Zoe Hebert Staff
In South Louisiana’s Bayou Region, many hangout spots frequented by teens and young adults have closed or decreased in popularity over the decades.
In the 1930s, teenagers were drawn to hangout spots that were simple like swimming pools, backroads, and parks.
Located on the eastside of Houma, the Houma Airbase serves as a park for the community to use, but in the ‘80s, it was the perfect spot for teenagers to make out, drink, and fight.
“I remember there was the FOP Lodge at the airbase,” says June Davis, who grew up in Bourg during the ‘80s. “It stood for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, which was a popular spot for people to have parties at. There was always a lot of fighting going on between the guys.”
In 2021, John Navy opened a splash park on the airbase for younger kids to use during hot days, modernizing the airbase for today’s youth.
Another major youth activity for teenagers in past decades was swimming. The Legion Park Pool, located in Houma, offered kids a place to cool down in the Louisiana heat. It is now patched up and closed down.
“As a former high school student swimmer, the Legion Park Pool was not only a fun place for us to hangout but it was also the pool where teams would practice,” says Paula Hebert, a resident of Houma. “I remember being five years old and going there for practices.”
As time moved on, the hangout scene became a little more modernized with the popularity of malls.
Southland Mall, located in Houma, used to be a booming hangout area for teens and young adults.
Within the mall was a movie theater called Southland Cinema. Southland Mall was also the place where schools would do cheer and gym performances for the crowds, which is something that is never seen now.
Houma native Brian Pellegrin says, “An entire strip of the mall is empty. There are no stores on that side and there’s not even a food court.”