J.G. Berret Jr. came across stories about military funerals he says "sound like Louisiana funerals!"
Here are a couple of them:
1. "I did several funerals. My squad took it as a great honor. We practiced for a few hours before each detail and performed them perfectly.
"There was some funny stuff, too. Best one was when they opened the coffin, propped up the guy and started partying. I've seen someone fall in the hole, too. Man, that was something."
2. "The craziest thing that ever happened was my rifle detail was asked to go to a luncheon after a funeral. Needless to say, there was a lot of drinking, and I had to go get two of my guys out of jail that night."
Martin R. Blacklock Sr., of Denham Springs, tells an extraordinary "happy returns" story:
"In 1958, upon graduating, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps with several Istrouma High classmates.
"My first duty station was Oahu, Hawaii. We were swimming at Kailua Beach when my class ring slipped off. We dove and dove but could not find it.
"Two years later, at a bar in North Carolina, a guy at the next table had an Istrouma ring on. I asked him if he went to Istrouma, and he said no, he went to De La Salle High in New Orleans.
"The guy, whose name was Garrison, said a friend had found the ring at Kailua Beach, and he had paid him $5 for it. I gave him $5 and he gave me my ring back.
"What are the chances of that happening?"
After I questioned a story about Sears selling hunting dogs through the catalog, I heard from "Pompous Crow" with this confirmation of the practice:
"I can say with certainty that in the 1950s Sears did indeed sell pure-bred dogs by mail order. They offered a whole page of various breeds.
"I don’t know that any arrived already trained — because Mama wouldn’t let me order one."
Single wing days
J.A. “Bud” Oliver, 95, of Baton Rouge, offers "a bit of football trivia:"
"I played football at Baton Rouge High School in 1939 and 1940. I played right guard in the single wing formation.
"I still have the beautiful BRHS letter jacket I received in 1940, and guess what — I can still fit in it. I just recently wore it to honor the passing of Jim Taylor (a football star at Baton Rouge High, LSU and the Green Bay Packers).
"As far as I know, I am the last surviving member of the approximately 45 players who made up the team."
(I'm impressed, Bud. I tried to get into my Istrouma High cheerleader jacket a little while back, and it was not a pleasant experience…)
Special People Dept.
Bernadette "Bernie" Michalik celebrates her 96th birthday on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Adding to our seminar on outhouses, Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, reminds us of one of the most famous:
"A walking tour of Crested Butte, Colorado, includes a visit to the two-story outhouse. One thought is that the upper level is offset from the lower level so that people on each floor could use it simultaneously. In the winter, people could enter the second story directly because of the build-up of the snow.
"Yes, I've seen it, but it is no longer used."
Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, tells of the time when, as a youngster, he was watching from the back porch of his cousin Arnold's home when Arnold went into the family outhouse:
"The outhouse was about 20 yards away. Arnold casually walked out to it, and when he opened the door, an egg-eater snake about six feet long fell from the ledge above the door!
"There was not any man or animal alive that could have beaten him back to the porch!"
Tech help shortage
Algie Petrere, of Central, says, "I hate it when you can't figure out how to operate the iPad and the resident tech expert is asleep.
"Because he's 5.
"And it's past his bedtime."