Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: My Grandma

I recently bought a subscription to, which I highly recommend. I noticed that it had issues of the Lake Charles American Press from the 1950s to 1970s. This is the major newspaper in the area of southwest Louisiana where I grew up. I searched for my grandparents' names, and I found some really cool articles on my grandmother. She told me that she had been the editor of the newspaper at McNeese State University (then called McNeese State College), but it was really cool to see it on paper in the context of the time period. And I always knew she worked for the Louisiana Office of Tourism at the local tourist bureau in the town where I grew up, but it was cool to see her appointment to the position published in the newspaper. In fact, that article is where I found the address of the house where my dad grew up. The house has since been torn down, so I didn't have the exact address. These articles make me very proud of my grandmother, and I would like to share them with my readers. Enjoy!

"Sulphur Girl Is Editor of College Paper," Lake Charles (Louisiana) American-Press, 26 August 1954, p. 23, col. 3.

Miss Merlene Mertena, a Sulphur sophomore majoring in journalism at McNeese State college, is the editor-in-chief of the Contraband, the college's weekly newspaper, for the 1954-55 school year.
Elected by the paper's staff at the close of school, she assumed her new responsibility with the summer issue published August 3.
During her freshman year she served as reporter and feature editor, and in the absence of last year's editor-in-chief, Miss Carolyn Pulliam, who attended the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention in New York City, Miss Mertena headed the Contraband.
At Sulphur high school, Miss Mertena was editor of the school paper, the Cyclone. Prior to entering Sulphur High where she was an honor student, she attended high school in Ponca City, Okla. There she was on the staff of the school paper for two years, a member of Latin club, Biology club, the Dynamighters and worked on the annual, the Cat Tale.
Activities at McNeese include participation in the speech tournament, and membership in the [unreadable]

"Vinton Women Added to Staff," Lake Charles (Louisiana) American-Press, 5 April 1966, p. 1, col. 1.

VINTON---The appointment of two new members to the staff of the Vinton Tourist Bureau was announced this week by John Tarver, director of the Louisiana Tourist Development Commission.
Named as tourist information representatives at the Vinton station were Mrs. Benford Trahan and La Dell Jeffers, both of Vinton.
The new addition increased the staff of the Vinton bureau to three. Already employed at the station is Mrs. Jack Kimball, who has been the only representative there for the past several years.
Mrs. Trahan will be employed by the bureau as a full-time representative, while Miss Jeffers will serve as a part-time hostess and also do publicity and promotional work for the Tourist Development Commission in Southwest Louisiana.
They will assist Mrs. Kimball in greeting visitors entering Louisiana from out of state and in distributing pamphlets and other information describing points of interest to the tourists.
Before assuming their positions at the station the three women attended a two-day training seminar for Tourist Commission employees.
A native of Oklahoma, Mrs. Trahan is the former Merlene Mertena of Maplewood. She attended McNeese and was active in many campus organizations, serving at one time as editor of the school paper. The Trahans live with their four sons at 1306 Fancher St.
Miss Jeffers, a Northwestern Louisiana State College graduate with a degree in journalism and English and a former school teacher lives at 1305 East St.
I am going to have to find another copy of the newspaper on microfilm when I go back to Louisiana to see if it has a better copy of the first article. I couldn't read the rest of the sentence about the rest of the organizations my grandmother was involved with. Stay tuned next week for another great newspaper article about my grandmother and grandfather in 2006.

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