Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday-Leon and Lucille

Leon "Cap" Ladner 
 March 3, 1856- April 27, 1915

Lucille Nicaise Ladner
 May 2, 1858- 1934

Leon Ladner was the son of Moses Ladner and Marie Ladner, he married Lucille Nicaise June 19, 1889 in Hancock County, Ms. Lucille was the daughter of Casimir Evariste Nicaise and Mary Deloisie Cuevas. They had 10 children.
  • Arno Phillip Ladner
  • Albert Ladner
  • Joseph Ladner
  • Corelia Ladner
  • Leon Ladner
  • Felix "Bill" Ladner
  • Flora Ladner
  • Alter Ladner
  • Elvenia Ladner
  • Luvenia Ladner


Monday, July 30, 2012

Phillip Roth-KWL Chart

 A  KWL Chart is something that we use in school with students prior to reading. They are basic questions that can also be applied to genealogy. What I Know, What I Want to to Know, and What I Learned.

What I Know

Phillip Roth and Augusta Becker married in Hancock County Mississippi on January 31, 1894. They were both natives of New Orleans. This was the second marriage for Phillip who had two daughters from his first marriage.

Phillip Eugene Roth was born about 1851. His parents were Carmelite Fernand, whose father was from Spain and Raphael Roth from St. Gabriel, La. His birth date is hard to determine because he can not be found in the birth indexes, and it is listed as several different dates in the various census records. 

His father Raphael is an enigma. His name is listed in Phillips's sister Malvina's birth record as posthumous having died before her birth.  Malvina's birth is January 27, 1846. This gives me the indication that either Phillip was born before 1851 or he had a different father than Malvina. 

The last census Phillip can be found in was the 1920 census.

The 1920 census:

Here he is listed as Philo Roth age 61 with his wife Augusta and two grandchildren.

The 1910 census:
Here he is listed as Philo Roth age 54 with wife Augusta, daughter Rita, and son Edwin.

The 1900 census:
Here he is listed as Philot Roth age 49 with wife Augusta, granddaughter Henrietta Lang, daughters Eva and Rita, son Edwin, son in law Joseph Lang and daughter Josephine Lang. 

The 1880 Census:
Here he is listed as Eugene Roth are 29 with his first wife Mary, daughter Josephine, mother Carmelite and Arnold Roth.

The 1870 Census:
Here he is listed as Philogene age 19 with a Catherine Roth (Carmelite?)  Joseph, Clothilde, and Philomene.

There are two 1860 censuses with this family on two separate streets, they must have moved during the census taking.

The 1860 Census:
Here he is listed as Philogene age 8 with W. Raphael Roth, Alexander, Aglae, Malvina, Clothilde, and Armand.

Here he is listed as Philogyene age 8 with W. Raphael Roth , Alexander, Aglae, Malvina, Clothilde and Armand.

The 1850 Census:
There is no listing of the name Phillip, or any of the variations of his name in the 1850 census.
Alexander's wife Amelia and son Ernest are listed on the last two rows. The rest are the same names in the previous census with the exception of M.L. Pepe and Marguerite.

New Orleans Directory:


What I Want To Know

I would like to find Phillip's birth record, or even a copy of his marriage or death record. Something that may tell me if his father was Raphael Roth or not. I recently found his wife Augusta's obituary, if I could only find his. I just need that little key to break through the puzzle. I would like to find out more about the life of Raphael Roth. I know who his parents and his siblings were. However, I would like to know where he is buried, how and why he died. I would love to know more about Carmelite Fernand. The 1880 census says her father was from Spain. My grandfather always said he was part of the Spanish emissary that came to Louisiana when we were sold to Spain by France. What was his name, where in Spain was he from? Did she have Phillip during her lonely widowhood, and if so who is the father?

