May 5, 2000

Remember Gillis and Pom-Pom, two brothers who lived in Rose Hadda’s apartment? I’ll never forget that large magnolia tree that was in their front yard. Gillis and Pom-Pom would sit on the side of me in school.

Every day they brought their lunch, which consisted of sardine sandwiches and sweet potatoes. Those sardines stunk to “high heaven.” I couldn’t take that smell no more, so I thought about what Cecil Gilmore told me. He said that if you want to get rid of someone, eat Limburger cheese by them.

Well, I bought a pound of Limburger cheese and put it on top of my desk under a sheet of paper. After a while, Gillis and Pom-Pom started sniffing around as the Limburger cheese smelled awful. They looked under their shoes, thinking that they had stepped into what they were smelling. Everybody around us started looking under their shoes.

If you take a piece of Limburger cheese and throw it by my cat “Sheba” – he would smell it and throw his nose up in the air – and then he would bury it.


The family gathered around the Baptismal font and the ceremony commenced. And the priest asked, “What name are you giving the child?” “Samuel, Patrick, Eamon, Sean, Burgus, Phelim, Xavier, Pascal and Thomas” announced the proud godmother. The priest turned to the altar boy, “Quick, get more Holy Water!”


Remember when the radio first came out in the ’20s? I remember when my oldest sister, Jenny, played our graphaphone. The records were round cylinders, like a beer can, and you had to wind the graphaphone up for every record.

I can still hear the songs she used to play – “Valentia,” “Red Wing Band,” “Little Old Spanish Town” and “The Shiek.” Then came the phonograph, which was played by electricity. Then radio came out.

I remember that Louis Russo had one of the first radios. He invited all our family over one night to listen. For one hour all we could hear was static. Mr. Russo told us to be quiet, no talking. That was a hard job for those old Italian ladies to do.

Just then, the radio sputtered out, “This is Station; Louisville, Ky.” And that was all we heard. But we celebrated as we heard a voice come over the radio. To us, that was just as astonishing as the event when the men landed on the moon.

Jeanne McCloy of Bayou Vista called to tell me how much she enjoys reading my column “Recollections.” Thank you, Jeanne.

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