February 19, 1999

Identity –

The other day I was in Kenner and was sitting next to a man who started talking to me. He asked me where I was from and I told him Berwick. He asked me where Berwick was. I told him that it was across the river from Morgan City. He said: “Oh – I know where Morgan City is.” I said, “Well, you know that Morgan City has the weather station and that’s why it is always mentioned on TV, especially during storms.”

Well, a week later I was in Metairie and a fellow there asked me when I was from. Well, I said to myself, “I had better say Morgan City, because he wouldn’t know where Berwick is.” So, I said loudly: “Morgan City.” He looked at me and said, “Where is Morgan City?” I said, “It is across the river from Berwick.” He looked at me and said, “I see,” and walked away.

In August 1998 the temperature reached 103 degrees. I’ve been living here all my life and I’ve never seen a long, hot and dry summer like that year.

Joe Ribardi told me that he planted some raw peanuts. When it was time to dig them up, the weather was so hot that the peanuts were parched.

My neighbor had a hive of bees in the outer wall of her house. It was so hot that all the bees couldn’t fly – they were stuck in the melted bees’ wax.

Every day I poured ice water on my brick patio to cool the bricks off so my cat “Sheba” has a cool place to sleep.

Did you know that there are twice as many feet in the world as there are people?

Are you afraid to go to a dentist? I remember the first dentist I went to was in the early ’20s. The dentist was Dr. Joe Granada, whose office was located on Pacific Street in Berwick. He used to practice pulling my baby teeth out. At the age of five, I didn’t have any baby teeth left. Dr. Granada pulled them all out!

I remember that when I used to eat, my chin would touch my nose.

I had another dentist, Dr. Frank Russo, and then Dr. Johnny Mula. Dr. Mula was always so careful. He would always say, “Now, this is not going to hurt you.” And it didn’t. He was my favorite dentist. Did you notice that all my dentists were Italians?

Italian men make good doctors. My son is a good Italian surgeon. Italian men are also good artists, sculptors, actors, inventors and also great singers. Like I said before, men like Dean Martin, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Mario Lanza, Tony Bennett and Sam Spitale are all good singers.

Italian men also make great gangsters. What would a gangster movie be without Italian men?

Can you imagine a name like Al Capone Comeaux or Lucky Luciano Boudreaux?

Remember the old sugar house in Glenwild? There used to be sugar house parties, hay rides from Berwick to Glenwild. These were occasions when the girls and boys went to tour the sugar mill and sample sugar cane – and you could eat all you wanted. There were many, many stomach aches which we got from too much sweets.

I remember one time I went to the sugar mill with a paper bag to get me some brown sugar – that brown sugar sure had a nice aroma. I went into the mill and walked over to a large vat where I saw three men scooping up the brown sugar with shovels. I saw where the men were barefooted, walking in the brown sugar. All of the men had a wad of tobacco in their mouths. I was about to ask for a bag of the brown sugar when I saw one of the men put his two fingers to his mouth and “squash.” He let out a mouthful of tobacco juice into the sugar. That did it! I never ate brown sugar again. They say that after it is granulated, it’s clean. I don’t know. I drank bitter coffee for a long time after that. Even today, every time I use sugar, I still can taste tobacco.

The site where the sugar house was located has been purchased by Sam Smith. If you want to purchase some brown sugar, Sam will be glad to oblige.

* The End *

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