August 31, 2013

Sports Center Saturday ~ Eye of the Tiger

2013 Sicily Island Tigers

On August 27, Sicily Island played its first high school football game in twelve years.  The young Tigers lost their first game but their efforts proved that football on the Island hasn't changed since its beginning in 1948.  

As all Tigers who came before them, these young men played with steely determination, hearts on fire and the Eye of the Tiger.

It's the eye of the tiger
It's the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
~ Survivor, May 1982

(Photographs of players are courtesy of Forever Tigers)

August 30, 2013

August 26, 2013

Tuesday's Tune ~ Swing and Sway

This group of friends was known to gather often on Ferry Plantation.

Cousins tell me that my great uncle was given a violin by Sammy Kaye, though I'm not sure if the one he was holding in this photograph was that particular violin.

Sammy Kaye's tag line "Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye" became one of the most famous of the Big Band Era. 

August 25, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 12

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s: 

Naming some of the oldest people living when I was young and first started remembering.  Back in the early 1930s.
Mrs. Scott (Emily Mason Turpin Scott).  She was the grandmother of Marable "Mack" Harris and Mrs. Katie Coney (Katie Archer Drake Harris Coney).  I remember seeing old lady Scott one time.  I must have been between 4 and 5 years old.  She was in her bed.  For some reason I was down at Mrs. Harris' house who was Mrs. Scott's daughter.  Mrs. Scott was living with her daughter.  Mrs. Scott was born in about 1840.  If she was living now (1991) she would be about 150 years old.
Mrs. Laura Harris (Laura Archer Scott Harris).  She was the daughter of Mrs. Scott and the mother of Marable "Mack" and Mrs. Katie.  I remember Mrs. Laura.  I didn't know Mr. Harris.  He died before I was born.  Mrs. Laura had three boys and three girls.  The boys were Mack, Iverson "I-Bo" and Wilmer.  The girls were Mildred (married Buck Smith), Katie (married Cameron Coney) and Hat. 
Hat and Mrs. Katie are the only two living and they live together.  Hat's name was actually Laura Harris.  For as long as I've known her, everybody has always called her Hat.  Mr. Coney came here to teach and be the principal in about 1923.  He was the principal on up to the early 1950s when he took a job with the State Department of Education.  They had one child, a son named Billy.  I remember when he was born in 1936.
Mrs. Krause (Caroline Rotham Krause).  She was married to Gotleib Krause and was the mother of Henry, Oscar, Gus, Lina, Mary and Gertrude who I mentioned in an earlier recording.  I remember Mrs. Krause living in town with her son Oscar and his wife Birdie.  I never had a conversation with her but I saw her many times.  Oscar lived beside Alvin and Olga Seal and I would be at their house playing with their daughters, Quida and Juanita.
Old home sites of Alvin Seal and Oscar Krause

Mrs. Peniston (Anna Doniphan Peniston).  About a year before she died, I was up at her house working on an outside pump for the electric co-op.  It was a beautiful fall day and she was outside walking around.  She stopped and talked with me for just a few minutes.  I had seen her all my life but I had never had a conversation with her.  She was born around 1861 or so and died in 1960.  She was married to Mr. Horace Peniston.  Their children were Horace, Jr., T. J., Henry, John, Mary and Ruth.  Horace, Jr. died a young man.  I heard some of the older people talk about him.  Seems like he took the Typhoid Fever, Pneumonia or something and died a very young man.  Mary died before I was born.  She had a daughter named Mary, also.  She was raised by Mrs. Anna Peniston after her mother died. 
Mr. Henry didn't have any children.  He was married to Georgia Westbrook.  Mrs. Georgia lived to about 96 years old and died last year.  She came from up around Arcadia to teach school here.  The same year she came to Sicily island, Birdie Talbert came here from the same area to teach.  Birdie married Oscar Krause.
Laura "Hat" Harris and my father
Mr. John had one child, Wanda, who married Charles McNair.  She is still living somewhere down below Alexandria.  I have a picture of me when I was about three years old sitting on a Shetland pony.  Hat Harris standing there holding me up in the saddle.  That pony belonged to Wanda Peniston.  She came riding by here and all the children were wanting to ride the pony.  Hat must have put me up on the pony and somebody took a picture.  Right out in front of our old house. Mr. Johns' 2nd wife, Deleta Furr, is still living.  She's up in her eighties.
Mr. T. J. had three boys and one girl.  The boys were named Horace, Little T. J. and Frank.  The daughter was named Inez.  Frank died from an accidental gunshot wound when he was just a teenager.  Horace and Inez are still living.  Horace lives over around Alexandria.  Inez lives up in Detroit, Michigan.
Brigadier General Zeb York

