Columns

Wed
23
Jun

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

There are some stories of old that should never be lost. They should be told to our children and grandchildren. The following true story that occurred following the Battle of Mansfield is just such an incident that sheds light on a familiar subject possibly in a different respect. During the Battle of Mansfield, one of the bloodiest in the war and last major victory of the Confederates, General Taylor ordered the La. Crescent Regiment forward to attack the 130th Illinois led by Major Reid. The Yankees were behind a rail fence and as the rebels charged Gen. Mouton, Col. Beard, Lt. Col. Clack, Major Canfield and seven of the ten Captains were killed along with 55 Rebel soldiers and 150 wounded. Prince Camille de Polignac, a French born aristocrat, took charge and defeated the 130th Illinois Regiment.

Wed
16
Jun

Hey, Let’s Talk!

Hey, Let’s Talk!
Hey, Let’s Talk!

Homemade Ice Cream Showdown!

Churn until you drop - Let’s Rumble! Memorial weekend I whipped up a bucket of homemade ice cream from a recipe I’d seen on the Internet. It sounded so good that I made the mistake of not going back to my tried and true recipe from Ms. Shirley Golsan who lived right here in Mansfield (& Grand Cane), LA. I’ve written about this great simple little recipe before and, don’t worry, I’ll be listing it again at the end of this column.

Wed
16
Jun

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Several of our early DeSoto leaders have been spotlighted in this article; however none have surpassed today’s individual – Mariah Martin Davidson, born in Nova Scotia in 1799 of Scotch parents. She married James H. Davidson who was born in 1805 also in Nova Scotia. The Davidsons moved to the Grand Cane area where they begin buying land northward.

James H. Davidson died in 1853 at the age of 48 years leaving Mariah with 5 children and a plantation with 21 slaves. This was a situation where few women could have succeeded but there were few women with the ability and determination of Maria (changed her first name). Maria Davidson had lost her husband several years before the Civil War but she became adept at managing a plantation. She educated her children and held her real estate and livestock in spite of the misfortune of wars and drastic misfortunes and loss by fire of two homes.

Wed
16
Jun

On The Bright Side

On The Bright Side

“Diddy” is the name my younger sister Ann gave to our dad when she was around five years old. It stuck.

Diddy is the one who brought us ice water before bed in a gigantic Coca-Cola Mega-Mug when we were little.

He took us to Wag-a-Bag in Mansfield almost every Saturday morning in the 80s, letting us buy a sack-full of penny-candy and an ICEE.

Diddy “skated” with us on our frozen pond in the winter.

He faithfully lugged a humongous old-fashioned video camera around, attempting to capture all of our childhood.

Diddy built us the coolest red treehouse, see-saw, and gymnastics balance beam when we were kids.

He loved to take us to Baton Rouge when he worked the Legislature, always fitting in time for dinner at Phil’s Oyster Bar in our favorite corner booth and a root beer at Frostop in their famous frozen mugs.

 

 

 

Wed
09
Jun

The Farm Wife

The Farm Wife

‘Afternoon Tea’ just sounds so elegant. I bet you are envisioning a table covered in white linen. Silver and china serving pieces. Trays and towers laden with delicate savories, scones and pastries, sitting demurely on white doilies.

Do you also ‘see’ ladies dressed in finery? Beautiful dresses, stylish hats and maybe even white gloves? This may have been the setting for a Victorian Queen’s Afternoon Tea, but originally it was a much simpler affair.

In 1840, Anna, the duchess of Bedford, found herself getting hungry around four in the afternoon. In her day, breakfast was served around 8 in the morning, with the evening meal served twelve hours later. A midday meal wasn’t usually served. Her cure was to enjoy a snack of bread and butter, and a slice of cake served with a cup of tea. It was just enough to hold her over until dinner.

Wed
09
Jun

On The Bright Side

On The Bright Side

Summers in the 1980s when I was a schoolage girl were the best. It wasn’t that we went on fancy vacations back then or had unique plans. It was the “gift of the ordinary days” when time seemed to stand still.

My sisters and I and local friends spent countless hours in our pool playing games like Sharks and Minnows and Marco Polo. We alternated swimming with riding the four-wheeler in the trails in the woods, our wet hair drying in the wind.

I can recall those trails, the turns and hills and shortcuts still clear in my mind from thirty-plus years ago.

Otter Pop popsicles that Momma bought from Sam’s Club in Shreveport were the go-to summer treat, and everyone tried to grab the Poncho Punch flavor first. Alexander the Grape was a close second. They still make those popsicles, but they aren’t quite as good or as big as they were in the 80s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed
09
Jun

Hey, Let’s Talk!

Hey, Let’s Talk!
Hey, Let’s Talk!

Uncle Red While unpacking an old box that has followed me on move to move I found my Uncle, Francis Arant ‘Red’ Marshall’s, WWII medals. He was my Mother’s older brother and manned a submarine during the Atlantic campaigns later in the War. Like my Dad and Uncles he was one of the “Greatest Generation” that won the war. He survived the war in spite of the hazardous underwater submarine duty but took his life after it was all over – despondent over a girl. Very tragic and I don’t think my Grandmother ever got over it.

Wed
09
Jun

Did You Know?

Article Image Alt Text

At the height of the Great Depression – June 23, 1933 – what was life like in Mansfield? Of course, most of the front page of the Mansfield Enterprise dealt with cotton acreage cut for the farmers and a few other discouraging things but there was a big front page article announcing 200 young people registering for the Epworth League held at the Mansfield Female College. The Epworth League was for young people 16 to 23 years of age. The program for the meeting at the three story building next to and adjoining the College Administration building was “Thy Kingdom Come”. This was one of the largest attendances for a League meeting.

Wed
02
Jun

The Farm Wife

The Farm Wife

There are gifts that make your heart leap with joy, and then there are those that stop your heart in its tracks. The ones that make your heart leap with joy are usually items that you never expected, didn’t know you wanted, yet you love them at first sight.

The gifts that stop your heart in its tracks are the ones that you have long dreamed about, but felt deeply that having it would never be a reality. These are usually something you want to do, a place you want to go, or something you know will bring your joy in life to a whole new level.

The Country Boy managed to fulfill one of my dreams and stop my heart in its tracks. The gift? A spinning wheel.

With my love of fiber and creating things with it, whether through knitting, crochet, weaving or other uses, spinning just seemed like an extension of this craft. One that can move the projects I create to a deeper level.

 

 

 

Wed
02
Jun

On The Bright Side

On The Bright Side
On The Bright Side

We took our annual Davidson-Carpenter-Vidrine-Sonnier summer vacation last week.

“The Sixteen of Us” — as we refer to ourselves collectively — include four families — my parents, my family, and my two sisters and their families. We currently range in age from eight to 73.

And this year, the sixteen of of us became a total of twenty at the beach because my son Bryce brought a friend, and Ann’s daughter Sadie brought three friends. In all, we were responsible for seven teenagers on the trip.

This year we rented two houses in Rosemary Beach, Florida. My parents and my family shared a house, while my two sisters and their families shared the house two doors down.

The atmosphere in our house was like calm, babbling brook compared to my sisters’ house which was like Gulf of Mexico during a category five hurricane (all of the youngest kids plus five teens resided there!).

 

 

 

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