Trasimond Landry Died in 1879

1879 letter, top of page 1

I haven’t written very many posts about Trasimond.  That’s mainly because I only have one solitary photo of him.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great photo from 1861.  He is young and handsome in the photo and he’s wearing a Civil War uniform for the Confederacy.  Of course, he was.  He was from the South!  I can only say so much about one photo.  I will share it again today, but it’s not the main topic of the post today.

1879 letter, bottom of page 1

The main topic is about his death in 1879.  To be more precise, it is about a letter that was sent to his wife Marie Amelie “Belite” Bujol Landry on March 17, 1879.  Trasimond had died the month before at the young age of 39.  He died from yellow fever.  I found this letter recently at the West Baton Rouge Museum.  There was a presentation there the other day for people who are interested in their family history.  It was about finding information from maps and land ownership.  It showed me how much I had to learn about all that is and can be family history.

1879 letter, top of page 2

After the presentation, a fellow enthusiast showed me some of the files available in one of the rooms I had been to several times.  I really need to pay attention to my surroundings more often!  There were all kinds of interesting documents in those files.  But I was just quickly browsing through them, because I hadn’t planned on staying long.  I was on the lookout for anything that was related to my family, though.  So I was kind of excited to find this original letter that was sent to my great great grandma Belite.  I’ve written much more about her, because she lived a full life and there are many photos of her in her later years.

1879 letter, bottom of page 2

The letter is in pretty good shape, considering how old it is.  It looks like it has been laminated in some way.  It’s a thin lamination, so it’s still pretty flexible and feels almost like regular paper.  But it does reflect the light and made it tricky to photograph.  It’s still relatively easy to read.  It looks like three different people wrote different parts of the letter.  Their handwriting is different, but all three are easily legible for those that can read script writing.

The first person writing has some calligraphy features to it.  The capital C has a heaviness about it that makes it stand out, as you can see in the words “Capt Trasimond Landry.”  He talks about the Court of West Baton Rouge Parish finding out about the sad event of the death of a recent clerk of the Court.  The decided to draft a resolution in honor of said deceased.  The second hand writing begins with “In Memorium” and talks about the death of Capt Landry on February 25, 1879.  I have his death identified as the week earlier (Feb. 18).  They point out the fact that he fought during the entire duration of the Civil War as part of the West Baton Rouge Tirailleurs.  They also note that he left his wife and five young children in “destitute circumstances.”

I was kind of surprised to see their condition spelled out so blatantly.  I had seen references to the family being left in a difficult financial situation before, so it wasn’t a shock to see it.  It made me wonder what they were going to do about it.  Offer assistance?  Provide a gift?  Nope, they just offered her condolences.  Plus they “resolved that we tender to his widow + children the heartfelt sorrow of the members of the Bar.”  They also made sure that they would publish this resolution in the local paper The Sugar Planter.  They also gave themselves some time off to mourn their departed “brother.” 

“Wait!  Wait!”  I was thinking.  “What about those debts?  What about his starving children?”  My great grandmother Marie Therese Landry – his oldest child – was only ten years old at the time.  I kept reading.  A third hand continued the letter on the back (page 2) of it.  This person was deputy clerk C. W. Pope and he dutifully closed out the official copy of the minutes of the meeting.  I wonder if it was him that put the official Louisiana state seal that is stamped on the margin of this letter?  It looks like his handwriting that added the personal note to Grandma Belite.  He addresses her as Mrs. Landry and expresses his sympathy for her “great affliction.”  He could have at least included a gift card for the local A&P or Walmart!

I wonder how this ended up in the museum.  In some ways it is a letter and in other ways it is the minutes of an official meeting.  It must have gone to Grandma Belite, since it has that part addressed to her.  You can also see the words “For my dear Mose” written across the top of the first page in pencil.  Trasimond and Belite’s fourth child was Moses Joseph Landry.  I’ve heard him referred to as Uncle Mose.  The only thing that makes sense is that those words were written to Mose by his mother Belite.  She must have wanted her son to know the respect that his father had garnered from the officials of West Baton Rouge Parish.

And now some of her descendants know that as well.  Thanks, Grandma Belite, for passing that down to us.


Mom’s Memories Page 25 AKA Arts and Crafts

Page from book my mom wrote in when her memory was failing. This page talks about some of the arts and crafts shows she participated in during the 1980s.

