By Wanda Monzingo Ballard

My family (6 girls) grew up in Gilark. Daddy worked for Atlas Oil Company and since we had such a big family, we got the biggest company house, which was located where the Caney Lake Store is now, right beside the railroad tracks. I was just a little girl then, but my older sisters would wait for the train and it would be loaded with soldiers. They would all wave, and the boys would whistle and throw their addresses out the windows.  They did write sometimes, I think. On Sunday, practically everyone in Church would bring soldiers home for a home cooked meal. During those times, we had V (dot dot dash) victory gardens, we kids collected iron in our wagons for the war and even saved the tinfoil off our chewing gum. I remember we had a pretty good sized ball of foil. We had to peel it off the waxed paper that was around each piece of gum. We kids were cautioned not to say anything that could be used by German spies (as if we knew anything). The motto was "Loose Lips Sink Ships". We were all so patriotic and I still am. Mr. Kennon at Kennon's grocery managed to get us a 50 pound sack of green coffee one time and we shared it with neighbors. Mr. Kennon was the father of Louisiana's governor later,  and the old man was so sweet. He had a big candy counter and would let me put my hand in the bin with malted milk balls and get all my little hand would hold. I loved them then, and still do. Just rambling--nothing important to anyone but me. Just thought I'd pass it on.

                                                                               Wanda Monzingo Ballard, Class of 1952

                                                                                                                   BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE

Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, circa 1939.Compliments of LSU Archives Special Collections; LSU Shreveport,1 Univ. 1, Shreveport, Louisiana 71115-2399

One of the last men around Minden who was at Camp Meyer is former Webster Parish Sheriff Ted Riser's father. The CCC Camp will relate to the conservation project you mentioned. Those two things go hand-in-hand, the camp was named after Dr. Mayer, who had been head of the Soil project here when he was killed in a car accident. Both also led to Caney Lake, which was an outgrowth of the Substandard lands project related to Soil Conservation. Don Hinton came to Minden with that project according to John Agan who is the official Webster Parish historian.

 Is this Roy Donald Hinton born 13 August 1912 married 30 August 1940 to Jean Rathbun born 25 November 1916 died 25 June 25, 1996 and are interred in the Gardens of Memory in row 3 section 1, Garden of Faith in Minden?

The convoy passed in front of my house on Pine Street.  We lived across the street from the old ice plant.  Even at a very young age, I can still remember the seemingly unending line of military machines and soldiers.  A vivid memory of a soldier either being killed or injured in front of my house.  I have often wondered just exactly what happened as I was only 5 or 6, yet I could feel the concern of those around me and in my mind all these years was that someone was killed riding a motorcycle.  Does anyone know about this?

Jerry Frasier, Class of 1955

P2167 Minden, La. WWII Gen. George Patten on Maneuvers ca 1941-This is a rare picture of the Louisiana war games on Maneuvers which came through Minden in June 1941. Traveling with the convoy was General George Patton. The convoy traveled on highway 80, passing through Minden on their first day of exercise. This convoy was more than fifty miles long. 


If you have a memory of WWII and the war years you would like to share we will post it here...

                                                                                Loose Lips Sink Ships

  I remember the manuvers at Caney Lake.  Our family lived in a big house where Caney Lake store is now. This was the Atlas Oil Company housing.  The railroad track was practically in our front yard and when the troops passed by in the RR cars, my sisters (all older) would run and wave. The soldiers would throw bits of paper out with their addresses on them hoping to get a letter.  I don't know if they ever wrote or not.  On Sunday, Minden folks would go to Church and everyone brought home several soldiers to eat lunch (dinner) with us.  All the little kids (me) took a wagon and gathered scrap iron for the war and even saved tin foil from our gum wrappers. Everyone had a victory garden and we went around singing dot,dot,dot,dash.  A motto was "loose lips sink ships" and everyone was sooooo patriotic and most of us still are, I think. I was probably 8 or 9 years old then.

                                                                                                   Wanda Monzingo Ballard, MHS, Class of 1953


                                                                                                  War Games

War games were between Reds and Blues. I don't
recall which General commanded which but Patton
commanded the forces on East side of the Red river.
Red River was the "line" between opposing forces.

Patton's forces were camped out all over Claiborne
Parish for a little while.  Then one day they
buried their trash (lots of potato's included) and
raced West.

They would have crossed Dorcheat on Hwy 80 I figure.
Would surely have been an impressive sight to watch
pass by as there were hundreds of vehicles & tanks.

Next day Patton roared into Shreveport in a surprise
attack and captured it "without firing a shot" (grin).
Picture of him sitting up on his tank looking
down Texas Avenue on the Hwy 80 bridge into Shreveport
made the paper as I recall.

That would have been early June of 41 I recon.

There was about a week that kids couldn't leave the
yard while maneuvers going on. Some camped as close
as 300 yards from our house. No sign left after few
weeks to indicate that they had ever been here.

Ed Rushing, Homer High School,Class of 1955