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Florence Alice C. Adams – Elementary Education, June 1945

Florence Alice Adams

Bachelor of Arts – June, 1945

Southwestern Louisiana Institute

The years 1942-1945 were “War Years” at SLI.  President Joel L. Fletcher faced the challenge of these years along with his faculty, including Dean M.D. Doucet, College of Education; Agnes Edwards, Dean of Women; and Professor Riehl, Dean of Men.  Other faculty members whom I recall were my English teachers, Miss Muriel McCulla and Professor Seale; Geography, Miss Kelly–beautiful and sweet; Art, Miss Hyatt–one of my favorite teachers and classes; Music, Miss Mouton–voice and mixed chorus; and Mr. Ducrest, Director.  I remember very well our production of “Showboat.” In fear of Professor Claycomb’s wrath I spent more hours studying Biology than any other class.  He was an atheist who declared there were no such things as angels.  “Impossible,” he explained.

In Physical Education, I enjoyed folk dancing, and exercises; and I also excelled at table tennis, but the newly constructed obstacle course was a definite obstacle to me.  Vesta Bourgeois was great.  Marching with the Red Jackets was a plus, and a fun form of physical education sponsored by Miss McMillan and her assistants.  I loved the parades, marching at football games, and dating my  friends.  I worked hard as a student teacher at the F.M. Hamilton Training School under the guidance of Miss Watkins.  All went well until we didn’t agree about the report card grades of one student.  After that, I was disappointed in the grade which she gave me.

Living in the dorms–Buchanan Hall, Evangeline Hall and Foster Hall– was an education in itself.  I remember reading a paperback book, “Barefoot Boy with Cheek” and laughing so hard I cried.  Meals in the dining hall bring to mind the “Jello Roomates: Football Games”.  See August 1978 story, “The Four of Us.”  I enjoyed Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and sisters, and going to Canterbury Club and the Episcopal Church.

After graduation, I taught sixth grade for three years at  Lecompte School. I spent the summer of ’47 in New York City employed by B. Altman’s on Fifth Avenue. I returned to Alexandria, LA; afterwards, I went to Dallas where I taught at Margaret B. Henderson school and married F. Lee Adams in November of 1948.   We lived in Dallas until 1966, when Lee transferred from Guiberson Corp to M.M.M. (later, Dresser) in Alexandria, LA where most of our family lived.  Our daughter Caroline and our son Fred entered school here, and Caroline graduated from Bolton High as did her mother.  Fred later graduated from the then new Alexandria Senior High (A.S.H.).  Caroline graduated from Northwestern and is employed as an E.S.L. teacher in Mesquite, Texas.  Fred is employed by the City of Houston in the Parks and Recreation Department at Hermann Zoological Park.

After busy years of being parents and homeowners, Lee retired.  Our parents and close relatives are deceased, and in January of this year (1998) began the most traumatic year of my life.  Lee was hospitalized with a broken hip; his health worsened; and he died at Cabrini Hospital on January 16.  Now, I am a widow in my “hometown” with no surviving relatives.

Remembering the good times at SLI and with my husband and family sustain me, and I am counting my blessings every day.  Hope is an eternal flame.

Alice C. Adams