I was raised by my Louisiana Grandmother who had raised seven her own. Then she raised five grandchildren. She taught me how to cook at an early age. By age seven I could cook for the family with mama’s guidance. I called my grandma, mama, because that’s who she was to me. She ruled me with what she called an iron hand, meaning no nonsense ever. Whatever I burned I had to eat it, her saying was “If you’d paid attention to what you were doing it wouldn’t have burned.” She said you must cook with love.
I went to Catholic school until my grandparents couldn’t afford the tuition. I finished school in Houston Texas Jack Yates High. I remember having one pair of shoes that
when the soles wore a hole we would put cardboard inside and wore them until the shoes were too small for my feet. I remember one time when the shoes were too tight around my toes my grandpa cut the toe area out because there was no money for shoes.
After moving to Los Angeles
California, I enrolled in Los Angeles City College, I completed one year there and could not afford to go back. I had to get a job house cleaning to help my grandmother with the bills.
She died two years after we arrived in California.
Upon her death one of my aunts moved into the house that my grandmother and I lived in and proceeded to throw me and all my clothes on the streets. Another aunt was driving by and saw me sitting on the curb and took me home to live with her. I took another job cleaning houses so I could give my aunt money for letting me live with her. I joined a Catholic Club and at one of our social gatherings I heard some one talking about a movie that was being made and they were having auditions for black dancers. Although I
wasn’t a professional, I thought I’d give it a try. I got the job which enabled me to become an extra in the movie industry. Made nice money but spent most of it on taking care of my brother’s wife and three babies who he left at my house. I helped support and raise them with my sister-in-law, who was too ill to work and didn’t get any help from my brother and very little from her welfare.
I moved to Topanga Canyon California and drove down the mountain to a job as a waitress in a night club. I was still helping to support three kids and a sister-in-law. After a while, driving up and down the mountain became too much on my old car. That's how life began for me in Topanga Canyon.
Good Feelings - Good Food
Bless My Soul Cafe
29 Fifth Street
Eureka CA. Reservations (707) 443-1090