Her Name Was Marie Magdeleine Granger

I’ve decided to write about Marie Magdeleine Granger again.  I first wrote about her in my “From Acadian to Cajun” series and she was just one person in family group that I was talking about.  But her story really touched me.  She endured so much tragedy, yet she got lost in a long story about a bigger event.  So when I discovered a couple of other facts about her life at the time, I decided to write again.  I could have just written a short little Follow-Up to my blog, but decided to write a separate post just for her.  I think she deserves it.   Plus the 262nd anniversary of one of those tragedies occurred this week.

Birth record for Marie Magdeleine and Anne Granger in 1731.

Marie Magdeleine Granger was born on May 2, 1731, in Grand Pre, Acadie.  She was baptized the same day.  She had a twin sister named Anne.  They were the 5th and 6th children of Joseph Granger and Anne Richard.  Anne and Marie Magdeleine where right in the middle of the family.  Besides having four older siblings, they had four younger ones as well.  All of them were born in Acadie before the Grand Derangement.  That was the period from 1755 to 1763 when the English were deporting the Acadians and sending them to various ports.

We know the date of Marie Magdeleine’s birth because some records survived.  Besides deporting the Acadians, burning their homes, and slaughtering their livestock, the English also destroyed a lot of the records of the Acadian people.  But somehow some of the Acadians took records from their church with them and hid them from the English.  They made it through twelve years of  Exile and ended up in Louisiana.  The St. Gabriel Catholic Church preserved those records and they are available today.  The marriage entry for Joseph and Anne survived, as did the entries for all ten of their children.

Marie Magdeleine was one of the last generation to spend their whole childhood growing up in Acadie before the Great Upheaval. It wasn’t a completely stress free time.  They were under English rule and there were many conflicts between England and France. When she was 19 years old, she married Alain Bujol.  At some point they relocated to Ile St. Jean, an island northeast of Acadie which was still under French rule at the time.  The Census of August 1752 in Riviere de Nord Est, Ile St Jean, shows Marie Magdeleine with husband Alain Bujol (Allain Bugeauld, ploughman) and a nine-month-old son (Simon, born about November 1751).  It reports that they had been on the island for only one month.

While Marie Magdeleine and Alain were trying to find a safe place to raise a family free from conflict, we know that that was not to be.  They had a house and a farm and a little son, but trouble was brewing.  When the deportations began in 1755 in Acadie, those living in Ile St Jean had a period of respite.  During that time, Marie Magdeleine gave birth to her second child – a daughter named Marie Louise born in 1756.  They even had two years at their farm in Ile St. Jean after Marie Louise was born.

And then Tragedy began. For Marie Magdeleine, her year of losses started off with less personal ones such as their home and livestock and progressed to much more personal ones.   It began on July 26, 1758, when Fort Louisbourg fell to the English.  On Aug. 17, 1758, Ile St. Jean capitulated to the English as well.  The English started rounding up the Acadians for deportation.  So two weeks after Ile St. Jean fell, the Acadians were removed from their homes and sent to Fort Louisbourg where they arrived on September 4.  So now Marie Mageleine, Alain, Simon, and Marie Louise were living the life of prisoners.  Other Acadians who had escaped the round up were hunted down “to prevent the vermin from escaping.”

And now it gets more personal.  During their three months as prisoners at Fort Louisbourg, many Acadians were being carried off to England and France on various ships.  Marie Magdeleine’s family was on one of five ships that departed Nov. 25, 1758 and arrived in St. Malo on Jan. 23, 1759.  They were not on the Mary, the Duke William, or the Violet.  The Mary ran into foul conditions and only half of her passengers survived.  The Duke William and the Violet both sank with only four survivors from the Duke William.  It was a terrible time of loss for the Acadians, including Alain Bujol.  Both of his parents died when the Duke William sank.  Marie Magdeleine suffered her first major loss on the passage to France.  Her 2-year-old daughter Marie Louise did not survive the journey. 

Once they arrived in St. Malo, France, the Acadians were moved to different locations to settle.  Marie Magdeleine ended up in St. Servan with her husband and son.  Less than a month after arriving in France, 31-year-old Alain Bujol died.  He died on Feb. 19, 1759.  His widow and 8-year-old son Simon buried him the following day.  What a difficult time for Marie Magdeleine.  It was one tragedy after the other.  And it didn’t stop there.  Less than a month after her husband died, Marie Magdeleine was burying Simon as well.  He died and was buried on March 17, 1759.

“Wait!” you’re saying, “but you said she had a year of tragedies and it’s only March.  She still has four months left of her year of losses.  What more could she lose?”

Correct!  You’ve been paying attention.  I mentioned in a follow-up story that Marie Magdeleine found out at some point during her first year in France that her father had died.  That was another loss.  But there was something more I discovered.  I found out that when she and her family were being deported to France, Marie Magdeleine was in the early stages of pregnancy!  I wonder at what point did she become aware of her pregnancy?  Around the time of being loaded into a cramped vessel to take her away from her home?  When Marie Louise died?  When Alain died?  When Simon died?  What a storm of emotions she must have been going through.

