Frenchie: The Story of the French-Speaking Cajuns of World War II
Following nearly 20 years of research, Jason Theriot’s new book will document the role of the French-speaking Cajuns of World War II. With their bilingual skills, these young Cajuns from south Louisiana served as translators and interpreters, and proved to be an invaluable asset to the military overseas. Their wartime experiences forged a renewed since of pride in their culture and heritage. Click here to read the article "Cajun 'Frenchies' helped win the war" in the Baton Rouge Advocate, Nov. 2019. For a related story in the Daily Iberian from Aug. 2019, click here. David McNamara featured a story on the "Frenchie Cajuns" in his Feb. 2020 "Heart of Louisiana" series on Fox 8 WVUE in New Orleans. Click here to see the clip. Below are video presentations about the “Frenchie” book project, including the full interview with Jason Theriot and Dave McNamara at the National World War II Museum's new Hilliard Research Library.
History of Cenac Towing Company
Cenac Towing Company is one of the great American success stories in the history of the marine industry. For three generations, the family-run company became the premier towing and barge transportation carrier for the oil and gas industry. Jason Theriot’s forthcoming book captures the legacy of this Louisiana-based towing company and honors the people who built it.
History of Gravois Aluminum Boats and Metal Shark
When it comes to the great boat builders of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, one name stands out: Gravois. For more than half a century, the Gravois family has mastered the art of designing and building commercial and recreational aluminum boats known to last a lifetime. Jason Theriot’s latest project will tell the story of how the family-run Gravois Aluminum Boats evolved and became the genesis of Metal Shark—a worldwide leader in the construction of military and law enforcement boats.
Oilfield Energy Center Hall of Fame Interviews
The Oilfield Energy Center (OEC), formerly the Offshore Energy Center, recognizes the pioneering achievements of those men and women who revolutionized the oil and gas industry, particularly in the development of offshore technologies. Since 1998, the OEC has inducted more than 150 of these individuals into its Hall of Fame. For the last several years, Jason Theriot has been conducting oral history interviews with these pioneers. He is currently working with the OEC to digitize its valuable collection of video interviews and to make these stories available to a broader audience. Below are video vignettes from the Offshore Pioneer interviews: Larry Baker, Sr., Alden "Doc" LaBorde, Joe Foster, Paul "Red" Adair, Griff Lee, Dana Larsen, Bruce Collipp, Don Vardeman, Robert Palmer...and more to come...
Click here for more on the OEC's Hall of Fame. Several of these pioneers were involved in designing, constructing, launching, and erecting some of the largest offshore platforms ever built. The shipyards and fabrication centers in south Louisiana produced the lion's share of these structures and vessels for the offshore industry. Click here to read a historical essay on the history of the "fab yards" and shipyards near Morgan City, LA. The Bayou Teche region is also home to the pioneer shipbuilders of aluminum crewboats. Norman McCall, considered by many to be THE pioneer of the aluminum crewboat designs, has a legacy in this part of Cajun Country. For an interview with Norman McCall and Jason Theriot, click here. I also had the pleasure of interviewing the father of the Tension Leg Platform (TLP), Buck Curtis. Click here for my interview with Buck Curtis.
Every family has a unique story to tell. Some families and individuals have made distinct contributions to their communities, whether in business, politics, education, philanthropy, or civic organizations. These life stories can been captured and shared with a published memoir. Jason Theriot has worked with families and individuals to organize, write, edit, and produce book-length memoirs. In 2017, he worked with Paul Mattingly, Jr. in his personal account of Levingston Shipbuilding Company (From Orange To Singapore: A Shipyard Builds a Legacy, 2017). He also assisted businessman and former Louisiana State Senator Fred Hoyt with his personal memoir:
"Jason was instrumental in assisting me in collecting my thoughts, assimilating, and then putting on paper the rough draft. We then worked on editing and organizing a final draft of my life. I would recommend Jason in a heartbeat!" -Fred Hoyt