Kathy Groft, a native of St. Amant, has for the past 20 years lived in northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
But she says she never lost her taste for Cajun delicacies, especially cush-cush, a fried cornmeal mush usually served hot at breakfast, with cane syrup:
“When we visit Louisiana, my sister Ronnie always makes me cornbread. I love good country cornbread, and love even more the cush-cush made with leftover cornbread.
“Now my son lives and works in Baton Rouge with his lovely wife, and we will probably return to God’s Country. I wrote this little song for my Yankee husband, to the tune of ‘Don’t Mess with my Toot-Toot:’
“Don’t mess with my cush-cush,
Don’t mess with my cush-cush;
You can have your toast and yogurt,
But don’t mess with my cush-cush.
Now you take the crumbled cornbread,
You fry it up in a pan,
Oh, it’s gonna be special,
Oh, it’s gonna be grand.
So don’t mess with my cush-cush...” (Repeat refrain.)
Ruby Collins says, “Mention of the Rainbow Inn in Pierre Part (in the Friday column) brought to mind this story from the mid-1950s by my father-in-law, Blake Collins Sr., of New Orleans.
“He and my mother-in-law, Lydia, had driven their new car to Donaldsonville and took Lydia’s sister, Emelie Delatte, for a Sunday afternoon drive.
“They had a flat tire around Pierre Part, but the new car was missing its jack. Blake asked to borrow a jack at a nearby tavern, but was ignored.
“Finally, he asked if anybody knew a local Cajun baseball star, Peter Delatte, and got some affirmative replies. Blake told them he had Peter’s sisters in the car with the flat, and immediately got offers of jacks and men wanting to assist in changing of the tire. Love those Cajuns!”
The wrong rum
Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says our Whiskey Bay story in the Wednesday column “reminded me of how a little community at the end of La. 401 at the Attakapas Canal was used by smugglers during Prohibition to bring rum in from Cuba. The very large craft came in from the Gulf of Mexico and through Lake Verret to the unloading site.
“Years ago, when dredging the canal that runs along the highway, several metal containers that had been struck by the revenuers’ ax were found in the mud. Each bottle of about one pint in size had been placed in its own separate container for shipment.
“My dear father, as a young man trying help his family during the Depression, was arrested by the revenuers on one occasion while unloading the contraband. A bond of $10,000 was placed on him, and my grandfather somehow was able to get him released.
“He was never prosecuted, and never ever resorted to anything that was even close to being considered criminal in his 100 years of life!”
Special People Dept.
— Dello Couvillion, of Landmark of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 95th birthday on Thursday, Oct. 8.
— Don Cary celebrates his 95th birthday on Sunday, Oct. 11. He is a Navy veteran of World War II.
— Bertis Robert, of Baton Rouge celebrates his 92nd birthday on Friday, Oct. 9. He is a veteran of World War II and Korea.
— Richard Pastorek celebrates his 91st birthday on Friday, Oct. 9.
— C. Hewitt Underwood, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 90th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 10. He is World War II veteran, serving in the South Pacific.
— Carole and Jesse Danna, of Covington, celebrate 50 years of marriage on Friday, Oct. 9.
Mike Eldred, of Tylertown, Mississippi, says, “Each time my dad and I drove down Singer Street in Pineville, a kid would yell ‘Ish Kabibble!’ at us.
“I figured it was a curse word, and used it at every appropriate time. Years later I learned that Ish Kabibble was the cornet player in Kay Kyser’s band (in the ’30s and ’40s). He sported a Beatles style haircut well before the Beatles were born.
“‘Ish Kabibble!’ served me well as a curse word. I still use it occasionally.”
Visits to doctors are a source of some memorable misused words:
— Ellis Monier, of Lafayette, had a friend who had just returned from being examined tell him the doctor said he had a “hyena hernia.”
— J.C. Robillard, of Port Allen, says a fellow patient in the waiting room of Baton Rouge’s Bone & Joint Clinic told him he was there because he had pulled a “legitimate” in his shoulder.
— Lettye Harris, of Baton Rouge, once overheard a gent in Houma telling a friend he’d been to the doctor, had a stress test on the “threadmill,” and was scheduled for a “mangiogram.”
— Roma Eschete, of Houma, tells of the interesting mental images this brought up: “My late mother-in-law liked to discuss the scan the doctors did on her ‘karate’ artery.”
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.