"I was in fifth grade when I was chosen to be an altar boy at my church," says Donald Landaiche, of Donaldsonville.
"One day my brother and I were barefoot in the backyard, playing in a pile of coal, when my Aunt Poo (who made sure I never missed a service) got a call from our pastor. The assigned server had not shown up for a funeral, and they needed me.
"There was no time to wash my feet, but my aunt said no one would notice, since the cassock was as black as my feet, and would cover them anyway.
"No one did notice — until the pastor walked over to me and said, 'Have no fear, my son. Even Jesus walked barefoot on the face of the earth.'"
The Doucets are taking over this column!
We recently heard from Dee Doucet, of Maurice, the father of WAFB-TV sportscaster Jacques Doucet. Now Lyn Doucet, who identifies herself as Jacques' other parent, weighs in on a current topic:
"There's the discussion of potato salad in gumbo; there's also the discussion of the potato salad itself.
"I was raised in north Louisiana, and our potato salad was made with cubed potatoes, plenty of chopped vegetables, and a bit of egg. In south Louisiana, there's often an egg for every potato, and potatoes are more mashed.
"When I married into the family, I was at my mother-in- law's and volunteered to make the potato salad.
"There were to be about 10 people at the dinner table. My MIL asked, 'How many eggs do you want?' I said, 'Two,' and received a stunned look from her. I don't think she ever trusted my cooking after that!"
Here's some sad news for lovers of books in the Baton Rouge area:
Danny Plaisance, owner of Cottonwood Books, tells me, "After 36 years, I will be retiring due to poor health from Parkinson's disease. I am hoping to sell the business, but may be forced to liquidate. As the last independent bookstore in Baton Rouge, I have enjoyed serving this community.
"I have been truly blessed with my business, and coming to work every morning is a pleasure."
Brian K. Boudreaux, of Bridge City, says our quest for names of Louisiana cities' residents reminds him of this:
"Some friends came up with the clever name of Chalmetairie."
And I assumed folks in Louisiana's Algiers would refer to themselves as Algerians. But Charlie Sutherland, of Slidell, says that's not the case:
"I was born and raised in Algiers. People who are from Algiers refer to themselves as 'Algereens.'"
Special People Dept.
— Hurst "Buddy" Samson, of New Roads, celebrates his 100th birthday Friday, Oct. 8.
— Frank Newchurch Sr., of Labadieville, celebrated his 99th birthday Thursday, Oct. 7.
— Donald Guillot, of Marksville, celebrates his 91st birthday Saturday, Oct. 9. He is a Korean War veteran.
— Mary Jane Hurley, of Metairie, celebrates her 90th birthday Friday, Oct. 8. She is originally from Frankfurt, Indiana. She was a teacher at St. Matthew the Apostle in River Ridge.
— Tommy and Sharon A. Zito, of Port Allen, celebrate 50 years of marriage Saturday, Oct. 9.
The rest of the story
Two items in our "Special People" section have stories with them:
Bo Bienvenu says Donald Guillot's nickname is "Y'all got time."
He explains: "Every time anyone in the family goes there for a visit and gets ready to leave, that is what he says. It has become a family and friend joke. Now, whenever someone starts to leave, everyone shouts, 'Y’all got time.'"
Tommy Zito says he and Sharon's 50th anniversary reminds him of her pregnancy in 1974 when, as the 10 p.m. TV news came on, she would develop a craving for hot Dunkin' Donuts. At that time there was a doughnut shop on Baton Rouge's Florida Boulevard. (The company has opened and closed several locations over the years.) Dutiful husband Tommy would drive over and wait patiently for the "hot doughnuts" light to come on.