Ci et Ca Avec Belle

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 This is a very special month when we celebrate the birthday of our great nation. For some, July 4th is a time for outings, fishing, grilling with loved ones and all outdoor activities for a fun holiday. Yes, it is a great time to do these things with family and friends and to enjoy being off work for a short while.  However, it is vital that we do more than just celebrate with these activities. It is important that we observe the birth of our great country to instill in the younger family members and all youngsters the importance of the holiday and it’s foundation for our freedom. This comes at a very high price. The lives and sacrifices of our men and women who fought and died from the American Revolution time of the first battles to build our nation, through the years in many wars including the Civil War, American-Spanish War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and many others. These battles were bloody and costly in money and lives lost, but our nation grow stronger through the years with the blood shed by our heroes.  

It is sad that many of our young people do not know or appreciate what has happened to keep them free. Many are not being taught these important facts and values. In fact, they are unaware of our political leaders, places where the wars were fought or anything that they should know to appreciate our freedom. We watch some television shows where the young people are interviewed with questions related to our history and it is sad that almost all do not know, and seemly don’t care.

Even sadder is the fact that many say they are teachers yet cannot answer who made the first American flag and other facts that all should know, especially teachers. We think that you have watched some of these shows also and it is a sad thing to see -- their lack of interest in the history of our nation. We, as adults, must take some of the blame for part of this, not instilling in them values for our country and our glorious history. As part of the older citizens of America, we can’t help but worry about what will happen when this younger generation takes over the country.  

However, we thank God that we DO have many young people, especially in our area and state, who have and are learning about our country and take pride in our freedom and how it was achieved. We pray that these youngsters will learn so that our nation can remain as a leader in the world! 

It is very reassuring reading the Tribune every week and seeing the many, many things that our young people here are doing that gives them the values and knowledge to have pride in our country. We love looking at the pictures and reading of the many academic, sports, community, and organizations that provide our young people the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in life. We love looking at their pictures and reading of the many academic, sports programs, work in the community their participation in religious and community organizations that provide programs which give them the skills and knowledge needed to become contributing members of our community and our country. We are very proud of their parents and the schools who support their children’s activities and assist them in participating in these important programs. 

In watching young people on some of the television programs that show no knowledge or regard for our America, it is interesting to see and hear where they have been reared and educated since most of them are from other states and other parts of the country. It makes us very proud of our young people in Acadiana and our state, and pray that they will continue to grow in respect and love for America. 

Just a reminder and short lesson about the importance of our July 4th celebration......

 ***July 4th, Independence Day, marked the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This started our 13 colonies on the road to freedom after the British forces harassed and enforced harsh laws on the colonies. This continued until the colonists retaliated by dumping tea into Boston Harbor and a cry went up throughout the land...”LIBERTY”. With little money and equipment, they fought bravely for the freedom that is inherent in the Stars and Stripes, our revered flag.  They fought for freedom from the lack of liberty under the British rule. And, they were victorious.  Now, we celebrate freedom on this 4th of July.*** 

Share this with your family and friends and remind them to appreciate the meaning of freedom! 



The City of Rayne is developing a Veteran’s Park which will be located on Gossen Park Drive and will honor all who helped to keep our nation free by serving in the military. It will be a great memory for everyone to think and pray about the sacrifices of our heroes, and the pride we have in them. They were our parents, our grandparents, our moms, dads, family members and we should have love for each and all. 

There will be Memorial bricks in the park with engraved inscriptions of the vet’s name, rank and branch of service and either the war or years of service. These bricks will be a living memory of these brave men and women and a lasting memorial for their well deserved honor. 

The brick order forms are available at the Rayne City Hall. The cost is $75.00 for an inscribed brick with the name of your loved one. We hope that you will get one for your loved one and let it be an important part of this memorial.  

We will get two for our brothers who served. Our oldest brother, Jim,  was 17 when he enlisted in the Navy in World War II, and our brother, Bob, enlisted in the Army as the Korean War was beginning.  We are very proud of them and are anxious to have them included at the Veterans Park. Show you pride and ensure they are remembered by purchasing one for your loved ones.

This park will be a reminder through the future years of our honor roll of vets.


