Interviewee: Leoda Besson Bladsacker

Role: Daughter of fisherman

Date of Interview: 8/5/09

Collection: Louisiana Sea Grant Oral Histories

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Leoda Besson Bladsacker is from a family of fishermen. She shares what makes Grand Isle, Louisiana a special place to live.


Leoda Besson Bladsacker. Born July 25, 1955, on Grand Isle.

Personally, I never ever want to leave Grand Isle. Never – I hope I never have to. I hope nature doesn't force us away because of the fact that the, the school – you know, I work at school. I've been there going on eighteen years. Now, since Katrina, we've lost about forty or fifty kids. But even so, we know everybody here – and we all have our bickering at times, but when it comes down to helping your neighbor or something when they really need it, you know everybody's there for one another. It's just so unique and so relaxing, and it's just hard for me to explain at the same time, it's hard for me to give it up to all these people who come here and who come here and they do something here that they would never do at home. That's the part of us that wants to retaliate or rebel. You know, when we see people come here and do that. Come to Grand Isle and enjoy yourself, because it's a place that we love, but don't abuse it. Don't abuse it. Don't abuse it.

To me, it's like Grand Isle is a place – one of few places maybe in the state, maybe along the whole Gulf Coast, maybe in the whole United States – that – that you could come and talk to somebody like us that our family has been in this town on this island for generations. Since the beginning of Grand Isle. You don't find that too many places where you can – where you can go and talk to somebody who knows what – what happened hundreds of years ago here, from the beginning of it.

I would say to the congressmen or whoever's gonna see this in Washington, or hear it, that if they would just take the love that they have for their family and their country and multiply it, that's how much love that the island people have for this place. The ones that stay here – that are never gonna leave – we love it ten times better. Ten times.

To read Leoda's full transcript, click here.