March 2018 - June 2021
Currently traveling
  • Day0


    March 2, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌫 17 °C

    This will be a short trip to Shreveport, and will be a “mini” family reunion of sorts. Tommy and Rena are hosting a “Sip and See” for family members who have not yet had the chance to meet their newest grandson, James. I figured it is a good opportunity to see most of what is left of our family in
    Shreveport at one time in one place. Louisiana is usually nice in March, so we are hoping for good weather!

    We left Fort Collins early -- 5:30 a.m. and drove to Canopy Parking in Denver. We flew on Southwest Airlines to Dallas and picked up our rental car at Advantage Rental, which proved not to be such an "advantage" after all. While we were waiting to get our rental car there was a black couple inside the rental office ahead of Ed. The couple had apparently reserved an SUV, but were told there were none available and they would have a minivan instead. All hell broke loose in a screaming, cussing and fist pounding episode like we have never witnessed before. We got our rental vehicle, which surprisingly was an SUV, and drove away quickly so the couple wouldn't see that we had an SUV. We are not sure just how the incident ended, but the couple had calmed down considerably by the time we left. We will not use Advantage again in the future for several reasons. First of all, the shuttle bus from DFW to the rental lot was pretty trashy with torn seats and a generally old and worn looking vehicle. Also, the customer service didn't appear to be very professional, as witnessed by the way the Advantage agent dealt with the black couple (I would have been angry too!), and lastly because before giving us our nice SUV they tried to pawn a trashed out Camry on us. After seeing the Camry, we requested a different vehicle.

    Traffic was pretty bad as we left Dallas. We had a near miss when an 18 wheeler almost hit us when he merged out of his lane.

    We checked in to our Residence Hotel on Monkhouse Drive in Shreveport. I called Kay and she told me it would be awhile before she and Dorothy and Arlena would be there, because they were at an appointment. We decided to drive around town a little while we waited for them. We drove by the house on Bryan Circle where Danny and I lived when we moved to Colorado. Next stop was by the house Mama and Daddy had on Garden Oaks Drive in Shreveport. Debbie and I were pretty little when we lived in this neighborhood. We then drove by Momo’s old house on Coral Street and then we drove by Virginia Avenue where I grew up, and the house on Corbett Street where Danny and I lived when Matthew was born. Then we drove by Werner Park Elementary, Midway and Fair Park. We then returned to the hotel. When Kay, Arlena and Dorothy arrived, we sat around the hotel room living room with the fireplace on (and the A/C!) and had wine and visited. We got Taco Bell for dinner, and it was real good, although they do not have “green sauce” like the Taco Bells in Colorado. It was late when they left and we went to bed.
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  • Day1


    March 3, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We got up drove around to some old haunts in Shreveport. We drove north of town to see where Debbie and Andy lived in Shreveport and we also went by some landmarks in the downtown area. We were late getting to the Sip and See, because when I told Siri to give me directions to "Millbank" she misunderstood and took us to "Milam" Street, which is definitely in the Hood in Shreveport. We arrived about 20 minutes late, but all was well.

    We saw the new grandson, James and sat around visiting with Linda and Jerry and some of Rena's family. We had to leave at 3:30 p.m. to attend 4:00 Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Berchman, where Danny was baptized. Kay met us at the church and attended Mass with us. Unfortunately, the priest celebrating the Mass was grim and grouchy! Thank goodness, that is not the norm for Catholic priests.

    After Mass, Kay wanted us to drop her off at her place so she could leave her car there. We did this and then went to pick Dorothy up. Kay wanted us to stop at Kroger so she could pay Arlena’s bills by money order and this took quite a few minutes. We were already late to meet up with Linda, Jerry and Mom at Jan’s Seafood. Adding to this was that we missed our exit for I-20, and that further delayed us. We finally got there. The fish and oysters were not as good as we expected, but it was nice visiting and talking with everyone.

    After dinner we took Dorothy and Kay back home and then returned to the Residence Inn.

    A busy day.
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  • Day2


    March 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    We got up and had breakfast in our hotel. We left the room around 10:30 a.m. and went to pick up Kay and Arlena. Mom rode with Linda and Jerry, and Tommy rode with them too. We met up near the Jimmy Davis Bridge. First we went to pick up some McDonald’s coffee and then we drove to Coushatta to try and find Charles Guilliams’ gravesite. It was a mystery, because we found his parents headstone, but there was no headstone for Charles. We found out later that Charles is buried in an unmarked grave to the right of his parents grave. We are still looking into why he doesn’t have a marker for his grave. Charles was a close friend of ours and he lived in Campti, where June and Margie lived.