Copy of original birth record of Thomas Henry Servan Bijou in Pleurtuit, France.

Copy of original death record of T. H. S. B. from Pleurtuit, France

And just like you, she might have been holding onto hope that things would get better for her.  But not just yet.  She may have found a glimpse of joy at the birth of her son Thomas Henri Servan Bujol on July 14, 1759.  But she only had him a week.  He died on July 21, 1759.  I wonder if you could see any life in her eyes that day she buried her little newborn son?

Copy of original marriage record for the wedding of Marie Magdeleine Granger and Joseph Bourg.

I don’t know how some people find the strength to carry on from some tragedies.  But she did, thankfully, or I wouldn’t be here.  In June of 1760 she married Pierre Bourg in Pleurtuit, Ile-et-Vilaine, France.  They were 2nd cousins – their maternal grandmothers were Landry sisters.  His first wife had died on the deportation voyage to France.  I descend from the marriage of Marie Magdeleine and Pierre Bourg.  She would give birth to all of their children in France, but later they made their way to Louisiana in 1785.  She died in Louisiana.  I don’t know if there is a headstone anywhere.  There should be.  I want more people to know the name Marie Magdeleine Granger.

My Blue-Eyed Sisters

Jodie and Karen Landry at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Magnolia, Texas, on October 19, 1980.

I thought I would write a post about my two older sisters.  Jodie was the oldest of us six siblings and she died in 1989 at the age of 36.  Karen was the third and she died in April of 2020 at the age of 63.  My brother-in-law Brian (married Karen) shared a photo with us remaining siblings.  It was of Jodie and Karen from back in 1980 when he met Jodie.    It reminded me of some of the photos that I had taken back then and haven’t looked at lately. 

So of course I got my photo album out and decided to scan and work on the photos.  The photos were a little dull and a bit blurry, so I never was very pleased with them.  But 40 years later I can make some changes to those photos that make them much more pleasing.  At least I think so.

The event was the Texas Renaissance Festival and Jodie was selling the pottery that she made.  She had a booth set up and she had her flute with her so she could play a bit while waiting (and to get people’s attention).  So Karen and Brian went to Texas to check it all out.  It was Brian’s first time to meet Jodie and he remembers her playing the flute when they walked up to her booth. I went on the weekend of October 19th with Karen, my younger sister Jamie, and her now husband Allen after getting a glowing report from Karen and Brian.

Leaf vase by Jodie circa 1980

Jodie sold a lot of pottery at that festival.  She had mugs,  plates, bowls, vases, canteens, and some miniature pieces.  I bought this vase with carvings of leaves on it at that festival.  It’s my favorite piece that I have of hers.  I have a few other pieces, but I never did get any of her miniature pieces.  I wish I had a few more of her work, particularly one of those miniature ones.  She had tiny jars with lids that fit on them.  They were so intricate.

One more thing before I close.  I have to say more about those blue eyes.  Karen was sometimes insecure about her appearance.  She was also fond of the color blue.  So she was starting to get a little bit jealous because she thought that Jodie had bluer eyes than she did.  Jodie disagreed with her the first time she said it.  When Karen said it again, Jodie decided to put the statement to the test.  She brought Karen to a mirror where they could sit and compare each other’s eyes to see who had the bluer eyes.  After both of them looked back and forth from their own eyes to the other’s for a few moments, they had to laugh.  There was no distinguishable difference!

I miss those blue eyes.

Another Baseball Photo of Pee Paw

This week I was considering writing about secrets, but I decided that could wait.  But once a secret is told, it can’t be untold, now could it?  And some secrets need to stay secret.  Instead of writing about that, I found this photo that invited me to talk about it.  It might have come from the Secret Collection, but I’m not sure.  I know that it came from one of my cousins and I need to get a better scan or photo of it.  I like the old timey look of the photo and it’s another photo of my grandfather during his baseball days.

Circa 1920 – My grandfather Robert Joseph Landry, Sr. is the third from the left in the back with his arms folded. I don’t know the team name or the location. He was a semi-pro baseball player.

I was thinking that I didn’t want to overdo it with photos of my grandfather with a baseball.  But when I looked for others that I had shared, I realized that it’s been almost five years since I posted one.  I am definitely not overdoing it!  I posted one of him with a group of players from Beaumont, Texas, and another one of him with fellow soldiers during the Great War (WWI).

I really like those other two photos, but they were more posed or staged.  This one looks a bit more casual.  Just a bunch of guys gathered around the dugout after a game for a quick photo.  There are even a few photo bombers in the background.   It was taken about a hundred years ago, most likely somewhere in Southern Louisiana.  He played semi-pro baseball during that time.

Enhanced view of Pee Paw from the previous photo.

I don’t have many details about exactly when he played or where he would go to play, but thankfully we do have a few photos from back during that time.  I do know that Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. was born in Westlake, Louisiana, on Jan. 9, 1893.  He spent his childhood in Westlake and I’m sure lots of that time was spent playing baseball.  The sport was growing in popularity and by the 1920s it was the national pastime. 

