Monday, June 13, 2016

Linville's Fred Franklin pens impressive memoir with 'Souvenirs of a Childhood Interrupted'

            Growing up on a Linville farm with several brothers provided Fred Franklin with endless fun. But with all the adventures of raising animals, causing boyhood havoc and fishing and hunting in the rural woods was the abuse he suffered at the hands of an alcoholic father. Franklin relates his childhood, and the pieces of his father’s life he managed to research and gather, in his memoir, “Souvenirs of a Childhood Interrupted” (Dog Ear Publishing).
He begins with the summer of 1973 when his own life took a similar turn. As he paused driving home late one night, after drinking all day barbecuing, then at a state-border bar, Franklin recalls his childhood and the forces that brought him to that day. He first describes what he’s come to learn of his father committing murder and being sent to prison. When his mother and siblings couldn’t support themselves, even with the help of her parents, Franklin’s grandfather appealed to the judge to let Floyd Franklin out early. The appeal was granted.
What really happened that day when Floyd killed another, and his reasons for later physical and emotional abuse inflicted on his children and wife, are unclear. It’s this lack of rationality that haunts Fred Franklin for years. It was through this memoir that he achieves some form of clarity, and forgiveness, that helps him heal.
Franklin pens a well-written, captivating story with “Souvenirs,” although it’s not an easy story. He recalls his childhood in vivid detail, and residents of the Linville area will surely recognize places and people.
Frankin is a retired field office manager for a national pipeline construction company.
Correspondences: Une Fete
Darrell Bourque, Dayana Stetco and J. Bruce Fuller read from recent works of Yellow Flag Press from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at NuNu Cultural Arts Collective in Arnaudville. “Correspondences: Une Fete” will include before and after visits to Little Big Cup and Grand Coteau Bistro, live entertainment at Bayou Teche Brewery and shopping and art exhibits at NuNu’s.
Bourque is a former Louisiana Poet Laureate and is releasing his second chapbook, “Where I Waited,” in The Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry. Stetco is a ULL English professor, founder of the interdisciplinary theater ensemble The Milena Group and co-editor with Rita Costello of “Bateau Ivre, a Journal of Performance, Literature, and Art.” Her collection of plays, “The Falling: A Trilogy,” was released by Yellow Flag Press this past spring. Fuller, editor and publisher of Yellow Flag Press, is a Louisiana native and the winner of the Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest for his chapbook “Flood.” Fuller received his MFA from McNeese and his Ph.D. from ULL and is currently a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.
Yellow Flag Press has been part of the Vision Verse Project in Lake Charles and has published area poets Toby Daspit, Stella Nesanovich and Elizabeth Burke.

Southern bookstores
           I love a bookstore with a cat; nothing like perusing the book aisles and pausing to inflict love on a feline. At Alexander’s Books at 2001 Congress St. in Lafayette, there are cats everywhere. There are also books everywhere, from genre fiction and gardening to art books and Louisiana history. Since Alexander’s is a used bookstore, you can bring in books as credit toward books purchased at the store. Just give yourself plenty of time, because there’s lot to peruse and plenty of ears to scratch.

Book events
Aimee Broussard, author of “Picnics, Potlucks & Porch Parties” cookbook, published by Quail Ridge Press of Mississippi, will host a cooking demonstration from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. Also at the museum, Father William Miller will offer a pre-Father’s Day tasting and exploration of beer and Greg Reggio, one of the 3 Taste Buds behind Zea’s, will host a tasting with beers from Zea Brewery beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Rouses Culinary Innovation Center. The event is free with museum admission. Miller is the author of two books, “The Gospel According to Sam: Animal Stories for the Soul” and “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God: The Whole and Holy Truth About Lager, Loving and Living.”  

Erin M. Greenwald discusses and signs “Marc-Antoine Caillot and the Company of the Indies in Louisiana Trade in the French Atlantic World” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books, New Orleans. Greenwald is curator and historian at the Historic New Orleans Collection and the editor of “A Company Man: The Remarkable French-Atlantic Voyage of a Clerk for the Company of the Indies.”

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at