I was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, a town known, if it is known at all, for four things:  it is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase Territory; the movie The Horse Soldiers was filmed there; the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed there; and an old tree at the end of a runway reached up and grabbed Jim Croce’s plane and killed him.

Though I was born in Natchitoches, I grew up in Pollock, located in the carpetbag parish of Grant. While the number of Pollockites is waning within the town limits, the real assault on Pollock comes against its once strong hinterland; for Pollock, like Athens, was more than the city itself. The Pollock of my youth was circumscribed by specific geographic features.  About ten miles north of the town proper flowed Fish Creek.  This was the northern march of Pollock, beyond which began the traditions, customs, and habits of a different commonwealth, Georgetown.  To the east about eight miles was Little River, a body of water which begins as Dugdemona Bayou, drains north-central Louisiana, and flows roughly southeastward.  At Georgetown, it meets Castor Creek and changes its name to Little River.  It courses its way into Catahoula Lake, then flows out of the lake in two forks: French Fork and Old River.  The forks merge to the west of Jonesville, and Little River eventually meets the Ouachita River and the Tensas River at a place called Trinity at Jonesville, where they all become the Black River.  (A Pollockite learns this with his mother’s milk).  Flagon Bayou begins at the southwest of Pollock near the old Louisiana and Arkansas Railroad and marks the southwestern and southern boundaries of greater Pollock.  It eventually flows into Catahoula Lake.  The bottoms of the Flagon are not unlike Tolkien’s Mirkwood. On a squirrel hunt in Upper Flagon Bottom, my father and I, on a dry October Saturday, killed three of Louisiana’s poisonous snakes within thirty minutes: a timber rattler, a water moccasin and a coral snake We left without a squirrel. To the west about six miles was the dry prong of Big Creek, the Louisiana and Arkansas Railroad, and U.S. 167.  At the western end of the dry prong of Big Creek lies Dry Prong.  If Pollock is Athens, then Dry Prong is Sparta.  We were bitter rivals in all matters: sports, academics, and girls.

Flowing through the Commonwealth of Pollock are five creeks: Big Creek, Clear Creek, Sandy Creek, Mill Creek, and Dyson Creek.  In addition, there are at least two branches: Sugar Branch and Carson’s Branch. The town itself is bounded on the north by Big Creek and on the south by Sandy Creek.  Sugar Branch separates extreme northern Pollock from the rest of the town.  Cutting around the eastern and southern edges of the town is the railroad now called the Union Pacific.  For nearly one hundred years, it had been the Missouri Pacific.  It had originally been built by the neo-carpetbagger Jay Gould, who called it the Iron Mountain Railroad.  Most of my boyhood was spent on the creeks and the railroad.  In those venues I was never alone; there was all through my formative nineteen years a cadre of loyal friends, boys all, who fished, who hunted, who hiked, who explored and who sometimes fought with one another up and down the banks, in the creeks and along the rails.

My pastor for the first nineteen years of my life was Brother Moses Eli Mercer.  My barber for the first nineteen years of my life was Mr. Springer, the head of one of five Catholic households in Pollock.  The principal for the first nineteen years of my life was Mr. Erskine Willett.  I attended Pollock High School from the first grade through the twelfth grade.   I graduated with forty-seven of the sixty who had begun the first grade.  Some had been “retained,” some had moved off, some had died.  Progressive Kindergarten had not made it into our climes in those days.  Polity in the Pollock of my youth was not an abstraction; it was Bracey Montgomery.  He was the mayor of Pollock, a justice of the peace, a school board member and coroner, not all at once but across the years, even beyond my nineteen years.  Law was not an abstraction.  It came in the persons of Mr. Thomson and Mr. Slaughter, two successive town marshals, and Mr. Sharp, the Grant Parish sheriff’s deputy for Pollock.  When a boy saw one of them coming, a boy knew that the law was coming.