In order that someone becomes a semi-professional in a sport, they had to be really dedicated to it.  He must have loved it and spent a lot of time playing in order to improve his skills.  He was a pitcher and he must have been pretty good at it.  In those days Americans were starting to pay more money to be entertained by athletic contests.  It was the heyday for American baseball and my Pee Paw was in the thick of it.

I have a copy of an interview of him by Bob House of the House of Sports.  I think it was in a newspaper.  It quotes ‘Pappy’ Landry as saying, “Back in those days the boys didn’t mind laying the dough on the line to get a first class pitcher for a Sunday contest and I picked up quite a few dollars until my arm went dead.” He took part in the ‘Sawdust Baseball Circuit’ that thrived during the saw mill era of Southwest Louisiana.  Bob House declared that Pee Paw was “quite a slabster” in his day, even after his arm ‘went dead.’  He played for teams like Oakdale or Lake Charles, anyone willing to ‘lay the dough on the line’ to get him to pitch for them.  I love the old phrases they used! 

But his participation was interrupted by World War I.  That didn’t stop him from playing baseball, though.  He was on a team with his fellow soldiers.  He wasn’t a soldier for very long and didn’t enter any conflicts.  He was still in training when the war ended.  He also suffered from some hearing damage as a result of the military.  He had one last thriller of a game before he decided to marry Erie Patureau in November of 1921.

The Game to End All Games was back in 1920 when the Marksville Independents went to Lake Charles to tackle the potent Lake Charles Athletics.  Pappy Landry was working as a conductor on the street car for Gulf States at the time.  He was minding his business one day when the manager from the Marksville team hopped on his trolley and proceeded to talk him into pitching for his team.  The Marksville team’s pitcher had gotten sick and they were in a pinch.  He had inquired about a local pitcher and was told that Pappy Landry was the man he sought.  And sought him he did.  After a bit of discussion, the terms were agreed upon:  if the team won, Pappy would get 50 bucks; if they lost, he got 25.

The big day was on a Sunday evening.  Pappy had to work that day, but he finished up a 2 p.m.  He decided to stop for a bowl of chili to fuel him for the big game.  He walked into the park with glove and shoes in hand.  The Marksville team manager gave him a uniform for his team that Pappy changed into.  When he came out onto the field, the local fans were not happy to see their Pappy wearing the opposing team’s uniform.  Yet when the game progressed and Pappy was putting his ‘dead arm’ to good use and striking out the Lake Charles team, they started cheering him on!  He ended up winning the big bucks, which was a fitting ending to his days on the Sawdust Circuit.

Death of a Noble Woman

Today I thought I would write about the death of my great grandmother Marie Therese Landry Patureau.  It’s time to write about my dad’s side of the family and it is Father’s Day this weekend, so I’ll write about his mother’s mother.  I was going to say, “But it’s mostly about my dad,” but that isn’t true.  It’s about his mother and grandmother.  My father’s name was Robert Joseph Landry, Jr.  Most people knew him as Bob or Pluto, or Daddy or Pappy, or Mr. Landry.  He answered to all of them.  I ran across the obituary of my great grandmother this week and was glad to find it.  I had looked for it a while back and couldn’t find it.  I also thought it would be good to combine that with some death notices that I got back in 2019 when I got together with some cousins.

Obituary for Marie Therese Landry Patureau from the Daily Champion on Oct. 6, 1909

I have always liked the title of this newspaper clipping from 1909.  Of course, as you can see, it is not the actual clipping that I have.  It is a transcription of the newspaper article.  I don’t know who did the transcribing and I’m not even sure of how I got this information.  I’m a bad genealogist.  I don’t keep good records of where I obtain things.  I find it hard enough to keep track of the things that I have, much less where they came from!  I’m a better family historian.  I can bring the information together, make a few digital edits, and share it in these writings that I do. 

Timeline for the last decade of Marie Therese Landry Patureau’s life by her granddaughter and namesake Marie Therese “Sis” Schafer Vicknair.

The obituary is titled “Death of a Noble Woman” and continues with the story, “In the little village of Crescent, on Monday the fourth day of October, 1909, Marie Therese Landry, wife of Dr. V. Vincent Maximilian Patureau, died at the age of 41 years and 21 days.”  What I really like about this is that they actually give her full maiden name.  She’s not just Mrs. V. M. Patureau.  I don’t think her age is correct in what they say.  On the plaque on the Patureau tomb in Plaquemine, her birth is given as Sept. 25, 1868.  Cousin Sis seems to think it was in October and that she died at almost 41 years of age.  I’m going with what was carved in stone! 

“It is said that the death of her brother Thomas B. Landry, which occurred on the 26th of last month caused her much grief, and two days later having given birth to a child, her gentle soul took its flight back to its Creator.”   I don’t know about all that.  I’m sure she did grieve the death of her brother, but I wouldn’t think that it had much effect on her death.  She was only 41 (or so) and she had dealt with grief before.  The daughter that she gave birth to in 1909 was named Hedwidge and she was the 15th child that Marie Therese gave birth to.  Marie Therese had dealt with the death of five of those offspring.  Some had died at birth, and during the last two years of her life, Marie Therese had endured the death of a 22-month-old daughter and a 10 1/2-month-old son.  I’m sure she was grieving the death of her children, yet she had nine living children to take care of.  So I’m thinking that it is much more likely that she died due to complications due to childbirth.  I suppose it would have been too indelicate to mention that in a newspaper article of those times.

Marie Therese’s obituary in The Weekly Iberville South. They seem to think that only two of her children mourned her passing. I think they were wrong!

“She was educated at St. Joseph Academy of Baton Rouge.  She was a member of the Brusley choir until her marriage, and until her death, was a member of the Altar Society of Plaquemine.”  I find it really interesting that she went to school in Baton Rouge, especially since that is where I live.  I know people who went to St. Joseph Academy and it is still in operation.  I wish I knew a few more details of her time there.  Did she live there when she attended?  It is now just a high school, but previously it was from first grade to graduation.  I wonder how many years she was there?  She was born in Brusly and lived there during her childhood.  As stated, she was in the Brusly church choir before she was married at the age of 20.  I suppose she wasn’t in the choir as a married adult, but she was a member of the Ladies Altar Society.

Death announcement for Marie Therese Landry. This is from the collection of her daughter Erie Patureau Landry, better known by me as Mee Maw.

“Mrs. Patureau was a devout Catholic, a model wife and a charitable woman, who will be sadly missed, not only by her husband and children, but by the many good people of the hamlet.  She leaves to mourn her loss the following:  Her husband Dr. V. M. Patureau, seven daughters, Emma, Lydwin, Lorena, Erie, Therese, Zita and Sylvie and two sons, Rommual and Vincent; a mother, Mrs. P. M. Babin of Lafayette; two sisters, Mrs. Louis Joseph Landry of Lafayette, and Mrs. Thomas M. Blanchard of Brusley, one brother Mose Landry of Cinclare.  The Daily Champion extends its deepest sympathy to the bereaved ones.”

She sounds like a wonderful – dare I say noble – woman.  I’m sure that in a small community like Crescent was at the time, her death was a loss for a lot of people.  But my concern is for her young, impressionable daughter Erie.  She had just turned 14 and she was one of the middle children in her large family.  So if her mother was as wonderful as portrayed, it would have been a terrible loss for young Erie.  Yet I don’t know how it affected her.  I was just a silly young boy myself when I knew her.  It’s not something we discussed.  I just wanted to spend time with her and learn the card games she would teach me.  I wish I knew more.  How did her mother’s death affect her?  What were her memories of her mother?  And more.

I’m glad I have the death announcement of my great grandmother.  It came from the Secret Collection.  (hushed whispers in the background “Secret?”  “What secret?”)  I’ve already told you enough about the Secret Collection.  If I told you any more, it wouldn’t maintain it’s Secret name!  Only the Keeper knows what further treasures lie within the Secret Collection, so be satisfied that we have this piece to enjoy.  Like the obituary, it gives the full name of my great grandmother.  Too bad the obituary couldn’t have followed the same trend when referring to to Marie Therese’s mother.  (Again with the Mrs. P. M. Babin)  It also gives her age as 41 years and 21 days, but I think it was 41 years and 9 days.  Sept. 25, 1868, to October 4, 1909 – you do the math.

Death notice of Marie Therese’s brother Thomas B. Landry from September 1909.

I thought I’d share another death notice from the Secret Collection. (hushed gasps from the peanut gallery “Another treasure?” asked in awe,  “That Secret Collection sure is leaky!” someone responds suspiciously)  This is the death notice for Marie Therese’s brother Thomas Belisaire Landry.  As mentioned in her obituary, he died just a few days before she did.  His age looks close enough.  I won’t ask you to do any more math!  But you can tell that he was her younger brother.  Marie Therese was the first child of Trasimond Landry and Belite Bujol.  She was followed by Mary Catherine “Kate” Landry (Mrs. Thomas M. Blanchard of Brusly from the obituary),  Thomas, Mose (or Moses), and Manette.  Manette had passed away in 1904 – another death that Marie Therese had to grieve.

Marie Therese also had three half-sisters by her mother’s second  husband Mack Babin.  The first one had died shortly after her birth in 1880.  Then came Clemence (Mrs. Louis Joseph Landry of Lafayette in obituary) and Albine.  Albine had passed away in 1903 – yet another death .  I didn’t mean for this to turn into a sad story, but how could it not?  It’s about death.  But really, everyone that she knew has died since then.  It’s the way of the world.  The same thing could be said about each of us in years to come.

Uh, oh, I feel like I crossed a line with that statement.  Forget I said it.  I’ll turn this back around with something I heard on the news tonight:  Never give up!  Just keep moving forward doing the best that you can do.

Performing at Shakey’s – 40 Years Gone

Me with my parents in November 1979. Bob, Van, and Betty Bucklin Landry at Shakey’s Pizza in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

I can’t believe it has been 40 years since our family sang at the Shakey’s in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  It seems like just recently that I acknowledged the 40 year anniversary of when we started playing there!  We actually performed there for just over a five year period.  We started on June 16, 1976, and ended in August of 1981.  Hey, I just realized something.  On Facebook, there was a post that read, “It’s Saturday night in the summer of 1976…tell us what you are doing?”  I responded by saying that I was resting from marching in the Bicentennial parade.  While it is true that I marched in a celebratory parade on that July 4th in Lake Arthur, Louisiana, it is much more likely that I was performing with The Landry Family Band during those first few months at Shakey’s.

