When Roy and Betty Hogan ride this weekend in their reign as king and queen of the Krewe of Des Allemands, they might have their work cut out for them — it could be difficult for the couple to get throws to all of their family, friends and acquaintances in attendance.
“They say it’s a big deal (to ride as royalty),” Roy said with a smile. “We’re gonna find out. We know everybody.” The two Des Allemands residents believe they have enough throws in their supply to create for a successful and fun route at the annual parade, its 62nd edition which kicks off Sunday (Feb. 26) at 1 p.m.
“It’s a big honor for us,” Roy said. “When you live in a small town, you know everybody. It’s party time with your friends. We watch the parades every year, right here with our relatives. We have a band and it’s always a big thing. We get to do it from a different perspective now.”
Roy is a native of Des Allemands and avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt and fish. He married Betty 53 years ago. He’s 73 and she’s 72.
“I’m much younger than him,” she quipped.
The two will ride on a 1950s themed float, and Betty expects to see plenty of her former students in the crowd: she’s a retired teacher who began her career with the St. Charles Parish school system under former Superintendent Rodney Lafon. She retired from the public school system eight years ago and went into the private sector for the next five, teaching French and religion over the course of her career.
“It’s a pleasure for me. When they still recognize me despite the gray hair,” she said. “It depends how they address me. If it’s Madam Hogan, I know it was many years ago, but if it’s Miss Hogan, it’s more recent. Then I can make the connection, and, ‘oh my goodness, how have you grown.’
“I’m still trying to be really active,” Betty added. “I still have a passion for teaching .. I enjoy learning continually.”
She enjoys writing, gardening and dancing among her passions, the latter something she and Roy have in common. She also has quite an interest in crafting, something she put into practice by painting glasses for this year’s event, commemorating them with the names of the king and queen.
“It’s amateurish, but it’s from me,” she said. “I like to create things.”
They’re close to this year’s selections for grand marshal; Beatrice Barbier and Sandra Yokem are Roy’s cousins, and the three were raised together in the same home since Roy was 5. They consider each other siblings.
“They raised me,” Roy said. “It’s special to be doing it with them. They said since it’s us (as king and queen), we’re gonna do it.”
Betty said the history of the parade hasn’t been lost on them.
“We realize how important it is to the community,” she said. “This is one of the oldest in the area. But we’re a small community and aging … so if we don’t take the bull by the horns (to continue the tradition, it could be lost).”
Their children broke the news to them that they would be king and queen.
“They didn’t ask, they told us we were doing it,” Roy laughed.
And though it’s a lot of work, Betty said, “it takes a village” both noted how many have offered a helping hand to prepare them and make their reign a memorable one.
“Some of our grand kids are gonna ride with us,” Roy added. “That will be a treat. Hopefully everybody shows up, the weather’s nice and we all have a good time.”