A Boy Scout, A Ukulele, and a Rattan Couch
I went looking for a photo that related to Thanksgiving, and this is what I came up with. I don’t think it is from a Thanksgiving, but the estimated date for it is November 1966. So it’s kinda close to the time of Thanksgiving from 55 years ago. And since I’m always thankful for the large family that I grew up in, I thought it was appropriate. Plus it’s just a good photo of us kids back in the day.
So this is me and my siblings at our family home at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana. From left to right is Jamie, Jodie, Al, Karen, Me (Van), and Rob Landry. Our parents were Bob and Betty Landry. We’re sitting in the den of the house. I know that because it has paneling on the wall and I think it was the only room in the house with paneling until a few years later. Plus it has the rattan couch that we are sitting on. That couch was in the den against the east wall until we got the pool table at a later date.
The other thing that brings back memories is the Boy Scout uniform that my brother Rob is wearing. I remember that he went to a place called Camp Edgewood with the Scouts. It is somewhere between DeQuincy and Ragley, Louisiana. I remember the whole family riding in the famous Country Squire station wagon to go pick him up. My dad was driving, of course, but the memorable part of it was that it was misty and chilly outside and the windshield was fogging up. He and someone else – my mom, I think, who doesn’t like fooling with buttons and such – were trying to get it to clear up. Nothing worked and my dad eventually ended up rolling down the side window and sticking his head out to see where we were going. It seemed a bit concerning at the time, but seems funny now.
The uniform also reminds me of going to pick out Christmas trees after Thanksgiving. I think the scoutmaster was Arthur Sneed. At least he is the person that I think about when I think about getting Christmas trees back in the 60s in Jennings. The Boy Scouts were somehow connected to providing Christmas trees. He and my dad would always chat and have a good laugh. I would sometimes wonder why he didn’t laugh that way around us. I recently went to a funeral for a classmate who was from the Sneed family. One of the first things I noticed were all of the people that had on Scout uniforms. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – for the Sneed family and the Landry family. There is something reassuring about that.
For the Landry family I am referring to the ukulele seen in this photo. My youngest sister Jamie is playing the uke in this photo. We all learned how to play the ukulele and/or the guitar and a band instrument when we were growing up. What do you expect? Our dad was a band director! The family recently got together in Texas for the marriage of her youngest daughter. And of course, we had our ukuleles and guitars to play. Al had gifted me a ukulele for my birthday a few weeks ago (thanks again!) and encouraged me to bring it. So there was some singing and playing going on at our get together.
We also played some card games. It was more enjoyable to me than usual. Not just because I won – that helped. It was also because there wasn’t much arguing over rules. Someone listening from the outside might not have noticed much difference. We can get rather loud when we are playing games! Our family has a habit of talking over each other at times, and when we play games it is even more pronounced. I love it! And I’m thankful for it.
I hope you are able to find things to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving 2021!