Family-ing: A Man Gets a New Hat

My grandfather could give Calvin Coolidge a run for his money.  He’s a man a few words.  He is extremely social, but he isn’t the type to ramble on.

He is 96.  He still volunteers at the community center.  He still makes the best pralines in southeast Louisiana (I think he makes the best anywhere but I think the first statement is a provable fact).  If you are lucky enough to buy the pralines at the French Food Festival, you have tasted this piece of diabetic-inducing heaven.

Recently, he decided he wanted a hat.  Not just any hat, but a WWII Veteran Hat.  My grandfather served as a Cajun translator during WWII. During the Invasion of Normandy, this was an important part of the campaign in order to be able to communicate with resistance fighters and locals.  My grandfather didn’t go to France; instead, French Resistance fighters came to the states and he stayed to translate. One of Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s history professors from Graduate School was assisting The World War II Museum in collecting stories of veterans, but my grandfather passed. While it would be an interesting story to hear, it’s his story to tell or not to tell.

He decided he wanted this hat during the middle of Mardi Gras Season, which made it difficult to get downtown.  I checked with a local Army surplus store, but they only had them if you special order.  The sad fact is that the demand for these hats is reducing so the supply is as well.  However, when we were able to get to the World War II Museum we were able to find one.


The day we purchased it, I drove to my mom’s house so she could bring it to him the next day when they went grocery shopping together.  However, she couldn’t bring it to him the next day, because………………..he was volunteering at the “old folks home.”

Yes, you read that right.  My 96-year young grandfather was too busy because he was volunteering at a retirement center.  The quotations in the previous paragraph are there because those are his words. You are only as old as you think you are.

Finally, he got his hat.  He looks damn good in it if you ask me.



6 thoughts on “Family-ing: A Man Gets a New Hat

  1. He knows I worry if I don’t see his lights on do he reminds me before his monthly casino trips. I love it when he tells me he’s going to the casino with the “old people”!


  2. What a great article! This is my neighbor and I can vouch for the “best pralines in the world” part! last year we had my son go and start dragging his garbage to the road. So now anytime he makes some pralines he shuffles down the drive way to bring us some. It’s amazing what Thisbe man does daily at his age! (I think he would still be dragging is garbage out and cutting his own grass if everyone would let him)


  3. I met him about 10 years ago when I was a commeriner at Holy Rosary cafeteria. We talked and shared the love of cooking special sweets he told me about his pecan parlines…One day I will call you and we will get together and make some. Well saw him at the Larose Civic center 8 years later and we talked about getting together one day to make his pralines. One day he said you better not wait to much longer I am now 96 1/2. Ok ,it’s time I will call you soon I said . One day came this March after a meeting he said you never called me .One Week later I called and we met and he showed me how to make his famous pecan parlines we talked and he showed me and I watched him for 3 hours .He let me stir and make his pralines . I thank God for a special heroes like Mr. L.Compeaux


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