Public schools, even in a carpetbag parish, had not, in those days, been turned into state schools by U.S. Supreme Court decree. Our teachers were not agents of the state against whom we had a constitutionally sanctioned adversarial relationship.  They were members of our commonwealth, our community, who had authority over us.  They were in every respect in loco parentis.  They were not only our school teachers.  They were our Sunday school teachers, our scout leaders, and friends of our parents.  Teaching was still a vocation, with all of the implications thereof.  Several of my teachers remained single until they retired.  My mother, herself a teacher prior to having been smitten by my father, lived for seven years in the same hotel room and for seven years took her meals with colleagues at the same hotel dining table.  When she moved down the Little River from Rochelle to Pollock she boarded with a distant cousin until she married my father.

Life in the Commonwealth of Pollock thrived around family, the school, and the churches.  Most folks in the piney wood uplands, the oak ridges and the tupelo bottoms were Baptist, Southern of course.  Next came the Methodists.  At first there were the Methodist Episcopal and the Methodist Protestant:  the MEs and the MPs.  Then they unified and became the United Methodist.  My father always held that, in Pollock, the Stewarts controlled the one and the Walkers controlled the other.  In response to one of my queries, my father attempted to explain the difference between the denominations.  He said that Methodists were Baptists who had learned to read and that Episcopalians were Methodists who had made money.  Catholics were folks who had a lot of kids and who openly drank beer; they sometimes fished on Sunday.  Papa said all of this with a twinkle in his eye; but his humor, often quite earthy, seems to have coated something of essence.  Actually my best friend and Papa’s best friend were Catholics.  It was whispered around the commonwealth that we were secret Papists.  There is some truth to that; therein am I much like our Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

When I graduated from high school and went off to college, a mere fifteen miles away, I did not leave Pollock; however, when I turned nineteen, I boarded an airplane for the first time in my life and flew to Europe.  I, along with many in my generation, contributed to the decline of Pollock. We left and did not return—the first generation to do that en masse.  Federal Judge Norman Scott closed three high schools in the parish and ordered that a consolidated school be built in a sage patch equally distant from each community: Colfax, Dry Prong, and Pollock.  In one fiat act, a federal judge destroyed Athens and Sparta.  The final and most deadly assault on the Commonwealth of Pollock has been the encroachment of suburbia from the south on its hinterland; the spread of Alexandria and Pineville is inexorably subsuming the outlying strongholds of Pollock. Yet Pollock still has voices willing to speak on its behalf and acknowledge in story its beauty and grace, its funny times and tragic moments, and its people with their flaws and with their virtues.

49 COMMENTS

  1. It is a pleasure simply to say the place names you list, most of which are either wistfully sonorous (Catahoula) or have all the blunt humor of the best Anglo-Saxon English (Dry Prong). And that, my friend, is the South all over.

    My husband has an older cousin in New Castle, Ky., who will still trace back the occasional current feud between neighbors to the hard feelings between rival high schools before the county consolidation–which occurred in the 60s, I believe. But she remembers and she is convinced a lot of other people do, too.

    I think I detect the opening pages of a memoir. If so, good luck with it.

  2. Mrs. Dalton,

    There languish in boxes and on old floppies four or five score of vignettes, sketches and tales, primarily reflecting my experiences as a boy in Pollock. Every deep hole in Big Creek has its story; there is Atwood, the bantam rooster; Uncle Willie who blew up a laundry; the ghosts of Old Stucky Cemetery; crossing the slough; Miss Mattie and the rat; Tabler Worms; Miss Mattie’s Tomatoes; bluing in the water; possum on a pole, etc.

    There are indeed memories; whether they can be successfully collected into something which resembles a memoir remains to be seen.

  3. Beautifully told, Mr. Peters. In the telling of your boyhood community’s unique quirks and virtues, ironically, you relate so many charming universals about the true South, the South that we hold in our hearts. Thank you!

  4. Outstanding article by someone who is undoubtedly a kindred spirit. I am a native of Pollock, or as I like to call it, a “Pollockensian.” Sandy Creek was my playground growing up, but I am intimately familar with all of the creeks that you mentioned. In fact, I walked the banks of Clear Creek just yesterday. Moreover, as a teenager, I lost half of a toe at Dean’s Hole, but that is another story. Speaking of creeks, attached is an article about the Indian mounds at Fish Creek where I have a camp that you might enjoy.
    http://jennyellerbe.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/the-drive-to-fish-creek/

  5. Mr. Fry,

    Much has been found and lost in Dean’s Hole. A friend of mine broke his neck there but fully recovered.