What I Learned

Through the various census records it would indicate that Phillip was the son of Carmelite, widow of Raphel Roth. The possibility that his father was someone other than Raphael seems highly likely given the ages he appeared in each census. He is listed younger than Malvina who we know was born after her father's death as indicated in her birth certificate.
Phillip, several brothers and a sister later moved to Hancock County Mississippi and lived either on the same street as one another or close by one another. My grandfather knew them to be his cousins, Aunts and Uncles.
The name Carmelite was a popular family name being handed down among several of the Roth children, and grandchildren. As in the case of my grandfather's sister Henrietta Carmelite Ladner. 
Mainly I learned to be diligent and to continue to search. The answer is out there, I just need to find it!

Monday Madness-Curing Ailments at the Turn of the Century

From the Daily Herald 1897
Ever think when you swallow that aspirin what our great grandparents and grandparents had to take to feel better way back when? I have heard the tales of Castor Oil and other not so nice sounding things from my grandparents. From sheep fat lineament to the soothing tonics, there were some crazy remedies out there!

Can you imagine giving cocaine drops to your children? This add from 1885 indicates that it was sold by druggist, and apparently needed no prescription.

Of course you had the home remedies made by the lady of the house to help with the miseries and illness.
  • Honey
  • Steeped sassafras roots
  • Steeped willow bark 
  • Wild cherry
  • Poultices
  • Animal fat
  • Herbs
I personally think the women who tended their own families were smarter by far. They used many of the same ingredients that can be found in modern medicine today. 

Sentimental Sunday- Leona and Bert

 The House On Saucier Lane with Leona and Bertha Saucier

There were two maiden cousins who had raised my grandfather and he loved them like they were his parents. My father always considered them his grandmothers, and I guess I did too.

My grandfather's mother died shortly after giving birth to him. He was the seventh child born into the family, and his father remarried again, and they had four sons. My cousins had always said that Grandfather was left out of the picture by the new wife because she had her own babies to tend to, so he came to them.

They lived in an old two bedroom home, with big antique spring beds, a claw foot bath tub, and  a large open front porch with a swing. There was a chicken coop out back, and we would get to bring the corn down to feed the chickens. The back porch was screened in and there was always a bird cage full of finches. Leona loved those birds!

In the summer we kept the screened doors and windows open to let in a breeze, and in the winter everything was shut up tight with the furnace burning in the living room.  On summer nights we burned out an old stump and roasted hot dogs on willow branches. Then later in bed, you could hear the sounds of the night as you lay there with the windows open. Sometimes you would hear the dogs underneath the house scratching, and digging. Then there would be the bugs creaking and zipping their wings, the frogs croaking and the wild things howling from the woods. Then that old rooster would always be on time to wake you in the mornings.

Bert and I would often sit outside on the swing where she would brush my hair and braid it, while my brother would be busy with her bbgun  shooting a tin can. There was always someone visiting. The whole family lived nearby. We kids rode bikes, walked in the woods, made tree houses and forts. We scared each other to pieces with silly scary tales. These were the days that I took for granted. The slow lazy days spent with people you loved, doing things that didn't cost anything.

Me and my brother, with Leona and Bert.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Surname Saturday-Dedeaux

Jean Pierre Chevalier Dedeaux

Jean Pierre Francois Marie Chevalier Dedeaux was born in Castel Sarrazin, Aquitaine France the son of Bernard Clement Dedeaux and Marianne de la Fon. He and his brother Jean Jacques Belon Dedeaux came from France to the Louisiana colony around 1780.

Jean Dedeaux known as Chevalier, married Magdeleine Saucier daughter of Phillip Saucier and Marie Louise Nicaise. They had three sons.
  • Jean Joseph Dedeaux
  • Jean Victor Dedeaux
  • Jean Jacques Dedeaux b. 20 April 1813
Magdeleine died  between 1813 and 1818, and Chevalier married Ursule Nicaise, the first cousin of Magdeleine. Ursule was the daughter of Jean Baptiste Nicaise and Louise Baptiste Ladner. They had the following children:
  • Basilice Dedeaux
  • Henry Dedeaux
  • Clement Dedeaux
  • Appolinaire Dedeaux b. 23 July 1828
  • Louis Lennis Dedeaux
The Dedeaux brothers settled in the Delisle area of Pass Christian. Chevalier Dedeaux received a Spanish land grant for the land upon which he lived and later was buried upon. He reared a large family whose descendants make up a large part of the population of South Mississippi today.

