By Chakyra Butler
The people of Grand Bayou say they will always have special memories of the place they once called home, some of these memories being unique to bayou life.
Grand Bayou native Nell Aucoin Naquin says one of her greatest memories was when resident Ramona Talbot was bitten by a snake. Naquin was a sophomore in high school, and they would play croquet together on Talbot’s lawn.
“She would normally always beat me,” Naquin says, “But for once I was ahead of her, I was beating her, and all of a sudden I heard her scream.”
Naquin says she remembers watching on TV people that got bitten by snakes had to get their skin cut with a knife, with someone having to suck out the blood in order to get rid of the poison.
“I was so afraid I was gonna have to do that,” Naquin says.
She says Talbot’s mother was not home at the time, so they both walked to Naquin’s house and brought her to the doctor, who gave Talbot a tetanus shot and said the snake that bit her was not poisonous.
“That scared the bejeebies out of me,” Naquin says.
Although Naquin says that experience may not be her best memory—that would be having fun in the bayou with the kids—it is a memory that is everlasting.
David Schexnaydre visited Grand Bayou often, and says he remembers a story his mother told him.
Schexnaydre says his uncle Picou went with a man to Morgan City on a type of raft to pick up supplies for the stores in Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne.
When they got back to the landing in Grand Bayou, revenuers, government officials who enforce laws prohibiting the illegal distillation or bootlegging of alcohol, were waiting for them.
“It wasn’t groceries they went get, it was moonshine liquor,” Schexnaydre says.
Schexnaydre says he remembers his mother telling him the revenuers started shooting, and everyone, including his uncle Picou, tried jumping into the bayou.
“Uncle Picou jumped in the bayou, and he had high top boots on, and I think mama said they had steel toes in the boots,” Schexnaydre says.
He says his uncle swam to the other side of the bayou and hid in the lilies all day until the next night.
“I believe that’s the way the story went,” Schexnaydre says.
Another story Schexnaydre says he remembers being told was when he and his two eldest brothers, Ronald and Barry—the latter nicknamed Tede—were playing on his uncle Dodd’s front yard.
“Tede tried to climb up on Uncle Dodd’s big live oak tree not knowing that there was a mink trap in the fork of the tree,” Schexnaydre says.
Schexnaydre says when Tede climbed up, the trap caught his hand and he could not move.
“My older brother Ronald ran into the house and said, ‘Mama. Mama. Come quick, Mama. Tede’s in a coon trap, in a rat trap, in a possum trap, in some kind of trap come quick, Mama,’” Schexnaydre says.
Since then, Schexnaydre says when they visited their uncle’s house, the first thing his uncle would do was hoot and say, “Tede’s in a coon trap.”