November 20, 1998

I met a lady on the Berwick Walking Trail a while back and I asked her why she hadn’t been walking on the trail regularly like she use to. She said that she walks the trail in Morgan City because t have a restroom. I said: “Lady our trail here in Berwick is 1 1/8 miles long, which is next to the woods which is 1 1/8 miles long. Those woods is the longest restroom in St. Mary Parish. The only thing you have to do is bring your own paper.”

If the palm of your hand itches, you are going to get something. If you head itches, you’ve got it.

I was talking to Bolo LaCoste this morning, and he told me about a little incident that Herb Vining had told him years ago. Herb told him that one day he was sitting in a barroom, right next to a stranger. They began to talk and really got acquainted. They talked about many things and finally Herb told the stranger, bragging just a bit, that he had just come back from a hunting trip and he had killed 42 ducks. The stranger looked very interested and asked Herb: “How many ducks did you kill?” He answered very proudly: “42!” The stranger stood up and told Herb that he would like to introduce himself as the federal Game Warden in this parish. At that, Herb stood up, undauntedly, and told the Game Warden: “My name is Herb Vining and I’m the biggest liar in St. Mary Parish!”

The price of beef was the highest – when the cow jumped over the moon.

Remember the Arcade Theatre on Railroad Avenue in Morgan City, where L&H Printing Co. stands today? Eldridge Naquin use to play the piano-roll music. The last movie that I saw there in the 1920s was the silent movie “Ben Hur” with Ramon Navarro.

I met Bobby Hughes a while back in the post office. I enjoyed reminiscing with him. Bobby and my son, Bobby, were friends growing up as kids. I told Bobby Hughes about how much I use to enjoy talking to his daddy, “Bootsy” Hughes. We came up together in Berwick. “Bootsy used to always fantasize about how much money he had. he would say: “Nina, I just put in two million dollars in the Bank of Ricohoc because I don’t like to carry that much pocket change on me.” Bobby Hughes told me how much he enjoyed my column “Recollections” in The Daily Review and looks forward every Friday for the paper.

Here’s what you call a “big tipper.” I met Paul Harvey at Shoney’s the other day and he proceeded to tell me about the time when he, V.J. Bella and John Siracusa stopped at a small hamburger place in Baton Rouge. They each had a hamburger and a drink. The waitress laid the bill of approximately $7.85 on the table. V.J. said, “I got it!” So he put a $20 bill next to the check. When the waitress came back, John Siracusa slid the $20 over to the waitress and said, “You keep the change, honey!” V.J. choked on his hamburger and wanted to kill John. Thus, John the “Big Tipper.”

The 80-year-old farmer was getting ready for bed in his hotel room when a lovely young, scantily clad girl walked in. “Pardon me,” she said in confusion. “I must have come to the wrong room!” “No, my dear, not at all,” the old farmer said. “You just came 30 years too late!”

There was years ago an old Italian man by the name of Cambesi who lived at Fairview Plantation in Berwick. He would often come to my house, driving a horse and wagon. He came to get my daddy to translate his mail, since he couldn’t read or write. He once asked me why some people here called him a “Wop.” I told him not to worry about it as it was only a name. I told him that the name “Wop” originated from the Custon House in New York. At one time there were a lot of the old Italians who came to this country from Sicily. When they arrived in New York, many of them didn’t have any papers for identification, so they put a tag on those people that spelled “W.O.P.” which meant “Without Papers.” So when it was time for them to be checked, the custom officials would say, “Here come some more ‘Wops.'”

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