November 13, 1998

If you haven’t been to the Berwick Walking Trail lately, try it. There are over 50 different species of trees – oak, maple, pecan, China, white and red mulberry, willow, elm and many others. There are crepe myrtle trees from one end to the other planted next to the trail. Black and tan squirrels are running all over the place. It is a paradise for the large white cranes, owls and all kinds of birds.

You have heard the old saying, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Well, a walk a day on the trail will also “keep the doctor away.”

I have visited many churches in my lifetime, but the most beautiful church, in my opinion, is St. Stephen Church in Berwick. This was especially true this past Easter season. When one opened the door and looked down the aisle toward the altar, the vision took one’s breath away. The panorama was just a mass of white – white assorted flowers of all varieties and white Easter lilies. This was accented by the golden reflections of the candle holders which adorned the altar on all sides. The flowers were artfully placed around the altar with the small statues placed in front, decorated with the lovely array of white flowers with the rays of gold streaming on all sides and around them. The little Berwick church, in our little town, was the most beautiful church in the world to me. I should like to commend Dale Fangue and assistants for the lovely decorations in St. Stephen Church on Easter Sunday and for a job superbly done.

I also met Father Bienvenu’s mother and father, who to me are very special people. They are a joy to talk to, so kind and considerate to everyone. Father Bienvenu’s father is a retired doctor and we found a lot to talk about as my son is also a doctor. They reminded me of my son’s parents.

I was reading the book about Bishop Warren Louis Boudreaux, “Memoirs of a Cajun Bishop.” I call him Warren because we were kids together growing up in Berwick. He lived about a block and a half from my house. Everybody liked Warren. He was a fine, well-mannered boy. We had a group of boys in our neighborhood who always played tag and chased each other. Some of the boys were Michael Kilbus, Cutty Hanson, Dude Evans, Charles Amador, Van Adams, Roco Rousso, Roy Cortez, Laurie Toups, Warren and myself. Of all the names I have mentioned, I am the only one living. God left me here to write about things that happened in Berwick for you to read.

Another thing that Warren mentioned that brought back memories to me was when he said that he sang to the cows while he was milking them. Warren said that the cows loved music and seemed to give more milk. My Dad had a dairy next to Warren’s daddy’s dairy. And similarly, my mother used to play soft music with our graphophone so the cows would settle down and give more milk.

Another thing that brought back memories is when he said that they would kill a hog every winter, but that he couldn’t stand to see their hog killed as they were so attached to it. Well, I used to feed our pig; I even played with her and often petted her until she was full grown. She used to rub up against me and lick my hands. My Daddy had her killed by an old man, named Dave Talaman, who killed her with a butcher knife which he stuck into the heart. When he stuck the knife into the hog, at first he missed her heart. The poor hog, which I named “Sue,” couldn’t understand why she was being stuck with a knife. Poor “Sue” was bleeding all over from knife wounds. She was screaming so loud and crying like a baby. She looked at me so sadly, as if imploring me to help her. She looked so pitiful; I had tears in my eyes. I said, “God, please don’t let me ever see anything like this anymore!”

Today, after 65 years, I can still hear my hog, Sue, crying. I still have the knife that they used to kill her. I’ll never forget the sadness in her face and the way she looked at me, hoping I would help her. I don’t know if there is a “Hog Heaven” or not, but I prayed to God to please take care of “Sue.”

The reason why the mountain climber could not call for help – because he was hanging by his teeth.

* The End *

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