    I know the Indian mounds of which you speak very well indeed. I have hunted, fished and gathered mayhaws as well a chinkapins all around them. I have spent many a day at the mouth of Fish Creek catching Bar Fish.Although we are Sand Hill Southern Baptist, my father was the business manager of Camp Hardtner for nearly twenty years. On down beyond the Nine Mile Bend, I have perched atop Koin’s Bluff and shot gar with a .22. We were good friends with the nest of Barretts who lived just across the Old Iron Bridge.

    Sandy Creek, before Big Creek was dammed and before the loggers clogged it, was full of small bass which the locals called trout. There is in fact, across the river at White Sulfur Springs, a creek called Trout Creek. I have walked right down the middle of Sandy Creek from what is called Finley’s Trestle to its mouth into Big Creek just beyond the old sawmill site. I have walked, taking several days, Clear Creek, right down the middle, from one of its western most branches near what used to be called Travelers’ Rest, one of the suburbs of Pollock to its mouth. You must be a generation younger than I. Old Pollock, it would seem, still lives in nooks and crannies, not only in some small locales among the creeks but also in hearts, even in the hearts of a new generation. That is good.

  6. That looks like a Baldwin locomotive, a fine machine.

    Yes, yes yes…the south is picturesque , I personally love the slanting light after the cotton harvest atop 200′ of delta topsoil but try this name of a brook on fer size, a little yankee stone-strewn stream draining western Connecticut:

    Naromiyocknowhusunkatankshunk Brook.

    I think it meant a stream issuing out of a rocky defile or consonant rich words to that effect.

    The white men, not insufficiently renamed it “Bullymuck Brook”

    One of my proudest possessions is the road sign from before they re-named it. I think the State renamed the brook because they paid too much for signs with hyphens.

  7. Mr. Sabin,

    I am not an expert on locomotives; however, the steam engines which roared through my early childhood, with the hiss of the steam, the whine of the whistle, and the rhythm of the wheels made a wonderful music which talented men like Johnny Cash made into song. So they must have been Baldwins!

    The last steam engine which I saw in service was during the 1957 Red River Flood. The diesel electrics could not negotiate the water, but the old steamers came out and moved the trains. When I think of the 57 Flood, I think of an old hound, sitting on a log being driven down the swollen river by the current. I have always hoped that he managed to get off. He did not look frightened. He looked sad and bewildered. It is claimed that the hills just to the west of the Delta, around Monticello, Arkansas, were pushed upward by the weight of that two hundred feet of top soil.

    Ah, yes, the Delta: the South’s South. The Delta is a place of primitive beauty. As to the angle of the sun, I once penned a short story entitled “Among the Shadows” which plays on the angle of the sun, set not in the Delta but at the edge of the Delta at Vicksburg.

    I have twice been among you Connecticut Yankees. I enjoyed the landscape, including the brooks, outfitted as they were with rocks and moss as well as the people. In our climes, we do not often use the term “brook,” we prefer “creek.” A brook is a bit too poetic for the prosaic critters which roam our creeks: alligators, snakes, snapping turtles, etc.

    Could you make a photo of your sign?

  8. rm peters
    Thisahere Apple rig o mine can make photos but I’d need to know where to send it.

    In Utah, along the beloved Wasatch Front, them brooks is called “cricks”. Then again, there are a lot of lil ole hills around here called ‘mountains” which don’t quite measure up but so what.

    The Baldwin Locomotive Works was a storied institution. Diesel, the heroin jag of the modern era did them in. The paternal grandpappy was a Locomotive engineer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, pushing the trains up over the Lucin cuttoff in the Great Basin before going off up to his frozen end in the Yukon. The Engineers, track men, conductors and porters were somewhat akin to a family in the day and I took a cherished ride at around age 10 between Ogden and Sparks Nevada in my own roomette berth while the folks on the train told me stories about a grandpa I never met because he died when the old man was in the South Pacific, kicking various ass on worthless islands. They nicknamed me “moneybags” because I had a pocket full of change and told me many stories about the old railroad days. I still have the Locomotive Wrenches.

