New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, March 27, 2017
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Trahan's Cajun Hideway

 Formerly known as 'Malfunction Junction', the camp was located at Parry and Hayne Blvd
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Special Thanks to The Trahan family for sharing this information with us.


 
September 1998--The entire camp has been destroyed. Only parts of the boathouse and back pier remain.


 
View from back walk.


 
Back pier and boat hoist.


 
Michael and Mike Trahan Stories About Trahan's Cajun Hideaway
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Michael Trahan had a camp on Lake Pontchartrain. When I was Little it was so boring. But as I got older it got more fun than ever. Once I caught 3 catfish and 1 trout in one day. The next day my best friend came to my camp, his name is Casey Koll. We had a blast of fun.

Michael Trahan
St. Philip Neri 4th Grade Student
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Looking Back


Michael--Easter, 1992

 I remember my nephew, Michael, as a baby in 1989 on a rug at the camp in the kitchen. He was, at the threshold at the end of the hall that extended from the camp's entrance to its kitchen, sucking the white milk out of his bottle. As a walking toddler, he was fascinated by the trains that passed on the rails in front of the camp.

He could hear a train coming before anyone else. Almost in a frantic state, he hurried his maternal grandmother to see the trains. 'Come on sha, sha (his name for her),' he said in a voice that reminded me of a soda can about to explode.

I can still hear the scurrying shoes as he ran on the wooden, screened-in-porch of the camp.




He excitedly jumped up and down without leaving the floor as the train passed. He looked in wonder and looked at you with a look that wondered why you weren't more excited.

 
Easter, 1992--Looking West



His first knowledge that birds were in the world was at the camp. At first, he thought all birds looked like those in the sky and on the pilings near the camp.


In the spring, we went there for 'crawfish boils'. Mom, Iris, and I and some lady friends sat on the back porch chatting about the news of the day. The guys gathered at a covered platform connected to the camp by a wooden walkway with railings.

It was so cute to watch little Michael watching his Uncle Bob. When Uncle Bob bent down on one knee, so did little Michael. He put his elbow on his knee and cupped his chin in his right hand just as his Uncle Bob did. We watched this mimicing for at time

  .
May, 1992


 
Sunset, 1991

We saw the coudless, blue sky meet the dark blue water of the lake in the horizon. It was quite calming.

One spring day in April, we celebrated the mutual birthdays of our mom and my brother-in-law. Since mom lived on the west bank of the Mississippi River as did Bob and I we brought mom to the camp.



It was easy to find the Trahan spot on the levee. There was a gate but no fence or sign that there had ever been one. Cement steps led to top of the levee and the gate.

On each side of the steps was a cement length and width perfect for my wheelchair. By the age of 35, I had survived two strokes. Usually, I walked with a cane. For the camp treks, I used the wheelchair.

Bob and Mike pushed the chair to the top of the levee and down to its base on the other side where small rocks were the foundation for the railroad tracks. As the one in the chair, I felt insecure and bought a seat belt for the chair.

At the rocks, I rose from the chair. Bob took my left arm and Mike took my right. as we crossed the two sets of tracks to the camp's walkway.

Hurricane Jose had taken away the land leaving behind about three feet of Lake Pontchartrain under the walkway I always got tired at the same spot at second set of tracks. I scrapped my left fooot every time.


 
Iris and Michael

At the walkway, I sat in the chair. Onward, we went to the camp where Iris and little Michael waited.
For this birthday, Iris had purchased two cakes. Everyone sang 'Happy Birthday.' Bob and I got Mike an empty anti-acid box filled with colored jelly beans. A paper inside explained that the red ones were for love and the green ones were for energy. I don't remember for what were the other colors. He
laughed and said that he could use all of them.


Of course there were rainy days. Afterall, this is New Orleans.
Looking East, 1990



When it rained, Iris casually said it was 'white' rain. I assumed that there was some more intense color to worry about.

On weekends; Mike, Michael, and godfather Alvin ran back and forth on the levee to get a kite with a toilet paper for a tail airborne.

The son was introduced to flying a kite. Holding the string that was attached to it, little Michael held it with his dad's help and marveled as it swayed against the evening sky.

His dad and godfather got to abandon adult cares for a time and remember what it was like to be boys again.

Mrs. Myra A. Marmillion

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Boy! What memories I have.
 
In the kitchen (1994), right to left Robert and Myra Marmillion, Alvin (Michael's godfather), Michael, Sr., Michael, Jr. and Katie. I'm Michael Trahan, Jr. Godfather. I'm Actor, Writer and Director living in Orlando, Florida with my wife Katie.

The days at the camp have a special place in my heart. Mike and I sometimes on a Friday afternoon, on our days off of course, would sit on the back porch and drink Dixie beer from his tap. We would talk and talk. I could remember clearly the conversations about me moving to Orlando. It wasn't easy for me after living my whole life in the greatest city I know New Orleans. Now, those are the days I can always look back to brighten up my day.


I'm presently writing a novel set in New Orleans. I told Iris the memories of the camp has come at a vey good time. Possibly my main character or a secondary character has a camp on Hayne Blvd. Who Knows? Will see what happens. 
 
Michael Trahan, Jr. (cousin of Mike Trahan, owner of Trahan's Cajun Hideaway)  
Relaxing on the back porch (1992) The Spicuzza Family - left to right Alvin Spicuzza, Mike Spicuzza, Katie Spicuzza and Olga Spicuzza.Notice surrounding camps in the background.