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Evergreen Reunion Newsletter Update Of April 8, 2008


FQ:  The most frequently question posed to me is "what can I do to help the Evergreen Reunion."  The answer is to get involved.  The list of committee members is posted on the ER website and you may offer your services, special skills or talents.  Email me at ead9743@louisiana.edu and I'll be certain to share your information with those who need assistance...that covers everyone - still pictures, film, set-up, registration, display area.  Act now, please.
Publicity: Larry Chenevert has done an excellent job of spreading the word.  If you wish to help email Larry at jpolozolac1@hotmail.com or phone him and offer your help.  The T.V. stations in your area all have Community Calendars where they welcome announcements.  The ER has been promoted by newspapers, radio stations, and T.V. stations, so communicate with Larry if you wish to cover an area which has not yet been reached.  Thank you.
Promotion of ER:  Now is the time to make your personal contacts with classmates, friends, neighbors, etc.  Google has the Ultimate White Pages and they have been very helpful in locating people with whom contact had been lost.
Lodging Information:  Will be announced soon and in time for you to make arrangements.
Tapes of Previous Reunions:  Efforts are being made to convert the 1983 and 1990 to DVD...more later. At the appropriate time, requests will be made for pictures.
Expansion of Evergreen Reunion website:  It is being pursued in a methodical manner.
Letters of Fond Memories Are Needed:  This is a wonderful opportunity for you to document your memories of Evergreen...family, school, church, community, unforegetable characters, special events, etc., etc. - the pen is in your hand for this open-ended opportunity.  Make it as short or as long as you wish. Your information is so important.  If we fail to document our memories of Evergreen - shame on us for not taking advantage of this opportunity.   Please email your memories to me at ead9743@louisiana.edu.  The plans of how to best make these available are not final.  It is important to document now. 
Please note the sample memories emails below. A special appreciation is extended to Debbie, Rox, Ruth and Jr. Matthews.  The memories are different - as each should be - and the commonality is reader interest. Please send your memories ASAP, knowing you may update, add to, delete later if you wish.

Debbie Riche Molan -
Rox Ann Daigre - Ruth Dugas Albritton - Louis Matthews, Jr.
Edmond Dugas -
David Lynn Riche'

Debbie Riche Molan - November 20, 2006

Yes, Ed, life is good.  Cotton always brings thoughts of Daddy to my mind.  How well I remember being in his feet during cotton picking time because we loved to “jump” in the cotton in the trailers after the “machines” had dumped it.  And, looking a little farther back, I can remember he and Uncle Ray leaving in the wee hours of the morning to go to Opelousas to pick up “cotton pickers”, men and women both, who would be transported back to the bayou to pick cotton all day long. I don’t know how much they were paid, but I’m sure it was only a pittance for the very hard work they did all day long. 

I also remember the lint from the cotton all over our little pants and shirts that Mama made us brush off before we came into the house.  Oh, what wonderful days those were and those memories surely tug at my heart strings and bring a tear to my eye for missing those who are no longer with us.  I suppose today of all days, the eve of All Saints Day, is a proper day to remember a sweet time and the wonderful family God shared with us for a while before taking them home to be with Him. 

This time of the year also stirs up wonderful memories of waking up to the sound of a squealing hog as it was butchered on cold winter mornings and our pleading with Daddy to let us miss school to stay home for the enjoyment of being with family as they worked side by side to prepare the meat for the winter months.  On rare occasions, he would let us miss school, but more often than not, he made us get on the bus and go on to school, only to come home that afternoon and find that he had cooked the tenderloin (stuck on a stick on the edge of the fire where the cracklins were cooking) and had carefully wrapped It in aluminum foil and kept it for us to eat after school.  I want to always remember the smells and atmosphere of those days.  God Bless You!  Debbie

Additional memories by Debbie  May 9, 2007 

I recall a more simple time in life, one in which I grew up – the 50s.  Looking back, winters seem to have been harsher than today, but the warmth of immediate and extended family was nearer.  I recall cold, rainy days when Daddy would get us all into his truck and park at the end of the driveway to wait for the school bus in the morning so that we would not get chilled or wet.  Mama was left to clean up after a breakfast of bacon sandwiches that we all loved.