    As a kid, the old man would take me on day long road trips to film the last run of particular locomotives passing by some announced cross road during its death run. Somewhere, there is about a hundred hours of Super 8 film footage of this sad march. We gave up on trains to our detriment. I wish I had that film.

  9. Mr. Sabin,

    I too wish you had that film. In the South, we have a peculiar attachment to railroads. For many, although not all, Southerners of the antebellum period the railroad was seen as a monster of industrialization. Faulkner picks up that theme in his subtle way in several of his works. However, with the rapid growth of railroads during Reconstruction and thereafter, the South quickly absorbed the railroad into its folklore and song. As a young teenager, I traveled with a friend on a motorcar, just the two of us, on a railroad which had been closed. It was a great adventure.

    Your words:

    “Then again, there are a lot of lil ole hills around here called ‘mountains” which don’t quite measure up but so what. ”

    The with courage and daring I have scaled, clawed and climbed the highest point in Louisiana: Driskill Mountain, all 534 feet of it in Bienville Parish. Its sister mountain, just across the valley is Jordan Mountain, pronounced “Joeden.” In the mind of a child those so-called mountains measure up quite well.

    Before I started to school, a dear lady whose husband worked for the railroad would go visit him when he worked TDY in other towns in Louisiana. The passenger train did not normally stop in Pollock; however, it stopped for water in Antone north of Pollock and in Georgetown. She would catch the train in Alexandria. From time to time, she would invite me to ride with her from Alexandria to Georgetown. The train would pass through Pollock. My parents would be at the Pollock station to wave and then race in the car to Georgetown to meet the train and take me off.

    The primary school always got a late spring field trip south to the zoo and park in Alexandria. It was an all-day affair. Our principal, Mr. Willett always arranged for the train to stop on that one day in Pollock and take us to Alexandria. That afternoon, they brought us back on buses.

    One of the summer things for us boys to do was to go to the depot and watch the mailman on the mail car “snatch” the satchel of mail off the post as the passenger train roared by. Each time, we would watch and hope that he would miss; he never missed.

  10. Speaking of Driskill Mountain, our scout troop, Troop 32 of Pollock, will be climbing this “summit” next Saturday. I don’t think we will need Sherpas, but it still should be a great experience for these young men.

  11. Dear Sir,
    Thank you for sharing about you chilhood. You did not mention Kitchen Creek. My father was born at White’s Spur in 1910 just south of Pollock (Iron Mt. Railroad). My grandmother was raised west of Dyson Creek not to far from Big Creek Bapt. Church. I have several relatives buried there. I was raised at Ball and went to school at Tioga. Yeah, we spent a lot of summers afternoons cooling off in Kitchen Creek and also Flagon Bayou. Caught a lot of fish at Little River. Spent a wonderful childhood there but ecominics forces me to migrate to another area. After high school (1959) and a hitch in the Navy I settled in the Baton Rouge area. Made a living working in an oil refinery. Now I live in Union Parish about 5 miles from the Arkansas line. This area is somewhat like the place of my childhood and not over populated. We have rolling hills and creeks and I can hunt in my back yard if I choose. The parish seat is about 16 miles down the road and the closest town of any size (18,000) is about 20 miles to the north in Arkansas or you can go to Ruston, La. (about 30 or so miles south). So in some ways I have returned to my roots but I had to travel farther to find them and I hope that I will never be overrun by city folks here. The people who live here are of the same stock at where I was raised as a child. This is a plus also. Thanks again for your story.

    • I was wondering if your Grandma was Nanny (Nancy) and who your kin folks were that are buried at Big Creek. I was a Chatelain raised on Dyson Creek road and was a member of Big Creek Baptist Church. My Grandma was Minnie Funk and was a Boyt who grew up and lived on Hunicut road. Her sister, Nanny, married Roy Thompson. Does any of this sound familier to you? I would be interested to know Thanks for your responce.

