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Posts Tagged ‘Jefferson Parish’

If you have been following these posts, you may remember why I call this The Life I Think I Lived. But for those of you who are just joining in the reason is because others who were a part of my life, and who still are, may have a different view. I would appreciate their contributions since they may have seen things differently.

Field House at Jefferson Playground

We had great recreation facilities in Jefferson Parish. I remember riding my bike to Jefferson Playground. It was less than a mile away and Jefferson Hwy was the only major road to cross. Everybody rode their bikes to the playground and nobody locked their bikes. Everything worked fine, unless, of course, someone was made at you or you were made at someone. Then there might be less air in your tire or something equally sinister.

I remember playing basketball for a season or two. I liked basketball and was pretty good as a player. The biggest problem I had was my big feet! I seemed to be unable to keep them from accidently kicking the basketball while I was dribbling down the court. I didn’t dribble much, so I got to set picks and shoot jumpers and hook shots off passes from the guys who could dribble. One game, I was making a jump shot and got hit in the back by one my opponents. The hit took me out of the game and eventually out of basketball. Somebody’s bike tires were flat after that game. No one seems to know who did it, but as I rode off I promised that I would keep my eyes open to see who would have done such a thing.

I tried football for a couple of seasons. I even made the JV team in high school. That is until they realized I was slow and didn’t like getting hit. Since I was a tight end that was a problem since we ran a lot of patterns where the tight end crossed the middle of the field and always got hit. My helmet got knocked off on one route and I got cleated in the head near my left ear. I thought about what I was doing and decided my talents would be better served playing baseball.

The announcer's booth at the baseball stadium

Baseball has been very, very good to me! I played almost every position in the field. Louis, Jr. was a catcher and a good one at that, so I tried to be a catcher. I was OK, but the coach had other ideas. He moved me to 3rd base! I had a great arm and my throws to 1st based were always on target! I had good enough reflexes to cover up the fact that I was slow…for a little while anyway. Coach decided that 1st base was the perfect position for me even though I was right handed. It workout for quite a while and then I move to the outfield and played each of the three positions. I had a strong accurate arm. We had good pitchers and there weren’t that many fly balls hit my way. That was a good thing since I was slow. But I could hit!!! I had the highest batting average in the league and lead the league in home-runs each year I played in Little League, American Legion and Senior League, a league that competed with American Legion for players and ball parks. When the Senior League built their fields near the Huey P. Long Bridge, I hit the first home-run out of the main field. That got a lot of attention locally, including a free haircut at Bob’s Barber Shop, and gift certificates for the hardware store and a new steakhouse nearby called Ruth’s.

League play took us all around Jefferson Parish. At one park I was introduced to Florida Water. It wasn’t for drinking. It was something added to ice water to make it colder. We needed that during July and August. I played for a couple of All Star teams and we took trips around the Gulf States Region. One time we played some good old boys in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The name of the town really described that team! They were big boys and they could hit a baseball! We were down by 10 runs by the top of the second inning. Even though we did make it a game, we didn’t feel like All Stars. I think they put in their third string after the 2nd inning.

There is more to tell about baseball and the softball league I played in. You could hear the story of “Meatball Mark” and the .757 hitting average. There is the story about try-outs were I had chance to make the team based on what I did with 10 pitches (made the team.) But, that can be for another story at another time, or not.

Thanks for reading my blog.

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I know, I’m tardy again. Once you read this post you might understand that that could be my normal. Some house keeping first though. I received a comment from my cousin Phillip: “GREAT JOB– PLEASE TELL US MORE — I ONLY REMEMBER THINGS AFTER 1960—- WHAT DID BIG LOU DO WHEN HE 1ST CAME BACK FROM WWII AND WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT MY MOM AND DAD. I REMEMBER WHEN WE ALL GOT TOGETHER TO CLEAN ALL THE WOODS OUT OF THE BACK YARD WHEN YA’LL 1ST MOVED TO 540 JEFFERSON AND MY DAD SCRATCHED HIS EYE BALL!!” Phillip, you have a short memory, don’t you? (Kidding) I want to answer as much as I can about this for Phillip. So lets get that out of the way.

When Big Lou returned he found Gert (that’s one of his names for Carmel) and Little Lou were staying with the Mullens on Magazine Street. You should know

Louis, Jr, Me and Terry

that Big Lou only knew about Louis, Jr. from letters. One thing I know about his return is that I showed up in about 9 months after he showed up on Magazine St.

My first memories of your mom and dad were from our visits to their homes near Audubon Park and on Magazine St. We had fun when we visited, but Aunt Nina was always yelling: “Don’t leave things dragging!” As to the move to 540 and your Dad scratching his eyeball, well, weren’t we all great woodsmen, being city boys and all?!? I had a wonderful time back than and that leads me into Starting School.

It was a very traumatic experience, I think. I remember crying and begging to go home. That didn’t work and the nuns finally got me to go to class…I hated it and believe I was scarred for life by the experience…those of you who know me will agree, I’m sure. Seriously, though, that first year set the tone for many school years to come. I remember  only a few specifics about first grade. Within a few grading periods I made the Honor Roll for the first time. It was also the last time! I thought that it was easy to do, so I didn’t need to pay attention because it didn’t mean anything to me. I think I had ADD before it was popular. All of my report cards were checked with: “Waste Time and Annoys Others.” Some who know me now might say that in a lot of ways little has really changed in that area. I remember being in love with Mrs. Keifer who taught 6th grade. Her son was in my class for a number of years. Sis. Mary Jane Francis was one of the teachers who did take a special interest in me. She may have saved my life (at least figuratively) a time or two.

There was the time that Mom was teaching at a Jefferson Parish grade school on Jefferson Hwy and Dad was at work. Terrence and I were supposed to catch the school bus, but we missed it, so I decided we could walk to school. We arrived just as the school was emptying for a fire drill and I decided we that school must be over for the day and we should go home. The rest of this story needs its own post. There are more stories than I can fit into this post. I may need to do a part 2. Let me know what you think. If at least a few of you want to hear more I will add a few stories to a Part 2.

I will try to find a few more pictures to include in my blogs. I may have to get help from Brother Garry and maybe Terry. They seem to have all of the old prints. If the Crottys have any to add or if Phillip has a few, I would appreciate copies. See y’all next time!

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