Mr. Zeb York.  I knew him real well and had many conversations with him.  He was born about 1862.  His mother, Sophia Peniston York, was a sister to Mrs. Anna Doniphan Peniston's husband, Horace.  Mr. Zeb was named Zeublon after his uncle, Zebulon York, who lived over in Concordia Parish and was a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.  I believe his last command was as a Division Commander in the army of Northern Virginia.  Robert E. Lee's army.

Mrs. Emily Scott and Mrs. Caroline Krause would be about 150 years old if they were alive now (1991).  Mrs. Anna Peniston and Mr. Zeb York would be about 130 years old.
A lot of old family names have left the Island.  They either moved away, died out, or only the girls of the families remain.  Some of the names that are no longer here in town:

The Steele family name is gone.  Grandpa Steele, my mother's father, had all girls.

Note:  Parts 1-11 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

Military Monday ~ Hezzie Cooper

Hezzie Cooper
son of
Joel Moore Cooper and Minerva Alafair Robbins
Born on August 17, 1909
Died on October 18, 1952
Buried in the New Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

United States Army
Pvt, 324 Medical BN, 99 Infantry Division
World War II

Enlisted May 19, 1942
Honorably Discharged May 17, 1944

Tombstone photograph courtesy of Karen Klemm-Pinckard at

Sentimental Sunday ~ If This Old Sidewalk Could Talk

The stories it would tell!

There were many "first day of school" walks that took place along this old sidewalk over the years. Wearing new school clothes and packing new school satchels filled with school supplies, the children would begin their walks as their grandfather captured the scenes with his movie camera.

Children learned to ride their bicycles on this old sidewalk.  Who could forget their first ride without training wheels?  The removal of training wheels brought their first taste of accomplishment and freedom.  They were unstoppable and anything was possible.

Perhaps this old sidewalk would tell of that one Christmas many years ago when a brother and sister would wake mere moments after Santa had arrived to find two shiny spider bikes waiting for them.  Not waiting for the sun to rise, they would sneak outside and take their first rides up and down the sidewalk and the street that ran alongside.

Friends visited, hopscotch was played, cheers were practiced and homecoming parades were viewed, all from this same old sidewalk.

If this old sidewalk could talk, it would explain the pull it continues to have on those who have walked its path over the years and who still walk its path when home for visits.

It would tell of the often felt yearnings they have to be young again.  The need to get a "do-over" on certain things.  The need to regain that feeling of accomplishment and freedom once felt along its path.

If this old sidewalk could talk, it would remind them to learn from their past, live thankfully in the present and seek God's sidewalk for their future.

(Cross-posted from Photos and Footnotes in memory of all the Back To School days of our past)

Sunday's Obituary ~ Mary Allye Steele Edmonds

Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Allye Steele Edmonds of Sicily Island will be at 4 p.m. today at the Sicily Island Methodist Church where she was a member, with the Revs. L. W. Taylor, Paul E. Brooks and Bert Riddle officiating.
Burial will be in the Pine Hill Cemetery near here under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home of Winnsboro.
Mrs. Edmonds, a lifelong resident of Sicily Island, died early Tuesday at her residence following a long illness.  Her husband, Bruce Edmonds, was formerly a cashier at Sicily Island State Bank.
Other survivors included one son, Bruce A. Edmonds, two sisters, Mrs. J. W. Ogden and Mrs. W. S. Peck, Jr., all of Sicily Island; one foster brother, Ted Steele Stockman of Houston, Tex; and five grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be Albert E. Krause, Chisum McNair, Keith Guice, Edward Jones, Colvin Manning and Ray Golmon.
The family has asked that memorials be made in the form of donations to churches or charities.

