Power outages from Hurricane Ida have folks recalling days before air conditioning, bringing memories of sweaty, dirty children coming home after a day of outside play.
Jacob Scardina, of Baton Rouge, says, "My brother and I, and sometimes neighbor kids, played under the house in the summer. Late in the afternoon we came out, stripped off, got in a No. 3 washtub of sun-warmed water in the backyard and bathed before we could go in the house."
Carol Gaignard, of New Iberia, recalls a more extreme cleaning method.
"In the late '50s, we didn't have air conditioning, so my four little brothers (Larry, Bruce, Mark, and Perry Gaudin) played outside all day during the summer wearing only shorts.
"At the end of the day, Daddy gave a whistle and they all came running home for supper. Covered with sweaty dirt and tar under their feet, they had to get cleaned up before coming to the table.
"Mama would fill the bathtub with hot water, Tide, and Clorox and put all four in at one time. After splashing each other for about 15 minutes, they came out pink! Even the tar under their feet was gone. However, it took forever to clean the tub and dry the bathroom walls and floor."
Show and tell
Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says 30 years ago son Scott, in second grade, put stories she had told me about him on an “All About Me” bulletin board.
Gail wrote me about this, and we had a pizza lunch at The Pastime, where, she says, "You gave Scott trading cards of you in an LSU football uniform to add to the display."
She says, "Granddaughter Zelda is now in second grade, and had to make an 'All About Me' bag, containing five items showing what made her special. Among her items was a story from your column about her eating items straight from the garden, and a sprig of tarragon, which she ate in front of the class."
Which reminds me
The trading cards of me in an LSU football uniform, which Gail Stephenson mentioned, are from a day I spent practicing with the Tigers for a story in Baton Rouge Magazine.
Publisher Norman Ferachi liked me to do such stuff, and arranged with LSU Coach Jerry Stovall for me to work out with the team.
I had my ankles taped, was issued a T-shirt and shorts, and went to a class for defensive linemen taught by Coach Pete Jenkins.
We went outside for exercises, and after that Coach Stovall finally introduced me to the team. The magazine's photographer took a photo of me between two huge linemen, and I later had trading cards made from it.
After practice, I gave a couple of the guys a ride back to the athletic dorm, and they confessed they were mystified when I showed up.
One of them told me, "We thought you were one of those little foreign kickers!"
Special People Dept.
Mary Rose and Louis Clement, of Plaquemine, celebrate their 71st anniversary Tuesday, Sept. 21.
Robert Cabes, of Lafayette, thanks Edie Bender for explaining Tulane's "Hullabaloo" cheer:
"I went to Tulane games in the '50s, ushering as a Boy Scout. As an LSU student, then as a Tulane Law School student, I attended LSU-Tulane games.
"But I never understood the complicated yell!"
Speaking of cheers, Roger Waggoner, of Lafayette, says, "When I was a student at Tulane in the early '60s, the school's football fortunes were probably at an all-time low. An unofficial cheer which sometimes came from certain members in the student section was 'Go clock go!'"