Evergreen - Memories Letters
Sue B. Goudeau
Sue became the first Queen Pelican for the Evergreen Reunions. Below is the letter that she wrote for the 1983 EHS Reunion Program.
A message from Queen Pelican I, Sue B. Goudeau
Down memory lane, my thoughts travel to my youth. I was born near the turn of the century on the same piece of land where I now live and which I own.
Since I was a teacher for 42 years, I shall tell you about the schools of my day and time.
The only schools at that time were the little one-room buildings in which the teacher taught the few children who walked miles to get to their classes. Incidentally, all grades from primary thorough seventh grade were handled by that one teacher.
My public school education began when I was in the sixth grade. I had been taught at home by my sister, Estelle, until the one teacher school had been established on Goudeau Hill.
After that I entered the Evergreen School in the seventh grade. My first room teacher was Miss Gladys Heard, whom I loved and respected very much. She was kind, gentle and never too busy to smile and help her pupils.
Of course, as usual, there was one pupil in class who took notice of everything about a new pupil. She told me my face was dirty. She had seen a small light brown spot on my left cheek. It is a birthmark. She was rather upset when she couldn’t wipe it off with a wet cloth. Everyone laughed at her.
The rest of my high school days were routine. I liked all of my teachers. I remember one especially, Miss Mary Wilkins, who taught me to appreciate poetry. She told us that a good poem always told a story, painted a picture and sang a song. Since then I have been able to see what was in a poem and to enjoy poetry.
We were in our senior year when the flu epidemic struck us. Our school had to be closed for several weeks. We were so far behind that we had to attend accelerated classes up to the last school day. No graduation exercises that year. We came up to the office when we could get our diplomas. What a send-off!
My teaching years were happy ones. I would teach all year and go to college during the summers at Southwestern in Lafayette. Often I took off a summer for a trip to see other parts of my wonderful country. I’ve never been across the sea. I’m afraid of oceans. Standing on shore watching the waves roll in make me want to run away. Maybe I have hydrophobia? (fear of water)
I want to say her that I’ve enjoyed teaching all those years and have loved my pupils and still do. I had no trouble with them.
I’ve been asked my age many times lately. I just say, “A woman stops telling her age when her ago begins telling on her. My age has been telling on me for many years.”
My pupils tell me they remember me best because of the stories I used to tell them. Maybe I just told stories and didn’t teach. “I wonder?”
Two very unhappy things happened during my years in Evergreen. Our Principal, L. O. Jeansonne, whom we all respected so much, died suddenly at the door of the church which he attended regularly. It was a devastating shock. We missed Prof and his sense of humor.
The other terrible thing that occurred to us was that our school building burned down one night. Everything was a total loss. Next morning everyone rushed to the site of our disaster with tears in their eyes and sorrow in their hearts. We all wondered what would happen now. The oldest school in Avoyelles was gone and we mourned. But, as what usually happens when a community is devastated, everyone rises up in sorrow and is ready to help and anxious to work together to retain what we had once possessed and wanted to rebuild.
We had classroom in the gym, in the church education building and every place where classes could be held. We used old desks from other school and also their used books. The School Board did what they could.
We were determined not to die and that determination placed us shoulder to shoulder to work as hard as we could. We lived to see our children playing happily on the beautiful old campus and to go to classes as usual. United we stood so we did not die.
It was wonderful to see a united community work so hard to rebuild our way of life.
May we always have unity and love among us. We know it works.
This from your old teacher.
Sue Goudeau Nehring Footnote:
Anyone having stories about Miss Sue or Miss Estelle Goudeau are asked to please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The family is trying to gather stories to put in a family book. Thank You!
Pelican Footnote: Sue B. Goudeau was a 1919 EHS graduate. Her niece, Sue Goudeau Nehring, typed her letter from the 1983 EHS Reunion Program. Please send information and fond memories of Sue and Estelle Goudeau to Sue Goudeau Nehring in honor of their many years as educators of the highest professional standards at EHS.