Feb 19, 2010

Born 1917 and died 2 Jul 1930, Frederick Killman (Freddie)

Freddie was very precocious and loved to have fun. He was very different from his brother Hanky who was serious and hard working. His sisters Ida and Dot loved him and looked up to him. Freddie loved to go with his friends to the Lake Pontchatrain and swim. A man from the neighborhood would drive some of the local neighborhood boys to the lake to go for a swim without their parents always knowing about it. One day Freddie came into the house and announced to the family that he needed some swim pants to go with his buddies to the lake. His mother, Albertine, was surprised, but let him go anyway. That was the last she ever saw of her son. Everybody knew that there was a deep end in the Lake Pontchatrain near People's Avenue and people were told not to go swimming too far out. Freddie was a mediocre  swimmer but he was also a risk taker so he and another boy ventured out further than they should have. Freddie had gone with another boy from the neighborhood. Freddie was skinny and the other boy was fat. We don’t know what happened exactly but when somebody heard the cries for help they swam out to get the boys. Freddie was still alive when they got to him but he died at the hospital; his friend died too. Edward Spiehler was a witness to this event (Ida’s husband). Albertine was home frying frog legs, Freddie’s favorite. The girls and Francis were inside. Most of the neighborhood knew what had happened but no one wanted to tell the Killman’s the horrible news. Finally a neighbor told Albertine and Francis what had happened. Aunt Nen told me that her Dad didn’t say a word and just left the house. Albertine was left with the kids, so she broutght them to a neighbor’s house while she went to see for herself what had happened. Both boys were buried at separate funerals and no one blamed anyone for the deaths. Still to this day, Ida remembers every detail of that day as if it happened yesterday. When she told me the story it made me cry but I realized how much she loved her family and our family. She wondered what her brother would have turned out like. Would he have been just as fun-loving as he was when he was a kid or would he have been serious and sensible?



Born 1917 and died 2 Jul 1930, Frederick Killman (Freddie) seen here  on the right in the flood waters of the 1927 flood in Gentilly, New Orleans with his buddy who later died of food poisoning.

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