||Leo & Nonore
Gaston was about 12 years old when one summer day, his brother Leo and his
wife, Nonore were visiting at the family home. It so happened that Leo
asked his Mother if she would allow Gaston to come live with them in New
Orleans and go to school there. He would be able to help Nonore with
the baby who was expected in September. His Mother agreed and told Gaston
to pack up some clothes and to go live with Leo and Nonore. So on that
Sunday afternoon in June, Gaston made the move that would forever change
He told me many, many tears later that he was so lonesome here away from
his family and his many brothers with whom he enjoyed playing with in
that big yard that he had always had such fun.
This was such a big change in his life . He had to get acquainted with
new friends,and then the new teachers at Capdau School. Some kids made fun
of his French accent, One teacher he was fond of tried to teach how to
pronounce the "th" sound and as much as he tried ,he never did
master that. But, you know, that is all right. He was such a friendly guy
that in no time he had made friends with Willie Menge, and Rudolphe
Hardouin, and remained friends for life.
Time went on and the baby boy was named Nolan. Gaston loved that baby and played with him.
Not too many years ago, he told me that on time he was bouncing the baby up and
down in the air,and ONE time he missed catching him and the baby fell on
his head!! Well, thank the Good Lord, the baby was fine after crying a
while. He told me this account in his last years, so I know it had made a
big impression on him. He always had a warm spot in his heart for Noland.
It so happened that when there is a young baby in the house, it
does require certain extra tasks. So what about the diapers? Guess what? Gaston had
to wash the diapers on the washboard every morning before he went to
school. That, too, he told me later in life. I felt so sorry for him that
he had had to do this chore. I was very sorry they did not have someone
else to do this. Do you think he was a good boy? He was indeed.
Anyway this is the baby who went into the Marines in the Pacific War and
was killed on the beach at Iwo Jima in the landing from his boat on the first day of battle. Feb.19,1945. His parents did not get this sad news until April 12 ,1945. This is also the day Franklin Roosevelt died in Warm Springs Georgia. It also happened to be a day Gaston never forgot in his life....It was his Mother's birthday.(She had died in Feb.11 1938. )