Street Scene – 1958 Style

Image of the Day – Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Maternal Grandmother, Genevieve Marie Lejeune

My Maternal Grandmother, Genevieve Marie Lejeune

This is my maternal grandmother, Genevieve Marie Lejeune and like my grandfather who was featured a few days ago I know little of my grandmother’s early life. Over the years I picked up a snippet or two along the way about her youth but that’s all. I spent more time around this grandparent than any other yet sadly she was the first of my biological grandparents to preceed me in death. My “Mawmaw” died in November of 1977 when I was a 19 years old.

I’d heard many years ago an interesting story about my grandmother and in all candor I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the story other than to say this is what I remember hearing to the very best of my recollection.

Genevieve was born in 1919 in or near New Roads, Louisiana. As any Louisianian would spot right away her maiden name and place of birth surely makes her a Cajun. My grandmother would have started school in a time when there was no headstart or Pre-K or Kindergarten – children started school in first grade and went from there. Upon arriving at school to begin her formal education my grandmother was almost immediately advanced to the second grade. Did my great-grandmother spend so much time teaching young Genevieve to read and write that she was already at a second grade level her first day of school? Not exactly – you see my grandmother was advanced because she already spoke English. Most of the Cajun children arriving in the Louisiana school system at that time and in that place seldom spoke English but spoke only Cajun French. Cajun children back then spent their first year of formal schooling being taught the English language, which Genevieve already spoke.

By the time I have memories of my grandmother she spoke little if any French but her mother remained until her death comfortable speaking English or Cajun French. Consequently I never had my grandmother teach me any Cajun French when I was a child as was the tradition in days past. I’ve always regreted I wasn’t taught any Cajun French but I do understand for a while at about the time I was born and taught to talk that speaking Cajun French was frowned upon.

This photograph was taken in March, 1958 or rougly two months before I was born. There are other photographs in my possession that seem to have been taken the same day of what appears to have been a “Sunday drive” to a lake or shore of some sort for a BBQ lunch.

Also like the earlier photo of my grandfather this image isn’t razor sharp on the focus and it’s a scan of an old photograph to make matters worse. I realigned the photo as it was scanned crooked and cropped to a 35mm format. The image had the noise reduced and from there I simply added layers for dress color, skin color, etc. and reduced the opacity to about 15%-20% depending on what I thought looked right. Color was added with a paintbrush tool and edited along the edges with the erase tool.

The orignal scan I started with is below.

Original Scan

Original Scan

~ by rfoxx on June 2, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: