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Mary Alice Fontenot Papers

Collection 97

Fontenot, Mary Alice (1910-2003) Papers 1946-2003

4 1/2 feet

Mary Alice Fontenot Riehl was a journalist and author. Her newspaper career included staff positions at the Rayne Acadian Tribune, the Crowley Post-Signal, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, and the Opelousas Daily World.  She also wrote feature stories for secular and church papers in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and other south Louisiana communities.  Many of her newspaper features dealt with the social life and customs, folklore, and history of Cajuns. As an author, Mrs. Riehl is best known for her series of children's books on Clovis Crawfish.  She also wrote other books for children as well as cook-books and works on local and state history.

This collection focuses on Mary Alice Fontenot's journalistic and literary career. It contains much of her written output. Included are research notes and photographs for some of her newspaper articles; original drawings by Eric Vincent and Keith Graves, and original music by Mary Alice and Jeanne and Robert Gilmore for the Clovis Crawfish series; and text for some of her history books and children's works. Most of the letters in the collection have some connection with her literary work, especially as an author of children's books. She also worked as a researcher for Frances Parkinson Keyes and there are some letters from Mrs. Keyes in the collection.

Mary Alice made many appearances in elementary schools because of her Clovis Crawfish series. Frequently the children sent thank yous in the forms of notes, artwork, or original stories. Samples of these responses are in the collection. As a student of local history, Mary Alice collected some materials. Most notable are an account of life along the Mermentau River during the mid-nineteenth century and a history of physicians in Opelousas.

The collection includes scrapbooks containing clippings which document Mrs. Riehl’s engagements as a speaker, review her various books, and provide other biographical information. Some also include photographs, correspondence, drawings, promotional material and writings.

The papers were donated by Mary Alice Fontenot as part of the Women in Louisiana Collection.

For additional materials, see Collection 97.1, Mary Alice Fontenot Papers, Part 2.

Series:

A. General Letters Boxes 1 through 3
B. Children's Responses  
  1. Letters 4-01 through 4-10; 14 vol.1; Map Case 17-02
  2. Artwork 4-12 through 5-08; 12-01; 13; Map Case 17-02
  3. Stories 6-01 through 6-07; Box 12; Map Case 17-02
  4. Drama 6-08; 14 vol.2, 14 vol.3; Map Case 17-02
  5. Other 6-09 and 6-10; 11-#1 thru 11-#3; Box 12; 14 v.4
C. Writings  
  1. Newspaper Articles 7-01 thru 7-18; 11-#5; 12-02; 14 v.5 thru 14 v.10
       (in some cases includes research and photographs)
  2. Clovis Crawfish Series 7-19 thru 8-05; 12-03 thru 12-07; Map Case 17-03
    a.   Uses of Clovis 8-06 thru 8-08; Map Case 17-02
  3. Other 8-09 thru 9-07; 11-#4; 12-08; Map Case 17-04
D. Biographical  
  1. Scrapbooks and Biographical Articles 9-08 thru 9-11; v. 1 thru 10
  2. Honors, Certificates, Mementos, etc. 9-12 and 9-13; 12-9; Box 12 [plaques]
  3. Other 9-14 thru 9-17; 11-#6 thru 11-#12; 12-10
E. Louisiana History  
  1. Research 10-01 thru 10-03; 11-#13 thru 11-#21; 12-11
  2. Histories 10-04 and 10-05
F. Miscellaneous 10-06 and 10-07; 10 v.1; 12-12
G. Artifacts Boxes 13, 14 and 15

Inventory:

