Pointe de l'Eglise: Acadia Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc.
Acadia Parish, Louisiana
Mary Alice Fontenot Articles
Acadia Parish Historical and Genealogical Articles --Written by Mary Alice Fontenot for The Crowley Post-Signal (Two volumes)
Before going into discussion about the books of assembled Mary Alice Fontenot Articles, I believe it appropriate to first mention that Mary Alice Fontenot passed away on 12 May 2003. Our newsletter editor, Gene Thibodeaux, paid a nice tribute to her in our August 2003 newsletter. I am including his first paragraph of that tribute here:
Acadia Parish lost one of its most illustrious children on May 12 when Mary Alice Fontenot laid down her well-used pen for the last time. A prolific writer of newspaper columns, of history books and of the famous Clovis Crawfish series, Fontenot arguably did more to preserve local history and culture than did any other child of the southwestern Louisiana prairies. Uncountable are the people whose lives were touched by the writings of this wonderful lady. Like the family researchers, who triumphed over their most intractable family line dead-ends after reading her newspaper columns on Acadia's pioneer families. Or the history lovers who were able to enjoy the fascinating stories that would have surely been lost forever had not she researched and recorded them for future posterity. But mostly she touched the lives of the children of Acadiana, who smiled and giggled as they were read the adventures of a mythical crustacean, who taught them morality, along with a few words and customs from their Cajun heritage.
The following information is from our newsletter editor, Gene THIBODEAUX. It seems appropriate for use here and is mostly drawn from his Introduction to one of the two books of Acadia Parish Historical and Genealogical Articles --Written by Mary Alice Fontenot for The Crowley Post-Signal.
In 2001, newspaper reporter and author, Mary Alice Fontenot, along with the management of the Crowley Post-Signal newspaper, graciously gave the Pointe de l'Eglise: Acadia Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc. permission to re-print some of her past by-lined articles in the organization's newsletter. These articles appeared in the Crowley newspaper from the 1970's to the 1990's and concerned almost every aspect of Acadia Parish culture, from local history, to area families, to the natural environment, to Louisiana folklore and legends. It is easy to see how Ms. Fontenot's contributions became a very valuable addition to "À La Pointe", the society's quarterly newsletter.
In order to prepare a number of these articles for inclusion in the newsletter, then-society President Winston Boudreaux and I began transcribing some of them from the old newspapers into a word processor format. In no time at all, we had so many prepared that the quarterly newsletter would be supplied for years and years to come. While typing them up, we couldn't help but realize their immense value to historians and family researchers if they could be gathered and accessible in a single spot.
This idea bore fruit in October of 2002 when Mary Alice Fontenot and the Crowley Post-Signal gave us further permission to publish a collection of these informative and fascinating compositions in a single volume. Red Quebodeaux, much more skilled in the arts of computer science than I, put this first volume in book form. Also necessary to this project was the Acadia Parish Library, which so agreeably allowed access to their newspaper and microfilm files and for the donation of the reams of copy paper used to complete this collection of 182 of Mary Alice's stories. (Gene carried the project a step further when he rolled the articles into a book, adding a Table of Contents, Introduction and an Index that captures most, if not all, the names of individuals named in the articles.)
At first we thought that the book contained most of Ms. Fontenot's articles, but soon we realized that she had been a far more prolific writer. A bit more research and recording filled up a second volume ...
The majority of this second book consists of Mary Alice Fontenot's weekly column that ran in the Crowley Post-Signal from March 27, 1977 until February 7, 1982. The title of the column, along with that of this collection, was called Le Bon Vieux Temps, loosely translated as 'the good old days.' Following are 93 other Fontenot bylined articles that appeared in the same paper between 1980 and 1996.
Since many of the Le Bon Vieux Temps columns appeared with no other title to give an idea of that week's topic, a list of subjects for each article appears in the table of contents in order to aid the reader in researching this work. Newspaper deadlines unfortunately breed typographical errors. Any mistakes that were corrected by this editor from the original are clearly marked by placing the changed word or phrase in [brackets]; any typos left in the finished work are probably my own mistakes, since I am no more perfect than were those newspaper typesetters. To minimize confusion, women are listed in the index under their maiden names whenever it was known. So the researcher is urged to search both under maiden and married surnames to find out more on these pioneer Acadia Parish ladies...
Editor, À la Pointe
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