Friday, June 21, 2013


I'M NOW SETTLED IN THE COOL FOREST NEAR FLAGSTAFF SHIFTING LOCATION TODAY TO THE COOL COMPANY OF THE RUBBER TRAMPS---an informal association of mobile friends created by a charismatic champion of freedom---Bob Wells. Read about him here:

I now have time to complete my Sondheimer stories---one a day--till I think I've made my point.

Sondheimer, La--- about 1945----My first 17 years in this tiny town of 300 souls. That tiny white dot--middle left was my home.  Mostly a company town with lots of company houses, a company store and two mills---a lumber mill (top) and a stave mill (middle right)---(staves: curved strips of wood to make barrels).
operational from the 20's to the 90's ---when they ran out of trees.  The owner was a Jewish guy named Conn---whom I never saw---lived far away----tried to print his own money in the form of "chits"---spendable only at the company store.  The federal government straightened him out.  White managers oversaw black laborers.

My mother ran a private grocery near our house. My father owned the two bars in town---a colored and a white.
 Mother got religion---I saw her baptized in the Mississippi river---came to hate alcohol and its effects.
quietly initiated a petition to outlaw the sale of alcohol in our town.  Solicited the support of the Southern Baptist Convention anti-alcohol team.  They sent representatives who came--held meetings---passed out literature.

My father sent for the Brewery association team---they sent handsome young men who held meetings making the case for alcohol: (freedom of choice---tax revenue)

I remember my parents coming home from a long day campaigning for their respective cause---and then going to bed together.

Election day was dramatic---feelings high on both sides---town filled with people---very tense as the vote was counted.   MY FATHER WON by 9 votes.  Liquor stayed in Sondheimer.

The next parish-wide election---MY MOTHER RAN FOR SHERIFF.  (SHE LOST)

My mother was considered the village saint---but she was married to the village atheist--my father.
She did not believe in divorce--so they stayed married---till I was 17.  She moved away--became a nurse
achieved local fame in Monroe, La for energizing an old folks home. She later remarried---lived a happy life with many friends---died at age 82. (I was with her)  Her last words: "Aww Pop (her name for me) don't look so sad----I'M ON MY WAY TO GLORY".

                                            My Mother: Bobby Jean


pondputz said...

Thanks for sharing,
I love learning of history, personal and otherwise.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for an window into your past and into a way of life- small company town, and very active parents.
Your mom sounds like quite a cracker jack!
I see where you get some of your spunk from.
PS Loved seeing your you tube videos at the Poetry Slam!
Great poems, delivered humorously.
Hope we'll get to see more of your poetry performed.
All the best,
a friend of the fabulous Love Ambassador, Laurie