We performed on Wednesday through Saturday nights that first year and later changed to just Friday and Saturday nights.  So actually on a majority of Saturday nights from 1976 through 1981 I was at Ye Olde Pizza Parlor in Lake Charles.  During football season, I missed many nights to be at the football games.  For 1976, 1977, and 1978 it would have been Friday nights at Bulldog Stadium rooting for the Jennings High bulldogs.  In 1979 and 1980, I would have been at McNeese Stadium on Saturday night cheering for the cowboys.  That’s kind of laughable, because I never really watched the games.  I was there because I was in the band and we marched at halftime.  I was too busy chatting with everyone around me to notice any of the football plays.

Bob and Betty Bucklin Landry with Karen Landry & Brian Fontenot at Shakey’s on Aug. 1, 1980.

I’m posting some photos from our time of performing at Shakey’s.  I don’t have a picture of our final performance there.  I don’t even know when it was.  I know it was in August of 1981, but I’m not sure of the date.  You would think I’d have been there for our final gig!  Maybe one of my siblings has a photo from it.  It’s possible that Karen or Jamie were there.  I wasn’t there because I was working at Astroworld that summer.  I was out of town and couldn’t make it there, so my final performance was probably in the beginning of June.  I don’t even know if I was told that our time there was coming to a close.

I couldn’t find a good photo of us singing at Shakey’s during 1981.  So I went back a year or two.  I found one of me with my parents in November 1979.  I don’t really have many photos of just me and my parents.  Most of the time there are many more family members included in the photo.  So even though I don’t think it’s that good of a photo of us, I still like it.

As you can see in that first photo, we were still wearing the red, white, and yellow Shakey’s shirts.  That changed at some point.  I know that it happened at least by August 1, 1980, because that is the date of the second photo.  This is my mom and dad with my sister Karen and her future husband Brian Fontenot.  It is such a good photo of all four of them.  They were all in a good mood because Brian had just proposed to Karen and she obviously said, “Yes!”  There were lots of memorable events that happened during our time at Shakey’s and this is a good representation of that.

I’m closing out this post as I sing, “Shakey’s is shaking up –  pizza people…”   Google it.

Bob Landry the Labeler

Exhibit A – shoehorn of Bob Landry

I was putting on my shoes this morning and my shoehorn broke.  This was no ordinary shoehorn – it was a Marquis shoehorn.  The Marquis was the name of a barbershop quartet that my dad was in back in the day.  I say “back in the day” because I’m not really sure what time period that group was in.  My dad had so many quartets through the years and I can’t keep track of them all.  But fortunately for me, my dad was a labeler.  He labeled everything.  Like this shoehorn.  He wrote his name on the back of it and for some reason he had the name of his quartet on it to.  He probably brought the shoehorn with him to Harmony College for the SPEBSQSA convention.

Exhibit B – briefcase ID

I hated to throw that shoehorn away because of the history associated with it.  But why keep a broken shoehorn?  So I decided to write a story about it!  That way I can throw it away, but not lose the history.  How is that for inspiration for a family history blog?  Actually I have been thinking about writing about this for a while.  I always am reminded that some of the things I have came from my dad – such as Exhibit B.  This is a briefcase that held some of my dad’s genealogy research.  I have it next to my desk and it actually still contains some of that research and I refer to it from time to time.

Exhibit C – trombone case

I don’t know why it has such an ordinary label on it.  Just a paper label with pen writing on it.  Okay, okay, it did the job.  You can still see that the item belonged to Bob Landry of Jennings, Louisiana.  But it just doesn’t have the permanence of some of the other labeling techniques that he later incorporated.  Note Exhibit C.  This is an older plastic label from the trombone that he got in the late 1950s.  I also played that trombone, but it was always his name on the case.

Exhibit D – Dymo Labelmaker

You may have noticed that I called the label in that last paragraph the “older” plastic label.   Most of the other items are labeled with the green plastic tags.  That’s because at some point he moved to the new and improved Dymo Labelmaker.  I can still remember the sound as he’d click his way through the alphabet and then squeeze the ‘trigger’ to imprint the letter on the tape.  It’s a similar sound to the clicking of the antenna directional control we had on the top of the TV back then, but that is another story.

Exhibit E – Groovy Instamatic camera from 1974

As you can see in Exhibit E, he even used it for my very first camera from 1974.  Even though that camera had a sticker that you chose to make it individual to the user (note the peace dove),  I still needed to have my name plastered on the camera. 

Four years later, when I got my Canon TX SLR camera, I was in need of another label.  But this time a plastic tag was not sufficient enough.  No, nothing so flimsy would be appropriate for that metal camera body.  It was time to bring in the engraver.  As seen in Exhibit F, my name was permanently etched into the camera!

