April 14, 2014

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 43

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Back in the late 1940s or early 1950s, we had an election.  That was an exciting time.  People coming and going to the polls.  
There were usually church groups selling refreshments and taking up money for their groups.  Mr. Oscar Krause and Mr. Harold Bird were around the polls that day.  Later
Mr. Oscar Krause
that night, Mr. Oscar told his wife, Mrs. Birdie, that he and Harold had bought sandwiches and cups of tea from the church ladies.  He said they didn’t drink the tea because it had a rag or something in it.  
That was when they first came out with the little tea bags that they put in cups and poured hot water over.  They had little strings on the bags that hung over the side of the cups.  Mr. Oscar and Mr. Harold had never seen that.  They thought somebody had left a rag or something in their cups.
It was exciting times when elections were going on.  Ballots were put in boxes and when the polls closed at 8 o’clock they’d have to count them.  If there were a lot of candidates running in a big general election, it was liable to be two or three o’clock in the morning before all the ballots had been opened and counted.  
Sometimes in a close race locally for Police Jury it would be nip and tuck.  You wouldn’t know who had won until the end of the count.  I remember in one election when Coan Knight beat Uncle Jim McLelland by two votes in a Police Jury race.  It went right on up to the last count.  
I was always there.  Eight, nine, ten years old.  My mother and daddy were interested in elections.  We hardly missed being at the polls during election time.  Lots of people would be hanging around the polls listening to them count the votes. 
I didn’t miss any elections during the late 1930s and all through the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  I grew up in a kind of political family.  I’ve been involved in politics myself. 

Sicily Island Alderman
I have been on the Town Council, served ten years on the Police Jury for this ward, served as Registrar of Voters for Catahoula Parish for thirteen and a half years and served six years as a School Board member. 

Catahoula Parish Police Jury

Catahoula Parish Registrar of Voters

Catahoula Parish School Board
I have just always been interested in politics and elections.  I’ve been through years and years of politics.  I was interested in politics even before I could vote at 21 years old.  When I was growing up you had to be 21 before you could vote.  I’d get out and talk for my candidate.
Governor Earl K. Long
In the Fall of 1940, I made a talk for Earl Long here in Sicily Island.  I just took it upon myself to do it. 

Earl Long came through here later speaking and heard about it.  They got me to get up on the microphone and make a speech. 
Then they took me on with them to Harrisonburg to make a speech.  A day or two later, they took me to Monterey to make my speech.  

Earl Long was defeated in that election for Governor but he came back in 1948 and won.  He won again in 1956.

Note:  Parts 1-42 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

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