April 14, 2000

Remember when you first learned to dance? Some people learned to dance at home, with sisters or brothers to teach them; others learned from friends.

We didn’t have school dances or get-togethers when I was a teenager, so dancing was sort of out.

One day I got all my friends together and announced that we were going to learn to dance. The group included Omer Gouner, Alphonse Mahfouz, Charles Grow, and myself. We got a phonograph and hiked out to Fairview Plantation where there was an empty old house.

We started to dance with each other at first, and all of us were sweating “beans.” We didn’t hold each other close because we all smelled to “high heaven!” But eventually, we did learn how to do a five-step, and then kick-up. That’s what Omer Gouner told us to do, and we learned to do that fairly well.

So in the weeks that followed, after practicing a little every day, I made up my mind that I was ready to dance.

Well, I went to the Shindig Hall in Berwick and, after standing around a while and observing the crowd, I saw a girl standing alone. I said to myself, “I’ll ask her to dance.” Well, when I asked her for a dance, she was so thrilled that she grabbed me so tight that I almost passed out.

Of all the songs they played, just when I was hoping for a slow, dull song, the band started playing “Tiger Rag.” I grabbed my gal and took off. I went straight ahead, with my fivesteps and then I gave a kick with each leg straight out! Then, I put it in reverse and backed up five steps more and made tow kicks up in the air – boy, was I going to town.

Every time I kicked my leg out, my knees would hit her in the pancreas and I would kick another dancer close by in the behind. I was kicking and moving my feet to the rhythm as well as my hands which looked like I was catching butterflies. My poor little gal was so tired that she practically passed out.

Well, I said to myself, “I have to go back to the drawing board.” I told Omer Gouner, “We need some more training – but this time, please leave out the kicks.”

He Who Laughs Last, Laughs the Loudest!

One day while going to a football game in Baton Rouge, Mutt LeBlanc, Tarville Davis, and myself stopped at Gino’s Italian Restaurant to eat lunch. Everybody ordered a 16-oz. steak.

When we were almost through eating, Tarville and Mutt started laughing. I overheard Mutt tell Tarville that the bill was “tremendously high,” and he kept laughing.

I called the waiter over and started talking to him in Italian. I said, “Mettare la ticketa da mano kesa pechotta ca capela da tasta no lavi,” which meant – “give the ticket, in the hand of the person who does not have much hair on his head.” I then walked away laughing.

It’s like I said before – he who laughs last, laughs the loudest!

* The End *