T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
It takes a village...
Carolyn Rigmaiden-Frank by Chelsea Arseneault, 2015.
CAROLYN RIGMAIDEN-FRANK: I remember when we were little, we had . . . Well, we weren't little, little. But we were coming up and we used to have a rope tied in a tree at my cousin's house next door. We would all go over there, and we would run and catch the rope and swing. And one time my sister, she missed the rope and fell on her arm and broke her arm, and so then we all . . . It was a group of us, I’d say about ten to fifteen of us that would do that. We would do that every day. So when she broke her arm, well, we didn’t know what it was, but her arm was dented in. So we all was just trailing behind her, going to the house to tell them that she was hurt. And I remember they took her to the hospital and she came back, she had the cast on her arm. And the thing that I remember mostly about that was because all the parents was there with the children waiting to see what had happened, what was wrong, and everything. I think about that because I think about how these days, people sue for everything. And it wasn't none of that. Nothing like that. The rope came down though, but it was just still how good everybody was so concerned. But that was because of the closeness of the people.

It brings to my memory these days when people tell me it takes a community to raise a child. And that's what that was like. Anybody in the community could chastise you. They didn't have to call your parents and tell you. They would chastise you at the point, and then you’d go home and you would get another scolding. But it was just that. . . We were just such a close-knit community that really we just . . . It just seemed like we didn't like it when all these other people start moving in because you didn't know anybody. Because before this, I mean, we could . . . You could leave your doors open at night. You just wasn't concerned because you knew nothing was going to happen. But then after people started moving in, then you had to start being careful. And it just . . . It really changed the way. . . CHELSEA ARSENEAULT: Was that in the fifties?

RIGMAIDEN-FRANK: Pardon? Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's the forties, fifties. Well, thirties really. Yeah, so it was . . . Things change, you know. People want to advance. They want new things to happen. So Mossville wouldn’t get left behind, That's what happened. And it just . . . We just had to adjust.
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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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