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.

Erie Giving Haircut

Two years ago I wrote a post about homemade haircuts and in that post I featured my maternal grandmother Myrtle Phenice Bucklin (known to my generation as Grandma).  It was partly an encouragement to people that even if they had to have a homemade haircut during the pandemic, they would survive.  I do my duty when needs call.  The name of that post was “Myrtle Giving Haircut.”  I even followed it up with a photo of myself cutting one of my cousins’ hair.

Last year I was going to write a followup to that post with a photo of my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry (known to my generation as Mee Maw).  I decided against it at the time because another photo called my name.  But I always planned on posting a photo or two of Mee Maw showing off her scissor skills.  And now I’m following through with that plan.

My cousin was fortunate enough to have our Mee Maw (Germaine Erie Patureau Landry) give him a haircut.

This is a  photo of Mee Maw cutting the hair of one of her grandchildren.  If I had to guess, I would say this is my cousin Kenny.  He looks pretty young in the photo, so it could be his first haircut.  That would be a particularly photo-worthy event.  And even though it looks like he is the center of attention for this photo, the central figure in this story is our dear sweet Mee Maw. 

The photo was taken in Lake Charles, Louisiana, out the back door at my grandparents’ home.  If you could see a little further to the left on this photo, you’d see the rest of the steps and the corner of the house.  Around that corner you would find a ladder leaning up against the house going up to the second floor.  I’m not sure why it was there, but you can see it in many photos.  I need to post one of those photos soon.  I don’t think I’ve shared one of that ladder yet.

My cousin is sitting in a highchair with some artwork on the back of it.  It looks like a little person with wings, but it doesn’t look like an angel.  I don’t recognize it from anything. Then on the tray part of the highchair is a box or a book with some writing on it.  I’m not sure what that is either.  Oh, wait!  I just found out what it is.  I did an online search for Drene Diapers.  That’s what it looked like to me.  But what came up from the search was Drene Shampoo, which makes much more sense!  It also showed an ad for Drene from 1954 that says that this new synthetic shampoo had silkening magic!  Wow, Mee Maw wanted to make sure her grandchildren had the best!  Silky, shiny hair for everyone.

My Mee Maw was the best!  I think I was her favorite!

Jodie at McNeese Circa 1972

Jodie Landry circa 1972

I just thought I would write a short post about my older sister Jodie.  Today is the anniversary of her death.  She was born Jodie Lou Landry on October 14, 1953, at Edwards Air Force Base in California.  She died on November 5, 1989, in Franklin, Texas.  She was married and had two young boys at the time.  She was only 36 years old.

But the photo I’m sharing is from her early years at college.  She graduated from Jennings High School in 1971 and started school at McNeese State University that fall.  She played flute in the band, but I think she played the upright bass in the orchestra.  I just know that she played the bass sometimes and on one particular occasion she caught the eye of a photographer for the school paper.

This photo was shown in the Contraband – the McNeese student newspaper.  There was a monthly series called “Wednesday’s Child” that focused on one of the students at the college.  Jodie was featured with this photo, which is one of my favorite photos of her.  I would give the photographer credit if I knew who it was.  My mom always liked the photo, too.  I think that’s how we ended up having this photo now.  She somehow got the original and now it is in my possession.  Enjoy.

Grandma Kate’s Milliron-Cribbs Family

It has been a bit over three years since I was able to finally break through the brick wall of Cathrine Jane Foster Phenice’s ancestry.  I descend from her on my mom’s side of the family.  My mom’s name was Betty Lou Bucklin and she was the daughter of Myrtle Sylvia Phenice.  Grandma was the daughter of Harry Clifton Phenice, and H. C. was the son of Cathrine or “Kate.”  For some reason the clues for her parentage did not make itself known very easily.  The only way I was able to do it was with the help of DNA matching.  It definitely pointed me in the right direction.

Cathrine Jane Foster Phenice circa 1910 in Nebraska.