The other day I noticed that I hadn’t done a “Mom’s Memories” in a while.  I also had a photo that I wanted to share of my mom in 1978.  Since the photo shows her in the beginning stages of transferring a pattern onto a piece of wood to paint, I thought this post could include both of my ideas.   I guess this could also be considered a continuation of the post I wrote last year that was called “Betty Lou the Artist.”  

The post from last year was about her landscape paintings, which I prefer.  This post is about some of her craftier things she did.  I think it was the mid-70s when she learned tole painting.  It was a method of painting where you put two different colors on the paint brush and then apply them to the surface you are painting.  And in my mom’s case, she liked to paint them on crafted wood items – like ovals, boxes, cannisters – pretty much any flat surface she could get her crafty little hands on.

Betty Lou Bucklin Landry in Jennings, Louisiana, on Dec. 26, 1978.

She would find pictures in different magazines or books and save them for painting.  She had a huge collection of those.  When the time was right, she’d take a prepared wood item and match it with the image that she thought fit it the best.  She’d transfer the image onto the base with tracing paper.  That’s what she was doing in the 1978 photo at the kitchen table at our house on Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana.  It was the day after Christmas.

Betty Lou Bucklin at Zigler Museum in Jennings on May 19, 1979.

With the landscape paintings that she did, she mostly kept them.  But with these smaller paintings on wood, she started selling them at different art (and craft) shows.  One of those shows was at the old Zigler Museum in Jennings just a few days after I graduated from Jennings High School in 1979.  She and my sister Jodie had several items that they made and put up for sale.  All of the paintings on wood were by my mom.  Jodie made pottery and you can see some of that on the table as well.  I know they sold quite a bit, because there were some pieces of pottery that Jodie made that I would have liked to have.   

Henry and Irma Hetzel Phenice at Zigler museum in 1979.

Since I’m talking about that day and this is a family history blog, I’d better mention the other family members that were there that day.  Right next to Mama and Jodie’s table was my mom’s maternal uncle Henry Phenice and his wife Irma Hetzel Phenice.  Henry was a lapidarist and he made jewelry from his stone carvings.  He was very generous with me that day.  He said that I could pick anything from the table as a graduation gift.  I looked at the items on his table and decided on the cube that he had sitting in front of him.  It was made from moss agate and he said it had taken him a while to carve it and get the surfaces smooth.  I don’t even know if he had it for sale.  But he was willing to let me have it and I still treasure it to this day.  My mom had a road runner pin of his that she wore all of the time.

Florence Devall, Betty Bucklin Landry and her daughters Jodie, Jamie, and Karen at Zigler museum in May 1979.

I also have this picture of Mama, Jodie, Jamie, and Karen.  To the left of mom is her paternal aunt Edna Bucklin Keys.  At least that’s who I think it is.  I remember it was confusing because she was my grandfather Fred Bucklin’s sister, but she had the Keys last name.  That’s because she was married to my grandmother Myrtle Phenice’s first cousin Frank Keys from their common Keys family.  Now the confusion comes because my grandfather’s sisters resemble each other in their old age.  I’ve found enough photos of them when they were young that I can tell them apart back then.  If I’m wrong about this, I’m hoping someone in the family will let me know.

I think I’m done now.  I’ve shared the photo I wanted to – plus a few more – and I’ve shared some of Mom’s Memories.  I’ve even added a bit of family history.  Mission accomplished.

Sept. 24, 2023 Correction

The woman in the green shirt posing with my mom and sisters was not my mom’s aunt.  She isn’t even related to us!  But there are some family connections.  My sister’s good friend from junior high and high school was Stella Devall.  Well, this photo is of Stella’s mom Florence Rosannah Minnix Devall.  Come to find out, Florence’s first cousin (by their Miller mothers) Wilma May Hylton was married to my mom’s uncle Warren Phenice (brother of the above Henry Phenice and father of Julie).


John Peter Hine and Family

I wrote a post about John Peter Hine three years ago.  It was mainly about his father Peter Hine who died before John Peter was born.  I mentioned Peter a few weeks ago – no, actually four months ago – because he was the runner up for the ancestor who died at the youngest age.  He was only 24 years, 8 months, and 12 days when he died in 1819.  His wife Margaret Miller gave birth to their only child two months later.  She was only 19 years old.

Moravian Star puzzle. I’ve had this for a few years.

The reason I was looking at these people this week is that I identified a DNA match who had these common ancestors.  Misty Q is my 4th cousin through Peter and Margaret.  So I looked a little into their history.  Both families were part of a Moravian religious group that came to the United States in search of freedom.  They lived in Bethabara, North Carolina, which is known for its Moravian community.  There is even a Bethabara Historic Park there that is a National Historic Landmark.  And our Hine family was part of that history.

The Hine family did not stay in North Carolina, though.  At least not our line of the family.  After Peter Hine died, Margaret remarried a few years later to Samuel Wageman.  The first of their six children was born in 1822.  Samuel was also a Moravian from Bethabara.  But that did not keep them there.  They had moved to Hamilton, Indiana, by the time of the birth of their last child in 1838.

John Peter Hine went with his family even though he was a teenager.  Sometimes older children will stay in the place that they lived their formative years.  But John Peter must have been close to his family and went along with them to Indiana.  He must have been glad that he did, because it wasn’t long before he had met and married Malina Cox.  They got married in Boone, Indiana, on November 14, 1841.

John Hinds (John Peter Hine) married Malina Cox in 1814.

Malina and her Cox family had been in Indiana since 1829 according to various sources.  She was only 19 years old at the time of her marriage.  According to the marriage register, John Peter was of “lawful age” and Malina had to have parental consent.  They were married in the Methodist Episcopal Church.  I suppose their Moravian days were behind them.

John Peter and Malina had seven children together in Indiana.  They lived in the Eagletown – Westfield area of Hamilton County.  Their children were Benjamin, William, George (my great great grandfather), Allen (Misty Q’s great great grandfather), Maggie, Mary, and Thomas.  The only person that I have photos of is my ancestor George.  Mary Malina Cox Hine lived until 1894, when she died at the age of 72.  George Henry Hine lived until 1900, when he died at the age of 80.  He lived much longer than his father had.  It seems possible that there could be photos of them out there.

Jim, Lonnie, and Bert Hine circa 1905 or so. Probably in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana.

My great grandmother Addie Hine was born in 1876, so she would have known her grandfather quite well.  She was almost 24 when he died.  I was the same age when my grandfather Fred Bucklin – Addie’s son – died in 1984.  When you live close to your grandparents for that long of a period, you usually get to know them well.  Addie’s younger brothers were only spaced out every two years, so they would have known their grandfather, too.

So even though I don’t have a photo of John Peter Hine, I do have photos of his grandsons.  Is that helpful?  I posted a photo of my paternal grandfather last week and when I see photos of him, I am always reminded of some of my male cousins.  Family traits are definitely passed on to grandchildren. 

That’s what DNA does.  It gets passed down.  Sometimes it can be seen in the eyes of your grandchildren.  Other times it’s a few common segments of DNA with a cousin from across the country.

Pee Paw in Uniform Circa 1918

Robert Joseph Landry, Sr. circa 1918 during World War I.

This is a photo that I’ve seen all of my life.  I remember my dad had several photos of his dad from World War I.  When I was young, I thought that World War II was ancient history.  That was back in 1965 or so, which was only twenty years or so after the fact.  So the idea of something as far back as World War I was unfathomable.  Same with the future – I always thought the year 2000 was so far in the future.  I never looked past that.

And now I think that a photo from 20 years ago is a recent photo.  That’s because according to my childhood self, I am unfathomably old!  World War I was fifty years earlier than my childhood, and now I’m older than that.  Oh how the years go by!  

The other thing that was notable about this photo was that it was one of the few ways I got to know my grandfather.  He died before I was born, so I never had any interactions with him.  So I relied on my dad and older family members to know things about him.

His name was Robert Joseph Landry, Sr.  Of course, he wasn’t born a Sr.  He became a Sr. in 1929 when my dad was born.  My grandfather went by the name Rob and sometimes Bob, so my dad was called Bobbie by his family.  My dad called his dad Papa, and the grandchildren knew him as Pee Paw.

Pee Paw was born on January 9, 1893, in Westlake, Louisiana, to 47-year- old Simon Alcide Joseph Landry and 45-year-old Marie Celeste Leveque.  He was the last of ten children born to this couple.  Though when Rob was born, only six of his older siblings were still alive.  He spent his whole childhood in Westlake.  He might have been like me and thought that his dad was so old.  After all, Alcide would have been in his fifties and he had fought in the Civil War.  And unlike me, I think he must have played a lot of baseball when he was growing up.  I do have a photo of Pee Paw as an infant, but there aren’t any of him playing games as a child.

But he must have played a lot, because when he was a young man he was a semi-professional baseball player.  I’ve shared photos of that before.  There are some really good ones of him from that age.  Then in 1917, at the age of 24, he joined the military to be part of the Great War.  He went to training at Camp Humphreys in Virginia.  I think that’s where this photo was taken some time around 1917 or 1918.  He never was deployed or involved in any battles.  The war ended in November 1918 and Robert Joseph Landry was discharged on December 4, 1918.

For the Love of Cats

Little Boy in 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Last week I wrote a sad post about one of my ancestors receiving a letter talking about the impending death of his sister due to cancer.  It hit home with me, because our favorite cat was dying of cancer when I wrote it.  We got two cats eleven years ago.  The female cat was named Bella and her little brother from the next litter was named Cocoa.  But we always just called them Little Girl and Little Boy.  A few weeks ago, we found out that he had cancer and this past Saturday he died.

He was such a gregarious cat.  He was especially fond of Chuck.  Anytime he was inside, that cat was either walking around him or sitting on or next to him.  He especially liked to be around us in the evenings when we’d watch television.  I’d invariably be coaxed into making a tent with my legs and a blanket so Little Boy could have a cozy little place to stay.  

When he was content, he liked to let us know.  He’d meow a bit and then we’d start exchanging “What?”s and “Meow!”s.  This behavior is what led us to sometimes calling him Squeaky Boy.  As you can see by the photo of him, he was also a pretty boy.  

His sister did not appear to be as fond of him.  She seemed to resent the fact that she had to share the house with her younger brother.  She would hiss and swat at him when he walked by her.  Sometimes they would get into fights and growl at each other.  

But now that he’s gone, it’s a bit quieter.  No more squeaking.  No more tents.  An empty lap.  We miss that little cat.  And unexpectedly, Little Girl is missing him, too.  She jumps on the bed, then looks back to see if her brother is going to join her like he usually did.  Instead of whining for food in the morning like she usually does, she’s going around looking for him.  She even crawled under the blanket to see if she could find him.  It’s hard to explain to her that he’s not coming back.  She doesn’t understand what we’re saying, but we do.  And we miss him.

Betty Lou Bucklin with a cat in 1935 in Hathaway, Louisiana.

It’s time for me to turn this into my family history blog post.  Little Boy is now part of my family history.  But he’s not the first cat that was in my family.  I remembered that I had photos of both of my mom’s grandmothers with cats.  So I went looking for those photos in my mom’s old family photos.  I was surprised to find a picture of my mom with a cat when she was a young girl.  I never thought my mom was fond of cats.  Maybe young Betty Lou Bucklin was.

But I’m pretty sure her Bucklin grandmother was fond of cats.  My mom’s dad was Fred Bucklin.  His mother was Addie May Hine Bucklin, and she was fond of cats.  I’ve already established in previous posts that she was fond of dogs.  I have a sweet recording of her talking about her little dog Sammy and his brush with death.  There are several photos of her with dogs throughout her life.  

Grandma Addie with her cat in 1937.

But there are also some photos of her with at least one cat.  Those photos were taken in 1937 at the old Bucklin homestead.  The reason I say that it is in 1937 is because that’s what is written on the bottom of the photo.  I love it when that is done.  No guessing.  No looking for vague clues.  No wondering if I’m missing something so glaringly obvious.

And though to look at the first photo of her with the cat, one would not necessarily say that she was fond of said cat.  But these photos come from an old photo album that I’m thinking was put together by Grandma Addie.  It might have been put together by one of her dozen children.  I don’t know.  But the pictures were taken at her old home, and the cat seems to be at her feet in a few photos.  There’s even a photo of the cat by itself.

Daisy Keys Phenice sitting on her porch with her cat behind her in 1950 in Hathaway, Louisiana.

My mom’s mom was named Myrtle Sylvia Phenice Bucklin.  Her mother was Daisy Keys Phenice.  She may or may not have had a love of cats.  She lived on a farm, so she probably appreciated the usefulness of cats.  Even my mom spoke positively about cats in that regard.  They help to keep rats and other vermin away from the feed for the farm animals.  We had a few cats that lived outside when I was just a toddler and we lived in the country.  

I’ve shared this photo of my great grandmother before.  It was taken after my mom gave her grandmother her first permanent wave for her hair.  Sitting behind her on the porch is a cat.  The cat looks very much at home on the porch.  I can’t tell what the cat is sitting next to.  It always makes me think of a dumbbell or a set of weights on the porch.  But I don’t think my great grandmother was known for pumping iron!  I’m not sure what it is, but the cat doesn’t seem to be bothered by whatever it is.

My cat Kew in 2000. He was a garden cat.

I can’t write a post about cats without posting a photo of my favorite cat.  Look at those eyes.  I got Kew from a coworker in 1997.  He was not a gregarious cat.  He was only friendly to me.  He tolerated Chuck.  He was mostly a garden cat.  Back then we lived at our house that we called Cloud’s End that was on a half-acre lot.  It was mostly garden.

I had a website for Cloud’s End for a long time that I used to share photos of plants and flowers.  In a blurb about the garden, one writer called Kew the mascot for Cloud’s End.  I always thought that was appropriate, and he even took a photo of Kew.  Most of our friends thought that Kew was a figment of my imagination – Van’s imaginary cat friend. 

That’s because whenever people would come around, Kew would disappear.  He didn’t go far, because as soon as they would leave, Kew would nonchalantly walk back into view.  Fortunately for me, Kew was photogenic.  So I had proof that he wasn’t imaginary.  Though he stayed out most of the day, when evening came, he would come to the window and scratch to be let in.  Then he’d spend the rest of the evening laying on my chest or sitting on my lap at the computer.

And though Kew was my favorite, Little Boy came in a very close runner up.  Surprisingly close.


A Patureau Letter 1876

This post is about a very sad letter concerning Patureau family members from 1876.  The Patureau family came from France in 1840.  The family that came over at the time consisted of Pierre Patureau (born 1800) and his wife Anne Rose Machet (b. 1801), with their children Victorine (b. 1824), Ferdinand (b. 1826), Abel (b. 1827), and Elisa (b. 1828).  The family first settled in Opelousas, Louisiana.  In October of 1842 first Anne Rose, then Elisa died during a yellow fever epidemic.  They were buried near each other in the old Catholic cemetery in Opelousas.  It is believed that they are in unmarked graves, because they have not been located.

A year or two later, Pierre brought his three remaining children with him to Donaldsonville.  On September 3, 1846, daughter Victorine married Pierre Emile Laulom and they settled in Smoke Bend, which is near Donaldsonville.  Pierre Laulom was a French immigrant also.  Five months later, on February 10, 1847, Ferdinand married Emma Landry of Brusly.  Supposedly, they lived in Brusly for a few years after their marriage. 

Pierre Patureau circa 1857

In the 1850 Census, both Ferdinand’s and Victorine’s families were living in Baton Rouge.  No other family writings mention that, and Pierre and Abel are not found in the 1850 Census.  According to family lore, Abel remained a single man and lived with his father.  They were both bakers.  Wait!!  I just found them in the 1850 Census!  Pierre and Abrille Patuar lived in Baton Rouge.  I think the Census taker wrote Paturo, and the transcriber wrote Patuar.  I only looked for him in Baton Rouge because Ferdinand and Victorine were both here.  I went through every page looking at those individuals born in France.  And there he was – Pierre Patureau, caterer.  That means that all of his belongings were in Baton Rouge, including the bed that I now have in my home in Baton Rouge.  I wonder where he lived. 

This doesn’t match what family records say about Ferdinand and Emma.  That shows that their first three children were born in Brusly in 1848, 1849, and 1851.  It doesn’t seem like they would be moving back and forth across the Mississippi River back then.  They next moved to Plaquemine in 1852 or 53 and stayed there for a while as their family grew.  Father Pierre went to live with Ferdinand’s family in Plaquemine and stayed there until his death in 1860.  I think Abel stayed in Baton Rouge.

Ferdinand Patureau and Emma Landry with their family in 1864.

Victorine and Emile had two children, Eliza and Louis.  Their family moved to Brownsville, Texas, around the time of the death of the elder Patureau.  In 1864 Eliza got married at the age of 17.  She married Vicente Crixell, an immigrant from Cataluna, Spain.  They lived in Bagdad, Matamoros, Mexico, which was just across the border from Brownsville, Texas.  So when things got a little hectic in Louisiana during the Civil War, Ferdinand and his family went to Bagdad to get away from it all.  That is where my great grandfather Vincent Maximilian Patureau was born in 1865.  Eliza Laulom Crixell had a son around the same time.  It seems like the families were pretty close.

Cousin Eliza

Soon after Grampa Max was born, Ferdinand and Emma brought their family back to Plaquemine, which is where they lived out the rest of their lives.  Emma gave birth to fifteen children, though only ten of them grew to adulthood.  When his youngest child (a daughter named Victorine after his sister) was about three years old, Ferdinand must have heard some news about his sister Victorine being ill.  He was probably worried about her and thought about her yet continued on with his family and work.

