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Aug. 4th, 2010 @ 12:09 pm Numa's Biography
The following is a transcription of a hand-written collection of stories by my great-grandfather's brother. His name was Numa Boudreaux, and my great-grandfather is the Sidney mentioned in the story below. Numa wrote this down a years ago, before he passed away. I've tried to keep the punctuation, spelling, line breaks (since they seem to be important to structure in places), and word choice intact as much as I can. I have not attempted to keep the letter capitalization the same as the original, as the handwriting seems to make little distinction between letter forms in context. I have not edited this to make any more sense than the original words on the page did to me at the time I read them. One result of this approach is that the story is practically one enormous run-on sentence. Another is that interjections and corrections laid out on the page may not fit in to the running text. Also, due to the fact that this is handwritten and a photocopy, I may not have things quite right in places; there are a few words that I just could not make out, so I made my best guess. But in the end this was all just too fascinating not to be recorded in some way. I originally posted this up on my LiveJournal account, so I can't guarantee the formatting translated if you're reading this elsewhere.

Enjoy this little piece of my family history.

They was Boudreauxs
on both side

Hi I am Numa Pa-Pa Boudreaux
I was born in Donner LA. Feb 3 1911
Papa is from Houma Mama is from
Donner LA. Before he got married
he worked on Ashland Plantation
building cane wagons and wagon
wheels - when I was 1 year old
Papa moved below below Berwick LA
across the river on a farm he planted
vegatable raised cattles and hogs + chicks.
When I was 3yr old world war broke out
every body had that bad flu. Then millions of
people died then we all had the flu then
but we survived we aint had no kind
of convenience then we had to sleep
under mosquito bars they used to scrud
the floor with a brush and powdred brick
they used to pound the red brick with a
hammer - mama had it preetty hard
we would wait until the old man go to town
to do our pranks - if he would find out
that was a whipping - myy oldr borthers used
to cut fire wood durning the summer
we went to a one room school house on
the island - papa used canning tomatoes
in the next room - one time Lillian
was about 2 yrs old she went out on
the wharf and she fell off the wharf
on to some water lilies papa was running
a cat fish line then. When he seen her
he rushed over and saved her brought her
in the house. He was so mad he beat
Florence my older sister up for not watching
her - When Papa had company if we acted
out of line he would give us that crooked
eye we know what he meant
one time we went in his boat they had
some sugar we would eat sugar and
lean over the side and catch some river
water I leaned too far and fell over
board almost drowned lucky my brother
caught me - Papa had some honey beehives
when it came time to get the honey
he would get me to hold the pan while
he get the honey he had a smoker would
use that on the bees would quiet them down
we had on long sleeve shirt and cheese
cloth around our hats so the bees wouldnt
sting us - when the old man would go to
town we would shuck off go swimming in the
nude - one time they had a hurricane they
took us all in the boat - took us to a
stern wheeler that was tied up in
the bayou peru they treated us nice
they gave us food + drink
the next morning we went back home
one time my brother Sidney took a
shot gun shell apart Papa got mad took
a shot gun after hum he just wanted to
scare him Sidney ran under the house
Sidney found a chicken egg he says look
Papa I found a chicken egg - made Sidney
believe he had to stay out all night
After Florence got married - Mama had
to do all the house work by herself
the old man was mad at his soninlaw for
taking his daughter away from him
One time Papa had a Jersey Cow named Red
every time Pop tried to milk her she
would kick the pail so he put a hole in
the wall put a 2 by 4 in the wall
in front of Reds legs had me hold the
other end she kicked the 2X4 and
knocked me down Pop raised hell
at me and told me to hold on
thats where we was living at when he
learned to make moonshine -
when the corn would play out in the fall
my brothers would pile all them corn stalks
and weeds up around the late fall Pop would
set that a fire the lil. rabbit would run
