T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
People moving away after WWII and Condea Vista buy-outs
Huber “Mickey” Smith Sr. by Chelsea Arseneault, 2015.
HUBER “MICKEY” SMITH SR.: But this place grew after the war. People that moved here and came here and things began to . . .began to change on how you worked and looked at life and what you expected out of it and what you got out of it. It made a big difference. A lot of people who went in the war here from staying here, some of them . . . A lot of them, not some of them, a lot of them left here and went to the war. After they come out, they never did come back here. Never did come back here.

CHELSEA ARSENEAULT: Where'd they go?

SMITH: Different places where they lived. California and New York. Where did they go? All of them that come out of the army, of the service, some of them never came back here to live. They had got a taste of life at its best and they was never coming back here to live or to work the fields.

I was talking to a lady in Berkeley, California. She's from here, she's ninety, and we were talking about the places her grandchildren have never seen Westlake, Mossville, although their roots are here. They never came here to live like a second-class citizen. They never came. I don't know if they ever come to visit any of the people. Some of them did, but the ones I know they never did come back, come here. Now, some of them in this first buyout that Condea Vista [chemical company] did, some of them come back here because they were heirs to property and got that money and stuff. But they never did come back no more and stay here.
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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