Remembering my 6-year-old daughter's dismay when her long-awaited baby sister turned out to be a baby brother, Mike Baldwin's story has a special significance for me:
"A friend’s daughter was expecting her third child. They already had a 4-year-old son and a 3-year-old-daughter.
"Mom and Dad bought home the 'reveal' balloon. When the kids were told they were going to learn if it was a girl or boy, both were very excited.
"After party favors and sodas, the balloon was popped and blue confetti showered out.
"The boy began dancing and shouting, 'I’ve got a brother!'
"His sister looked on in disappointment, then calmly knelt down, scooping up confetti into the now-empty burst balloon.
"While her brother continued his celebration dance, she gave it to her mother and told Mom, ‘Try again.’ ”
In lieu of payment
Beverly Bulligan, of Kenner, has a "kids running restaurants" story:
"When daughter Vicki was small and playing waitress, she had served 'tea' and was handing out checks when her Aunt Elaine said, 'Wait, Vicki; I didn’t get a check.'
"Vicki said, 'That’s OK, Aunt Laine, you got the dirty cup.’ ”
"I have two stories about liquor sales," says Francis Celino, the Metairie Miscreant:
"While on vacation with my parents ages ago, a waitress brought my dad a bottle of beer, but said she couldn't pour it for him, as she was underage.
"On another vacation to Canada, Dad had to get a Canadian government liquor license to purchase bourbon. He kept that document in his wallet for years, and delighted to show it to people."
Thin walls and all
Bill Cotten says mention of Quonset huts brings back this nostalgia moment:
"LSU built Quonset huts on campus off Nicholson Drive. They were to provide housing for married veterans. Not sure when they were built, but were there in the 1950s.
"They were constructed with two 'apartments' each, back to back. Each had five rooms, situated within approximately 400 square feet.
"The 'master' bedroom had room for only a regular-size bed with one side against the outer wall. No clothes dryer, so you saw all your neighbors' laundry hanging outside.
"The wall separating the two apartments was paper thin, so a code was established by occupants to knock on the wall if privacy was requested.
"There were lots of young children and babies in the community, but amazingly the community was very quiet after 8 p.m. That’s when the veterans started their evening studies.
"Rent was $35 a month, plus $5 if you had a window AC.
"My wife Connie and I, along with our baby daughter Sheryl, lived in one of the apartments from June 1956 until August 1958 when I graduated.
"A memory-filled time in our life."
Roger Waggoner, of Lafayette, says, "When I was in junior high, I had a friend whose family owned a Hotpoint refrigerator and a Frigidaire stove."
Remember the chef
I've known Chef Jean French for years, as a chef in Baton Rouge's finest dining establishments and a teacher of other aspiring chefs. A native of France who never came close to losing his accent, I'd see him every Saturday morning at Red Stick Farmers' Market, perusing the produce with an expert cook's eye.
His wife Claire tells me Jean "is in ICU with COVID. He's under sedation and I can only face-time him."
She asks "all of Baton Rouge to pray for him."
Special People Dept.
- Joycelyn C. Jean, of Prairieville, celebrates her 92nd birthday Tuesday, Dec. 1. A New Orleans native and Xavier University graduate, she is a former educator.
- Nell Golden, a resident of Baton Rouge since 1947, celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday, Dec. 1.
- Jackie and Leroy Owens, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 63 years of marriage Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Phillip Daigle, of Hammond, responds to a Saturday column item:
"I felt the pain of your contributor’s frustration with how to address a person wearing a face mask below the nose.
"Here are a couple of thoughts: 'Thanks for being 50% less contagious!' Or try 'Nice chin diaper!'
"Sometimes you catch more bees with sarcasm."