Bob and Betty in the Round

Bob and Betty – the round dancers – in 1988.

Today is the sixth anniversary of my mom’s death.  Betty Lou Bucklin was born in Hathaway, Louisiana, on May 20, 1933.  She died in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on January 19, 2017.  My dad was not far behind.  Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. was born on January 31, 1929, in Lake Charles, and died there on January 24, 2017.  Yes, it was only five days apart from natural causes.  They liked to do things together, so it was appropriate that they had a joint funeral on the 28th of that month.  They had 64 good years together.  Toward the end they were growing much more dependent on one another.  We always thought that when one of them went, the other wouldn’t be far behind.  I never thought that it would be that close.  

When I think about it, I always thought that my dad would be the first to go.  He was the one with the heart problems on his side of the family.  His dad (RJL, Sr.) died at the age of 64 from a heart attack in 1957.  His mom (Germaine Erie Patureau) died at the age of 78 in 1973 – also from a heart attack.  He had open-heart surgery and that’s probably what extended his life so much.  That and the healthy food my mom always cooked. 

But that didn’t stop us from worrying.  Most of the time when I would get a call from home, I would wonder if it was the news that the end was near or had already happened.  I did that for years – probably decades.  I know my sister Karen used to do the same thing.  I remember talking about it before.   Even toward the end we were thinking the same thing.  There was talk about moving my mom to Texas when my dad died.  She could be closer to my younger sister Jamie for a while.  

At the end we were still thinking that.  I got a call on the 18th about Daddy going into hospice and that he only had a few days left.  Later in the night I got a call that Mama had fallen out of bed and hit her head on the floor.  Something similar had happened before, but it was nothing too serious.  So the next morning it was my dad who had the Last Rites performed on him, but it was my mom who died.  She didn’t want to be left alone.

Ok, that’s enough sad talk.  I wanted to talk about Bob and Betty the Round Dancers.  They had so much fun dancing with each other through the years.  When my dad retired in the mid 1980s, he had hobbies like golf, barbershop singing, and genealogy.  Those are fine hobbies (especially the genealogy!), but they aren’t ones that included my mom.  So mom insisted that they come up with an activity that they could do together, and round dancing was the answer.  Most people don’t know what round dancing is, but it was perfect for them.

Now most people know what square dancing is.  Couples form a square and dance around, following the directions of someone giving them calls for specific steps to complete.  Sometimes the couples dance with other couples’ partners.  In round dancing it is more like ballroom dancing.  The person giving the instructions is a cuer (he gives cues, not calls).  The couples dance in a large circle and they stay with their partner.  

My mom and dad did this for years.  They loved it.  They would go to dances all over the South.  Every year the big one they went to was in Dallas at Thanksgiving.  My mom was able to incorporate another of her talents with the dancing.  She made all of the dresses that she would wear for the dances.  They had to be made from comfortable material that had a nice design to it and it flowed well when she’d twirl.  I saw them dance in their house, but never saw them dance at any of their dances they went to.  But I got to see the videos that they made at many of the dances.  My dad got to be a cuer and he would make up dances for some of his favorite songs.  So it helped to record the dances.  That way he could show the video when he’d teach people the dances.

Now that I’m talking about it, round dancing was also another thing that helped to extend my dad’s life.  That’s probably true for both of them.  It was such a good activity that they both really enjoyed doing together.  It also helped that they loved each other and enjoyed each other’s company. Their love for each other and their family is a legacy they left for us.  The dancing was just one way of many of demonstrating that.

Grandpa in His Greenhouse and More

My grandfather Fred Bucklin in his greenhouse in Hathaway, Louisiana.

This photo of my grandfather Fred D. Bucklin (father of my mother Betty Lou Bucklin Landry) brings back memories from childhood.  It seems like lots of times when we would get to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Hathaway, Louisiana, Grandpa would be puttering around in his greenhouse.  He didn’t look at all tired from riding the pig through the fields as he raced us back to his house.  LOL The only one who wouldn’t need an explanation for that comment would be my sister Jamie!  When our family was driving up to Hathaway from Jennings, we would pretend that Grandpa was riding a pig out in the fields along the road we were on.  We thought it was hilariously funny!