One of the main things that made it difficult was that her father Moore (or Morris) Foster died in 1852 when Kate was only 4 years old.  They were living in Cherrytree, Pennsylvania, at the time.  After Moore’s death, Kate’s mother Anne Magdaleen Milliron Foster moved the family back to her childhood hometown of Springfield, Pennsylvania, in Mercer County.  It wasn’t long before Anne had remarried to a man named George Richael.  Since Anne took on the name of Richael, it wasn’t straightforward to find the connection from Foster to Milliron.  As you’ll see, we weren’t the only ones who didn’t make the connection between Cathrine Foster and the Milliron family.

I wrote a post about Cathrine’s family that included many Richael half-siblings.  It is interesting that there was never any reference to these siblings in newspaper articles about Kate.  At least I haven’t seen any.  I also wrote a post about Anne’s family when I discovered an old letter that talked about a Milliron family reunion at her brother Alexander’s home in Kansas in 1885.  That probably could have been called a Millison family reunion, because some of the siblings went by the last name Millison and others went by Milliron.  It seems strange that the two names could be from the same family until you hear the reason.  The original name was the German name Muhleisen.  The name means ‘miller of iron.’  Some family members went with an English spelling of the meaning of the name – Milliron- while others went with an English spelling of the sound of the name – Millison.

But the reunion should have included another name – Cribbs.  While Anne and Alexander’s father’s name was Milliron, their mother’s name was Cribbs.  I really should say that their parents were Daniel C. Milliron (1803-1878) and Catherine Cribbs (1805-1872).  Both of them were born in Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania, where they met and were married on February 5, 1824, in Hempfield Township.  They were not the only Cribbs-Milliron connection made that year.  Toward the end of the year Daniel’s sister Catherine Milliron married Catherine’s brother Peter Cribbs.  Ok, it’s already confusing enough that a brother and a sister marry another brother and a sister, but to have a Catherine Cribbs Milliron and a Catherine Milliron Cribbs really tops it off.

Intro to Milliron-Cribbs family history book by Christina Hettenbaugh Noring in 1964.

The two couples started their families at pretty much the same rate.  Just look at their second children.  Anne Milliron had a double first cousin Mary Anne Cribbs who was born just a few weeks before her.  There were eight Cribbs children and nine Milliron children all born within a fifteen year period.  Besides these double first cousins, there were lots of cousins on both sides of the family.  One of the things that this seems to lead to is the likelihood that someone in the family is interested in family history.  And when there is someone who starts looking into family history with a lot of people involved, they try to find a way of keeping the names all straight.  So they write it all down and sometimes it ends up being put together in a book.

And that’s what I found last night!  Peter and Catherine had a great granddaughter by the name of Christina Hettenbaugh Noring.  She was interested in the ancestry of Peter and Catherine.  This is great for me and my Phenice cousins because that means she was interested in both the Milliron and Cribbs family lines.  So there is some interesting information about how the two families came together in Westmoreland County and then made their way to Mercer County in 1825. 

Page in Noring book that shows my great great great grandmother Anna Magdaleen Millison Foster. Her daughter Cathrine is missing.

It gives a few generations of the family, including the children of Alexander and Anne Milliron and their siblings.  But there is someone missing!  They say that Anne first married Moore Foster and they had children named James, Hannah, Emery, and an unnamed infant.  According to the 1850 Census in Cherrytree, the Foster family consisted of Moore Foster, his wife Ann Magdelene, and his children James – 6, Emory – 4, and Catharine – 2.  In the 1860 Census Ann is listed as the wife of George Rihel.  Included in the household are 13-year-old Emily Foster (probably Emory Foster), Catherine Foster, and Hannah Foster, as well as the children of George and Ann.

So for some reason Cathrine was left out of the book, as well as all of her descendants.  So our family didn’t know about the Milliron-Cribbs family connection through Cathrine, and the Milliron-Cribbs cousins didn’t know about Cathrine’s connection to their group.  Was it due to Cathrine being older and leaving home when she was old enough to marry?  She and Charles ended up moving out to Nebraska, which was pretty isolated from the rest of the family.  She did have contact with her uncle Alexander and maintained a relationship.  That’s how I first noticed a possible connection to the Millison name.  It was reported in a blurb in a Kansas newspaper. 

The book I found also includes the letter I shared about the Milliron Reunion of 1885, so there were still some connections with Anne’s family.  If they had known about her daughter Cathrine, my name would have ended up in the book.   Some of the descendants listed were born in the 1970s.  I find it interesting that I’ve found my name in several family books about ancestry.  I’m listed in books about the family lines of Landry, Patureau, Keys, and Bucklin (online only). 

Even though I was left out of the book, I’m still looking forward to reading through it closely to see what family stories I can find.  If I finding anything really interesting, you know I’ll share it.  Try to be patient.

Cathrine’s tree showing location of Cribbs, Milliron, and Foster lines.

 

Betty Lou Married Bob in 1952

This coming Tuesday is the 70th anniversary of my parents’ wedding.  If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I’ve posted a few stories about the events that occurred leading up to their marriage on November 1, 1952.  For those that haven’t been following along this wonderful journey, now you know.  You’ll also want to know that my parents were Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry and Betty Lou Bucklin.  And back in 1952, they were the cutest little couple.

Betty Lou Bucklin married Bob Landry on November 1, 1952, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

See what I mean?  They’re adorable.  They look so happy, and they were.  I’m pretty sure this was taken on their wedding day.  Their clothes and hair are identical to the photos that were taken in front of the church after their wedding.  My mom is not wearing a white gown that is now much more typical to weddings these days.  They must have had them back then, though.  The one wedding photo I have of my ancestors is for my dad’s Patureau grandparents in 1888.  My great grandmother was wearing a fancy white gown in that photo.

But my mom was much more down to earth than that.  She was not concerned about anything fancy.  Part of that was because she grew up with not very much extra money for anything.  She always seemed to be fine with that, though.  This worked out well for my dad, because he was not a doter.  My mom was low maintenance, but she still wanted some attention.  Their relationship worked.

But their time together as just the two of them was short lived.  Their first child Jodie was born three weeks before their first anniversary.  Their sixth and final child Jamie was born a few months before their 10th anniversary.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I wanted to talk about 1952, not 1962.

As I was saying, my mom wore a reddish brown dress suit, while my dad wore a brownish grey suit. It’s difficult to explain the colors.  I have a photo of them on their 2nd anniversary in the same outfits, but I’m not going to post it.  I’m committed to posting only this one photo for this story.  The wedding was at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  My dad had joined the Air Force earlier that year, so they were married when he came home for leave.  He had been in San Antonio, Texas, but they would set up their first home at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

I’m not sure who all was at the wedding on that day 70 years ago.  Surely their parents were there, though I don’t have any photos to prove that.  In the few photos I have, I only recognize Daddy’s older brother A. J. and his youngest sister Frances.  The wedding reception was at his sister Marie’s house in Lake Charles.  In a letter from my dad’s mom (Germaine Erie Patureau Landry) dated October 1952, she says that they “will have a wedding cake and green punch and coffee for those who like.”  That green punch must be a family thing.  I wonder if it is the same thing that was at my sister Jodie’s wedding in 1973.  It was a homemade affair and the punch was made from lime sherbet and 7-Up.  I always liked it, but green punch doesn’t really sound appetizing.

Now that I’m sitting down to write all of the details of that day, I realize that I don’t have that many details!  I have a blurry photo from the wedding reception and it supposedly shows the wedding cake.  It is difficult to make out the cake.  You’ll have to take my word.  Like I said, I’m only posting one photo!  But I know a lot more details about the rest of their story.  They set up home in California where they had Jodie.  They later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Rob was born. In 1956 they moved back to Lake Charles where Karen and the rest of us were born.  Al  was born in 1959.  I (Van) joined the group in 1960 the day before their 8th wedding anniversary.  Jamie was born in 1962. 

They had a good long happy life together.  I was a witness to much of it.  I was very fortunate.

 

The Jack of Hearts for Halloween

My mom Betty Lou Bucklin Landry in 2007 with a silhouette that she made of me in 1970.

