my 14-year old brother's funeral was a very sad day for the family. Mama was too heartbroken and expecting a baby in two months, so she was not able to attend. All of us kids were with Papa and family members and other relatives.

   I had known before that other people in the church often rushed to get out of church, even cutting in front of the family, and that is what happened to me, an eleven-year-old little girl. I got separated from my family and got caught in the rush and the shuffle at the only door leading out of church. Finally I made my way out and was rushing to get to my Papa and family when I passed my teachers and they were laughing and talking, and I thought at that time (and I really and truly remember thinking this) "How can you be talking and laughing when I am so sad and desolate?"

   I continued on my sad journey and by the time I reached the place where they had placed my brother's coffin, the priest and other people were leaving, but I did get close enough to get a clod of dirt to drop on my brother's coffin. It was customary at that time to drop dirt over the coffin when it was in the grave. That was showing respect for the dead. Then the men with the shovels started working to fill up that place with more dirt. By that time the family was leaving and I caught up with them.