Wednesday, April 24, 2024

the last book I ever read (Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong, excerpt three)

from Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong:

Before I lucked up on store trousers I used to wear my “stepfathers’” trousers, rolling them up from the bottom so that they looked like plus fours or knickers.

Mayann had enough “stepfathers” to furnish me with plenty of trousers. All I had to do was turn my back and a new “pappy” would appear. Some of them were fine guys, but others were low lives, particularly one named Albert. Slim was not much better, but the worst of all was Albert. One day Albert and my mother were sitting on the bank of the old basin canal near Galves Street quarreling about something while I was playing near by. Suddenly he called her a “black bitch” and knocked her into the water with a blow in her face. Then he walked off without even looking back. My God, was I frantic! While Mayann was screaming in the water, with her face all bloody, I began to holler for help at the top of my voice. People ran up and pulled her out, but what a moment that was! I have never forgiven that man, and if I ever see him again I will kill him. However, I have been in New Orleans many times since that day, and I have never run into him. Old timers tell me he is dead.

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