My idea for the post this week is a little odd.  I came up with the idea when I was getting ready for work this morning.  I thought it was a good idea then, but maybe I was just tired.  Now I’m tired after a long day and don’t feel like coming up with something different.  That just makes me sound old.  I suppose I am, because I’m talking about something that happened to me over 50 years ago.  That’s right.  It was over 50 years ago that I was the Jack of Hearts for Halloween.

Doesn’t that sound fun?  You get to be a character from a deck of cards and everyone knows what it is. Yeah, well I didn’t think it was that fun at the time.  I think it was my mom’s idea.  Or maybe it was a costume that was passed down to me from one of my siblings.  The costume consisted of two large pieces or cardboard – one for the front and one for the back.  It was either painted white or it had white cloth glued to it.  Then a jack of hearts was painted on it. 

That sounds pretty good.  I think the part that I didn’t like about it was that I wore black tights underneath it.  I think that was another idea from my mom.  I just remember not liking the whole thing.  I must not have complained too much and didn’t throw a fit, because I wore it when I went trick or treating.  I was just glad that it was dark outside at the time.  It kind of reminds me of the scene from “A Christmas Story” when the mom insists that Ralphie puts on the rabbit costume that he got from an aunt.

There is no photo to go along with this sad story.  I probably avoided being in any of the photos.  Or maybe there is a photo out there that I’m not aware of.  I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this story, so if my siblings have a photo of me in the costume, I’ve never reminded them of the event.  Who knows?  Maybe a photo of the Jack of Hearts will show up one day.

But I do have a scan of a drawing that my mom drew of me from around the same time.  Sometimes when we were watching TV or something, my mom would get out her pencil and paper and draw a little sketch of whatever or whoever was around.  This time the subject of the sketch was me.  It’s a nice little sketch of me that I got from my mom a few years ago.  But right now I can’t find the scan or the original sketch, which is extremely aggravating since it is the main photo I wanted to post tonight.  I’ll post it once I set my eyes on it.

In the meantime I’ll post this photo from 2007.  The family got together for Christmas that year as usual.  For some reason my mom brought out the silhouette that she made in 1970 of me.  I’m thinking that the sketch and the silhouette were from around the same time.  I don’t remember seeing the silhouette when we cleaned out my parents’ home in 2016, so I think it has been lost.  At least we have this photo.

What a post – a sad story about a little boy in a sandwich board costume, a sketch that is misplaced, and a blurry photo of my mom with a lost piece of her artwork.  I’m glad I could keep you so well entertained!

Found it!

A Letter From Pee Paw and Banns in 1952

This post is another one in the series leading up to the 70th anniversary of my parents’ marriage.  I didn’t really think this all out ahead of time, I just post one here and there if something comes up.  I wasn’t planning on writing another one before the anniversary of their wedding, but I ran across these items when I was looking for something else.  I don’t even remember what I was looking for.  I think I may have been looking for a photo to add to a gift for a little cousin’s first birthday party.  I never found the photo I had originally thought of, but I found something appropriate.

Letter written on Oct. 13, 1952, to Robert Joseph “Bobby” Landry, Jr.

But when I found this old letter from exactly 70 years ago today, I knew I would have to include it in this week’s post.  When I first started reading it, I thought that it was from my grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry – better known as Mee Maw.  Most of the letters that were from Lake Charles to my dad – Robert Joseph “Bob” or “Pluto” Landry, Jr. – were from his mother or sisters.  As I read the short little sentences – “Rec’d your letter – glad to hear from you… I was off last week – back to work this morning.” – it was a bit different. 

It also had a few references to ball games –  “I wish I could have seen the games on TV… L.C. & Sulphur play on Thanksgiving. McNeese surely has a fine team – they are going places.”  I wondered who had written the letter, but Mee Maw liked to watch baseball and I think other sports as well.  There were also references to family members like Aunt Zim and Mildred who had been having medical issues at the time.  Aunt Zim was doing okay and Mildred was doing better.  “All are well at M. T. and Germaine’s.”  M. T. would have been my dad’s sister Marie Therese.  We knew her as Aunt Marie.  Germaine was his other older sister.