Then he received a letter from his niece Eliza Laulom Crixell in mid-February 1876 that told him about his sister’s condition.  The news was not good.  Here is a copy of that letter:

Letter from 1876 from Eliza Crixell in Corpus Christi, Texas, written to Ferdinand Pierre Patureau in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

I got this letter from the Pierre Patureau Collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas.  I recently joined a group on Facebook that does translations for people.  I am learning French but don’t have the skills to translate everything in the letter.  But I received a wonderful translation from a fellow group member Marie-Helene, who lives in southern France.  Thanks, Helene.  Here is the translation that was provided:


Corpus Christi, February 15th, 1876

Dear Uncle.

It is with pain that I take up my pen to tell you about Mom’s illness. Doctors say they can’t do anything to save her. She has cancer in the womb, she has been in the hands of the doctors for 8 months. There is no hope, we are in desperate pain. She says she is very sorry to die without seeing you and my Uncle Abel. If it were possible to give her this satisfaction, she would be more serene. She always talks about Zulma, she would like to see her. Doctors say she can live two or three months, or she can die when we least expect it. She continuously loses blood. It is a cruel suffering day and night. We don’t give her any medicine at all, only opium to make her sleep, but it doesn’t help much. Dear Uncle, I no longer have the courage to write any more. Write to me, kiss the whole family for all of us as well as Aunt and Uncle Abel.

Goodbye dear Uncle, your niece who loves you and embraces you.

Eliza Crixell.

{on the side of the sheet:}

If it were possible for you and Uncle Abel to come and see Mom.  [End of Translation]

Isn’t that the most heartbreaking letter?  I can imagine what my great great grandfather felt when he read this letter about his sister.  I remember hearing the news about my own sister’s terminal prognosis with lymphoma.  But I don’t know his or his brother’s reaction.  I’m sure they were saddened by the news, but I have no way of knowing whether or not they were able to go visit their sister before she passed away.  It didn’t sound like she had long to live.

This is the only evidence I’ve found that provides a clue about when she died.  I have not seen any records, nor estimates for when she died.  But from the information in the letter, I’m sure she couldn’t have survived for more than a month or two at most.  She was only about 52 years old.  Ferdinand wasn’t far behind.  He suffered an accident in his sawmill and died the following year.  He was only 51.  Then Abel died in 1881 at the age of 53.  So the last three of the Patureau immigrants died within five years of this letter. 

Long live the Patureaus!

The Landry Kids of Lucy Street Circa 1965

The new kids on the block circa 1965.

I didn’t really have an idea for a blog tonight.  No wonderful discoveries lately and no tragic story to tell.  So I just looked through my photos to see what would catch my eye.  And this one grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go!  Maybe because I just felt a little lazy and I comfort myself by saying that at least I’m writing something.  We wouldn’t want my seven-year streak to end, now would we?

But really, look how cute we all looked in this photo.  Too bad a large portion of the photo is missing.  I’m not exactly sure how that happened or when.  I’m thinking that it happened when the photo was first taken.  It was one of those Polaroids where you had to peal the backing off of the photo after you shook it a while.  “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”  I just know that you were supposed to wait a predetermined amount of time before pealing the backing off.  

Obviously that didn’t stop my dad from enjoying the photo then, nor me from admiring it now.  The photo is still around and now everyone gets to see it!  I mention Lucy Street because I think this was not too long after we moved to 758 Lucy Street in Jennings proper.  We had lived just north of the I-10 in Jennings for about two years.  It was a house that we rented.  So when it was time to buy a house, we looked at a few places. (I presume.  I don’t remember that part.)  My mom always said that at that point they asked us kids which house we wanted, and we replied, “The yellow house on Lucy Street” with enthusiasm.  So Lucy Street it was.  We moved there in the fall of 1964.

We were the biggest family on the block.  We didn’t have any competition from across the street.  It was just a large open field with a gully along the back of it.  The neighbors to the east of us were the Theunissen brothers.  I think there were three of them.  They couldn’t have been much older than us, because their mom was a classmate of my mom’s at Hathaway High School.  To the west were the Hotard brothers.  There were four of them and the oldest was my age.  Their dad was the principal of Northside Junior High School where my dad was starting his new teaching position.  So he moved in next door to his boss.  I’ve never really thought of it that way before.  Past the Hotards were the Minter sisters.  Two of them were the same ages as my older siblings, but one of them was closer to the age of my younger sister.  She would call on the phone with a, “May I please speak to Jamie, please?”