August 24, 2013

Who was W. C. Langston?

Date of Death:  30 March 1931
Place of Death:  Ward 2, Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Marital Status:  Married
Age at Death:  45 years
Occupation:  Farmer
Birthplace:  Oakvale, Mississippi
Father's Name:  W. D. Langston
Father's Birthplace:  Oakvale, Mississippi
Mother's Name:  Georgean Fortenbury
Mother's Birthplace:  Oakvale, Mississippi
Informant:  Archer Langston
Attending Physician:  Charles J. Gordon

Sports Center Saturday ~ Tiger Fans and Enthusiasm

"...the Class A team took more spectators to New Roads than the host team could put in their stands."

Original Article - Catahoula News Booster, 1977

The same article appeared in the 1978 El Tigre Yearbook:

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tiger Touchdown against Gilbert

August 20, 2013

Wednesday's Child ~ Dunbar Ogden Harris

Dunbar Ogden Harris
son of
Richard Hines Harris, Jr. and Laura Archer Scott
born on
January 12, 1901
died on
October 30, 1903
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

August 19, 2013

Tuesday's Tune ~ Blues in the Night

We all experience things that trigger memories from our past.  A familiar place.  A particular food or smell.  A photograph.  Maybe even a certain song.  Often times these memories include family or friends who have gone before us. 

My father played the trumpet when he was a young man.  From time to time he would dust off one of his old trumpets to entertain us kids.

One of my father's old trumpets
I can remember sitting in our living room floor watching and listening to him play his trumpet.  I was fascinated with how his cheeks would balloon out when he played.

Seems like it was always raining and storming outside when my father would play for us; possibly to calm our fears.

I recall a time when my sister accompanied him on the piano as they played Greensleeves.  Greensleeves always made me sad.  It still makes me sad when I hear an instrumental version today.

One of my favorite memories of my father's trumpet playing was when he would play "Blues In The Night."  Until several months ago, I thought the name of the song was "My Mama Done Tol' Me."

In December of this past year, I traveled to New Orleans with my son and daughter to meet up with my sister for some family time.  As we walked along the streets of the French Quarter, we came upon an outside cafe.

We walked past the statues of Antoine "Fats" Domino, Al "Jumbo" Hirt and Pete Fountain in search of a table close to one of the outside heaters.  On a small stage underneath a canopy were three men providing live entertainment.  You can see the trumpet player in the background on the right-hand side of the photograph below.

I walked up to the trumpet player and asked him if he could play a song called "My Mama Done Tol' Me."  He smiled and said, "The title is actually 'Blues In The Night' and yes, I can play that for you."  As we sat there in the cold, listening to that man play his trumpet, old childhood memories washed over me.  Beautiful music and good memories. 

The music for Blues In The Night was written by Harold Arlen and the lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer for the 1941 movie by the same name.

The version below is performed by Jimmie Lunceford and was recorded in 1941.  I chose this version for the trumpet intro and the memories it evokes of my father.  Enjoy.

August 18, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 11

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Back in the early 1930s we used to play a game called, Go Sheepy Go.  I loved to play that game.  I was a little too young to play the game but I'd go along with the older kids.  When I got big enough to really play the game, they had quit playing it.
In my memory that was just a wonderful game.  They'd pick sides and have two groups.  One leader would take his group off and hide them somewhere here in the Village.  He'd come back and tell the other group and their leader to come go with him and try to find them.  While the one group was hiding, their leader would be walking around with the other group who were hunting.
The leader of the hiding group would have made up signals between him and his group.  They used names of chickens...Rhode Island Red, Brown Leghorn, and Plymouth Rock. 

Rhode Island Red

Plymouth Rock might mean the other group was getting close.  Rhode Island Red might mean the other group was moving farther away.
Right at the last minute, just before the hunting group found the hiding group, the leader of the hiding group would yell, "Go Sheepy Go!, Go Sheepy Go!" 