But he wasn’t really.  He probably had been in the greenhouse as we approached their house.  There was a semicircular drive next to the road where we’d park, and next to that was a large live oak tree.  From what I remember, he had the greenhouse built around the base of that tree.  Of course he would have a greenhouse, he was a nurseryman!  He started out in that profession around 1930 with his twin brother Clarence.  He was still involved with it when we would visit their place in the 1960s.  They moved from the country into Jennings in 1975, so this photo is probably from some time in the 1960s or early 1970s.

I’m not really sure what he was doing in this photo, but he looks to be in his element.  There are lots of potted plants behind him as well as tables full of some of the starts of other plants.  I’m sure he started lots of those plants from seeds, but my mom always talked about how they would help him make cuttings of plants.  He also got creative with grafting citrus trees.  He had one tree that produced four different types of fruit.  I wonder if any of those plants he grafted are still around.

I’ve been thinking about Grandpa this week because I’ve had some interesting discoveries in his maternal grandmother’s family line.  Fred’s mother was Addie May Hine, and Addie’s mother was Susan G. Stanbrough.  I like to refer to my great great grandmother as Grandma Sue.  That’s because a while back I found some transcriptions of letters written by her, and she signed them as “Sister Sue” and “Aunt Sue.”  So Sue it is!  I’ve been wanting to find a photo or scan of those original letters, and I found someone who has a letter and is willing to send me a copy of it.  Woo  hoo!  I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for that since I told you about it in a previous post!  We’ll still have to wait until Cousin Stanbro puts his hands on the letter again and sends us a copy.

Albert Wicker and Mary Etta “Mollie” Stanbrough circa 1910 in Indiana.

Another thing that happened was that I’ve finally been able to identify the couple who are in this old photo.  I got this photo from Cousin Joseph a few years ago and their identities were unknown.  All that was known was that the photo came from our Hine/Stanbrough part of the family.  So we didn’t know if it was friends of the family, Hine family members, or Stanbrough family members.  

The woman in the photo always reminded me of Addie and her mother Susan, but that could have just been the rather stern look that she had on her face.  Still, I did think that she could have been Grandma Sue’s sister.  If you look at the 1900 photo of Sue Stanbrough and George Hine, you might see a resemblance also.  

Sue Stanbrough and George Hine in 1900 in Louisiana.

The other day I was looking at some information on Ancestry about the family, and saw an old, grainy Xerox copy of a photo of Albert Wicker.  It was a copy of the man in this photo.  So the man in the photo is Albert Wicker.  And who do you think Albert Wicker was married to?  Well, it just happened to be Sue Stanbrough’s older sister Mary Etta Stanbrough.  We like to call her Aunt Mollie. 

It was a photo of Sue’s sister after all.  I had just gotten an email from one of Aunt Mollie’s descendants a few days earlier.  She was interested in finding out what our connection was.  I was glad to tell her how we are related and also told her about this wonderful photo that I have of her ancestors.

Even though Grandma Sue moved down south from Indiana and never went back to visit, she did keep in touch with her family that had spread across the country.  The only reason I really know that is because of the letters that people have saved through the years.  At least two of the letters that she wrote to her family have survived.  I know that some of the letters that she received have been saved as well.  I’ve seen a reference to that but have never actually seen the letters.  Maybe one day someone will share them with me.  (Hint, hint, Joseph!) 

I do have copies of some of the photos that were included in those letters.  That’s what I shared with you today and in previous posts.  And now we know the identity of the people in one of those photos.  

Pee Paw’s 130th Birthday

Robert Joseph Landry, Sr. circa 1893 in Westlake, Louisiana.

130 years ago in Westlake, Louisiana, my great grandmother Marie Celeste Leveque Landry was getting ready to give birth to her last child.  It was about time for her to stop – she had recently turned 45.  There were a few eventful things that happened during her pregnancy.  The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden were found murdered in their Massachusetts home. Thomas Edison received a patent for the two-way telegraph. The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in the United States, and the next day the fifth moon of Jupiter was discovered. And The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published in London on the Halloween of 1892.

I don’t know if she noted these events that happened during those nine months, but they are all things that most of us are familiar with.  But she was familiar with what to expect during pregnancy.  She had already given birth to nine children – seven boys and two girls.  Celeste and Alcide’s first child had been born 22 years earlier in Brusly, Louisiana.  That’s where most of their children were born. At some point in the 1880s, the family moved west across the state and settled in Westlake.

