First, a few things I love: a great view; revisiting someplace and finding that I still love it or, better yet, finding something new to love about it; and a good story. I also have a great fondness for dessert, but that’s another list.
We’ve driven right by this spot at least twice before on the way to Alamo Springs Cafe (for their a-mazing burgers), but we never stopped to check out the view. It was worth stopping for. As we stood and admired, the kid asked about the structure over to the left. I told him it was probably a fire lookout tower and that it reminded me of a story.
Sometime in 1936 a girl took a walk in the woods of western Louisiana with a girl friend. They came upon a fire lookout tower and climbed up to check out the view. In addition to a view, they found a sleeping man. He was the CCC volunteer assigned to man the tower and was happily sleeping off the previous evening’s fun. The man awoke to a girl with big grey eyes and a dark ponytail peering at him. She was a shy 17 year old in a blue pinafore. He had a rakish grin, was 26 and, worst of all, was “Louisiana French”.
Of course he immediately began pursuing her. For two years he courted her with compliments and gifts and promises. The thing that eventually won her over was when he paid to have her mother’s remaining teeth removed, and then covered the cost of her dentures. He proposed, she accepted and in 1938 they were married. And then in 1939 they had a baby girl, my mom.
So, I explained to the kid, a fire tower like that one was responsible for my standing there, admiring that view.