Barbara and Eric Forneret discussing their parents George Forneret and Alice Colin
Me: You said they met at a dance?
Eric: They met at a dance.
Barbara: And the reason they met at a dance…My grandmother, grand Mami, young girls weren’t allowed to go any place unchaperoned And when great Mami took my mother, aunt Erma, Grace, and some of my mother’s cousins, they all could go to the dance…
See we lived uptown and my father lived downtown so there was no way in the world they’d ever meet each other, they were too far in distance, too far away. But somehow or another…
Me: And watch!?
Eric: And watch, oh yeah.
Barbara: Alica you couldn’t get away with nothin’.
Eric: All the old ladies would be chaperoning the girls, they’d sit up in the balcony. The girls were down here, that’s where the dance was going on. It wasn’t even like they couldn’t see you across the room. They could see every move that you made. Now you couldn’t just go up and ask a girl to dance. Yo had to be introduced before. So you’d have to find someone who knew this person who would vouch for you to introduce you before you would be bold enough to ask her to dance.
Barbara: And that was just to dance!
Me: Were the boys chaperoned too?
Eric: No, but the girls were all chaperoned.
Barbara: But once my daddy met my mother he was so in love with my mother. And he would come to visit her every Sunday. And he had a white suit. Because a white suit in New Orleans was very classy. You had to starch and iron it because it wasn’t like… I can remember when polyester… and I’ll tell you about that when I get around to it… My father would have to wash and iron and starch this suit and he had to take a bus all the way from downtown to uptown to see my mother. So he would stand up, he would never sit down on the bus, never never never. Because he didn’t want the suit to get wrinkled. At that time cotton would wrinkle so he would stand up the whole time until he got to see my mother.