Exhibit G – tennis racket

Now for my final Exhibit, let me point you to Exhibit G.  This was my first tennis racket that I had.  Yes, back in the 70s it was spelled racket.  Only later, after the popularity of racquetball, did they try to add a Q to the spelling.  Even though it doesn’t have any strings, I still keep it for sentimental reasons.  They were made of wood back then.  You wouldn’t want to just put a label on it, now would you?  And you can’t really etch wood very well, can you?  The solution?  Burn it in with the wood burning kit that my brother Rob got for Christmas! 

So there you have it – my case for Bob Landry: Label Maker.  I still think I’m getting rid of one of these pieces of evidence.  Sure, an old wooden tennis racket with no strings is nostalgic, but a broken shoehorn is ready for the trash heap.  At least it will continue on virtually.  My case won’t be weakened with the loss of that evidence, because I have many more examples I can use.  So for now, case closed.

Pluto Landry and the CYO Circa 1946

Article in Lake Charles newspaper.

Earlier this week, my cousin Tim sent me this copy of a newspaper article.  (Thank you, Tim!)  I thought it was an interesting piece of information from 75 years ago.  I didn’t think I’d be using it for my blog post, though.  I wasn’t planning that far ahead.  So when I was trying to think of what I’d post this week, I knew it was time for something about my dad’s side of the family.  When I started looking, I wasn’t sure how far back I was going to go.  I was looking at grandparents and great grandparents, but then I started thinking about this photo of my dad.

Pluto Landry circa 1946

I’m not really sure where this photo came from.  It must have been from my dad’s collection.  It is a photo of him.  That would be Robert Joseph Landry, Jr.  He was known by his family as Bobbie, but friends called him either Bob or Pluto.  He was born in 1929 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  This photo looks like he was a teenager and I estimated that it was taken around 1946 or 1947.

When I realized that the photo and the article I got earlier this week were from the same time period, I figured I’d put them together for a post.  And of course I would have to use my dad’s nickname Pluto, because that’s how he’s referred to in the article.  The article is about the Catholic Youth Organization of Lake Charles planning for an Easter dance.  My dad must have been a member, because he is listed as one of the planners.  I was surprised that they called him Pluto Landry, because I thought that he didn’t get that nickname until college or later.  I was wrong.  The planning of the dance happened some time around April 22, 1946, and my dad hadn’t graduated from high school, yet.  If you remember from a post from about a month ago, my dad graduated about a month later. 

I looked through the list of planners in “Group II” and I only recognized one other name.  I heard the name Harvey Prejean my whole life.  He was a friend of my dad and they obviously were friends for a long time.  Not that I can picture who he is at the moment.  I just remember the name.  The name Bob Phillips sounds familiar, too, but that could be that I’m thinking of Ralph Phillips who married a Bouquet cousin.  I don’t know if it’s the same family.  But they were also planners for this Easter dance from 1946. 

I doubt that the photo had any connection to the Easter dance.  It’s a nice photo of my dad.  I’m thinking the photo was taken in the back yard of the Landry family home in Lake Charles.  I’m not certain, though.  I notice that his pants look brand new.  You can still see the creases from the fold at the knees. 

Son of Pluto AKA Van in June of 1979 in Jennings, Louisiana.  Lion painting on the wall was by my mom.

It reminds me of a photo of myself from the same age.  I’m posting that photo, too.  I can’t mention it without showing you what I’m talking about.  It’s a photo I took when I was trying on clothes in my room shortly after I graduated high school.  I guess I was shopping for new clothes for college with the money I got for graduation.  The funny thing is that I didn’t buy these clothes, I just took a picture in them!  But something about the clothes and the pose reminds me of this old photo of my dad.

Well that was unexpected.  I wasn’t planning on posting a photo of myself.  I usually post old photos.  I guess a photo from over 40 years ago counts!  Plus you get to see a painting that my mom did.  It was in the boys’ bedroom for many years.  I had it in my college dorm at McNeese and now my brother has it in his home. 

Well, I guess that’s all for now.  Son of Pluto signing out.


Magdelena and Her Husband Augustin

Succession Ve A’in Landry 2d April 1814 – The succession for the widow of Augustin Landry AKA Marie Magdelena; p. 80 part I

I went to a genealogy meeting last week at the West Baton Rouge Genealogical Society.  The presenter was talking about reasons to do genealogy.  Like I need more reasons to spend my time reading about dead people!  He was involved with the Hebert Society, which is for those people such as myself who are descended from Heberts.  I was able to figure out my Hebert connection to him and I’m sure there are probably other connections as well.  Some other members were talking about books and such that were available at the local museum gift shop. 

The next day I went to that gift shop to buy a few books about West Baton Rouge Parish history and the families that lived there.  I was actually listed in one of the books, and so are all of my siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles!  Not that any of us live in that parish, but our ancestors did.  It was a listing of the descendants of my great great grandparents Trasimond Landry and Marie Amelie “Belite” Bujol.  The books spent a little more time on the Landry family and talked about the first generation of Acadian Landrys who settled in Louisiana – Augustin Landry and his wife Marie Babin.  I like to think of them as Magdelena and her husband Augustin. 

