Veteran of the Korean War Buddy Bilello, 83, and disabled, proudly displays his patriotism in front of his Houma home.
Years ago, he built from stainless steel the flag pole on which "Old Glory" flies every day.
But flags wear out, become frayed and tattered, as has Bilello's current banner. It's time for a replacement.
Helpful neighbor: Knowing Bilello's love for the flag display, neighbor Henry Toepfer, purchased a new one as a Christmas gift. But Toepfer's gesture has not yet solved the problem. He cannot remove the old flag because the rope holding it in place has jammed in the pulley at the top of the pole, and the rope won't move, either to bring down the old flag or to raise its replacement.
Neither Bilello nor Toepfer has the climbing ability or bucket truck kind of resources to reach the jammed pulley, replace the halyard rope and raise the new flag. With the right equipment, Toepfer stands ready to install a strong new rope the right size for the pulley, and to fly the new flag. He expects it to be a very quick job.
To show the flag and the problem pulley, Toepfer has created an online video. The link is http://mbf.cc/sdMzXp. See for yourself.
If you can help in any way, with a bucket or man-lift, or expertise, advice or anything else, contact Toepfer, (504) 261-1945 cell. Or call me and I will pass it on. It would be nice to finish this project before Christmas.
Feedback: Keep those responses coming regarding the long-time bayou-side dome home in Labadieville. I intend a larger story about it and the Leonards who built it as soon as my Christmas season survival is assured.
Gifts, seasonal treats: Still looking for suitable local goodies for family or friends, don't forget the original art offered by the Terrebonne Fine Arts Guild and Downtown Gallery 630, their Christmas Show & Sale runs through Dec. 30, featuring original, hand-painted Christmas ornaments, $5 until they are all sold. 630 Belanger St., Houma.
Le Petit Theatre de Terrebonne offers gift season tickets to its live local productions, houmalittletheatre.com, or call the box office (985) 876-4278. Check Bayou Playhouse in Lockport, www.BayouPlayhouse.com, or 1-888-99-BAYOU (22968) or info@BayouPlayhouse.com, for similar gift ticket packages.
Juicy oranges, once staple stocking-stuffers at my north Louisiana boyhood home, can be picked right off the tree locally.
There are several commercial orchards hereabouts, but you are likely to find someone in your neighborhood anxious to share their bumper crop of satsumas, navels, Louisiana sweets, kumquats, even grapefruit. They are prized also by your inland friends and neighbors, too far from the Gulf's warming waters to have ready access to the taste of the tropics.
Decorations? Exactly no one has contacted me by phone or by e-mail, about good local evening drives to see notable Christmas yard displays. On my own, I have found a couple of streets in Broadmoor which seem to have neighbors cooperating to brighten their blocks.
Then there is the Talamo house on Del Rey Blvd. and the Cenac Towing tugboat on the Terrebonne Courthouse Square, downtown Houma. If you know of other decor hot-spots in the Houma-Thibodaux area, call or write.
Responding? Contact Bill Ellzey at 985 381-6256, any time, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, mail c/o The Courier, P.O. Box 2717, Houma, LA 70361. Do not phone the Courier. I am never there. For a Sunday column, contact me by Thursday night. For Wednesday, by Sunday night.