      • my grandma was a boyt, she lived in bentley on fire tower road. her husband was william louis schultz from germany. she is gone now but she knew alot of people around bentley, dry prong pollock area

  12. I enjoyed your memories. I spent the first five years of my life in Pollock. The marshall, Mr. Thompson was my grandfather and Erskine Willett was my uncle. I now live in Canada was thinking about my roots and browsing the internet when I came across your story. Thank you.

  13. Miss Sandi,

    You likely knew or knew of my mother, Miss Inez. She was a close friend of your kinfolks.

  14. My mother was Lorene Thompson and my aunts were Leseye and Inez and uncles…Pete, Reg and Herman. My cousins were Ronnie and Gary and their mother Timonee. I was so young when we moved that I have an assorted collection of memories. I’m sure my aunt Inez would have known your mother. Apparently, I have a lot of “shirttail relatives” around Pollock according to my cousin, Ronnie, who sadly died a few years ago.

  15. So interesting to read this. We lived in Pollock in ?1961-1962 when our dad James Poisso was one of the Grant Parish resident State Trooper’s. I was in the 1st grade…walked to school daily…we lived by the railroad track I think across the street from Braycee Montgomery’s house. Anyway I would cross US 165 and walk to School…I was only 5 at the time. Great memory’s!!!!! Carl Slaughter was one of my Dad’s friends!!!!
    God Bless you.
    Jimmy

  16. I believe I remember your mother, Mrs. Peters. I think she was my teacher in 8th grade at Pollock. 🙂 That would have been 1975/1976?
    Thank you for your story. I love hearing anything about the history of Pollock. I have live here all my life, as have generations before me. Please tell us more!
    It’s hard to find history of our area.

  17. I too grew up on Sandy Creek. My brothers when they where going fishing on the creek would try to discourage me from following them by throwing rocks at me. I kept a safe distance but followed anyway. They would finally give up and let me carry the fish for them. We lived next to the school back when they did not have a fence around the school yard. I would swing on the swings until I would have bruises on my bottom. My Grandmother taught third grade for many years at Pollock. Everyone knew her as Docia Foster but her name was Theodoshia and if you said it loud enough it might sound ferocious. Mary Barron bless her soul told me that she and my grandmother had taught at Big Creek in a one room school. I would take my grandchildren to visit with the Miss. Mary and the twins because this was history and they loved visitor’s. Miss. Mary didn’t speak much because the twins did most of the talking and would tell you the history and who’s kin to who and how. They seem to be able to find away to dig up some kind of relations. If you were from this area they knew you by relationship to someone. They were the only ones that never changed, even convenience did not change them as they were still cooking on a wood burning stove and had no running water. The only thing that they changed was they could no longer allow their livestock to graze freely. I love convenience but hate that things have changed to where we can’t freely walk were we did as a child or adolescence with our grandchildren. Like the picnic area at the Dam has been fenced off for many years now. You have to take care to not be considered a trespasser if you walk the banks of most of the creeks mentioned, including the river. I grew up in the town of Pollock and on the banks of Little River. My Grandfather known as Sugar Doll Foster had a camp on Little River and we would live there during the summer. There were six kids in my family and we were never board as our roaming area was not restricted and we were ready for bed early. We went to bed with the sound of crickets and woke up to the sound of whippoorwill’s as it was a screen porch that our beds were on. My Aunt was a special person that is remembered by her effort to save the river from pollution. The pollution of the river also affected many of the creeks. I have many fond memories of fishing with her and my mom on the river and most mentioned creeks including the diversion canal in which she put up a good fight to save all of them. I don’t know if your dad was the care taker at the camps when my aunt had the trailer at fish creek right by the iron bridge. We would stay there with her and we well entertained ourselves. She had seven kids and mom had six. Mom said that when she got finished frying all the fish that we caught that day there was nothing for her to eat. Aunt Bessie Clines known by everyone as Aunt Bessie, had a camp on fish creek and the same there as we would spend the day with her enjoying the creek. Bessie was my mom’s and aunts neighbor when they were growing up on the banks of Little River. Your article struck a soft spot caused a lot of emotion and stirred up a lot of great memories. Thanks

    • Pamela,

      I happened to run across this website while looking up some things about Grant Parish.

      I knew Sugar Doll as well. If memory serves me right he rented a house that my grandfather, George Foster, Sr, owned. My dad is George Foster, Jr. He’s 92 and has lived in Baton Rouge since after WWII.

      Funny thing, I once had a dog and named her Sugar Doll. My dad loved the name as he had fond memories of your grandfather.

      I know my dad’s parents old home has been turned into the Mayor’s office and Town Hall. I visited a few years ago and was grateful that the house my dad and his sister were born in had been preserved.

      I always had fun every time I went to Pollock as a kid.
      I’m headed that way in a few weeks and as always I’m sure I will be flooded with memories.

      Sincerely,

      Flynn Foster

      • Flynn,
        Just incase you didn’t know, my grandmother Theodosia Foster was your grandfathers sister. She married Clarence Lee {Sugar Doll} Foster. She was a Foster before marring a Foster. She is buried at Bid Creek Cemetery and is near what we call the old place on Dyson Creek Road were she and your Grandfather George Foster Sr. grew up together. I don’t have any memories of your grandfather but did know your sweet grandmother Aunt Claudia.

    • I am Kenneth Cline’s widow. Was your grandmother Opal? My in laws were Beat and Jesse Cline. I think the Bessie Clines to whom you were referring was Bessie Rambo. You might ask some of your relatives to make sure.

  18. Enjoyed your narrative. It brought back good memories. I loved your mom. She was a wonderful teacher.

  19. Pollock was a good place to grow up I lived about 5 miles north east of Pollock on Abe Hall road for at least 38 years of my life. My mama and daddy Bo and Evelyn Lacroix still live on hwy 524 by hunt plywood. It was lots for a young man to do back then. Glad it’s my home town.

  20. Hi Robert,
    I really enjoyed your article and am so proud to say that you were my classmate for many years. Pollock was a wonderful place to grow up in and to attend school for so many years. The community meshed with the school and churches . Everyone knew everyone and all their kinfolks . I always loved your quote that you gave in a speech one time. You said that you were proud to tell people that you were from Pollock, Louisiana and if asked where it was located; you quickly quipped, ” Pollock is located between Antoine and Simms. Thanks sweet friend for the great memories. I am living in NC now. I moved here 6 years ago to be closer to my children and grandchildren. However, Pollock will always be home to me. Hugs

  21. Mr. Robert,
    You brought back many fond memories and did your Mother proud! Thank you for the memories.

  22. Perhaps the Front Porch Republic will allow this little gaggle of Pollockites or Pollokians as some say to hang on on their cyber Front Porch and shoot the bull and chew the fat. (Daddy always said shoot the bull before you attempt to chew his fat!)

    Mrs. LaCroix, I knew Mr. Sugar Doll as Miss Docia really well. She taught my daddy, Morris Peters. I did not have Miss Docia in the third grade, however, I had Mrs. Lou Scott. I knew Mrs. Mary Baron and the twins very well. I remember the dog-trot house as well. I knew Aunt Bessie Clines. She worked with Mr. Elvin Barrett and Mrs. Price, Mandy’s mom, working on the river pollution. Yes, I swam at the dam many times.
    There used to be a pawpaw tree there.

    Cliff, good to encounter you here on the Front Porch. I, of course, remember your daddy very well from his marshal days to his state trooper days.

    Mr. Poisso, I remember your father. I was in the 6th grade, Mrs. Van Horn’s class, when you were in the first.

    Miss Lisa, mama did teach 8th grade after Judge Scott close the high school. She finished her teaching career there.

    Peggy, good to meet you on “this front porch.” Mama loved teaching, and she especially loved her students.

    Janet, I saw your daddy at mama’s funeral in 2014. I might motor down to Pollock this next weekend to check on the ancestors in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, in Pollock Cemetery and in Friendship Cemetery. Daddy is burned in Pollock Cemetery not far from the Old Kitterlin Place where he was born.