Succession Ve A’in Landry 2d April 1814 – The succession for the widow of Augustin Landry AKA Marie Magdelena; p. 80 part II

You remember them, right?  I’ve talked about them a few times before.  I recently wrote a short story about what might have happened on their voyage to Louisiana in 1767.  That was a follow-up to the post  about Landrys in my “From Acadian to Cajun” series.  But today this post is kind of a continuation of a post I wrote two years ago.  In that post I wrote about the succession papers that I had discovered for Veuve Augustin Landry.  Magdelena Babin Landry died in 1814 and I found the document about her succession quite interesting.

Succession Ve A’in Landry 2d April 1814 – The succession for the widow of Augustin Landry AKA Marie Magdelena; p. 80 part III

One of my favorite things about that document was on page 80 of the register.  The first part of it is in French, so I’m not exactly sure of what was said.  I haven’t taken the time to try to make out the words and translate them to English with an app.  But in the middle of the page is drawn a chart with the names of her descendants.  I guess you could call it a family tree.  That’s pretty amazing. 

In box 1 is listed Joseph.  That would be our Joseph Ignatius Landry.  There was a Joseph Marie Landry, but he was the son of Augustin’s first wife Anne Rivet.  Magdelena did not leave him out, though.  On another page they list his children and Magdelena leaves them a little something.  She was a generous step-mother.  She outlived both of the Josephs. 

So in box 1 is listed the descendants of Joseph Ignatius.  1 Emanuel is my ancestor who married Celeste Bruneteau.  I descend from two of their daughters and that’s the connection to my Bujol and Leveque cousins.  2 Elie is not my ancestor.  I have had several DNA matches show up who descend from him.  3 Rafael later married to a Rosalie Guidry and they had a large family.  4 Narcisse is another of my ancestors.  He lived in West Baton Rouge Parish and was the father of Trasimond and Alcide.  Both of them married back into this Landry family.  5 Valerien was not my ancestor.  He would later marry Ameranthe LeBlanc, the daughter of Joseph dit a gros LeBlanc.  He is listed as Magdelena’s son-in-law.  Ameranthe is a daughter from his second marriage.  6 Onezime was another of my ancestors, but I only descend from him once.  But he was married to Zerbine Dupuy and their daughter Emma married Ferdinand Patureau.  From that line I think I have more cousins than from all of the other lines from Onezime’s brothers.  There are so many Patureau relatives out there!

The last grandchild of Magdelena listed in box 1 is Joseph Ignatius’s daughter 7 Madelaine.  She had passed away, but she had been married to Joseph Hebert and had two children.  It looks like 1 is Eribert and 2 is Hebert.  I’ve seen records of Eribert or Ribert, but I don’t know who the second one is.  Maybe I’ll find more information about him one day.  But this page has information that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else, so I kinda doubt it.  I’ll keep looking anyway.

In box 2 is listed the descendants of Magdelena’s son Mathurin.  This was another son that she outlived.  I suppose that’s what happens when you almost reach 90 years of life.  His children were 1 Xavier, 2 Marguerite, 3 Joseph, 4 Ursin (my good friend, coworker, and cousin Marisa descends from him),  5 Artemise (my good friend and artist Karen descends from her), 6 Landry, 7 Dorville, and 8 Emerand. 

I’ll talk about box 4 now.  That one is for Magdelena’s deceased daughter Madelaine.  She was the first of her children to die.  Madeleine was married to Joseph LeBlanc dit a gros and they had three children.  Only two are listed – Marie Madeleine and Bellony.  There was a third child born in 1786 named Joseph, but he didn’t survive and neither did his mother.  Madeleine was only 22 years old when she died.  Since it happened around the same time as the birth and death of her son Joseph, it could have been the result of complications from childbirth.  Her husband went on to marry again, as I stated earlier in this post.

Now back to Box 3.  It only has Magdelena’s daughter Marguerite and her husband Joseph LeBlanc dit Michel listed in it, even though they had a large family of their own.  That’s because she is listed as Vivante!  She was still alive.  Of Magdelena’s five children and two step-children, she outlived all but one of them.  What a life she had.  The first part of her life was lived in Acadie.  Then she spent 12 years in Exile in Maryland.  The family made it to St. Gabriel, Louisiana, in 1767, and that’s where she spent the rest of her life.  The last 33 years of her life were spent as a widow.  That’s how she acquired the title Veuve Landry.  But she was more than just a widow.  She was a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

She was my great great great grandmother.

Karen in ’78

I’ve been thinking of my sister Karen this week, because it is the one year anniversary of her death.  I write about people who have died pretty much every week, but when it is someone so close, it is much more difficult.  Usually I research people and connect with them because of what I find out.  I’ve known my sister my whole life.  It’s when you lose a sibling that you realize just how much they are a part of your being.  A piece of you is gone. 

Karen on Rob and Al’s bed in the boys’ bedroom in the front of the house at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana, on December 25, 1978. Photo by Van.

