January 29, 1999

I was in the grocery store the other day and meet someone by the name of James Harvey. We got to talking about Morgan City when his daddy, George Harvey, owned the first theatre, which was under a tent on Front Street near on next to where Mr. Orfanello had his place of business.

This was during the silent film era. Mr. Harvey said that his mother, Louise Wise, played the piano. Then in later years, Morgan City had the Evangeline Theatre, managed by Sol Loeb. In 1917, Loeb ran a preview of the first Tarzan picture. This picture was filmed in Morgan City. Elmo Lincoln played the role of Tarzan and roomed at the Berry Hotel during his stay, and the film personnel and director stayed at the Costello Hotel. And then Mrs. William Chrysler and Claude Darce operated the Old Opera House. And, Lynn Petatross and Claude had the Arcade Theatre on Railroad Avenue and Front Street. Eldridge Naquin played the piano roll. You should of heard how Eldridge would speed up on his piano when the cowboys use to chase each other.

I met an old friend of mine the other day in a restaurant from Stephensville by the name of Patot LeBlanc. I asked him what he was doing in Morgan City. He said that his wife had passed away and that he was looking for another lady to marry. He said that he didn’t like living alone. He said that he met a nice looking waitress and had a couple of dates with her. So eventually, he said he asked her what her nationality was. She answered him and said, “I am Lebanese.” Well, Patot said that this ended that relationship – he was not about to marry a Lesbianese.

My wife and I were out eating on Sunday, June 20, and met a group of the AARP, all together, eating, drinking and having the time of their lives. My brother, Joe, was with them and they acted like they were one big, happy family. It reminded me of how friendly the people in Berwick used to be.

Today, I don’t know too many people in Berwick – many have died and new people are appearing all the time. The other day one of my neighbors asked me how long had I lived in Berwick, I said, “I don’t know yet; I’m not through living.”

Why is it when some people get old, they never speak of dying? Fear, perhaps, or they just don’t want to think about it.

I knew a man one time who staged his own funeral. He wanted to see everything that happened and everybody’s reaction to his death. He wanted to see who was crying and who was laughing at his funeral. And he did!

Well, myself, I only hope that Joe Hargrave lives another 50 years so he can be my undertaker. He knows all of my ways. He knows exactly how I comb my mustache and my hair. The only thing that I want him to do is leave my hearing aids in my ears so that when I get to Heaven, I can hear the lovely voices of all the angels singing.

* The End *