Chevalier Dedeaux land claim

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Summer Vacation-Going To the Cemetery II

 Finally Made the Trip

Finally made it to the cemetery! We packed an ice chest full of water, thankfully! It was HOT! Thursday morning we got up and my husband says to me, "So, what are your plans for the day?" I said, "Are you kidding me?" He was lucky that the answer was yes, he was! I decided to narrow it down to two cemeteries that were quite near each other. One was the Standard Sandhill Cemetery where my husband's great grandmother was buried and the other was the Necaise Crossing Cemetery where his great grandfather and great great grandparents are buried as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We made a quick stop by the Dollar General store, to pick up some flowers. Yes, we now have a Dollar General deep in the heart of the country! We may not have much else other than a Feed Store, fields, horses and cows, but by golly we have our very own Dollar General Store!

First stop Standard Sand Hill Cemetery. My husband parked under an oak tree next to a grave site that had a bench in the shade along with a hanging wind chime. It was a very serene spot. I quickly got to work going row by row taking photos. It was quite hot out, but thankfully it was over cast and it did not feel quite so bad. This cemetery is full of sand, which I would guess is where it gets the name Sandhill. It also was the home to these rather freakishly fast lizards that zipped in and out of the graves as I was walking around giving me a fright each time. When I got to the third row, I worried a bit about having enough memory on my camera and decided to make a mental note of where I stopped to come back again another day to finish since it was a rather large cemetery, and the next one was much smaller. We put the flowers on Mama Vickie's grave, and left to go to the next one.

My husband's Great Grandmother Victoria Stravapodie Hurst and Great Uncle Franklin Hurst.
Necaise Crossing Cemetery was dedicated in 1882. The land was donated by John Hebrew Necaise and his wife Angeline Ladner. Nearly all those buried in this cemetery are related in some way or lived close by. Once again we were able to park underneath an old oak tree. A farmer was rolling hay in the field adjacent to the cemetery, and several young boys were riding horses down the road. I set off  and immediately saw names very familiar to me since I have added the majority of them to FAG and they are all in my family tree. My intention is to catalog this entire cemetery, and take photos of each grave.

Some of my cricket friends.
This cemetery had not been cut in ages. As most of our family cemeteries are out here in the country, they are not maintained by the county. It is up to each family member to clean and cut their families plot. So, after much bending down and pulling weeds to be able to get a clear picture of the headstones. I was completely worn out. Not to mention my cloud cover had dissipated, and I could feel my lips sunburning in the heat. The water in my bottle was soon so hot I could not stand to drink it. Instead of lizards, this time I had crickets. Each and every headstone had a family of crickets living among them. In fact several of my photos show them just sitting there on the headstones. I took to calling it the Cricket Cemetery.

I can not believe I did not think to bring an extra memory stick, or my laptop with me. I could have dumped the photos I had already taken if I had. So, I am out of memory and I am only half done. Great! This means I will have to come back another day. Which my beloved spouse has agreed to. It seems that when I pointed out his great great grandfather born in 1856, it made him more eager to know who the others were. He was very intrigued at seeing and learning about each of the persons buried there. I could see a pride in him and he genuinely wants to complete the cemetery as much as I.
My husband's 2nd Great Grandparents Leon "Cap" Ladner and Lucille Ladner.

Friday Finds- A Football Game at Jeopardy

Don't Forget Your Rabbit's Foot

A lot of people in these parts believe in voodoo, or hoodoo. I come across articles about both in our local newspapers quite often. Today, I came across this article which struck me as quite funny regarding a football game and a forgotten rabbit's foot. 