A. General Letters
1-01 1957, 1958: includes typescript of poem by Sister Mary Thomas
1-02 1962: J. M. Black
1-03 1963 - 1964: Clement Bourgeois, Jr.
1-04 1965: January - September
1-05 1965: October - December: includes reactions to The Ghost of Bayou Tigre; Paul C. Tate; Hosea Phillips
1-06 1965: n.d.: includes reactions to The Ghost of Bayou Tigre
1-07 1968
1-08 1969: includes George E. Anding, Edith Long
1-09 1970
1-10 1971: January - February
1-11 1971: March - December
1-12 1972: includes Bob Claitor
1-13 1973: January - June: includes Bob Claitor, Blanche Swann, Lena de Grummond
1-14 1973: July - December: includes Charles East; Blanche Swann; George Anding; Claitor's Publishing Division; Lauren Post
1-15 1974: incudes James Forester; Bob Claitor
1-16 1975: includes Valerie Post
1-17 1976: includes LSU-E
1-18 1977: January - June: includes Eleanor Elkins; Bob Claitor
1-19 1977: July - December
1-20 1978
1-21 1979: includes Regina M. Champaign
1-22 1980: January - April
1-23 1980: May - August
1-24 1980: September - December: includes Henry T. Duson
2-01 1981: January - April
2-02 1981: May - August
2-03 1981: September - December: includes Lee Daniel; Barbara Harding
2-04 1982: January - April
2-05 1982: May - August
2-06 1982: September - December: includes Eric Vincent
2-07 1983: January - April
2-08 1983: May - August
2-09 1983: September - December: includes Phoebe Bone Brown
2-10 1984: January - April
2-11 1984: May - August
2-12 1984: September - December
2-13 1985: no date
2-14 1985: January - April
2-15 1985: May - August: includes Kay Martin
2-16 1985: September - December: includes Bruce Morgan; Lena de Grummond; Deidra Foreman; Kay Martin; family
3-01 1986: n.d.
3-02 1986: January - April: includes Kay Martin
3-03 1986: May - August: includes Kay Martin
3-04 1986: September - December: includes Christine Kidder
3-05 1987: n.d.
3-06 1987: January - June
3-07 1987: July - September
3-08 1987: October - December
3-09 1988-1989: includes Barbara Bush
3-10 Letters from publishers, 1979-   : Pelican Publishing Company; Bob Claitor; Cote Blanche; Bayou Books
3-11 n.d.
3-12 n.d.
   
3-13 Letters from Frances Parkinson Keyes, 1946-1968, n.d.: includes photograph
   
3-14 Letters from Harnett T. Kane, 1958, 1969, 1973
   
B. Children's Responses
  1. Letters (sampled)
4-01 1962 - 1963
4-02 1969 - 1971
4-03 1973 - 1974
4-04 1976 - 1979
4-05 1980 - 1981
4-06 1982 - 1983
4-07 1984 - 1985
4-08 1986
4-09 1987
4-10 1988-1989
4-11 n.d.
14 vol. 1 Letters from Grand Maris Gators, n.d.
Map Case 17-02:   oversize letters, n.d.
   
B. Children's Responses
  2. Artwork (sampled)
4-12 1963 - 1981
4-13 1962 - 1981
4-14 1963 - 1981
4-15 1982
5-01 1983 - 1985
5-02 1983 - 1985
5-03 1983 - 1985
5-04 1986 - 1987
5-05 1988 - 1989
5-06 n.d.
12-01 n.d.
5-07 Bound, n.d.
5-08 Valentine's Day cards (1983 - 1985)
Box 13 Mermentau Elementary School, 1986; Pat Martin, Pen & Ink on glass, 1980
Map Case 17-02
   
B. Children's Responses
  3. Stories
6-01 1978 - 1980s
6-02 1986 -
   
6-03 Narrative with art work, n.d.
6-04 Narrative with art work, n.d.
   
6-05 Bound
6-06 Bound
6-07 Bound
Map Case 17-02
  "Clovis Ventures Out of the Bayou," Julia B. Martland Elementary School, Morgan City, 1986
   
B. Children's Responses
  4. Drama
6-08 Play Scripts
    "The Work of Clovis Crawfish," Prien Lake Elementary School, 5/18/1978
    "Christmas in Bayouland," adapted by M. L. Grovenberg & D. Perry, Maurice first grade, 12/18/1978
    "Clovis Crawfish et Petit Papillon," traduit par Marie Louis Barousse, 8/25/1981;
typed copy of same in English
    "Clovis Crawfish and Etienne Escargot," for puppet show staged by Sonya Branch at Lafayette Public Library, 1981
    "Clovis Crawfish and the Orphan ZoZo," by Wendy Morgan, Runnels Elementary School, Baton Rouge, 2/1/1985
    "Clovisse L'Lcrevisse," for Vermilion School, Gauthier Road, n.d. (2 copies)
    "Clovis Crawfish and the Curious Craupaud," presented by special education students, Iota, n.d.
    "Clovis Crawfish and the Curious Craupaud," by Geneva Phillips (French translation), n.d.;
    "Clovis Crawfish and His Friends," Henry Heights Elementary School, Lake Charles, n.d.;
    "Clovis Crawfish and the Big Betail," Leading Theatre, 1983
     
14 vol. 2 Album on "The World of Clovis Crawfish"; presentation at Prien Lake Elementary School, 5/8/1978
     
