Grand Isle – notes from Mom

bridgeWorking through the tons of paper and such left over from my parent’s estate has led to the finding of tons of papers and such (… I know, I know…) leftover, which I do’t really know what to do with. So, I though I’d post this here rather than just toss mom’s remembrance of Grand Isle. Who knows, someone may find it of value same day? Photos are culled from the web, and are not my own (yet).

We always got up in the middle of the night so that we could reach the island by daybreak. The last town before Grand Isle was Leeville. Daddy teased me and said the town was named in his honor – Lee. I remember it best for the hundreds of giant grasshopper shaped oil well pumps. I always pretended we had to pass through this last gauntlet of giant insects before we could prove worthy of reaching the island.
Grand Isle Bridge, Completed in 1932

Daddy said that the bridge to the island was brand new, and before it was built automobiles could not get to Grand Isle. He also knew the story of the great hurricane at Cheniere Caminada, and we always retold this story just before we got to the bridge. On the way we passed many small palmetto-thatched houses, and I always imagined that these were unhabited by survivors of that hurricane — maybe some of them were.

Grand Isle then was unlike the island of today. The only houses were down a sandy lane in the oak grove in the middle of the island, and we stayed in one that was a raised cottage from the last century. There were no buildings on the beach side of the main road on the island. Little foot paths led over an expanse of low sand dunes to the beach and the surf.

Early in the morning and late in the evening, herds of long-horned cattle came came to the beach to cool off in the edge of the surf. The first time I saw the animals I was terrified!

[This ends here, but I get the feeling there’s another page or so to this dramatic reminiscence of olde Grand Ilse, and a land that is gone with the surf. Time, and continued rummaging, will tell the tale!]

Old Beginnings

Recently I was thinking about way back in the day when I started my blog. Here is my very first entry from August of 2002. I wrote under the name ‘David Greenleaf’: David since I was a musician and was thinking about King David; and Greenleaf since I love gardening. The blog template lost something when I translated it to this site, mainly the titles of the posts. Eh… I’ve actually thought about this post often, but thats a long story for another time. We’ll get to that in the not too distant future. Peace…

[8/25/2002 5:08:18 PM | David Greenleaf]
Not very far away from where I write this, lies an old dog sitting under a very large, very old tree. I wonder at her loneliness, and if, in it, she finds joy. I hope that she does. Sitting looking out of my own window, high up in the treetops, I often think about her, that I left her behind to come here. There is a lot left behind in our lives.

But why a confessions page? Maybe because I think often of the seeming purity of other men’s lives in formation; and that many older seminarians can understand St. Augustine’s need to publish his own life’s shortcomings. I have not done anything so horrible. But I can admit that several phases of my life have been less than preistworthy.

Maybe I just need to learn about living a life in public. Can I take that? Maybe not. I don’t want that, after all. I’d rather spend my time under the old tree with my dog, thinking about God. But we are not called to that in life, are we? Maybe I can document some of my struggles, some of my fears, and gain a greater clarity in my discernment in the years ahead.

I would not think to be a preist, but only a better man. If I am not a good man, a good person who seeks spiritual integration, and to know God, then I am nothing. If I am a good man, fulfilling my baptismal call, then I will be a good preist. At least capable. Then and only then.

So, for now. Here we are.
posted by David Greenleaf at Sunday, August 25, 2002

The Rev. Kenneth Allen