Smiley: Cajun grandma digs it

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Kathleen Sonnier Mier says one way for Cajuns to say “That’s where I was born” is “C’est là où mon nombril est enterré.”

Literally, she says, it means, “There’s where my nombril (navel stump) is buried.”

When Kathleen and husband Louis were at a “Table Francaise” at the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville, Mavis Fruge, of Arnaudville, spoke about the nombril, saying that in some areas Cajuns bury the baby’s umbilical cord stump after it dries and falls off.

A friend from Ville Platte told Kathleen she knew of the custom of burying the nombril for a healthy future.

And Cheri Armentor, a New Iberia author, says her grandmother buried Cheri’s daughter’s Sammie’s nombril under a rose bush to guarantee that the baby would grow to be a beautiful Cajun woman, “Which she has!”

Cheri says a baby boy’s nombril is supposed to be buried under a fence post, so that he will grow up to be a strong Cajun man.

Kathleen adds, “Please understand that I’m not at all a superstitious Cajun woman! However, we just learned that our daughter Sarah is expecting her fourth child in October. And this grandmother does not want to take any chances …”

Just the best

Linda Hobgood says this about the various renditions of the national anthem discussed by our readers:

“Why try? No one is ever going to top Whitney Houston!”

Lucky Lady

“There are angels among us,” says Veni Harlan.

“While having my brake pads replaced at Skid Marks on Lee Drive, I learned about their employee, Wally.

“When a skinny, frightened female dog showed up a couple of years ago, Wally put food out, but it was quite some time before the dog would come near.

“Then, on one particularly cold and rainy day, the dog accepted the staff’s invitation to come into the garage.

“ ‘Lady,’ as she would be called, bonded to Wally. When I met her, she was lounging on a blanket in the back seat of Wally’s truck. She comes to work with Wally every day.

“Everyone at Skid Marks deserves our applause for allowing a hungry, homeless dog access to shelter and food. And Lady is one lucky girl to find a friend like Wally!”

The music man

On Thursday evening, Baton Rouge songwriters, singers and musicians will gather at Chelsea’s to pay tribute to Lynn Anselmo on his 70th birthday and for his 40 years of promoting the local music scene.

Lynn and his wife, Lynn Little Anselmo, were on the road as a folk/blues duo until, in 1985, they opened Tony’s Restaurant and Tavern on Old Hammond Highway, an outgrowth of their family business, the legendary Tony’s Donut Shop.

Tony’s Tavern was home to many of the area’s musicians until it closed in 2003. Lynn is still in the music business, hosting a music night Tuesdays at Heaux Jeaux’s on Airline.

Worthy causes

The Louisiana Lions Children’s Camp for the physically challenged, the Lions Eye Foundation and other Lions charities benefit from a “Clays for Children” fun shoot Saturday at Hunter’s Run Gun Club in Port Allen.

There will be breakfast and registration at 8 a.m., a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. and lunch and awards at noon.

Call (225) 931-7900 or email dekr_ferrara@cox.net or baldeagle_37@cox.net.

Special People Dept.

  • Marshall Kaye, of La Plantation Retirement Community in Denham Springs, celebrates his 98th birthday Wednesday. He’s a BASF retiree.
  • Mildred Stringer, of Baker, celebrates her 98th birthday Wednesday.
  • Ruth Bezet Barbay, of Plaquemine Caring Nursing Home, celebrates her 90th birthday Wednesday.
  • Margie Hughes Jordan was 90 on March 9, but had to put off her celebration until Saturday due to a hospital stay. She was a “Rosie the Riveter” in Michigan during World War II.
  • Lowell and Mary Anne Singletary celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday.

Embarrassing? Why?

I’m not sure Miss Manners would approve of this latest addition to our seminar on Louisiana coffee and its drinkers:

Sam Raney says, “All the great stories about Community Coffee remind me of a great one about my dad.

“He loved his coffee and his cup, and would not drink any other brand or use any other cup.

“I can remember several times, when we would travel as a family in the late 1950s, he would bring his own drip pot and his brown-stained coffee cup with us.

“When we stopped for breakfast, he would bring his coffee pot, Community Coffee and cup into the café and ask the waitress for a pot of boiling water.

“He would make his own coffee at the table. He even picked up the pot and banged it on the table when it was done dripping, just to be sure he got it all — just like he did at home!

“Embarrassing then, but great memories now.”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.