May 15, 1998

Did you recently see all those creeps who were heckling Mrs. Madeleine Albright, our secretary of state? She looked perfectly astounded as if she couldn’t believe her ears – those young people were so rude. Don’t they have sense enough to see that Saddam Hussein is not building all those guns, tanks, rockets and making poison gas for his health? He should be stopped now.

If we would have stopped Hitler in 1933 from building all those submarines, tanks and guns, we probably would never have had World War II. No, we tried to talk peace instead. We sent Chamberlin, with his umbrella, from London to talk to Hitler, but to no avail. Chamberlin started twirling his umbrella as in a Mardi Gras parade. Hitler just laughed at him. You can’t talk peace to a character like Saddam Hussein – or to others such as Hitler, Castro and Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Supposing Hitler would have won the war! Do you know when you would even go to the post office, or bank or church you would be goose-stepping? Can you imagine the ushers in St. Stephen passing the collections goose-stepping? Especially John Tholen with his ling legs. I would hate to be the usher that walks in front of him!

I met Eugene Swire at church Sunday, Feb. 21. He looked at me and said: “Nina, I know you have been around for a long time, and I would like to know where the mercantile store was located that burned down in 1921. Exactly, where was it located?”

I told him it was located next to his property on California and Front streets. The mercantile was almost a block long and had everything in it – hardware, groceries and clothes. When you went into the store, there were apples coming down a chute – you would take one and there were numbers in them to get a prize in the store. The store was owned by Dave Erlich, who at one time was the mayor of Berwick. He must of been a short man because they named after him the street which was one block long – from Pharr Street to Francis Street.

I met Vincent Cannata Feb. 21 in his store in Bayou Vista. He was eating in his deli. Vincent is to me like family. He and my brother “Baby” were very close. “Baby” stood at his wedding in New Orleans – and also at his 50th anniversary at the same church in New Orleans. I remember the time they wanted to go into business together. They pooled their money and they had $12 between them both. Vincent went alone in the store business and my brother “Baby” went into the boat business. They both were very successful. Everything that they did was all work and no play!

I met Jake Giroir recently in Sam Spitale’s Drug Store. He was talking to Dr. Kenneth Stone when he turned and looked at me and said: “Nina, I really enjoy your column in The Daily Review. They bring back so many memories.”

When older people get together and start reminiscing about the “times gone by” you can’t imagine how much they love to talk about things they used to do. Jake went on to talk about our school days together at Morgan City High School.

He reminisced about the old coaches, Coach Davis and Coach “Fuzzy” Brown, and even some of the old football players and teachers. We really enjoyed our conversation. Jake said that he wants to live until the year 2000. I told him I’m going for the year 2007, because I want to be on the 100th anniversary committee to commemorate Berwick’s incorporation 100 years ago.

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