Laurel Leader Call
November 4, 1930
The secret is out. Robert E . Lee
did not bring his well worn rabbit
foot to the Laurel - Brookhaven football
game Friday night. That was
the reason the Tornado could not
get going in the first half. When
one of the city officials found that Robert  
had neglected this he threatened
 to do damage to the forgetful
one. Robert broke all records fetching
the beloved charm at the half
and it was the  rubbing of this hoodoo
that brought victory. If anyone
desires to see what service that,
rabbit foot has seen please get in
touch with Robert at the High

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Those Places Thursday-St. Roch Market, New Orleans

St. Roch Market

The St. Roch Market opened in 1875 as an open air market place in the Faubourg St. Roch. It had greatly deteriorated by the 1930's and thanks to the WPA project the market was renovated and brought back to its former glory. Its renovation included air conditioning and modern plumbing. Along with the French Market it was one of the longest running open markets. Today, however the market is again a sad crumbling old place thanks in part to Hurricane Katrina.

This market was right near where my great grandparents lived. My mother has fond memories of going to the market with her grandmother. I grew up hearing stories of St.Roch and Music Street. 
Interior of the Market before WPA renovation

 Top photo is the house where my great grandparents lived in St.Roch. The bottom photo is the St. Roch Market place.

Thankfully the historic market place is being renovated this summer. It is a $6million dollar project with funds coming from FEMA and and the Disaster Community Development Block Grant.
St. Roch Market today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Summer Vacation-Going to the Cemetery

Only another genealogist would understand the excitement bubbling up in me over a trip to several cemeteries. Pretty soon school will start back and I will be back in first grade once again and while the rest of the staff will be telling of their exciting vacations and showing pictures, I will just smile and say how exciting.  I would have been just as excited about telling of my trip too, to the cemetery. Yet, no one will want to hear about that! I could just see the look of polite interest on their faces, and the thoughts running in their heads about how strange I am.

Nearly the whole summer has passed and I have yet to get to one cemetery. I have suffered through a 12 mile trip in a canoe in 100 degree heat on our local river just to please my husband and sons. My daughter was smart and stayed home. I could not move my arms for at least three days after that. I only endured that trip with the hope that in doing so one of them would be kind enough to go with me to several cemeteries located way out in the country, so I would not have to go alone. Week after week I waited to see if there was an opportunity to go. Each time something has come up or it has rained the entire week. So, now with one week left before school begins, I made sure that they knew I was not pleased, I mean after all I went on the canoe trip from hell for them!

So, finally my husband agreed to take me today. Guess where I am? Sitting at home in front of the computer, because he was called in to work extra this week. He promised Thursday, so I am holding him to it, even if it rains.

Since I am going to several very old cemeteries, in different communities, I decided to take the opportunity today to write down all the names of those I will be looking for. This way my husband may have a copy as well and hopefully it will cut my time in half, since I know I will only have the one day to get it all in.

I am very excited about my special summer vacation trip to the cemetery! Can't wait to see what I find.

Wordless Wednesday-Irma Wiese Ladner

Lucille Irma Wiese Ladner
My grandmother Irma, born March 23, 1914 in New Orleans, La. at her first Holy Communion and Confirmation.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday-Appolinaire Dedeaux

Appolinaire Dedeaux
July 23, 1828
May 24, 1897
Wolf River Cemetery, Ms

Appolinaire Dedeaux was the son of Jean Pierre Dedeaux and Ursule Nicaise. He married Adele Nicaise. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Madness-Swimsuits in Public

How times have changed! Since I live on the Gulf where we have miles of sandy beaches, we often see on our drive down the beach highway, ladies in barely there bikinis walking along the beach. It always makes me think about the not too distant past when ladies were arrested for showing too much skin in their bathing suits.
Women Arrested for Violating a Ban on Brief Swimsuits