I believe they moved there for the railroad industry in the area.  There were a few family groups that moved from West Baton Rouge Parish to Calcasieu Parish.  Some of them – like Landry and Leveque – are who I descend from.  Others – like Myhand, Bird, and Thompson – are families who married some of my ancestors’ cousins. The closest family group to Marie Celeste and her husband Alcide Landry included two of their siblings.  Alcide was the youngest in his family, and he had an older brother named Pierre Belisaire.  Pierre Belisaire was married to Celeste’s older half-sister Lise Leveque.  They also ended up in Westlake.  So even though they moved across the state, there were still family members around.

So there were a few people waiting to see what Celeste would give birth to.  Would it be a girl?  A boy? They would just have to wait and see.  But not all of the children of Celeste and Alcide were still alive.  Their oldest, Lily, had died at the age of 19 in 1889.  Celeste had given birth to twins in 1879 and one of them did not make it.  Yet there were still seven siblings waiting to see the newest addition to the family.

Once 1893 arrived, they didn’t have to wait long.  Little Robert Joseph was born on the second Monday of the year.  And it just happens to be the same date – January 9 – as the second Monday of this year.  This coming Monday will be the 130th birthday of my paternal grandfather.  Happy birthday, Pee Paw!

 

The Mystery Of V. M. Patureau

V. M. Patureau circa 1885 in Plaquemine, Louisiana

Just what is that outfit that my great grandfather Vincent Maximilian Patureau is wearing?  I posted a smaller version of this photo last year.  The photo comes from the phenomenal collection of Patureau memorabilia that I perused last year.  That would be the Pierre Pautureau Collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas.  (The identifier for this collection is AC-824.)  Pierre Patureau was the grandfather of Vincent Maximilian, thus making him my great great great grandfather.   Pierre and his wife Rose Machet immigrated from France in 1840 and there are now over a thousand descendants of them in Louisiana, Texas, and a few other states.

I descend from Pierre and Rose’s son Ferdinand.  He was married to Marie Emma Landry, and they were the parents of Vincent Maximilian, who I usually refer to as Grampa Max.  But look at him in this photo.  He doesn’t look like a grandfather.  The photo was taken around 1885.  Max was a young man of 20 in 1885.  He was born in Mexico, but the family returned to Louisiana that same year and settled in the Plaquemine area.

1876 newspaper article in Plaquemine, Louisiana

When the family came back to Louisiana, one of the things that Ferdinand did to make money was install and repair lightning rods.  It seems such an unusual thing to do, but I suppose you can make money doing that, especially if you overcharge!  The only reason I say that is because of a newspaper article from 1876 claiming that about F. P. Patureau.  The article was talking about parish government overspending.  Surely, they didn’t know what they were talking about!  Our forefather would do no such thing!

Ferdinand also had his own sawmill, so I don’t know why he would still be going around installing lightning rods.  Tragedy struck in 1877 when Ferdinand had a terrible accident in his sawmill and died the next day.  I believe Emma and their oldest son Leobon kept the sawmill going for a while after that.  Later it was co-owned with someone named Bixler.  At some point Max was involved in the sawmill, but he also did a variety of other things.  In a newspaper article from 1885, it says that Max accidently cut himself on his right knee while he was shaving barrel hoops.  But don’t be concerned – it was a “painful but not dangerous wound.”

1887 news article from the Iberville South newspaper in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

Then in 1887, Max set himself up with a local grocer to deliver groceries to customer’s homes.  An article says that there is no charge for delivery.  He must have had a deal with that grocer.  The person writing the article thought highly of Max and said that he “can be relied upon to do what he says.” In 1888 VMP advertised in the local paper.  He stated that he was available for installing or repairing lightning rods after a recent storm caused damage to existing ones.  So two generations of Patureau men were involved with the business of lightning rods.  Later that year he was married to Marie Therese Landry.

The following year he advertised for both grocery-related work and lightning rod related work.  I know the grocery or retail business involvement continued for a while, because he co-owned a store on Patureau Lane from 1904 to around 1909.  After that he was mostly known as a veterinarian.  He was also involved with the group Woodsmen of the World.

While I find it interesting to see what Grampa Max was up to in those early years of his life, none of it helps me to solve this mystery.  I don’t think there’s a uniform for grocery workers that calls for epaulets on the shoulders of the outfit.  Even more so in the case of a lightning rod installer!  There might be a uniform related to the Woodsmen of the World group, but I haven’t seen such a thing.

When I searched for Woodsmen of the World uniforms, I clicked on a few links and found some uniforms very similar to the one worn by VMP in this photo.  I don’t think they were WOW uniforms, because most of those had the initials W.O.W. embroidered on the collar.  It looked like they were for military colleges.  I don’t know of any military colleges in or around Plaquemine, so I don’t know what this uniform is for.

I hope I will be able to figure it out.  In the meantime, we continue with the mystery.  If you are able to help in solving this mystery, I would appreciate any help I can get.  I’ll even give credit to anyone who can help me out.  Is that good enough motivation?  I hope so.

Christmas Day at Grandma & Grandpa’s

It’s Christmastime again!  You already know that, though, because I wrote a post about Christmas last week.  Of course, you are getting reminders of it everywhere you look these days.  It’s on the television, on the radio, and on the internet.  I doubt that you rely on my posts each week to know what time of year it is.  But if you do, read the first line of my post again!  It’s Christmastime.

When I was growing up, our family had a few traditions.  We’d go and buy gifts for each other from the local department store and wrap them up when we got home.  They’d go under the tree that we had decorated with some handmade ornaments from the present year and past years.  On Christmas Eve we’d go to my dad’s side of the family.  In the early years it was at Mee Maw’s.  Mee Maw was my dad’s mom, and her name was Germaine Erie Patureau Landry.  After the Landry Christmas get together on Christmas Eve in Lake Charles, we’d got back home to Jennings.  Sometimes that was followed by attending mass at Our Lady Help of Christians Church at midnight.  The next morning we’d get up to the sounds of old Christmas songs my dad would play on his LP record player.  After that we’d head on over to get together with Mom’s side of the family.

The Bucklin family in Hathaway, Louisiana, on December 25, 1956.

We would spend Christmas day at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  Their names were Myrtle Sylvia Phenice and Fred D. Bucklin, and they lived in Hathaway, Louisiana.  They had five children – Sylvia, Betty Lou, Alma, Loris, and Austin.  In case you didn’t know already, my mom was Betty Lou.  She is the one sitting smack dab in the middle of this photo from the Christmas of 1956.  

The reason I know this is from 1956 is that my mom has my sister Karen in her arms and Karen looks like a fresh, new baby.  Karen was born on December 2, 1956.  I’m sure my dad was taking the photo, because he is the only one that was in the family at the time that was not in the photo.  I’m not in the photo, but it’s because I wasn’t born yet.  At the time of the photo, Grandma and Grandpa only had six grandchildren.  Sylvia and Betty Lou both had three children.  The tie didn’t last long, because Sylvia gave birth to Lynn just a month later.

Those first six grandchildren of Grandma and Grandma were not a majority of their total count.  There would be a total of twenty grandchildren, with the last one being born in 1977.   Mom would end up with six children, Sylvia had five, Austin had four, Loris had three, and Alma had two.  We sure had a lot of fun with all of those cousins at Christmastime.  We played chase.  We made mud pies.  We picked camellia flowers.  During that time of year in Louisiana the satsuma and kumquat fruits were ripe on the trees.  Since Grandpa was nurseryman, he had lots of trees.  I remember eating lots of satsumas and kumquats.  I still love them.

I can’t close without identifying everyone in the photo.  It would be remiss of me to not do so.  Standing up in front of the others from the left are Paul, Larry, Toni, and Ronald Pilcher.  The first three are the children of Sylvia and her husband Ronald Pilcher.  My brother Rob is the boy in the overalls standing next to Uncle Ronald.  I don’t remember those overalls.  They must not have lasted long enough to be passed down to me.  Or maybe they were passed down to me and I still don’t remember them.  Sitting on the truck is my oldest sister Jodie.  I wonder if that was her truck.

As I said earlier, my mom is in the center of the photo and she has my sister in her lap.  Standing up in the back is Ernest Woolley.  He was not in the family yet, but he would marry Aunt Loris in September of 1957.  I’m sure you guessed that the girl next to him would be his soon-to-be wife Loris.  Next to Loris is older sister Sylvia.  She looks a little tired, but who could blame her?  She’s eight months pregnant and has three children under the age of six. 

The next two people are those mentioned in the title.  Fred Bucklin was my Grandpa.  Myrtle Phenice Bucklin was my Grandma.  I think they enjoyed having our big family at their house for Christmas.  The girl in the white sweater is Aunt Alma.  There is a guy standing behind her, but I don’t think it is her future husband Charles Seal.  Those eyebrows don’t look like they belong to Uncle Chuck.  Plus, he had lighter hair.  And lastly, we have Uncle Austin.  As you can see, he could be playful at times.  I wasn’t there at the time, so I don’t know if anyone fussed at him for making a silly face.  They might not have known until later when the film was developed.  When I did the same thing ten years later with a Polaroid camera, I did get fussed at.  

Oh, the memories of Christmases past.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas this year and make some cherished memories.

Christmas in Jennings in 1973

I had a difficult time deciding on what photo to post this week.  Last week I thought of a theme to continue through these next few weeks.  I even found a photo that would go with it, and it was in the family line that was up for discussion.  But then I thought about Christmas approaching.  The last two years in December I’ve done two posts from Christmases past, and I thought I’d continue that tradition.  So much for my ongoing theme I came up with.  None of my Christmas photos fit that theme.

The Landry family at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana, at Christmas 1973.

Then I had to pick an old Christmas photo that was just perfect!  I had worked on this photo from 1973 a few months ago.  I like the photo, even though I don’t think it’s particularly good of me.  But it’s such a good representation of the Landry household at Christmastime during the 1970s.  It shows the old furniture, the traditional ornaments we used, and all six of us Landry kids.

I started to second guess myself and thought about picking a photo from exactly 50 years ago, but that one needed some editing.  This one was ready, so that’s what you’re seeing.  I hope you like it.  If not, too bad.  It’s what you’re getting!

The place was 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana.  The time was Christmas Eve of 1973.  As you can see, there are more than just the six Landry kids in the photo.  That’s because in August of 1973 my oldest sister Jodie got married to Dennis Franklin.  I don’t usually talk much about him, but he was part of the history of our family.   He is the guy sitting down on the floor on the left.  Jodie is sitting next to him on the floor.  I think she made that groovy outfit that she is wearing.  She got her sewing machine from Mee Maw’s (my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry) sister Lorena.  Aunt Lorena died in 1972.  Mee Maw died on September 2, 1973, which was just a few weeks after Jodie and Dennis’s wedding.

Standing up behind the newlyweds is my younger sister Jamie.  She is standing beside the musical instrument that brought her great notoriety when our family played at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Lake Charles a few years later.  What’s that you say?  You don’t see a musical instrument?  It was not a traditional musical instrument.  It is the jug that is holding the cattails on the stereo system.  She and my dad would play dueling jugs and bring down the house at that old pizza joint. 

On the right of Jamie and also on the stereo system you can see the nativity set that the family would put out every year.  It was a charming ceramic set that my mom got early in their marriage.  In the center of the photo is the Christmas tree for the 1973 season.  I can make out many of the homemade ornaments that we would make from year to year.  One year we made ornaments out of felt.  Another year we painted wooden cut outs of different shapes.  I don’t see any of the white “clay” ornaments we made out of baking soda, salt, and water.  (An online search showed the ingredients of baking soda, corn starch, and water.  That may have been what it was.  I just remember them tasting salty!)  It seemed like we did that a few years.  If you know what to look for, you can even see a few musical instrument and angel ornaments.  Those were always on the Christmas trees.

Sitting at the base of the tree is my older sister Karen.  Of course, she is wearing a blue shirt.  It was her favorite color.  It didn’t matter if it was light blue, medium blue, or dark blue.  She loved her blue.  Behind her is the oldest Landry boy.   That’s Rob.  He had graduated from high school that year and was in his first year of college at Louisiana Tech in Ruston.  He was a fan of the band Chicago, and I believe that’s what is on his shirt.  I remember him playing along with those old albums on his trumpet.  Sitting next to Rob is Al.  Funnily enough, he wasn’t as big of a fan of Chicago, but he did end up living in Chicago.  Al started high school in 1973 and he also played the trumpet.

