My Uncle Buddy, also known as Phillip Hountha, was in charge of the maintenance department for 12 years (1973-1985).
He attended Warren Easton High School where he was active running track (sprints) and playing trumpet in the band. After graduating, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and found himself in the Korean War! He and several other airmen manned a strategic radar sight on top of a mountain in the war zone. Their mission was to alert our forces when “incoming” enemy aircraft were approaching and to assist “friendly forces” aircraft in inclement weather or whatever they needed. This was a very important mission and vital to the war effort. Several times their radar site was attacked by Chinese and North Korean troops. They had to take up arms alongside our soldiers to repulse these attacks.
After a long year in Korea, Buddy returned to the United States after some much-needed leave was posted to another mountain top radar site in Minot, North Dakota. After fulfilling his military commitment, he returned home to New Orleans. He stayed at our family home in Lakeview and got a job at a company called “Hangers- Prosthetics”. The handmade arms and legs for handicapped people. A very unique craft indeed. He excelled at the trade and became their top employee. After several years the owner died and Buddy was offered the business. For some reason, he did not, or could not purchase Hangers.
Time passed and I eventually returned home after mustering out of the Air Force in 1971. My father was sick with cancer and I wanted to help out while waiting to catch on with an airline. Well, I never took that job and wound up running Gay 90’s Carriages, which eventually became Royal Carriages.
The person doing our repairs was also a driver. His name was Joe Davis. I decided we needed to upgrade our maintenance and hired Buddy. Joe Davis went back to driving carriages fulltime. Buddy took to his new job like a duck to water! He exceeded at everything and quickly became our go-to -guy!
He remained in our employ until 1984 when he was involved in a terrible head-on auto accident. While recovering he developed aggressive throat cancer and he lost his ability to work. Buddy died shortly after at 59 years old. A tragic ending to a good life!RIP Buddy, You are Missed!