Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, adds to our series on Louisiana folks dealing with "dry heat" in the West:
"After transferring to Arizona many years ago, we arrived in August. The temperature was 118 degrees —in the shade!
"We asked about the last time it rained. They said they were in the middle of the monsoon season, when it rained every day for a few months.
"It did rain at around 5 p.m., and we were thrilled. My husband yelled for me to come see the 'monsoon,' but before I could get there, it was over. Ten minutes and it was gone.
"Once as I stood outside my apartment talking to our neighbors — they were amazed at our funny accent and our questions about how hot it was — I started to move and my rubber flip-flops had melted to the ground.
"I think they were still laughing and telling stories about the crazy New Orleans people. But we stayed 16 years, and loved Arizona!"
Our current food stories reminded Steve Koehler, of Metairie, of his school cafeteria days.
He revives the old gag about the school cutting grass on Monday and serving greens in the cafeteria on Tuesday:
"Nobody liked greens. But Tuesday was also the day we had spaghetti and meat sauce, which we all liked.
"If you wanted seconds, you had to eat everything before you asked. So my strategy was to eat the greens first, when I was hungriest. And I would eat them quickly, so there would be less time I would have to taste them.
"Seeing me do this, everybody at the table would ask me if I wanted their greens, too! If there were 39 Tuesdays in the school year, I had to explain my strategy 39 times."
Crime and punishment
Tales of school lunches remind me of my years at Istrouma High in Baton Rouge. On days when the cafeteria was serving some dish we couldn't handle, my cohorts and I would find someone with a car and escape from the campus, driving over to Scenic Highway for po-boys and shakes at Hopper's drive-in.
We would plan carefully, when faculty members were eating their lunches, and try to complete our trips as quickly as possible.
But no matter how many times we tried it, every single time we would be met at the schoolhouse door by assistant principal and designated disciplinarian Clyde Lindsay, and have to spend some unpleasant time with him.
Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, has another story about GSRI, Gulf South Research Institute, established in Baton Rouge in the '60s:
"The director was an emigre brought in from California, and the Christmas office party was held at his apartment.
"Didee’s, a restaurant known for its duck, roasted a large pig; apple in the mouth, the whole deal.
"At the party we all oohed and aahed over the magnificent centerpiece. Then it was time to carve it up, and nobody had ever cut up a large pig.
"There was hesitation and reluctance on the part of the guests, until the director grabbed a knife and attacked. He obviously had never cut up a pig, but his willingness to take charge was a lesson to all of us.
"We understood why he was being paid the big bucks."
Special People Dept.
- June Cristina Mince, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 98th birthday Sunday, June 21. She is a native of Kenner.
- B.L. and Sharon Smith Fairchild, of Denham Springs, celebrated 64 years of marriage Sunday, June 21.
- Joseph Nolan and Ramona Veillon celebrate their 63rd anniversary Monday, June 22. They were married at St. Philip Catholic Church, Vacherie.
- Charleen and Charles "Bucky" Precht, of Iota, celebrated their 56th anniversary Sunday, June 21.
Glenn Balentine, of Prairieville, says, "When it was time to visit my dental hygienist, Karen, imagine my surprise to find it was curbside!"
Thought for the Day
From Algie Petrere, of Central:
"If at first you don't succeed…
…expect to get a ton of unsolicited advice from people who didn't succeed either."