Sandy and I spent our lives together in the small town of Iota, Louisiana in Acadia Parish. Its previous name was “Pointe Aux Loups” French for “Wolves’ Point”. In the Cajun legends, a creature half man/half wolf is said to prowl the swamps, fields, and forests around Acadiana.
It was also the home to the annual “Tee Mamou/Iota Mardi Gras Folklife Festival”. It attracts thousands of tourists and visitors on Mardi Gras day. This Cajun celebration follows the more traditional ritual of the Courir de Mardi Gras riders who road on horseback with homemade costumes through the surrounding countryside incognito, speaking only Cajun French, begging for ingredients (chicken and sausage) to make a gumbo. The gumbo is the centerpiece of the community supper.
Mother and daddy were the President and Vice President of the only bank in Iota and actually they were the only two employees. They lived in an apartment above the bank while they were building our home. Sandy lived above the bank for the first year and a half of her life and I only lived there for a few months.
We moved to our new home where we had a small farm, grew vegetables and had chickens. We had a grass tennis court because mother and daddy loved to play tennis and host tennis matches with their friends. We also had an outdoor kitchen because my dad was a great cook and loved having people over for dinners and bourre’ (a gambling game popular in Louisiana.)
Our Home in Iota
Easter egg hunt in our front yard
Sandy (born November 1, 1936
Sandy with daddy
Sandy with mother
Sandy with mother’s father Sandy with daddy’s father
I was a little sister for only seven years. Sandy was involved in an accident when she was nine years old and lost her life. Almost everything I know about Sandy is what relatives and friends have told me and from old photographs of our lives together. Sandy has been my angel in heaven. I feel she sits on my shoulder and whispers her wisdom in my ear, helps direct my life and above all protects my family and me.
Sandy and daddy
Everyone tells me Sandy looked just like daddy. She had his dark hair and his beautiful brown eyes. Daddy was a vey handsome man and Sandy would have grown up to be a beauty. I’m told she had an easy disposition and was loved by everyone.
I was born on April 7, 1938.
Sandy looking at her little sister.
I don’t remember this photo of an Easter-egg hunt but I think I do remember later events like going trick and treating. I also remember afternoon at grandmothers’ home where all the aunts and cousins gathered on a Saturday afternoon to spend time together. Grandmother always had homemade ice-cream and all the cousins played together while the adults visited.
We moved to Church Point, Louisiana around 1941 where daddy took over the Church Point Bakery Company because his father became ill and could no longer run the bakery he established.
We seemed to have an idyllic life in this very small country town. We were free to play outdoors and walk from one end of town to the other visiting cousins and friends to play. We walked to & from school every day always stopping at grandmother’s home for the treats she made for us which were laid out on the kitchen table, Sweet dough pies, cookies and candy. Yum! On Sunday afternoon our families would gather for our mid-day meal called “dinner” because it was the largest meal of the day then we all spent the afternoon visiting and playing.
In 1945 in front of the bakery the accident happened that that took my sisters life. Our lives changed forever that fatal day. About three years later dad closed the bakery and we moved away. This was the end of my magical childhood but not the end of the devotion I hold to this very day for my beautiful sister.