Friday, April 6, 2012

Charles Raymond Bourgoyne

My husband, Charles Raymond Bourgoyne, the son of John Claude Bourgoyne Sr and Lena Mary Rockforte, is a native of Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  Born and raised there, he has many memories of Plaquemine and its surrounding areas.  He and his school friends spent their afternoons and summer days "just being boys" along the levee banks of Bayou Plaquemine.  They often fished off the banks under the railroad bridge.  Among his favorite memories are the moments that he and his dad, Mr. Claude, rode the bicycle to town.  Charlie sat atop the handlebars as he and his dad rode along the bayou bridge and across the street to either the City Cafe or Bon's Bakery, where they would enjoy a biscuit or honey bun and milk.

To the right is a photo of Kurzweg Street in Plaquemine.  Charlie's family lived in the green painted duplex house.  The family resided there for several years before moving closer to town.  Unfortunately, Charlie will only disclose bits and pieces of his childhood memories.  I would do him an injustice by trying to "paint a pretty picture of happy childhood memories" when they did not exist.  The family struggled in their personal relationships and financially.

By the time Charlie attended Plaqemine High School, the family had moved to a house on Thesis Street (photo on left), now considered a historical area.  He remembers spending a lot of time walking along the levee surrounding the Plaquemine Lock, which was right around the bend from their house.  He walked to Railroad Avenue often to visit with his Aunt Louella and cousins, Donna and Pam.  As a teen, Charlie spent a few hours on Friday or Saturday nights enjoying the social gatherings at the Plaquemine Youth Center, where other teens gathered for music and dancing.  When he was old enough to drive, his dad had made a promise to help him out with a car.  Mr. Claude held to his promise and bought Charlie a yellow mustang with proceeds from a bingo win.  He was thrilled to have his own ride for a change.  Some of the "buddies" he hung out with were Gary Clouatre (their friendship lasted into their adult years, until Gary's death in the early 1990's), Leroy Brown and his cousin "Whoopie" Bourgoyne.

In 1975, at the age of 20, Charlie decided to leave his hometown and move to the west bank of New Orleans.  His best friend, Gary Clouatre, decided to pack up his few belongings and travel with Charlie.  At that time, Charlie's brother, Claude Jr, was already married and was living in Harvey, Louisiana which was across the river from New Orleans.  To this day, Charlie still proclaims that he moved to the west bank just to be closer to me *smile*.  We had met at Shakey's Pizza, a teen hang-out, in April 1975.  After talking on the phone every day for two or three weeks, Charlie said he was convinced that he wanted to see more of me.  He and Gary stayed a few weeks with Claude Jr, until they secured jobs then they moved into a rental house with another friend.  On weekends, a crowd of us hung out at the drive-in movies, bowling centers and game rooms in Gretna and Harvey.  We had great fun together.  The photo on left was taken in 1976, at my Senior Prom which was held in New Orleans.  It's quite obvious the photo was from the 1970's- just look at those bright colors!

Charlie and I dated for well over a year before we married on 19 December 1976.  We had a small wedding which was held in the home of my parents in Columbia, Mississippi.  After the wedding, we resided in Gretna, Louisiana for a year then moved to Columbia, Mississippi, and that is where we have been the majority of our married life.  Like any other married couple, we have had our fair share of ups and downs and everything in-between.  We were so young when we married- he was 21 and I was 17, so we basically "grew up" together.

For the first several years of our marriage, Charlie was away from home often because he was employed in the oilfield industry.  He has held positions as a roustabout, roughneck and motorman and has worked on both gulf rigs and land platforms. After recuperation from a back injury which prevented him from returning to work in the oilfield industry, Charlie secured employment in the sales industry.  He has mainly worked in lawn equipment and auto parts sales.  Charlie has a strong work ethic and works more hours than I would like for him to.

There is more information about Charlie and I on the About Us page here.  Also, in the future there will be more about us on my other family page, The Family Snoop, in the Sharing Memories section.  Click here to access those pages or go to

1 comment:

  1. I love me some Charles Raymond! Charles and I used to sneak out together and go skinny dipping. He never told anyone that he had a second lover. He was always embarrassed of me because I have a penis. He always wanted to hide me from his wife and kids but I believe the truth needs to be told. I love you Charles! Sincerely- Jay