Storytime: Childhood in 1920s Cajun Country
Vignettes from Annie Hardy Calais
“My name is Annie Hardy Calais. I was born on July 26, 1927… The year of the great flood, the same day as St. Ann, that is the day of her feast.”
So begins this lovely memoir of Annie Hardy Calais, who shares many true stories of her childhood growing up in Cajun Country in Louisiana.
Annie, who lives in Cecilia today, was the youngest of 12 children of French descent. Deeply devoted Catholics, the family was large and loving, and the family remains close today. They extend throughout Acadiana.
Annie shares memories of her beloved mother, her tante (Cajun term for aunt) who lived with them, and the adventures of her brothers and sisters growing up in rural Louisiana in the 1920s and 1930s. One memory brings a chuckle:
“After our old house was flooded in 1927, the floorboards constricted. The planks were left with big cracks between each. When we looked down at this floor, we could see the chickens, the dogs, and the cats walk past. Mama gave each child a can of corn kernels, to drop the corn through the cracks and feed the chicks. The grandchildren loved it.”
Annie has a remarkable memory, and clearly has always had a gift for recognizing the beauty in the mundane—even as a small child. Her childhood memories of life in rural Louisiana are endearing and enrich our own understanding of this unique place.
Thank you, Annie, for sharing your wonderful stories on Confetti Park.