It was an exciting college baseball season with ULL and LSU having outstanding ball clubs that held so much promise for their participation in the college world series. The games were attended by fans that supported them from the very beginning of the season and looked forward to more fun as the teams progressed through their seasons and the first tournaments. Everything looked like only blue skies and happiness ahead for both teams. Until, the surprising loss of LSU followed by the unbelievable loss of ULL and then the AGONY OF DEFEAT set in for both teams and for their loyal fans. Enough said about this. We just regret the wonderful players on both teams that could have continued to show their skill and expertise in a national tournament.  They will continue to play, with many being drafted to the pros, so their future is bright. We send our best wishes to these fine young men and know that we will see and hear of them in the years ahead. 


I enjoy seeing and hearing from many friends when we meet them at the doctor’s office, the drug stores or grocery stores. They will never know how much we appreciate their comments on the “Avec” writings on the First Thursday. We love writing it and sharing thoughts and happenings going on in our life. It is impossible for us to name each of you that visited with us since our brain just does not remember things unless we write them down, and we never have pen or paper with us on those outings.  However, we did visit with Sylvia Mouton today and she said that she never misses reading Avec and how much she enjoys it. She loves some of the old memories that brings back past memories for her also. Thanks Sylvia for telling us, we are very happy that our writings bring some happiness to you!  

We also were happy to talk to Martha Clark for laughing with us about our story on our trip to the Kentucky Derby. She told us she really enjoyed it and could see us at our first race and not knowing what to do until some young people helped us by telling us what, where and how to do things. And since we had cut our classes that Saturday morning, she wondered what was awaiting us on Monday as we returned to class!! Glad you enjoyed it Martha! 

We will try to continue writing as long as we can since we love doing it. It’s our link to our Mom and to the paper that was so much a part of our lives growing up. Thanks for being such great readers and friends. 


Thanks to all the hard work by many people, groups and our city crews, the City of Rayne not only won the District Cleanest City contest, but was awarded the State Cleanest City title. We are happy that we repeated this coveted award and are proud of those who made it possible. Yes, we all know how beautiful our city is and the pride of all who live here, and now the visitors who come through our city will appreciate it also. We are certain that they will return to their homes telling their friends and family what an outstanding city Rayne is....cleanest, and also having such beautiful and unique attractions.  Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this award possible. Look for the announcement of the actual award which will be presented to our mayor and city officials in the near future. 


We are seeing more and more good articles about great things happening to others in the news and on television. Hearing and/or seeing them do make you feel better and realize that there are many good things happening and we should be proud of them and the individuals who make them happen! 

.....We did not get the name of the young boy but were so very impressed for the love that he had to help his younger and handicapped little brother. It happened in Michigan where the brother carried his younger brother on his BACK in a 40 mile race. The fans watching the race were really impressed and followed them along the road to ensure that if they needed help they would be there to assist. However, the older brother carried him the entire way, even though he was not a large boy...almost the same size as his younger brother that he carried. That is what love, commitment and determination will do! Those watching were crying as they watched the brothers pass them and we must admit that we, along with the tv announcers also cried as we watched. 

.....Again, we did not get the name, however, we watched as a legally blind football player tried out for a position on a college team. He had played in high school and wanted to continue playing on the college level. Watching him was something that we thought we would never see. Aaron, is known as the longest ball snapper of the football ever. He so impressed the coaches at Tulane University in New Orleans that the Coach gave him a scholarship to the school!  Proud of him and the coach that had the faith and courage to put him on the Tulane team.  

.....Another related football item that makes history in the game. This season there will be a girl on a college football team. No, she is not a kicker, since there were a few others that were kickers.  This young lady is playing on the line/backfield. We are not sure which position, but she played that position on her high school football team and a college team signed her to play. It will be interesting to see how she does and we hope that she will not be hurt.  But, she is going with her dream and must have done well enough for the coach to put her on the college team! 

.....A young man from the inner city of New Orleans and was displaced during Hurricane Katrina has been awarded a full scholarship to Yale.  Through his talent, his determination, and his paint brush, at only 18 years of age, was given the award based on his beautiful art work in New Orleans helping to beautify the hard hit areas of the city.  His art brought lots of happiness and beauty to his destroyed neighborhood. We are proud of you Leonard Gannon for your outstanding talent and your ability to turn “ugly” into beauty. All will be looking forward to his future work as he studies and learns at Yale. 

