From what I've heard and read, this "phenom" musician spent some of his youth in Edgard, La., a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River. Not much there as I recall but it is the place of one of my favorite childhood memories.
Before my oldest brother shipped off to spend time with the Coast Guard back in the day, he left his 1963 Chevy SS Impala out of harms reach with my grandparents out in the country. This "Heavy Chevy" had a beautiful black paint job, not a touch of bondo, spotless interior with buckets, a built big block with help from Shreve Automotive, 4-speed and 456 gears. I found that there really wasn't all that much for a young kid to do during the summer months in Wallace, La. But when his very kind and elderly grandfather decided that just the two of us should take the car out for a drive so the battery didn't run down, my Mardi Gras came to town.
I remember turning on to River Road and my grandfather commenting on how rough the engine idled and that maybe we should take it in for a tune-up. I knew enough to say that it was because of the race cam in the engine and that she sounded great. The car jumped hard each time he shifted gears as he tried his best to manage the beast. As we appoached Edgard, there was a section where folks gathered on both sides of the old road to hang out. Our car was moving at a pretty good clip when my grandfather had to downshift in a hurry as there was a car stopped in the middle of the road with men on both sides talking with the driver. The startled men cleared and waved us around and my dear grandfather inadvertently revved up, dumped the clutch and launched that bad boy to the cheers and waves of the crowd. Grown men jumping up and down cheering! I wonder if they later told stories about the old man and little boy from out of nowhere. I made sure to look down at the road at the right spot when my mom took me home to the city later that week - two long black lines where he smoked first and second but good, managed to keep her pretty straight too. Miss you to this day Wilson Campeaux. Thank you Tommy Malone.