|Charlie Collins, Sr.|
Remembering home, remembering the old landmark, remembering what was our fondest memories for me and many of my cousins as we approach fifty. Many of us in our own immediate families and some of us having grandchildren, they're my first-cousins, my close friends it all seems so unreal.
Because now we are telling our newest family members of what we took for granted our-- family history of gathering together on Sundays to watch our family softball team that played every Sunday in Kenner at the old Morgan playground field, The Cade Raiders and The Cade Raiderettes.
My grandparents, Charles Cade Sr., and Mable Dudley Cade had sixteen children, eight boys and eight girls. Like most large families, they did everything together; they lived, loved and played together as a family—they instilled that in us that family is important, and that family was first, and keep your faith in God. For the longest of time, because I had so many first cousins, my first cousins were my friends. My cousin Thomas Brown was my best friend for the longest time. I have four cousins the same age as I am. Even to this day, I think this is the benefit of growing up in a big family, but close family. We all know as cousins that we always have each others back because we’re family. I think my grandmother stressed this too us because she was the only daughter of Mose and Idella Williams Dudley. My grandmother had one brother O.D. Dudley.
We remember her always talking about her childhood in Tangipahoa Parish. I remember her talking about Tangipahoa Parish and Amite, LA., So whenever, our extended family came from Amite to visit New Orleans on a weekend, It was always a fun time that would last all day Friday and throughout the weekend: Aunt Sydney, Aunt Daisy, Cousin Latham, Uncle Oscar, Uncle Bud, Aunt Maggie, Cousin Mildred, Cousin Ann, Cousin Shirley, Cousin Norma Jean, and Cousin Betty. Words couldn't expressed how happy everyone were to see each other and how happy everyone were to just get together as family either in Amite or in New Orleans-The Dudleys and Cades.
I can go on and on about great times with our family as most of my cousins can share, the food, the laughter, oh we did a lot of laughing together, a lot of good nature teasing, kids everywhere playing, kids jammed into the living room on pallets, but I think we would all give anything to hear our grandmother or Aunt Mae saying, “hey baby, come on in”
Melvin Collins III