During our seminar on home deliveries, some readers referred to delivery wagons pulled by horses or mules.
Rose Rolfsen says when she lived in Kentucky, her dad delivered milk in Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River, and his milk wagon was mule-driven.
And Jackie Upton says in the 1940s “my Uncle Fred delivered ice to homes in Tulsa, Okla., from a horse-drawn cart.
“Uncle Fred’s horse knew the route by heart. While Uncle Fred pulled the ice out of the cart with a large set of tongs, carried it to the house and placed it in the ice box, the horse adjusted its pace and moved on to the next stop and waited for him to return for more ice.
“When Uncle Fred retired, so did his horse.”
I’m not all THAT old, but I recall two instances of horse-drawn wagons from my early childhood in Natchez, Miss.
On Saturday mornings, Ernest “The Vegetable Man” came down Washington Street in his horse-drawn wagon.
He’d stop in front of our house, and all the neighbors would descend on him to buy his fresh vegetables.
One day he showed up in a new green pickup, and we were all excited and happy for him.
Don’t know what he did with his horse. …
There was also a horse-drawn ice cream wagon.
As I recall, it was a tall enclosed wooden wagon, with screened windows all around. The driver stood up and guided the horse with reins that went through a hole in the front.
He usually came in the summer during my nap time, and if my mom was napping too, my grandmother, Camille DeMarco, would slip in and lift me out of bed (I always woke up when I heard the ice cream man’s bell).
She’d take me out to the wagon, buy me a treat, clean me up after I ate it, and deposit me back in bed before my mom woke up.
I later learned that this is typical grandparent behavior. …
The downside of doing a reader-driven column for as long as I have is the sad fact that along the way you lose valued contributors.
Gerald Hubenak was such a contributor, presenting me with more than 100 little quips and funny stories over the past 20 years or so.
I was fortunate to meet him at a roast for me, and found him as humorous in person as he was in print.
A couple of examples:
“Overheard at a rest stop in Vinton, when returning from a trip to Houston: ‘I don’t understand those Cajuns. When their football team is losing, they stay away from the games and demand the coach be fired. When they elect a lousy politician, they flock to the polls and re-elect him.’ ”
“In the early days we didn’t need Facebook — the clothesline was all we needed to see to know what was going on with our neighbors.”
In his last note, he said he told me his son got a Ph.D. from Texas A&M rather than a DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) because “I was afraid that if I used DVM, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux would think he worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles.”
Dr. Leon DeMent Jr. comments on the 1957 meteor that lit up south Louisiana:
“I have very vivid memories of that night. Mom, Dad, my brother Chuck and I were at the Tiger Drive-In movie theater on Airline Highway when suddenly the sky was illuminated by a bright light that seemed to be falling from the sky.
“I looked out of the car window and could clearly see a bright light falling and getting brighter and brighter as it fell.
“The light became so bright that it actually hurt my eyes to look at it.
“I can remember being more than a little bit frightened, but my dad knew what it was and reassured me there was nothing to worry about.
“We went back to watching the movie, but I kept watching the sky for more bright lights.”
From Harriet St.Amant: “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.”
Darrell Ourso says, “Every six months, Boy Scout troops elect from within their ranks a fellow scout to lead their respective troop as senior patrol leader.
“Troop 888 is jointly chartered by two denominations, Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church. Over 50 boys from various religious faiths are part of our troop.
“Before concluding the meeting Tuesday night, Scoutmaster Todd Drummond asked the boys a question: ‘Who knows what happens next Tuesday?’
“A couple offered a response until one correctly stated, ‘Elections!’
“Then in a soft reply, and unheard by most of the others, one of our Catholic scouts, Charles L., asked, ‘For the pope?’ ”
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.
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