And lastly there is me.  Like I said, it’s not my favorite photo of myself.  It’s probably because I have those clunky black glasses on.  I was in the 7th grade at the time.  That was at Northside Junior High in Jennings.  My dad was the band director at Northside at the time.  I was a paper boy and delivered papers on Lucy Street and May Street.  In March Karen, Al, and I would change our looks when we got our first pair of contact lenses.

The times they were a-changin’.

Phenice Family Photo Circa 1935

The Phenice family of Nebraska had a family get together in Kansas in 1935.

Now here is a great old photo.  I got this photo from my Phenice cousin Diane at a Keys Reunion over five years ago.  How can it have been five years already?  It seems so recent to me.  In 2018 I posted one of the other photos she gave me and I always thought I’d post this photo at some point.   And now is the time.  Thanks again, Diane!

This is a group of family members from my Phenice side.  My mom was Betty Lou Bucklin Landry.  Her mother was Myrtle Sylvia Phenice Bucklin.  She was the daughter of Harry Clifton (HC) and Daisy Keys Phenice.  HC was the son of Samuel Phenice, the Civil War Veteran from Pennsylvania. 

Samuel was in that other photo that I posted in 2018, but he is not in this one.  I’m pretty sure they were taken on the same day.  The scenery and weather look the same.  It has many of the same people in the photos and they are wearing the same thing.  It seems like Samuel should be in all of the photos.  He’s the one that kept these people visiting each other through the years.  He lived to be 95 years old and he died in 1939.  If I didn’t have that other photo with all of the clues I pointed out, I would be tempted to think that this is a photo of the family coming together for his funeral.  Black seems to be the predominant color.  On the other hand, they do look like they are having a rather good time.

I wish I could tell you who everyone is.  I’m pretty sure that they are all family members.  Let me start from the back row on the left.  I know for sure who this is.  His name was James Edmund Phenice, but we all know him as Edd.  He was HC’s older brother.  Edd and HC had two older brothers – Chauncey and Emory – who didn’t show up for the family gatherings that I have photos of.  Next to Edd is an unknown female relative.  My guess is that she is Beryl Racine, the granddaughter of May Phenice Taylor.  May is the sister of HC and Edd.  She was in the other photo from this day, but is not in this photo.  Most of her family lived in southern Nebraska. 

The next person in the photo is Myrtle Phenice Cozad, another sibling of HC.  She lived in Almena, Kansas, which is just south of the Nebraska/Kansas border.  Samuel and Cathrine Foster Phenice reared their family in Precept, Nebraska, which is just north of that border.  When Samuel was an elderly man in the 1930s, he went to live with Myrtle and her family a few miles south.  So even though the photo was taken in Kansas, it was not far from where the family grew up.  In the photo, there are two unidentified people standing behind Myrtle.  It looks like it could be a mother and a child.  It could be Marie Taylor Racine – the daughter of May Phenice Taylor – and her daughter Doris.  Doris would be the younger sister of Beryl.

The next person in the photo is one of my favorites.  That would be my great grandmother Daisy.  This is the only photo I’ve seen of Daisy visiting her husband’s family in Nebraska/Kansas.  She looks like she’s having a good time.  She’s got a smile on her face.  Standing in front of her is another unknown family member.  It could be the son of Marie Racine.  Marie’s family fit the profile for these unknown family members.  If it was Marie’s son, his name was Charles.   Standing next to Daisy is another person who married into the Phenice family – her brother-in-law Charlie Quillen.  He was married to HC’s youngest sibling Emma.  They were both in the other photo I posted, but only Charlie shows up in this one.  Unless, of course, she is bending over and letting her nephew Warren Phenice stand up on her back!  Something or someone is holding him up.  Warren is the younger brother of my Grandma Myrtle Phenice Bucklin.  He seems to be having a good time and he is getting some assistance from his Uncle Charlie and another unknown male cousin.  He might be a son of Myrtle, Emma, or May.  There were lots of cousins back then.

