July 31, 1998

Remember Roy Dow? He was my neighbor who lived next to the theatre. One day I asked him to pull up an old rug in the aisle of the theatre and I told him I would pay him $5 for doing this job. He said: “Mr. Nina, I work by the hour – $1 per hour.” I told him, “OK, go ahead and do the job.” He piddled around and it took him half an hour to do the job. Well, I gave him $1. He was satisfied; he said that he made 50 cents extra since I paid him for the whole hour. Talk about a “Koo-youn.”

We loved those Berwick Panthers so much that we would travel everywhere they played. I’ll never forget the time when Mr. Bill Walthers, old reliable Tarvil Davis, my brother Baby, driver Merval Landry, and myself headed out for Lafayette to see Berwick play Father Tuerling. However, we got lost about four times in Lafayette, took the wrong roads and it was almost game time. Well, Merval assured us not to worry and that he would get us there. he kept telling us that he knew Lafayette like a book and that he knew every street there. But to tell you the truth, it seemed to me like that was Merval’s first time there. All of a sudden, we came to a football stadium and Merval, happy with his good luck said: “See there, I told you I knew where I was!”

We hurriedly parked the car, brought our tickets, and sat in the stadium. When we finally got settled and looked around, we all looked at each other in dismay. There were all Black people there! We looked at the two football teams on the field and they were all Black! I asked Tarvil if we had any Black players on the Berwick team and he answered, “Not a one!” Merval had brought us to a football game where two Black teams were playing. Well, we didn’t know where we were so we stayed there and saw a real good game. But we never did see our Panthers.

There have been several movies filmed in St. Mary Parish. These include:

“Tarzan of the Apes” was filmed in the Berwick Bay area with a native village constructed on Lake Palourde. The film starred Elmo Lincoln. He stayed at the Berry Hotel during the filming. “Tarzan of the Apes” was first seen in 1917.

“Evangeline” was filmed in 1927 starring Delores Del Rio. Some of the scenes were taken in Berwick where the traffic light is. Other scenes were then taken on Bayou Teche in St. Martinville.

“Thunder Bay” was filmed on Berwick Bay with scenes in Morgan City, Berwick and Patterson. The year was 1952 and the cast included James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Dan Duryea, J.C. Flippen, Gilbert Roland, and Marcia Henderson. The cast stayed at the Morgan City Motel during the filming and ate at the Moonlight Cafe and the Berwick Sport Center.

“Fire Next-time” with Craig Nelson was partly filmed in Morgan City in the early ’90s.

* The End *