September 26, 1997

There is one thing that even today is a mystery to me. This concerned a display in front of Cefalu’s Pressing and Cleaning Shop in Morgan City. There was a barrel with a mimic of “Jigs” (Jig’s and Maggie cartoon in the comic papers) in the barrel in his underwear waiting for his suit to be cleaned and pressed. There was also a sign saying “Cleaned & Pressed While You Wait.” Wherever that barrel is, it is a collector’s item now.

Do you remember in the 1920s when showboats would come to town and tie up on the river? We were fortunate when the Cotton Blossom or the Hollywood would come to town, for they were sure to bring entertainment.

I’ll never forget the time that the Cotton Blossom docked in our town and everybody was rushing to get front row seats for the performance. We would always buy our tickets in advance because they were all of 75 cents. Sidney Bella, Alphonse Mahfouz, Omer Gouner, Baby Guzzetta, Doo Doo Mahfouz and myself would always buy out the front row. However, on one occasion Sidney Bella, instead of purchasing a ticket with the rest of the group for the first row, bought a box seat on the stage.

That night we started walking in just as the show was about to start. Suddenly, the curtain went up and the show started. It was magnificent – the beautiful singing and dancing. Suddenly there appeared on the stage a girl with the most gorgeous face, a figure divine, and her dancing held everyone spellbound. At 15 minute intervals she would pirouette in front of the front row and then run over and kiss Sidney Bella.

He was ecstatic – absolutely thrilled by being kissed by this beautiful creature. She did this at least a half-dozen times. Finally, the show ended and the curtain came down. The beautiful figure of the girl came out one more time to kiss Sidney Bella – and when she did, the figure pulled off her wig and behold! – she was a bald-headed man. Sidney Bella was fit to be tied! He was so embarrassed that he waited until everybody left before he would leave the boat. But you can bet we never did let him forget the “beautiful girl!”

Remember when you could buy whiskey and home-brew at Mammy Olivier’s house? If you bought one bottle of beer, you could eat all the crabs that you wanted free of charge. Also, Edward Broussard lived across the street from the Catholic church in Berwick. The beer drinkers would walk out of church, cross the street directly into Broussard’s bar. To them, this was like going from Heaven to Hell. Julian Rock also sold watered-down home-brew with about 80 percent water. That’s just like Julian.

Also, Bradey Hanson had a campboat next to the swimming pool and sold home-brew. Tony Pizzo would go into Bradey’s camp and tell him there’s a “Revenue Man” on shore. Bradey would throw all of his beer into the river, right into the hands of George Grow, Gussie Rock, Ham Bergeron, Lawrence Pizzo and Nub Broussard, who were swimming in the river on the outside of Bradey’s camp.

* The End *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *