William Woodward

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William Woodward As posted by Kay Woodward Sears for Ashley Thomas Woodward. Ashley Thomas Woodward - Born on 4/3/31 on the outskirts of Campti, LA on a dirt road leading to a place called Clouds Crossing on Black Lake. I think all the older brothers and sisters were born there too. I think Ellen, Marie and Mackie were born in Campti. Daddy planted the few acres in corn, cotton, and vegetables after he worked at the saw mill every day. It was about 3 miles outside of Campti. I think we lived there because of Mama's Mama. In the mid 30's we moved to Campti in a shack, but we called it home. That's where the 3 younger sisters were born. I started school when I was 5 yrs. old because Mama couldn't keep James in school unless I went. She would take him to school and he would beat her back home, so I've been told. We went to a catholic school called St. Cecelia's Convent. It was a 3 room school with two or three grades in one room. The nuns were very strict. One tried to make me sing in music class. After a few licks with the thick yard stick, she convinced me that I could sing. I don't remember all of the other times the yard stick came into play, but most of the time it was for altercations on the school grounds with another boy and his sister. We had an ongoing thing throughout my elementary years. We then had to go to high school in the 8th grade, and the first thing was a fight with the same boy. After a trip to the principle's office and a few whacks with a paddle that had a hole in it, we were friends afterward. Sometime in the late 30's Mama convinced Daddy to buy a piece of land (11 acres) not too far from where we were living. The man lived in Natchitoches, but before he moved to Natchitoches, he had owned a grocery store on that property. One of Mama's brothers was a wild one. He thought he was Wild Bill. He went into the store a little on the high side and the man tried to put him out and a wrestling match occurred. The man's ear was bitten off. I'm surprised he sold them the property. I think the cost of the property was $100. It took forever to pay off. I think Daddy was making $12 a week and had nine kids to feed. He got lots of help from his sister, Aunt Edna, and his Dad, Grandpa Woodward. Aunt Edna worked at a dry goods store and Grandpa owned a grocery store. I used to help in the store at different times. One summer he wanted me to paint the metal roof on his store. Not knowing any better, I put the ladder next to an electric line. I was going to pull myself up on the roof and caught the line with one hand on the roof. Luckily it knocked me off the ladder and onto the ground. Someone else painted the roof. I used to spend the night with Aunt Edna. It was nice to get up and she would have a good breakfast fixed. Cornflakes and bananas or breakfast sausage, eggs and toast. My other favorite, Aunt Emeline, took up a lot of time with me. She also lived on the dirt road to Clouds Crossing. I spent a lot of nights with her. Her son was in service and when he came home she would also feed me good. Fried chicken for breakfast or pork chops. That was a lot different than what we were used to. Back to my side of the story. In the summer time we used to have to work for the nuns (for free) doing odd jobs like cutting grass or cleaning class rooms. One summer James and I had to paint the inside of a water tank (cistern) which caught rain water that was the main water supply. It was an asphalt base paint and we had a small hole to crawl in and out. We could only stay a few minutes at a time. We finally got through, but we were cooked from our waist to the top of our head. The skin peeled to another layer. Needless to say, the nun got an ear full from Mama. I don't think we worked there anymore. As we got a little older, we had a lot of odd jobs like peeling poles, cutting pulp wood, loading crossties, loading telephone poles, and fence posts. In our spare time we played summer baseball and went to the movies on Saturday nights (tent shows). Don't want to forget the time we tied Teny to a rocking chair, put a rope around it, pulled her off the porch and broke her arm. She was not the only one who played with paper dolls. I had a shoe box full of my own. I also spent a lot of time under the house (it was high off the ground) building dirt roads and playing with small cars and trucks. Daddy built the house mostly by himself in his spare time. It was one bedroom, dining room and kitchen on one side. One bedroom and a long room that had 3 or 4 beds for the smaller kids on the other side. It didn't have a living room. The front bedroom was used as a multipurpose room. It had the only wood burning heater in the house. That's where we spent most of our winter evenings. We had oil burning lamps and we had to do homework with those lamps. I don't think much homework got completed. Finally in the early 40's, during World War Two, Mama got running water and electricity. We still had to use the outhouse. We had to serve the priests as altar boys during our years at the convent. I don't remember if it was voluntary or not, but sometimes I think we were forced to get up early to go serve at 6:30 mass. I enjoyed it at times though. I was more interested in sports (softball, track and basketball) than academics after getting established in high school. I was better than fair in all sports, but I liked basketball the best. Although, I did win 3rd place in district at track (22.7 in 220 yd. dash). Me and two more boys went to state that year. We had to go without a chaperone, so it was quite an experience for three people who had never rode on a train before. The morning we were supposed to run we got large milkshakes. Needless to say, I got about halfway in the competition and got sick and had to leave the track. I ran the 220 yd. dash. One guy ran the 100 and the other threw the shot put and javelin. We came back with a lot of experience and had fun. I met Mary as a result of being able to play basketball where we had a lot of contact. She was on the girl's basketball team (they played half court). I must say she was a pretty good forward. We started dating in our junior year and through our senior year. I guess it was my good looks that attracted her, and I thought the same about her except she had the brains to go with her good looks. She was valedictorian of her class. We finished school in May. Some things between May and July are a bit fuzzy. As I remember, James and Aunt Emeline had a big part in us getting married. James could drive and he took me over to Natchitoches for the blood test and license. I think Chubby Robinson knew a Justice of the Peace in Coushatta and they made the arrangements, so we got married on Sunday night. We spent most of the night at Aunt Emeline's and then I took Mary home. I had already signed up to go in the army, so I left Monday morning to go to Natchitoches. James was the driver again. After eight weeks of basic training, I got to come home. Aunt Emeline told Mama what we had done (gotten married) after about two or three weeks. I guess she took it calmly. This was July, 1948. I got assigned to Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Mary came and we lived in a duplex with another couple (older) and I guess they kind of showed us the ropes. In May of 1950 Thomas Wayne was born in Fort Jackson. While I was at Fort Jackson I worked in a branch of the Post Office. Before that I went to a clerical school and got a MOS to do office work. It wasn't long before they shipped me to Fort Benning, GA. We didn't stay at Ft. Benning long when the Korean War broke out and I was shipped overseas. We first went to Japan then they sent us to Seoul Korea. At Ft. Benning they put me in the Quartermaster Corp. We had the responsibility of getting the food supplies to the front line. That was a break because we stayed behind the lines. Each company would send us a list of how many people they had to feed and we had to break down how many cans, pounds of rice (dried fish if Korean), and C rations, etc. per man. I was fortunate to be a platoon leader (Staff Sgt.) so I didn't have to do a lot of the work. My biggest job was to assign the different jobs. We also had a lot of Korean labor. They worked 12 hr. shifts on two bowls of rice the size of a small cantaloupe. Sometimes dried fish. At first it was difficult to see the way the Koreans were treated, but after a while you got used to it. We moved pretty close to the Chinese border, but that didn't last long. We had to retreat. That's when I lost all my possessions. The pictures were what I regret losing. The clothes and shoes I had replaced. When we got back to a safe distance we stopped and set up camp at night. It rained that night and we were in an old rice field. The water got about six inches deep. When we woke up we were floating on our air mattress. Wouldn't you know someone stole my boots. A trip to the Quartermaster that handled clothes fixed me up with a new supply. After being in Korea one year, I was eligible to come home. They put all of us who were eligible in trucks and took us to the port to catch a ship. While waiting on the ship, President Truman extended everybody for a year. They loaded us back up and sent us back to our outfit. It didn't bother me as much as some of the older men. We had to stay another 6 months. When that was up the C.O. wanted me to stay another 6 months to help train the new replacements. I told him no way. When we got to Japan some of the guys saw him in the airport headed home. After I came back home, I went to Fort Polk and got discharged. I came home and worked for