This is a photo of my older brother Glenn in South City Park in Opelousas, LA. Dressed in a suit, he was standing outside of the Civic Center where mom’s cousin had just gotten married. Being younger than Glenn our grandparents were probably taking care of me inside the building for mom to take the picture of Glenn.
In the background of the photo is the pool house, a place where many kids loved to go. From my research, the pool was started or completed around 1939. I was never a good swimming however remember loving to be in the pool. Glenn and I usually couldn’t get past the body inspection that took place before anyone could go into the pool. Our problem was we would break out with sores whenever we could visit or come home to live for a while. The sores stayed with us until we left. When we were around 9/10 years old we begged the life guards to let us in, explaining about our sores. We finally got over it when we were about 13/14 years old; I guess we finally outgrew whatever was causing it.
Although I am scared of heights, I was determined to go off the high diving board. Going up the ladder to the high dive there were kids in front and in back of me. I walked out part way on the board and couldn’t go through with it. All of the kids behind me had to go back down the ladder so I could get off. They were not happy campers about it, but I was grateful they let me go down the ladder.
When we were younger mom would take us to the baby wading pool for young children. That was always fun as well as swinging on the swings and sliding down the big slide. When I got a little older I figured the slide just looked big when I was younger, however I could later see it actually was a big slide.
My grandparents and family would often use the BBQ pits at the park for cook outs. The big pavilion was often the place where my great-uncle Adam would organize Lagrange – Bourque family reunions. The Bourque side was my paternal grandfather’s half brothers.
Baseball games were held at the park. Teenage dances and skating were held The Teenage Center. And can’t forget about the snowball stand – I loved the ice that was used for the snowballs.
The park was a favorite place for teenagers to hang out, something I did as well when I was a teenager.
South City Park is not utilized as it had been in the past. It was once however vibrant and full of life, which is stored in my memory. Hopefully one day it will be that once again for all to enjoy.