Today I want to share a story about my visit with my dad and sister to my grandmother in Shreveport, Louisiana, last week. Her name is Billie Jean Reasor, she’s 86, and still full of life even after all of those years.
This trip was a special one because my sister and I hadn’t seen her in over a year. We got there on Friday last week, and missed school to get there. We landed in Dallas and drove five hours through lightning, thunder, and tornadoes. We finally got there at 10 that night and our grandmother greeted us at her door with open arms. We all talked for about an hour and then went to bed.
The next morning we went to Strawn’s Pie Shop and Eatery. It’s been around since 1944. I didn’t really feel like I was in Louisiana until we went to Strawn’s. Everything was either fried, buttered, or smothered in gravy. When my sister ordered strawberries and whipped cream for her waffle, the waitress came back with a separate bowl with about twice as much whipped cream as there was strawberries under it.
After that huge breakfast, we went to Norton’s art gallery and grounds. They had original prints of American, English, and German World War I propaganda posters and a whole gallery of firearms from around the world from the 1870’s till World War II. The gallery also had plenty of famous sculptures and statues depicting American life in the 19th century.
After we walked through the gallery, we went outside to walk the 43 acre park surrounding the gallery. The grounds were beautiful. They didn’t allow photos to be taken, but I brought my camera anyway and got yelled at for it.
When we were done walking the grounds, we went to Shaver’s Catering for some freshly boiled crawfish. There was crawfish by the thousands, and people were piling out of the place with bags of crawfish in their hands. I love crawfish, it was awesome to see the whole process of how it’s made.
On Sunday, we went to church with my grandmother. We met all of her friends, and almost all of them already knew my sister and I because of Billie Jean’s Facebook. The service was very nice, and definitely felt like a church in the Bible Belt of the South.
The store is huge, and it’s a redneck’s dream. Upstairs they have hunting, camping, and shooting supplies. They have boats and atv’s downstairs and fishing poles on top of fishing poles. I could have spent all day in there, but we left after an hour.
We went back to the house and packed up for our flight the next day. After packing, we went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner. They had a bassist and pianist duo playing in the foyer. My grandmother knew the bassist, and told him when he came to our table between songs that I play piano and bass. Chris, the bassist, invited me to play any jazz song I wanted on the piano and he would just follow along on bass. I said sure. I went up and played “Vienna” by Billy Joel. I hadn’t performed that song in a while, so I was a little rusty, but my grandmother was overjoyed to see her grandson play in public.
The next morning, we got up, had breakfast, said our goodbyes and we were on our way back to Dallas to catch our flight back home.
My grandmother’s time is limited, as is all of ours, so I wanted to make the most out of the time I spend with her. I think my dad, Nola, and I all tried our best last weekend, and succeeded in giving her the best weekend with her family she could have.