A beginning of the story.. the French Market, New Orleans

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[Transcript of an audiotape recording Dad made.]

to start this story

to remind you that it's difficult to convey your ignorance at the time this story took place. There's so much one didn't know, etc.

I'll begin I guess ... these memories are rather vague but let me begin with me running away from a kind of orphanage I was in.

I must have planned it somehow because I remember I had a little bundle of clothing or something.

But at any rate I'm walking along a road and some guy in a truck

with vegetables or something on it

stopped and picked me up.

And, we're driving along, and he asked me where I was going and I said something about going someplace looking for a job or some such stupid thing. But at any rate, he said 'Oh, I can take you right to someplace where you can get a job.' And anyhow he drove into the French Market .. area there in New Orleans.

And he took me in to this restaurant there and talked to some guy at the counter, young guy, and said this kid needs a job or something I don't know what they said. But at any rate

***

I'd like to take some time now and describe what the French Market looked like. It was the oldest part of the city it was located in, not too far from the Mississippi River, actually it was quite close to the Mississippi River. And a very very old set-up

At any rate there's a roof over it, and trucks used to park underneath where they sold all sorts of produce, vegetables, all sorts of things

And then, sort of toward the end of it, was a restaurant ... located there, the one I just previously mentioned. And next to that, the restaurant, [] almost adjoining it, was a very old place called the CafÈ DuMoin [coffee domorn?], which is a world-famous place and all they served was coffee and a kind of doughnut 24 hours a day. And it never closed. It was a very old established business where they hired only waiters ... and ... And they held... I mean it was a job impossible to get. People... you know.. Men with families had those jobs. I don't know what kind of money they made then but it must have been good enough to make it impossible to work there.

And I think a coffee and a doughnut at the time only cost a dime.

.... At any rate it was as I say a famous place.

***

Looking back, it seems only in retrospect that that was such a big deal, that place. Because as I recall, we didn't pay much attention to it at all. It would never dawn on one to even bother going to that place. But, it was there.

And .. at any rate, back to the arriving, there, and these kids all seemed to belong to one family that worked at the French market that I ended up talking to and so forth. And there were no openings for jobs there so one of the guys said y'know they'd take me to someone they knew at another restaurant, for some-- several blocks away on what was called Padre Street.

And I remember we went there and there was nothing doing, and then we walked on back to the French Market, and I'm standing outside there alone and...

I remember being very disheartened, and despairing and the whole bit. And I guess I was crying or something