Bob Martin, "Louisiana native and Lawrenceville, Georgia, resident," tells of his good fortune in an emergency:
"On 5:30 a.m. in June of 1965, I departed Crowley with a truckload of rice to deliver to grocery stores between there and Shreveport.
"I had made it 30 miles to Mamou when the toothache from the night before returned in all its fury.
"As I drove down Main Street, I suddenly spotted a sign: 'Melancon, DDS.'
"Only the name was on the glass door, without office hours. I headed for a nearby café to see if anyone knew when he opened his office.
"Before I got there, I saw an elderly gentleman and asked him if he knew when Dr. Melancon opened his office.
"He said, 'Well, young man, I’m here now, so let’s go open up.'
"In his upstairs office, he determined my abscessed tooth needed to come out. He gave me a shot of Novocain, and while I was waiting for it to take effect, I noticed his diploma on the wall from the Loyola School of Dentistry — in 1906!
"He pulled that tooth, slick as an eel. I have never felt that kind of relief in my entire life.
"When I asked him how much I owed him, he said, 'Well, if you’ve got $3, $4, or $5…' I insisted he take $10!
“I worked my usual steady pace, with no bleeding. The next day, I visited my Aunt Addie in Pine Prairie, and told her about finding Dr. Melancon.
"She said, 'Oh yes; he’s been our dentist for years!'"
Borum, then fixum
Ben Valentine, of Gonzales, has another dentist story:
"In the mid 1950s in Natchez, Mississippi, my dentist was Dr. Charles Borum. His name reflected his profession, but not how pain free he was.
"A character, he could play the trombone with his feet, and played his calliope in parades.
"When dentists started using Novocain injections to deaden gums for cavity repair, Dr. Borum gave patients the option of injections or not.
"He had such a light touch with the drill that injections hurt more than his drilling. To this day, I do not have injections on cavity repairs."
— Larry Lemoine, of Grosse Tete, says while great-grandsons Hayden and Clayton, and their Aunt Kimberly, were looking at Bayou Grosse Tete from his walkway, Larry warned them a large alligator had been seen cruising the bayou:
"I told the boys, 6 and 5 at the time, we would try to save them if they fell in, in spite of the alligator.
"Clayton studied the water, then whispered, 'Aunt Kim, if Hayden falls in, do we have to try and save him?'"
— Brenda Bruno tells how her dad, Lloyd St.Pé, cured her sister of sibling rivalry:
"My older sister, Linda, and I competed for Dad's attention when Linda was 5 and I was 2. When she said she wanted me to 'go away,' Dad called her bluff.
"With my knowledge of his 'game,' he held me over the garbage can as the garbage truck was coming down the street, saying, 'Linda, let’s get rid of Brenda!'
"When the truck pulled up, Linda stopped Dad from 'throwing me away!' I think she loved me more every day since then, and that was 61 years ago."
Special People Dept.
— Lester Bourgeois, of Bourgeois Meat Market In Thibodaux, celebrates his 96th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 2.
— George Sexton, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 94th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 2. He managed the LSU Chemistry Department's instrument laboratory for many years and assisted in research projects.
— Wally and Cecelia Buras, of Belle Chasse, celebrate their 59th anniversary Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Alison Rhorer, of Grosse Tete, says, "Your pet name series reminds me of friends from many years ago.
"While they were living in New Orleans they acquired a Siamese cat they named Iam.
"He was an inside cat, but one weekend I was visiting them and he escaped.
"They wandered around their yard calling, 'Here Iam, here Iam!'
"After several minutes of this, neighbors could be heard yelling back, 'Who cares?'"