Incidents and Glimpses

of the past


 

FLAG RAISINGS AT SCHOOL 

 

     When we went to school we had a flag raising. We wanted the "Grand Old Flag" placed over every school

in Webster Parish. Someone would raise the flag every morning when we got to school and take it down when

school closed in the afternoon. We never left it up over night.

 

        FINDING ANCESTORS LEFT OFF THE CENSUS THROUGH OLD CATTLE BRANDS  

              

When I could not find one of my ancestors in the census record, I found him in the town record book with a 

complete description of his cattle brand. In the olden days cattle were marked with different combinations of

notches, slits, squares and "half pennies" which were cut in the edge of an animal's ear with the animal's name

 and the date it was registered. This was positive proof of the time my ancestor located in the area. If the animal     

was sold to someone else, the town clerk often made a note to that effect. I found one of mine in Union Parish,

Louisiana in 1835 but he was left off the 1840 census.

 

                                     THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

      As a child, both my grandfathers remembered the streets being lined with hitching rails to accommodate the          

horse & buggy combinations. They used to say the world had made more progress during the present century          

of their life than was made throughout all previous history.

      My Dad was born in 1902. The automobile was still in its infancy. The streets were still lined with hitching rails to

accommodate the horse and wagon combinations. The first automobiles were cranked by hand. Those fortunate

enough to own a car were considered prosperous. During my childhood Dad drove an old ford. When I saw         

one of that vintage at an antique automobile show, I  could  not believe he had owned one exactly like it. However,    

I do have a snapshot to verify the fact.

 

     The old ford and the house we lived in on Police Street - Note the clothes line in the back of the house!

      The airplane was invented the year after Daddy was born in 1902.  I have read of a crude box plane that

 looked like a glider. The aviator would fly the plant sitting front and center of the lower wing. Today, we

take so much for granted.

     We listened to the radio a lot when I was growing up. Although television dates back to 1925 we did not

have one in our home until I graduated from high school

     We shared a party line with the Howard Gay family who lived across the street. We cut our grass with a push       

 lawn mower.

     There were no fast food restaurants. Our meals were home grown, cooked at home, blessed and eaten

with the the rest of the family at the dining room table.

     You will have to admit that this past century saw more progress than was made throughout all previous history.

 

THE BLEEDING TOMBSTONE - SECTION D  - MINDEN CITY CEMETERY

                                                                                       

                                        

                                     
     During the fifties we would drive by the cemetery to see the bleeding tombstone. As  we we drove slowly down

the street, we were alert for omens. We read meanings from the  shadows and every breeze. Often our panic and

anticipation of finding out who was buried in this grave would bring us back the next day. We were never able to find

out which grave it was. Years later I wanted to show this bleeding tombstone to my grandchildren. There was not a

sign of it. I was told it had been caused by a reflection from a neon sign from the Minden Light and Water Utility Co.

It is unknown to me whether the sign was moved or turned off.  It is a fact when the sign stopped blinking the tomb

stopped bleeding. We knew it was in the above location but we just couldn't locate it. Later, Ann Mays Harlan went back

to the cemetery and went straight to the grave and took this picture.

     Back in the fifties boys and girls would sometimes park in the cemetery just to see what they could see. Sometimes

a young lady would get so scared she would get so scared she would have to move over real close to her fellow so he could

protect her. Sometimes a girl would be so frightened they would scream. Of course, her boyfriend would have to put his arm

around her to calm her down.

 

     "This is believed to be the "Bleeding Tombstone" that was in the Minden City Cemetery near the corner of Goodwill St. and Bayou

Ave."  

 

                                   SUPERSTITIONS FROM MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

Growing up in North Louisiana we had our share of superstitions and adages which were probably pure local.

I am not sure. If you break a mirror you will have seven years bad luck.

It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house.

If you have a sore on your tongue, it is a sign you lied.

If your nose itches, someone is coming.

If a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck.

If you step on a crack, you break your mothers back.

If you tell a dream before breakfast, it will come true.

If a rooster crows, it is a sign of death.

If a dog howls in the night, it means someone will die.

When a man dies, a clock stops.

SOME ADAGES FROM MY PAST

A watched pot never boils.

Never judge a man until you walk in his shoes.

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

Children are to be seen and not heard.

Do as I say and not as  I do.

Don't bit the hand that feeds you.

You can't beat a dead horse to death.

You don't beat a dead horse to death.

You don't miss the water until the well runs dry.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Silence is golden.

Waste not, want, not.

But for the grace of God, there go I.

But for the grace of God, there go I.

Do not burn your bridges behind you.

Do not count the chickens before the eggs hatch.

You cannot lay in the peg pen and not get dirty.

Beggars can't be choosy.

Snakes have no friends and neither do liars.

You can judge a man by the company he keeps.

  Things My Mother Told Me

  Compliments of Rowland Ivy
 
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.  

"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION. 

"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.  

"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.

" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
 
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident." 

7. My mother taught me IRONY.

"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.

    "You'll sit there until all those peas are gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
 
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.

"Stop acting like your father!"
 
15. My mother taught me about ENVY.

"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.

" Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.

"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
 
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.

"You're just like your father."
 
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.  

"Shut that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?" >

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.

"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
 
25. And my favorite: - My mother taught me about JUSTICE.

 

 

                                            DECORATION DAY

 

Memorial Day use to be called Decoration Day when I was a kid.  The community would

bring a basket lunch to the cemetery. All the graves would be weeded and decorated by the families.      

Sometimes they would have a parade and the old soldiers would march in a procession. The ladies would

 make pretty bouquets and wreaths for the graves of the war veterans.

 

                                        ICE MEN

 

Back during the war years some people did not have electric refrigerators. They used ice boxes to keep

milk, butter, and other goods from spoiling. We had an ice man who came to McIntyre. The ice came in

twenty-five fifty or seventy five -one hundred pounds, He had a scale on the back of the wagon to weigh

the ice. It looked nice and clean, but do you wonder where the ice came from? Perhaps a bayou or river?

We didn't worry about things like that back then. Things were not as polluted as they are today.

 

                                 NEST EGG

 

Most people raised chickens when I was a girl. The ladies would usually keep an egg in the nest to make

the chickens lay better. After gathering the eggs some would be sold. The egg money would be used for

the ladies sewing supplies or personal needs. This money was called her "nest egg." My own grandmother

always kept a white door-knob in her hen nest. When a snake would invade the nest it would swallow  the

door knowbthinking it was an egg. Because the snake was unable to digest the egg, he would die. The brave

lady would cut the snake open and retrieve the door-knob and put it back in the nest.

 

                      RAG PICKERS, OLD PEDDLERS, AND TEA COMPANIES

 

     My grandfather use to tell me about the old peddlers such as the ones who wanted to buy old rags and bones to

make bone meal. These peddlers went from farm to farm to peddle their trade. They usually had delivery

wagons. They traveled from place to place with a one horse carriage displaying tin wares, kettles, pots and

pans. All sorts of house utensils would be hanging from hooks and the tins rattled as he traveled. Everyone knew

when he was coming their way. He would always let this peddler sharpen his knives and scissors because he

had a grinding machine. Tea companies sold tea and coffee and spices. They took orders for future deliveries.

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