What Goes Around Comes Back Around

Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
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Trip End Apr 18, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It’s amazing how tired you can get just riding in a car. I was dead tired when we arrived back last night from our trip to Cane River, so today is a day of rest ... and a little work. Before we know it, it’s time to get ready to go. Michael wants to attend a meeting of the Louisiana Historical Society. The presentation is about the German settlers in Louisiana and how they contributed to the rich culture of the state. 


As we drive down St. Charles Avenue in the historic Garden District, I’m in awe of the massive homes that grace the area. Michael explains that after the Louisiana purchase in (1803)  and it was granted statehood in (1812 ) this area was settled by the Americans who swarmed into New Orleans to take advantage of the boom in Mississippi River commerce. Numerous cash crops such as cotton, the slave trade and national banks, all fueled the local economy.  Friction between the arriving Americans and the mostly Creole residents of the already crowded French Quarter resulted in the snubbed Americans moving upriver to create their own residential district of opulent mansions in the city of Lafayette which was annexed to the city of New Orleans in 1852.  The architecture is clearly distinct from the lovely Spanish and French-inspired ironwork found in the French Quarter, yet equally impressive. With the streetcar rolling by along the center median of the street, it’s almost as if we’re driving through time. When we spot the house we’re searching for, we’re both amazed at its location. Several years ago, Michael and I walked through Audubon Park and found ourselves at St. Charles Street, right across from Loyola University. We made note of a particular home there on the corner and wondered what it looked like inside. Wouldn’t you know it ... the Louisiana Historical Society meeting is in that very house! Who would have thought that we would actually get the chance to go inside? 


When we enter, we meet the president of the organization, then find our seats to listen to the presentation. Immediately afterwards Michael is on a mission to find a woman he wanted to connected with who helped him very early on with his genealogy research. She’s a past president of the organization, and he’s sure she would be here tonight. Aha, he finds her. He is clearly pleased to catch up with Sally Reeves, a retired head custodian for the Notarial Archives there in New Orleans, and current archivist for the Louisiana Historical Society. As they chat, much to his surprise, she mentions that she was interviewed earlier in the day by The History Detectives, a PBS program that was seeking to uncover a mystery about a man named Mateo Platilla. How funny is that! She is shocked when she finds out that Michael is the reason for her interview and for the PBS crew being in town. “They wore me out!” she says, explaining that she spent no less than three hours with them.  But I believe in the end a really nice story will be told and shared with the viewing public, said Sally.


Well, now Michael has an idea of what to expect tomorrow when he goes for his big interview. Which detective has been hot on his case? What questions will they ask? What did they find out about the document that Michael submitted? So many questions; all to be answered in just a few hours.
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Comments

frankie on

What a fabulous story! Thanks for writing it out so nicely!

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