Annie Hardy Calais was born in 1927 in rural Southwest Louisiana. She recently shared many true stories of her childhood growing up in Cajun Country with Confetti Park. Here is a great music memory:
"When I was 8 or 9 years old, I loved music....my niece had a radio at her home, but we had no electricity, so I had no music in my home, except for mom, who had a beautiful voice, and we'd sing at night.
But still, I wanted some radio music.... I heard music coming from a potato shed where men worked, and they had a radio on.... and I remember studying in science that water helped sound. So we had an old hand pump nearby, and an old washtub...."
What a clever, creative student!
Confetti Park is a community radio program and podcast out of New Orleans. We feature local storytellers and songs that kids love, songs created for kids, or created by kids, right here in Louisiana. This medley of kids music shows the diversity of Louisiana musicians. Songs featured in this episode, in order:
Wishing To Go Crawfishin' - Terrance Simien
Old Dan Tucker - Jeremy Lyons
Love Bug - Johnette Downing
Wobble Cha - Los Po-Boy-Citos
The Shark and the Fish - Louis Ray
Pretty Purple Possums - Angela Mannino and the Louisiana Pollywogs
Bridge Street Lullaby / Lac Martin - David Greely, Joel Savoy & Sam Broussard
Hey Saints fans! Football season is here! And we have a very special book to celebrate.
In this episode of Confetti Park, Alexander Brian McConduit narrates his original story,The Little WHO DAT Who Didn't, which is all about one little boy’s love/hate relationship with his favorite team.
The book takes you through the Saints’ amazing Superbowl season and tries to put into words what THAT season was like through the eyes of Buddy.
All of the characters are named after Saints players & figures, pre & post. Follow Buddy, his family, friends & the city of New Orleans as we relive one of the most memorable times the citizens of New Orleans have ever seen.
The story is scored with accompaniment by the Confetti Park Players, a kids chorus based in Algiers.
Thank you Alex for reading The Little WHO DAT Who Didn't for Confetti Park! What an emotional rollercoaster that season was—and so is this book!
Louis Mayer has been a church organist for over 45 years. From a very young age, Louis had a fascination and love for organs.
In this Music Memory for Confetti Park, Louis, who grew up in New Orleans, recalls taking piano lessons at Werlein’s Music Store at 605 Canal St. (today the site of Palace Cafe) and how happy he was whenever he got to view the organs. Says Louis:
“When I was eight years old, Saturday mornings my mother would take me to Werlein’s on Canal Street. A lot of times it was like dragging me…..but if I did well, my music teacher would take me up to the 5th floor of Werlein’s, where they had the organs. And that was the greatest thing for me, to be able to play on those organs. I wasn’t big enough to reach the pedals.”
Today, Louis is the organist and choir director at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Slidell (his instrument there there is an electronic Allen organ). In the photo at left, he is playing a Golding and Woods pipe organ at First English Lutheran Church in Metairie.
Thank you, Louis, for sharing this childhood music memory!
T-Boy was just a Louisiana kid. One with a terrible turtle that ran away! Oh yes, he did… but exactly where did that pet run off to?
Mel LeCompte, Jr. narrates his original story, T-Boy and the Terrible Turtle, a delightful adventure that doubles as a fun geography lesson of the Bayou State, for Confetti Park!
In T-Boy and the Terrible Turtle, Mel keeps track of T-Boy as he searches along the state looking for clues of where his darn pet turtle went! North, south, east, and west our protagonist travels, looking for the runaway reptile in Louisiana’s largest of cities and smallest of towns, gathering interesting tidbits about the places he visits along the way.
Mel, who lives in Westwego today, has traveled all over Louisiana, and spent many years living in Natchitoches and Prairie Ronde. Mel is an award-winning journalist/ editorial cartoonist (Associated Press/ Louisiana Press Association), children’s entertainer, and social studies educator. He has written several other books, including another children’s book called The Ice Cream Cow, a bedtime reader for little ones.
Learn more about Mel’s creative projects athttps://www.facebook.com/TheTerribleTurtle
Confetti Park is a community radio program out of New Orleans. We feature local storytellers and songs that kids love, songs created for kids, or created by kids, right here in Louisiana.This medley of kids music shows the diversity of Louisiana musicians.
Songs featured in this episode, in order:
Cynthia Girtley is a well-known gospel singer and music minister in New Orleans. Raised in a family with strong spiritual beliefs and church traditions, Cynthia started singing at age three and joined her church’s gospel choir when she was four.
In this music memory, Cynthia talks about how it was that she came to be a church singer at such a very young age!
If you’d like to listen to more of her music, check out A New Orleans Tribute to Mahalia Jackson and It’s In My Heart on CDBaby.
Storytime: Childhood in 1920s Cajun Country
Vignettes from Annie Hardy Calais
“My name is Annie Hardy Calais. I was born on July 26, 1927… The year of the great flood, the same day as St. Ann, that is the day of her feast.”
So begins this lovely memoir of Annie Hardy Calais, who shares many true stories of her childhood growing up in Cajun Country in Louisiana.
Annie, who lives in Cecilia today, was the youngest of 12 children of French descent. Deeply devoted Catholics, the family was large and loving, and the family remains close today. They extend throughout Acadiana.
Annie shares memories of her beloved mother, her tante (Cajun term for aunt) who lived with them, and the adventures of her brothers and sisters growing up in rural Louisiana in the 1920s and 1930s. One memory brings a chuckle:
“After our old house was flooded in 1927, the floorboards constricted. The planks were left with big cracks between each. When we looked down at this floor, we could see the chickens, the dogs, and the cats walk past. Mama gave each child a can of corn kernels, to drop the corn through the cracks and feed the chicks. The grandchildren loved it.”
Annie has a remarkable memory, and clearly has always had a gift for recognizing the beauty in the mundane—even as a small child. Her childhood memories of life in rural Louisiana are endearing and enrich our own understanding of this unique place.
Thank you, Annie, for sharing your wonderful stories on Confetti Park.