out I would catch them and raise them
several of them burnt up
I would shove a chicken feather through
a stopper and nurse the lil. rabbits
we used to sleep on moss mattress and
corn shucks used that instead of springs
my old grandpa came visit while we was
living there thats the only time i met
him. Somebody talked Pop into moving - so we
moved between Avoca Island and Rock Bayou
so we moved there he wanted some
farming there it - was large stretch of land
that was irrigated with a levey all around
we only had cistern water to use
and never brushed our teeth we never
knew what a tooth brush was or tooth paste
the old man started farming he planted
russet potatoes - when it came time to dig his
potatoes - they had some roots in the ground
with a pointed end would go clean through
the potatoes - Pop bought a farm truck
with a wooden top all the way to the back
covered with canvas with 2 benches - and
he would sit us all in the back and tell
us all to stay put - on Sunday he told us
we was going to visit the Domanque wich was
a little related to us it rained while
we was at the Domanques
The road going back to that sretch
of land was dirt. So we started back home
when we got to that road we started
sliding from one side to the other - when
we got half way home - the truck bogged
we had to walk the rest of the way
so Pop said thats it we are moving to morgan
city - so he sold all his animals + chickens to a
butcher - Gus Michel and his borther that had a son
named Rudolph - when they would butcher a
hog Rudolph would get a coffee-cup and catch
that blood when they would bleed a hog
and drink it - so we moved to Morgan City
we moved on the corner of Second St
and Brasher - the approach of the the old Morgan
City bridge passes over - on the river front
they had a saw mill Brownell + Drew and
a big field by the house that was the lumber
yard we would go play in that lumber
yard - Pop took us to Convent to enroll us in
scool - when I seen them nuns with that
black outfit on that white corrugate
thing on their head I started to cry! I wanted
to go back home - Pop said thats some nuns *
they whill teach us school. At that time
I had the 7 yr. itch from playing with
dogs every summer i would get it
we didn't go to the convent long
enough to make our first communion
me and Milton went show case gaving
I seen one of them dummys in the show case
she was necked I told Milton look at that
nude woman he say thats a dummy
thats when my older brother Alley met
his wife Viola Renaut - her mama was an
old witch - then we moved on 4th st one
time Pop bought a BlueBird overland car - one
time coming on Avoca Island rom visiting a
woman his car caught on fire and burnt up
the gas can was above the engine at that time
the gas station man forgot to put the gas
cap back on - he towed that back home
and he rebuilt it made an old truck out
of it he was good at every thing he dig
I started school again them days then they had
low and high grade - in my class they had a red
haired boyy named Russel Brownelu - who
became doctor and later became mayor of
Berwick LA - I finished third grade and quit
school I carried 4 lunch pails to the shell
crusher for 50¢ each a week - then I went
to work for Dave Rhodes Restaurant and
Confectionary washing dishes - the dishes
would pile up the waitress would holler
at me I would tell her to shut up then
after a while he shut the restaurant down
and opened up a pool hall. Had me racking the
pool balls I was only 14 YRr then - I became a
good pool player had a guy would play with
me often - I would beath him more often and
he would get mad at me - they had like a French
market on Front St. by the river side with a
fur buyer stall he would buy rabbits from
the hunters and hang them in front of his
shop to sell - they also had 1 restaurant
2 butcher stalls 2 vegetable stalls so Papa
rented one to sell vegatables the was a
blind to sell his moonshine - I left school
to help him out they vegatables one day
I went over there to help him when I got
there I seen 2 policemen coming out with
Pop in the middle the one in back had
a jug of whiskey going to jail - I wanted
to go talk to him but I was scared - So a friend
of mine said you want to go see your Pop come on
I went talk to him he told me go back
home and tell your Mom not to tell them where
his distillery was I went back to tell mom
but it was too ate she done told them
it was in the attic he had a 5 gallon
behind the armoir
Another time black preacher put a revival
tent of the lot in front of the house - we