I was still wondering who wrote the letter as I got to the last page.  The handwriting reminds me of my dad’s writing, but I knew the letter was to him.  I was pleasantly surprised when the letter was ended with “Will sign off now.  Love from all to you.  I am your Devoted Father – R. J. Landry”  It was from Pee Paw and I don’t remember ever seeing his writing before.  I should have guessed who it was earlier.  Maybe when he talked about watching a series of games and he said, ” I won $5 from Joe Shimimi.”  I’m not sure of that last name, but he must have been a betting man.  My grandmother never mentioned betting money and she also never talked about the beginning of squirrel season.  My grandfather was a hunter and fisherman.

Wedding banns for Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. and Betty Lou Bucklin were published in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Oct. 19, 1952. Obviously no objections were made.

I had a group of letters that I wasn’t familiar with, so I had to look to see what the other letters were about.  There was a letter from Mee Maw that talked about some of the plans for my parents’ wedding.  Aunt Marie was going to have the wedding cake and reception after the wedding at their house.  While it is an interesting letter to read, I was more excited to see the other side of the letter.  Mee Maw had written the letter on a church bulletin because they had posted the wedding banns for Robert Jos. Landry and Betty Lou Bucklin – mom and dad to me and my siblings.  Their names are on the bottom line on the page.

Wedding banns is an old tradition.  An announcement is read or posted for three weeks in a row at the parish church of the couple intending to get married.  It is to let people know about the approaching marriage and it gives everyone an opportunity to state any objections they have to the marriage.  As my mom would say, “Speak now or forever hold your peaceables.”  When I look through old church documents, I’ve seen wedding banns back in the 18th and 19th centuries.  I don’t know if they still call it that or not.  I just looked it up and I see that the Catholic Church requirement for the banns was removed in 1983, but some places still maintain the tradition.

So Bob and Betty Lou would get married at the Immaculate Conception Church.  It doesn’t give a date, so I guess it wasn’t an open invitation to the wedding.  But it wasn’t far off.  The date quickly approaches.

The Patureau Family After 1864

Grampa Max – Vincent Maximilian Patureau circa 1890.

Don’t worry, this is not a detailed history of the Patureau family since 1864.  That would take way too long and way too much space.  This is just a continuation of a post that I wrote at the end of last year called The Patureau Family Photo Circa 1864.  I’m actually surprised that it was that long ago that I posted the photo.  It seems like I just recently posted it.  In that post I talked about the Ferdinand and Emma Landry Patureau family in 1864.  That’s who was in the photo.  It was before they had my great grandfather Vincent Maximilian – AKA Grampa Max. 

Pierre Oscar Patureau on Sept. 11, 1888

But he wasn’t the only one that hadn’t been born yet.  They had five more children and they all lived into adulthood.  The first one was our Max, followed by Pierre Oscar, Joseph Alcide, Abel Omer, and Marie Victorine.  They all went by their middle names.  Almost all of their children did.  What’s up with that?  That 1864 photo of the family came from the Pierre Patureau Collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas.  That collection originated from the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Emma – Victorine. 

Joseph Alcide Patureau circa 1890

Victorine must have started that collection early.  I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that she started in the 1890s.  She got married in May of 1892 when she was 18 years old.  She was married just a few months after the death of  Emma. (Ferdinand had died in 1877.) One of the things she must have gotten around this time was the bed that I am now in the possession of.  When she and Willie Cropper first got married, they lived in Plaquemine – possibly at the old Patureau home.  They moved to White Castle around 1899 and lived there for a few years.  She must have had some of these old photos and the bed with her then, because if she hadn’t, they would have been destroyed by a fire. On March 18, 1900, there was a large fire that destroyed all of the buildings on the Patureau property.  I wonder if there was other furniture that had come from France with the family?  I only know about the bed and I’ve only known about it for about four years.

Abel Omer Patureau circa 1890.