    We drove to Campti next. Our first stop was the Catholic Church we remembered from the past. Tommy was an altar boy at this church when he was growing up. We walked around the grounds of the church and could see the swamp near the back of the church and cemetery. It is an eerie place!We wanted to go inside the church and were fortunate that the priest (from India) was there and he let us go inside and take some photos. He was very sweet and allowed us all the time we wanted. After we left we drove by Charles Guilliams old house and the site of the old railroad depot where Uncle June used to work. We have many fond memories of being in Campti as children, and we spent many hours playing at the railroad depot. Tommy told us the depot building itself was moved to another location.

    We left Campti and drove to Jamestown and Heflin. Mama and Arlena sat together in the backseat chatting and talking about old memories the whole time. We drove by the small country store (Delois’s Store at that time) we used to go to buy penny candy, and then we drove by the Toms’ house, the location of our gray house across the street from the Toms’ (which is no longer there), the location of the ”Bill Cook” house we lived in as children (no longer there), the location of Aunt Feb’s house on Watts Road (also no longer there), and then Black Lake swamp where Mama and Arlena used to swim. They said one time they were swimming there without permission. The water was high and dangerous and Momo drove down there looking for them. She was apparently pretty angry with them for swimming in those dangerous (snaky!) waters. We went by the location of Uncle Tim’s place (on the road behind Bill Cook’s place) and we drove to Nebo Lake where we used to swim as kids. We all got out of the vehicles at Nebo and took some pictures. Then we drove To Bisteneau cemetery, where Momo and Papaw are buried, as well as my great grandparents and other relatives. We then drove the short distance to to Heflin, where Mom was born. The house she was born in is no longer there, but we did see the two huge trees where Momo and Papaw got married so long ago (Momo was 15 when she got married). I was surprised that the trees are still there. There is a dilapidated house near the trees and when I asked Mom who that house belonged to, she said she assumed it must have been just the house of some friends of Momo and Papaw.

    By now the sun was dropping in the sky, so we headed back to Shreveport to Tommy’s house. Rena had made and frozen some Nachitoches Meat Pies a few months back, and we had those with salad, chili and a “Catholic” cake as she called it — which was Rum Cake. It was real good.

    It was pretty late when we left. Ed and I drove Kay and Arlena home and then we went on to the hotel.

    Another full day!
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  • Day3


    March 5, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We slept in a little. Once we got up and around we drove by our house on Glenwick Street in Shreveport, where Deb and I lived when we were very small. I was brought home to this house after I was born. We also drove by Kay and Billy’s old house on Brookwood Drive. Our next stop was Forest Park West Cemetery, where my cousin Sharon Ann (who drowned when she was 12) and Theron and Lela’s graves are. We then drove out to Mom and Daddy’s house on Dance Drive, west of Shreveport. When Matt was a baby, we would drive him out here every day so they could babysit him and we didn’t have to put him in a daycare. This situation lasted until I got my job at the post office. At that time I was working evenings and it made more sense for Carol, Bobo or whoever was available to come out to our house on Bryan Circle to babysit Matthew at home.

    One particular delight today was when we stopped by the church where I (and Daddy) were baptized. At that time it was called Central Missionary Baptist Church and I was baptized in 1970. It is now a black church. We stopped in to say hello to the pastor and he and two others on his staff were so happy to show us around the church. I was delighted that the baptismal pool where I was baptized is still there, and the beautiful mural above it are is the same one I remember as a kid.

    We headed back toward the hotel. On the way, we drove by the location of Momo’s old house on Willard (which is no longer there), Betty Virginia Park where Mama and Daddy used to “court”, and the area of their first apartment on Jordan Street.

    We returned back got the hotel. Arlena and Kay came over and we had food from the complimentary buffet the hotel provides on weeknights. I had leftover Taco Bell and they all had hamburgers from downstairs. We had a nice long visit and it was pretty late when Kay and Arlena left. We said our goodbyes until the next trip, because we had to leave for Dallas the next morning.
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