There were a few more households on the block, but not many more kids.  The Theunissens and Minters moved away after a few years and were replaced by the Bordelons and Daniels.  Our family remained the largest one on the block.  Yet we all fit on the sofa for this wonderful photo.  We are seated unusually.  The oldest two are on each end, with the middle two in the middle.  The youngest two are each seated between their older siblings of the same sex.  I will make this like a word game.  I’ve given you those clues, and now for the final clue.  Our names in the order of oldest to youngest are Jodie, Rob, Karen, Al, Van, and Jamie.  Our last name was Landry and our parents’ names were Bob Landry and Betty Bucklin Landry.  That last sentence wasn’t a clue.  It was just a fact.

Any questions?

My Dad Joined the Air Force

I can’t believe I have never posted a photo of my dad in his Air Force uniform on this blog.  I’ve posted several photos of his dad (my paternal grandfather) from World War I.  One of my earliest photos is a photo of my great great grandfather Trasimond Landry in his Civil War uniform.  And there is not just this one professional-looking portrait of Daddy in his uniform, there are two.  For the longest time I thought there was just one.  I would see one or the other and didn’t pay close attention to the details.  But they are obviously different.  You’ll have to take my word for it.  I’m only going to post one of them.  I’ve got to parcel out these good photos to make them last.  I’m glad you understand.

Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr. joined the Air Force in 1952.

So how do you like it?  It really is a nice photo, and everyone loves a man in uniform.  Or so I’ve heard.  This is my dad, Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr. when he was in the Air Force.  He joined in 1952 and I think this photo was taken that year or maybe the next.

My dad was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on January 31, 1929, to Robert Joseph “Rob” Landry, Sr. and Germaine Erie Patureau Landry.  He was the fifth child (like me) and third son (like me) out of eight children.  I don’t know when his interest in music started, but I’m sure it was very early.  The earliest story I know about his musical interest was from when he was in high school.

He went to Landry Memorial High School in Lake Charles, and it was there that he started playing a musical instrument in his freshman year.  His instrument of choice was the baritone.  His interest grew and he would learn how to play various other instruments during summer vacations.  I did the same thing when I started playing the trombone in junior high school.  But I don’t remember him telling me that he had done the same thing.  The reason I know it is that there was a newspaper article from 1963 that gives that information.  Either he didn’t tell me about it, or I didn’t listen very well.  They both sound like a plausible explanation.

During my dad’s high school career, his interest continued to grow.  So when there was no band director available at Landry Memorial during wartime, my dad took over as the leader of the band.  He liked music and he liked to teach and tell people what to do, so it was a good fit.  After graduating high school, he decided to follow this passion of his.  He majored in music at McNeese Junior College, Southwestern Louisiana Institute, and at LSU.  When McNeese became a four-year school, he returned there to graduate in the first graduating class of 1952.  He had met Betty Lou Bucklin in 1951 at a Solo and Ensemble Festival at LSU and was impressed with her baritone playing.  She was at McNeese when he returned, and it was then that they fell in love and became engaged.

“So, why,” my brother Rob asked, “did he go into the military at that point?”  He didn’t like people telling him what to do.  He was picky about the foods he would eat.  And he was engaged and ready to start a career.  I didn’t know the answer, but my dad’s younger brother Johnny probably would.  So Rob looked into it last week when he came down for a high school reunion.  He took time to go visit Uncle Johnny in Lake Charles and he got an answer.  It would seem that at the time, the draft was in force.  If he hadn’t joined on his own, he would have been drafted into the Army.  The Army?  That sounds like a place where you might have to get your hands dirty!  And that was another thing Bob Landry didn’t like.

So off he went and joined the Air Force so he could be part of the Air Force Band.  It was a much better fit for him.  He went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, in the summer of 1952.  While he was there, he made high scores in math and marksmanship.  When he came home for a few days in the fall, he married Betty Lou on November 1 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lake Charles.  They made their first home at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he was a member of the 503rd Air Force Band.  They became parents with the birth of Jodie in California, and after two years there, they moved on to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He was a member of the 572nd Air Force Band and they had Rob in Albuquerque.

In 1956, his time with the service came to an end and the family moved back to Lake Charles.  His military time was over, but his music career and family had just begun.

Bucklin Ramblings Circa 1925

Bucklin family and friends in Hathaway, Louisiana, circa 1925.

I got several old photos from my cousin Carla four years ago.  Her father was Clarence Bucklin, and he was the identical twin of my maternal grandfather Fred Bucklin.  Of course, I was very excited to get my hands on those photos so I could scan them and add them to my collection.  I’ve shared several of those previously, and today I thought it was time for another one.

