Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sentimental Sunday- Tuscaloosa Nights

My grandfather's sister Ruby Saucier Thompson and her husband William lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We would travel from the Coast to go visit with them at least once a year. We always spent the night since it was a good four hour drive from the Coast.

When we arrived we were greeted with warm hugs and plenty of love. Aunt Ruby always had fresh fried chicken cooking for us with plenty of side dishes. We sat at her table and ate until we were stuffed. While all the adults talked and laughed with one another over the remnants of lunch, my brother and I would sneak out to the yard to investigate the surroundings.

Aunt Ruby always had cats about and I was very interested in catching one or two. She also had the neatest plants growing all around her yard. I would love to look at them all. She had some that grew these little peppers and I thought they were so cute. Once she gave my mother a cutting and also let me choose which plant I wanted a cutting from, I choose the Wandering Jew and so did my sister.

We would all migrate to the back yard where pictures would be taken, stories told and just catching up on life in general. Uncle William had lost both legs to diabetes and was wheel chair bound. But he was the sweetest man and I loved to sit and listen to him talk.

Sometimes after dinner we would go to town and shop in the mall. Since it was a college town there was a large mall and plenty of shops. Then we would come back and sit on the porch and talk some more. Aunt Ruby was all about family and our heritage. She knew the Saucier history and I was always willing to listen. I loved her stories. She is one of the people I credit in gifting me with a passion for genealogy. I would write down all she told me. In later years she gave my father a very large compilation of Saucier history, which I treasure still.

My favorite part of the trip was the night time. That is when the fire flies came out. Aunt Ruby always had a jar for us and we would catch those fireflies and put them in the jar. We would spend hours with our little glow friends. Fireflies were one of the casualties of Hurricane Camille for us on the coast. They never came back. So, it was a glorious treat for us to see them like this.

Whenever I see a firefly today, I am always transported back in time to those carefree Tuscaloosa nights.


  1. What a lovely story, Michelle. I wonder if your aunt Ruby has Canadian roots? My Dad's cousin married a Saucier and he was from southeastern Ontario.

  2. Yvonne, yes our Saucier family originally came from Canada. There were two brothers, one stayed in Canada and the other came to the Louisiana territory in 1699. The Saucier's can all trace their heritage back to the same Charles Saucier who came to Canada from France originally. So your relative's spouse and I have the same ancestor! Small World!