5 vol. 1 Album on "The World of Clovis Crawfish"; musical at Nelson Elementary School, Lake Charles, 5/9/1985
Map Case 17-02
  Poster for Prien Lake production
   
B. Children's Responses
  5. Other
11-#1 Tape (cassette) "La Chanson de la Pouissure," Dawn Nunez, sung by K-1, Dozier Elementary, Erath
11-#2 Tape (cassette) "Le Chanson de Clovisse," Geneva Phillips, Prairie Elementary Pupils
11-#3 Tape (cassette) "Crawfish," song composed by Mrs. Cheryl Goodwyne and sung by Napoleonville 1st grade students, 1986
6-09 Miscellaneous
    Christmas card
thank you note
poem
song about "Clovis and His Friends," East Baton Rouge Parish School Board
poem (1986)
     
6-10 Photographs:  MAF visits top schools
14 vol. 4 Photographs of visit to Pierre Part School
   
C. Writings
  1. Newspaper Articles
7-01 Articles or columns, 1940s-1950s
   
7-02 "En Passant" column, 1962-1970
7-03 “En Passant” column, August, 1969; trip to Canada
7-04 “En Passant” column, n.d.
14 vol. 5 Scrapbook: "En Passant" column, 1958, 1968, 1969
14 vol. 6 Scrapbook: “En Passant” column, April - May, 1969
   
14 vol. 7 Scrapbook: articles on Calvin Crawfish, Daily Advertiser, 1959
   
14 vol. 8 Scrapbook: "Le Bon Vieux Temps" Crowley Post Signal, 1977-1980
   
7-05 Feature articles, 1960s
7-06 Feature articles, 1970s
   
12-02 Half-tone of MAF article on rice harvesting, Opelousas Daily World, 24 July 1971
7-07 Half-tone of MAF articles, 1980s
   
7-08 Articles from Heartbeat, January-May, 1988
   
14 vol. 9 Scrapbook: feature articles, 1958
14 vol. 10 Scrapbook: feature articles, 1959
7-09 Feature articles, n.d.
   
7-10 MAF articles in Acadiana Profile or Attakapas Gazette
    "The Pieux Fence:  A Standard Fixture on Early Acadian Farms," Attakapas Gazette
    “Sheriff Curley Duson Always Got His Man," Acadiana Profile, v. 5, # 5, p. 83: also typescript; research
    "Coup de Main:  Dentists Pitch in to Keep Colleague's Practice Going," Acadiana Profile, v. 5, # 6 (April, 1977):  51-52
     
7-11 Material on Louise Oliver
    MAF: "En Passant" 7/24/1963; Lafayette Daily Advertiser, 3/20/1975
    also:  research; photographs
7-12 Material on Bonnie and Clyde
    MAF: Opelousas Daily World article, 12/7/1969; typescript for lengthier article (2 copies)
    also: photographs (prints and negatives); letter; articles
7-13 Material on boucheries
    MAF: "En Passant" column, n.d.
    Opelousas Daily World, "En Passant," 10/7/1970
    Lafayette Advertiser, 2/6/1977
    also:  photographs (negatives and prints)
7-14 Material on Mardi Gras
    MAF: Sunday Advocate, 2/1/1970
    Sunday Advertiser, 1/9/1977
    also: other articles including one taken from MAF
7-15 Material on Willie Francis
    MAF:  typescripts of articles
    also:  research; photographs (negatives; negatives of newspaper articles; prints)
     
7-16 Material on Jayhawkers
    MAF:  Crowley Post-Signal, 1/7/1990
    also:  photographs of Ozeme Carrier (prints)
     
11-#5 Material on Jayhawkers: tape of KSIG program, "Acadia Parish Yesterday," 12/15/1989
     
7-17 Articles and photographs
    grave houses:  Advertiser, 5/25/1975; Advocate, 5/23/1976
    chinaberry tree:  Advertiser, 8/25/1975
   
C. Writings
  2. Clovis Crawfish Series
7-19 Clovis Crawfish and His Friends: layout scheme for illustrations; music, revised edition
12-03 Original artwork by Keith Graves
   
7-20 Clovis Crawfish and the Big Betail: proof
   
7-21 Clovis Crawfish and the Cicada Twins (revised to Singing Cigales): inventory of folder contents; texts; music; sketches; promotional poster; advertisement
12-04 Sketches by Eric Vincent for 3rd printing of Clovis Crawfish and the Singing Cigales
   
