June 2, 2000

One day a long time ago, probably in the ’20s, my father returned from a trip to Italy. After several weeks had gone by, we received a trunk that my father had sent. It was filled with all sorts of Italian goodies. The trunk was so heavy that it took at least four big, husky men to carry it.

It finally came by express, and Danator, an old black man, carried the trunk from the depot to its destination. Danator had an old wagon driven by a blind horse called “Nellie.”

When the four men put the trunk on the wagon, poor old “Nellie’s” knees buckled. In the trunk, among other things, was a most beautiful blanket that must have weighed every bit of 200 pounds. I think Mussolini used that blanket to stop cannon shells in practice.

I will never forget that the weather had turned so cold my mother put that blanket on our bed. It was so heavy that we could not turn over once we got to bed. I called, “Mama, this blanket is too heavy, we can’t move!” She answered, “Shut upy, thisi roba any bona tuo goola sta caldo!”

Also, in the very bottom of the magical trunks that held everything from “piscottis” to “pinerlatus,” we discovered an overcoat. Now this overcoat was destined for my oldest brother, Jake.

Sometimes, especially at night, my mother would take the whole family to visit with other Italian families from Italy for a nightly chat. Some nights when it was extremely cold, my brother Jake would have to wear his overcoat.

Well, the coat was about an inch thick and it was so long it dragged the ground. My brother “Baby” and I use to raise the coat up so Jake could back into it.

When we started out of the house on our nightly visits, “Baby” and I had to hold Jake’s hands and pull him. My sisters, Mary and Jennie, walked in the back of Jake and gave him a little shove every now and then. When we finally arrived at our friends’ house, Jake was sweating “buck-shots” in weather that was 28-degrees. We didn’t have to hang the coat up – it stood up by itself!

So we later realized that the coat was just unwearable. It was too long, too heavy to carry and too hot to wear. So we gave it to the Salvation Army. About a week later, the Salvation Army brought it back to us. They said that they didn’t handle such heavy equipment!


Did you know that Mrs. Nina Pecot was the first woman to register to vote in St. Mary Parish in 1920?


Remember in 1940 when Father Toups, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, blessed the 5th annual blessing of the fleet here in Morgan City?

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