Some Bathing Suit Facts
  • In the late 1800s, the first bathing suits appeared and consisted of padded bloomer pants made from wool or flannel, topped off with a knee-length dress, black wool stockings, shoes, and ruffled hats. The heavy fabric made it almost impossible to swim. 
  • Up until the twentieth century, women who wanted to “swim” in the ocean could merely jump through the waves holding a rope attached to a buoy because their swimwear often weighed over 22 pounds. By 1915, women athletes began viewing swimming as a sport and, consequently, swimsuit fabric started to shrink.
  •  Modesty laws were very strict in the early 1900s. In 1919, a woman was detained at Coney Island for wearing a bathing suit in public—under her street clothes.
  • In the early 1900s, many American cities created laws that required all women in bathing suits to wear stockings.
  • In 1907, when Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman wore a one-piece suit in Boston that revealed her arms and legs, she was promptly arrested for indecent exposure.
  • In May 1917, the American Association of Park Superintendents published in its “Bathing Suit Regulations” that men’s suits should include a “skirt” worn outside the swimming trunks. Men could also wear flannel knee pants with a vest front.
  •  In 1921, swimwear manufacturer Jantzen decided to change the term “bathing suit” to “swimming suit” to justify their more revealing swimsuits as a form of athleticism. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sentimental Sunday-Biscuits with MaMaw

     There are just some things that I can not ever recreate in the kitchen. One of those is my grandmother's recipe for biscuits. She did not have a written recipe, it was all hers. They were the best biscuits I have ever had in my life.

     When I was a child I would often spend the night with my maternal grandparents, Vic and Irma Ladner. I was not a child who slept away from home very often. I would have my mother tell my friends that I could not come to spend the night at their homes for whatever reason. So she could be the bad guy and I would not look like a scared baby who couldn't be away from their Mama.

     But when it came to spending the night at MaMaw's I was all for it. We would eat dinner on t.v. trays, and everyone went to bed very early to get up at the crack of dawn. I would lay awake in my cot set up next to my Aunt's bed and listen to the snoring coming from my grandparent's room. It was so loud, and the shadows on the wall frightened me. I was not used to this sleeping environment and it took many hours to drift off.

    At about 4a.m. I would hear noises coming from the kitchen and smell fresh coffee. I could hear the muted voices of my grandmother and aunt as they were working in the kitchen. Finally at about 6a.m. I could take it no longer and would creep out of my Aunt's room in search of the precious morning breakfast that I knew was waiting for me.

    Upon seeing me MaMaw would exclaim, "What are you doing up so early? You do not have to get up this early you know?" I know I would reply, but I want the biscuits!

     This then is how the morning would precede. MaMaw would get me the 70's styled coffee mug down from the cabinet, mine was red with a white rim, and pour me a cup of coffee. Yes, coffee for a child. It was more sugar and milk than coffee but it was delicious. Then she would plate me up three biscuits and place the GOOD butter on the table. Good butter is how we always referred to real butter, not margarine. I would then slice off a huge square of butter, and place on each biscuit, which would melt and make a drippy mess as you tried to eat. MaMaw would always laugh about me and the butter, because she herself loved butter, So much so she told me that she would get into trouble for sneaking into the barrel of butter at her father's grocery store as a child. Before you knew it those three biscuit were gone and I was asking for more. Once I ate a whopping twelve biscuits for breakfast, which until this day no one has ever forgotten.

     Sometimes, MaMaw would make biscuits and freeze them for me, wrapped up in tin foil, so I could have some at anytime. When I was expecting my first child this was all I wanted. They often laughed because she said my child would probably dislike bread with as much fresh made bread and biscuits as she was having to supply me with.

     Those were special times and days. Those biscuit days. I learned so much about my grandmother while she sat with me and watched me eat those biscuits.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

When The Shadow Stalked Gulfport

There is a story that my Uncle loves to tell about my grandfather and the Shadow. The Shadow was a burglar who was terrorizing the Gulfport residents in the 1930's.