Springtime offered the aroma of freshly cut grass laden with lots of clover from which we made clover bracelets and necklaces.  Not to be outdone in particular earthly fragrances was the pungent, newly plowed fields, just awaiting little bare feet to sink toes and heels into the finely ground soil, still cool from the winter.

Summer days seemed to just slowly pace themselves, sort of like watching a movie in slow motion.  One of my favorite things to do on those lazy summer days was to carry an old quilt outside, lay on my back and look up for special clouds that formed shapes of a variety of animals and sometimes even people.

Autumn days brought the eagerness of harvesting crops nurtured for months by the capable hands of my farmer daddy and our backyard carpeted with pecans from the many pecan trees that provided not only their fruit, but cool shade.  After the crops were in, boucheries were anticipated by the families in the neighborhood, when all could gather, celebrate the harvest’s end, and enjoy the bounty of the delicious meals provided by the not-so-willing swine.

The four seasons brought about different food groups, too, unlike the norm for the cooks of today. Winter food that comes to mind is another “aroma reminder”.  I don’t think anything made me feel the warmth and security of home more than cold, rainy, wintry days when I jumped off the school bus as it arrived at my home, feeling chilled to the bone, and racing to the comfort of indoors, but not before inhaling the delightful molasses enhanced cloud that drifted from Mom’s kitchen – homemade gingerbread!  In no time at all, my three younger siblings and I were warming up to the hot, fluffy pieces of gingerbread Mama had so thoughtfully taken time to prepare. 

Springs bring to mind the rows of Irish potatoes growing and growing – soon to be dug up, washed, scraped, and cooked with a mess of fresh green beans and bacon. 

Summer days, mostly Saturdays, yielded Mama’s crusty fried chicken, fried outdoors, of course. And, it wasn’t a “funeral home” chicken as Daddy described a store-bought chicken, but one he raised, killed, dressed and put on the table for his family.  I also have such fond memories of sitting under an old mulberry tree in our backyard with Mama and MaMa (my maternal grandmother) and peeling and slicing fresh peaches to be canned for the winter days ahead.    

The first north wind in Autumn was welcomed with a chicken and sausage gumbo, started of course with a homemade roux made by rendering the fat from the chicken.  No Savoie’s in our house!  The four of us loved to “doctor” up our bowls of steaming gumbo with hot pepper vinegar, which was a staple on our table, and many times used so much of it that the gumbo looked rather white.  We also loved dill pickles and I really liked to chop mine up and add it to my gumbo.  I remember to this day the first time my maternal grandmother told me at a boucherie that I was old enough now to help make the “blood” boudin.  I thought it was a great idea and a rite of passage into adulthood that I would be included in this laborious task,.  I quickly had a change of heart as the cold wind and the foul smells emitted from the pig’s intestines attacked my sensitive (and rather spoiled) 16 year old person.  I also remember being teased and picked on quite a bit by the adult women, all in fun and in a spirit of family and unity.

Debbie Riche' Molan

Rox Ann Daigre  April 30, 2007

Good to hear from you and thanks for keeping record of all the great times we had at Grannies. I miss being home and smelling homemade bread Aunt Liz use to make
us every Sunday. After Aunt Liz died I moved into Granny's house to keep it up and lived there for about three years. The memories I have were always positive and
comforting. I use to fish across the street every afternoon after work and it was so relaxing knowing home was right across the street. Once I had cleaned up the pig pen and was going to raise a few pigs like she use to do but never got around to it. As a kid Vicky and I use to play in that pen and feed the big pig she had in there. Aunt Liz would always fuss at us for hanging on the fence.

I miss Aunt Liz a lot and its not easy going back to Evergreen without them being there. Granny would always take up for us kids when Aunt Liz would fuss at us and I have to admit we would always give Aunt Liz a good reason to fuss. I now have Granny's iron bed set up in my room here in Baton Rouge that I sleep in everynight and it's as comfortable as the first night Lea and I slept over. Wish the house was still there so we can go back and just sit on the swing and watch the traffic go by. Loved being out there and wish the house was still up so we all could meet there too cook and visit again like we use too. I miss that the most being around the family every weekend eating homemade bread like we use too. Hope this helps some and I will write more as I think of things.
Have a great evening and keep in touch.



