Monday, October 24, 2011

Vera Taylor Oden's Memoir (SECTION XVI)

This posting contains section sixteen of twenty-one sections that describe life in Sugar Creek, Louisiana prior to 1902. If you haven't read the post about the significance of VERA TAYLOR ODEN's memoir, click here.



Another big occasion was my first trip to Shreveport a few years later. (After the Chatauqua.) As before, we drove to Arcadia and took the train. Anniebel went with us as she often did, when we took trips. We arrived at night and went to the Henderson boarding house near the depot, which had been recommended to us. The occasion for this visit was a street fair or carnival which was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. Two or three blocks of Milam Street were set off for the amusements. It must have been something like the gladway at the fair. The place was brilliant with electric lights which I had never seen before. I saw a lady hypnotized, dressed in a long white robe, who flew. She rose from the floor, and the man passed a hoop around her to show there were no wires. The first time I ever talked on a phone was this trip.

We also took in some of the stores. It was a never to be forgotten experience. Another memorable trip we took by train was to a circus at Monroe, another memorable experience. Another time we drove to Arcadia to see a home talent play "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Mrs. Barnette who then was Miss. Eula Yarbrough, was the tiny, blond "Snow White." Ray tells me that he was one of the dwarfs, so that must have been the first time I saw him.


Can you imagine seeing electric lights for the first time, and also seeing a woman fly, too? What an exciting night it must have been for Mrs. Vera! Maybe she came face to face with the Victorian-era magician Harry Keller that night. What an exiting time to live. Mrs. Vera really did live to see many of the modern innovations (that we take for granted today) come into popularity.

Harry Keller's Magic Show Advertisement, circa the late 1800's.

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