My grandfather was awakened by a scraping noise in the middle of the night. He quietly got up and took out the gun his father in law had given him to protect themselves from such disreputable characters like the Shadow.

My grandfather quietly went into the living room from which the sound came. He could hear someone at the window unscrewing the window screen. He stood to the side with the colt revolver cocked waiting. The noise suddenly stopped and still he stood waiting. He stood for over an hour until he was satisfied that the burglar had given up.

The next morning my grandfather went outside to investigate. He saw the screws on the screen worked out, and footprints in the dirt upon the ground. He saw that the footprints lead around to the other side of the house as well, to another window, where the Shadow possibly saw him standing there in the dark waiting for him with his gun and decided it best to leave.

 The Daily Herald 
February 24, 1936

Surname Saturday-Anderson


     There is among this branch of the Anderson family a bit of a disagreement as to whether the progenitor of the Mississippi Anderson Clan was Joseph Anderson who they claim was married to the daughter of the famous Indian Chief Pushmataha. Of course most of the family, including myself was handed down this story from infancy. I was just always told by my grandmother that we were of Indian descent. She certainly looked like she was, she was dark of skin and had black hair until her death at age 90.

     Yet, just because a person looks like and Indian, or claims the heritage does not make one so. There are may cases in the Dawes Packets of my Anderson family making claims. Some were granted and some not. It would seem that those who actually knew their correct lineage and could back up their claim made it through. Those who really had no clue other than that they would receive monetary compensation did not. 

     Most would argue that Joseph "Jack" Anderson married Running Deer, the daughter of Pushmataha. However, the dates do not correlate this as being possible. We know that the supposed Joseph  Anderson was born around 1797. Pushmataha himself was born in 1765. Making Pushmataha a young 31 year old grandfather. This in itself  says that the legend is just that, a legend.

     One just has to do a quick Google search for Joseph Jack Anderson and Running Deer, to come across the many people claiming this descent, via message boards, family trees, etc. All ignoring the evidence given by several family researchers that this can not be so. 

     A biographical record given by Elisha Alexander "Zan" Anderson, the son of Daniel Austin "Bunk" Anderson, published in the OFFICIAL AND STATISTICAL REGISTER OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, 1917 states that his great grandfather was Daniel Austin Anderson of Perry County, Ms. He says that Daniel Austin Anderson was a Major in the War of 1812.

The legend states, "Joseph came from South Carolina to help fight in the Battle Of New Orleans. He was wounded and left with Pushmataha, near what is now Hattiesburg, Ms. He was seventeen years old at the time. He stayed on with the Indians and married Chief Pushmataha`s daughter Running Deer in an Indian ceremony. They were later married by a traveling Protestant preacher. They had several children who all looked Indian except for John." (Although in actuality it was Daniel who married a Choctaw woman.)

     Somehow, someway, like a genealogical game of telephone folks became mixed up with which ancestor was actually in the War of 1812. They also mixed up names and facts until we have the legend those are perpetuating today.

     In truth we do have Choctaw ancestry. There was a Daniel Austin Anderson who married a Choctaw woman, except her name was Michou Battiest, not Running Deer.

 The Anderson Line
Daniel Austin Anderson and Michou Battiest (aka Jenny or Jincy) beget John E. Anderson

John E. Anderson and Sarah Davis
  1. Elizabeth Anderson b. 1823 Perry County, Ms
  2. Sarah Ann Anderson b. 1824 Perry County, MS
  3. John Anderson b. 1828 Perry County, Ms
  4. James Aaron Anderson b. 1830 Perry County, Ms
  5. William Hawkins Anderson b. 1833 Perry County, Ms
  6. Daniel Austin Anderson b. 23 Jan 1834 Perry County, Ms
  7. Elisha Ryan Anderson b. 07 Mar 1837 Perry County, Ms
  8. Mary Jane Anderson b. 02 Dec 1840 Perry County, Ms

Special Thanks to Frances Farley for contributing information on the Anderson family regarding the Daniel, Joseph, and John, story! Which has made it clear to me that it was Daniel's son John E. Anderson who was the progenitor of my line and not his son Joseph.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Finds-When Salt Was Money

Today I came across a news article that gives us a peek into the lives of our Gulf Coast ancestors during the Civil War. This excerpt is from an article written for the Bay St. Louis Centennial in 1958.

