Yankee on the Bayou, Part Deux

[October 24]

Tuesday in Abbeville more than made up for Monday in New Iberia. The outskirts are just like the rest of the area with lots of gas stations, fast food places, etc. But the historic downtown has people, a cute little courthouse, (they allow smoking inside!), antebellum architecture elsewhere, sidewalks that are elevated, presumably as a flood measure since the town is eighteen inches above sea level.

I stumbled upon the library and found lots of information. Went to the courthouse, even better there. My grandfather’s brother, Uncle Fisher, must have bought and sold half of Abbeville.

Uncle Fisher Petry
Uncle Fisher Petry

Lunch at Bollino’s (sp?) was a healthy salad of spinach and feta, and excellent mac and cheese soup.

Over at St. Mary Magdelen Roman Catholic Church, the woman told me I couldn’t look at the records, but they would tell me what they said, once the woman who reads French came back. So I returned to the library where I found an H. David in the remnant of the burnt records. (This was the name listed as the name of my great-grandfather’s father in Fr. Hebert’s records.) He was married to a Guidry not a Primeaux. Also Broussard’s first name changes from Azelima to Carmellite. Oh, well.

The lady at St. M’s typed up the certs – I have a feeling that the African blood comes in here at H. David and Primeaux. On the Petry line, it’s probably at the Combery or Cambery Brown level.

I also learned that Uncle Fisher was involved with the Pine Grove Church so have to check that and for Robinsons, which was the name of a cousin I met when I was a little kid.

Cousin Ouida Petry Huntsberry, left, and her daughter Theresa Huntsberry Godfrey, right
Cousin Ouida Petry Huntsberry, left, and her daughter Theresa Huntsberry Godfrey, right

Here’s a picture of his daughter, Ouida Petry Huntsberry, on the left and her daughter, Theresa Huntsberry Godfrey, whom I met at the 2005 family reunion.

Discovered when I got back to the hotel that the wildcatters were having a party. Ms. Guillard (receptionist) directed me to Landry’s where I ate catfish smothered in glop with shrimp and a few items from a problematical (tiny) salad bar.

The food was more than compensated by the horn playing good ol’ boy from Poland by way of Texas. He had gigged with Pete Fountain and a Texas polka band that got invited to play at Lincoln Center. When the woman told them they’d be playing at Carnegie Hall, the guitar player asked what kind of dance hall it was. And when they got there, he announced that they wouldn’t play without a keg of beer on stage.

A thoroughly delightful evening!

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