Monday, September 19, 2011

SECTION XX: TRANSMAGNIFICANOTUBANDANSIALITY (Vera Oden's Memoir)

Welcome back to our blog! If you haven't visited in a while, you might want to scroll down and read a few of our past posts. This blog entry is dealing entirely with the memoir of Mrs. Vera Taylor Oden, and it will not make sense unless you read the rest of the story.

With that being said, I will now begin to post bits and pieces of the memoir, beginning at the end of the memoir to show you that we know without a doubt that Mrs. Oden is referring to THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK all throughout her lovely memoir. So without further adieu, here is the section of the memoir that made chills run up and down my spine. This, my friends, is how we know that Very Taylor Oden is referring to THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK.

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XX. Our School Books and Courses (transmagnificanotubandansiality)

I don't remember when I learned to read but it must have been very early. Lamar learned the multiplication tables at six, when he had to stay indoors because of illness. I loved to read, so Mamma ordered books for us. There was a group of booklets, a dozen or more, of the great men of history, which was found very interesting. There was a kindergarten book which contained verses, songs and games, and an encyclopedia, which I still have. Our writing and arithmetic was done on slates with slate pencils, and erased for the next work. Of course, we had a black board at school.

Penmanship was considered very important, so we would have a sentence written at the top of the slate, and we would copy it, trying to make each copy better than the last. Spelling was important too, and we learned to spell by doing it over and over. There was a long word written in paint, on one of our doors, by one of the painters. "Transmagnificanotubandansiality." I think he was just practicing his penmanship. I loved to draw pictures on my slate and Mamma used to complain that I would have to take time to erase my pictures when she would give out problems.


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I can't really tell you how I felt in the moment that I read "Transmagnificanotubandansiality" in Mrs. Oden's memoir. I felt like I had just seen a ghost, and she had told me the entire history of our dog-trot. There is no mistaking the word. There is no chance that Vera Taylor Oden is writing about another home in the area. She's talking about THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK and therefore we have a complete written history about the community and the home, written by an early settler of northern Louisiana.

I read this memoir on a Sunday night, and by Tuesday morning I called the Louisiana Tech Archives in Ruston. Peggy Carter (Louisiana Tech Archives) assured me that the combination of the house and this amazing memoir meant only one thing: we must place this home on the National Register of Historic Places. We must save this unique history and share it with others. We have made a very important discovery, even if it was only by accident.

Tomorrow morning, I am meeting with a retired professor of Architecture from Louisiana Tech. He is meeting us at THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK to give his advice on restoring the home to National Register standards. This is going to be a very difficult project, but we know that we must do it correctly. We truly feel as if we have won the lottery of local history. It's very difficult for me to believe that we now have the complete history of THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK. We know details about this home that we could only dream about, and you're going to love reading pieces of this lovely memoir in the upcoming weeks.




(CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE IMAGE of the door where "transmagnificanotubandansiality" is painted!)

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