Sunday, April 11, 2010

When Father Papered the Parlour

R. P. Weston, 1878-1936

Our parlor wanted papering,
And Pa says it was waste
To call a paperhanger in,
And so he made some paste.
He bought some rolls of paper,
Got a ladder and a brush
And with my mummy's nightgown on,
At it he made a rush.

When Father papered the parlour
You couldn't see him for paste
Dabbing it here! dabbing it there!
Paste and paper everywhere
Mother was stuck to the ceiling
The children stuck to the floor
I never knew a blooming family
So 'stuck up' before.

The pattern was 'blue roses'
with its leaves red, white, and brown;
He'd stuck it wrong way up and now,
we all walk upside down.
And when he trimm'd the edging
off the paper with the shears,
The cat got underneath it,
and dad cut off both its ears.
Chorus: Soon dad fell down the stairs
and dropp'd his paperhanger's can
On little Henrietta sitting there
with her young man,
The paste stuck them together,
as we thought t'would be for life,
We had to fetch the parson in
to make them man and wife.

We're never going to move away
from that house any more
For Father's gone and stuck the chairs
and table to the floor,
We can't find our piano,
though it's broad and rather tall,
We think that it's behind the paper
Pa stuck on the wall.

Now, Father's sticking in the pub,
through treading in the paste,
And all the family's so upset,
they've all gone pasty faced.
While Pa says, now that Ma has spread
the news from north to south,
He wishes he had dropped a blob
of paste in Mother's mouth.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Anna B. McQuiston Henry (Toni Jo Henry)

Toni Jo Henrys gravestone on the northwest side of Orange Grove Cemetery on Broad St. in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Early life-Born near Shreveport, Louisiana, she was the third of five children. Her mother died while she was a child. She worked in a factory, but later found her way into the employment of a local brothel as a prostitute. Petite, young and very attractive, she was very popular with many men. She soon became a regular user of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.
Claude "Cowboy" Henry-In 1939, she met Cowboy Henry in the brothel where she worked. A down-on-his-luck prize fighter, Cowboy fell in love with the young prostitute. Married on November 25, 1939, the couple honeymooned in Southern California. During this time, Cowboy was able to wean his young bride off her various drug addictions.

Upon returning from California, Claude Henry was arrested for the murder of a Texas man prior to their marriage. He was found guilty in January 1940 and sentenced to 50 years in the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville.

Murder of Joseph P. Calloway-Toni Jo Henry then began contemplating plans to break her husband out of Huntsville Prison. She and Finnon Burks murdered Joseph P. Calloway after he offered to give the two a ride, apparently believing that the victim's Ford V8 Coupe would make a suitable get-away car.

As they passed Lake Charles, Louisiana, Toni Jo pulled out a 32 caliber pistol and ordered Mr. Calloway to drive down a country road. She then ordered him out of the car and to undress. After Finnon collected the clothes, she told the victim to kneel down and say his prayers, then shot him in the head.

She later was interviewed by a Shreveport police officer, where she confessed and tendered over the murder weapon.

Trials and appeals-Her first trial occurred the week of March 27, 1940. After the deliberating for 7 hours, the jury convicted her and sentenced her to death. Her accomplice was later convicted and sentenced to death. She appealed and was granted a new trial.

The second trial occurred February 1941. After an hour of deliberations, she was again convicted and sentenced to death--and again appealed and was granted a new trial.

The third trial occurred January 1942. Again convicted and sentenced to death, she appealed--but this time her appeal was denied.
Execution-While pending her trials, Louisiana changed its method of execution from hanging to death by electrocution. Toni Jo Henry was executed on November 28, 1942.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sallier Oak Pruning

So I've been neglecting my blog lately due to my life beinga bittoo hectic. Anyway, here is the annual pruning of the 375 year old Sallier Oak that is situated behind the museum. It's been a local landmark since the first settlers came here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Murder in Lake Charles, 1894

