This week we decided to feature Ardella and Maurice Fugate upon their retirement. I went to their office Monday to interview them but it was more like a friendly visit since I’ve known both of them all my life.

Still there were some surprises. I knew I had ridden the bus with Maurice and his two sisters and late brother. I did not know that Maurice helped take care of me, so to speak, when I was in about the first or second grade.

It seems I was too little to make the step up into the bus. So Maurice, probably a sophomore in high school, would get off the bus and give me a lift up onto the bus.

I’m not sure when I got acquainted with Ardella. Her mother, Sister Lois Smith, went to church with us a Concord.

Maurice and Ardella knew something I didn’t find out until fairly recently. His mom, Dorothy, had several big pecan trees right by DD Highway. Every fall as you drove past, you were likely to see Dorothy picking up pecans. My sister told me, and Maurice and Ardella confirmed, my mom would go over and help Dorothy pick up pecans. Mom didn’t want anything for it. Just being neighborly. She and Dad had several pecan trees of their own that produced lots of pecans. Dad had a death struggle with the squirrels. One year he killed 49 as they headed for his pecans. Couldn’t get that 50th one.

I had enough experience as a kid picking strawberries to know that its back breaking work. Bur strawberry shortcake – mashed strawberries topped with ice cream – make the backaches go away.

Kimball has Mom’s recipe for short cake. Once in Slidell she fixed biscuits for me. I told her, “Those biscuits are too sweet.” She said she used Mom’s recipe.

Finally she figured out she used the recipe for short cake. And I thought she had just dipped her finger in the batter.

– Leann Irvin sent me a link that makes it easier if you want to read the article I have in the March issue of Louisiana Sportsman Magazine telling you how to pattern your turkey shotgun:

I thanked her and told her I would see her in the turkey woods or at church. She reminded me of that at church later.

-Doug Rice told me at church Monday evening that he has been taking his shotgun for long walks before daylight but hasn’t heard any gobblers. That’s where I draw the line: I hunt for the fun of it, not for meat. If turkeys aren’t going to make my heart pound, I’ll wait until they will. KL