Mississippi man honors late wife with ‘museum of love’
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – If a picture is worth a thousand words then there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for Mr. Charles “La La” Evans to go through every picture he’s saved over the decades.
Since his high school sweetheart died in 2011, a Starkville man has dedicated his life to keeping her memory alive all through a memorial in his home.
“We didn’t smoke, we didn’t drink, but we did a lot of dancing I could tell you that,” says La La.
And that’s what La La Evans and his wife, Louise, did every week for the nearly 60 years they were married.
“We went to get down. We wouldn’t even have to have a place to sit down because we stayed on the floor all night,” says La La.
After Louise died, a museum of love behind their Starkville home was built to house all their pictures.
“Look back and reminisce at all the beautiful things we did together,” says La La.
The two met when La La worked at the shoe shine parlor across from her uncle’s cafe. Even though La La says it was love at first sight, he was told they would never last.
“People would say, ‘I don’t see how they’re ever going to make it. They are so incompatible,’” says La La.
But their differences are what made it work.
“She was such a stern person and I was just a bit flirty, but she kept me under control and made me a better man,” he continued.
Through their years together La La went on to the Army then became Starkville’s first black mailman walking 10 miles every day before driving the shuttle for Mississippi State University.
“You just take what you have and you use it and that’s what we did as a young married couple,” says La La.
“I’m just a blessed old man. That’s all I can say, you know?” says La La.
Out of the thousands of pictures of La La and Louise’s life together, he says his favorite is of their last dance.
“I dipped her and brought her up and put that last one on her and when I did that she wasn’t going anywhere and then the next week it was all over,” he says.
The month before their 60th wedding anniversary La La says Louise died suddenly of a heart attack.
“After trying to make breakfast and patting her on her face and she looked up and said I love you and then she went down and dropped her head and the paramedics got there and I was waiting for them to revive her.”
La La says he still dances to jazz music throughout his home and doesn’t miss a beat even though his dancing partner is gone.
“I don’t want to seem like I’m suffering. I’m enjoying,” says La La, “I know she’s up there saying, ‘Watch it buddy. Watch it. Be careful down there I’m watching you.’”
Louise and La La had two sons together.
La La says his love museum is open for anyone who wants to stop by and check it out.