The following article was published in the newspaper here in 1894. I thought that the story was rather interesting and wrote in a strange style that gives many facts but doesn't finish the story out in a satisfying way. Deesport was located where the present day property of the Port of Lake Charles and the Stream property.
april 14, 1894
“Coon Howard”
A bloody tragedy was enacted Saturday night and Sunday morning near Lockport, 5 miles down the river, that found its equal in the shaded woods near Deesport. Matilda Howard, a colored woman, who resided with her family near Lockport left home in a skiff with her 11 year old son to go to w/s to sell fish her husband caught during the night. They never returned. While rowing peacefully along Hugh Earl Partoine with murder in his heart answered by a merry “hello” rowed his boat nearly alongside. After a few words of greeting with no intimation of his intention he leveled his revolver and sped a bullet through the mother’s head. Death was instantaneous, she fell over the side of the boat into rear where it floated. The echo had not died away when partaine fired a death dealing missile at the little boy whose small corpse sank in the water. The mothers body was recovered Sunday morning, the boy not until Tuesday evening. Partaine reloaded his revolver and with one last look at woman’s body still afloat, went to the landing where a path led to Howard’s home. He hung around all night, near daybreak he entered one of the rooms of the house which had a door leading to the gallery. He had hardly hidden himself, when R. G. Howard, a white man better known as “Coon” Howard as their house was on Coon Island, husband of murdered woman, walked out on gallery with one of his little boys. As soon as Partaine saw him from his hiding place he raised his pistol and fired. He was known as a dead shot but this time the bullet went well off its mark. Howard ran to the house of his mother-in-law, named Spencer. About 100 yards distant and yelled to young Spencer to bring him a gun. In the meantime, Partaine shot the little boy, Henry, through the wrist of his right arm. He fired at Joanna, 16 year old daughter, bullet struck side of her head, rendering her unconscious. She sank to the floor between a clothes press and the door. When Joanna recovered her faculties, she pushed the door shut with her foot. Parttaine heard the noise and returned with the fury of a maniac. The frightened girl ran to an open window where she stood at bay tearfully pleading for her life. He took deliberate aim and as she tried to escape through the window fired again. The bullet struck the young girl in the neck and loded in her shoulder. Partaine then possessed himself of Howards unloaded shotgun and made his escape. He entered his boat and rowed away; nothing being seen or heard of him until 4 o’clock Monday when he called at Peter Madison’s home near Deesport. Mrs. Madison was alone with only her baby girl. She was frightened for she had heard of the shooting. While preparing something for Partaine to eat, small son of J. A. Johnson called on an errand. He ran back out to his father. Then telling J. C. Valvender. Valvender hustled to town an informed the sheriffs office. Constable Harmon, Andrews, and Valveda (sic) returned. They went through the woods and espied Partaine sitting at the foot of a tree. Partaine rose and started to run. Valvende fired in the air with his revolver. Andews fired at him with his Winchester to halt. He stopped and turned with his revolver when Harmon and Andrews fired simultaneously. The fugitive sank to the earth. He died in the jail 9 o’clock Monday night. He confessed and was particularly anxious to know if Howard was hit, intimating Howard was the one he was after. Partaine had been fishing in this locality for some time. He was well known here having one time boarded at the Bilbo’s. He once wore long hair and was an itinerant photographer, and had an alias of Frank James. He was infatuated with Joanna but she had support of her family repulsing his advances.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's the Hair!


- - - -

1. I'm the governor of Illinois.

2. Well, I mean, I was, until recently.

3. I'm innocent. That's the first thing you need to know. The indictment is a lie. When the truth comes out, I will be vindicated.

4. When I look in the mirror, I'm perfectly willing to admit, when I'm being honest with myself, that I am extremely good-looking.

5. I understand power. No one is going to give you power. Power is something you take.

6. Most people don't get this.

7. The hair. If I had to name my most attractive quality, I would say it's the hair.

8. The hair has never let me down and I know it never will.

9. The thing about the hair is that it always looks good, even in a strong wind.

10. You can't teach that. It's like Obama's halting cadence or Bill Clinton's thumb gesture. You either have it or you don't.

11. OK, here's what happened during those phone conversations. See, I was joking. We kid around a lot in Chicago. That's the kind of place it is. We're not like those uptight people on the East Coast. We know how to take a joke, see? That's how it was.

12. Before the indictment, I was intensively focused on positioning myself to run for the United States Senate after the conclusion of my term as governor.

13. That's what's so ironic about all of this.

14. That Senate seat belonged to me.

15. It was mine.

16. And now Patrick Fitzgerald has taken it away from me.

17. That man has ambitions. Don't be fooled by his charming, boyish image. He wants things.

18. I should know.

19. My therapist says I'm an obsessive narcissist.

20. You know what? My therapist can ...

21. Never mind what my therapist can do. My anger-management counselor says I need to change. She says to think of a calm place and then go to that calm place. Like, it could be a beach, she says, or a meadow filled with wildflowers, near the peak of a mountain. And when I'm there I'm allowed to think of anything I want. Anything. That's freedom, right there. That's what I like about the quiet place I can go to. The freedom I have there.

22. Look, I'm only seeing her because my defense attorney insisted.

23. Still, I find I enjoy our sessions. I had never experimented with transcendental meditation before. I had never really had what you might call an epiphany. It's something, when they come.

24. I'm like a cat. A powerful, hungry cat. But I'm also a great man. A man who helps people. A man who helps people who is also a strong cat in the wild, taking what he wants. I could be in movies, I think. Or on television. You know what? When this is over, I'm going to write a book.

25. I can do anything. When it comes to Rod Blagojevich and his hair, the sky's the limit. Listen: write that down. It's the last thing you need to know.

Friday, January 2, 2009


From his own website Vitas is "The artist you have been waiting for"
I couldn't agree with his PR people more.

download whole folder here: