Grandma's Attic

Growing up I lived for the summers it was a time that I was able to go see my grandparents in Shreveport, Louisiana. Both my parents where born and raised in Shreveport it was where Elvis Presley started his career on the Louisiana Hayride, birthplace of Terry Bradshaw and home to the Louisiana Fair. My father told me stories many stories of listening to a young man by the name of Elvis play at on the Louisiana Hayride or why my aunt was a Steelers’ fan because of the hometown boy. This is the place I would visit almost every summer, during the fair and on occasion holidays at the time it was a sleepy city with one college there to me a city with less than 4 million people was sleepy. I still remember packing the station wagon the night before we left to be woken up at 5 in the morning while it was still dark, climbing into the back of the wagon to the comfort of the pallet of blankets awaiting me. There were no such things as potty breaks you if you had to go dad would pull over and you got to the toilet paper and off to the best tree you went. My mom was the only one he would stop for so we where smart to hold it until she had to go, if we where lucky she would get a root beer float from Dairy Queen because we where guaranteed to hit every one of them from home to Shreveport. Upon arrival we would stop at my dad’s parents they would always have black eye peas, cornbread, stewed tomatoes and okra and chicken and dumplings waiting for us, but the best was the small bottles of coke they bought only when we visited. My parents would stay for a few more days going between my dad’s parents and my mom’s mother, and then I would be left until around the beginning of August to enjoy my grandparents. It was my mom’s mother house that I found a place that my imagination could run amuck; she lived in a house built in the early 20’s with a front porch with a gliding seat. She framed pictures for a living along with working for the VA. Her house was filled with antiques each room had a different period from Early French to Folk Art, but it was her attic, closet and screened in garage that was my playground. In her attic she had a collection of old school books, desk, clothes from the 20’s and old travel trunks with shoe samples (my grandfather was a shoe salesman). I would spend hours playing Ms. Crabtree to the collection of dolls making sure that they did there class work. Her closet smelled of rose water but it contained her hats, costume jewelry, shoes and hand bags. It was the first walk in closet I ever saw so it was my hiding place I would take a book, pillow and wrap myself in here clothes TV was not an option in her house because she only had one and it was in her room. I was a child who lived in my own world I had make believe friends, acting out great plays in my mind and on occasion would write sad poetry. It was during one of these visits I began to write my life story being that I was only around 10 at the time I was determined to type it on my grandmother’s old 30’s style typewriter. My grandmother and I never really saw eye to eye on a lot of issues in my youth but she did have a wild streak in her. There is a picture of her somewhere standing next to a Harley wearing a leather jacket, smoking a cigarette flipping the bird and this was when she was in her 70’s. After my son was born my aunt took control of her and without our knowledge had her placed in a nursing home, my mother had been sick at this time. She passed away 4 days after my mother at the age of 96, we all said that my mom got to take the most precious thing to her to heaven so she took grandma. When I look back to summer I see the white house on Prospect Street with the attic of my dreams.

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