When Salt Was Money
Long centuries ago the Roman soldiers received a daily portion of salt as part of their pay and when after a time this was changed to money, the amount was called salarium, or salt money- the Latin term from which originated our word salary -and the term
from which we get our common expression "worth his salt."
During the War Between the States when the Federal fleet had the Gulf Coast effectively blockaded and food was very scarce, the people again discovered that salt in their day was as good as, or even better than money. All along the shoreline of Bay St. Louis the citizens boiled the Gulf water in huge kettles to secure the salt and trade it to farmers in the back country for fresh meat and vegetables. In fact salt making became almost a wartime industry. In the records of J. F. H. Claiborne, the Mississippi historian whose plantation Laurel Wood was near Bay St. Louis, there is the recountal that Governor Pettus, the wartime governor of Mississippi, had contracted for 100,000 bushels of this Gulf boiled salt at $35 a bushel for the Confederacy. Another account records that the Coast people were producing 500 bushels of salt a day and that twenty wagon loads had been shipped to General Joseph E. Johnson's army.
From the Daily Herald, July 29, 1958
This just shows to me that the people of the Coast have always been resilient and found the means to survive against odds, whether it be war, or natural disaster. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Those Places Thursday- Revisiting the Ladner's

When Papa Francis and Maw Maw were still alive we used to go nearly every weekend to their home to visit. This was the home of my husband's paternal grandparents, Francis and Elvera Ladner. You can not see it in the photo as the right side of the house is cut off in the shot, but there was a large screened in porch on the right side of the home. Unfortunately Hurricane Katrina damaged the home considerably, and several years later the house burned down. We now only have an old barn and a storage shed to remind us of where the house was.

Papa kept rabbits out back, and grew the best and hottest peppers on the side of the house. He and I would often go out and pick some together, of course we sampled a few as well. Across the road he had a pecan orchard, and he and I would often go out walking in the fall, with the leaves crunching under our feet, picking pecans, while he told me stories of his younger days. The family would gather inside to eat. The table was always filled with food to where you didn't have a place to sit an eat. We carried a plate out to the porch and sat on the swing to eat. My husband always had everyone laughing telling tales of remember when with his family and before you knew it they would all be out in the yard playing football. Maw Maw had a purple wisteria bush that smelled so sweet in the spring when it bloomed in conjunction with the azaleas. I can still see the kids crawling underneath them to search for Easter eggs. Now of course they and the house are long gone, and we are thankful to have our memories.

I often lament that we do not think to take pictures of the homes of our loved ones. We always think to take photos of family members at Christmas, and other gatherings, but never the outside of the homes themselves. You can remember it in your minds eye, but that sometimes is just not quite the same.

I was recently overwhelmed to find a photo of his house. Although it was taken not long after Katrina and the whole right side of the house was covered in a blue tarp, (which is why I purposely cut it out of the shot) it was like stepping back in time seeing it once again.

Thanks to modern technology I was able to find this photo through Google Earth. I was going along down the road we live on looking at our home, and all the trails cut in and out of the woods in the area, when I decided to take a tour down the whole street. Low and behold around the curve just like years ago, out pops Papa Francis' house. I yelled excitedly for all to come see what I had found. My daughter showed me how to capture the frame and then how to paste it into paint and once again how to save it. So now we have a memento that we cherish of a place we all gathered to laugh, eat, love, and share memories with one another.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012