Remembering the Past.....  My parents and I moved during the summer of 1930 from New Orleans to Evergreen on Bayou Rouge (now known as Riche' Road) on my grandfather's property so that my father could assist him in his farming business.  I have fond memories of growing up near so many relatives and with lots of love.  Our life centered around our little Catholic Church located in the village of Evergreen.  The men of the family had fixed a wagon, horse driven, which would take everyone to Sunday Mass in Evergreen.  This form of transportation took care of most of our traveling needs during this period of time.  It was during the depression of the 30's and things were real hard according to what we children heard.  I remember the town having Catholics, Baptists, and Methodist churches, all very active.  I also remember that all three religions, working together, provided whatever they could for all faiths.
They especially focused on the children.  It was good clean living and we were very happy.  I began school in the first grade and never changed schools until I graduated at the Evergreen High School.  I loved everything about the school. The classes were very small and we all learned fast.  We were so few in numbers we had to participate in everything. On Saturday and/or Sunday afternoons, we would meet on the grounds of our beautiful school and either roller skate or ride bikes down the hill, or just socialize. 
I have fond memories of the wonderful teachers that we had...Mr. Earnest Hatley, Ms. Lena Haydel, Ms. Vera Mae Dunbar, Ms. Sue Goudeau and his sister Estelle, Oma West Tassin, Mr. Sam Jeansonne and principal, Mr. Anthony Smith, to name a few.  They were very strict, but fair and good teachers.  As I stated before, we were a small school, but had so many extracurricular activities.  I remember our "May Day" celebrations, with the dances, etc.  I remember the excitement I felt when I was chosen May Day queen one year. 
Evergreen High School was noted for its excellent band.  Everybody was in the band starting in the elementary school and Mr. Hatley saw to it that we competed a lot and that we always rated in the competition.  Another thing that we took pride in was our girls' softball team.  Martha Albritton was pitcher and Jeanette Barron Armand was her catcher. Their specialty was striking out the batter and that they did very well.  Most games, those of us who were in the field or on base, saw very little action, but we won games.  What a team those two were!!!   I had pictures of many of these events, so I put them in an album and brought them to the Evergreen Town Museum when it first opened. 
I am back living in Evergreen with my husband, Bill Albritton, after following him around the world for 22 years, and still attend the Church of the Little Flower.  Our school burned in 1958 and I still can close my eyes and see that beautiful school sitting on the top of the hill in the center of town.  I can also visualize the children playing on the
grounds and learning on the inside.  My personal opinion...I must say, that I feel this is the best place to live for my family, and for Bill and I to retire in.  There comes a time when coming back home is great!!!    
Ruth Ellen Dugas Albritton - Evergreen High Class of 1947. 
I was born on May 19, 1928,  the sixth of ten children of Louis Matthews, Sr. and Ezida Francois.  The oldest child, Wilson, died in 1918 during a big flu epidemic.  In 1934, the girl of a set of twins was stillborn.  My parents raised eight of their children and seven orphans.  My father was also raised as an orphan; therefore, he was never able to refuse anyone in need.

