Mike Manes, of New Iberia, recalls the odes to Cajuns penned by the late Bob Hamm, of Lafayette.

A native of Winnfield, Bob fell in love with his adopted home and its people, and wrote about Cajuns with insight and respect. 

I knew the affable Bob when he was news director at KATC-TV, and always enjoyed time with him.

Mike says the "Cajun Toast," copyrighted by Bob in 1973, seems appropriate for this holiday season. Here's part of it:

"May there be crawfish in your nets

And gumbo in your pot

May the sac a lait be biting

At your favorite fishing spot …

May a bouree game be waiting

When all your work is through

May the fais do do bring pretty girls

To toss a wink at you

And when your time in life is over

And your place on earth is gone

May you waltz right into heaven

To the tune of Jolie Blonde."

Lost dinner

Louise Poché, of Westwego, says, "When I called my cat, Apollo, in for breakfast, he was carrying a squirrel in his mouth.

"I made him leave the squirrel outside, but I thought I was going to have a bountiful Thanksgiving with his gift.

"Later at church, the secretary asked if I was going to have baked squirrel, squirrel stew, squirrel gumbo, or fricassee of squirrel.

"Alas, it will be none of these. When I checked after his breakfast, the squirrel had recovered from its adventure with Apollo and run off."

Pig supper

Speaking of entrees, Henry Bradsher, of Baton Rouge, addresses a column topic:

"On the subject of eating guinea pigs in Peru, there’s an interesting painting of the Last Supper in the Catholic cathedral in Cuzco, the high Andean capital of the Inca empire that the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered in 1533.

"Duplicating the form of Leonardo da Vinci’s acclaimed painting of the Last Supper, it shows Christ and his disciples gathered at a table. The meal on it is guinea pigs.

"Jesus and most disciples look pretty much as depicted in traditional European paintings. But the face for Judas is that of Pizarro."

Scary dinner

Olive M. Campbell, of Baton Rouge, tells of another alternative entree:

"I came home from work one day to find a huge rattlesnake coiled up in the kitchen sink. I screamed and nearly fainted!

"It had been killed in Indian Mounds subdivision in Greenwell Springs and given to my son Tommy. He skinned it and took it to the Exxon docks, where he and his coworkers fried and ate it.

"Did I mention Tommy had his life threatened by his mother that day?"

No-risk guarantee

Sandy Pitre, of Marrero, offers this food story:

"One afternoon my two granddaughters were playing restaurant. I was the customer.

"Emree, 6, was the chef and Haven, 4, the server.

"The menu read, 'Emree and Haven Restaurant. Food 10 cents, money back if you throw up.'"

Best leftovers?

Janet Schexnayder, of Slidell, disputes my statement that ham beats turkey for leftovers:

"Are you kidding? Turkey creates the BEST leftovers! Roast turkey sandwiches with Blue Plate mayo, and turkey and sausage gumbo (using the carcass)."

But ham leftovers are great at breakfast, so it covers all three meals… 

Special People Dept.

  • Delroy O. Spann celebrates his 99th birthday Wednesday, Nov. 25. A lifelong Baton Rouge resident, he is currently at Sunrise Village on Jefferson Highway.
  • Charles "Chuck" Pampell, of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 92nd birthday Nov. 11. He's a native of Dime Box, Texas.
  • Bob and Martha Reese, of Covington, celebrate 67 years of marriage Wednesday, Nov. 25.
  • James and Catherine Brasseaux, of Carencro, celebrate their 66th anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 25.
  • Eroyl and Joy Cambre, of Sunshine, celebrated 59 years of marriage Nov. 18.

My kind of sport

Pat Morrow, of Lafayette, tells of first grade students learning journal writing:

"One day the subject was 'When I am 8 years old…'

"One student wrote, 'When I am 8 years old my uncle is going to take me beer hunting.'

"He drew a picture after writing this, and it was (Thank goodness!) of an animal with antlers; no cans or bottles in sight." 

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.