I just returned from a funeral in Louisiana for a childhood friend. While, a very sad time, it was so good to see so many of the kids I grew up with.
Belair subdivision was not like any regular subdivision…it was a three block family. In one square block, I had six sets of parents. Seth, Steph, and I were always welcome into any house. Mrs. Mary Jane ALWAYS had cookies for her three boys…I could always count on Mrs. Sue to have a freshly baked cake. Mrs. Girdie had those awesome soft peppermints that melted in your mouth. Mrs. Rosie always had pringles and RC cola (Sorry Dad…I drank it!)
Our families celebrated holidays together. During Mardi Gras, we entertained the remainder of the subdivision with a parade, where the adults had a king and queen (King/Queen Oink Oink). We were the Krewe of Belair. We also vacationed together. I remember so many times heading out to Belmont campground…We all had “pop-up” campers back then. While the adults sat around and drank, the kids ran in the woods….played in the dirt, swung from tree ropes. We also spent many Easters in Gross Tete at the Hebert’s camp. We had talent shows, where Philip always won
! The kids played by the fire (and chased each other with hot coat hangers from our weenie roasts….not much parental supervision there! ha ha)
The Strevas had one of the only pools in the neighborhood. They were very generous when it came to all the neighbor kids begging to swim. She had a flag system on the slide…We knew not to ask if the white flag was up….When the red flag went up, we all went screaming down the street………RED FLAAAAAG….RED FLAAAG….Mrs. Rosie put the RED FLAG UP!
So this week, my heart is heavy to say goodbye to JJ…He was our leader….always getting us into mischief! Seth and I joined the Kiss fan club b/c JJ said that was the thing to do! We also sat in our ditch by the cane field many times b/c we knew JJ would be riding his dirt bike through our yard on his way home. If we were lucky, he’d give us a ride!
Over the years, the Belair Gang lost touch…..Most of the Fathers are now deceased. We still have my Dad and Mr. Jerry in the original Belair block. Gregory told JJ his plan was to have a Belair reunion…It never got off the ground.
Well, today, J, you pulled it together. Although it wasn’t the best of circumstances, Phil says you were still the center of attention.
We promise to gather again in memory of you and all of the others we have lost. You will be greatly missed by us all!
Here is an old video of Phil lip syncing his hit record “Gotta Be Tall to Play Basket ball”. The flip side of the record was “Millers the Best Beer for Me”
The Belair parents!
(Top row: Mr. Oswald, Mrs. Betty Jo, Mrs. Loretta, Mr. Jerry, Mrs. Gail, Mrs. Julie, Mr. Glenn, Mrs Norma, Mr. Bob, My Dad – Front: Mrs. Sandy, Mrs. Girdie, Mrs. Rosie, Mrs. Mary Jane, Mrs. Meredith, & My Mom)
The Belair kids!
(Top row: Philip Streva, Jackie Guillot, Seth Porche, Jim Leblanc, Jason Smith, Oswald Decuir, Johnny Hargrave – Squatting: Maria Streva, Lisa Streva, Stephanie Porche, Gretchen Porche, Robin Powell, Greg Lohr)
We all celebrated JJ’s life in the church hall after the burial and I snapped a few shots.
Mrs. Julie, Mrs. Girdie, & Mom
Jackie, Greg, & Jim
Same, plus me!
It’s also very seldom that my family is together, so we took the opportunity to snap a family photo….Unfortunately, my lens was foggy so they didn’t come out very well…When we tried again in the church hall, the glare got to us.
Seth, Steph, Mom, Dad & Me
Here are pics from the old “Krewe of Belair” Mardi Gras Group!
King Oink Oink, Mr. Glen – Second pic, second row…My Dad! Sure hope those aren’t my mom’s panties!
I believe the little midget sitting on the grass with the Rockin Dorothy Hamil haircut is me! Seth is the little bobblehead in the brown toughskins behind the float!