My mom was Betty Lou Bucklin, but she is not in the photo because she was born in 1933.  This photo is from further back than that.  I’ve estimated the photo to be taken around 1925.  Fred and Clarence were born on October 2, 1907, in Roanoke, Louisiana.  I think they lived there for a while until the family moved up to Prairie Grove, Arkansas, in 1912.  But then again, you know that because I told you all about that a couple of months ago.

After their short stint in Arkansas, they returned to Louisiana.  This time they settled in Hathaway, Louisiana, which is where Fred and Clarence’s grandfather James Bucklin and his family had homesteaded when they immigrated from Iowa in 1884.  That land is still in the family.  I think that’s where this photo was taken.  There are more trees than I remember seeing on my grandparents’ property.  But when they immigrated, they had to set aside a portion of the property for a tree claim.  According to my great grandfather’s journal, they planted a variety of trees.  Now that I think about it, I’ve never been there.  I’ve only been to the developed part of the land.  My grandparents’ property was surrounded by fields and the only crop that I can recall is soybeans.  They didn’t farm it; the land was leased out.

So the photo was taken around 1925 when the twins were about 18 years old.  That looks about right, don’t you agree?  I’m not even going to say which one I think is Fred and which one was Clarence.  They were identical twins (the DNA comparison of their daughters proved it) and it was almost 100 years ago.  I can never tell who’s who in their photos.  They were two of twelve children, so it’s difficult to identify all of them in old photos as well.  But I’m pretty sure the young girl on the far right is Edna Bucklin, their younger sister.  She would later marry Frank Keys, who was my grandmother Myrtle Phenice’s first cousin.  I’m not sure who the other two girls in the photo are.  They are probably school friends of the Bucklin siblings.

I’m glad they decided to go out and about taking photos back in the day.  I’m also glad their sister Ruth saved all of them and passed them on.  And now we can enjoy this one thanks to a cousin who was ready and willing to share.  Gratitudes galore.


Grampa Max: Veterinarian at Work

Vincent Maximilian Patureau was a veterinarian in Lafayette, Louisiana. This photo circa 1915.

This photo was part of a group of photos that I believe came from my grandmother.  To me now, that seems rather obvious.  The photo is of her father, after all.  Where else would it come from?  But some old photos that I have do not have any information about who is in the photo.  Therefore, I don’t know where the photos came from.  If I did know where they came from, I’d have a better idea of who was in those unidentified photos.  I’ve been thinking about posting some of these photos to see if any cousins might know who the subjects of the photos might be.  In the meantime, make sure to label all of the photos you have with the names of the people you know are in them.  Maybe one day someone will thank you.

So today I’ll be thanking my dad for writing some information under these photos that he had collected.  My dad’s name was Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr.  He was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Robert Joseph Landry, Sr.  This leaves you with the question, “Who was Mrs. Robert Joseph Landry, Sr.?”  And the answer would be, “Why, the wife of Mr. R. J. Landry, Sr., of course.”  So if you follow my advice to label your photos, don’t use the logic I just used.  Use a person’s full name!  My wonderful Mee Maw was Germaine Erie Patureau Landry.  She was the daughter of Vincent Maximilian Patureau, the subject of this post.

Actually my dad labeled these photos with just a “VMP.”  But being that the photos included a photo of Grampa Max with a business sign that shows his name, it was more than acceptable and deserving of a mention of gratitude.  Thanks, Daddy!  I’ve estimated that this photo was taken around 1915 based on the age of Grampa Max.  That would mean that it was taken in Lafayette, Louisiana.  He had worked for a while as a self-taught veterinarian in Plaquemine, Louisiana.  According to newspaper articles, Dr. Patureau moved to Lafayette and set up a practice in October of 1911 on Pinhook Road.  He brought his family to Lafayette six months later in April of 1912.  He rented the “Boze house on the east side of the railroad.”  I have no clue where that would be.  Somewhere in Lafayette.

The photo shows Grampa Max at work with two dogs, though you only see one dog in this photo.  Between him and the dog, you can see a young girl with flowers on her top.  Even less conspicuous is a young boy reaching through the wooden fence to the dog’s collar.  I’m thinking that they are part of the family that owned the dogs, and Grampa Max was there in the capacity of Dr. Patureau.  The photos look like promotional photos to be used to advertise his veterinarian services.  

I just like having this photo of my great grandfather on the job.  Dr. Patureau, at your service.

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