Kirk M. Briggs, of Lafayette, continues our discussion of problems people outside south Louisiana have with Cajun names:
“If you want to get into a drill sarge’s massacre of Southern names: I was in basic training at Fort Ord, California, with a group of guys from New Iberia who quickly learned to answer roll call to just about anything that resembled a phonetic reading of their names.
“‘DuppleChin’ was Duplechin; ‘DoySee’ was Doise; ‘BooDreeAx’ and ‘ThibAhDeeAx’ were of course Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, and my favorite: ‘The Riot’ for Theriot.”
After I discussed the possibility of Natchez, Mississippi, joining Louisiana, Leila Pitchford-English and Gail Stephenson were the first readers to point out that we already have a Natchez — a village in Natchitoches Parish, on La. 1 south of the city of Natchitoches.
W.D. Postell Jr., of Metairie, says of the Louisiana Natchez, “My family summered there in the 1950s. If Natchez, Mississippi, would change its name to Natchez II, Louisiana might be interested in annexation.”
Jean R. Waits has another church offering story:
“As a family with a deceased mother who passed away in the early ’30s when I was only about 10 years old, life was hard.
“Dad worked on the railroad in North Carolina, and often left us to fend for ourselves.
“Dad left me, the oldest, to get all my five siblings ready for church on Sunday mornings.
“He gave all of us money for the offering plate, but my brother Bill liked his money and decided to put a button from his jacket in the plate instead of the coins Dad gave us to tithe.
“When the usher passed it our way, Bill dropped the button in and I gave him the evil eye.
“Bill Cooper was a wonderful brother, and he had five beautiful children, all girls.
“But when the church plate comes my way, I often think of him in fond remembrance.”
Donald Uggen says, “My wife, Novalyn, and I spent two years living in High Wycomb, England, when I served in the Air Force in the mid-50s.
“As an Airman First Class, my pay qualified me to be among those living in poverty.
“Fortunately for us, tuna fish and Spam were cheap and easily available at the base commissary, so our dinner menu the week before payday was something like this:
“Day 1, tuna salad. Day 2, tuna casserole. Day 3, creamed tuna on toast. Day 4, tuna tulips (tuna pie). Day 5, Tuna Novalyn (not sure what that was). Day 6, tuna surprise (if I tell you what that was, I can’t untell you).
“For Sunday dinner, Novalyn would bake a can of Spam adorned with pineapples and cherries. And we loved it.”
Mary Broussard says members of Young Heroes (youngsters who have overcome adversity to inspire those around them) got a tasty treat when they visited the Governor’s Mansion.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife Donna showed up to greet the youngsters — with a plate of cookies in the shape of the state.
The governor said the cookies were his grandmother’s special recipe — and Mary says they were indeed special.
Where there’s smoke...
Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, says this about the Monday story telling how his aunt Olga Hotz, a legendary teacher at Destrehan High, barged into the boys’ restroom in search of cigarette smokers:
“Ole Captain America was a stickler for rules. I wasn’t around there in the ’30s, but I’d wager that after she exited the bathroom she went directly to the teachers’ lounge and lit up a stinky Old Gold. I’ll never get the stench of that smoke out of my nostrils!”
Nice People Dept.
Barbara Robinson says, “On Saturday my husband, Cecil, and I had lunch at his favorite Mexican restaurant on Siegen Lane.
“When I asked for our check, we were told that someone had already paid for our lunch.
“I’m thinking they saw the World War II hat my husband had on (he was a radio operator/gunner on a B-17).
“Cecil gets along pretty well using his walker; he is 91.
“I just want to thank whoever it was who cared enough for a World War II veteran to ‘pay it forward.’ It’s good to know there are still those who honor and respect all our veterans.”
Special People Dept.
Eyoula Brown, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Thursday, April 14.
Pat Alba, of Metairie, has a “young at heart” story:
“When a package was delivered to my house by mistake, I reported the error to the carrier, then looked up the number of the addressee to inform him.
“The gentleman who answered thanked me, and remarked, ‘I’m 86 years old and couldn’t come get it. Besides, I didn’t order anything.’
“I said, ‘It’s marked fragile, and there’s a picture of a wine glass on the package.’
“He replied, ‘Well, if there’s wine in it, you come over and we’ll pretend we’re in our 20s.’”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.