The hiding group would all come out of their hiding places and run.  The hunting group would try to catch them.  Oh, that was a great game!
Funny how things like that will stay with you all through your life.  I can just hear those calls going out across the Village.  Rhode Island Red!  Brown Leghorn!
Some of the kids I grew up with who were about my age were Ouida and Juanita Seal.  They were the daughters of Alvin and Olga Knight Seal.  Their younger sisters, Patsy Ann and Carolyn were younger than me.  I can remember when Patsy Ann was born.
There was Evelyn Ogden, Dorothy "Bit" McNair, Dorothy Mae Benge, John Fairbanks, and Vernon Whitlock who was Jessie's son.  Walter "Mickum" and J. E. Juneau, Cleo Foster who was the daughter of Melvin and Isabel Enright Foster, and Billie Sue Knight who was the daughter of Rufus and Willie Evans Knight.
Some of the children here in the Village who were a few years older than me were Virginia Ogden, Jeannette Saltzman, Kitty McNair, Winnie Wynn, Barbara Jane Peck, Evelyn and Mildred Benge, Russell Fairbanks and Carey Fairbanks, Richard Smith, Howard Smith, Fred Chambless, Little T. J. Peniston and Marvin Nolen.
The children who were several years older than me were Nita Steele, Lorelle Seal, Eloise Yancey, Lewis Chambless, Little Emmett Chisum, Louis and Johnnie Bourke, and Leroy Benge.
When there would be a birthday party, all these different aged children would be together.  Some were several years older and younger than my age group but we were a small village so when there was a birthday party, everyone was there.  There would be kids anywhere from six years old to twelve years old.

Note:  Parts 1-10 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

Military Monday ~ Johnny S. Meyers

MSGT Johnny S. Meyers
Son of 
Cicero Jacob Meyers and Florence Duncle 
Born on October 10, 1918
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Died on January 19, 1977
Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Texas
Buried in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

After graduating from Sicily Island High School, Johnny Meyers enrolled in Northwestern College in Natchitoches before transferring to an aeronautics school in Algiers.

United States Air Force
Enlisted/Stationed at Barksdale Field, Louisiana
August 7, 1940
16th Bomb Squadron, 27th Bomb Group

Record of Service
Barksdale Field, Louisiana
Savannah, Georgia
Angel Island, San Francisco, California
Philippine Island
Bataan Prison Camp, Camp O'Donnell
Discharged - June 21, 1945
Re-enlisted - June 22, 1945
Camp Shelby, Mississippi
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi
Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, Texas

American Theater Operations
Asiatic-Pacific with two Bronze Stars
American Defense with one Bronze Star
Philippine Liberation
Good Conduct
Victory Ribbon
Distinguished Unit Citation
Unit Badge
Two Oak Leaf Clusters
Presidential Citation

Prisoner of War

Johnny Meyers was captured along with approximately 70,000 Americans and Filipinos on Bataan by the Japanese when the Philippines fell on April 9, 1942.   Prisoners were forced to march the "Bataan Death March"; a 65 mile walk from Bataan to Camp O'Donnell.  An estimated 7,000-10,000 Americans and Filipinos died from beatings, starvation and diseases.  

American Heroes of Bataan Death March - National Archives
Bataan Death March - National Archives
The photograph above shows American prisoners using improvised litters to carry comrades who fell along the road during the Bataan Death March.

Johnny Meyers remained a Prisoner of War at Camp Fukuoka #17 for three and a half years. 

Tombstone photograph by LKat at

August 17, 2013

Sports Center Saturday ~ Revival of Football on the Island

On August 6, I began a weekly blog post entitled, Tuesday's Tune.  I chose The Boys of Fall for my first tune/post because of the memories it brought back of my home town and the important role that football played in our lives and the community as a whole.  Little did I know that only a few days later I would receive a couple of google alerts on news for Sicily Island.

From an August 10 article entitled "Sicily Island Bringing Back Prep Football" on Alexandria, Louisiana's Town Talk website: 
It (J.R. Peace Stadium) needed some repairs, Price said.  But we've got a lot of sponsors and the junior high booster club is backing us.  It's a slow process, but the town has really rallied behind us.  It's an exciting time back here in Sicily Island.
From an August 12 article entitled "Football Makes a Comeback in Sicily Island" on Monroe, Louisiana's KNOE 8 website:
The town is just glad to have high school football back on the scoreboard, and administrators are hoping football will bring the school and community back to life.

