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    Robert Baldwin's Memories of Eugene Wakeley

    "I remember the last time I saw my father, Eugene..."

    I remember the last time I saw my father, Eugene. I was taking the Tulane trolley to meet my mother at the Winn Dixie when she got off of work, and it was just getting dark.

    The plan was for the two of us to put in a grocery order together. As I passed, I looked at the Falstaff brewery, at its advertisement, but it told me nothing about what was about to go down.

    I usually took forever to pick out a box of cereal because I was always checking out what came inside the box... what toy... what little gadget. It drove my mother crazy.

    Finally, we were at the car stop, each carrying a bag of food. It was dark, Carrolton Avenue full of traffic and noise. And then out of nowhere, my father.

    The three of us hadn't lived together for months... it went like that.

    A fight where people got hit and things got broken and all sorts of things were said... bad things. And then my father wouldn't be around... just mom and I. And then we would be back together again for a while.

    Well, here he was tonight, drunk... smashed... and smelly.

    First he was trying to apologize for the last time around, how it would be good for the boy (me), but mom just kept asking him to leave. And then the apologies ended, and out came the anger and rage.

    Alone... the traffic just kept going by... and I kept praying that the trolley would hurry.

    I didn't know what to do except plead with him to stop.

    He got mad, reached out, tore at the bags we were holding... groceries all over the street... there was my cereal. Then he started hitting my mother.

    When I tried to pull at him, my mother begged me to stay out of his way, and Eugene pushed me off.

    He got enough of it and stormed away. And my mother and I got down on the ground trying to salvage what we could of our grocery order... the bags were gone.

    That was all of Eugene...never saw him again.

    Two years later, my Uncle Cliff told me my father had died at Charity Hospital. He had been staying around Lafayette Square when they brought him in... pneumonia, I think.

    DateFeb 2009
    Linked toEugene Asia Wakeley; Robert Barton [Wakeley] Baldwin; Martha [Wakeley] Wallace

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