    Mr. LaCroix, I have hunted many a deer on and off the Abe Hall Road. Daddy ran Camp Hardtner for about 20 years. I grew up until high school in Travelers’ Rest, however, that suburb of Pollock where LaBaron’s Garage used to be on a western prong of Clear Creek.

    Pam, we started in the first grade with about 60 of us. Moves and retention cut us down to the mid 40’s, 44 or 47, I think. It was not until I had left Pollock that I began to realize what we had been blessed with. None of us were perfect, not at all; but those were the innocent years, the last years of freedom. You know that Mr. Jimmy Pentecost was among daddy’s best friends. After they closed the Indian Inn for the last time, Mr. Jimmy, Mr. James Frost, Mr. Montgomery and Mr. Albrook hung out at the Post Office. One lady asked them why such old geezers hung out at the Post Office. My daddy told her that they were not old geezers but old gazers.

    About two years before he died, Daddy told me that the kids of my generation were the last to have lived free. I understood that. I was telling a teenager some of the stories of my childhood. He told me that he wished that he had grown up in my time. I told him that I, too, wished that for him; but I added that I had not realized the blessing at the time. Pollock was a community of kith and kin. I tell its story when and where I can.

  23. Robert, thanks for memories. Growing up and going to school at Pollock were some of the best times of my life.

  24. Robert: How wonderful to read your article and all the comments!! Your mom was the best Home Ec teacher. I learned so much from her. I love Miss Inez for who she was and how she taught.
    I have always bragged on Pollock, the school/teachers and the good people. I was truly blessed to have been reared there. So many great memories.
    Thanks for your input. Peggy said to tell you “hi”. It was a joy meeting you and Miss Inez years ago while having lunch (in Pineville, I think).
    Keep up the good work….I love history and reminiscing.

    • Ms. Ruth,

      Did you know my dad, George Foster, Jr? He’s a couple of years older than you. Hanging on in Baton Rouge but pretty feeble these days.

      Sincerely,

      Flynn Foster

  25. I have truly enjoyed reading this article and the comments as my mother was a Bonner from Pollock. She was born in 1918 and lived off Walker Ferry Road on Bonner loop. The old home is gone but I do remember it. I grew up in Southwestern Rapides Parish but we spent a lot of time in Pollock with our cousins and the memories of the “Pollock bunch” are some of the best. We would have the “Leckie Renuion” on Clear Creek with hundreds of family and friends. Thank You

  26. Very interesting article !
    Your mom was my Home Ec. teacher. Later, I chose Sewing and Alterations as a business for 30 years.
    I enjoyed reading the comments and know most of them from my childhood.
    Thank you for the memories .

  27. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of this article and responses . I grew up on Dyson Creek road. I was a Burney and my moms maiden name was Willett. I graduated from Pollock High in 1964. I agree that those were the best of times and place to grow up! Mrs. Peters taught me home economics also . She was a great teacher. I still live in my parents house (completely renovated) and our son has cattle on the land. I have been enjoying a page on Facebook called History of Grant Parish. Check it out if you haven’t found it yet.

    • Kay,

      I remember you very well. I graduated three years later in 1967. I have done some posting on the Grant Parish site. My first swimming hole when I was a wee lad was on Dyson Creek. Thank you for the kind words about Mama. Yes, when we grew up in Pollock it was in the best of time in the best of places. Such places shall not be again until all things are made new. Growing up in Pollock in the 1950’s and early to mid 60’s was a foretaste of what will one day be.

  28. Hi, Mr. Peters. I was born in the rival town of Dry Prong but I had kinfolks in Pollock so I would get there occasionally. I enjoyed your story and the comments very much. I have a photo of one class about 1918 with Mary Davis Barron as teacher. I only know three people on it. My half brother and half sister are there. I also have a couple of photos of men working on the railroad. I’d be glad to send them, if you like. E. W. McDonald

  29. I never lived in Pollock because I grew up in Alexandria. i did grow up in the area because we fished a lot in Little River. We always rented a boat at Lonnie’s landing and put daddy’s 51/2 hp evinrude on it; using it to get to mayhall flats where we caught many casper goo fish. They were considered trash fish, but daddy had a way of baking them and they were delicious. It was nothing for he and my uncle Eddie to catch 100 of them. We had a canvas tent (!0x12) that weighed a ton, but we thoroughly enjoyed camping in it despite it being very hot. My brother and I were talking about this a an hour ago and we wondered if we could find our way back to the landing. This was truly a wonderful place to grow up as a kid. I now live in Lafayette but remember this part of God’s good green earth well.

  30. Hi Robert! So good to reconnect with you after all these years. We were classmates, church mates, and college mates all those years ago. I, too, left Pollock many years ago, coming home just for quick visits with Mamma and Daddy and Granny. Life moved on and I lost touch with so many people. My family passed away, my brothers moved away. Trips to Pollock dwindled, then disappeared. I love reading your rememberances of those early years. It was indeed a pleasure to recollect lost memories of Trout Creek, Big Creek, and our childhood. We were indeed blessed. It was a simpler time. Thanks for putting pen to paper and reminding us how truly blessed we were!

  31. Robert,
    Thanks for taking us down memory lane? You know my old home place well! The first curve on the Camp Hardner Road. At one time your Dad owned the land across the Road. It was My Dad’s property for years and then sold to my Uncle and etc. It was a great place to grow up. The Old Iron Bridge, Camp Hardner when Mr and Mrs. Jimmy Milan were there. They had the first and only TV in the neighborhood. They would invite My family to watch I love Lucy. Dean’s Hole, Slick’s Skating Rink. Camp Grant Walker. The many Basketball games between Pollock and Dry Prong. And then there was Carl Slaughter! A man I respected. I will never forget when he Told My Dad one day in Pollock. Mr. Dryden, You need to slow her down! If you don’t I will. My Dad was a very quite easy going Man. So he relayed this message to me. I guess out of respect for my Dad Mr. Slaughter never stopped me. And he did have reason too. Many loving memories of Grant Parish. and Pollock my Hometown.

  32. Robert…..the sun rises to meet me and then there are your writings to enlighten my day…an added blessing

  33. This is a very well-written article, and I have greatly enjoyed the comments. I would like to remind everyone who has commented that the Pollock High School alumni association holds a school reunion every first Sunday of June. It really is a good experience. I would like to see as many as can, attend.

  34. Robert,

    I have read your story and all of the replies. This brings back so many memories of my childhood and youth.

    My grandparents, Joe D. Smith, Sr and Louise Lindsay Smith, had a large influence on my life. Early memories started at the camp in Fishville across from Slicks Skating Rink. My parents had staked there on many weekends before my birth. I too skated and went to dances as a youth. We had a couple of ponds that we always caught fish from. Like many children of that time, I also learned to swim a Dean’s Hole.

    I grew up in Alexandria during my early years, attending school at Rosenthal, Alexandria Junior High and Bolton High School. My parents divoriced and I had the opportunity as a Freshman in high school to transfer to Pollock School. That was the last year before the consolidation of high schools in Grant Parish. I was the next to last stop for Mr Herbert Dryden’s bus. After consolidation of schools I was the third one to be picked up, riding the bus over 30 miles one way to school. I recall some of my classmates from Cotton Island, riding 72 miles one way.

    My grandparents had purchased 40 acres from Mrs. Laura Bell McKay so my grandfather could have something to do in retirement. Lots of memories there as well. Most swimming was done at the “second bridge” on Big Creek.

    Time flew by. I ended up marrying one of the Addison girls, Kathy. We will celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. Of course by marrying into that family, I gained more roots to Grant Parish.

    Today, we are preparing to move to Jacksonville, Fl. All that will be left will be some family and those buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery and Greenwood. How I long for those more simple days.

  35. This is a wonderful article–loved the way it is written–makes memories come “alive” and jump off the page!! I hope you will write the Memoirs that are mentioned in a previous comment–it would be a shame to miss out on those tales and memories. I grew up on old 71 Highway around Colfax, but remember many of the people you have mentioned, as my family had relatives living around Pollock–namely The Herbert Murrell family–and we visited often–and went to many of the places that you have mentioned. Hopefully, you will continue sharing your ” Front Porch Memories”!!!

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