Photograph by Billy Hathorn

Can reviving a high school football program bring back a school and a community? 

If the reaction of Tiger fans upon hearing that high school football is coming back to the Island is any indication, the answer is yes. 

Quotes from members of the Forever Tigers facebook page:

This makes us "Homefolks" proud!!---KW
Yes!  I just need to do a few stretches and dust off my old cheerleader uniform.  I'm sure it still fits.  GO BIG RED!!!---CJ
I am so proud that the Tigers are back on the field.  I wish I could be there to cheer them on.  I hope to see a game one day soon.  Go Tigers!  Go Big Red!  Thanks to all of you SI alums who have made this possible.  I know Coach Peace and Coach Watson are smiling down on you from heaven.---Coach Krause
Young Tigers...I think all former SI players will agree with me in saying that we are proud that high school football has returned to our alma mater.  Playing for the Big Red Machine was something that meant a lot to was our time to contribute to the winning tradition of SIHS football.  Now is your time....---MDW
This is incredible!!!!  So excited, I spent my youth at all those Friday night games!!!  ---Coach Peace's grandson
Even the reporter from KNOE got into the spirit of Big Red:
I'm sporting my new "I'm a tiger, all day, every day" shirt!---JC

One of my earlier posts, Sicily Island Football ~ The Beginning, provides copies of the Sicily Island Rotary Club's 1947 Resolution for establishing a football program and the response from the Catahoula Parish School Board.

"The Box"

The Tigers of the past were known for their tradition of running the Notre Dame Box formation.  To say they ran it successfully is an understatement.  The record of Coach Joe Raymond Peace while leading the Tigers was 288 wins, 58 losses, 5 ties.  The use of "The Box" and the Tiger's winning tradition continued under Coach Albert E. Krause, Jr.

Notre Dame Box - Sicily Island Tigers, 1976 Season

Future Tiger teams may not continue the tradition of running "The Box" but I have every confidence that they will continue the tradition of winning. 

As the word spreads about the revival of high school football at Sicily Island, I expect the enthusiasm to increase ten-fold. 

I plan to follow (and post) on the progress of high school football at Sicily Island and the impact it is sure to have on reviving my alma mater and my old home town.  Along the way, I will also be tossing in some photographs and stories of past Tiger football teams and the cheerleaders, pep squads and fans who supported them.

Note to all of you Tigers out there:  Always remember the phrase coined by Coach Peace, "Big Red Ain't Dead!" 

It's important. 

Write it down.

August 15, 2013

Family Recipe Friday ~ School Day Cookies

From the kitchen of Sicily Island resident DeLeta Furr Peniston:

Who was Mrs. M. Bruce?

Date of Death:  27 May 1938
Place of Death:  Ward 2, Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Marital Status:  Married
Age at Death:  56 years
Occupation:  Housewife
Birthplace:  Mississippi
Father's Name:  Jack Dickerson
Father's Birthplace:  Mississippi
Mother's Birthplace:  Mississippi
Informant's Name:  Jno Bruce
Attending Physician:  Charles J. Gordon

Who was Emma Aarons?

Date of Death:  4 April 1929
Place of Death:  Ward 5, Harrisonburg, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Marital Status:  Married
Age at Death:  49 years
Occupation:  Housewife
Birthplace:  Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Father's Name:  Joe Boothe
Father's Birthplace:  Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Mother's Name:  Lizzie Boothe
Mother's Birthplace:  Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Informant's Name:  Adam Aarons
Attending Physician:  P. W. Calliham

Who was John J. Doyle?

Date of Death:  21 April 1930
Place of Death:  Ward 5, Harrisonburg, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Marital Status:  Widow
Age at Death:  54 years
Occupation:  Farmer
Birthplace:  Franklin Parish
Attending Physician:  P. W. Calliham

August 13, 2013

Wednesday's Child ~ Dalton Fuqua Denham

Dalton Fuqua Denham
Born on May 20, 1894
Died on January 24, 1900
Son of
Fuqua Ogden Denham and Ella Gertrude Lively
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

August 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tune ~ O, America!

"O, America!" was written exclusively for the Celtic Woman by Brendan Graham and William Joseph Schwartz.

