Friday, August 14, 2009

He May Be From Monroe But I'm Not Sure.....

Years ago, and I mean maybe 31, 32 years ago, we were playing the Civic Center in Monroe, Louisianna. Nephew Fred, his Dad and I were in a grocery store and Fred, who was maybe 5, said something about being in Monroe, Louisiana.

The checker said, "You're not in Monroe, honey, you're in Mun-Row."

Somewhere I have a photograph of Lil Jim, Peggy and Tillie sitting in their car seats that was taken while they were eating spaghetti in Monroe, Louisiana. But I can't find it. They were barely a year old.

In those days it was like this, first we all got mobile homes, then we all got new pickups, then we all got babies.

We would go to Louisiana every spring and work. Somehow, we always ended up in Monroe, Louisiana, eating Johnny's Pizza. Then we'd go to New Roads for the Mardi Gras celebration.

One year, Sam, who was leading the convoy, decided that instead of heading west ot Opelousas or east to Hammond and crossing the river at Baton Rouge, we would take a short cut and head straight south to St. Francisville and take the ferry across the Mississippi which would put us right at New Roads. St. Francisville was on one side of the river, New Roads was on the other side.
View Larger Map

Unfortunately, some of our trucks were too big for the ferry and we were not allowed to board. I was the last truck in line. I couldn't turn my truck and trailer around so I started backing up the levy road.

Now, backing a trailer ain't the easiest thing in the world to do and I backed into the ditch. When I tried to pull out, I snapped the u-joints on my truck and couldn't move. I was blocking traffic. No one could get off the ferry, and no one could get on the ferry.

So there we were, Sam pulling a joint trailer, Frankie pulling a house trailer, Leonard pulling a joint trailer, Jan pulling a house trailer, Ganey pulling a house trailer and me pulling the machine gun trailer. I was broke down on the levy road....blocking traffic getting off the ferry and we couldn't get on the ferry.

There were some hot marks there, let me tell you!

I ended up un-hooking the trailer, Leonard unhooked a trailer, we got a chain and pulled my broke down truck out of the way.

The rest of us backed up over the levy into a farmer's field. I took the drive shaft off the truck and went to town to find a welder to fix it.

I got lucky, the high school vo-tech teacher was at the one gas station in town and he welded up my drive shaft. I asked how much I owed him, he said nothing, it's on me. I put the drive shaft in the back of the pickup and got ready to leave.

The gas station owner came up and said, wait a minute, you owe me for the use of the welder. That'll be $25.00.

In those days, $25.00 was a lot of money. I paid him and went back put the drive shaft back on the truck and we continued on our way without going across anymore ferries.
View Larger MapWe had to double back to find a bridge. I don't remember where we crossed the river at but I do remember we were all mad at Sam and wouldn't let him plan the route anymore.

To add insult to injury, we got rained out at New Roads and the lot turned into a mud pit. Look at these pictures and all the mud and boots. We was counting our change, that's how broke we was!
This is a picture of Nelson Lee looking across the lot at his cousins, Evelyn Giles and Sammie Crable. The mud is thicker than Louisiana gumbo!
Look at the mud! We had to have a farmer come and pull us out when the spot ended. Louisiana mud stinks, too.
One year, instead of pickups, babies or house trailers, we all got beards.
That's Nelson Lee walking across the lot in the above picture. He's long gone but he was a good man who cut up a good jackpot.

Anyhow, I think this guy is from Mun-Row, but I'm not sure.


d5thouta5 said...

this would be the same Sam that I was in Metairie LA with...Metairie Park...along with a guy named Billie and the set up was an island with an access bridge...Sam pulls the skeeball trailer onto the island with a pickup and proceeds to drop the trailing axle of the trailer off the edge of the seawall...spent more time getting it back on dry land than we did working that weekend....same pickup caught on fire heading over a loooong bridge north going to to camp at the Mitchell's the next weekend....never did understand why the deputy was so upset after we closed the bridge....damn, the truck was on fire...we had to leave it there....Sam was pissed I know why.....

Busplunge said...

Hey Ed, I forgot about that! Some dingbat hooked the chain around the stabilizing bar on the front axle of Sam's duallie to pull him out.....the truck didn't move but the stabilizing bar moved very fast, liked to hit the idiot in the head!

Ah, those were the days! And to think we actually made money!