7-22 Clovis Crawfish and Petit Papillon:  text, music material, revised edition, 1983, 5 pages
12-05 Illustrations by Keith Graves for new edition
   
7-23 Clovis Crawfish and the Curious Crapaud: text (photocopy), 6 pages
   
7-24 Clovis Crawfish and Etienne Escargot:  text; corrections; layout material and page proofs (incomplete); rough drawings; music; financial statements on production
   
7-25 Clovis Crawfish and the Orphan Zozo:  pronunciation guide; song; text
12-06 Original drawings for Zozo book
   
8-01 Clovis Crawfish and the Spinning Spider:  text (revised 17 August 1985); music
   
8-02 Clovis Crawfish and Michelle Mantis:  text, music
   
8-03 Clovis Crawfish and Simeon Suce-Fleur:  draft of text; music
   
8-04 Miscellaneous artwork:  Richard; Bordelon; EMM; others
12-07 Miscellaneous artwork  [oversize]
   
8-05 Translations of Clovis texts by Ruth Bradley and staff, n.d.
    Clovis Crawfish and His Friends
    Clovis Crawfish and the Big Betail
    Clovis Crawfish and the Singing Cigales
    Clovis Crawfish and the Petit Papillon
    Clovis Crawfish and the Curious Crapaud
    Clovis Crawfish and the Spinning Spider
    also Henri Va au Carnival de Mardi-Gras, handwritten
 
C. Writings
  2. Clovis Crawfish Series
    a.     Uses of Clovis
8-06 Puppet pattern
8-07 Promote library activities, etc.
8-08 Symbol of safety campaign for CRC Mallard, Inc.: letters; articles; photographs; press releases; stickers
 
C. Writings
  3. Other
8-09 Cajun Accent:  manuscript
   
8-10 The Louisiana Experience: printer's proof:  title page - Chapter 6
8-11 The Louisiana Experience: Chapter 7 - end
8-12 The Louisiana Experience: photo captions; index
8-13 The Louisiana Experience: dummy pages; dust jacket text copy; printing orders
8-14 The Louisiana Experience: prints used for illustrations:  pp. ix, 1-65
8-15 The Louisiana Experience: illustrations: pp. 66-139
9-01 The Louisiana Experience: illustrations: pp. 146-225
12-08 The Louisiana Experience: Maps, prepared by Timothy F. Reilly
Map Case 17-04
  Same: oversize transparencies
   
14-#4 The Star Seed: slides and tape
   
9-02 A Cajun Christmas: The Story of Paw Paw Noel; proof of coloring book with story, 1987
   
9-03 Poems on animals: includes article on flying squirrels by Victor A. Croley
   
9-04 "The Last Possum in the Pouch," text
   
9-5 Publications of projects with which MAF involved
    Becoming Woman--A Sequence of Louisiana Portraits, n.d.
    Les Jeunes Ecrevains, 1984-1985
    See also: 11-12
     
9-06 Miscellaneous photographs
    Ed and Elby Deshotels (prints); Bob Hamm; Mermentau
9-07 Miscellaneous photographs
    Rice industry
    Wright family and strains
    Mildred Frankel Univerzagt
    Rev. Paul Freeland
    Robert E. Lee
    Riehl family (negative)
    William Levi Sarver (negative)
    Bossley Brothers (negative)
    plantations and slave quarters [probably related to articles:  many are copies of older photographs]
   
D. Biographical
  1. Scrapbooks and Biographical Articles
9-08 Clippings: feature articles, book reviews, award reports, accounts of speeches, 1961-1981
vol. 1 Scrapbook: December, 1961 - December, 1968: clippings; photographs; programs; articles
vol. 2 Scrapbook: September, 1965 - July, 1973
vol. 3 Scrapbook: September, 1973 - August, 1976
vol. 4 Scrapbook: October, 1972 - June, 1974: much on The Cat and St. Landry
vol. 5 Scrapbook: December, 1974 - November, 1976
vol. 6 Scrapbook: July, 1977 - July, 1979
vol. 7 Scrapbook: May, 1979 - November, 1982
vol. 8 Scrapbook: September, 1980 - December, 1982
vol. 9 Scrapbook: December, 1982 - December, 1984
vol. 10 Scrapbook: October, 1984 - June, 1987
   
9-10 Introductions, interviews:
    LLA award introduction, 11/1/1977
    introduction for book talk, 4/21/1978
    page 1 of interview on WAFB-TV, n.d.
     
