My father’s family, The Forets, differed greatly from my mother’s, the Mires.
Victoria Danos married Willie Foret many moons ago and they had eight children. My father, their second child, was born on June 28, 1905.
While no one could eat a bite before Grandpa Mire was seated at the table, my dad and his brothers ate whenever they came home. Ridley P. Foret had six brothers and one sister. The boys were raised to hunt and fish and trap while Aunt Mae helped Old Maw with household chores and cooking. When the food was cooked, it was left on top the stove for the boys. Education was not important. My dad and his siblings were allowed to quit going to school whenever they wanted. My dad finished the third grade. I can’t imagine going through life with a third grade education.
He preferred speaking Cajun French to English and was guilty of “making up” words he could not translate. For example, “He receives his monthly check” would translate in Cajun French to “Il toucher sans argent tous le mois.” My dad translated the word toucher to touch. So the sentence would read: He touches his check every month. OMG! I’m thankful my mom saw to it that my sister and I were well educated.
During the winter months, my father trapped muskrats and minks in the marshes surrounding Lake Boeuf. Three of his brothers, Mack, Toot, and Harris, did the same. We all had one room camps located along the waterway leading from Bayou Lafourche into Lake Boeuf. Up until the time I started school, my parents, my sister and I traveled up that waterway in a boat that was more like a pirogue with an inboard motor. The four of us sat in the boat, and the supplies were hauled in a pirogue pulled by the boat. It took a good while to get there. We camped there all during the winter, coming home only for Christmas. The camp had one big bed that my father had made. All four of us slept in the same bed that was always warm, even when temperatures dropped to freezing.
There was no refrigerator or electricity in that camp. We drank powdered milk and my mom cooked and baked on a wood-burning stove that also served as a heater. I remember the delicious biscuits she made. We had few material things, and life was great.
More to come…