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Joe Rocque: 1940

Joe Rocque: 1940

June 1940. "Melrose, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Fireplace in old mud hut built and still lived in by French mulattoes near John Henry cotton plantation. 'Uncle' Joe Rocque, about 86 years old." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Creole is the correct term

for mixed race individuals who can trace their ancestry back to the time Louisiana was ruled by the French. They were free during the slave times. Several decades ago I attended a training session with a person who was originally from Louisiana and had a French last name. One day I asked him if he was a Cajun. He gave me a dirty look and said "I'm a Creole, Cajuns are white and Creoles are black". I'll admit that I never would have known he was a Creole if he hadn't told me.

Creole isn't to be confused with "Criollo", the Spanish term used in Latin America to describe someone of pure European ancestry.

Over the Top

This old guy must have had a grandson in the First World War. Either that or he was very patriotic during 1917-18. The picture he has pinned to the wall on the right side of the photo, under the gun stock, is titled "Over the Top." The one hanging in my man-den is dated Chicago, 1918. The Germans are wearing outdated spiked helmets. It's one of a series. A Junker in 1918, by the way, was Prussian aristocracy known for their militarism. Pronounce the "J" like a "Y."


Perhaps born a "free person of colour," Mr. Rocque would nonetheless have had vivid memories of slave times. With his cat for company, he would doubtless have revisited the old days as he dozed next to the fire on a rainy Louisiana winter's afternoon.

The pleated shirt is quite dashing, but fireplace could stand to have its ashes hauled.


Junkerism is the very opposite of democracy. The essence of junkerism is privileged land ownership; that is, the ownership of large estates not adequately taxed, and not open to change of ownership

1918, Charles Fremont Taylor, Equity (volume 20)

Watkins 1936 Almanac and Home Book

Advertising Spices / Recipes, Home Remedies.
Featuring: Watkins Fly spray

Watkins Almanac and Home Book

1868 – 1936. “68 years of buying experience give us the pick of the crop at favorable prices. That's why you always get better quality and value for your money from the Watkins dealer.” Note hangin’ hole in upper left corner, as used by Joe Rocque.

I'm Waiting!

is what the kitten is thinking. Waiting for the fire to be lit.

Wampole's Preparation

Contains cod liver oil (with oily and fatty part eliminated), fluid extract of wild cherry, a compound syrup of hypophosphites (common minerals plus quinine and strychnine), and, oh yes, 12% alcohol. A tonic and stimulant. The dose for children depends on “age and temperament.”

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