9-11 Articles about MAF and her books
    Midyett, Stacy, "Sharing Literature with Children," 1981, 2 pp.
    Dennis, Steve, "The Relationship Between the Clovis Crawfish Children's Books and the Louisiana Bayou Creatures," 1983, 8 pp.;
    Fontenot, Megan, "Mary Alice Fontenot," 1988  [paper by student in Moss Bluff Middle School]
   
D. Biographical
  2. Honors, Certificates, Mementos, etc.
9-12 1959 - 1969: many press association awards
9-13 1970 - 1980s, n.d.
12-09 oversize: 1973, 1985
Box 12 Plaques
    Truman Elementary Library, 4/1979
    Broussard Christmas Parade Marshall, 1979
    Lake Arthur High School, 5/17/1982
    LTLA, 1982-1983
    EAFB Library, 1982
    LTLA, 1983
Box 12 Medal:  LLA Literary Award, 1976
   
D. Biographical
  3. Other
9-14 Material on personal appearances, 1963-1980s: programs, announcements, schedules
12-10 Material on personal appearances [oversize]
   
9-15 Photographs
9-16 Photographs
   
9-17 Miscellaneous
   
Box 11 Interviews (cassettes and videotape)
  #6 KPEL Open Line, 9/3/1985:  Bob Hamm and Don Allen [side 2 only]
  #7 KPEL Prime Time, 11/14/1987: Bob Hamm and L.C. Melchior
  #8-#9 Prime Time, 12/3/1988
  #10-#12 videotapes, 6/27/1987
    Fontenot-Landry, AOC, 7/1983
    New Orleans cable station, 1986
   
E. Louisiana History
  1. Research Material
10-01 Biographical material
    Bob Mouton: article from Daily Advertiser, 1936, photo (original)
    Mr. and Mrs. David May: articles
    Euzebe Vidrine: articles (thermofax?)
     
10-02 Fremaux Family, 4 items [index for materials lists 6]: (photocopies)
    Family story by Celine McGinn Geary, 11/15/1969; [Note: only known first hand account of life in Mermentau River before founding of Acadia Parish, 1886]: documents
  See 9-07 for photographs of Mermentau
   
10-03 Miscellaneous
    material on Mouton Siamese twins (born 1953); Atchafalaya River; Sidney W. Saunders Monument (Monroe); "The Olive" (Jennings)
     
12-11 Acts of Incorporation of Ville Platte, 1856 (reprint, 1956?)
     
Box 11 Tapes of interviews on Rayne, Louisiana and rice industry
  #13 Ralph R. Bienvenu, 1/19/1983; Etta Stamm Sweeney, 3/27/1983, Abbeville
  #14 Mildred Frankel, 2/28/1983; A. C. Chappuis, 3/19/1983
  #15 Esther Toler Gardiner, 3/27/1983; J. P. Maubaules, 4/5/1983
  #16 Martha Ellis Jones (Mrs. L. J.), 2/10/1983; Florence Chappuis Faulk, 2/12/1983,  Rayne
  #17 Edna Petitjean Lacour; Irene Petitjean, 2/19/1983
  #18 Martin Richard, 2/12/1983, Rayne
  #19 Rice Industry, Eunice; George Sebatier, 6/1979
  #20 S.L. Wright, Jr. and S.L. Wright, III, 1/26/1983
  #21 Interview with M. Babb (?) [not done by MAF]
  #22 F. H. "Happy" and Tolley Davis, 25 May 1990
  #23 Grover Rees, Sr.,  1990
  #24 Grover Rees, Sr. at 100, 1991
  #25 Garland "Singer" Rue  [1989]
   
E. Louisiana History
  2. Histories
10-04 Manouvrier, Rebecca W., "Opelousas Medical Men 1850 to 1940" (1970), 48 pp.
    started as Women's Service League project for city's 250th anniversary; foreword by MAF
10-05 Dodd, Ed, Joan Martin, and Sarah Boudreaux. “The Acadian Story: Teacher's Manual" (to accompany video tape narrated by MAF) LSU, EDAF 7502 production, 1981
   
F. Miscellaneous
10-06 Book list (collection inventory?), source unidentified
10-07 Keith Graves:  artwork
11-12 The Heartbeat, v. 1, # 1 - v. 1, # 4 (January-April, 1988)
10 vol. 1 LSU-E Yearbook, Le Tigre, 1982: dedicated to MAF
 
G. Artifacts
Box 13 Paintings of Clovis
Box 15 [Mainly materials related to Clovis]
Box 16 [Mainly materials related to Clovis]