That collection of photos, letters, and such was passed down to Victorine’s daughter and then to her granddaughter.  Then it was donated to the Tyrrell Historical Library.  Besides having the photo of the Patureau family in 1864, there were several individual photos of the family members.  I already had the photo of Grampa Max, but I did get these other photos of his brothers Pierre Oscar, Joseph Alcide, and Abel Omer.  You may recognize Alcide and Omer from the old photos of Kelly’s String Band.  They were both members.  I like these photos of the younger Patureau brothers.  I can definitely detect a family resemblance.  The oldest brother Louis Leobon was fifteen to twenty years older than these brothers.

The ironic thing is that in that wonderful collection of family photos that was started by Victorine, I was not able to find one good photo of Victorine herself.  I should clarify that and say that I didn’t find any photos that were identified as Victorine.  There were some unidentified photos that could have been her.  Oh, yeah, and then there is the one of her when she was no longer alive.  There is a photo of her in her casket. It’s actually a nice, clear photo.  It’s an open casket with several sprays of flowers surrounding it and a gleaming cross beside it.  I’m just not a fan of postmortem photos.  Call it a quirk of mine.

So I would appreciate it if someone could share a photo of Victorine with me if you have one.  Preferably young and alive.  Old and alive would acceptable.  The only prerequisite is that it was taken when she was upright and breathing.

The Godmothers’ Godmothers of 1952

I’m not so sure I like the title of my post this week, but it’s the best thing I could come up with for the unusual situation that it refers to.  1952 was the year that my parents were married, and I’ve posted stories related to that during the past two months.  (Meeting the Parents in 1952 and A Letter From Home in 1952)  Seventy years is an important milestone and even though my parents are no longer alive, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge such an important part of my own family history.

The other two posts talked about  the earlier part of 1952.  My parents – Bob Landry and Betty Lou Bucklin – got engaged and they went to their parents’ homes to meet their future in-laws.  My dad also joined the Air Force and went to basic training in Texas.  He would later be stationed at Edwards Air Force base in California.  They wrote letters to each other that they saved until some of their nosy children (my sister Jamie and I) found them and read them.  And we laughed and laughed at the sweet messages that they sent to each other.  This led to the letters disappearing, and for the most part never to be seen again.  I’ve shared the letters that we were able to find. (Love Letters Lost)

Well, one of the other things that happened that year was that my mom decided to become a Catholic.  I don’t know that this was a prerequisite for Daddy to marry her or not.  He had stopped dating her a while because she was a Methodist and the Landry family were devout Catholics.  But she was too irresistible to him and they started dating again and became engaged.  Maybe she decided to become Catholic because it was so important to him and he wanted to get married in the Catholic Church.

Sisters (and godmothers) Sylvia and Betty Lou Bucklin in the early 1950s.

So she went through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or whatever the process was back then.  But she did not go through it alone.  Her older sister Sylvia had married Ronald Pilcher in February of 1951 and he was a Catholic also.  She must have decided to become Catholic as well, because my mom always talked about them going through the classes together.  Sylvia was married with a child in Lafayette at the time and mom was living at home with her parents in Hathaway. At least it looks like that from the pictures she sent her beau when he was away.  The photos of Betty Lou show her with her younger siblings on their parents’ property in Hathaway.

My mom must have gone to Lafayette to go through the process.  It’s the only thing that makes sense.  One of the things that happens is that those in the class are baptized if they have not been previously baptized.  Those who have been baptized in other faith (such as Methodist) are not rebaptized.  But they do make some of the same professions that are made during a baptism.  Usually there are godparents present who also profess to be an encouragement in the faith.  So in an unusual turn of events, Sylvia and Betty Lou were allowed to be each other’s godmother.  I never heard anything about godfathers when my mom talked about this part of her life.  She was always so tickled with the fact that Sylvia was her godmother and she was Sylvia’s.

This picture may have nothing to do with the RCIA or the process they went through.  I like it because they look so chummy in the photo.  Sisterly love.  I always think of the story of the mutual godmothers when I see it.  Now maybe you will too.

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