We were raised on the Enterprise Plantation until it was sold in 1942.  There were a great number of families living on a four mile stretch on both sides of the bayou.  The neighborhood was racially mixed.  Everyone was very poor, but we were happy.  During the month of May, the Catholic neighbors gathered at a different family's home each evening to recite the rosary.  On Christmas Eve, everyone would get into a wagon to attend midnight Mass in Evergreen.  The oldest child was responsible for remaining home to keep the fireplace and the gumbo going, so that when the rest of the family returned at around 3:00 A.M., there was a warm house and food for them. 
We worked very hard as sharcroppers for only half of the profit, which made our portion very minimal.  Due to the necessity of my help on the farm, the extent of my formal education at the Evergreen School was only until the fourth grade.  By the time I was 12 years old, I went to work with E. E. Rabalais & Son cleaning bricks to build an addition to St. Anthony's Catholic School.  After a lot of hard work, Curtis Deaville and Joe Bordelon offered to work with them as their helper and eventually taught me how to lay bricks.  I was making 30 cents per hour as opposed to 25 cents per day on the farm.  I worked as a brick mason for 60 years. 
For quite a while, I would see this young girl skating on the school yard, but I didn't know who she was.  It wasn't until I was 19 years old that a friend, Odessa Roy, introduced us to one another.  Her name was Verlie Galland and she was 12 years old.  We remained friends for several years, but never dated during that time.  In December, 1952, after sErving two years in the army during the Korean War, we got married.  We had four children:  Ricky in July 1954, C.J. in August 1957, Stephen in June 1960, and Sheryl in October 1962.  In 1957 we reluctantly moved to New Orleans out of necessity for job opportunities and remained there until 1962.  We returned to Evergreen where I continue to live today.  My wife recently passed away, in May 2007.  She was the first child baptized in the Evergreen Catholic Church after the first resident priest came in 1934.
Louis Matthews, Jr.

Edmond Anthony Dugas  July-August, 2007


It has been stated many times before, but growing up in Evergreen was a blessing for which I will be forever grateful.  Many current guidelines for standard of living would not have given me, as an individual or Evergreen, as a town, very high marks.  However, to a youngster growing up there  -  it had all I could have hoped for and more… family, church, school, and community interwoven in a most unique way.


Born on August 27, 1940 in Evergreen, my earliest memories were of World War II.  My parents are Clophine Mary Descant and Walter Joseph Dugas.  My mother loved actor Edmund O’Brien and my paternal grandfather was Edmond Dugas, so Edmond it was. Many of our days prior to my starting school ended at the home of my mother’s mother, Mrs. Celestine (Pierre) Descant.  News was received by radio and newspaper and brought to her home for discussion, usually on the front porch.  


Uncle Marvin Joseph Descant, child number 12 (there were fourteen children born to Pierre and Celestine Descant), was born on August 15, 1924.  He entered the Army on July 2, 1943 and earned the wings of a U.S. volunteer paratrooper. On September 18, 1944 he was mortally wounded near Hungerford, Germany.  His death was a most difficult time for the entire family, especially Granny and his sisters who loved him so. Thus, the family’s interest in the war became more intensified and dominated the discussions at her home. As you entered her living room there always was a large picture of him in his military attire.  


On many of the days during this time, I remember Granny recalling her conversations with the Red Cross about Marvin and everyone being tearful.  It was not unusual on any day to find most of the family at her home.  She had married children residing on each side of her home and more located in the close proximity in Evergreen.  Within a stones-throw of her home and the Church of the Little Flower Catholic Church six children resided, seven counting Aunt Elise who lived with Granny along with Elise’s daughter, Martha Ann Trump.


In my earliest recollections, my father owned and operated a general merchandise store on the West corner of Louisiana State Highway 29 and Rabbit Lane in Evergreen.. Rabbit Lane runs from Evergreen to Hwg. 115 (Bay Hills), the main highway between Bunkie and Hessmer.  The Dugas Family lived in a small frame house on the West side of the store.  Both buildings were close to the highway, so the rear of both were on large pillars, as they extended out above and next to Bayou Rouge.  


Life moved at a fast pace and there was always excitement.  My father also drove a school but and for some time hired my Aunt Elise and Uncle Clave Riche (Aunt Nora’s husband) to work in the store while he was out.  Across the highway from the store was one owned by Robert Tanner and the Evergreen Post Office.


With military personnel stationed in and around Alexandria, I recall my father taking people (mostly girls) to dances there in his school bus.  I remember one night there was a serious accident on our way home, but can’t remember any of the details. Later my father would take people to the park and pool in Alexandria, Lake Valentine and Shady Nook near Glenmore, where the water was ice-cold and most kids walked around shivering  with blue lips. Each year drownings occurred at this particular swimming location.


