THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

       By: Cleve Taylor

 
As Bob Hope sang, "Thanks for the Memories."  They triggered some of my own.
 
I was about 2 years old when we moved to Goodwill Street between Marshall and Clerk Streets.  It was a new house and my father paid right at $2,000 for it financed over a period of 25 years.  I remember monthly payments of $18 and the panic when for some reason the payments  went up to $21 some years later. 
 
Goodwill Street sort of tailed off into a lane leading into the old CC Camp (now the Fair Grounds),  and where the school now sits was the abandoned CC trailer park with concrete pads, utility structures, and streets still in place.  It was a great place for riding bicycles and picking dewberries.
 
On the north end of Goodwill, on the east side of the street lived the Smiths with 2 sons older than we were.  Then followed the Nesbitts, and the Howells who lived on the NE corner of Goodwill and Clerk.  On the SE corner (or perhaps a house down from there) lived the Pattersons.  I remember the star on the door or perhaps window indicating that one son had died in the War. Huey Patterson still lived at home.   Later the Loves moved into the house on the corner.  He's the one you remember in the wheelchair.  I did yard work for him and chatted with him a lot.  He gave me a few piano lessons and a beginners piano book. ( I never got beyond that book.)
 
Continuing on my block, across the street from us lived the Battons.  And to the right of them, in a house that no longer exists, lived the Tomlinsons, Gerald, Houston, and Joe T.   Gerald played guitar for Johnny Horton on records and at the La. Hayride.  His stage name was Tommy Tomlinson, and I think I remember that he was in the car wreck when Horton was killed.  Gerald survived, though, and continued to play.

Tillman Franks, Johnny Hortman and Tommy Tomlinson

 
Sort of behind that house was the original Pentecostal Church.  The preacher was "Brother Jack".  It was not until "Brother Barnes" came that they built the new church across the street in a vacant lot that we used to play in.  I'm pretty sure that Percy Frasier, Jerry's dad, helped them build that church, which is an annex of the current Church which was built even later.  Barnes used to have tent revivals on the vacant lot that was on the SW corner of Goodwil and Clerk.  That vacant lot was our ball field.  At that corner, during the summer, under the street light, it seemed that dozens of us kids would congregate and entertain ourselves.
 
Further to the right across from my house, lived Max Rudd.  He always had a high jump and later a vaulting pole that attracted many of us.  The Gordons lived across from Max, but I never knew them well.  I do remember Jr. standing on his front porch and singing to the top of his lungs..  Years later, I wondered if Jr. on Hee Haw was our Jr. Gordon. 
 
The Frasiers lived in two or three different houses on Goodwill.  The one I remember best is the one toward the end of the street across from the Nesbitts.   It was there that we discovered that if you drove a pipe into the ground. dropped a lit firecracker into the pipe, and then dropped a ball bearing on top of the fire cracker, that you had a cannon. 
 
The Stricklands lived in between us and the Pentecost Church 
 
Between Marshall and Ash lived the Harper girls.  Mmme G (presumably named after a contraction of Madamoiselle from a book) was younger than us.  Sue I remember as being about 4 years old.  Then there was Roy Baggett and across from him Bobo Drake. Around the corner on Ash Street across from Hunters Park lived Bubba Doss. On toward Pine St. a short left on Joy Street to McIntyre would put you at Tommy and Yvonne Frye's house.
 
I don't remember the Skinners ever living anywhere except on Chandler Drive.  My early memories place Jerry Wayne Day on Marshall near the McCabes., but I have also a vague, unreliable memory of them being down near the corner of Pine and S. College.
 
A block east of us on McIntyre lived Robert Hunter, and his sister and brother,  In a house off Clerk St. toward McIntyre St. lived Margene King and his brother and in another of the houses lived Lucille Breedlove.
 
The Gipsons came later.  They were more my brother Raymond's age and he and Billy and Orlette were good friends.
 
There was a store on the SE corner of Marshall and McIntyre.  It was on the way to the school.  I remember 5 cent Big Chief writing tablets, RC Cola's, gingerbread planks, Baby Ruths, Butterfingers, and penny candies.  I also remember sitting on their wooden porch with comic books displayed for trade.  Can't think of the name of the store, though.
 
                                                      Memories are a never ending story.
 
Cleve worked for the Minden Press after school, Saturday's, and most of the night on Thursday's when the paper was put to bed.  Says Cleve  "The Harpers who owned the Minden Press, Clifton and Myrtle, were very good to me and got me a job at the printing office at LSU.  Connie Harper was Clifton's sister-in-law, and was married to Clinton Harper who worked for the Shreveport Journal.  At Clinton's suggestion, for a short while I covered Minden sports  for the Jounal.  They paid a dollar per column inch.  Connie Harper's halo doesn't need shining.  She was such a good teacher and friend. An interesting thing about the 30's and 40's.  When everyone was poor no one was poor."