“Probably for me, for a lack of better descriptions, would be playgrounds. For example, there was a VFW Bowling Hall, and behind that, there were some public tennis courts. The back wall of the building was set up so you can hit tennis balls against the wall. There were a number of courts and myself and some friends of mine would meet up together after school and play tennis. Either that, or we would find a vacant lot near someone’s house and play football or go hang out at restaurants.”
“My family and I moved to Houma when I was young, and what really struck me was when we moved in, almost immediately, falling in love with the people because of how welcomed they made us feel. I felt so lucky that in Terrebonne Parish and in Nicholls to have had such wonderful school teachers. In fact, one of my middle school teachers just recently passed away and as an adult, we started playing tennis together and I was able to learn about him in a whole new light.”
Ok so, something that I did as a youth that I would like to have that first time experience again, and that’s a good question. I think the generational difference makes it, at least for me, a little bit harder to answer because I think back on my youth and there were so many things that you do that you don’t have an appreciation for in the moment; and you look back and you think, ‘well there were so many cool moments’, if that makes sense. I guess what I miss from say the high school time period, and it would be true in college or whatever but I think it’s especially for almost anybody in the United States, is that feeling of unity you have with your classmates in high school. Like I was on the football team, same thing with you the band or you may have played football too, but being a part of that team, well certainly on that team those feelings are even stronger, but your broader group of friends at high school. Go back and look at what they say, “Oh we’re going to be friends forever,” and it often doesn’t work out. But there is that family-like environment that as an adult, you don’t get to experience that much. Unless you’re really lucky that you continue in music or sports or whatever and you stay in some sort of environment where that happens. But for most of us, we go and we get this job and it’s a job and you have your work friends and then you have your “friend” friends and you move onto another job or whatever; it’s just not the same. I think in a place like this department, and to a certain extent this university, we are a little bit different because we are a little bit close knit, and we all move in the same direction. We all have the same vision for this part of campus, but it’s still a little bit different. Because you know I have kids and you know what I’m saying. We have these family things that when you’re 16 to 18 years old, and it’s just you, more of your interest is focused on your group of friends. Here in the department, we do some things socially or whatever but it’s not like I’m driving down to Algiers to hang out with Mr. Arnold or anything on the weekend. He’s got family and friends and associates there, so yeah so you miss that.