would go watch them get the Holy Ghost
some boys would get in the big oak tree
and throw some eggs at them - one night
some came there and they had a free
for all - the next morning we went there
and all the benches were turned over
and I found a large Bible on the ground
I brought it to Papa I think he gave it
back to them - in Aug 1926 they had a
hurricane. We passed it in a bungalow when
we would get a strong blow - that house
would do lie a windjammer 2 block
from us a hose caught on fire it made
a red glare in the sky. Alls those womens
thought the End of the World was coming to an
end they all started crying and praying
next morning we went back to the house
half of the roofing paper was off the
house - the following year the Morgan LA
Leve proke we had high water we were
scaffold up to the windows I would go in
the water up to my neck kick myself
up started paddling thats how I learned
to swim.. It got raw between my toes
when I was working for Dave Rhodes
a street fair came to town they gave
my boss some riding tickets so he gave
them to me so I went to the fair
met a Italian friend there I got him
to come on the ferris wheel with
me so he did they kept us on for a
while after a while he says I am getting
sick of the stomach I said try and hold it
but he let out a bunch of spaghetti
on top of a couple below. When they
let us down I took off. After I that I got on the
swings I started getting sick of the stomach
when I got off I went behind a tent and
threw up. When I was small there was
a Morgan Line carrying freight to Morgan City
and all them other towns. Large vessels
them days they didnt have all them 18
whellers then - back to when I was
working for Dave Rhodes he sold his
soda fountain to Billy Mule he talked me
into going to work for him. I worked
there for a while then I found out he
was a mafia I quit him told him we
was moving out of town - years later
he got show murdered mafia style
in 1928 we moved to Green Wood 3 mile
east of Morgan City - one year later
had the stock market crash - Huey Long
was governor - he had a highway go paved
had bridges built - I worked for LeBlanc
Construction out of Baton Rouge
moving houses out of the right of
way for the highway
I also worked building fence along
the highway - that was after Marie and
I was married then - Before I was married
I was 18 went to work at the Texas Co Shock
Mill I worked there one year the mill shut
down - then went to work on a oyester boat one
winter thats when Marie and I got married by
the Judge - one time before I was
married a colored man pond a revolver a
John Siracusas store and he sold to me for
two dollars - I went by the bayou snde
put a can on a post started shooting toward
across the bayou - across the bayou they
had a farmerm plowing his land one of the bullets
hit his horse - the next he came to the
store and inquire about who was shooting
across the bayou - he asked me I told
him I didnt know - another time we
me Milton and Alton Keller Maries cousin
went frog hunting we caught one frog
had him tied by the leg - we would take
turns shooting at objects with my 38
s+w Milton took the revolver and shot
I thought he had shot the last shell - I took the
gun + said I will shoot you in the foot
I thought the gun was empty - wasnt
aiming at his foot - when the gun
went off it vared toward his foot
the bullet went between his toes
he had a pair of leather soled shoes on
the billet didnt go through. Boy the
old man was hot. He called me all kinds of
names before I was married I made
cross ties for the railroad track - with
a broad ax iron wedge and seldge - I worked
on the Ramos Bridge 1/2 mile East of Greenwood
Before I got married Pop called Marie
a lil. winch Maries Pop god mad - and tackled
Pop till they had a fight - I hd 2 fights
on account of Marie - we moved to
Morgan City worked a-while longer
then quit went to work on shell crusher
tug with Capt. Alley my brother
worked there a few years - thats when
Randolph would cut around Marie while
I was on the boat - one night I came
home from work - Ther was a note it
says Honey I am going stay with Randolph
I dont love any more I took it hard
for a long time wold go in the bar
room get me a quart of beer and a
glass and start drinking - in July 1945
me and a friend of mine went to
work in Orange Texas worked 6 month
came back to Morgan City
went back to work on the shell
crusher tug then Lena and I got together
stayed together for 1 year then got
married - then we moved to Second St
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