Friday, July 27, 2012

Baton Rouge

A small city on the Mississippi some 90 miles north of New Orleans and the place I lived briefly when I was ten:

My parents had only a high school education, and with two small children they decided to do something about it.  We were living in Athens, about 25 miles north of Louisiana Tech.  In due course they graduated, with mother as valedictorian, and Dad about 5th in a large class  (he was also working full time at another job).

With such honors Dad thought they might likely qualify for fellowships to LSU; they made applications, but shortly received form letters saying their applications had been placed on file.  Dad is slow to anger, but he responded by asking for some sponsorship from a federal judge.

Almost by return mail they received notice that the two fellowships had been awarded, in history for Dad and English for mother.

That's how it was that at the age of ten I found myself living in the state capital.  It was an exciting experience.  We had an apartment in the center facing a large primitive park.  There I was introduced to football, which became the love of my life for the next five years.

The capitol went up about 65 floors, and one day my sister, Margaret, and I climbed it all the way to the top: talk about adventure!

The climax to this story had happened in the lobby of the capitol, a year before our climb:

Huey Long, a flaming liberal in a very conservative state was assassinated.

No comments: