Sunday, May 3, 2015

Life in Small Town Dubach

Dubach High School: My Alma Mater
Esther Eley Jones
3 May 2015

Dubach High School, Dubach, Louisiana 1962
My family moved from Concord Community in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana in the summer of 1957, when I was fourteen years old. We moved to Clay, Jackson Parish, Louisiana and lived on Mrs. Ceigal Kavanaugh’s place on Highway 167. Kathryn, Johnny, and I enrolled in Quitman School where I was going into the ninth grade and finished the tenth grade there.

Quitman was one of those schools where the students and faculty were friendly and welcomed you as if you were one of their own. I played basketball and made friends there and I remember them today. However, I wasn’t to graduate high school at Quitman because the grownups who were working with Mr. Billy, who had moved with him from West Carroll Parish were moving to Dubach in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana. Those who were moving with us made it a little easier for us in changing schools, going into a new school, and making new friends.  Mariam was my best friend, and the Hutsons moved nearby. So the transition from Quitman to Dubach High School work rather smoothly. I was going into the eleventh grade and I only had one year after that, I would graduate and move onto another venture in my life. The students and teachers made the transition into Dubach High School work for me, even though it wasn’t as smoothly as Quitman High. The town of Dubach was one of those places where you fit in or you were an outsider.

We were outsiders because we weren’t kin to the Colvins, Greens, Balls, Smiths, and Tatums, because those families made up most of the Dubach, Lincoln Parish area. Everyone was kin to each other one way or another. The school and the churches were all made up of kinfolks. There was a large Colvin Reunion every year at the Colvin Memorial and that was a “big” thing there.
At Dubach High School, there were the cliques, or those who were smart, popular, and upper class status.  There were those who were average intelligence and middle class, and whose friends were of the same class. Then there were those who weren't so popular and had a “reputation” and you were warned to stay away from that group. In addition, there were some of those intelligent middle class students that had “reputations” also. There was nothing they would not do, just to get a laugh or to be clowns. Now all these many years later I look back and none of those classes matter, because we were teens and the goal was to graduate from high school, and if possible go on to college. That I did and went on to graduate school.

There were new friends in the eleventh grade as well as an old friend Mariam. We had a group that would hang out in study hall and work on homework. Study hall was a place where we could catch up on our assignments and anything else that needed to be caught up on. We had one in the group who was the nerd so we all depended on her to help us with our homework, then there was the guy that wanted to hang out with us girls. Then the rest of the group was just average students. This group helped me pass my geometry class that year.

My friend Mariam liked this guy named Woody. Well, Woody had asked Mariam out on a date, but she couldn’t go with him alone. She had to have someone go with them. Woody had already graduated, and Mariam and I were in the twelfth grade by this time. There was a friend of Woody’s named Jimmy. Woody could ask him to go, Mariam could ask me to go, and we would blind date on Friday night. Therefore, the plan worked and we double dated on a blind date with Mariam and Woody, and Jimmy and me.

What did we do on a first blind date we went to Ruston to the A & W Rootbeer Drive In? Then we drove around in Ruston on the Louisiana Polytechnic Campus, and then our dates took us home.  You have to understand we didn’t have any money to do anything else and the food was cheap at A & W. Also, we couldn’t stay out late, we had a curfew to abide by and that was 10:00.

That blind date for Jimmy and me turned out to be a permanent date, and were married and he completed his studies at Louisiana Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. We moved to New Orleans where he worked for the aerospace industry for the Michaud Plant. Mariam and Woody didn’t hit it off and they parted ways after that first date. Well, Jimmy and me, fifty-four years later we are still together and life goes on even though the logging business for Daddy was short lived. 

The logging business was short lived  for Daddy, and Mr. Billy moved on to another venture. Daddy moved to South Louisiana and worked in the oil fields until 1965. At which time Hurricane Betsy came through Buras, in Placquemines Parish so Daddy left there and didn't return. After that venture, he moved to Sibley, out from Choudrant and was the overseer of Brewster Chicken Farm that later became Hinton Chicken farm, and he retired from there. Then Daddy and Mother settled in their little home in Corinth Community close to Buddy and his family and lived there the remainder of their lives. 

Daddy had farmed for most of his life, except for a brief time when he worked on the pipeline in West Carroll Parish, so giving up farming and moving away from West Carroll Parish to Jackson Parish was a major decision for him. He left behind his family, Aunt Leakie, Cousin Bill, Aunt Nannie, Aunt Gladys, Aunt Ellen, Granny Eley, and numerous cousins. He had lived near them and stayed close for as long as I can remember, but this all changed when we moved away.

However, life went on I graduated from high school, Mother and my siblings moved away. I married my high school sweet heart and after his graduation from Louisiana Polytechnic College, we moved on to the next chapter in our lives. 

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