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THE GOOD OLE DAYS

Chapter 1

I think about them a lot now that I am fifty-six. I find myself gazing into the sky,
looking at how beautiful it is and day dreaming about my childhood. Remembering the
wonderful moments as a little red haired Indian girl (Louisiana French Creole) and how
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my father loved having my mother dress me and my sisters in our native clothing. My
cousin was a seamstress and had a small fabric shop uptown and one year, (I must have
been about eight years old) she designed and made the cutest Mardi Gras costume for me.
It was a white dress with lovely white fringes at the bottom, the entire dress was
covered with sparkling glitter and the moccasins complimented it perfectly. My long
curly sandy red hair was parted down the middle and braided in two, with fasteners at the
ends. My headband matched the dress and had a red feather in it. I WAS BEAUTIFUL!
And this is my first childhood memory of going downtown to see the parade on Canale
street.
My daddy was so proud and did show me off to everybody that day. Folks were
stopping to look at my new dress and to say “how pretty I was” to my father. I don’t
know why this memory stands out in my mind; just know that I see it often and it must
have a special meaning. And believe it or not I could still feel that same atmosphere, the
spirit of that day so many years ago.
When I was in elementary school (William J. Guste) I remember each year at carnival
time, all the students in every class had to participate in the Float Decorating Contest, and
I just loved it! The teachers (who we adored and respected so much, back then…my how
time has changed) gave us as a homework assignment to gather up all of the trinkets that
we had from the parades, and to glue them on a shoebox representing a float, and to enter
the contest. IT WAS FUN!
At holiday time we use to have the best pageants. Everyone was proud of the role they
played in each show, wearing costumes and makeup and really getting into character. We
felt like little Hollywood stars, performing before a live audience. We made them laugh a
lot. And everyone’s parent was proud. School was a big deal and important too. The
curriculum was great, learning made you happy to be smart, and the teachers were simply
remarkable. Yep…that was the good ole days.

Chapter 2

During my years in junior high school (James Durham), I got to meet some interesting
friends. It was a different kind of people and it took some getting use to. Everyone was
transitioning and trying to juggle several classes a day. Not to mention doing all those
homework assignments. I remember my seventh grade teacher (for the love of me, I don’t
remember her name, I don’t know why?) had a party at her house for our class and it was
marvelous darling. She cooked good food and baked delicious desserts. We couldn’t wait
to try the cuisine. It was the only reason we went there. It was a quiet dinner. We talked,
played games, and danced; we were learning to socialize as teenagers.
After a few hours of being there, I and couple of the other kids decided to leave early.
We called our parents, and they came to pick us up. Some of the kids stayed for a while
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longer and slept over. That’s when a funny thing happened. They shared their story about
how they got to meet the teacher’s husband (and it goes like this). He came to the house
after having a few drinks. Because he was inebriated, she quickly escorted him on to the
porch. He mumbled something at her, something about love. He then walked over to the
big window and opened the trench coat he was wearing. And wow! Let’s just say, I am
so-o-o-o glad that I left that party when I did. Ha-Ha-ha!
My dear teacher apologized to the entire class for that episode. We laughed and forgot
about it rather quickly. You see, being a young person back then, our minds were quite
wholesome. Kids were kids and we did what kids do…play duh! Just because we’re now
teenagers, don’t mean we’re grown. We continued to study our work, passed every test,
and got excellent grades. We liked bragging on report card’s day. Those “golden stars”
and “E’s” on it said to everyone “this is a very smart student”. And besides, our parents,
aunts and uncles, and everyone who was an adult back then, asked to see the report card,
and if was good, they gave money. We figured we could get rich just by being smart
huuum. That’s when we started imagining big.
Then soon we tried out for everything, flag twirling, majorette baton twirling, and
gymnastics, anything that had a uniform. It makes you look important and people like
that. I also remember singing in the schools talent show, and wearing my beautiful light
blue Easter dress with a red bow on the collar, and my pretty patent leather red shoes. It
complimented my curly sandy red hair. The auditorium was filled with folks and the
crowd enjoyed the performance (some of them laughed at me). Sometimes I won second
or third place and sometimes I didn’t come in any place at all. I wasn’t a bad singer, I was
just an amateur. And there were many groups competing. It was the nineteen seventies
and everybody had talent. These are great memories. We loved going to school, we loved
the teachers, and we loved being silly with fun. Yep…that was the good ole days.

Chapter 3

When I got to go to high school (Booker T. Washington), it was like I’ve already
graduated and went to college. It was totally different from anything I have ever seen
before. There were several prestigious classes for every career. They were Auto Motive,
Agriculture, Shoe Repair, Home Economics, Cosmetology, Dance, Theatre, Music,
Architectural Design, Olympic Training, Horticulture, R.O.T.C., Driving, Arts, and
Machine Shop… and the list goes on and on. It was indeed a work place for our inspiring
young minds to learn and to our best.
I remember how I use to like listening to the students practice their singing in the halls,
during the lunch hour. Everybody wants to audition for the next show, or the next play.
The principle would walk through those halls and smile and encourage us to keep trying,
and said that “we sound good, we sound good”. He was a very nice man. And that
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motivated us to do more. From that point on, I think that’s when I wanted to become a
superstar in everything, modeling, acting, music…showbiz! It was my fun way to get
rich.
On the weekends, in my neighborhood, at evening time, I remember how wonderful it
was to sit on the porch with my friends and listen to the music on the radio. We would
pretend that we were that famous girls group. We’d fluff up our hair real big and wear
sunglasses, talk very proper ( like movie stars) and perform for the neighbors and all who
walked by. The folks just looked at us and laughed… smiled and kept going. We didn’t
care; we were having the time of our lives as teenagers. The boys liked it. They always
came over to watch us. The neighbors who lived across the street enjoyed it also. They
sat outside in their chairs at the same time each day just to see it.
There is so much more I could say about the memories of my life growing up as a little
curly sandy red haired girl in New Orleans, Louisiana. Every single day was great. I am
so glad that God made me when He did. I was born at the right time, to the right family,
went to the right schools, and had the right friends and when I now think about it… I
have the right life. All glory belongs to God Most High, Sweet Holy Spirit, In Jesus
name, Amen. Who is perfect in all His ways. Yep…that was the good ole days.

And once more:


I dedicate this little book to the memories of my past.

To all my readers
God bless and prosper,
Kertranka

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