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.