Listening to the lyrics, I am reminded of my ancestors who came to America so many, many years ago.  One such ancestor was my 7th great grandfather, Pierre Parcot, a French Huguenot who escaped religious persecution and came to America in 1696 seeking religious freedom.

Pierre Parcot and wife, Francoise Gendron, are named among the inhabitants of New Rochelle, New York in 1698.
French Huguenot Monument-Hudson Park, New York
The Sicily Island connection to Pierre Parcot is through his granddaughter, Frances Susan Parcot who married Thomas Steele.  Thomas and Susan Parcot Steele were the great-great grandparents of Isham Alfonso "Al" Steele who moved from Limestone County, Texas to Sicily Island ca. 1888.   Al Steele married Mary Virginia "Mollie" Blackman and they made their home in Sicily Island where they raised three daughters; Mary Allye (Edmonds), Clara Lucille (Ogden), Lena Juanita (Peck).

Pierre Parcot found freedom in America. In turn, he and his long line of descendants became true to America.  Today, we continue to answer America's calling.....

"O, America you're calling,
I can hear you calling me:
You are calling me to be true to thee,
True to thee I will be."

Catahoula Hog Dog

From an April 6, 1896 article in the New York Tribune:

Courtesy of Chronicling America
From The New-Orleans State.
A few weeks ago we had occasion to publish, on the authority of our friend, Colonel E. H. Lombard, a very interesting narrative regarding the celebrated hog dog of Catahoula, and so remarkable were the performances of this dog, as related to us, that many of the deacons of the church, as well as personal friends of Colonel Lombard, did him the injustice to class him as a romancer.  We are glad to be able to state, however, that Colonel Lombard's story has been corroborated in every particular by no less an authority than Wash Wiggins, one of the best-known citizens of Catahoula parish.  Mr. Wiggins says, and he has signified his willingness to be quoted, that the hog dogs of Catahoula are the most intelligent animals on the face of the earth, and as their ancestors before them were hog herders, they take to the work without any training whatever.
It is claimed that the wild hog of Catahoula is second only in the matter of pugnacity and ferocity to the roaring tiger of the Bengal jungle.  In order to get a drove of these hogs into a pen, the hog dog of Catahoula, as Mr. Wiggins informs us, operates as follows:  Keeping always in mind the direction of the pen or corral, the dog goes into the woods and flushes a drove of hogs.  Then, keeping himself invariably in front of the hogs, barks forth a challenge; the hogs accept the gauge of battle and make a dash for the enemy, and the dog, tucking his tail, if fortunate enough to have one, which is seldom the case, skedaddles toward the pen, regulating his speed so as to save at all times a distance of about thirty yards.
Should the hogs halt in their pursuit, the dog returns and renews his dare, and again he is charged, and again he slopes.  In this way he lures the hogs on until in their mad chase they follow him through the open gate into the pen, when he immediately proceeds to jump the fence on the opposite side, while his master, who has been seated on the fence during the pursuit, whistling and shooting tobacco juice at passing bumblebees, hurriedly climbs down and closes the gate on the entrapped porcines.  The faithful and intelligent dog, which is found nowhere else but in the languorous shades of the Catahoulan wilds, is rewarded with a pone of cornbread, and the next day there is a great hog-killing time, followed by feasting and revelry.

