Jean Anderson Faucheux has been a part of her share of the Krewe of Lul’s parades. For her sister-in-law Victoria Faucheux Stephenson, not so much.
Parade experience aside, though, they’ll have one thing in common when Lul rolls this weekend: they share the distinction of being the Krewe’s grand marshals in 2020.
Jean began riding in the Krewe of Lul 31 years ago, rolling with the “Gassen Street Gang.” She’s lived in Luling since 1960, moving down to Louisiana from South Dakota that year.
“I was surprised when they asked me. ‘Oh, they don’t want any Yankee to do it,’” Jean quipped. “It’s an honor. This is a wonderful parish. I love the people down here … everyone is so friendly. I was thrilled to be asked, and especially thrilled to be asked along with Vickie.”
She’s retired after 44 years working as a nurse at St. Charles Parish hospital, serving as its nighttime house supervisor before stepping away.
“I spent most of my career there, working with the people in the parish,” Jean said. “The building was only six months old when I started there.”
When she rode with the Gassen Street Gang, her group was known to go all out, winning first place awards for their elaborate costumes and float decorations. The first year of the Gassen Street group’s participation in the parade, the theme was “Mickey Mouse’s 50th Birthday,” with a float built like a big birthday cake – with Minnie popping out. The next year brought a Wizard of Oz theme, with a witch and tornado.
“We always went all out with it,” Jean said.
She found a new sister-in-law when Victoria married Jean’s brother, the late Bobby Stephenson, former principal of Hahnville High School.
“I was never involved with the Lul parade,” Victoria said. “I’d go every year and watched them put their beautiful floats together. But when Miss Debbie (Vial) asked me to be the grand marshal along with Jeanie, it was ‘Oh my gosh, yes!’ But I’m a bit overwhelmed now. Even with Jeanie involved, I didn’t realize how much went on behind the scenes.”
Victoria has lived in Luling virtually all her life – she moved with her family to Luling when she was just six weeks old. She worked at the St. Charles Parish Courthouse for many years with the LSU Cooperative Extension Service.
“I wasn’t born here, but I’ve always felt like a native daughter,” Victoria said. “I worked at the courthouse for 40 years. My husband was principal at Hahnville High … my roots here are deep.”
She’s also quite eager for her first parade riding experience.
“The crowds are so great, and I’ve always been stationary in one spot. So to experience it from that new perspective, I feel like it’s going to be awesome,” she said. “Everyone you know is always on the route, but they’re scattered around. Now you’re excited to see everyone.”
The two will be throwing out special cups and scrolls to commemorate the occasion. Fittingly, on the scrolls, three landmarks are depicted: St. Charles Parish Hospital and St. Charles Parish Courthouse, each depicted as they were when the respective women worked at each, and the “Faucheux house” of Victoria’s grandparents, as it was when they lived there.