April 10, 1998

Remember Mac Russo? I know everybody does.

Mac was one of the best sports writers in this area. He could tell you anything about every team – football, basketball or any other sport. Mac was also comical and full of fun. I’ll never forget the time my brother, Baby, Tarville Davis and Arthur Bergeron went to a Tulane football game. There was no place to park. Finally, we saw Mac standing in front of a large colonial style home. He saw us and asked us what was the trouble. We told him we were looking for a parking spot but couldn’t find one. Mac, always so helpful and generous, said for us to pull into the yard. This large house with the beautiful yard had plenty of parking space. Mac said that the people living there were friends of his and they wouldn’t mind at all if we parked there.

When we approached the house after the game, there were two burly policemen there looking for all the car owners. We explained to the officers and the lady of the house that Mac Russo had given us permission to park there, as he was a friend of the family. The lady said, without hesitation, “I have never heard of Mac Russo in my entire life.”

Another escapade with Mac Russo was going to a ball game in Texas. Besides Mac, there was Johnny Kreider, Sam Russo, my brother Baby & myself. We had been riding all morning and it was almost 12 o’clock so we were ready to eat. Baby suggested everybody chip in and we would go to a nice restaurant and have lunch. Well, several, including Mac, were flat broke. We were in a fine predicament. My brother said: “OK, everybody is hungry and wants to eat, but nobody has any money.” So he stopped at an old grocery store and bought five cans of sardines and a large box of crackers. He brought the car to a stop at the first rest stop we came to and said: “OK, you bums, let’s eat!”


Did you know that Berwick and Morgan City each had a street named Orleans?


If you had to have a Guardian Angel, which one of these people would you like to have – Fidel Castro, Muammar al-Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein?


Remember Dude Evans? He came to Berwick on a showboat. One night he went out and was late getting back. The showboat left without him. Dude has been living in Berwick the rest of his life. Dude broke a record of selling newspapers during the Ada LeBouef and Dr. Dreher case. He would start delivering newspapers at 4 o’clock in the morning, yelling in everybody’s window. “Read all about it – the truth is coming out today.” Dude didn’t know anything – he just wanted to sell papers.

Remember John Hughes? We called him “Street Fair John.” He came to Berwick with the C.R. Leggett Street Fair. He overslept after a night on the town and the street fair left, leaving John behind. He stayed in Berwick and married Agatha Aunsen.

Someone asked me one time who I thought was the most beautiful girl in Berwick. That was hard to do because Berwick had a lot of beautiful girls. After thinking for about 10 minutes, I named Ouida Watkins Swearingen. But not only being pretty, she had a lot of talent. She had a high-pitched voice when she sang. Se was in charge of the choir in St. Stephen Catholic Church in Berwick. When she sang the windows in church would rattle. Her choir consisted of Louis Boudreaux, John Gunder Thomas, Bobby Guzzetta, Jules Thomas, Guy Thomas, Claire Green Sampay, Juanita Russo Patterson and Mrs. Gashia.


“Facts & Fancies” Remember her? My good friend Fanny Vidos? Fanny never did follow the clothing style. She always wore a dark blue dress and always had that lovely smile. Fanny had a catering service and whenever she had a function and she saw me, she would always fix me a plate of food. Every year at Mardi Gras and Shrimp Festival parades in Morgan City, I would go to Pye Brownell’s home to watch the parades. There always was a crowd there and plenty to eat. When I walked in and Fanny saw me, she would right away fix me something to eat. Fanny had a lot of loyal friends. My sister, Mary Gougenheim, and Fanny were very close friends. In fact, Fanny was liked by everybody. Fanny, I hope your are reading this column – because we all love you!

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