When we lived in Mr. Gary's house, our immediate neighbors consisted of three Comeaux families, one Bouillion family, a Guidry family and another Theriot family.

The Mrs. Comeaux who lived directly across the street from our house was the typical grandmother type, and always wore an apron, whether she was in the kitchen cooking, or not.  Her spinster daughter lived with her, as did a grandson who was about my age.  If I remember correctly, the daughter worked for Father Briese at the rectory and she may have been the one who once chided him for sitting on the front porch in shirtsleeves drinking beer.  I heard that she finally married.  The grandson was my age and was in Miss Louise Bailey's third grade class with me.  When he was grown, he owned and operated a bar in Kaplan.

When Jerry was born, the daughter was the friend who came to bathe him every morning.  This lady had a very loud, shrill voice, and he didn't like (and still does not like) loud noises, so when he was old enough, when he heard her coming, he would snuggle his little face against Mom's shoulder, trying to avoid her.  Finally, one day (before he started to talk) she came in quietly and surprised him, and when he saw her, he began to "fuss" at her and pointed his finger at the door, signifying she was to leave.  He was throwing that lady out of his house!

Catty-corner from our house was another Comeaux family.   These were young people, and I think the man's name was Walter.  They had twin boys about my age, but their mother was very protective of them, and they were not allowed to play outdoors very often, so I never got to know them well.

Next door to this family was the house where Mr. Joe Theriot lived.  These people were relatives.  Mrs. Theriot was sick a lot, and we didn't see much of her, but I liked my cousin named Noe.  He had an older sister named Elise.  She is the first person I knew with that name, and I love it.  At one time I thought that when I had a daughter, that is what I would name her.  (Didn't work out that way, though.)

Then, in the next house over from Mr. Joe's, was another Comeaux family.  Except for the son named Gerard, I didn't know them well.  I knew him, because he was always stuck at my house, sparking Dee.  She must have been rather fond of him, because she told her daughter about the "Comeaux" fellow she had dated when she was young.  For many years, Dee's daughter thought her mom had dated Perry Como.  I finally had to correct her.  Bless her heart, she was heartbroken when I popped her balloon.

The Bouillion family lived across the street on the west side of our house.  The parents had a little grocery store one block further over, and Mom sent me there with a list sometimes.  Ellajean was their daughter, about my age, and we played together a lot.  There were some older children, too.  I still know the son named Kermit.

The Guidrys lived next door to the Bouillions.  They had a son named Owen and two little girls.  The older girl was Ouida, and the younger one was named Numa, and I remember clearly the afternoon Numa was run over and killed by an automobile, right in front of all of us who were playing ball in the street.  She was about two years old, I think, and had evidently wandered out to meet us.  The driver of the car saw us bigger kids, but did not see the tiny little one.  The neighborhood went into mourning.  Numa was a beautiful golden-haired baby that every one loved. 

I wonder if that was the reason Mrs. Walter kept such a close eye on her twin boys.

2 July 2001

Copyright © 2001 Aline T. Meaux, Abbeville, LA

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