Go Go Patureau! – To the Grand Canyon

Patureau sisters riding the mules at the Grand Canyon circa late 1950s.

I don’t remember when I first saw this photo or where I got it from.  But I was excited to see it because I remember when it happened.  This is a photo of my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry and she is riding a mule in what looks like it could be the Grand Canyon.  I know that she went to the Grand Canyon when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure she rode a mule down to the bottom.   I was tempted to call this post “Mee Maw on the Mule,” but I decided against it.  Go Go Patureau posts are about going to a place.  And the place that she went was the Grand Canyon.

Now I may be combining two events here.  This photo looks like it might have been earlier than the event that I remember.  Now that I think about it some more, it is definitely earlier.  I remember her going to the Grand Canyon when I was 8 or 9.  That was in 1969 or so.  This photo was definitely before that, because of who else is in the photo.  My grandmother is the woman on the right on the darker mule.  The woman on the left was her younger sister Sylvia Patureau Marionneaux and she died in 1962.  So this photo could have been taken before I was born.

Selfie taken in 1978 with banners shown on wall.

That’s what happens when you’re a Go Go Patureau, you go to so many places that nobody can keep it all straight.  At least I can’t.  What helped me to remember the visit she made to the Grand Canyon when I was a kid were the gifts she gave to me and my brother Al.  Al had a few banners on the wall from places that we had been, so Mee Maw got him a banner from the Grand Canyon.  I went looking for a photo of that old banner from back then and came across an old selfie that I took on Dec. 27, 1978, in my bedroom in Jennings.  That’s me playing the guitar, and behind me you can see some of the banners.  The one to the far right says “Gran— Nation–  —-.”  As you can see it was not completely captured.  It wasn’t on my mind when I was taking the photo.  But it had “Grand Canyon National Park” written on it.

Gift from my Mee Maw when she went to visit the Grand Canyon. A keepsake that I still enjoy.

So as you see, she got him something that he liked.  She paid attention to her grandchildren and tried to get them something that they liked.  She was the best.  I think I was her favorite.  For me, she bought me this monkey bank.  Either she thought that I was good at saving money, or she thought that I had a fondness for monkeys.  I guess she was accurate on both counts.

Al Landry on the right letting the mule train pass on the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon in June 1982.

Her visits to the Grand Canyon must have inspired us.  With that banner showing us some of the features that we might see at the National Park and the monkey bank encouraging us to save our money so we could go, it wasn’t long before we followed in our grandmother’s footsteps (or the mule’s that she was riding on!).  Al and I made it to northern Arizona in early June of 1982.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long ago.  The picture I took of Al standing next to the mule train in the Grand Canyon is one of my favorites.  I still have an enlargement hanging on my wall.

Now it’s on my blog post.  Go go Patureau!

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