.....It is such an appreciated show of love and respect each year as veterans from the nation have the honor participating in “Rolling Thunder” as they ride in Washington, D.C. In this way they honor their fallen heroes and military buddies and share that love with everyone. There is another person that makes the day very special, the solitary Marine. This “Saluting Marine” stands at attention during the entire time dressed in his full Marine uniform and salutes the entire time without moving. He does this in memory of those who have fallen and those who will never return. As the riders pass they stop and salute him back and thank him for this wonderful gesture. We look forward to watching the parade each year and watching this hero. “Semper Fi”. 


Recently with the honors given for the survivors of the D-Day anniversary on June 6th, we remembered an important part of our military that has not received the recognition that they deserve. In 1943, with most men serving in the various branches of the service, two very important groups were formed to be new participants in the war effort. One, was the formation of the Tuskegee fliers. These were the first black men trained and became a very important part of the Air Force during the war and served in battle zones and air strikes and battles. The other was the formation of the first Air Force group utilizing women to form the WASPS (Women Air Service Pilots).  

Many know of Rosie the Riveter and their importance working in the war factories that freed men to become part of the military; yet, also to keep producing the things needed for the war, such as bombers, planes, ships, bombs, guns, pretty much everything to support the war efforts. However, the women that comprised this part of the Air Force have not received much recognition through the years. They also were forgotten after the war by most, including the Air Force. These women were wives, mothers, single young girls who did not have the skills for being part of this branch of the service. It was a complete change for the women and they faced opposition from many who did not think they could be successful in this role. But, they went through the training with success and received their pilot ranking. These WASP members did not participate in any air battles. Their role in the war was to fly the planes to the air bases for the men in the Air Force to be freed from this responsibility to participate in the various battles on both the Pacific and the European theaters. However, this was not always a safe assignment for the women. There were 38 who died in their plane crashes. The sad part was that the military did not provide benefits to the families for these losses.  

The WASPS did much to assist the war effort, however, they did not have the respect as other military members received. They were forgotten after the war. A documentary movie, “We Served Too” was done to inform America that these women fought the war in their service too. It was not until 1976 that women could join the Air Force and it was not until 1977 that the women who served in the WASPS were included in benefits from years prior.  There are now over 60,000 women serving in the Air Force and in war areas as fighter/bomber pilots.  

There are only a few still living of the brave women that comprised the WASPS who served and broke sexual misconceptions of a woman’s ability. That was a very different time for women. We are proud to see progress has been made since the early years of the WASPS. 


We finally were able to go to Rayne High and meet the principal, John Prudhomme. We had wanted to meet him and let him know that if we could do anything for him, just let us know. We also wanted to tell him how pleased we were with things at the school and especially the beautiful grounds. We informed him also, that we taught at Rayne High and enjoyed our time there with such wonderful students and co-workers. Also, that three generations of our family graduated from R.H.S. beginning with our mom in 1924. We appreciated Mr. Prudhomme for taking the time to meet with us knowing how busy he is even if it is summer. Thanks for the visit and we will look forward to other visits and coffee waiting you here when you get by here.


It is always with regret and sadness that we read of the passing of many of our friends, both old and young. We grieve with our friends in the loss of their loved family members and know that their sense of loss is great. We have lost too many friends lately and offer our sincere condolences and sympathy for you all, even though we cannot list every name. 

Then, at times a family loses a loved one that is sudden and too soon for their passing. We joined many, many others that were shocked at the news that Joel Habetz was taken suddenly. A young father with three dear little ones, a loving wife and parents and a precious, close family that we have known and loved for many years. We watched as he grew into manhood and developed skills in many areas, especially for his architectural and craftsmanship. Joel was a very creative young man with hopes and dreams for the future and for others. His love of sports and support of his favorite teams helped to round out his life. Joel was described as having a “passion for life” and this sums up his too short life. He had much to offer in the future and now family and friends will remember him with love and appreciation for having him in their lives. He will be greatly missed and will always be in the hearts and memories of all who knew him.  God Bless the family and God be with Joel as he joins his loved ones in his new Heavenly Home. It will be a happier place because of him! Love and blessings to his dear family and we send our love and condolences! He will live in the hearts and minds of his family and all that knew him! 

For all of the friends who have recently lost dear loved ones we pray that you find comfort in the wonderful memories of the beautiful life that has passed, and that you find peace in the assurance that an even more beautiful ife has begun for your loved one. May God be with you all and bless you! 


Until next time...............Adios,

au revior, auf weidersehen

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