Catahoula Hog Dog aka Catahoula Leopard Dog aka Catahoula Cur

August 11, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 10

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
My mind is wandering back now to remembering Uncle Frank Smith, Mr. Joe Bryan and Pop Denham.  Thinking about one day in particular.  The old fellows, of course, had to have a little drink every evening to kind of keep them revived.  They'd sit around in Jack's Saloon and I'd usually sit around and talk to them. 
Jack's Saloon; Jack-far left
Uncle Frank, Mr. Joe Bryan and Pop Denham were all way up in their eighties.  In fact, I think Pop must have been ninety.  They were there in Jack's just sitting around and I was there talking to them.  The Methodist preacher, Brother Davis, came in and had the Bishop with him.  The Bishop for the Methodist Church in this area was a big, tall man.  
Brother Davis brought him in and introduced him to everybody and walked out of the saloon.  Of course, we were all a little bit nervous with the Preacher and the Bishop walking into a saloon with all of us sitting there.
Uncle Jack McNair said, "I noticed, Uncle Frank, when they walked in you got up.  Stood up for them."  Uncle Frank said, "Yeah, dadblame, I wanted them to see I could stand up."  Oh man, we laughed!  Uncle Frank didn't want them to think he was drunk sitting there and couldn't get up.
If there was a good way to drink, I guess those old fellows drank it the good way.  They never did get drunk but they had their little drink every day.  
Everybody back in those days knew and remembered how Mr. Joe Bryan would walk right down the middle of the road.  If a car was coming, it would either have to go around him or stop.  If they blew the horn at him, he'd give them a cussin'.  He used the road as his walkway.  It was a wonder he never got run over.  Many a time people had to just stop.  
Somebody else I spent a good many hours talking to was Mr. Gus Krause.  He could tell you a lot of interesting stories about happenings on the Island back in the late 1890s and early 1900s.  He was a very interesting old fellow to talk to.
I remember one day, we were talking and I was telling him about me and my buddies, little pals, and where we used to swim.  All of a sudden he got just as excited and said, "That was our swimming hole!"  It was the same place he and his buddies used to go swimming; about fifty or sixty years before me and my buddies.  Mr. Gus and his pals and me and my pals...same place, same happening.    Hearing him talk about it made it seem like we could have all been there together.
It was Mr. Gus Krause's older brother, Mr. Henry Krause, who told me one time about the Sicily Island hills.  He said many people didn't know it but a lot of people used to have camps and lived in those hills.
People from around Waterproof, St. Joseph, Newellton, Tallulah, Vidalia, Ferriday and all that low country had an idea back in those days that the low areas gave them the yellow fever.  It could have had something to do with it.  The mosquitoes were worse in those low areas than they were in the hills.   People had these camps in the Sicily Island hills and would move here in the spring and summer.  He even said there was a girls' academy out in those hills at one time back years and years ago.
Mr. Henry told me there were more people living here on the Island in the late 1800s than there are living here now (1991).  It was thickly populated.  Much more populated than in present times.
Gotleib Krause tombstone
There were four Krause brothers; Albert, Henry, Gus and Oscar.  Albert died at a very young age.  Their father was named Gotleib Krause.  He was from Germany.  He'd been over here, living here, when the Civil War broke out and he was in the Confederate Army.  His wife, Mrs. Caroline, was from New Orleans.  She was German.  All three of those brothers were good story tellers.  Had good memories.  They were all interesting to talk to.
Caroline Therisia Herzer Krause
If they were living today (1991), the youngest one, Mr. Oscar, would be over 100.  I expect Mr. Henry would be close to 110, Mr. Gus about 106 or 107 and Mr. Oscar about 103 or 104 years old.  They also had sisters.  One was named Lina and one was named Gertrude and one was named Katie.  The three boys lived here on the Island all of their lives.  Mr. Oscar adopted a son, Ben Westerburg.  Mr. Gus had a daughter, Augusta Taliaferro.  Mr. Henry had three boys; Markham, Albert Earl and Freddy.  Markham and Albert Earl are still alive and living on the Island today.
Albert Earl Krause, Sr.

Mr. Henry had a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Markham didn't have any children.  Freddy, the youngest of Mr. Henry's sons, had a couple of girls.
His son, Albert Earl, had three boys and three girls.  They all had children and some of their children have had children.  That's where the Krause family is marching on; through Mr. Henry's son, Albert Earl. 

My grandfather captured the 50th wedding anniversary of Henry and Earle York Krause on film.  The video can be viewed by going to the "Old SI Videos" Tab and clicking on the last video at the bottom on the left side of the page.  (There is a time delay at the beginning of the video)

Note:  Parts 1-9 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

Military Monday ~ William Wesley Kendrick

William Wesley Kendrick
Born on March 3, 1919
Died on August 3, 1942

Apprentice Seaman, United States Navy, WWII
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Memorial Tombstone in Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

Memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing Monument
East Coast Memorial
Battery Park, New York City, New York

 From the United States Navy Casualties Books:

Apprentice Seaman William Wesley Kendrick served our country in World War II on the USS Leonard Wood.