Our immediate neighbors to the West on Highway 29 was Mr and Mrs.. Tom Fisher, who also owned and operated a store. Directly across from our store on Rabbit Lane was the store of Mr. Ford Robert, who was Evergreen’s long-time Mayor. Next to Mr. Ford’s store was a vacant store which later became a service station operated by my uncle, Jake Descant, and then later by my first cousin, Murphy Descant, .  I had the distinct honor of working for both of them on a temporary basis  and cherish those memories.


About the time I started school, my parents purchased one acre of land on the Burns Road from Uncle Clave Riche.  It was only about a quarter of a mile from Mr. Gene Heiman’s store and next door to the Adelma Galland family –  one of life’s blessings. He was one of the kindest, considerate persons I have ever known.  Brutally honest and hard-working, he introduced me to many jobs and always took care of me while we worked – whether picking cotton or picking pecans.  His entire family were good neighbors and we were most fortunate to have them next door. His youngest daughter, Ivory, was friends with my sister, Geraldine. She married Gerald Riche, oldest son of Elmer “Boulet” Riche. The oldest daughter Maureen married Herman Paul Carmouche (Human) and they lived on the other side of Mr. Adelma.   It was so easy to stop by his house at any time and visit with his family, as they spend a lot of time on their porch swing.  However, most of our conversations took place with both of us near the fence separating our homesites.  I can still see him milking his cow or working in his garden.  Since I did both of those things for awhile, it was easy for me to follow his lead.  Work-ethic was not a frequently used term in the early '50, but if it had been one could point to him as a model.  I think of Mr. Adelma at times when tasks are distasteful, but the effort needs to be forthcoming.  I learned much from him and was touched by his kindness and positive outlook on life.


While preparing the acre of land for our homesite, my father borrowed a mule and plow from someone.  I recall following behind him in the newly-created furrows.  There was a small pecan tree located near the coulee which bordered the side of the property .  My father passed too close to it and it leaned over slightly.  After seeing what he had done, he stopped the mule and told me to pack some dirt around the tree – that it would probably make it.  Make it , it did – Jr. Matthews, who purchased our home site in the early 60s, had an awesome crop from the tree in 2006.  


While I was in my early teens, that tree provided fodder for another fond memory.  My father would occasionally park his 1954 white Ford pick-up truck under the tree which was close to the front porch, instead of going all the way into the garage past the back of the house. .  One Sunday he left to go play cards and reminded me before leaving that I was not to drive the truck.  My mother had the truck key in the bedroom in the rear of the house, so I waited until she went to sleep, then thought I would practice my driving.  I failed to realize that Dub and Ronnie Carmouche had been playing under the tree and had unintentionally swung the rope swing in such a manner that the rope wrapped around the rear view mirror on the driver’s side.  In my haste to drive, I got in the truck on the passenger side and never did notice the swing was wrapped around the mirror.  When I began backing-up, I hear this strange noice and turned to see the mirrow swinging from the rope.  I sat in disbelief for the longest.  Later, after consulting Dub, I decided to put the truck back as it was when I attempted to back-up and wrap the rope as I thought it had been wrapped. 


The plan worked to a “T” because my father came home after dark and did not attempt to move the truck into the garage.  However, the next morning, he walked around the front of his truck to clean the windshield and noticed the swing.  As he placed his hand on the rope, the entire mirror assembly felt to the ground.  He looked it over for awhile, then decided it was time to approach me about what had happened to his mirror. . .


Across the road from our home was Bayou Rouge, flowing toward Goudeau.  Many activities took place in and along that bayou – boating, rafting, swimming, fishing, picking berries, picnics, and hunting.  Additionally, Mr. Ed Pierce, who owned the large field on the side of us, always had interesting things going on. His grandson, Arthur Ed, and I became friends and did a lot of horse-back riding.


One of my rather painful childhood memories occurred one day while I was helping my mother wash clothes.  We had a small frame building off of our back porch and she was placing white sheets and pillow cases in a tub of water and blueing.  I was to run each of these through the wringer.  Unfortunately, I was a little careless and my right arm was pulled into the wringer. My mother hit the safety latch when my forearm was in the wringer and to this day, certain weather fluctuations remind me of that wash.  Clothes

was hung on a clothes line after being washed and rinsed.  Rainy days meant essential items would be dried by the natural gas heater.


