Remembering Evergreen - Memories Letters

Brandi Tanner Chambless

Brandi Tanner Chambless is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Tanner of Goudeau and Mr. and Mrs. James Molan of Bunkie (A.K.A. Debbie Riche Tanner Molan originally from Riche Lane).  Her grandparents are the late Alfred "Tim" Riche and Bernice McDonald "Tootsie" Riche, as well as Willie "Dub" Tanner, Jr. and Gloria Rabalais Tanner.  Not on purpose, Brandi has lived in every major city in the Southeastern United States, but still loves to steal a visit toward Avoyelles anytime she can.  She met and married (1995) Bob Chambless of West Monroe, LA while attending University of Louisiana Monroe.  They have one son named Elijah "Eli" Conner Chambless.  A former Miss Avoyelles Parish (1989), Brandi often writes both touching and humorous stories about growing up in the Cajun Crossroads.  She says her experiences there have provided enough writing material for a lifetime, including her Cajun heritage and influence of the women in her life.

Brandi Chambless is promoting her Louisiana pride in her new cooking show featured at  You may subscribe to her updates by "liking" her page on Facebook,  

Debbie Riche' Tanner Molan's Surprise 60th Birthday Roast Debbie Riche' Tanner Molan
(Brandi’s mom)

Please find below a few of Brandi’s favorite links about life in Avoyelles.

1.  Peggy Brouillette:

This year one of my Mom's best friends went home to be with the Lord, Mrs. Peggy Brouillette.  This was a woman who always made us laugh.  I thought of her fondly every time I called home and Mom shared with me something funny Mrs. Peggy said.  While her young life was taken away too early in our human understanding, I believe that she was a great woman of God who loved family and lived with a passion for sErving others each day. 

2.  Natalie Rabalais:

I was a junior in high school when the untimely death of Natalie Rabalais left all of Avoyelles to mourn.  The words that come to mind most are "ballerina girl".  This Miss Avoyelles Parish of 1988 will never be forgotten.


3.  Gene Ducote:

Everyone knows "Gene".  He can be seen riding his bike anywhere in Avoyelles at any given time.  I had been out of high school for several years when I saw Gene at a Bunkie High School homecoming game.  He still remembered the number I wore on my basketball jersey and my average points per game, as well as the same statistics for everyone else on the St. Joe Lady Eagle's basketball team.  As far as I'm concerned, he is an Avoyelles Parish Icon. 

4.  Margaret Mayeaux Plauche

Margaret was the older sister of my best friend Eve while growing up.  Writing about her seemed to be a source of comfort through the dark days following her death.  May God forever bless the Mayeaux and Plauche families. 

5.  Crepe's Corner

Since I've moved away from home, I've come to realize that everyone in the world does not understand the concept of Egg-Pocking like we Avoyelleans do.  In fact, they've never heard of it.  Upon this realization, it has become my mission in life (mainly around Easter) to boil as many eggs as possible and introduce the world to this social ice breaker.  Genius, n'est-ce-pas?  What better place to Pock eggs than Crepe's Corner?

6.  Stitch in the City

If you are a pet lover or have ever had an unruly child then you will appreciate this story of my black Labrador Stitch, who is semi-world famous due to my writing.  Well, not quite famous.  Though I don't like him very much, he doesn't even know it and still follows me around the house.

7.  Little Bernice

I love to write about the women in my life that had a major impact on my growing up years.  One of those is definitely my Grandmother Tootsie.  When my straight hair began to curl after childbirth I asked her, "Gami, what do you do with hair like this?" to which she quickly replied with a smile, "Honey, if I didn't have curly hair I think I might be the ugliest woman in the world.  You just thank God for it, then you let it go."  I think that lesson can apply to many thinks in life....Just thank God for it and let it go.  

Original Seven Memories submitted by Brandi Tanner Chambless on May 28, 2009

8. Mildred May Allen Goudeau

Recently I received this message:  My parents just purchased Mildred Goudeau's house. We found a few newspaper articles on her and the place and I was searching the web for more information.  Your blog mentioned you have a quilt of hers. Do you know anything more about her? Is she family to you?

Yes I knew her.  It was a privilege to have known such a lady.  Thanks.  --b

Submitted by Brandi on June 15, 2009

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9. Louisiana Sugar Cane Farmers

Tribute to the Avoyelles Farmer - While home for the Christmas holidays, I was able to spend some time rediscovering Louisiana by spending a day with my Uncle Jack on his sugar cane farm.  Our day began before sunrise and ended at dusk.  It's funny how the little things tourists like to call "Louisiana Life" are all around us and growing up in Avoyelles we take for granted our unique way of life.  Let this post be a tribute to my Uncle Jack, A.K.A. John Riche' and all Louisiana sugar cane farmers.

Submitted by Brandi on December 23, 2009


10. Say What You Need To Say 


Russell James Tanner

March 6, 1947 - February 24, 2011

Russell Tanner of Goudeau, LA was a US Army veteran who made his home in Goudeau, LA.  He spent his young adult years farming in South Louisiana and eventually accepted a position in law enforcement, working undercover for several years.  When he retired, he trained to become a Master Gardener and spent his days growing vegetables and flowers for his friends and family to enjoy.  He fulfilled his love of traveling and enjoyed riding his Harley with friends.  He will always be known as an entertainer and a first-class storyteller.  He was always the life of the party.  He died peacefully in the privacy of his residence in the country.  He will be missed by friends and family.

Submitted by Brandi on March 8, 2011

To visit "The Soapbox" click on 


Memories Letters
Ruth Dugas Albritton
Jeanette Barron Armand
Mable Bordelon Aymond
Annabelle Jeansonne Blanchard
Cynthia Galland Cappel
Brandi Tanner Chambless
Rox Ann Daigre
Lynn Riche’ David
Dale Ducote
Raymond Ducote
Richard Ducote
Edmond Anthony Dugas
Susan Riche' Earnest
Bobby Francois

Anita Ducote Gabriel

Sue B. Goudeau
Darrel Jans
Sharon Pickett Johnson 
Maurine Bordelon Lacour
Nannie “Nan” Haydel Lemoine 

Louis Matthews, Jr.

Debbie Riche’ Molan
Patsy Roy Moras
Ollie Bordelon Redmon
Craig Riche’
Larry Jude “Pete” Riche’
Julienne Ducote Spencer
Bert St. Romain


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