Waking up Friday morning to a snow-covered landscape moved "Frosty Bob" to adapt a well-known poem:
He calls it "Stopping By Lawns On A Snowy Morning":
"Whose lawns these are I think I know.
They’re curled up in their houses though;
They will not see me stopping here
To watch their lawns fill up with snow.
My little dog must think it queer
To stop without a fire plug near.
Between the street and frozen roofs
The whitest morning of the year.
She gives her collar leash a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the creak
Of breaking limbs from downy flakes.
These lawns are lovely, white and deep.
But I have breakfast yet to eat,
And blocks to walk before I sleep,
And blocks to walk before I sleep."
After I mentioned the devotion of former customers to long-gone Ellis' Lounge, Nobey Benoit recalled another watering hole with devoted clients:
"Rene's Bar in Thibodaux has, over the years, become sort of a meeting place for former patrons who have moved away and are back for the holidays.
"It has been in continuous existence since 1909 and has changed little over the years. Except for spittoons, most of the decor is the same.
"The same family has owned it and is presently owned and operated by C.J. and Hick Molaison.
"Hick has tended bar there since Rene's opened in 1909," Benoit quips, adding "If that does not get me banned for life, nothing will."
Jim Pitchford, a former resident of my birthplace — Natchez, Mississippi — addresses a column topic:
"Instead of Sunday drives in Natchez, there were Sunday bicycle trips around town the kids in the neighborhoods of St. Charles, Arlington, Washington, State and Main streets liked to take.
"We went north of the city to the cemetery, west along the bluff, south to the paper mill, and east to about two miles out of town, where the highway began."
Which reminds me
When I was a small child in Natchez, my Sunday drives with my grandmother and my great-aunts always wound up at the cemetery, where they would put flowers on the graves of the Druettas and DeMarcos buried there.
I didn't mind because the Natchez cemetery, sitting high on a bluff, has the best view of the bend in the Mississippi River just north of town. (This led to a lot of bad local jokes about the residents being unable to enjoy their spectacular view.)
"My favorite memory of Sunday rides," says Fern Long Summers, "occurred in Baton Rouge during the Christmas season back in the late '40s to early '50s.
"About a week or so before Christmas, Mom and Dad would take me and a friend (my four siblings were too old and too cool for this ride) to see the mechanical Santa Claus displayed in a downtown department store window."
(Fern is pretty sure it was Rosenfield's but says it might have been Dalton's, while I recalled the Santa at Goudchaux's, which wasn't in a window but atop the store.)
"My friend and I would put the window down, get on the floorboard and barely raise our heads to see Santa. Oh, he was so scary. You could hear his 'Ho, ho, ho!' very well.
"Dad would circle the block a few times. It was a delight every time."
On snowy Friday morning, I was especially grateful to my Advocate delivery person for putting the paper on my top step.
Rick Marshall has even more reason to thank these unsung heroes:
"In the '60's, we loved to climb the old oaks on Goodwood Plantation.
"Once, I stepped on a rotten limb and found myself on the ground with two broken arms and a head busted wide open.
"Making it out to Government Street, I was spotted by Paul Demouy, who was delivering the State-Times.
"He threw me into his van, took me to Baton Rouge General and resumed his route.
"For anyone still around who wonders why they received a bloody paper that day, there's your explanation."
Christmas tree glowing
Light shines in eyes of children
Time of innocence