Rosalie Broussard found her self pregnant a week after turning sixteen (see song “Jenny or James“).  Though her boyfriend wanted her to have an abortion, and even offered her the money, she refused, because Rosalie had a naive understanding about what having a baby really meant, and also because she just didn’t like the idea.  However, she eventually realized she couldn’t handle the responsibility and when James was three she handed him over to her father and his second wife, MaeAnn.

When Rosalie was twenty she left Vivian, Louisiana and married Tully Tate, a man she met while waitressing at a truck stop.  They had twin girls and lived in Mobile, Alabama.  But Rosalie never could make peace with domestic life and would run off from time to time, ech time Tully would find and bring her back home (see song “What Tully’s Done“).  But eventually he grew tired of chasing after his runaway wife and Rosalie finally left that family as well (see song “Rosalie“).

Mike and MaeAnn dearly loved James since they saw that his mother had not shown him the natural love of a mother.  But James still felt an emptiness which was only relieved when he played catch with his grandpa.


James was Wednesday’s child, full of woe
His mama left when he was just three years old
Rosalie was only sixteen when she had him
Left him with her parents; he was raised by them

James grew up wondering if he’d done something wrong
That made his mama leave him at his grandpa’s home
His father was a shadow, a name that wasn’t said
But Mike and MaeAnn did their best

When James played catch with Mike
For a little while everything seemed alright
A peaceful feeling settled in with the dimming light
On those summer days when James played catch with Mike

He overheard bits and pieces about his mama’s life
She was living in Mobile, a truck driver’s wife
At Christmas she might visit but wouldn’t stay too long
Gave James some toy he’d long ago outgrown

MaeAnn said he had twin sisters in Mobile
James really hoped that they had a better deal
But soon Rosalie would run off from them too
It seemed that’s all his mama was cut out to do

When James played catch with Mike
For a little while everything seemed alright
A peaceful feeling settled in with the dimming light
On those summer days when James played catch with Mike

© 2019 Frank David Leone, Jr./Highway 80 Music (ASCAP). The songs and stories on the Highway 80 Stories website are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


James Broussard was raised by his grandpa, Mike Broussard, and his second wife MaeAnn (see song “James“).  The reason being that James’ mother, Rosalie, had him when she was sixteen (see song “Jenny or James“) and after three years couldn’t meet the obligation and dropped him off at her father’s house.  Rosalie would spend the rest of her life running from attachments and responsibility (see songs “What Tully’s Done” and “Rosalie“).

For a while, James’ only real respite from the pain of being abandoned by his mother was playing catch with his grandpa in the backyard.


The month of April breaks my heart
There’s a good reason why it does
It’s the gravel crunch of Grandpa’s car
And him telling me to get the gloves

While MaeAnn got the table set
We’d go outside till it got too dark
But the thing that I remember best
Is walking in his shadow to the backyard

And we would play catch
In the soft glow of the sunset
And hardly say a word
The only sound you heard
Was the plop and the slap that’s catch

That was that until one year
The summer I turned thirteen
He’d come home but I’d disappear
Prob’ly hurt him but he didn’t say a thing

I bet those gloves are still tied up
But the oil’s dry and the leather’s hard
Today I’d trade everything I’ve got
Just to see Grandpa standing in the yard

And we would play catch …

© 2018 Frank David Leone, Jr./Electric Mule/Warner Music (BMI)