December 17, 1999

I met Clevis LeBlanc, an old friend of mine from Stephensville at the store months ago. I said, “Clevis, you look prosperous and happy.” He said, “Yes – there are three things in my life that I owe that to and enjoy the most: (1) the day I got married; (2) the day I got a divorce; and (3) the day my mother-in-law-passed away.


Quiet a few years ago, the Standard Oil Co. wanted to buy some land from the Pharr family to set up their headquarters here. But the Pharrs didn’t want to sell. If in the event the Pharrs would have sold, Berwick would today be a large and well-known city. As a result of this, Standard Oil made their headquarters in Baton Rouge.


I had a friend of mine who was a good Catholic and never missed church. One day he came to see me and said that he wanted to go to Confession, but that he was a friend of the priest and he was too embarrassed to tell him what he had done. He asked me what he should do. “Well,” I answered him, “if you don’t want to confess to any English-speaking priest, I would advise you to go to Medjugorje. Next to the church, in the church yard, there are a lot of priests from all countries who listen to Confessions.” I said, “talk to all of them and find out which ones do not speak the English language and go to one of them. That’s the one you should confess to because God understands all languages.”


Remember the little country grocery stores on the corner? When you walked in, you were cheerfully greeted by the owner, who was very glad to see you, shook your hand, and asked: “How’s your health?; How’s you family?’ I hope they are fine.” You felt so important when the owner took time to talk to you.”

I remember when I had my own store on the corner of Pacific and Third streets in Berwick. If a customer came in and didn’t see me, he would ask: “Where is Mr. Nina?” They wanted me to see them spend their money – to talk and laugh with them – and joke with them.

Today, in the big chain stores, the friendly atmosphere is not there. You never see the owners; and when you do, there is no friendly exchange. They just stare at you, like you are a “no-body.” You can feel the frigidness in the air. The owners don’t take time to say, “Hello, how are you?; Thank you; Come back and see us.” Why can’t the owners or bosses in these types of stores give their cashiers the power to tell a customer, if he is one or two cents short, to say, “Don’t worry about it, I will put up the money for you,” or “You can pay when you come back.” I have seen myself break a $10 bill because I was one cent short!


In 1890, Louisiana became one of the first states to legalize prize fighting. In 1893, Andy Bowen and Jack Burke fought a 110-round fight which lasted for 7 hours and 19 minutes. The fight ended in a draw.

And that was a bare-fisted fight.

* The End *

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