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!]

The Rev. Kenneth Allen