I wanted to have a photo associated with this post, so I thought I’d post my favorite photo of her.  Nothing really popped in my head when I thought that.  I thought of the one I posted when she was just a girl standing in front of the tiger cage at LSU.  She was never too happy about me posting that photo.  She always thought that they (my older siblings) looked like little urchins in the photo.  I decided against that one because not only did she not like it, but I wanted one of her when she was older.

I also thought about posting the one I posted of her in her Shakey’s days.  It’s really a good photo of her, but she’s wearing a garishly colored shirt with a fake straw hat.  It was the uniform that we wore when we worked there, but it wasn’t the most flattering colors.  It reminds me of fun days when we sang as a family band.  Here’s an example of the kind of fun we had.  She was singing the song “Little Things Mean a Lot” one day, while I was playing the bass.  When she sang the line, “Say I look nice when I’m not,” I whispered to her, “You look nice!” with a sarcastic grin to her.  Younger brothers!

I thought of posting the family photo that we took during a trip to Branson, Missouri, during Thanksgiving 2017.  We were trying to make sure we had some good family times together while Karen was still able to do so.  It was the last big family trip that she made and it was probably a bit more difficult for her than we realized.  The photo is nice, but it was not a favorite. 

So I went searching and found this one I posted.  I didn’t realize how good of a photo it was of her until tonight.  I like the way she is looking at me.  And she was looking at me.  I took this photo on Christmas Day 1978 with the new Canon TX SLR camera I got that year.  I took it in the boys’ bedroom in our house on Lucy Street.  It’s actually a photo of Karen and Jamie.  Sorry for cropping you out, Jamie!  I think Jamie was playing the guitar (which she has picked back up recently) to a Billy Joel song.  It’s not that I have a great memory, you can actually see his name on the sheet music in the original photo!  The other thing I like about the photo is that she’s wearing a shirt with lots of blues in it.  It was her favorite color.  How could I have a favorite photo of her without her favorite color in it?

So this is my favorite photo of her today.  It may not be tomorrow, but that is yet to be seen.  I like the way her cowlick reveals her widow’s peak.  She didn’t really like that, but I thought it was interesting.  So that’s my post today in honor of my sister Karen.  I thought about talking more about her final years or days, but decided against it.  What more do I need to say than to say that a piece of me is gone?

Dreaming of Easters Past

Last night I had a dream.  I was at work and someone said to me, “Tell me about your fifth Advent.”

I replied by saying, “Boy, that’s an odd question.”

“Is that too personal?” he asked.

“No, it just wasn’t expected.”  I knew that he was talking about my fifth Easter, which would have occurred in the spring of 1965.  Yes, I know that Advent is the season before Christmas and Lent is before Easter, but in my dream it made perfect sense to me.

The Landry siblings in 1965 with our Easter loot.

When I woke up I tried to remember what my fifth Easter looked like, but I couldn’t quite picture it.  The picture that came to mind was a photo of me when I was actually three years old.  So I went to my computer and found the photos from my “fifth Advent.”  The photos in question are from April 18, 1965, in Jennings, Louisiana.

I had previously edited this photo with the idea that I would share it on a Throwback Thursday.  But then my dream intercepted that.  I’ll go ahead and share it since it is the Easter weekend.  This is a photo of me and my siblings sitting around the dinner table that we had back then.  From left to right is Jodie, Al, Jamie, me (Van), Rob, and Karen.   This was in an old two story house that we rented the first two years we lived in Jennings.  It was on Highway 26 just north of Interstate 10.  Recently after this we moved into town at 758 Lucy Street. 

Betty Lou Bucklin Landry on April 18, 1965.

This is the other photo that I have from that 1965 Easter.  I really liked the look of this photo, but it needed to be cleaned up and enhanced.  So my dream inspired me to finally get around to fixing it up.  In the words of Brett Waterman, “Do you like it?”

This is my mom when she was just a few weeks shy of her 32nd birthday.  Betty Lou Bucklin from Hathaway, Louisiana, married Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr. on November 1, 1952, and the rest is history.  They had six children in their first ten years together and the fifth one was me.  You can see that she was wearing her finest Easter dress.  As appropriate for the time, she was wearing head covering since we were going to a Catholic mass.

You can also see a painting that she had painted a few years before.  When they were first married, they moved to California in the Mojave Desert.  At the edge of the Mojave Desert, where it meets the Colorado Desert, is Joshua Tree National Park.  It was definitely a different environment than the small Louisiana town that she grew up in.  It obviously inspired her to paint that unique landscape.  The painting was always displayed in their home and I’m not sure who has it now.  I’m sure it is still being enjoyed.

I was about to close, but then I remembered that I left something out.  Not really.  I had typed it all out and then hit “Control Z” to Undo, but this program doesn’t respond the same way as most of them do and it was all lost.  I had to redo a lot of what I had said.  What I left out was the fact that we were sitting around that old table with all of our chocolate Easter bunnies.  I think that was probably the last time that that happened.  Some of us probably graduated to World’s Finest chocolate bars at the next Easter.  I couldn’t find an Easter photo from 1966 to verify this.  Can you believe it?  I don’t have photo to document that event!  It’s a good thing my coworker in my dream didn’t ask about my Sixth Advent.  I wouldn’t have known what to do!

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