J. B. Beaird making shells for the services. I did that for 2 years and they closed down. I went to the painters local and they placed me with Schexnaidre's. Then life began, Buddy, Ricky, Dennis, Kay, and finally Doug. As the years passed, I started coaching Buddy, Ricky, and Dennis in baseball. Ricky in basketball. Then Doug got big enough to play so I coached him in football, basketball and baseball. That's another story. We had some very successful years. After coaching, we went to ball games to watch Doug play and Kay cheer. We traveled a few miles with the cheerleaders. I worked as a painter and estimator for 27 years. In 1979, Mr. Schexnaidre passed away and in 1980 we went to the bank and they agreed to lend a large sum of money to buy the company. It was a big step. It was an established company so it worked out very well. It helped to send kids to college, buy cars, a nice home, office building, and shop. It also helped to provide a living for some family members. Thank the Lord I have always been healthy up until October, 1997 when I had an operation for cancer in the thyroids. They removed both thyroids and were supposed to have gotten it all. I continued to have follow ups and in January, 2002 they decided it had reoccurred. After some tests, they operated again on April 2nd. The operation was fine except a tooth was knocked out which later I had pulled. While in the hospital Kay brought Amanda, Drew and Tyler for a visit and the bandage got too tight around my neck and I thought I was going to suffocate and they were trying to loosen it. I think it scared 3 kids half to death. In May I went back for a follow up and we felt like the doctor was not doing all he was supposed to so we changed doctors. Mary convinced me to go see an oncologist (cancer doctor) the first of July. He looked at my records and sent me for a CT. The results are he found cancer in my lungs. Since then I have had a bone scan and a head scan. They didn't find anything. Right now I have been going to an endocrinologist for blood tests and he did the bone thing. In October I am going on an iodine free diet to reduce the iodine in my body. On October 15th I am going to take a radioactive iodine pill in hopes it will reduce the cancer. If not, I might have to take chemo. I went to the doctor today and will have a biopsy done after the radioactive iodine treatment. I know I have left out a lot because there is a lot of things that happen to a person with 71 years behind them. ◾Riding horses with a black playmate ◾Picking cotton ◾Stealing watermelons & sugar cane that belonged to Papa Woodward. I don't think he cared. He had plenty. ◾Slipping off to swim in Red River ◾Hitch hiking to Shreveport ◾Camping out every weekend with the kids ◾First grandchild and etc. ◾50th Anniversary ◾Caring for mother-in-law in her aging years ◾Hunting birds during winter and roasting them on a bed of coals ◾Watching blacks baptize on the small lake close by ◾Sleeping with the black lady (Alma) while Mama was away ◾Killing hogs in winter and using all the parts for food (like blood pudding) ◾We also used wash pots to boil clothes before washing ◾Water well that had to be drawn by a metal bucket ◾Climbing cherry trees and eating wild cherries until you get dizzy Well, I guess that's it. I hope it wasn't too boring.
May 07, 2015 · posted to the person Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward
William Woodward As posted by Ashley Thomas Woodward about his father Willie Armond "Papa" Woodward. BEE HIVES DADDY HAD SEVERAL BEE HIVES WHEN HE WAS AT WORK AND THE BEES WOULD SWARM WE HAD TO GET BUCKETS OR WASH TUBS AND BEAT ON THEM WITH A STICK AND THAT WOULD MAKE THEM LIGHT IN A NEAR BY TREE AND WHEN HE CAME HOME HE WOULD CUT THE LIMB AND PUT THEM IN A HIVE. MOST OF THE TIME HE USED THE HAT WITH THE MESH BUT ONE TIME I GUESS HE GOT BRAVE AND DIDN'T USE THE HAT AND WAS STUNG SO MANY TIMES HE HAD TO BE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL IN ALEXANDER HIS FACE WAS SWOLLEN SO BAD I THINK HE HAD TO STAY A FEW DAYS.
May 07, 2015 · posted to the person William Armond "Willie" Woodward
William Woodward As posted by Ashley Thomas Woodward about his father Willie Armond "Papa" Woodward. BEE HIVES DADDY HAD SEVERAL BEE HIVES WHEN HE WAS AT WORK AND THE BEES WOULD SWARM WE HAD TO GET BUCKETS OR WASH TUBS AND BEAT ON THEM WITH A STICK AND THAT WOULD MAKE THEM LIGHT IN A NEAR BY TREE AND WHEN HE CAME HOME HE WOULD CUT THE LIMB AND PUT THEM IN A HIVE. MOST OF THE TIME HE USED THE HAT WITH THE MESH BUT ONE TIME I GUESS HE GOT BRAVE AND DIDN'T USE THE HAT AND WAS STUNG SO MANY TIMES HE HAD TO BE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL IN ALEXANDER HIS FACE WAS SWOLLEN SO BAD I THINK HE HAD TO STAY A FEW DAYS.
May 07, 2015 · posted to the person Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward