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Published October 10, 2008

        By Maurine Bordelon LaCour

  The year was 1940, Lannie and Ollie Bordelon along with their four children, Joyce (13), Philip (7), Carol, (2) and myself, Maurine (10), settled in the rural community of Bayou Rouge. It was halfway between Evergreen and Goudeau.  My parents operated a small grocery store which proved to be a temptation for children that loved sweets. Therefore, a fast and firm rule was set, only one treat a day. On school days, we were given a nickel to spend at school recess. One autumn morning Yam, Philip’s nickname, not having his nickel yet, frantically started searching for Daddy. Mr. Mayhall, the school bus driver, was coming down the road, blowing the horn of his bus. He always greeted us each morning with a frown on his face. He said the Bordelon kids were the only pupils that came out of their house one at a time. Mr. Mayhall was always waiting for us. Consequently, he started blowing his horn as soon as he picked up Everett Hayes, which was a quarter of a mile from our home.  Evergreen High School was five miles away therefore, our parents, like many parents in the community, did not bring their children to school if they missed the bus. It was the bus driver’s duty to make sure the kids got to school since so many days were missed during the harvest season.  Not finding Daddy, Yam decided to get his own nickel and ran to open the cash register in the store. Daddy had not opened the till for the day.  Panicking, Yam ran back to the house and to the bedroom.  He could hear the bus horn in the distance. Hurry….Hurry.. Quickly he rolled back the heavy moss mattress just enough to reveal Daddy's overstuffed wallet which held all the receipts from the previous day.  Yam grabbed a bill from the wallet. He shoved it in his pocket, allowing the mattress to fall back into place and ran to catch the bus to go to school.

 Evergreen High School.  Our school was situated in the middle of town on several acres on land. At recess, the principal, Mr. A. J. Smith,   allowed the entire school to go into town to buy treats from the 3 small grocery stores which lined the north/west side of the street. There was no red light in town. An occasional car would putter down the main street so the high school students took responsibility for the younger kids to ensure they would cross the street safely. That day as the recess bell rang, Yam joined the other first and second graders as the group of students went into town.  Upon entering the store, Yam went to the counter, selected his bar of candy and handed Mr. Robert the $5.00 bill he clutched in his tiny hand. Yam hungrily grabbed his candy and started to walk out of the store. Suddenly, Mr. Robert's voice boomed in the background "Wait a minute, son, here is your change." Yam’s mouth dropped open when Mr. Robert handed him four bills and a handful of quarters and nickels. All he knew to do was to accept it.

As Yam made his way back to the school grounds, he thought aloud "Oh, my God! What am I going to do with all this money?  I can't bring it home, Daddy will find out I took it." The only solution his little mind could conceive was just to give it away. Therefore, our young millionaire hurriedly and generously started handing out bills to all his friends. Now he is down to just coins. Earl Juneau, who was a friend and neighbor, graciously accepted 25 cents, the last of the newfound wealth, and quickly returned to the store to make his purchase.

As Earl entered Mr. Ford’s store, the first thing to capture his attention was this enormous plastic container of "MOON PIES". They were a flat cookie about the size of a small saucer, very plain but pungently fragrant with spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. The sides of the cookie were scalloped and resembled a large smiling face, like the man in the moon, hence called moon pies.  A sign draped over the top of the container showed the price of two for a penny. His choice was made. Earl proudly ordered the whole amount of his share of the money for moon pies. He laid his shiny quarter on the linoleum counter. To his utter amazement, Mr. Ford filled a huge brown paper sack with 50 moon cookies. Earl could not believe how much he got for his single coin. As Earl left the store, all the children seeing the abundance, started to beg Earl for a moon pie.  “Moon, Moon, Gimme a Moon Pie".  Earl doled out a few cookies, but his little mind quickly calculated the crowd was growing and his cookies were dwindling fast, so he started shaking his head “no”. For once in his life he was going to have enough .The more they chanted “Gimme a moon pie, gimme a moon pie” the more Earl clutched his horde of cookies. It so impacted the kids that from that day forward Earl Juneau was known as “Moon” and still carries that name today even though this happened in 1947.  

One of the other benefactors, Gene Bordelon, came from a large family of sixteen kids. With his dollar bill, he decided he should use it to pay his monthly lunch charge of eighty-five cents instead of squandering it away on frivolous treats. The teachers were responsible for collecting these monies on the first day of the month. He went to Mrs. Haydel and insisted on paying his lunch. Mrs. Haydel was a very stern second grade teacher and immediately became suspicious. Times were hard, and most families found it difficult to pay once a month and lunch monies were not due yet.  Upon repeated questioning, Gene finally admitted that Yam had given him the money. Mrs. Haydell called Mr. Smith, our principal, and the investigation began. The whole school was buzzing with excitement. Now to find out how much money was doled out. OOPS! Yam, you been caught. A quick call to our home revealed that our parents had no knowledge of Yam's little escapade. The money was quickly retrieved by the principal, at least all of it except for fifty cents, which included twenty-five cents worth of those delicious moon pies that Earl Juneau took home, Yam’s nickel candy and four others that no one ever confessed to.

The moral of the story: If ever you get your hands caught in the cookie jar, make sure you pull out a Moon Pie.

Today  October 6,2008 my sisters, Joyce Bordelon Nelson, Carol Bordelon Cashio, Mona Jean Bordelon Gaspard, our brother, Philip Ray Bordelon  and myself, Maurine Bordelon LaCour can sit for hours recounting these stories, laughing until we cry, remembering our lives when we attended the school we loved so much,

Our Evergreen High School.







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