The Landrys at Hodges Gardens in 1967

One of my sister Jodie’s good friends from back in the day shared an old photo that I had posted a few years ago.  It was a photo from 1967 of the Northside Jr. High School band party that my dad held at our house every year.  Those were lots of fun when we were young and we could hang around all those older kids.  My mom would make cookies and other snacks, and there were games to play and people to talk to.  The picture from 1967 was really good, but I had cleaned it up and enhanced it since I had originally posted it.  So I went back to my 1960s photo folder and found the new and improved version and shared it.

Jodie, Karen, Al, Rob, Van, and Jamie Landry at Hodges Gardens (south of Many, Louisiana) in May of 1967.

But when I was looking for that band party photo, I came across this photo from the same year.  I had cleaned it up and enhanced it around the same time.  It’s such a great photo of the Landry kids when we really were kids.  And it’s in living color.

Now let me tell you who we all are.  First off, we were the six children of Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr. and Betty Lou Bucklin Landry.  Starting on the left, we have Jodie who was the oldest.  She had just become a teenager the past October.  She would be starting high school at Jennings High School later in the year.  Next in the photo is Karen, who is the only one out of order as related to birth order.  She was the third child and younger than Rob, my oldest brother.  He’s the tallest one in the photo, but he didn’t stay the tallest for much longer.  You can see his face even though Al is standing in front of him.  That would change.  Al ended up being the tallest of us all (including our father).

And next in line is me.  My name is Van and I’m the cute little boy in front with the striped shirt.  When I was this age, my mom always said that I was supposed to end up being the tallest.  It was some scientific truth or something.  They measure children at birth and compare it to their size at two years old and then predict their ultimate height.  I was supposed to be 6’4″ tall.  I never liked the sound of that, so I decided to stop at 6’0″.  And I did.  Mind over science wins every time!  I never minded that I was the shortest brother.  Plus I knew that Rob wouldn’t have been happy if both of his younger brothers would look down on him.  It’s the least that I could do.

The Landry kids standing in front of the Country Squire car. It was the perfect car for a family of eight. My mom (Betty Lou Bucklin Landry) is sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.

Speaking of not being happy, that brings us to Jamie.  She looks a bit sad.  This must have been her blue period.  It started the previous Christmas and looks to have continued to this point.  Looking at subsequent photos, she seems to have recovered. But she looks unhappy in both of the photos.  She was the youngest of the six kids and there was less than nine years separating Jodie and Jamie.

I had to post this second photo because it has the old wood-panel station wagon that we had during this period.  Even though my mom is shown in the driver’s seat, she wasn’t the one driving.  She didn’t learn to drive until she was 36, which was about two years later.  I remember sitting in the back seat of that car with Jamie when a woman named Mrs. Langley taught my mom to drive.

These photos were taken at Hodges Gardens.  I always remembered it being in Many, Louisiana.  I looked it up and it is actually in Sabine Parish about 15 miles south of Many.  There were lots of rose bushes and other flowering plants on the grounds.  It was closed a few years ago after spending a few years as a state park.

But our family went there when it was a relatively new place with lots of flowers around.  Good memories.

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