Family returns to memorable picnic site at Lake End Park
MORGAN CITY, La. — A moment of serendipity brought a family together under the oak trees at Lake End Park where their parents said goodbye 62 years ago before he headed into the Korean War.
Frances Aloisio said she and her husband, Rosario “Al” Aloisio, met in high school. He volunteered to join the Air Force in order to avoid being drafted into the Army where he would have been likely to be sent to Korea for front line action.
“You young people don’t know what it was like. At that time, everybody had to go into the service,” she said.
On July 4, 1951, her family had a picnic at the park. The couple left early. He dropped her off at her home at 3 p.m., and then he caught a train for New Orleans and the Air Force.
“I believe I cried buckets of tears,” she said, adding that she “thought it was the end of world.”
Al Aloisio served four years in California, Texas and Alaska before being discharged on July 4, 1955.
In the intervening time, he and his high school sweetheart were married.
She was a senior in high school with one test left to take before being released two weeks early in preparation for graduation. He had come back, and they were married May 11, 1952, just shy of her graduation. The couple was planning to get married that summer, but the service called him back early.
“It was either get married then or wait another year for a furlough,” she said.
He quickly returned to his post, and she followed him after graduation. They eventually wound up in Anchorage, Alaska, where he worked as a mechanic on the Air Force’s planes.
The rest, as they say, is history.
After the service, the couple came back to Morgan City where he owned Al’s City Barber Shop on Everett Street, and she worked in a doctor’s office.
They have four children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The family is gathering by chance under the oak trees in Lake End Park this July 4 holiday.
Frances Aloisio said her children like to camp at the park, and when she realized where they were going to be on this anniversary, she told the children the story.
“I mentioned it to my husband, and we were right back in the same place,” she said.