Family legends


Legends are history that cannot (yet) be proved. Some are true, others less. They are all fun to tell. They are meant to answer essential questions such as: "when did Etienne actually leave, why, where from, was his bro with him then, what did they tell their mother they were going to do that afternoon, did they write often to their parents, did they send them presents for their birthdays, were they glad to be away from their sisters, did they take English in school (after they had to suffer through Spanish), did they pass on genes to their descendants that would make them come back to France every now and then, what is it like in Plauchéville?"

About traveling to the Americas and speaking French

Louis Plauché, from Bâton Rouge, tells us

"The legend in my family is that the elder Plauché brother was followed by the younger some two years afterwards. If they are anything like the modern day Plauchés, they didn't write very often and were fairly unsentimental... perhaps I exaggerate.

There is first-hand evidence that the early Plauchés spoke French exclusively... My maternal grandfather (surnom Cox), was known to the Plauchés and others in Plauchéville as l'Américain as late as 1920. This was a source of some irritation to my mother, who spoke both English and French as a child, but managed to find the courage to buck the tide and marry a very French Plauché".

About riches and French family ties

Fay (Plauché) Holmgren tells us

"Some time ago I met a distant cousin, Albert Laplace Dart, now deceased. Albert, a well known lawyer like his father before him, had been U.S. Consul in Istanbul during WWII. His father had done a professional genealogical search of the Dart and Plauché families. (Mary Plauché, granddaughter of Etienne Henry married a Dart long ago, making us ninth cousins best we could count.) The investigator said that there had been contact between the first Plauchés in Louisiana and their families in France, that there existed a mysterious box delivered by hand and from which the elder Plauchés dug into as a source of income. Also I believe that the sons of Etienne Henry attended the Sorbonne and may have known their grandparents from this experience."

About life in Plauchéville at the start of the 20th century

Andy Plauché , from Lake Charles, tells us

"Plauchéville and Cottonport were rival towns in many many ways throughout their histories. Geographical jealousies abounded and one town was always getting one up on the other town. Plauchéville suffered a real blow when the Railroad decided to go thru Cottonport rather than Plauchéville. The fact that Cottonport had the railroad station was lorded over Plauchéville and the arguments between the towns spread to the baseball teams each town had. All summer long, the rivalry between the towns would spill over to the ballpark. Toward the end of the season, the teams had records that were almost even so there was one more game to be played to decide once and for all which town had the best baseball team. Plauchéville sent its team to Cottonport to win the final game and to salvage some civic pride by being able to say, "so what about the train, we have the best baseball team."

The game was hard fought and in the bottom of the 9th, Plauchéville had a one run lead and two outs. Cottonport had one man on base on one man at bat. The Cottonport batter had two strikes. One more strike and Plauchéville would win the game and the pride of the cities. Right then, the Plauchéville pitcher threw the ball and the Cottonport batter hit a fly ball. It was an easy out to the Plauchéville centerfielder. All the Plauchéville fans thought, "this is it...we win..."

All of a sudden, however, a train went by just past the outfield fence and it blew its whistle and the entire Plauchéville team including the centerfielder turned to view the train. The ball dropped harmlessly to the ground and two runs scored and Cottonport won the game. Plauchéville, it turns out, lost the game on which so much civic pride was resting. Now Cottonport had the train station and the best baseball team.

Most hearers of this story, think that this is the end and that all the Plauchéville players and fans went home sad, but the truth is different. The Plauchéville fans and players actually went home happy: despite losing the most important game of the year to the hated rival Cottonport, all was not lost: They had gotten to see a train!"


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