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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Pope and Judy Huval


Webster’s Meat Market

Webster’s Meat Market is not far from Interstate 10, just a few miles north on Grandpoint Highway in Cecilia, Louisiana. Today there are two shelves of groceries, mostly limited to crackers and canned goods, near the entrance. To the left, there’s only one showcase, an antique cooler where patrons shop for fresh cuts of meat. A menu board along the back wall advertises plate lunches that are popular with locals, but the store has no tables or chairs; diners must order plates to go. The old oak floors don’t look much like market floors; they hearken to the building’s earlier days, when it was the town dance hall. Teenagers, including high school sweethearts Pope and Judy Huval, spent weekends here dancing to early rock and roll.

The original owner, Mr. Webster, began serving hot food to hungry dancers in the 1950s. Black skillet hamburgers and a Coke would cost about fifty cents. When the building had to be moved and teenagers found new hangouts, he built on his food service experience and turned the place into the meat market that customers know today. Pope and Judy Huval bought the market from the Webster family in the late 1990s, and today their son, Shannon Huval, runs things. Though Judy’s no longer an official full time employee, she still comes in daily to help prepare the plate lunches and Sunday dinners. Pope works full time as a deputy sheriff, but he frequently stops by for a quick lunch. The couple swears by Mr. Webster’s original boudin recipe; they haven’t changed a single ingredient. They take pride in the store’s traditions and old-time feel—as well as in its beautiful hardwood floors. If you stop by for a visit, have them share stories about dancing on those floors when Fats Domino played there.

Date of interview:
2009-02-19 00:00

Interviewer:
Mary Beth Lasseter

Photographer:
Mary Beth Lasseter

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