This is a story about a briefcase and a cracker box. It’s a story about finding extraordinary things in ordinary places. In the South Louisiana town of Donaldsonville, two families—the Quezaires and the Savoia-Guillots—unearthed time capsules of local history within family keepsakes. These two archives tell the story of a town with a complicated past, unraveling a timeline of slavery, emancipation, immigration, and mutual aid. Roy Quezaire, Jr. shares his memories of the True Friends Benevolent Association, and Julie Guillot unveils a collection of World War II-era heirlooms at her family’s restaurant, the First & Last Chance Café. 

The episode was reported and produced by Sarah Holtz. Sarah is an independent radio producer and documentary artist based in New Orleans.

Special thanks for help with this episode go to Kimberly Guise from the National World War II Museum and Cherie Fernandez.

This is the fourth of five podcast episodes that are part of our virtual Cajun Country Summer Field Trip. We thank McIlhenny Company, maker of TABASCO Brand pepper sauces,  for their support in producing this batch of Gravy, and underwriting soon-to-be-shared oral histories and a new mobile app.

River Road African American Museum