While we were living next to the store, the days started quite early.  Oness Matthews who lived across the highway from us in a large frame duplex had permission to set his fish net at the end of the culvert of the dirt bridge which had replaced the wooden one. As the current flowed from Cottonport, fish ended up in his net.  I can remember one day, that my consistent and long-term begging reaped dividends and my mother allowed me to go down where the action was.  I did not have to watch from a window in the rear of our   

house any longer. The size and variety of fish he harvested was always interesting and , in retrospect the anticipation of seeing what was in the net created early-morning excitement. I could never participate in any activity during this period until he had checked his net and removed his harvest.  His wife, Agnes, was one of the cafeteria workers at the EHS, along with Mr. Dude Gullett’s wife, Helen,  and Aunt Cecile (Mrs. Willis Rachal).


Living next door to the store was very interesting because people would stop by as long as we were open.  Salesmen, delivery men, customers – created wonderful opportunities to learn of what was happening in other places.  There were two slot machines, one for nickels and one for pennies.  Woe to me if I ever got caught playing one of the slots.  The store also had a meat market and pecans were bought and sold there.  After we moved to the Burns road, my father grew a large garden.  As his top assistant, the crop given to me was the watermelons.  I received .25 @ for two or .15 for one Dixie Queen Watermelon. I remember trying to bring two melons per load to the store in my small wagon, but had

difficulty because the weight had to be more to the front.  One day, as I pulled on the wagon handle, the front end lifted off the ground and I lost a melon right on the road.  A

nice man was passing by and bought the cracked melon for .05.  I offered it for free, but he insisted on the nickel price.  

One of our early baby-sitters was Benny  “Bee” Albritton, Bill’s Brother.  One night he was baby-sitting me and Dub and ran out of milk for Dub’s bottle.  I was wanting something to drink also, but there was nothing available.  Being a problem-solver that he is, he walked next door to the store, talked my Aunt Elise into giving him two cokes, and put nipples on both of them so there would be no complains.  I think I removed my nipple to enjoy the coke, but he was kidded for the longest about the nipples on the coke bottles.


As we got a little older, Bee decided one day that it was time to take me and Dub fishing  We packed our equipment and headed to Old River.  That afternoon we caught a nice stringer of fish.  Unfortunately, as we were getting out of the boat, I lost the stringer, and with it our supper.  It was a long night sleeping in the back of his pick-up truck…the mosquitoes almost carried off me and Dub..  Bee was just fine – sleeping in the cab of the truck.  The cardboard boxes which were to protect us from insects just never worked well.  We spent an almost sleepless night and woke up the next morning with swollen faces and lips and mosquito bites all over our bodies.  After breakfast, we set out for our second period of fishing and a welcomed surprise.  On one of my first casts, I caught the stringer of fish which I had lost the day before.  There was rejoicing in the boat and we had a wonderful trip.  People wondered what had happened to me and Dub once they viewed our swollen and disfugured faces.

Some childhood memories by Ed Dugas

Reruns of The Andy Griffith Show always remind me of Evergreen Elementary.  Evergreen’s simple, rural setting held together tightly with pure values align with Mayberry.  The sweet, innocence of childhood truly took place in a perfect surrounding.


My most defining memories always circulate around one of my all-time favorite people, Miss Lou.  There are not enough adjectives to describe Miss Lou’s goodness and contributions to our school.  I can see her in a white dress with black polka-dots, of course crisply ironed.  Hair neatly groomed, shoes polished so brightly the morning sun reflected off of the black patent leather.  Our second grade classroom looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  Everything in the classroom had a unique place, resulting in an immaculate learning environment.  She kept peppermints in her drawer as tiny rewards making the recipient feel like King or Queen for a day.


The only negative about being in Miss Lou’s class, was that it was on the rear of the school.  I loved being in the front so I could catch a glimpse of my Uncle Ray or my dad going by on a tractor or pulling a cotton trailer.  I couldn’t wait to get home to play in the cotton, flipping off the sides when daddy wasn’t looking. We also loved being in the front because the train interrupted class at least for a few moments and we loved to watch it go by. 


At recess, we walked down to the big white maintenance building to get the small glass bottle Cokes and orange peanut butter crackers out of the machine.  I remember the comments when the price went from 5 cents to 10 cents a bottle.  No need to worry if a little short on change.  Mr. Holston was always willing to share some of his change he jingled around in his pockets.  He stood near the machine and always made some nice comment to make us feel special.  Then we ran out to find our secret treasures hidden in the crevices of the huge oak trees.  Those trees had the most humongous ants, but we didn’t care because our most prized trinkets were somewhere among them.  The golden egg was always hidden in one of the tree’s cubby holes at Easter. 


Other recess activities were jumping rope under the bus canopy.  These were the long ropes brought from our parent’s farms and were the perfect weight.  No plastic fluorescent jump ropes for us.  Then there were days when we played baseball with the boys.  Steve Mathews and Steve Riche’ were our heroes.  They hit homeruns every time they batted!  One day a few of us girls, Sheila Gauthier, Jackie Bourg, Doris Daigrepont, and of course my partner in crime Paula Riche’ decided to make a sliding board out of a 7’ broken bleacher.  Paula was the dare devil and she went first.  She was rewarded with a 2” piece of wood on her seat.  No problem, Miss Oma Tassin did the surgery and then had Paula and me walk to her house and get a pillow to cushion the pain.  (Can you imagine a teacher being able to do this today????)


Now, there were a few cloudy days at Evergreen Elementary.  Those were times when a classmate “got sent to Mr. Tanner.”  We all cried because we just knew the paddle with tacks was resting on top of the corner file cabinet in his office waiting for some action.  Of course, the minute the student returned, we bombarded HIM (girl’s were always good) with the most important question, “Did he remember to flip the paddle to the side with no tacks?”  Mr. Tanner paced up and down the cafeteria during lunch, with his dark tie flapped over his folded arms.  His white shirt was so starched and neatly creased, that it was the only sound in the cafeteria.   It was the most silent place in the world.  The lunchroom workers even whispered.


Fridays were considered BANK DAYS.  Each student could bring money and their little savings account book to school.  The school handled all of this loose change for all those participating and made the deposits for us.  We loved to watch our accounts grow.  Too bad we can’t do those things today!


I remember another dark day at Evergreen Elementary.  Standing in line in the gym with my class to get the small pox vaccination seemed like total torture.   I think we were one of if not the last class to receive these at school.  We compared and watched our scabby arms for the days following. 


Of course, the end of the day brought the bus ride home.  I loved my dear bus driver – Elmer “Boulette” Riche’.  On report card days, he had a candy bar waiting for me.  Since Riche’ Lane kids were one of the first to get off the bus, we sometimes asked Boulette to go down Rabbit Lane first.  It was your lucky day when Boulette let you work the door on the bus.  Yep, we got to stand up during the route like we were the co-pilots.  One day, I decided to get off the bus with Shelia Gauthier – Ervin’s daughter, without permission.  Wow!  I never saw an Oldsmobile driven so crazy by Tootsie…you would have thought I was 2 hours away instead of a .50 mile. 


 Mom was always home when I got off the bus with my older siblings, Kathy and Jack.  You could smell onions browning for one of her great meals which we all shared together, AT THE TABLE IN OUR SAME SEATS EVERY MEAL.  I couldn’t wait to see my dad walking across the yard from the barn after his long day in the field.  His khakis that were hand starched and ironed were now full of grease and dirt from his day of labor.  His dark skin was the most beautiful brown and I couldn’t wait for him to bath so I could sit with him in his recliner.  Our day ended with Mom’s sewing machine going into the night as she worked on one of her many beautiful projects.  


Debbie, Kathy, Jack and I are blessed to have had such a wonderful Evergreen childhood.



Submitted by:

Lynn Riche’ David



Pics From The Past


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