Ajoleblon...A Cajun Tale

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Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
This journal is a bunch of rants about nothing. Mostly lighthearted happenings in the life of a woman who is very simple and who wants for nothing but greatly appreciates whatever is given. You will find nothing profound here but hopefully something that will make you laugh and that's what I enjoy doing most. Being humorous. Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Childhood Memory

Here’s a childhood story I would like to share.

When I was a youngster my grandparents and extended family, cousins and the like would go to Cameron Parish Louisiana to Holly Beach.

This was a humble little place nothing very fancy. The camps were very rugged and roughing it was what you did. We all piled into the camp like sardines and slept wherever there was available space. We didn’t care because sleeping is all we did inside.  Here's one such camp with my grandparents smooching:


We arose early and retired way past nightfall. Back in the 70's there was no air conditioners but as youngsters we didn’t notice this inconvenience. The Gulf Breeze was enough to keep us happy and the Gulf Waters as muddy as they were cooled us off. We were young and carefree.

Our parents didn’t worry. . It was a time when you could allow your children to run freely up and down the beach without fear of harm coming to them. It was a time when if you didn’t see them til night you didn’t worry because nothing bad happened in those days.

It is and has always been my favorite summer memory. A memory so dear and near to me that the mere thought of not being able to go back is devastating.

Holly Beach Louisiana was where I learned what being female meant. It’s where I discovered boys. They were "cute" and they were "tough" as we said back then. "Buff" back then unlike today meant polishing the floors and that was work. We didn’t want any part of that.

Holly Beach is where I met my first true love. It was the summer of 71. He was sixteen and I was twelve. Not your typical twelve year old ( almost thirteen). I had a maturity beyond my years. Here I am on Holly Beach at 13...me on the left...excuse me but no thirteen year old should look that mature.



We spent every day together roaming the beaches. I thought it was a chance meeting...

......but fast forward 30 years and I find out differently. He saw me walking on the beach and fell in lust immediately. Told his friend (the one in the pic) that he had to meet me and was going to find a way. He was a smart one...he went through my brother and mother. Introducing himself to them and "accidently" meeting me as someone my brother had met earlier. He recalls me not being too impressed with it all but as I got to know him through the days and I fell into my first love. We exchanged addresses and wrote hundreds of letters to each other. He still has mine and I still have his...somewhere in the attic.

My mother allowed him to visit. He was from Louisiana and I lived in Texas at the time. Four hours away from him. We got to know each other and it was a time that I remember as being the purest and most innocent in my life. We laughed and loved with an innocence only children know. He respected me and as I learned later saw me as the girl he wanted to marry when I grew up.

When I was fourteen he went off to college. He did not let me know what he was doing. I just thought he grew out of me. I remember being so devastated. (My diary is a testament of that fact). Every page talks about my loss.

While he is still in college my mother calls him to let him know I’m engaged to be married. He relates to me that when my mother told him about my being engaged that he looked at my picture that he kept on his dresser and just cried. His little girl was getting married. He said that was a turning point in his life. I never knew any of this...I never knew that he asked my mother to have me call him (she never told me...I never even knew she called to tell him I was getting married) so he could talk to me and make sure that was what I wanted to do. He loved me. He never knew that two months prior to marriage I told my mother I didn’t want to get married but she told me it was pre marital jitters and at sixteen years old you listen to your mom, right? Yes folks I was married the first time at 16.

Yes I find all this out 30 years later. We talked for hours like no time had passed. We were sad and happy at times but because he is married and we were becoming too close we decided it best we end our friendship. We did not want to tarnish or make ugly our memories. What we shared way back then was beautiful and doing anything to make it ugly would be sacrelegious.

Now two months later enter Rita....

Holly Beach Before Rita and below is after Rita

I can't look at this picture without crying.

This may seem trivial to some but the loss of this place along with the loss of New Orleans has put a heaviness in my heart.  They both hold so many dear memories for me and neither will ever be the same.


gailmb said...

Whoa! It looks like pictures from the tsunami!!
I'm so sorry.......

bvaneps834 said...

I too, had a love affair with an "older" man. He was 17 years older and ours was an affair by letter and phone that lasted over 50 years. He is dead now and I miss him! He never married, but I did and to all the world we were just best friends, but I did love him! Enjoy your journal!

swibirun said...

This was the best entry I have read today.  I hung on every word sharing your emotions and that really personalized the tragic disasterous ending.  The pictures gave me chills, but it would have not had near the impact without your excellent story.  Thank you so much for sharing.   This was really exceptional.


wkoetting said...

Ah, Sharlene..... I have known you for almost 5 years and your heart for what seems even longer.  Thank God for memories, for sane minds that can remember insane times and for LOVE, that is neverending.  To all who know not the inner workings of this girl... I say to you.... the world is a better place because of her and just like the sands of Holly Beach, irrosion will never erase the memory of her grace to this world.

Mountain Man Bill

rjet33 said...

I am here by way of Chris (swibirun).  I spent my vacation in S.C. on the coast and felt the same way when the different hurricanes would come through and destroy like that.  Btw, my daughter is now 13 and looks that mature as well.  I cannot stand how when I am out with her in public all of these older men ogle her.  I so want to scream, "She is only 13, take your eyes elsewhere!"  My parents always took us camping when we were growing up.  It brings back wonderful memories.  Thanks for the walk down memory lane.


luvatalaff said...

thanks for sharing your memory, those black and white photos are great

karynetaylor said...

wow, great story, great pictures, but I am sorry for all the pain it causes you! have you recently caught up with this guy again to exchange memories? Its kind of fun finding people from the past, but I guess in your case it leaves you wondering, what if?? and mebbe a little pissed at Mom for thinking to let him know you were getting married but not thinking to let him know you were nervous/ had jitters/ had a hard time getting over him?

~ Karyn

anglba859 said...

I can totally understand...i went there alot during my teen years and to see this saddens me a whole lot. Hopefully we can rebuild and try to move on,..i know it will be hard and it WONT be the same.

<3 Jodi