The Number of Visits to JoJo The Dog Face Girl's BlogSpot

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I remember...

Yo-Yo heel shoes
Canvas Nikes (baby blue swoosh)
GloriaVanderbilt jeans
Not being about to make a phone call until you got to the house
My mom brushing my hair
Believeing in Santa
Finding out Santa was a sham
Not calling boys because my Mom said it wasn't appropriate
    (sneaking to do it anyway)
Cheer camp at NSU
Shawn Cassidy on my bedroom door (life size poster, baby)
The Hardy Boys
Hee Haw
The feel of soft dirt on my bare feet
Barefoot cartwheels
Cheap Candy
When I was sick, the one armed delivery guy from Lewis Pharmacy that
     delivered my medicine, some 6oz cokes, crayolas & a new color book.
Visits to Marshall Texas to see my Grandma
Thinking Marshall Texas was soooooo far away
Sitting at LSUMC with a ear ache waiting to see the doctor
Sitting in church with my hands over my ears.  
Deciding I was not going to be a Pentocostal when I grow up.   "Speaking in   
      tongue" was creepy to me.   (Sorry Grandma)
The day Elvis died.  My aunts and Mom crying as if they'd just been widowed
My Mom's encouragement at anything I tried
In the summer, sleeping by the window so the attic fan would suck the air past
In the winter, standing over a gas heater
Going to every church summer Bible school I could.
Jiffy-Pop popcorn on the stove
Always being a gypsy for Halloween (because it was free)
Big family get togethers
Big family get togethers that always ended with two of the aunts fighting
My Aunt Nancy always calling green apple bubble gum.. "cat **** gum"
      (this always made me laugh)
My Aunt Mary's humor
My Aunt Sally's laugh
My Aunt Jo's deep voice
My Aunt Billy's bird legs
My Uncle Bubba.  
Algebra (being my evil nemesis until I was in college and realized it's easy)
3 months off for summer
Never having much, but always having enough

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Do I need to ask for a psych consult?

My mom is a wonderful woman.  She's kind and loving and when I was a child... her world revolved around me.    She's in a nursing home and occassionally has spells where she gets sick enough to go to the ER and usually is admitted to the hospital.  Today, was one of those days.  The good news is she's ok.    This kind and loving woman... can be a wee (sometimes alot) unreasonable when sick.   But it is my job to point these things out to her... and make her laugh (or not).

The ER is semi-private with curtains between the patients... they were pulled a bit around to block her view of the hall (as they should be for HIPPA purposes, etc,..)

Mom: That curtain is bothering me!
Moi: Bothering you?
Mom: Yea, it is bothering me.
Moi: Mom the curtain's not talking to you is it?   Do I need to ask for a
             psych consult?
Mom (chuckling): NO!  It's not talking.  It's just bothering me.
Moi: Want me to have a little talk with the curtain?
Mom (chuckling):  No... but it IS bothering me.
Moi: Can you be more specific Mom?   I'm thinking a psych consult isn't
             out of the question here...
Mom (still chuckling): It's the way it's hanging.
Moi: Mom... I'll pull the curtain back so you can see the hallway.
Mom: That would be better.
Moi (smiling at Mom, while pulling the curtain): All you had to say was
              you wanted the curtain pulled back.
Mom: But it was bothering me.
Moi: I love you.
Mom: I love you, Baby.

Mom's going to a med-surg floor, not psych... THIS time.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School Night

10 things I learned/observed tonight at my son's 8th grade middle school's Back-to-School night:

10. Most kids really do look just like their parents.
 9. Giggling cheerleaders will never go out of style.
 8. One teacher likes to wear dresses and sit on her desk.
 7. The teacher mentioned in #8 happens to wear black underwear.
 6. The teacher mentioned in #7 & #8 is my son's favorite teacher.
 5. If your mommy tat is showing at your kid's back-to-school night...
         you might want to make better choices when doing shots of tequlilla.
 4. Shirts with the back cut out are not for all body types.
 3. 8th grade algebra teachers don't play.
 2. My son has a test TOMORROW!
 1. The kids seem taller than when I was in 8th grade... I, however, do not.

Friday, August 20, 2010

There was this one time... at a fire station...

When my Jake was 3 years old, we lived in Marshall, Texas.
Jake LOVED fire trucks.   I always told him that if we ever saw the firemen out there, I'd stop and we'd ask if they'd show him the firetrucks.  He begged every time we passed by for me to stop and ask.  

July 4th 2001, Jake and I had gone to the Independence Day Celebration in Marshall.    On our way back home, it was dark, but when we passed the fire station, Jake saw a fireman standing out front of the station.   So I turned around and went back to see if they'd show him the fire truck.

I park and get out of my Bronco.  As I walk closer, I realize they are playing basketball... without shirts on.    I told them just how badly my son wanted to see the firetruck and asked if it would it be OK for him to look at one of the them.  They put their shirts on and said they'd even let him sit in one if he wants.  One of the firemen recognized my Bronco, he passed it on his way home everyday apparently. 

Sooooo, I go get Jake from his car seat in the truck.   I'm wearing a red athletic type skirt and a white shirt and tennis shoes.  And am toting Jake on my hip.
As we get closer, his hands begin gripping me tight.  Then as I walk inside the garage near the firemen, Jake begins to wail," I hate fire trucks, mommy nooooo  I don't want to see them.... noooooo!"    

I was mortified.   Absolutely mortified.   Ugh!

I was saying," I swear he's begged to see them"
Jake crying, " I'm scared of fire trucks,  noooo mommy, nooo"

The firemen.. were amused.

I know I looked like a single mom using my kid as an excuse to talk to the shirtless firemen.  

Did I mention I was mortified?
(To this day, it's a running joke anytime we pass firemen, trucks or fire stations about how I'll use my kid as bait or my fondness for firemen.   In all fairness, this COULD explain why I married me a Fire Marshal)

I was thanking the nice young firemen of Marshall for their time, making apologies for my son's screaming and told them I was going to leave with my squalling kid.

They offer to let me go up in the big fire truck.   Ummmm, did I mention the red skirt was about mid thigh?   So, yeah... I declined.

So... a few weeks later my home phone rings and it's the fireman who recognized my Bronco.  Still not sure exactly how he got my number!   He was really was a nice guy.   So... I went on a few dates with him after that.   Well...  up until the night we were in his truck on our way to a movie and his CB radio went off and his buddy asked him if he was out with "that lil nurse in the bronco that brought her kid up here?".

Did I mention I was mortified?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Greenwood Cemetery

It was originally known as the "New City Cemetery" and began as 10 acres.  The name changed in 1905 and it now encompasses 70 acres.  The land is special too.. it was once the site for the a Civil War military hospital and the first charity hospital in the area.    Today the cemetery is maintained by SPAR.

This is Newton Blanchard's monument.  He was a representative in congress, LA Senator, a Supreme court judge, and the Governor of Louisiana in his lifetime.
There are four mayors buried at Greenwood Cemetery as well as:
The inventor of the first disc plow
Dr Thomas Edgar Schumpert of Christus Schumpert
The city's last official hangman
Ben White, the city's last steamboat captain

It has seperate "sections" in it. For greeks, jews, blacks, union members, vets, masons, and a specific memorial for confederate soldiers.                                                   

Greenwood Cemetery has a paupers field with only a single cross.   That area was overgrown, so I couldn't really get a picture of the cross.   

There is also an area for the ashes of those that donated their bodies to LSUMC.    It's a bit comforting to know when all the poking and prodding and learning is done... the ashes have a "home". (And now I know where Uncle Bubba ended up)

Greenwood Cemetery has a ravine that the Shreveport Garden club is working on to convert to a pond.   Progress was stopped by finding a marked grave though.     The photo above is a child's headstone that overlooks that ravine.

I've mentioned my soft spot for a soldier's grave.   I sincerely can't think of anything more noble than serving your country.   As we were looking at the military graves... we came across some flags laying on the ground. They had obviously been removed from the graves and layed there.    Ron, without saying a word went and picked them up.   I knew he would.  Because that's who he is. 

I will take my Jake there one day.  I want him to see the soldier's graves.  It's important to me that he understand that his freedom didn't come free.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What's with the Name Calling?

"JoJo the Dog Face Girl"  
What does that mean?
That doesn't sound good Jo.
I don't get it.
You're not a dog face.
Where did that come from?

P.T. Barnum's Freak Act.   He was a Russian boy with hypertrichosis named Fedor Jeftichew. 
However his stage name was Jo-Jo The Dog Face Boy.  

My family... has a warped sense of humor (yes... I'm pretty sure it's genetic)
So, as a little girl.. they would tease me and call me JoJo the Dog Face Girl.

They had this little chant:
"JoJo The Dog Face Girl, she walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile"

To which I would react appropriately by running to my Mommy and tattle telling on them all!

Besides... I'm thinking if I really was a dog face... I'd be a pug.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Star Cemetery: The forgotten

Next time you're driving East on I20 and traveling between the Greenwood Rd and Lakeshore exits... look to your right.  You'll see a cemetery.  You'll see the first African-American Cemetery in Shreveport.

