90 Plus: Edward Fontenot, “I’m still here”

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Nothing says home more than living on the land you’ve farmed all your life. In St. Landry Parish, a man who’s 98 years old reflects on the good ole days when family memories were created.

Edward Fontenot of Palmetto is a man who knows about a hard day’s work. He says the house he lives in is a house he helped build. “I did all the inside myself.”

Fontenot says he’s always lived in the area. It’s where’s he was born and raised. “The house was further up. My dad the their house,”  Fontenot explained.

One memory that will never leave him is the Great Flood of 1927 when nearly everything was underwater. “The water come to the top of the doors,” Fontenot said.

He says after the flood, farming was limited. “We ain’t had nothing. We planted sweet potatoes and peas. That’s what we had to eat.”

Fontenot joined the navy. He says he spent two years there. He remembers being one of three from the household to go to war.

“My brother was in the hospital in Germany. They bombed the hospital while he was there. He’s blessed he lived.”

Upon returning home, he says he went back to farming and cutting logs for 35 cents an hour.

For Fontenot that was surviving, after all he had a wife and five children to provide for. “I worked on this house at night and worked on the job in the day.”

In fact, he says he’s a retired bus driver of 32 years. “They didn’t have black bus drivers in them times but people had put in for it.”

Everything considered Fontenot is proud of the life he lived; for he lived it the best way he could. “I have a problem at night; my feet and things hurting but I’m still here.”

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