Three of those cousins can be seen to the right of Warren Phenice.  These are the three daughters of Myrtle Phenice Cozad.  From left to right, I believe their names are Leora, Ruby, and Pauline.  I could be wrong, but I base that on other photos that I’ve seen of the family.  The person on the far right is Henry Phenice.  He was one of my mom’s uncles.  He is actually buried just across the path from my mom and dad.  He was the son of Harry Clifton Phenice and the husband of Irma Hetzel Phenice.  Those two individuals are squatting in front of everyone else in the photo.  They, too, look like they are enjoying themselves.

Whew!  That’s a lot of names.  I know some people might lose interest after seeing more than one or two names.  Then it all becomes yadda- yadda- yadda.  But some of you are special people who stayed with me all the way to the end.  I admire you for your endurance.  Hats off to you.

 

Pee Paw and Uncle Sidney

Robert Joseph “Rob” Landry, Sr. and Sidney Cary circa 1930.

I decided to write about my paternal grandfather today.  I thought about posting a photo of him from World War I, but only one of those photos caught my eye and it will take more editing than I have time for.   As I was scrolling through the old photos from the Tin Can Collection, this photo called my name.  So Thanks, Tricia, for sharing the contents of that wonderful tin can found in the attic.  I’m so glad Aunt Wana treasured these items and didn’t destroy them or throw them away.  (I’ve heard horror stories.  Not about Aunt Wana!  Heavens, no.  The horror stories were about people throwing away old family photos.)

This is a photo of my dad’s dad.  My dad was Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr. and as you might suspect, his father’s name was Robert Joseph Landry, Sr.  He was known as Rob or Pappy by his family and friends.  His eight children called him Papa and his multitude of grandchildren called him Pee Paw.  He was born on January 9, 1893, in Westlake, Louisiana.  He died on August 28, 1957, in Lake Charles.

The great thing about this photo is that the name of the two individuals was written on the back – “Robt. Landry + Sidney Cary.” The main connection between the two of them is that they were married to two Patureau sisters from Plaquemine.  My grandmother was Germaine Erie Patureau and the sister in question was Frances Lorena Patureau.  They both went by their middle names.  Actually “Sidney” was Uncle Sidney’s middle name as well.  His first name was Samuel.

Lorena Patureau & Sidney Cary circa 1920.  We can thank cousin Sis for this old photo of her aunt and uncle.

Sidney and Lorena were married in 1916.  They had a daughter named Marie Therese in 1917 who I think died in infancy.  I don’t have any information about her except for her name.  They didn’t have any other children.  Rob and Erie got married in 1921 and the first of their eight kids was born in 1923.  So the photo of Rob and Sidney was taken some time between 1921 and 1936.  1936 was the year that Sidney died at the age of 47.  The photo was taken in the back of Pee Paw and Mee Maw’s house.  It looks like it was taken around the time of 1930 or so.  I kinda like this photo of the two brothers-in-law.

I don’t really know much about Uncle Sidney.  That’s probably because he died when my dad was just a kid.  I don’t remember hearing any stories about him.  But I do remember Aunt Lorena.  I remember going to her house in Opelousas and I have some vivid memories of going to her funeral in 1972.  Remember?  I’ve told y’all about that before!  I somewhat regret that I didn’t post a remembrance of her on the 50th anniversary of her death on August 17, 2022.  But if you remember, I was busy recalling the events leading up to the 70th anniversary of my parents’ wedding.

When you start looking into the history of your family, you come across many dates that are important in the lives of so many people.  I can’t comment on all of them, but sometimes I see some that I try to remember.  Just tonight in looking through the information about the people I’ve been talking about, I came across two important dates.  I’ve mentioned both of them.  The one concerning the 50th anniversary of Aunt Lorena’s death was overlooked by me.  I’m hoping I won’t forget the other one.  It’s just a month away.  You may have noticed the date when I mentioned it earlier.  The 130th anniversary of my grandfather’s birth will be on January 9th.

So be patient.  It will be here before you know it.  In the meantime, I plan to have three other posts for you to read.  Aren’t you the lucky ones?!

Landry Family 1976

The Landry family in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Christmas Eve 1976.

This is Thanksgiving week and for some reason this photo keeps coming to mind when I think of this week’s topic.  So here it is.  This is me with my immediate family on Christmas Eve 1976.  It’s not a photo of Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I have any photos that I can identify as being from any Thanksgiving.   Of course Thanksgiving doesn’t have an easily identifiable thing like a Christmas tree or Easter eggs in a basket.  Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, and I have always been thankful for my family.

I have lots of photos of my family and this is one of the better ones.  Sure, we were wearing lots of loud prints and patterns.  What can I say?  It was the 70s!  It was December 24, 1976, to be exact.  From left to right, starting on the back row, we have my dad – Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr., me – Van, and my brothers Al and Rob.  In the front are my sisters Jamie, Karen, and Jodie, and my mom – Betty Lou Bucklin Landry. I only have the black and white version of this photo.  I’m not sure who took the photo, but it was taken with my sister Jodie’s camera.  There is another photo taken at the same time and it is in color, so I think the original of this one was in color, too.  With all the colors of the 70s clothes, I can see why Jodie chose to make it black and white.

We were at my dad’s sister Frances Landry Raley’s home in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  For many years Aunt Frances and Uncle Joe hosted the yearly Christmas feast and gift exchange at their home.  It was a very festive occasion.  My parents continued this tradition with their own children and grandchildren in the 80s and 90s and into the 2000s.  So many get togethers to be thankful for.

Things have changed quite a bit since then.  We lost Jodie in 1989 and both of my parents died in January 2017.  Then Karen passed away in 2020.  So of those original eight in my immediate family, we are down to four.  When I focus on that and the fact that the four of us are spread across the country, it can seem a bit sad.  But the family continues to grow as time passes by.  There’s even a grand nephew that I’ve yet to meet!  We also have our partners and friends and extended family that we can be grateful for.

And yet I’ll never get over missing my parents.  They are a part of me.  I’m made up of their shared DNA.  But it was much more than that.  They protected us and taught us how to love and be loved.  For that I will always be thankful.

 

A Hine Keepsake: Addie’s Rag Rug

Rag rug made by Addie May Hine Bucklin

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now.  I can’t remember exactly when I got this photo.  It’s been a few years ago.  It’s a photo of a rag rug that my great grandmother Addie May Hine Bucklin made several years ago.  I haven’t even seen the real thing in person.  I believe it has survived the more than 60 years since Addie’s death.

I think it is in the possession of my mom’s cousin Louise.  She has taken care of a lot of old treasures, not the least of which are many old family photos.  Even though I haven’t seen the rag rug, I have seen a few things even older.  She has the hat that Louis Bucklin (Addie’s husband) had when he went to the Ohio Normal School in Ada, Ohio.  I need to get a photo of that to share as well.  It looked pretty fragile.

But this post is about Addie and her colorful rag rug.  I really like the collection of colors in this old rug.  Rag rugs are just what the name sounds like.  It’s a rug that is constructed from different colored strips of cloth that are sewn together.  I’m not sure when the rug was made and I don’t know if she made any more of these rugs.  I’ve only seen a photo of this one.

Addie May Hine Bucklin in 1952 in Elton, Louisiana.

I’m thinking, though, that she probably made it in her later years.  When she was younger, she had twelve children to look after.  Who has time to make a rag rug when you have that many young children running about?  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  Then her husband Louis died in 1927 at the age of 54 when the youngest two children were only twelve years old.   She became a single mother and had to take care of the farm as well.  But she made it through all of that and always had a smile on her face!

Not really.  I always make fun of her because in most photos she has somewhat of a scowl on her face.  But sometimes she did smile, like in the photo I’m posting along with the rug she made.  It was probably around this time (1952) that she made the rug.  Plus the photo is in color as well.  A colorful rug calls for a colorful photo of the maker of the rug.

Let me tell you a little about Addie’s background.  She was the firstborn child of George Henry Hine and Susan G. Stanbrough (George and Sue).  She was born September 23, 1876, in Noblesville, Indiana.  George and Sue had five sons after her.  They moved the family down to Louisiana in 1894.  They homesteaded in the Hathaway area.  Addie married Louis Charles Bucklin on June 12, 1898, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  The next year they had the first of their dozen kids that I mentioned earlier.  I descend from their son Fred D. Bucklin.  He was the father of my mother Betty Lou Bucklin Landry.

I was born just 25 days before her death on November 25, 1960.  I have no personal memories of her, though I have gotten to know a bit about her.  I think I would have liked her.  I am a bit fond of her.  I’m glad the family has this keepsake of hers.

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