It is has an interesting story.   I researched it before going to visit and take pictures.
It's easy to miss the road that leads into Star Cemetery.

In 1893 14 African-American men joined together and purchased 10 acres of land for $350.   They wanted to give the black community a place that their people could be laid to rest.

The cemetery lacks "order".  There are markers everywhere, not to mention several unmarked graves.

The land is listed as belonging to "The Star Cemetery Association".  However it disbanded YEARS ago.    So, technically... there is no "owner" of the land.  It's just... there.  The city now does the maintence.      They need to tend to it now.  

The headstones are modest, most of them concrete.  A few marble headstones for the military men and a few larger more extravagant monuments.    A couple of above ground burials surrounded by brick.   There are many ministers, buried at the Star Cemetery.  Another notable citizen laid to rest there is the city's first black attourney Charles Roberson.

There are some volunteer groups that gather for work days at the cemetery.   And apply "pressure" to the city to improve the ground care.  Like I said, it needed work the day we visited.  The grass was almost 2 foot high in places.

                                     My favorite headstone is the one above.  Simple. 

Hiking the 10 acres and exploring the simple cemetery was interesting and informative.  But I just kept getting the feeling that for the most part, this place and the ones laid to rest here have been forgotten. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Visiting Oakland Cemetery was the highlight of my morning

The Cemetery I was most excited to go photograph was the Oakland Cemetery by downtown Shreveport.   When it was began, however, it was on the edge of town.  It's located between Milam and Sprague streets near the Municiple Auditorium.

Many notable people are buried at Oakland...the first burial occured in 1840.  It's 10 acres in size.   It is the resting place for 16 past Shreveport Mayors.  85% of the burials predate 1900.   

There are some beautiful ornate monuments at Oakland Cemetery.

                          There is a mass grave of victims of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1873.
This is the resting place of Annie McCune.     She was known as the "Shreveport Madam".   She was a leading madam in Shreveport's Red Light District when prostitution was legal.    She was also an advocate for women's rights.    

There are multiple families in some of the "family" plots because of the yellow fever of 1873.  There was no time for planning.  

Other notable people laid to rest at Oakland are Sam Levy (co founder of KCS and of Charity Hospital (LSU), Mary Cane, Alfonse Smith (Shreveport's first black physician), many war veterans (over 300 of which are civil war veterans)   There is also a Jewish section (recently some of those headstones were broken). 

It's a beautiful cemetery that overlooks the progress of Downtown Shreveport.  
There are safety issues while there however... homeless shelters down the street and it is located deep in the ghetto.    I took my husband along and we went at 8am and back at 10am and there was alot of walking traffic around the cemetery.    In one crypt there was a hot plate (either for cooking meth or beans... or maybe both).  But otherwise no trash or debris throughout the cemetery grounds.    If you decide to go check it out though... be cauitous and do not venture down there without a big strong handsome man to protect you.   And no..  you can't borrow mine.  Ha!

There is a preservation society for Oakland Cemetery:

Today's Lessons learned from hiking through six historic graveyards

1. Some people are never forgotten.
2. Most, however, are.
3. My husband is a wonderful, patient man.
4. I need to exercise more.
5. I love my camera even more than before.
6. Waffle house has great sweet tea.
7. I find I reflect on the lives, not deaths.
8. Everytime I see an infant or child's grave, it feels like someone throws a rock at my heart.
9. My soft spot for a soldier's grave is strong.
10. In the end, I still just want to be creamated

oh... and...
Crackheads are up and about at 8am on a Saturday morning.  (maybe they never went to bed?)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Is a good thing I'm worth more alive...than dead.

(yes.. I already know I'm weird)

I've have been researching historic cemeteries in the area.  Unfortunaly they are all located in the hood.   More than any, I want to go photograph The Oakland Cemetery on Sprague Street.     It's so deep in the ghetto, thugs are skeered to go there.    But, there... in the worst neighborhood in town... in what was once the edge of Shreveport is a beautiful historic cemetery, The Oakland Cemetery.    And I'm SOOOO EAGER to photograph it.  

My husband has agreed to chaperone me to the bottoms so I can fulfil my artistic desires.  THAT is love..  or so I thought.

Him: I'll go ahead and take you down there tomorrow. 
Me: Awwww!  Thanks. I knew you loved me.
Him: Yeah, well..l. I figure you're worth more alive to me than dead.   So It'd be best if you don't go get yourself killed down there.

True Love, I tell ya.

It begins...

Our Boy.... Relode  
                                                             Our Girl.... Roxy